we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming…


To say I received word late this afternoon that my windows are to be replaced. Tomorrow. Or maybe Thursday. Or Friday.

Puh-LEASE don’t be insulted if I don’t answer all the fascinating posts you’ll be writing in the interim!

The details?!

  1. Monday (it’s now Tuesday evening for those in other time zones) I was “officially” advised in writing that this was not happening in July.
  2. The notice also specified I would receive a 5-to-7 day notice, followed by a 24-hour notice, before it did happen.
  3. Late this afternoon there were two tags hanging on my door which said it will happen tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next.
  4. Both tags had the wrong unit number written on them.
  5. Management, thankfully not closed, said there’d evidently been a change, and my windows will be replaced. Either Wednesday, Thursday, or maybe Friday*.

Since then my time’s been spent moving all my sewing materials and patterns, the sewing machine, and the serger into the other room, which has no window. The computer table’s been cleared and early tomorrow morning I’ll unplug it and hope it doesn’t have to get moved. Then the curtains come down. . .

Hope to see you all again soon!

* Just realized, and confirmed: Friday is a national holiday ~ Fourth of July.

musing with masters

musing with masters

MUSE, v.i. s as z. [L. musso and mussito, to mutter or murmur… what we call humming… as persons do when idle, or alone and steadily occupied.] To ponder… to study in silence. . .to wonder.

(click any photo to go to slide show & captions)

Was in hunter-gatherer mode last week, so not much sewing got done, except for a bit of mending, which will go un-blogged. 😇

But have had some photos of a book read last month that might be worth mentioning. As often happens, I saw Lizzie’s blog review (here), of Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede, and wanted to see more. Wonder of wonders, our library had a copy, and it was in my hands within days.

It was fascinating to learn more about Halston, and I had no idea Warhol spent time as a fashion illustrator. It seems as if I’ve always known their names,  but hadn’t a clear idea of their contributions and connections to fashion in general, and my own style specifically.

(Did you realize Halston is famous for his Ultrasuede shirtwaist dresses? I’d totally forgotten!)

What’s my “style?” Not committing meself, as necessity often dictates what I make! Suffice to say Halston has always had an influence, as a current purchase attests.  (Alder pattern View B.)

Now all I have to do is get out of hunter-gatherer mode and back into sewing!


Muse is this week’s Photo Challenge.

rainbow reincarnation

rainbow reincarnation

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Have had this rainbow-coloured kimono-style jacket & maxi skirt for 10+ years, made in California to get the drapey rayon out of stash, and thinking the skirt might someday become something else. It’s turned out I don’t wear the skirt much, but the kimono gets worn a lot, so a skirt reincarnation is definitely in order.

Looking at the skirt over the weekend, I thought “blouse” and unpicked the hem & waist. After laundering I measured: 32” by 1.5 yds. Hmmmm . . . more than I’d thought. Perhaps not another Colette after all. I started draping it, and came up with the sketch above.

After a tour through the pattern boxes, I finally took a good look at the fabric’s pattern and made a Major discovery: That kimono has the pattern upside down. Both front and back.  :-(

Oh. My. Goodness. Total embarrassment.  What to do?

  • Leave the kimono alone (my lazier self insists)?
  • Try to fix a shorter version (and ruin all the fabric, lazier self insists)?
  • Retire kimono to home-only & patch together matching shorts (no comment from lazier self)?

Your suggestions welcomed. Meanwhile, am going out for chocolate . . . . .


Submitted for WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

vintage fashion, with music & architecture, too

vintage fashion, with music & architecture, too

A literary taste of Hodge… in his teen years, messing with his computer. Don’t felines do that? This one does.


click any photo below to begin the slide show

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At the turn of the century New York City was teaming with popular song writers, and their published music all had to have descriptive covers.

Illustrators were hired, and they often drew a scene suggestive of the contents: variations on moon, June, & honeymoons were always popular.   Enter fashion!

And my Chicago shop owner friend, Keith, and his shop, Selected Works Used Books & Sheet Music located in the Fine Arts Building, just south of Symphony Center & The Art Institute. (Doesn’t he keep exalted company?  :-) )

Keith is also caretaker for Hodge (see above), Chicago’s famous book store cat, and soon-to-be-published author.  And thereby hangs this tail . . . (sorry, couldn’t resist).

One day I was over on Facebook, looking at Keith’s site.

Hodge had been sharpening his claws on Keith’s keyboard, and I wanted to catch up on his news.

Writing’s in the air over there. Keith’s penned a couple of Chicago thrillers himself, which are here and here (click the pic on each page to download).  As Keith is also a great photographer, there are piccies of Hodge and Chicago.

Still with me? We’re almost done!

That (his FB page), Dear & Faithful Readers, is how I saw Keith’s latest: a Photo-A-Day from his huge pile of vintage sheet music, a few of which I decided to collect for framing.

By the way, Keith will ship to the moon if you pay the freight charge. On terra firma, in the U.S. he uses super low book rate; elsewhere, he’d have to quote. Just email him (selworks at sbcglobal dot net).

Do have a read over at both sites, and enjoy!

the final word is, of course, from His Good Self: "Here's messin' with you, kid..."

the final word is, of course, from His Good Self:
“Here’s messin’ with you, kid…”

Submitted for Ailsa’s travel theme.

blouse basics

blouse basics

Hadn’t posted a piccie of this completed Renfrew, so here it is!   ;-) (Whoops! Sorry about forgetting the title.)

A couple weekends ago I spent time perfecting the Sorbetto pattern fit, using two gigantic man’s (men’s?) shirts bought last summer at a thrift shop.

I’d cut off the sleeves and collars, then worn them around the house. The fabrics were great, but I didn’t quite know what else to do to them, so they went into stash.

Until Ali (aka Thimberlina) wore one of her Sorbettos …

These look rubbish on hangers (really did iron them!), but fit well, & pull on & off easily!

I was too involved to remember to take photos of either version, but here are some details.

  • Instead of the pleat on the Sorbetto I substituted the already-made buttons from the dress shirt.
  • I did remember not to include that front pleat when cutting out 😇
  • The pocket wasn’t coming off easily, and was probably gonna leave permanently perforated fabric anyway (meh), so I left it
  • A couple of fitting take-in’s, re-placed & shortened the darts, and it was ready for finishing
  • Thought navy seam binding would be fun, but didn’t have any sooo…it got put aside whilst I thought about alternatives
  • Finally decided to use white rayon seam binding, which worked a treat

Meanwhile, I had another man’s shirt . . . and decided to make its front the back on this version.

  • This shirt was smaller, so there wasn’t any room for alternatives
  • The side seams had been sewn down (forget what that seam finish is called) and again, wasn’t gonna be removed, so I left it
  • Used the shirt’s hem as it’s shaped, and included a slit on either side
  • Decided to leave the top of each button placket open, to give a slight V-shaping, or space for a pretty pin on the blue!

Am feeling fairly confident about the pattern, and have more versions in mind, including the 2 fabrics just in from England.

And I’m beginning to really appreciate being able to make up a pattern several times in succession, playing with it, and really getting the pattern to fit comfortably.

off-season & off-centre food & fabrics

off-season & off-centre food & fabrics


The WordPress & Travel challenges . . .

This afternoon I finally got up nerve to look at some of what’s left in the un-organised fabric stash: mostly off-season pieces. However, I didn’t drag out a large plastic box …

After doing laundry yesterday and today, have had me fill for this weekend.

Besides, winter fabric takes up a lotta space because it can be so thick, which is why there’s still that large box. Have been wondering how to accommodate fabric in something bigger than those 1 gal plastic zipped bags I used for the lighter fabrics.

Check out that second photo, the one with the checkered fabric. It’s in a zip-on-3-sides plastic bag that slides under a bed. Guess that’s about the best solution, but I’m not whizzing across county for more. Time for food!

. . . and a glance at today’s luncheon menu ~ off-centred, but not off-season! Dessert’s a second iteration of last week’s brownie attempt. This time it worked.

great british sewing bee – 2015 (season 3)

great british sewing bee – 2015 (season 3)


Judges Patrick Grant and May Martin

NOTE: To view via YouTube, search “great british sewing bee”.

Photo from BBC Two site. Click the pic to go there . . .

2015 GBSB Sewers
photo from BBC 2 site
click the pic for site

Hadn’t said much about this season ’cause last year BBC wasn’t allowing YouTube copies of the programmes, so the rest of the world couldn’t watch.

But something happened this year. Don’t know what… maybe because Amanda & Neely were contestants! 💕💕 … but I just looked at YT, and there are all sorts of versions of all three seasons.

So if you haven’t seen the programme, missed some episodes, or just wanna bask in sewers’ good cheer, have a look.

Interesting facts about this year’s 10 sewing stars ~

  • 40% were men
  • including the winner!

That’s not as much a spoiler as you think cause two men were in the finals.

Spoiler alert: winner IS listed, with 2015 sewers’ biographies.

did you know . . . . .

did you know . .  . . .

Saturday coming up (13 June) is World Wide Knit In Public (KIP) Day. And they’re including crochet and other hand crafts.  Click here to see what’s doing in your part of the world.

Whee! The latest issue of Seamwork from Coletterie has something familiar. That bottom right knit is what I used for my second  renfrew.

also on the weekend . .  .   .    .
Bought Grainline’s newest Morris Blazer, but didn’t assemble it. Made most of one Sorbetto, upcycling a huge men’s charity shop shirt, and assembled the SBCC Limoncello pattern. (Thank you for the gift, Ali!)

Learnt you need to keep line widths in mind when taping a pattern together. As we sewers know, the teensy bit off can send a whole pattern piece off, and I didn’t account for those line thicknesses. That was my problem putting the Sorbetto together, but the Limoncello was much better. Haven’t printed the Morris yet. Need more tape, cooler weather, and rubbish knit for muslin.

On Sunday I pulled out an aaancient recipe for brownies, and burnt them! Yep, those blackened edges aren’t shadows. When I looked at them after 30 minutes, they were bubbling, as if in deep fat. Didn’t know what to do so baked them another 10 minutes, and they were still bubbling. Because that stopped each time I pulled them out, I did.

Changes? Substituted ⅓ cup brown sugar for the (American white granulated) one cup sugar; used cocoa instead of baking chocolate, but didn’t add the additional butter as normal for that substitution. (That substitution: 3 Tablespoons cocoa + 1 Tablespoon butter = 1 square baking chocolate; recipe called for 2, so I added 6 Tablespoons of cocoa.)

Maybe brown sugar doesn’t react with marg the same way white sugar does. Everything else was the same, including the brand of marg. Does anyone know?  The brownies taste as remembered, so am eating them with no ill effects thus far. Aside from calories…

Telly’s been rubbish, so checked out the audio version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Had forgotten how much I love the story!

Now back to the yellow Sorbetto, about which there shall be more anon . .  .   .    .