Category Archives: sewing

stash-busting

view d

Finally getting back into a routine here, with sewing definitely in the mix.

In June I’d pulled from stash (after at least 3 years), cut out and finished the edges on a lovely cotton lawn ( White Tree Fabrics, U.K.).  Got it completed this past week (below left).

Used view D from this inspiredly (is that a word?) gifted pattern (thanks again to you know who), which I love to wear for sleep or lounging because it’s so comfortable.

Also just completed a gorgeously autumnal patterned cotton flannel caftan. That fabric I’d ordered whilst living in Chicago and is from fairly deep stash.

Originally, I’d thought I’d wear it a lot, but worried about the so-large pattern. Finally decided no one will see it but me, so why worry?

Am using a “pattern” from my head. Something I sewed up quickly one day in Northern California in the 90’s when I didn’t have time/money/whatever to go hunt for a pattern.

There the evenings used to get very cool in summer, unless El Niño was blowing all the cool Pacific air away. Residents called it Nature’s air conditioning. Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Fog,” expresses that summertime phenomenon perfectly.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Coming back to current East Coast to say the 2011 photo on the right is that summer fog rolling in over the Santa Cruz Mountains and across Silicon Valley, round about 3 one afternoon.

No leaves turning pretty colours round this lower East Coast. They just die, are brown, and fall off. Sigh.

Meanwhile, hope you Lovely Readers are comfy & cosy whichever side of the equator you’re on.

 

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mid-week hodgepodge

sewing hang tabs on tea towels – pedestrian, but necessary!

Love this quote (thanks to Prof. Pski’s blog) from Poirot in Christie’s 1947 short story, “The Capture of Cerberus” (The Labours of Hercules):

“All these young women who surrounded him- so alike, so devoid of charm, so lacking in rich alluring femininity! He demanded a more flamboyant appeal. Ah! To see a femme du monde, chic, sympathetic, spirituelle – a woman with ample curves, a woman ridiculously and extravagantly dressed!”

But, wait . . . Searching for a better link to this story after declining to use the official Christie page (“BUY” written everywhere), I found the excerpted story and a newsy bit: Christie’s Poirot, hints of “s*x,” and why this story went unpublished for 60 years. U.K. readers & Christie aficionados may know all about this, but it was news to me.

So take a break from today’s “reality” and escape into Poirot’s world, where method and order prevail.

~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~

last fabric order
Got my fabrics from Vogue Fabrics and immediately checked to see if they were on-grain before serging the raw edges and tossing into the washer. Of the 3 pieces of cotton, one of the six edges was cut properly.

behold the pile from ripping the other five edges.

turquoise cotton batik “pegged out” over the shower rail – it does feel a bit better…

Perhaps because I got the end of the bolt, the touch was rougher than the swatches, and I was disappointed when it came out of the dryer. Have just washed it again and am air-drying over the shower rail. (Noticed the fabric is translucent both wet and dry.)

So, am re-thinking the turquoise/teal group of fabrics…  Perhaps the turquoise would make a better Victoria blazer (By Hand London, or BHL)  but I’d have to try squeezing out the cropped version. And find a lining. So am still very much in planning stages for that group.

The orangey batik is lovely and light weight, but I’m wondering how badly the off-grain printing is going to affect my plan for a duster with an opening straight down the front (like this one).

bottom edge is selvedge; left edge is serged after ripping

Check out the lower selvedge and the left serged edge in the photo. Do please tell me what you think. Am I being too nit-picky?

Had thought an asymmetrical front instead, but am afraid it might look a lopsided mistake rather than planned.

gotta have me greens!

Lastly, the neutrally-dotted lawn’s texture is good and should pair with a lot of the greens I already have (as shown). It will be another duster to blend over the greens and the few browns in stash.

Lastly, from Lizzie’s latest Vintage Traveler Miscellany is a 20-minute film I found utterly charming, scenic and informative. Thank you, Lizzie!

TWEED: From Hill to Hill, a Rural Tradition

octobre ennui

why have i left these in plain view all summer???

After four whole days of lower humidity 70’s (mid-20’s C), cool nights when I can actually sleep, and just as I’m beginning to think about sewing again… slap-bang and its back into heat & humidity again.

M-E-E-E-E-E-H-H-H ! ! !

Am not at all keen on sewing (or anything else) when it’s miserable, and this summer’s been no exception.

Except I also moved at the end of June, and that added another dimension.

However, I did manage to keep the beedies blog reading and salivating over fabric & patterns. Guess some part of my brain kept thinking, Cooler weather! Cooler weather!

None of which explains why I left those two fabric swatches (above) out on my desk. For weeks they just lay around. Occasionally I’d fondle them and wonder what on earth I’d ever pair with them.

The blues I liked immediately. The other sorta left me wishing for a lot more of the yellow-orange and a lot less of that background, occasionally castigating myself thinking no one else ever does this.

Then I woke up last week, looked at them, pulled out 3 fabrics maturing in stash, knew exactly what to do with everything, ordered the two batik cottons that day, just getting the last of the blue, and really hoping they’d arrive soon.

Maybe there was some angst-ridden subconscious struggle going on, as I’d decided months & months ago to sew only with stashed fabric. Or maybe it took a cool night’s solid sleep for me to see what had been staring at me. Whatever.

Meanwhile, Happy October to all you Lovelies!

borrowed cats

Yes, all my cats are borrowed. Less cat hair on the fabric, no shredded pattern pieces (why do they love that?), litter boxes or smelly fish tins.

But also no soft furry critter to welcome you home, curl up by your feet on stormy nights, or nestle in your lap when you need a cuddle.

Pluses and minuses.

ad hoc noodles: bits of jacob’s cream crackers

Ah, well. That bowl of chicken soup was all mine the other day, as were the grapes and

homemade bread.

Because fall’s nipping the air somewhere the bread machine got cranked up last weekend.

It makes a weird-looking loaf, so will try to remember to take a photo of some toast.

My big surprise has been sitting down to learn that granny squares aren’t too diffy after all. Not planning no blankets, mind you. But it made a change from all the cuppa mats I’m still churning out.

not too bad, but it got ripped anyway, for a smaller hook & more practice

Although officially Autumn since last week we’re still

feelin’ eighties but the last couple of days the sun’s started setting earlier. A comforting sign.

I got out one of my favourite table toppers, made a quick cuppa, and enjoyed a read through a Corinna Chapman book.

She’s (they’re?) cat people, too.

[long pause to make a cuppa & grab the book …]

“The Mouse Police slunk to my feet and gave me that look which cats reserve for moments when they are finding the human world unbelievably trying and are about to call their union.” Devil’s Food, Kerry Greenwood, p. 2.

“Horatio emerged … He sat down in the kitchen, paws folded, tail carefully disposed, the picture of a cat who has been far too deeply asleep to come to the aid of his human, even though no one expects cats to do that stuff anyway …” Ibid. p. 4.

Come to think of it, as Corinna’s a baker of bread extraordinaire, she might have had something to do with my loaf …

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

The latest news on Hodge is he’s outta work and busy with a third book and probably booking appearances in … France? He’s guested in a book that’s gone global…

Keith decided to retire, and is soon to go up UP (pronounced “you-pe,” the upper peninsula of Michigan) to view what should be stunning foliage. Camera hopefully in tow!

musing on fashion & identity

cotton & silk awaiting a decision on which pattern to use

! ! ! FLASH ! ! !

Over the weekend the Washington Post had an interesting article about a couple of new on-line companies catering to everyone in the real world who isn’t size 000S to 12.

Which, as Tim Gunn pointed out in an editorial in the same newspaper is the majority of consumers. He further commented, “Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up… Done right, our clothing can create an optical illusion that helps us look taller and slimmer…”

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

When one isn’t sewing, one tends to think about sewing. At least this one does.

And thinking about sewing reminded me of several things I’ve been reading lately, all of which may influence what gets sewn next. The first is a book:  Fashion on the Ration by Julie Summers.

Before deciding whether to purchase or wait eternally for a library copy from out-of-state, I went on-line and read some reviews. Which is how I discovered, “Looking good was a metaphor for Not Giving In, Not Giving Up…”   The Telegraph.

“Keep up the morale of the Home Front by preserving a neat appearance.   The Board of Trade, 1940”

“… a determined effort to bring as much cheer and charm into our life as possible. This, we are convinced, is the best contribution we can make to national defence. This was the attitude, widely celebrated after the end of the war, that came to be known as the Blitz spirit…”   from Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War, by Julie Summers, (pp. 1 and 18). Profile Books. Kindle Edition.

A-ha! So fashion was considered important enough for governments to get involved during World War 2.  Hmm. I downloaded a copy, which I hate doing as I’m a tactile book lover. However, its fascinating and I highly recommend it.

At some point I did my monthly look at Marcy Tilton’s blog and saw this about a Georgia O’Keefe exhibit she’d seen:

     “Clothes carry an energy of the maker and wearer… O’Keefe was always aware of current fashion, adapting it, simplifying and minimizing and paring it down to fit her own sensibilities and style. Her aesthetic remained constant and cultivated throughout her life with a dedication to simplicity, naturalness and sparseness in her art, her clothes and her home.”
“In later years O’Keefe had clothes made by dressmakers and purchased ready to wear. She was clearly aware of American fashion trends, was always of her time but in her own style. When she liked an outfit or garment she would have it replicated by a dressmaker, and in some cases would take it apart to make a pattern.”

This month Lizzie (The Vintage Traveler) did a double-post review of the same exhibit, now in North Carolina. Then I came across some interesting tidbits on ageism over at Style Crone.

This Autumn I’ve got a whole stew of ideas simmering slowly on the back burner. . .  However, one thing’s certain: Those cooler weather clothes I got out lately won’t be needed over the next couple weeks … high 80’s are forecast.   😮  Aw, rats!

long sleeves & long skirts will hang around until (if?) Autumn temps finally arrive