Category Archives: sewing

A Friday Finish

Just realized both the pumpkin-orange hat and scarf are finished and being packed away for next winter. So I’m calling that a Friday Finish. Yeah!

It also means I should get on with finishing the Spring-green shawl that’s been languishing whilst the scarf was in process. The problem is I really need a flat, well-lit surface so I can lay the shawl out whilst putting the two halves together. 🤔 And that has yet to get figured out. No kitchen table down here in my ickle room!

Meanwhile. . .

I’ve a question for any of you Lovelies who’ve gone from a free WP site to the next level. Have you had many problems, and if so, how diffy was it to get resolution?

Reason being, firstly I’m tired of you all seeing ads instead of 100% content. Life’s too short!

Secondly, I want to begin uploading some short audios about a little something I’ve been doing for yonks, but don’t write about. This is a sewing blog, after all! (Plus some crochet.) Does anyone have experience with audio, as well? I’d love to hear from you down below in the Comments section. Or even if you don’t, you’re always welcome to drop me a line!

Meanwhile ~ may you all have a thoroughly wonderful weekend!

😖 Thought I’d gotten all the ends tucked away.

A Start & Finish

Hello, Lovely Readers, and Happy Monday — or Tuesday if it’s that in your hemisphere! Over the weekend I finished up my spur-o-the-moment third woolly Winter hat and realized something:

The stitch is not rhythmic. Finding the back post, or whatever it’s called, is sometimes darn hard. The rhythm gets broken. But strangely enough, that reminded me of something:

A gorgeous 100% alpaca I’d found last summer. It was deeeply discounted at a charity crafts shop in New York, and I scooped up the 3 skeins soon as I saw them.

All summer I kept trying, spectacularly unsuccessfully, to crochet a hat with two strands. Finally, I gave up and frogged it all. (An interesting task in itself, as I’d been using double strands, remember?) But I shall return to it. Eventually . . . .

Meanwhile, back to my pumpkin hat. There’s almost a full skein of it left, so I went the matching scarf route, using a very simple US double crochet. I’m calling it a palate-cleanser.

Plymouth’s Chunky Merino Superwash #131, Pumpkin Spice.

Flannel Archeology

I’ve been thinking Spring & Summer clothes lately. (Oh the luxury of having four seasons, instead of only hot and hotter.) And since my wardrobe, such as it is, is mostly in storage, it means I’ve lots to think about. 😁

Starting at the bottom, there’s shoes… which I needed last summer, but in the midst of moving, decided not to worry about. Now, especially since everything is either very worn or somewhere in storage, desperation is setting in and Decisions Must Be Made.

I’m leaning on several different colors of trainers/sneakers, whatever the current term is. Anybody have a US-based suggestion? The last time I remember reading about what’s fashionable for footwear — don’t remember where — was whatever shoes you like.

Before I decided to sit down and start writing this, I did a bit of research to determine when this navy flannel came into my hands. Would you believe January 2019 was the first mention in a post? (Which probably means the fabric arrived in late 2018.) In my digging, I found a para at the end of this post mentioning them. (There’s also a good chocolate cake recipe.)

I do recall getting the trousers into wearable form at some point, but was never really satisfied with the look of wide-legged flannel trousers. At least, not on me!

So I did more seam ripping several months ago, dusted off a yard stick to straighten out the crotch curve, and am converting the trousers into a skirt. Just need to sew, cut off the extra fabric, re-do the elastic waistband, and even out the hem. I’d love to use some wide, crazy-design bias tape, but all mine is in storage. Etsy, here I come!

Catching up … and RED!

Crochet ‘s been the main focus this week, although a couple of happy packages did arrive. They need to be washed, PDF patterns sorted – the usual details.

Plymouth Encore Worsted #451, Green Gremlin, 75% poly, 25% wool.

Meanwhile, I’ve tapestry needle in hand joining the two sections of my shawl. Two sections? Considering past experience, I was leery of managing a wide expanse of a new-to-moi stitch.

Roaming around a yarn shop last week I kept thinking I wanted a red hat for next winter, but a tomato red, not crimson.

Plymouth Chunky Merino Superwash, Pumpkin Spice, #131 (washes beautifully).

Adobe is my color-range, so when I spotted the last two skeins of a superwash wool, they jumped into my basket.

Why Red? The last couple of months there’s been a Germany-based Red Dress campaign over on IG. Think of it as a metaphor to encourage older women to do or wear “their red” to become more visible in today’s world.

Possibly you’ve also heard of the #SewOver50 tag on IG. Red Dress, or rotesKleid in German, is greatly supported by #SewOver50.

The idea has been catching on all over. Eventually yours truly saw it, and having explored it a bit, decided to share some English links with you Lovely Readers.

What’s with all the red?

This is the German website for the Festival that runs through 31 May. There are already two magazines available in German & English on the site. Just scroll down to find them. The mags have articles from specialists that I’ve found very thought-provoking.

RotesKleid has also been mentioned on a Sew Organized Style podcast. That’s a series of 20-min. English interviews with sewists from around the world, hosted by Aussie sewist Maria (Velosews). Maria also interviews members of the SewOver50 community.

One of the founders of rotesKleid is Lindy of Stokx Patterns.
She’s an Australian in Berlin that I heard on this podcast, and have become a fan of her PDF patterns (here).

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to explore & click a link or two. If you do, please feel free to share your thoughts. Meanwhile, think RED!

❤️ 🧶 👠 🧣 🌹 🎈 📕 ❤️

Whither this Weather?

Bizarre! 85 degrees F. (31 or 2 C.) before the middle of April? In upstate New York?!?! I’ve no idea if the shawl I’m about to finish will be needed this Spring, but we’re still due some more moderate weather. Fingers crossed, eh!

Beavering away late this afternoon, sewing in tails, etc…

Meanwhile, I’ve ordered another pattern – the Helen’s Closet Pattern’s Avery Leggings. Assuming we have Spring, I don’t have any tights to cover chilly legs, and I’m not about to try store-bought lest nightmares ensue. 😱

I did my research, reading other bloggers’ experiences and did take a glance at the listing on IG. Now comes the most difficult part: Finding the right a half decent fabric. One of the bloggers mentioned Mood Fabrics, which is not only in the US, but my state, and there’s a sale on.

Let’s hope that’s a sign . . . . . .

Tol’ya I was thinking red!

Letting my fingers do some walking, I “went” to Evanston, Illinois – a suburb of Chicago, where family-owned Vogue Fabrics has been for 50 60+ years.

(When I lived in Chicago, I’d either take a commuter train or the subway up to Evanston. Both had stops next to each other & were about 2 blocks from the store – commuter heaven! Now they’ve moved to larger digs, and stock even more fabric.)

Am revising my sewing plans again, as these fabrics are also light weight, particularly the 2 knit prints. All 3 are still available, and here are their deets:

Vogue includes this in their description of the last fabric: “”Kai uli is Hawaiian for deep blue sea, and ‘ula ‘ula is Hawaiian for the most sacred color – red.”

Which will lead into my next post, unless my current crochet project takes over and we have a finish. But I suspect not, as I need 1 more skein for edging & fringing. Meanwhile ~

🐰🌷 A Happy Weekend to All 🌷🐰

What’s on Your Plate Blog Challenge-Ultimo Fudgy Brownies

For decades I’ve searched for the ultimate dark chocolate fudge brownie recipe. Finally, thanks to the geniuses of King Arthur Flour bakers, we have a winner!

I also threw in a handful of dark chocolate chips and a handful of chopped walnuts.

Instead of having to hunt for that expensive bar of unsweetened baker’s chocolate on the grocer’s top shelf, this recipe uses cocoa – plain ol’ unsweetened baking cocoa.

Details are right here on their web site, so I don’t have to fumble around typing fractions. They also have recipes for gluten-free and Keto brownies, but you’re on your own with those.

Should mention I used 1-3/4 cups of dark brown sugar, instead of the 2 cups of cane sugar the recipe calls for. (I don’t like the taste of cane sugar.) And I never add vanilla to anything chocolate. As far as I’m concerned vanilla doesn’t “enhance” anything chocolate.

Checking previously with the bakers at King Arthur’s, they reported the sugar replacement would be no problem. The only difference might be a slight molasses flavor from the molasses that’s in the dark brown sugar. But as that’s a taste I don’t mind… 😇

Joining in Deb and Donna‘s What’s on Your Plate Blog Challenge.

Sewing sources . . .

Thanks to a friend, I’ve been watching the many fabrics carried by a quilting company, Hawthorne Supply Co. , plus I’ve a new-to-me pattern company to share.

Sometime last year Hawthorne started offering different fabrics instead of just quilting cottons. When I discovered they stocked a couple of solids in french (French?) terry, which I’d never tried, I was hoping they might make cozy late winter trousers. So . . . .

Finally I took the plunge and ordered some olive French terry, plus a medium weight cotton knit with a design in olive. Although they weren’t advertised as matching, I thought they might (being from the same manufacturer). So I took a chance.

What do you think?!

I washed the terry (on the right), which is lighter weight than I’d hoped. But not having seen or felt a French terry, I can’t judge. It does have good stretch for trousers, but I’m now thinking of a longish skirt instead.

The scissors fabric was labeled as a medium weight knit, but again, there’s no other indication of weight, and I haven’t laundered it yet.

Both selvedges are almost 2.5″ each, but the print itself is the full 58″ I’d ordered.

Overall, I’m pleased with the colors, and have revised my plan: This’ll be a late Spring/Summer/Early Autumn outfit instead of Winter.

Such is life in the Age of Online, eh? 🤪 Moving on, am thinking about red. . . . . . he-he-hee!

Here’s why – Over on IG there’s a very active international sewing group of thousands of women & men, #SewOver50, with many “challenges” to take part in, or not, as you choose. One of the challenges involves wearing red….

If you’re interested (and maybe not using IG) below are several online locations where you can get more information.

Australian pattern maker Lindy, of Stokx Patterns, who lives & works in Berlin, seems to be taking the lead with RED, and she’s working closely with the folks at #SewOver50, on IG. Check out Lindy’s website for some unique patterns, and see her blog for more about RED. She wrote~

“On a serious note it is about being visible and being worthy. This is just a safe space to step out of your comfort zone. It is also a very great reason to have a sewalong.

Please feel invited.

There is no pressure,

You don´t even have to make a red dress… just something a little bit braver than usual.

Even then, if you don´t have time you can still like, share and cheer on from the side lines.”

  • Roteskleid (Means Red Dress in German, but there’s also English text).
  • I discovered both whilst listening to a podcast from SewOrganisedSyle‘s Maria Theoharous, an Australian. Scroll down the linked page. There are two podcasts of approx. 20 min. each & they explain more. Below them you’ll see the RED announcement. And in case you’re interested…
  • Lindy has some great patterns on her web site… I’m hoping to get to the top version of The Hacker Dress soon. 🤞🤞

❤️ Happy Weekend, Lovelies! ❤️