Category Archives: sewing

🍂🍁 weekend remnants 🍁🍂

Found this hand towel ages ago in Chicago and it certainly fits the weather we’ve been having lately.

Hello. Lovelies!

Autumn has officially arrived up here in the Northern Hemisphere, although temps and humidity are resisting. It’s not as severe as last year’s 90-100℉ September-October revolt, for which I’m most grateful!

All last week telly peeps kept talking about “remnants” of Hurricane this-or-that, and I kept thinking, That’s a fabric term! Use another word, like ‘dying’ or ‘remains of.’

It was like salt in a wound… but maybe that’s because it’s been so long since I’ve been anywhere near a remnants bin. Wonder if that’s why I’ve been diving into my scrap drawer so often. 🤭 Hmmm . . .

Speaking of which, I’ve been favouring a free multi-sized 3-dimensional pattern from Japanese Sewing Books.

You might want to watch her video. Where to fold & sew wasn’t intuitive for me, but easy once you’ve done one it’s easy-peasy.

Speaking of scraps, I’ve given myself permission to use some old cotton fat quarters. I’m definitely not a quilter, but I can whip up a pillow or a bag, so am taking a little break from refashioning to play around with “soft furnishings,” as posh folk might say.

Reminds me! P.O.S.H. is a shop in Chicago I used to pop into regularly. Wonder if they’re surviving . . . Well, I’ve just had a mooch through their website, they’re definitely still there, and online is as cheerful as the store. 😉 Almost.

Have stopped watching telly for several reasons, primarily because the picture blacks out as soon as it turns on and cable comes up.  Or doesn’t right now.  Maybe the set has something against cable. Someone’s coming out in a few days to check everything out.

I set the schedule because I wanted a week to detox. Admittedly, I wasn’t watching much telly anyway, as local, state and national political parties’ adverts are non-stop. Mind you, some of them only slowed down after the last election a couple years ago.

Clock the remnant underneath the scarf, did’ja? 😉

Meanwhile, I’ve rummaged through my crochet bag and finished a red washable wool scarf, and resurrected that turquoise acrylic blanket I started a couple of years ago. Putting all those pieces together is going slowly — I’m half way through the first two. 🙄

A second chance on that remnant… he-he-hee!

Am quite a fan of Lucy at Attic 24, but haven’t tried any of her blankets— can’t figure out how to substitute colours.  Do I order the pack plus my substitutions? This could be a mote point if Wool Warehouse again stops shipping internationally. Deep sigh. . . . .

Hate to leave you on that note, but the shower and my BritBox subscription are calling. I’m having fun catching up on all the “Midsomer Murders” and “Vera” episodes, and have already watched every “Jonathan Creek”.

Thursday will start October and Hallowe’en, so I’ll start diving into everything with Autumn colours or appropriate holiday mentions. Any recommendations?

Meanwhile, puh-leeese be safe and take good care ’cause you’re worth it. You’re special!

❣️     😘     😘     😘     ❣️

A Scraphappy Virtual Tea Party

(In an earlier post’s comments, someone mentioned tea & sewing, which I thought would be a great idea, so I’m combining them. Tea first!)

Kia ora whānau! (Welcome, friends!)  He kapu tī māu? (Would you like a cup of tea?)

Visiting New Zealand for originator Su’s virtual tea party earlier in the week, I learnt it was Maori Language Week. So I had a special treat, seeing Su and enjoying her delicious tea whilst learning a bit of Maori.

Su is the originator of these monthly teas, but had been a bit poorly, so some of us brought along contributions for all to enjoy. I brought some of my crispy digestives as Su is a dunker, and I wanted her opinion.

Su’s crispy crackers with cheese were fabulous! (I love crisps & cheese and these were sooo delicious!) I’m not much for sweets, but I know Su’s brownie isn’t too sweet, so had to enjoy a bit of that, too. Rich, dark chocolate & beetroot = a chocky lover’s heaven on earth! 😇

Back on my home turf to welcome my Northern Hemisphere friends, I’d made a coconut cake to go underneath fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Using the Foundation Cake recipe, I added about half a cup of desiccated coconut. Will do this again, as I think the chewiness of the coconut lifts the combination above a traditional shortcake.

I also have my latest bake of digestives biscuits (cookies). This batch is crunchy, and perfect for dunking. As I have no cookie cutters,  these are in a different shape, but I’m sure they taste the same. 😉

Here’s the recipe I use, from King Arthur Flour.  King Arthur uses both American and British measurements, so you don’t have to convert.

My variation:  I skimp on the sugar.  After rolling out the dough to about 3 mm (¼”) I left them to cook a good 6-7 minutes longer. They definitely didn’t burn, just got wonderfully crisp after thorough cooling.

And now to Scraphappy sewing ~

Chiming in rather tardily with Kate’s band of scrap happy peeps, I finally got several large-ish pieces of cotton fabric out of stash and onto hangers this month. Everything can be worn with either fabric to the front, providing versatility.

You might think making tops from different fabrics is totally bonkers, and you’d be well within your rights to do so! However, in this wacko country I’m considering myself in quarantine, so am not out except for very local walk abouts.  When I’m out I’m always wearing a duster over whatever top I’m wearing, so nobody sees my back anyway.

The vintage red that I thought would become a bag refused, and has become a top instead.  Ditto the blue combination. I’ve worn each over top of my scrap denim shorts.

Good news has been that Hurricane Sally came & went without doing tremendous damage to this little part of the world. My rellies on both coasts are in good shape, but for the horrible air out West.

Still, there’s lots to be thankful for as everyone is safe. Hope all you lovely peeps are in good shape, being well in yourselves, and able to enjoy your weekend safely.

Haere tū atu, hoki tū mai.

(Go safely and return in good health.)

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

 

 

☕️ 18 Sept~Time for A Virtual Tea Party !

How about next Friday, 18 September or virtually anytime?

I know this is a bit past the 15th.  😉It gives me time  to travel down under to say a quick G’day to  Su (of Zimmerbitch, in New Zealand),  and wish her well. It would be grand to meet her, and perhaps a few of her lovely tea party friends.

As these events are virtual, anyone is welcome to join in with us on the 18th, or any other day that suits. So, fancy a cuppa another day? The virtual kettle will always be on the hob, and the scones will always be fresh. 😘

Sewing — belatedly

I managed to make up a piece of quilting cotton purchased during long ago California years, which means a seriously long sojourn in stash.

With only 1 yard of 45″ rather heavy cotton, I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. But . . .

Something kept reminding me of it in June (so this is really late). It’s almost the weight of my shweshwe (see shweshwe posts of 2016  here & 2020 here).

Emboldened by all I’d seen, read, and heard during June’s virtual Sewing Weekender, I cut the piece in half and made a simple gathered skirt (sans pockets).

One of my favoured skirt lengths is about 21″ and this really came too close for comfort. So I fudged both the waist band (which I would normally turn under for a casing) and the hem.

I used cotton hem tape to extend things a bit around the bottom hem. Searching through my odds of bindings I discovered some wide santiny blanket binding. Using narrower than usual elastic, I just had room. But no pockets for this skirt.

(Ooooo . . . I just remembered where I put my rayon lining yardage, so there’s hope yet!)

I like the body of the fabric! Barely knee length, it stands away from the body as a shweshwe fabric might. By some miracle the width reacts well to the gathers of the elasticated waist so it’s cool during these humid summers.

Discovering I couldn’t get black or beigy knits for tank tops, I forgave myself and  ordered them from L.L. Bean.  I suspect mask production and slowed importing are responsible for the shortages, so I was grateful to find these!

The tanks were too long for my torso, so I immediately shortened their lengths — an easy fix. Both of them work well with this skirt and have been worn.

To illustrate why I’ve kept this cotton fabric for so long, you might should know I’ve specialised in teaching vocal technique of the classical kind for over 40 years.

So you can see how close the skirt art is to the iconic Puccini poster art of yore, I’ve chosen the above three as examples. Via Amazon, here are reproductions of the originals for Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and Turandot.

Hope to see you Friday-ish!

PS/ For those of you on IG, find us at #virtualteaparty2020

PPS/Just linking the bottom half of this post with Wild Daffodil’s Textile Tuesday series. Even though I know today’s Friday. 🤣

macro Monday

You’ll never guess what this is . . .

. . . so I’ll put it down the bottom of this.

Lots has been happening over here, but not much sewing. With rellies close to some of the California fires (more & more contained every day now), and others receiving Laura’s heavy rains, it’s been eventful.

I shan’t mention what else’s been going on as there’s already too much repetition. Suffice to say just reading headlines is enough to set one back.

Got it glued together and cut out. The pattern, that is. Still debating the fabric . . . but the cutting table got cleared off so it can proceed!

How some ever, Helen (of Helen’s Closet Patterns) just put out a free pattern for joining (or rejoining) her mailing list.

It’s the Luna blouse pattern, and is super fast to whip up.

Depending on the size & fabric width, it can take less than a yard of knit fabric, and looks cool and breezy. Perfect for our hot & humid summers (typically well into October).

Received my first issue of Sewn magazine, a U.S. publication (they ship internationally!), and am thoroughly amazed by all it contained.

my SEWN magazine – LOVE these hats!

The cover story is about a pair of independent Black men who make bespoke unisex hats up in Washington, D.C. I want one soooooooooo bad!!!

Lots still to do so this will be short. Hope everyone is perking up a bit – maybe with cooler weather. Sigh… at least we’ve got lower humidity for of couple days.

 . . . . . Top’s a photo taken of a NEW box of ice cream just delivered from a local store. . . No, I didn’t eat any. 😱

ScrapHappy Saturday, August

Wonder of wonders! For once I’m working with scraps and remembering to get something posted. Am joining up with Kate, Cathy, and other scrap-happy folk.

Back in June I made a pair of stretch denim shorts from leftover denim. As I started wearing them around the apartment and sitting down, I realized they were the exactly perfect length for the hem to fold up whenever I sat down.

I tried ironing. Nope. Then I remembered I still had scrappy strips of the denim in my stash drawer. He-he-hee . . .

Last month I dug said scraps out and measured them all to the same height. Then I sewed the pieces together, and added them to the bottom of the shorts.

Now they’re just above the knee, and I still have enough for a patch pocket or two. Maybe even one large enough for a phone…

Success is sweet! 🤣

August’s Virtual Tea Party

From the top: Spiced Foundation Cake, grapes, and Aldi’s scrummy Garlic & Chive Pita Crackers with Swiss cheese and tomato.

Welcome, Everyone! I’m so delighted to see you! The virtual kettle’s on the boil, and the goodies are all ready. Come in outta the heat and, as the Welsh might say, “fill your boots!”

There are lots of summer berries and grapes in our shops just now, so I’ve got selections of a few favourites, plus some new flavours for you to try.

Goodness! Are we really half way through August? It doesn’t seem possible!

See top photo for slices of Spiced Foundation Cake

There I was yesterday, anticipating greeting you lovely blogdom friends, whilst mixing up my American granny’s Foundation Cake recipe.

I’ve no idea where she got it. It almost reads like an offshoot of the Depression and war-era recipes I’ve served in the past, until you get to the then-expensive or rationed eggs and milk.

Taking time, I measured out everything before getting out the mixer and really doing things thoroughly. The result is a very light cake with a lovely texture. (See top photo)

I added “pumpkin pie” spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice), but no raisins. You might think it would be too much like a Raisin Spice Cake, but to me it’s lighter in flavour.

Blueberries & cream over chocolate cake!

Ripe berries are now in season, so strawberries and blueberries are on offer for today’s tea, along with the lightly spiced Foundation Cake, and chocolatey Wacky Cake, which I made in a loaf pan this time.

The recipe says you can do that, so I lengthened the cooking time and it turned out beautifully. I did the same with the Foundation Cake, so there were the two loaves to slice and sprinkle with fruit and cream, as desired. (Sorry, I didn’t get a piccie.)

Now let me tell you a bit more about grannie… She never talked much about her childhood, and only came to stay with us when widowed. Even then she shared her time between her two sons, so she wasn’t always with us.

The only thing better than strawberries & cream is adding chocolate cake!

As a child, her family traveled westward from the Ozark Mountains by covered wagon, settling in what’s now Oklahoma. (“Indian Territory” was the government’s designation then.) I learned more recently that the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma was very fluid then, which today’s genealogists find very confusing.

Growing up in the heart of the Depression’s Dust Bowl region made for a hard life, and neither dad nor uncle talked much about their experiences. My uncle said sometimes they would shell pecans for a nickel a bucket. If you’ve ever shelled a pecan, you know how hard that it.

Many of our ancestors have known and survived hardships and deprivations over the years.  I hope that remembering them can help bring today’s problems more into perspective.

Meanwhile, go in Peace and Be Safe, Dear Friends. . .

❤️     ❤️     ❤️   ❤️     ❤️     ❤️

I’m joining in with Su’s Virtual Tea Party. Do go over and try one of her tarts – they look amazing!

A virtual invitation!

Celebrating!

Nearly forgot to remind you all that it’s time for our monthly Virtual Tea Party!

And since it is virtual, you can come any time and find the kettle on, and goodies ready to gobble up.

Hope you’ll stop by and start your weekend early on Friday afternoon, or whenever the fancy takes you!

See also Su over at Zimmerbitch, who started the idea back in January. She always has something special fresh from her cooker.

🐢 Silly Saturday 🐢

Making this even sillier, the photos in this article belong to their respected sources, so you’ll need to exercise your imagination to envision a turtle in such a situation, and click on the links to get the details. As for the deets on my latest squidgy package… all will be revealed eventually, as you’ve actually seen it before! 😉

The headline in the Christian Science Monitor started “From Legos to bra clips…”

That, combined with “turtle” and “wheelchair” definitely had me intrigued.

Then I discovered this article, with 2 videos that include diagrams of the “chair” and an update on Lego Turtle’s release back into the wild.

Happy First Weekend in August, Lovelies!

❤️     ❤️     ❤️     ❤️     ❤️

 

macro monday (updated)

Borrowing from 2019 & a restaurant’s freshly watered planter

Hope all you lovelies are surviving our current life’s little adventure, as I’m choosing to call our current state.

As several of you have written, we’re learning a lot of things about ourselves, some good and some perhaps just needed.

Here in our little blogging world, we’re focused on positives and creativity… possibly because most all of us are.

Edited:  Right is the one I meant to post.   I’m blaming it on the heat. 🥵

Save the date: Friday, 17 July

This coming Friday, the 17th,  all of you Lovelies are invited over, across, up or down to my place for tea.

I’ve been experimenting with little tea sandwiches and fillings of the poultry and fruity sort.

And I’ve found a source for whole wheat flour-YIPEE!-so we’re back in production. Not that my white loaves will go to waste. 😉

Hope you all will join me for conversation of all sorts and some nibbles this Friday.

PS/ Do wear light clothing, as we’ve a heat wave forecast: 100℉ or above.  🥵  (I will crank up the air con, but did want to alert you.)