during last week’s heat wave . . .

Just so’s you don’t think the urge to sew/serge has gone. . . 😱

Besides reading the Cleeves & Durrell books I also did a bit of sewing prep.

By judiciously utilizing early morning minutes before the blast furnace cut in, I managed to cut out another duster (ancient pattern copied & origin no longer remembered) plus another of my favourite summer sleep shirts (NewLook 6871, gifted by Ali).

I also managed to totally forget not to cut down the centre back.  Which will now be seamed. Ah, well . . .

I’d hacked the back a bit on the previous duster by cutting down the centre back of the pattern piece and pulling the 2 pieces apart to create a bit of a flare in the back. I really liked it, so did it again for the gauze. In the photos above that back piece is in the lower right of the photo.

The fabric is a black cotton gauze from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago, and still available. I must report it shrinks like crazy, but I think I might have washed it in hot water and machine dried it. 😳  Face of shame as I know better. Just figured if its gonna shrink, then get it over with.

Vogue has a redesigned web site.  By the way, I don’t get a thing from anyone for blogging about them ~ receiving freebies is against my policy. They’re nice people who know & love fabrics and I shopped at the Evanston & Roosevelt Road stores when I lived in South Loop.

So on to the serging (overlocking) bits… Should say I have a 3-thread BabyLock BL3-407 almost an ancient as me. This week I decided to tackle serging all the edges of both cottons before sewing. Which meant the dreaded serger rethread operation because I knew all-white thread would not do for that all-black duster. Deep sigh.

Plenty of chocolate to hand, a fan, cooler outdoor temps on Monday so I began.

rethreading

Being lazy, and hating to change thread colours, I decided to try something I’d just read over on Grainline Studio’s blog. Incidentally, they’ve also redesigned their web site.

They use neutral colours when serging (as do I) and just change the top looper thread colour. Yeah! I gave that a try on the dark gray (“ey”? never remember which is correct) and decided it was ok, but wouldn’t do for the solid black gauze.

Then I rethreaded the needle.
Which took about an hour.
Or so. . .

Am promising myself I’ll serge the duster pattern pieces today.  And if that doesn’t happen, then definitely tomorrow. . . Maybe.   Done yesterday!  😇

ps/
If you haven’t been to the post office lately, you might want to drop by and get a set of the Oscar de la Renta stamps for (U.S.) First Class mail.

 

 

 

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catching up

perfectly suited for a joint reading spree!

Summ-ah heat has arrived, and luckily I had a grand solution to hand:

Books.

When the hottest day started I dove into the coolest room ~ luckily, the bedroom ~ and cracked open a new-to-me author. Gerald Durrell.

It’s the only Durrell available from this (insert your invective of choice) county library, and it wasn’t listed the last time I’d looked. Its a Penguin edition, so I was doubly pleased to have it.

What can I say . . . It was the perfect antidote for hot weather. Although A Zoo in My Luggage is about collecting animals in a hot jungle it was delightfully minus the heat and long on charming, light-hearted descriptions of hilarious high-jinks by four- and two-footed creatures.

The perfect opposite to Ann Cleeves’ latest in her Shetland series, Cold Earth. Reading brief descriptions of wet and cold were also a perfect solution for the heat wave.

On Friday I only put one book down long enough to pick up the other with one hand, and a cold glass in the other.

Now I’m attempting to line up more from both authors before the next heat wave hits.

Lest I forget, I read bad news about my much-loved rayon fabrics recently, and thought I’d pass along some things originally from Lizzie Bramlett’s The Vintage Traveler blog. This and this detail the pollution some factories product whilst making rayon. Thank you, Lizzie.

On a brighter note, another favoured blogger, Linda Przybyszewski’s blog, The Lost Art of Dress, included this and this about hats.

Do take a look if you’re at all interested in chapeaux, or women who purchase hat factories. 😉

Now, as The Fon of Bafut might have blogged,

My good friend[s],

… I am glad you have arrived once more to [the end of my post]. I welcome you. When you are calm from your journeys come and see me [again].  p. 64, A Zoo in My Luggage, Gerald Durrell

speaking of screens . . . 🐝

former view as seen through screening

Oh. . . we weren’t, were we? Sorry.

It’s creepy & flying crawlies season over here, and they do like nibbling on me, so am quite grateful for screens.

Now all I need is a pattern for a full-body enclosure. Any suggestions, Lovely Readers?

Catching you up, I took a little time off to change views out my windows. Somehow the industrial air conditioner rows just weren’t doing it for me . , ,

new view as seen through screening

So am taking a bit of a gamble, and thus far enjoying green living things outside my windows facing north, thank you for the added (and much cooler) bonus.

Things are moving into place again, and I just scrubbed the sewing table in readiness for setting up my machine.

But first, wanted to share a patriotic bit from Marcy Tilton’s blog about an upholsterer named Betsy Ross.

Yes, that Betsy Ross.

I read all the additional links Ms. Tilton included, and was impressed with this thrice-married businesswoman, and  learned a method for cutting perfect 5-pointed stars.

Oh.
There you are . . .

Now, as lovely friend Jen says, “let the sewing begin!”

off topic: survive extreme heat

 

see difference between right & coated wrong side

Reading Karen’s post over at Did You Make That? reminded me it might be appropriate to do a post about insulating fabrics available on the U.S. side of the pond.

Karen includes a delightful vlog about her latest Liberty purchases. It left me drooling with envy . . . but that’s another story!

(To read my earlier post about curtains, click the photo on the left.)

Here are some suggestions, from make-up to general health. Please feel free to add your own, too!

Adding to my list with your suggestions, Lovelies. . . . .

❤     ❤     ❤

  • “…if people are designing and building new houses in hot climates (or adding to an existing structure), high ceilings, verandahs and overhanging eaves make a huge difference.” from jennyrecorder
  • “One of the many good things about old French houses is the shutters. I’m usually very British about it and have them all open all day every day but in the heat we’re having at the moment, they are staying closed.”  from tialys and she adds, “…[her house has] Very thick stone walls – which also help of course.”
  • From Jen: “… ditch the polyester if you can and live in lovely rumpled linen or other loose weave fabrics… Oh, and don’t forget about hats!”
  • In extreme heat go s-l-o-w.
  • Don’t wear anything too tight or too long. You want air to circulate between clothes and you.
  • Caffeine & alcohol take moisture out of your body. Even if you don’t indulge, sip cool water continually to stay hydrated.
  • Use fans or air conditioners.
  • Carry a fan in your purse & use it!
  • When outside keep to shady areas.
  • Revive parasols! If you have to be out in the sun unfurl your prettiest brolly (umbrella) and make your own shade.
  • Wear lightweight make-up & sunscreen if you have to go out.
  • Use lightweight moisturizers on face and body.
  • If you use a facial toner, stick it in the frig before using.
  • Be prepared to gently rinse & damp-dry your face, neck, arms and legs periodically. Let the cool water evaporate naturally to cool your body.
  • If you sweat heavily, give your physician a call and ask about salt tablets.
  • A water-filled spray bottle cools everywhere. Just be careful of any clothing that might unintentionally be on show if wet. (Undies showing through damp clothing is not a good thing!)
  • Stay out of hot crowds if you can.
  • Don’t let sunlight in through windows – a darkened interior is a cooler interior, particularly with a fan circulating the air. If you don’t have insulating drapes on windows consider making some. They help in hot or cold weather, and deaden street noise.

Need I remind you this is not the time to cook a roast or a bake a batch of scones?

Fabric resources:

  • Roc-lon makes Blackout cloth. In the U.S. find it at Joann’s 
  • 3M Thinsulate is insulation for coats, etc., in cold weather. In the U.S. find it at various small fabric stores (The Rain Shed, Vogue Fabrics, etc.)
  • Polartec® makes many different kinds of fleece with wind-proofing up to 100%. In the U.S. find it labelled as Polartec® and also at The Rain Shed.

One more thing… How many times have you gotten a call from a friend and known just from tone of voice something was wrong? Everyone’s voice is extremely sensitive to stress.

So if you notice your voice starting to get raspy, pay attention! That’s the signal your body’s not doing well.

How do I know? Aeons ago in a galaxy far, far away yours truly taught voice/speech, but those  stories are for another time . . . 😉

Stay safe and sane, Lovelies!
☀️ ☀️ ☀️