In my last post I mentioned watching the 1975-77 BBC series, “The Good Life” (“Good Neighbours” in America on PBS) and becoming enthralled (again) with the costumes.
Lovely Tialys mentioned Margo’s floaty caftans, which set me wondering if that’s one reason for my own affection for them. Nah. I liked ’em long before I’d seen Margo’s. (But reinforcement, naturally… )
(Late last week a WUN’erful Canadian cold front came in and I’ve been wearing my absolute favourite, cuddly flannel caftan. Thank you, Canada!!!)
But back to “The Good Life’s” floaty caftans. I promised a few snaps of Margo’s mid-1970’s wardrobe, and it turns out she was a real clothes lover, just like a few others I might know who shall be nameless.
Penelope Keith, the wonderful stage and screen actress who played Margo Leadbetter (“There are two t’s in Leadbetter”) is six feet tall and I’ve currently been enjoying her series on Britain’s villages. These days, her wardrobe is generally trousers and jackets.
But here are some snaps from my copies of the series. Again, click any photo to see a larger image.
Really, how important are our clothes? What do they say about us? What are they saying to others? Could changing our clothes really change our lives??
If you didn’t see this on Hila’s blog , grab a cuppa, take a break and watch it now.
My wooly news from last week was finishing my green acrylic hat & scarf set. Yeah! And just about completing the 8th of my blankey rectangles. Many more to go. Also continuing to slow knit my autumnal scarf. (All my knitting is slow.)
The teal shorts continue to sit, whilst I decide what to do with a nice bit of leftover rayon…
just another saturday
Having survived a side swipe from the latest hurricane, it was going to be regular Saturday laundry & maybe cooking a meat loaf. Plus doing a bit of sewing whilst listening to “Good Neighbors,” a 1970’s BBC series.
If you’d like a peek at the program, click here and here. Margo’s outfits are so 1970’s I’m putting together a small collection to be aired after I’ve finished watching the 3rd season.
But about that meat loaf. Remember the meat loaf??
About half way through the bake I went out to check it. As I put my hand on the stove top it almost raised a blister. Uh-oh. Something was wrong.
Seems the thermostat had baked it’s last bake and was registering its’ displeasure by refusing to turn off. Grr… Not an option.
Maintenance came to the rescue, and the dead thermostat was replaced once everything had cooled off.
But the meat loaf, once I got it out of the cooker, appeared to be more than done, registering well above the appropriate internal temp.
So while I didn’t get any sewing done, the meat loaf is edible. 😳
a life without booksis… Death in the Tunnel. Despite the fact of the train’s not “com(ing) to a screeching halt” in the middle of the 2½ mile tunnel, I found Miles Burton’s book both challenging and boring; however, the layers of detail kept me interested.
Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm, and taciturn, as reflected by the author’s prose style. I don’t know if I like this one or not. It’s currently feeling ominous. Maybe that’s intentional, and I’ve decided its’ not best to read it before bedtime!
Rather than leaving you with the image of burnt beef and an iffy thriller, here’s something many of us will find interesting. And it explains my hand in the middle of the teal fabric…
Things are happening, so grab a cuppa and let’s start!
First, a dive into Muffin-land. After hurricane Flo visited, and slightly more normalcy appeared, the grocers seemed to be almost giving away berries.
I do love berries – strawberries, raspberries (my fav), blackberries (second fav) and all the rest, but I was receiving more than my greediness could eat. What to do . . . . .
I considered making jam, but lacking the accoutrement and experience, I demurred. Enter muffins, with a recipe for basic berry muffins (below). Ah! I’d much rather be baking than stirring a boiling pot.
We’re not talking industrial-scale amounts, but for someone who hadn’t baked in four or five months, anything was major. Then a few low temp and humidity days magically appeared.
I started baking.
For those who might not realise, American store-bought muffins are more like sweet cake than a true muffin.
All muffin batter is lumpy because the flour is not mixed until it is lump-less.
If you don’t believe there’s a reason why, just try mixing a batch of these one way, and then the other. I know which ones will get binned!
It’s the chemistry/alchemy of the baking process, which I shan’t explain because I don’t know what it is!
make sure the flour and baking POWDER are thoroughly mixed
the berries ~ here are blackberries from yesterday’s batch ~ are loosly mashed and sugar added
this marge is melted even though one of the cubes is still holding its’ shape
everything gets dumped into the bowl at one time, otherwise you won’t get this mixed properly
Stirred about 15 times and DONE!!!
(I always use those little paper baking cups in my muffin pans because I hate scrubbing out the pan.)
LEAVE the floured bits – this IS mixed enough!!!
SEE?! they look fine after baking! That floury one on the bottom right? Just blow off any excess flour.
Here’s the one with the excess flour . There’s one bit that didn’t get coloured by berries over on the right. It’s normal & tasted great!
Have I convinced anyone to take a quick break and mix up a batch? (Before we go on, special thanks to taste-testers at h-t #136 & others. You know who you are!)
This fabric has been on my cutting table for weeks because it kept telling me IT DID NOT WANT TO BE A SKIRT.
Oh. I finally listened, and realised how much more I’d wear some shorts, so the shorts pattern is now out and will fit after judicious finagling.
Sometimes, procrastination thinking is a good idea. Tereza, over at Sew for Me, just wrote an interesting post on that, amongst other things (including a look at some Brazilian fabrics).
Thanks to Sheila at Sewchet I spent last weekend, in-between batches of muffins, doing some more work towards Christmas.
Just yesterday I finished my latest adventure in the British Library’s Crime Classics. The Lake District Murder by John Bude kept me trying to solve the mystery and was definitely enjoyable!
The three books by Hay ( Death on the Cherwell & Murder Undergroundhere, The Santa Klaus Murderhere) were my intro to the series (known amongst aficionados as BLCC). Since then, I’ve branched out a bit, but only into books written with some humour.
A bit of escape via an entertaining book is part of my regime for staying (somewhat 😉) balanced.
There are limits to what I need in my wardrobe, which is something more and more of us are realising.
Some form of creativity, be it cooking or crochet, is a basic necessity. But more about those another time .
If you spot anything gone walkabout, do let me know so I can fix it. Thank you!
Decided a couple of weeks ago to get out this cotton batik from Vogue Fabrics. (I got the end of the bolt last year.)
It has niggled me since last summer. Heavier than I had anticipated, I had put it aside to think about how to use it.
Finally decided there was nothing for it but to make it up as a duster for when (if?) the weather moderates to the sixties instead of the nineties. It would make a good duster to pull on over something else.
(My duster pattern is very vintage & consists of pieces copied years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve no idea what company it was.)
But what about the “else” to go under prospective duster?? Not wanting to create an orphan, I took some time thinking about what else from stash might work with this busy batik.
Perhaps a combination of teals?
I have a bit of yardage in that solid-coloured rayon – am thinking maybe trousers.
Already have a top & cut-offs from the patterned fabric.
This was taken yesterday before front facings were sewn and wrists hemmed. Decided, as the fabric was distinctly not floaty, to leave long slits on either side to allow whatever floatiness might be possible. I cut the back with no centre seam and a slight flare.
To be completed today are the hems. As the sides are slit 12″ each there are three sections to hem (back and the two fronts).
Then to decide how to tack down the (un-interfaced) facings. I am not a fan of hand sewing, but might have to do it anyway. We’ll see…
On past duster versions (last year’s) I didn’t use facings, in keeping with the very light weight of the fabric. However, I decided to use them this time. Why? Don’t exactly know. It was just a feeling. Know what I mean?
Finally finished my latest Durrell volume, Birds, Beasts and Relatives. Have deliberately tried to make it last as long as possible as am having trouble finding a good but inexpensive copy of the last of his Corfu Trilogy, Gardenof the Gods.
(No false economy, as the reissued Trilogy over here has been more than the three separately.)
As always, I found Durrell’s writing highly entertaining, educational, nostalgic in the best sense, and humorous ~
“Now winter was upon us. Everything was redolent with the smoke of olive wood fires. The shutters creaked and slapped the sides of the house as the wind caught them, and the birds and leaves were tumbled across a dark lowering sky.” first sentence in chapter, “Owls and Aristocracy,” Birds, Beasts and Relatives.
45″ wide cotton lawn is translucent, and ankle length
this buttery rayon is 60″ wide and falls gracefully below the knee – love the fringe!
What can I say…
Once I got started and was encouraged by Sheila’s comments on the first caftan, I decided to go for it.
That first one (left), being very special colours plus yummy flannel, got a little extra time because it has a nap. Said nap almost didn’t all go downward, as I almost forgot and sewed one piece upside down. Phew! Black is not a good colour to have to unpick.
Then I finally got my other two caftans with bold designs made up as well.
The huge brown & salmon pattern (scroll down if you click the link) is from deep stash, whilst the other, possibly my oldest piece, is a buttery soft rayon bought in California sometime ‘twixt 1985 and ’95.
Both caftans were made with the self-drafted pattern I used for the flannel caftan.
An exception: For the rayon stripe’s neck facing I decided to use rayon bias tape. Although it took more sewing time, it’s a better match for the fabric’s weight, which is very light.
For some reason I’ve never thought of removing the fringe on that rayon. It’s always been part of “the overall concept” and once sewn on it’s stayed on.
The moral of this is if you’ve got some large-patterned fabric in your stash, drag it out and make it up.