Tag Archives: autumn

new tools 😁

It was 85F last Sunday, with humidity high enough to make it feel like 90.

Needless to say, I decided not to work on flannel trousers. Am leaving that for the weekend, when a cold front traveling cross-country should arrive.

Instead, I completed a little sleeve lengthening project I’ve been meaning to get done for… um, several years. Ever since friend Ali sent over some gorgeousness from John Lewis haberdashery.

The jacket is a cotton linen made in 2013 from Folkwear’s Middy Blouse. It hasn’t gotten much wear despite my liking it very much. The weather just hadn’t cooperated, or I forgot about it, or whatever. I still need to re-sew those facings down more firmly, and then I’ll iron it.

Which brings me to hand sewing. I’d quite gone off that, but after reading Karen Ball’s The Little Book of Sewing (click the pic to go to the U.S. site) decided to try it again and realised several things. Mostly that I needed a proper thimble.

But what’s “proper?” Online research landed me on Karen’s blog, where I read fascinating comments about different kinds of thimbles for different kinds of hand sewing.

Since I only had two decorative thimbles sent by my dear Midlands friend (you know who you are, Lovely), and a too-large metal one, I decided it was time for some additions.

They arrived today, along with an ergonomic seam ripper and thread wax, both of which I’d been meaning to acquire.

Will report my thoughts, and there’s already another item I’m hunting. Will keep you posted. 😉

So, Dear Readers, any thoughts on thimbles?

unpicking pockets (aka, refashioning)

This has become a somewhat muddled accumulation of maybe too many things, and if I ever get all the old links linked properly it will be a minor miracle, which is why I’ve been putting off writing, but here goes . . .

Sewing terminology:
  • Refashion – To make changes to an existing garment, such as cutting a dress to make a skirt, or blouse; or combining pieces of fabric from several different garments to make a new garment.
  • Seam ripper – A small tool used to remove stitches.
  • Unpick – To unpick is to carefully remove stitching, frequently, a seam or seams.

This summer—still considering it’s summer as we’re still having some 80 degree days— I’ve been doing more refashioning than new fashion.

Must say its felt like an obstacle, like an unending pile of repairs to be completed before going on to the fun of sewing something new.

Thus, it’s been surprising to read online that refashioning is so current. What? I’m on-trend?! 😳

What’s being/been chopped up? Basically, dresses made roughly five years ago. I hadn’t been inclined to wear them at all this summer, and needed more tops, so . . .

Also several hems were raised from the waist instead of re-hemming as there were hem features I didn’t want to disturb. Oh, and several pockets got added to existing items. Plus two pockets removed from a dress-that’s-now-a-blouse.

Then along came Love to Sew’s Refashioning podcast, including great suggestions I can use for a certain very holey linen knit. (Intentionally misspelt because it’s faaar from “holy.” 🥴)

Do popover and at least scroll through all the wonderful examples listed. Just looking at them should give you ideas. It did for me.

Then The Fold Line included a very intriguing BBC programme about forecasting trends…

“When the distinguished trends forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort provides her vision of the future in her General Trends Books, her pronouncements are eagerly awaited by those working in the worlds of fashion and design. She talks to Mary about the reasons behind the one forecast she’s made that the fashion world hasn’t wanted to hear – Fashion is dead. However it’s not all bad news as she shares her thoughts about the trends she thinks will be influencing what we’ll be wearing in the very near future…”

Her web site mentions concepts of forgiveness, understanding, comprehension, and compassion.

Li Edelkoort: “We need to trust our instincts to build a better future, full with genuine love towards ourselves and others, even those at fault. . . Desire needs to be embedded in empathy.”

In keeping with her thoughts, I do feel good about my summer’s very different kind of sewing, partly because some old favourites are “new” again, and combine with other pieces for more use.

Now for the refashioning thus far . . .

The rayon top (used to be a dress) works well with the cut offs made several summers ago. I’d like to make another set or two like these, as they are in constant rotation. (Click pic to go to 2013 dress.)

This green cotton print was originally made in 2013 and got a lot of wear. When I decided to cut it off I cut it a bit longer, because of the neckline gathers. They make the waist wider.

That meant I needed to cut into the two side seam pockets. That meant I needed to unpick those pockets. (Now the title makes sense. 😉) However, that wider waist is making me a tad nervous because it can get windy here… we shall see how it works.

The black linen skirt I’ve paired with this is one of the skirts shortened from the waist to save the skirt vent. It was originally a full length RTW dress I cut into a skirt and blouse. (Click pic to see original green dress; no photo of original RTW dress.)

Phew. If you’ve made it all the way you deserve a treat. Your choice! I’m opting for dark chocolate… 🍫

a winter purge ?

We left off with crossed appendages and plans for non-electricity-needing projects. My neck of the woods fared well—many thank-you’s for everyone’s good thoughts. 😘😘

Not so for other folk, and if any of you spot organizations accepting clothing for them, please let me know. I’d be delighted to send things along to those who need literally everything.

Have spend time both increasing and working on The Mend/Refashion Pile whilst listening to P.D. James’ Murder Room on cd. Excellent story, and am so impressed with the author!

I seem to remember Adam Dalgleish being on TV years ago, but cannot remember the name of the series. Does anyone else remember? Roy Marsden in “The Sandbaggers” comes to mind, but I’m not sure that was P.D. James.

Going back to the M/R Pile… Finally decided to add the second pocket to these, and only had to rip one side out once. An improvement!

Am having a heck of a time with my wardrobe planning, chiefly because I cannot figure out what descriptive words to use. As I am no longer office-bound that professional suit stuff can finally be ditched… except for maybe one navy pants suit. Just in case. 😉

The rest of my Dream Wardrobe is nebulous. The heat down here lasts about nine months of the twelve, so I’m trying to accomodate that. But my heart has always belonged to “a good piece if wool” as mum used to say.

Deep sigh…

I think more trousers are needed, but weight and style is very undecided, as are tops to go with. And dresses, for some reason, which I am finding difficult to even consider. Veddy strange for moi.

Am considering trying a pattern with different cup sizing, just to see if there’s a difference, as I seem to be on the lower edge of all that. Just to try something different.

Above A.L.L., everything has to be comfortable. After spending too many years in offices wearing things a little too tight and heels with pointy toes, have had it with anything not totally comfortable.

So, how to express that in two or three words eludes me at the mo. But am trying not to allow that to stop me from going through the three rather large containers of cold weather clothes.

A good sort out is definitely in order. Give me strength! And maybe additional dark chocolate rations… hehehee! 🤣 🥰 🤪

elevensies’

Goodness, it’s past noon and all I’ve done is faff about online in a reclining position.

Yes, I’m feeling fine quite pleased with meself. I spent yesterday afternoon energetically chopping up various veggies and throwing them in with some chicken breasts. Delicious dinner, and will be yummy leftovers.

The weather has taken a decided turn for the better. A lovely cold front is coming down from Canada and I for one am immmmmmmmensely grateful!

I write “coming” because we’re having off-and-on rain today, which we badly need, whilst the air is a good 20 almost 30 degrees cooler than yesterday. The coming week looks almost as nice, with lower than normal temps forecast, and humidity well under 100%.

Next weekend is a 3-day weekend for us (U.S. Labor Day). That used to be the Line of Demarcation between Summer and Fall. (I prefer to say “Autumn,” as the other can seem negative, and who wants anything negative connected to their favourite season?!)

Parades used to feature local union members. Barbecue enthusiasts prepared to put their mitts into Winter storage. If you were lucky, the old hand churn came out for a last batch of homemade ice cream.

Ah! The last Summer holiday—with an endless school year looming between it and next May’s Memorial Day, when the end of school would be mere days away.

The last hurrah, when everyone put away summer clothes and whites (shoes, hats, gloves, handbags) were seen no more. Reflecting back, it always seemed a bittersweet holiday.

Nevertheless, in order to celebrate it and the weather change I’ve decided to take the coming week off. Heheheeee!

Do I have plans? Umm, vaguely. . . (where’s that sly smirk emoji?)

monday . . ⛈ ⛈ ⛈

Three pieces of tissue viscose/rayon, purchased in 2016, have slowly been rising to the top of the ToDo list.

Thinking to finally get them made up, I decided to drag out a piece of heavier cotton knit to toile a couple of patterns I’ve had since forever.

Yes, I know there’s definite differences between the weights of the two fabrics, but somehow that didn’t seem important.

First up was the cammie version from Lois Hinse’s Tank Dress Group, No. 5305. Just found it on Vogue’s site and still available.

I also cut some shorts from a TNT pattern, Butterick’s B5432. I did a mid-knee version to see if I liked it. The jury’s still out. 🤔

Incidentally, witness2fashion on WordPress did an excellent review of the many trouser names and lengths from the ’70’s. Guess mine are the Bermuda length.

For some reason I put off wear-testing the new duo, but when I did I was surprised by how the top fit.

Look at the neckline in this photo. I hadn’t given it much thought because I’d cut out the tank top pattern, narrowing the shoulder straps.

When I tried it on I realized it wasn’t anything like the photo, even with the narrowed straps. Hm.

See how narrow this neckline is? Compare it to the camisole picture. See a difference?

My opinion is what’s labeled as the camisole pattern has is the same neck and straps as the dress version, but I keep forgetting to get the pattern back out and check.

What do you Lovelies think? Are they different necklines. Suggestions welcomed!

Did I get the wrong pattern pieces? No. There are only four, and the other two are definitely the dress pattern because they’re miles long.

Sure, I could fix it by redrafting the pattern, but I don’t want to. Instead, I’m considering this toile for lounging at home only. And I’m giving more thought to hacking my Hemlock tee from last winter.

But on the other hand, do I want to go to the trouble of hacking the Hemlock?As you can see, heat-induced summer ennui has set in. 🙄

Adding complexity was a recent Love to Sew episode on how to rub off (copy without cutting up) an RTW. If I had a good RTW cammie I might give that a try . . .

Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh! 🤪

Time to switch gears and crochet!

My latest autumnal crochet project’s yarn (Brett’s Marble Chunky – MC07) is still a delight to work with—all that luscious coloured softness running through my fingers is sooo satisfying!

The ski cap is completed, and whilst browsing through early posts of Lucy’s Attic24 I spied an idea for how to use up the large remainder.

Watch this space. 😉

Meanwhile, hope you have lovely things planned for your June. If I can dash out between the raindrops and get to the library, there are several goodies waiting.

Enjoy, Lovelies!

1970’s fashion

Please click on any photo to see larger images.

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.

Hope you enjoy!

 

personal identity & what to wear . . .

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.

AUTUMN ! ! ! And just in time for any chilling winds, the crocheted hat & scarf are tasselled & done!

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…

this will make more sense after you’ve seen the last video – promise!

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.

The glass pan did scrub up fairly easily, and the meat loaf is edible, thank goodness!

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 books is…
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…

❤        ❤        ❤

a bit of a catch-up

Things are happening, so grab a cuppa  and let’s start!

my favourite baking book since the 90’s (or ’80’s??)

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.

the basic recipe, which I haven’t tried varying yet!

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.

if you’ve never made muffins American-style, do read this carefully.

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!

(I always use those little paper baking cups in my muffin pans because I hate scrubbing out the pan.)

 

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!)

A large leftover bit of rayon from Vogue Fabric, Chicago, purchased at least 8 years ago!

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).

Christmas crochet

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 ClassicsThe 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 Underground here, The Santa Klaus Murder here) 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.

click to go to book on the British Library site

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 .

❤       ❤      ❤  Thank you all for stopping by!  ❤       ❤      ❤