Tag Archives: fabrics

remembering esther

does your parchment paper begin to burn even below 400℉ as sides of mine do?

Every Labor Day I remember a neighbor named Esther. A dear and very talented woman, I once asked what she did on Labor Day.  I always labor on Labor Day, she said. And now, so do I, in her memory.

edible, but not too…

Had been telling myself all week that it’ll be September soon and time to bake scones again.

Yeah!

Labor Day weekend’s goal was peppery olive oil scones with Parmesan cheese (from this book).

NOTE added 5 Sept.: This recipe is made specifically for olive oil, not butter. It is not a simple substitution! Read remarks in Alston’s introduction, available here as she specifically discusses substitutions!

Remembering I’m not fond of whole wheat (wholemeal) flour in this recipe I used plain, and decided to try Greek yogurt instead of soured-with-lemon milk.

Big mistake because Greek yogurt isn’t nearly as runny as buttermilk or plain yogurt and the dough wouldn’t form into a ball.

I added milk several times, albeit in tiny amounts. That overworked the dough.

rather dense . . .

I used a different combination of herbs, and didn’t get enough to add much flavour.

The just out-dated flour and baking powder probably didn’t help.

At least they didn’t burn!   😳

Neither did the loaf of wheat bread I threw into the machine this afternoon. Mind you, I almost forgot the salt. And the paddle – an essential if you expect the machine to do any mixing or kneading.

Ah! Home-made bread to toast in the morning.

On the sewing front, am making progress with the winter fabric, washing and loading into large zip plastic bags. Now just need to do a bit of a sort and it should be done. Unless I find another pile in some deep, dark corner . . .

he-he-heee!

using up yarn.
still.

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fabric updates

the green collection
1 & 3 are silk
4 & 5 rayon viscose
2 is a blend with slight stretch

I was contemplating where to begin sewing The Green Collection (left) when everything halted for the move.

Unpacking led to relocating bits & pieces used for packing, which led to…

Deciding I really need a casual green duster to accompany numbers 4 and 5, currently thought of as dresses. Which led to…

Ordering some swatches from Vogue Fabrics, two-thirds of which are to hand and none will do… which led, whilst awaiting swatches, to. . .

vogue swatches Lt to Rt:: double knit, cotton gauze, 2 rayon viscose

Making more order amongst heavier fabrics (a.k.a. winter), which led to . . .

Me realising I’m not sewing heavier fabrics because the climate’s too hot to wear them.

Ooohhhhh.

Oh me oh my.  Horrors! 😱

Does anyone else buy impractical fabric??

my very appropriate penguin copy

books
Am delighting in the latest Durrell volume, My Family and Other Animals, because its lyrical, hysterical, and utterly charming.

     “We had agreed that we would not invite a lot of people to the party; we said we didn’t like crowds, and so ten guests, carefully selected, were the most we were prepared to put up with… Having unanimously decided on this, each member of the family then proceeded to invite ten people. Unfortunately they didn’t all invite the same ten…”          From “The Enchanted Archipelago” chapter.

Am wending my way through Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series, watching each episode after reading the book, and using both as antidotes for summer heat.

Finally have gotten a copy of Julie Summers’ Home Fires and couldn’t put it down. Although quite different from the PBS programmes, a very enlightening read!

 

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.

 

 

 

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

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!
☀️ ☀️ ☀️