Tag Archives: fabrics

mid-week hodgepodge

sewing hang tabs on tea towels – pedestrian, but necessary!

Love this quote (thanks to Prof. Pski’s blog) from Poirot in Christie’s 1947 short story, “The Capture of Cerberus” (The Labours of Hercules):

“All these young women who surrounded him- so alike, so devoid of charm, so lacking in rich alluring femininity! He demanded a more flamboyant appeal. Ah! To see a femme du monde, chic, sympathetic, spirituelle – a woman with ample curves, a woman ridiculously and extravagantly dressed!”

But, wait . . . Searching for a better link to this story after declining to use the official Christie page (“BUY” written everywhere), I found the excerpted story and a newsy bit: Christie’s Poirot, hints of “s*x,” and why this story went unpublished for 60 years. U.K. readers & Christie aficionados may know all about this, but it was news to me.

So take a break from today’s “reality” and escape into Poirot’s world, where method and order prevail.

~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~

last fabric order
Got my fabrics from Vogue Fabrics and immediately checked to see if they were on-grain before serging the raw edges and tossing into the washer. Of the 3 pieces of cotton, one of the six edges was cut properly.

behold the pile from ripping the other five edges.

turquoise cotton batik “pegged out” over the shower rail – it does feel a bit better…

Perhaps because I got the end of the bolt, the touch was rougher than the swatches, and I was disappointed when it came out of the dryer. Have just washed it again and am air-drying over the shower rail. (Noticed the fabric is translucent both wet and dry.)

So, am re-thinking the turquoise/teal group of fabrics…  Perhaps the turquoise would make a better Victoria blazer (By Hand London, or BHL)  but I’d have to try squeezing out the cropped version. And find a lining. So am still very much in planning stages for that group.

The orangey batik is lovely and light weight, but I’m wondering how badly the off-grain printing is going to affect my plan for a duster with an opening straight down the front (like this one).

bottom edge is selvedge; left edge is serged after ripping

Check out the lower selvedge and the left serged edge in the photo. Do please tell me what you think. Am I being too nit-picky?

Had thought an asymmetrical front instead, but am afraid it might look a lopsided mistake rather than planned.

gotta have me greens!

Lastly, the neutrally-dotted lawn’s texture is good and should pair with a lot of the greens I already have (as shown). It will be another duster to blend over the greens and the few browns in stash.

Lastly, from Lizzie’s latest Vintage Traveler Miscellany is a 20-minute film I found utterly charming, scenic and informative. Thank you, Lizzie!

TWEED: From Hill to Hill, a Rural Tradition

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octobre ennui

why have i left these in plain view all summer???

After four whole days of lower humidity 70’s (mid-20’s C), cool nights when I can actually sleep, and just as I’m beginning to think about sewing again… slap-bang and its back into heat & humidity again.

M-E-E-E-E-E-H-H-H ! ! !

Am not at all keen on sewing (or anything else) when it’s miserable, and this summer’s been no exception.

Except I also moved at the end of June, and that added another dimension.

However, I did manage to keep the beedies blog reading and salivating over fabric & patterns. Guess some part of my brain kept thinking, Cooler weather! Cooler weather!

None of which explains why I left those two fabric swatches (above) out on my desk. For weeks they just lay around. Occasionally I’d fondle them and wonder what on earth I’d ever pair with them.

The blues I liked immediately. The other sorta left me wishing for a lot more of the yellow-orange and a lot less of that background, occasionally castigating myself thinking no one else ever does this.

Then I woke up last week, looked at them, pulled out 3 fabrics maturing in stash, knew exactly what to do with everything, ordered the two batik cottons that day, just getting the last of the blue, and really hoping they’d arrive soon.

Maybe there was some angst-ridden subconscious struggle going on, as I’d decided months & months ago to sew only with stashed fabric. Or maybe it took a cool night’s solid sleep for me to see what had been staring at me. Whatever.

Meanwhile, Happy October to all you Lovelies!

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.

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.