Tag Archives: fabrics

🧙‍♀️ Happy Hallowe’en! 👻

Hope everyone is having good weather on this final day of October. We had a small piece of that horrendous West Coast storm over here two days ago. Thankfully, we only got about an inch of rain, and no bluster. Phew!

Haven’t been doing much sewing or crochet. Am still working the scarf as last reported, and am finishing up changes to summer odds & sods. It’s not been tremendously autumnal weather. I cannot wait . . .

But it has been cool enough to get out one of my favourite long-sleeved shirts, gifted from a friend. Below are two close-ups of the fabric. I’d call it medium-to-heavy weight.

It’s those great colours that get me every time I think about them. But what’s the weave called? It’s a single fabric, not squares of quilted patchwork, and it’s reversible. None of the threads have gotten picked (see right-hand photo), so it’s not like a bouclé.

Am trying to read a wonderfully written book on Frederick Douglass, by Yale Professor David W. Blight. It’s a Pulitzer Prize winner – don’t know as I’ve ever read one before so am trying not to be intimidated.

I appreciate his style and frequent quotes directly from Douglass’ works. However, the graphic detail of what a slave grew up seeing every single day I’m finding really challenging.

But it is Hallowe’en , so I’ve done my annual viewing of Christie’s Hallowe’en Party, and would be ready for Bonfire Night if I could ever remember what day it is. Ack! Have to look it up every year.

Everyone this side the pond remember! We shift clocks back an hour next Saturday night, 6th November!

Will leave you with a wee quote from another American, a poet from several generations back – James Whitcomb Riley. Here’s an interesting PBS program all about him, including readings of several of his most famous poems.

Just remember, tonight’s really the night . . . . .

An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
	Ef you
		Don't
			Watch
				Out!

👻 👻 👻 👻 👻

Tea-Dyeing

It’s been a while since our last catch-up. What can I say? The weather’s been rotten triple digit heat & humidity . . . typing took too much effort . . . so did thinking . . . 🥵 . . . blehhhhhhh.

But September is almost here. We’re being promised lower temps on Thursday. On the strength of that, and despite the horrid effects of Ida, I decided to pen a quick update.

Now, of all times, why did I start tea-dyeing fabric? I’m pleading insanity. A luscious pair of cotton lawn shorts-turned top wasn’t getting worn. WHAAAA??? Then it hit me: I could fix the starkers white background my subconscious hates. Just do it. I did. (The undyed is on the left, the tea-dyed is below, on right.)

Coincidentally, Sis#2 was doing a batch of eco-dyeing. We compared notes. She suggested I try coffee for dyeing. Enter The Next Project.

I’ve been needing new night gowns, going back-and-forth trying to decide what pattern to use. I finally decided to stick with my TNT pattern – an OOP NewLook 6871. (Check etsy.com if you want one.)

am already planning how to use this pattern, view b first!

For the gown, I always cut a couple sizes larger & longer, and use the sleeveless version. This time I decided to reeeally widen the front and back pattern pieces as well as lengthen them.

The fabric? A blue & white floral cotton bought at a going-out-of-business sale. Did you catch it — the starkers white I don’t like?

(Please ignore the pattern photo’s caption. Despite all the “improvements,” WP hasn’t learned how to separate captions from photos used in previous posts. This one’s at least 6 years previous!)

When I discovered an old jar of instant coffee on a back shelf I decided it was Fate. Time to test again.

Check out the photos below. What do you think? Can you see any difference? Have you done any coffee-dyeing?

Note: Click any pic to enlarge all of them. The ONLY coffee-dyed piece is the one labeled “Coffee.” All the rest are either tea-dyed or plain. The bottom photo shows all 3 – plain, tea-dyed, and coffee-dyed.

Right now I’m leaning towards using the coffee, but that could change. Will sew up the fabric, then dye it in the kitchen sink with really hot water and half the jar of instant coffee. Or umpteen tea bags.

A quick update on Agatha Raisin, Season 3: This time the episodes are about 90 minutes each, and there are 4 on 2 disks. (There’s a whole 3rd disk of various cast members answering questions from fans. If that sounds boring, you’re right, except when Ms. Chesney is there. She’s great!)

Given current horrendous world events I’m reading escapist lit at the mo’. . . Got one of the newer Louise Penny audiobooks from my local library (via Libby app) and enjoyed catching up with the Quebec characters, especially Ruth.

Also decided to finish up the Agatha books I hadn’t read. Beating About the Bush (2019) and Hot to Trot (2020) are good, light reads. Judging by M.C. Beaton’s Introduction to the 2020 volume, we might not have heard the last of Ms. Agatha . . . . . .

😳

silly saturday

Thought I should make mention of the Agatha Raisin Season 2 that arrived last weekend and was immediately watched.

The first season had been 8 or so of the usual 45 (or was it 54?) minute episodes, all based on author M.C. Beaton’s books, using the same titles as the books. (Thank goodness!)

Some characters were changed/added/subtracted, and Agatha herself was upgraded from the 1990’s to the 21st century. I thoroughly enjoyed the first season repeatedly for several years, all the while wishing they’d done more.

Surprise! Surprise! They did, and I’d missed ’em, thus last weekend’s little orgy with Season 2 (and Season 3 winging it’s way as I type). These episodes are double the length, which feels just right. But there were only three – aghhhhhhhh!!! So I watched them twice. 😆 🤣

Ms. Beaton (a.k.a. Marion Chesney) was also the author of the Hamish Macbeth detective series, as well as a series of Victorian novels that I never read.

Wanting to know a bit more about the Scots author who died last year, I located these two articles (here and here), which gave me additional insight into her character and writing.

Incidentally, she thoroughly approved of this whole series. In 1998 she penned a book in the Hamish series, Death of a Scriptwriter, which ought to tell you how she felt about that telly “adaptation.” 😬

From Folkwear Pattern’s August newsletter comes a very interesting-to-me note about a book on indigo, Indigo – The indelible color that seduced the world. I had no idea the real deal is indelible, and that Columbus’ ship sails were made from denim.

NPR, our national public radio, did an interview with the author, Catherine McKinley, some years ago. At just 13 minutes, it was most enjoyable!

This past week has also been an enjoyable respite from the previous week’s triple digit “feels like” temps. (You know, when a high temp plus higher humidity makes the air feel like you could wear it.) Alas, next week it sounds like we’re going back.

Dummm-dee-dum-dum. . . . . Something tells me that cardi I was thinking so hard about earlier ain’t gonna be uppermost in thought . . . . and that microwaved-not-baked cake will return . . . .

Hello, 😲 it’s Friday!

And it’s been long time no blog! But I’ve been keeping up by reading everyone else’s, even if commenting has been minimal.

Must admit to being a bit excited about an upcoming event that’s not sewing related. My nevvie is gradating this month with his Masters. However, there’s a wee fly in the ointment, so to speak, and that’s where this sewing peep comes in…

The wrinkled post-consumer plastic bottles need ironing. Photo by Sis2 & used with permission

It’s the robe, that august symbol of graduation. But this one also has another agenda: recycle & reuse. The tag inside the gown reads, “Made in USA from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”.

When cloth gets wrinkled it can be ironed in some fashion. But what about “… 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”? And that’s the prob.

Sis2 is at her wits’ end. She’s tried hanging it in the shower – no change. She’s repeatedly used a garment steamer, alternately spritzing with hot and cold water. Nothing. “Even dry cleaners in town won’t touch it,” she noted.

Earlier on she tried ironing what she now thinks was a similar material masquerading as a dress shirt. She said it “shredded.”

I’ve asked on IG and so far, no one’s written that they know just what to do. Any ideas you lovelies might have will be very warmly appreciated. Sis2, the one who felts & knits, sends her appreciation & thanks to all. And so do I!!

It’s been a trying last 10 days or so, attempting to get a decent bottle of milk. Sounds simple – right? But no . . .

First there was the totally wrong grocery order, followed by a same-day correct order. So far, so good – phew! But then I happened to look at email after dinner and discovered there was another identical order practically on its’ way.

Frantically I got it cancelled. Running low on milk a few days later I manufactured yet another grocery order for those special things only one store carried. That bottle of milk got squished and leaked all over the bottom of the bag.

Click a pic to enlarge

By this time I had used enough pantry items to make yet another grocery order, and that large bottle of milk arrived with no intact safety seal. So it got poured down the drain.

Today I finally received bottles of milk with intact safety seals, un-squished, and no leaks in sight.

Alleluia.

books
What else have I been doing, if not sewing up a storm?

Reading!

Yep, the itch to read the latest from Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series (The Spotted Dog) has been thoroughly scratched, and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. All the usual cast of characters are around, although Meroe was a bit quieter than in other volumes. (Was it you, Kate, who’s also a fan & recommended it? Thank you!)

Also tackled and enjoyed Erik Larson’s very lengthy but riveting The Splendid and the Vile — a practically minute-by-minute account of the first couple years of WW II as it unfolded for Great Britain. Must admit I hadn’t realised how quickly everything escalated against Britain, and how horribly long it took to get FDR to understand what was at stake. It reminded me of how precarious liberty still is.

I also did a second installment of Barak Obama’s Promised Land, and am about half way through the 800 pages. I borrow the version that he reads, as there’s so much nuance added by his inflections. Very enjoyable, but extremely detailed; enlightening, but with moments of dread, knowing what happened after his presidency. Am still very much in recovery mode from the last 4 years, and the gradually abating (🤞🤞) pandemic.

All for now — time to start relaxing as the weekend is here! What have you planned? I’ve already ordered pizza and salad so I don’t have to cook Sunday. Yippee! Might even have time for a stitch or two . . . 😆

Whatever your plans, be safe!

❤️ 💕 ❤️

Easter, a not-so-silent Sunday

I almost never use a feature image, but as this is a hol that I had a photo for, and the rest of this is about my LB Pullover test wearing, it seemed appropriate. Not getting fancy, mind, just making do.

Back story: Back last winter, when I was waiting for a load of fleece from Vogue Fabrics to arrive, I downloaded a copy of the Talvikki Sweater pattern by Named. But when the fleece arrived and I had it in hand, I realised there might be some problems with that neckline and my thick fleece. (There’s fleece and there’s thick fleece – I had the latter, which is great for damp, cold weather.) So I messaged someone I knew had made several Talvikki’s: Anne, of Compulsive Seamstress.

Anne suggested the LB Pullover instead, noting it could also be used with woven fabrics. After doing a bit more reading up on it, I was taping the pages together. (Incidentally, she makes the case for making multiples of any pattern you like – so why do we feel guilty when we do?!)

Here’s the front . . .

Friday was a chilly day so I test wore this second iteration to see how it worked in real life. As usual when I’m test wearing a make, I did not finish the sleeves or the hem. In addition, I’d left one side open about 4 inches for a vent. (I forgot when sewing the first side seam, and didn’t want to get out the seam ripper. 🙄 There will be a single vent in this version. )

I’d wanted to try cutting the sleeves with the most stretch going around the arm rather than running the length of the arm, but as this was a relatively small remnant I didn’t have that option. Rest assured, there’s a third version in the planning stage, and that one has enough fabric. Maybe I’d better make a little note . . . . . . .

My other question was using two different weight knit fabrics (the orange being slightly weightier). Would they play nicely together, or start fighting from the get-go? Seaming the sides, from wrist through under-arm and down to the waist was a good test. So far, both are doing okay, with not much detectable – as in wavy seams, missing stitches, and so forth. (Will be back with a single fabric for the next version.)

I did notice, when looking in the bathroom mirror, the sizing on this version – although the same as the first fleece version – looks about 2 sizes too big on both sides. While wearing I didn’t notice any problems. Except I got the dreaded purpley side facing wrong way round when I first pulled it on. 🙈

And the back – where I don’t have to see it – hehehee!

My non-stretchy-for-the-washing-up wrist problem with the first fleece version continues with this, but I’m not beating m’self up over it. Needs must, or not enough fabric in this case.

This is a quick pattern to cut and sew up, provided you don’t misread directions, as I did with this version.

Attaching the neck facing is done a bit differently than I’m used to and I managed to make it a multi-step process, with many trimmings necessary, as well as a real fudgey bit. BIG note on the PDF instructions page to remind myself not to do that again.

But really, we can finish off necks and arms and waists any d##* way we choose these days. It’s called freedom. And we sewists, or people who sew, are free to do it any way we choose!

One facet of this pattern is you can also use woven fabric for it. And that’s something I’m also going to be trying. We’ve already had days in the 80’s, and it’s only a matter of time before those higher numbers become “normal.”

And I run screaming into the AC and dig out all my cotton lawn and light-weight challis . . . . . 🥵

Friday night

Friday night’s supper

Hello, Lovely Readers, and welcome to my Friday evening!

🌬 🌦 🌈 ⚡️ 🌪
We’re very much in see-saw weather so I’m flipping between fleece and cotton, with intermittent cogitations on corduroy & ponte — the season of “what to sew next?”  But more on that in another post.

Oh, our National Hurricane Center has decided to open two weeks early this year due to past increases in pre-season “activity.”    Uh-oh.

Before I forget ~
In case you’re peckish for something oaty but your recipes are calling for an oat type you’ve never heard of, have a gander at this page. It describes what American oat growers & grinders mean when they use “their” terms. Hope it sheds some light.

I always enjoy a jaunt with Joanna Lumley and was delighted one night to follow her around her own isle, Britain. You don’t have to have access to BBC’s iplayer to watch – just check out YouTube for her latest 3-part series, Home Sweet Home.

Rest In Peace, little hyacinth

On a sad note – The hyacinth I’ve been photographing committed hari kari. Yes, this last ickle bulb, the runt in Aldi’s litter, always had a disconcertingly major bend in the bud stalks. That evidently became too much to overcome Wednesday dead-of-night, and it toppled off a high shelf. 💔

📚 & 🧶
I’m actually reading a book. 🤪  A very looong book. Erik Larson’s The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz. It’s about one of my fav eras, and came highly recommended by an old friend. Being fascinating and hard to put down, I’ve had a lot of late nights, and am not keeping up with my listening-whilst-sewing books. Naughty-naughty moi . . . .   hehehee!

I haven’t done a thing on my blues blanket since pinning 2 of the 3 long rows together, preparatory to joining them. They got carefully rolled up, put away, and not looked at since.

Problem is I keep thinking I need to clear off my long cutting table. Sewing long rows together needs consistent tension everywhere, no?  And to get that, everything needs to be flat, right?  Any suggestions or hints? Am I being too cautious?? Is a monster  trying to stop my progress?!?!?!?!

🤣     😆     🤣

 

silly Saturday

Oooo! A squidgy package !!  From Canada !!!

I had visceral reactions to autumnal colours last Autumn . . .

. . . and thought about  realised I might vowed to myself to get more autumnal colours into my closet . . .

Now I’m finding fabrics in autumnal colours, even in summer weight fabrics !

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. . .

 

🤣     😉     😆