Tag Archives: loungewear

happy, hot july

white loops on red medium weight cotton

Hello, Lovely Readers — how are you? Life’s been happening since my last post, so this is a mite lengthy.

Hope you’ve time to settle in with something cool (or hot, as appropriate to your weather) and stay for a catch-up, including some sewing. Yeah!

Have cogitated and cogitated over what to do with this medium weight cotton, of which I bought maybe 1½ or 2 yards. Finally decided on shorts with pockets, as my blue pair gets worn constantly at this time of year. How long has it been in stash? Ummm . . .  absolutely no idea.

But I couldn’t resist it as it’s that wonderful tomato red that I love but can never find when I have a specific project in mind. Now that I consider it, I was probably thinking “summer dress” but after laundering realised it would be too hot, and stashed it.

At one point I thought “tote bag” and have a piece cut off for that, as well as what I assume were the handles, except there’s a strange “V” cut on one end. Wonder what I was thinking…

Anyway, this is finally out of stash, ironed, and might be cut out by the time you read this. (Not yet, but the pattern’s out!)

this is what I frogged back to – 😳 – but next time maybe I’ll count better

Remember that green & mustard ski cap I was working on last time?  I got it out and looked at it, then counted my stitches and realised I’d got off about 8 rows from the start.

Yes, I was good and frogged it back, but that put a damper on my crochet ardour. That, plus the early onset of extreme heat & humidity. Managed late last week to pull out of the doldrums a bit, and am almost back to where I was.

See what the triple digit temps have done to the lovely hydrangea bushes dotted around the apartment complex? The roses are too scraggly for piccies and grass that isn’t on a sprinkler system is dead brown because our rain has been sporadic.

Looking on the brighter side… Heat means time to tackle the small unread stack of books on my shelf… and was delighted to have found one I’d forgotten I had!

piccie courtesy British Library Crime Classic site

Back story: Several years ago I discovered the British Library Crime Classic series and ordered Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay. I quite enjoyed it, and learned what a humpty is (a.k.a., hassock), as well as absorbing more bits about British women’s university years.

BTW, if anyone has a humpty pattern they wouldn’t mind sharing, please let me know (sewing, not knitting or crochet).

British Library Crime Classics
originally published in 1934
Click to go to book on British Library Crime Classic site

My forgotten mystery was another Hay book, Murder Underground, which also mentions a humpty.

(I’m blaming my humpty fixation on triple digit heat. That and a desire to stuff one with stashed fabric. Add a zipped top & it might be great storage as well as hassock.)

Hay has a third book, The Santa Klaus Murder,  that I haven’t acquired yet just ordered, but I’m also looking for a nice used copy of Bats in the Belfry, by new-to-me author E.C.R. Lorac (Edith Caroline Rivett).

click to go to the book on British Library’s site

If anyone’s read any of Lorac’s books I’d love to know what you thought. Somewhere I read she was a witty author, and if there’s one thing I like to read in summer heat, it’s something humorous.

(Speaking of witty, just found & ordered Doonan’s Wacky Chicks & another Gerald Durrell. And that third Hay book, too.)

I’ve been puzzling over what to do with some of this cotton batik (below) ordered last summer from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago, but now out of stock.  It’s heavier than I’d thought and has a funny sort of texture (possibly from all the dyes used to get the particular splotchiness of the pattern). I love the colours, but the texture put me off for a season.

Chatting over t’internet with fellow sewer Jen (Let the Sewing Begin) with fabric in hand, she thought it would make a good duster, and we talked a bit about what colours to wear with it. Afterwards I remembered a green linen camp shirt I’d found at a thrift shop in Arlington and got it out to check. What do you think—a definite maybe?

Lastly, a “goodness, I’d forgotten” moment earlier this past week when WordPress sent a Sixth Anniversary note. It’s been a tough time down here for most everyone, and I’m trying to buck up and stay more focused on goodness.

To that end I really really am valuing all you sewing bloggers around the globe. Reading your posts and seeing how you all are coping with a very turbulent world makes me feel not so alone over here, and sometimes even hopeful for a decent future. To that end, am sharing one last thing, which I hope will make you smile as much as it does me. . . . . . .

I finally read the last bits of Doonan’s book, Eccentric Glamour, and want to share a quote from the “Wallflowers and Big Stinky Peonies” section (p. 217). This might sound a little strange, but hang on as I’ve the perfect example below it.

“As you begin to stick your toes into the luscious lagoon of eccentric glamour, you will experience a jarring increase in the amount of amorous attention you receive… It is simply a result of how gorgeous and fabulous you think you are…” (Doonan’s emphasis)

If you begin to feel overwhelmed at such prospects, Doonan chides us not to “stay at home and watch “Dynasty” reruns…” Instead, he flatly says that is “…a waste of time—yours and mine (meaning Doonan’s)—unless you share it with someone… It’s a “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play” Liza in Cabaret kind of a thing.”

As promised, here’s one of my favourite bloggers’ recent posts that perfectly illustrates Doonan’s concept. If you don’t already know NYC’s utterly & outrageously adorable Marcy Harriell, also known as Ooonabaloona, click and say howdy.

HEARTIEST THANK YOU’S & CONGRATS TO ALL WHO’VE MADE IT THROUGH!

Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate, or GnT for All!

❤   ❤   ❤    Happy Sewing!    ❤   ❤   ❤

 

 

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two more bold caftans

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 caftan, 45″ wide cotton flannel, is floor length

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.

Then have fun wearing it!

stash-busting

view d

Finally getting back into a routine here, with sewing definitely in the mix.

In June I’d pulled from stash (after at least 3 years), cut out and finished the edges on a lovely cotton lawn ( White Tree Fabrics, U.K.).  Got it completed this past week (below left).

Used view D from this inspiredly (is that a word?) gifted pattern (thanks again to you know who), which I love to wear for sleep or lounging because it’s so comfortable.

Also just completed a gorgeously autumnal patterned cotton flannel caftan. That fabric I’d ordered whilst living in Chicago and is from fairly deep stash.

Originally, I’d thought I’d wear it a lot, but worried about the so-large pattern. Finally decided no one will see it but me, so why worry?

Am using a “pattern” from my head. Something I sewed up quickly one day in Northern California in the 90’s when I didn’t have time/money/whatever to go hunt for a pattern.

There the evenings used to get very cool in summer, unless El Niño was blowing all the cool Pacific air away. Residents called it Nature’s air conditioning. Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Fog,” expresses that summertime phenomenon perfectly.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Coming back to current East Coast to say the 2011 photo on the right is that summer fog rolling in over the Santa Cruz Mountains and across Silicon Valley, round about 3 one afternoon.

No leaves turning pretty colours round this lower East Coast. They just die, are brown, and fall off. Sigh.

Meanwhile, hope you Lovely Readers are comfy & cosy whichever side of the equator you’re on.

 

this ‘n that

Have been trying to finish up a batch huge pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) which includes things cut out but not sewn.

Have had some success, and was wear-testing the last one today. Not that the pile is gone, mind you.

Click a pic below so you can read the texts. And onward to the next one . . .

bits & bobs & yet another weather whine

After over a week of 80’s we’re finally having a couple of cooler days with perhaps a bit of light rain. Then the 80’s return with vengeance. Would not be surprised if Friday goes to 90. Thank goodness for rayon, linen, and air conditioning.

On a more seasonal note, but perhaps even more inscrutable, was this bit from Hazel Holt’s Lilies That Fester, being re-read for the umpteenth time:

“Jonah was out to a ferocious yorker and the next man gave an easy catch to first slip… [Gordon Masefield, murdered later in the book but not over cricket] prodded the pitch with his bat and faced up to the bowling…selfishly determined to keep the batting, taking a single at the end of an over when there were two perfectly good runs there…”

All I know about cricket is sometimes people sit in lounge chairs, tea is available, and it lasts all day.

Still procrastinating and haven’t ordered any wiring or trim for that hat brim. Maybe today. Got a bit stuck into a re-do of a floor length black linen & cotton shift yesterday, whacking off enough for a skirt and contemplating the remainder as a possible top.

As the original had been ankle-length, the shortened skirt’s centre front slit came to above mid-thigh. ACK! But it was an easy fix, despite being black. After a nose-to-fabric bit getting the hem undone, the rest came out fairly quickly by pulling loose  threads. Still, that was it for the day.

No. I forgot the rayon lounging trews, also black (with little red rosebuds).

Don’t remember when I cut them out nor serged the edges, but have sewed them up and yesterday sewed a small casing for skinny elastic. Except the skinny elastic wouldn’t fit through the bits where the seams were because the tunnel was too narrow just over those seams.

And I’d nicely opened out the seams, too, to eliminate bulk.  MEH!!  😢

So out came the seam ribber (again) and more nose-to-fabric ripping. Maybe I’ll try a ribbon instead of elastic. Or maybe a combo of ribbon & elastic.

And I keep forgetting to ask everyone for their thoughts on washing machines.

My previous machine wasn’t allowing hot or warm water so management replaced it with the same properly working model.

I played with the nobs to get my white sheets washed in hot water with two – TWO! – rinses & couldn’t believe the difference. Promptly washed all towels, too. (All are 100% cotton.)

I know we’re supposed to be conserving energy and resources, but please don’t make me wash and rinse in 6 inches of water and call that clean, high-efficiency, and energy star.

If washer police put me away please send fabric.. .

…and a good lawyer/solicitor!