Tag Archives: loungewear

how to tea dye fabric

Remember these smarty pants? I always felt the white was too white, and knew sooner or later they were gonna get tea dyed. Done!

Here are the very rough, not-to-measure anything! steps to follow… click to start the slide show.

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No, I don’t measure the water or vinegar, and only determine number of Lipton tea bags to use after considering how large the fabric is, and how dark I’d like it to be.

You can let it sit, or swish for a minute or two, then rinse. It’s all up to you.

Does anybody else do this? Or am I the only crazy?  🙂

smarty pants

Can I sneak this in before The Monthly Stitch‘s September Amnesty Month ends here in the Northern Hemisphere? Gonna try!

An easy make using Butterick’s 5432, View A. Am already planning to do a knit version, as this cotton is fine, but I’d like more give for wearing whilst exercising.  Only altered the pattern a tad, with an extra seam allowance on the outside of the 2 pieces to make them extra roomy!

Happy October sewing, everyone!

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sort of a caftan

IMG_5579
a quick couple of seams & a neckline finished this caftan
rayon stashed since california days
not certain i like this form – rayon is heavier & textured
possibly another iteration to come!

Things have been quiet on the blog!  Am working on my annual October (non-sewing) projects more & more, but keeping up with blog reading & writing so far.  Expect that will shift in another week …     🙂

Last week I read the library’s copy of Elegance, by Kathleen Tessaro, as recommended by The Vintage Traveler Lizzie here.

After reading about half the Tessaro book, I became more interested in reading the original volume, A Guide to Elegance, by Dariaux* , which Tessaro quotes at the beginning of every chapter.  So I ordered the Dariaux today.

Sure hope it arrives whilst there’s time to look through it!

*   “A complete guide for every woman who wants to be well and properly dressed on all occasions” Genevieve Antoine Dariaux (1964)

fabric stores = take-home art galleries

To those uninitiated into the mysteries of fabric stores, first thing to note is there are goodies & not-so-goodies. Just as in everything else.  And, what’s a goody for one person’s style ain’t necessarily a goody for you.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep looking!

The thing with fabric stores is you get to fondle the art works, take them home with you, and either make them into something you can wear or something you can use in your daily life.

Want some Picasso?  Start searching, because he’s on fabric.  How about Monet?  Ditto.

Have your own ideas?  Paint or photo them and do a quick search for a printer who can print them onto fabric for you (silk, cotton, linen – your choice). Presto – you’re a designer!

There have been small kits (from HP or Avery, in U.S.) for doing this with home printers, too. Used one meself, for a long gone tee shirt, over 10 years ago.  Give it a go if you’re so inspired!

today’s photos
Have been putting off doing pants for weeeks & finally figured out why.  I don’t want to make an error in fit, or go to the time & trouble of sewing a full muslin trial.  So out is coming a shorty pattern, for a trial, but eventually in the green teal, for summer.

Decided maybe something not too big, in a colourful rayon fabric I love, might get me over the hurdle.

Sigh.  Spring.  Wishful thinking.   Sigh

Counterbalancing that, did 2 quick updates for winter hats, one with an easily removable button, and the other with an even more easily removable pin.

Getting ready for Valentine’s Day!

green buttons… what green buttons??

actually, this is the remnant of the remnant, which i'm keeping, just in case...
actually, this is the remnant of the remnant, which i’m keeping, just in case…

It all started with this wonderful remnant of greens from some time last year. I couldn’t resist it, and decided it needed to become a simple sleeveless tee-smock-dress-whatever would fit.  Then suddenly the weather turned cold, and sleeveless was the last thing on the To-Do list.

Enter current hot, humid summer. And this pattern, picked up on sale somewhere… a great simple design (as in won’t-need-much-fabric).

Last Saturday I got everything out and stood on my head trying to lay out the fabric evenly. Guess what? Those stripes come and go, and they are NOT a straight line.  I needed 2 folds, so the fabric had to be folded evenly on both sides, toward the middle, so they met in the center. Think about how a staple looks from the side – each end folded over toward the center. That’s what I needed to do.

Normally I’d just start flipping each side of the fabric toward the center and slide it around until I got the proportions and grain right.  Nice idea, but cotton knit is slightly fuzzy and likes to stick to itself.  grrrrrrrrr.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t measure twice and cut once, as the DIY shows say… there’s a reason why there’s “lovely detail”  at the bottom of this.

On the plus side was getting the serger switched from black to white thread, adjusting the loopers so they were more or less correct, and generally becoming intimately re-acquainted with my ancient machine.  Another reason for a slight lapse?  Maybe, but I’m sticking with “creative detail.”   🙂

is this alllllll???????
is this alllllll???????

Yesterday afternoon, tired of sewing more layers onto the bottom, I thought about adding a just-decorative button or two at the neck.  Then I poured over my button stash and came up with… only 4 mismatched green buttons?!  How could I have allowed that to happen? And I’ve got all this green fabric??

Ruminating about that and staring at the blouse patterns I hope to work on, I suddenly remembered a small needle-like gizmo that’s perfect for working serger ends into seams. With all the cutting & serging I’d done, the inside of this thing had a spider’s web of tails and that would neh-vah do!  That little process I’m sticking into a post all it’s own.

Laura's green buttons flying cross country to moi!
Laura’s green buttons flying cross country to moi! (photo from her etsy store – thank you!)

While engaged in that project I went back to thinking about how to get some good green buttons… quickly.  Obviously the shops hadn’t had much, or I’d already have them.  Enter etsy… and the wonderful world of online search machines & photos.

On the first page I found my green button stash… er, it’s beginning.  WitNWhimsy, owned by Laura Pytlik, had this great group of green buttons and I had to have them.  Great price – great location – great selection, and they’re in the mail as I type!

I also ordered a wonderful Anne Adams pattern, but more about that another day.  Remind me tomorrow to tell you about the other Saturday fiasco project…

complete except for button trim!
complete except for button trim!

flash! karen’s etsy shop has patterns

this is Karen of Sew U Sew Me - she's NOT the clothes pin at the top of the page!
this is Karen of Sew U Sew Me – she’s NOT the clothes pin at the top of the page!

And they’re selling real quick, because her prices are great, she ships internationally and doesn’t charge an arm & a leg. If you’re in the market for craft, kids, or fashion patterns, from 1960s to current, click on over to Sew U Sew Me.

Happy shopping!

🙂

weekly photo challenge: escape

amongst the piles, current project is bright yellows/orange on tippy top of fabric piles & actually under the pressure foot
amongst the piles, current project is bright yellows/orange on tippy top of fabric piles & actually under the pressure foot

Borrowing from Urban Rustic, I think of this as my sewing slum, and it’s a delightful escape. Having spent so much time getting machines cleaned, & finding infrastructure (fabric, patterns, thread, bindings, ribbons, laces, buttons, interfacings, etc.) it’s such a pleasure to just sit down and sew.

Decided this morning to make up a seersucker fabric purchased last weekend. Am doing an extremely simple gathered straight shift with tie shoulder straps. It’ll do for either nightgown or house dress when it’s super hot… which is what I was vainly looking for this morning.

If you can’t find it/don’t have it, sew it! Which makes this not only an escape to a pleasanter, though decidedly crowded place, it’s also a process whereby to escape from heat, and add a needed item to me wardrobe.

Not bad for a Friday!

pins & needles, & seam binding – horreurs!

 

Yesterday it was rainy and the ironing board still not together.  Went to the fabric store instead, for basics like binding & piping, needles & pins. Mind you, that’s just after writing me talented friend Josée that I don’t much like binding.  (Maybe using some will warm the affections, huh?) The store’s fabric was uninspiring, which is not a bad thing, considering The Stash Here.

Got caught in a bit of rain coming home, and saw that caftan when I came in the door .  Not very wrinkley, so ready enough for lounging, and I was in the mood. The hem drags drapes a bit on the floor. Guess I’ll eventually lop some off. Probably. Possibly. We’ll see. It’s always nice to have a bit extra to cover toes.

from sewdaily.com
from sewdaily.com

Bought a magazine instead of fabric: stitch, creating with fabric & threads. As it was labeled, “get organised this summer with 8 fun projects” and had 34 more “sizzling summer projects” I thought it might give me some ideas. It also included a double-sided sheet of patterns for some of the projects, and the web site has more. Now if only it would give me the impetus to do them.

At $14.99 USD I thought it expensive, but it seemed worth it for all the project ideas & templates. If any of you Dear Readers see a copy or already know the magazine, I’d love to know your opinion.

Hopefully, will have a nice surprise on Saturday.  Mmm… you’ll never guess!
😉

busy weekend

Worked up a flannel caftan, too.  Just the basic: Sew the side seams (don’t forget to leave arm holes, like I did!), finish the 4 sides of the 2 pieces of fabric (cut to whatever length you want), decide which neckline to fool with (boat neck – sew straight across & leave a hole big enough for your head – don’t forget!). Easy peasy.  Photo after I’ve put the ironing board back together & given it a pressing!