Tag Archives: maintenance

stash busting for extreme weather

some of my swatch collection from The Rain Shed – VERY superior fleece

Whether its heat or cold, look to your stash!

Insulation across windows and doors (to the outside) needs a small air space between the glass or whatever and your temporary fabric curtain. That air space is key to providing more insular effects.

I currently use tension rods for window curtains and generally have a few extras  just in case. If that’s not a possibility for you, there’s always tape & tacks.

Any tightly woven fabric can help, as the tighter the weave the less air (and temperature) can pass through.

Here’s another section I just looked up on Polartec®, which I like to use because of its light weight and wash-ability (and further use as blankets if I’ve extra pieces).

source:   The Rain Shed
“If you have questions regarding a fabric please email or call.”  541-791-8900 or Contact. They ship internationally.

About Polartec®
FAQ
Care
Polartec® Windbloc     “Polartec(R) Windbloc(R) fabrics block 100% of the wind and offer maximum protection from the cold and the elements. A soft hand, stretch and a durable water repellent finish (DWR) make this the highest quality, most comfortable windproof fleece product on the market.”

Polartec® 200 (one of two swatch sets)     “Polartec Series 200 is a mid-weight, non-pilling, double-faced fleece from Malden Mills/Polartec LLC. Made of 100% Dacron Polyester. It’s light, non-absorbent, and wicks moisture, dries quickly and retains body heat even when wet.”
“How does it work? The 100% polyester velour, pebbled, or shear ling surface create air pockets that trap air and retain body heat, providing outstanding warmth without weight. These fabrics off excellent breath ability and dry quickly.”

Polartec® 300     “Polartec(R) Series 300 is a heavy, non-pilling, double-faced fleece from Malden Mills. Made of 100% Dacron polyester. It’s breathable, wicking, dries quickly and retains body heat even when wet.”

I’m not affiliated with The Rain Shed or Malden Mills/Polartec.® I just appreciate their products.

I’ve also written on extreme weather here and here.

books that keep on giving

click to go to amazon listing

Summer heat is here ~ time for gentle thinking and reading rather than activity. And so this book has come out of hibernation.

Clambering languidly up on my soap box, herewith a favourite para for your consideration, or not, as you choose. . . 😉

“Like home economics, dressmaking is traditionally a womanly endeavor that can explode gender stereotypes. Scientists say that the average man has a better capacity to imagine a three-dimensional object than the average woman, but how can this be true of the dressmaker starting from scratch? She not only imagines the dress, she also makes a blueprint of the pieces to achieve the shape she wants and figures out the steps to put the whole thing together. Dressmaking is a form of engineering. And in order to make the final product look good from the outside, a dress is put together inside out. Show me a bridge builder who’s been asked to do that.” The Lost Art of Dress:The Women Who Once Made America Stylish, by Linda Przybyszewski, p. 282

And,

“…the American Association of University Women issued a report in 2010 about how to get more women to succeed in fields of study that were traditionally dominated by men: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics–the STEM subjects. One of their recommendations was to teach girls to work with their hands in grade school and junior high. They suggested encouraging them to draw and play with construction toys.” Ibid., pp. 282-3

Then she goes on to write about Mary Brooks Picken, who was weaving and sewing at five, founded a national mail order dressmaking school, authored decades of sewing books, and was the first woman trustee of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

I decided to check out details and found the report mentioned by Ms. Przybyszewski here.

The sections I felt specifically applicable to the quoted passages are cut & pasted below.

Typical summer heat and humidity, reminiscent of walking through warm treacle, has slowed me down enough to troll through happy memories of my own mechanical tendencies.

And to interesting blog posts written by many of you, Lovely Readers, who hack up patterns or design your own, clean and repair your own old and new machines, and share your experiences on-line with words and pictures.

Examples include Mel of The Curious Kiwi and Linda of Nice dress! Thanks I Made It!!.

At $100 or more per service, I sure clean and oil my machines regularly, and have been known to take out screws and clean a few gears.

What about you?

Ever thought about yourself as an engineer? Know anyone you’d consider an engineer!

off topic: reducing photo file size for online use

is this a big file or a little file? compare them!
is this a big file or a little file? compare them!

Perhaps because yours truly started with the old Apple iWeb in ’08, before progressing to WordPress blogging, I discovered early on there’s a little program called iPhoto that comes pre-loaded on Macs.

Its less technical than Photoshop, so a quick and easy way to alter photos before publishing on whatever platform you use. And it sits on your platform, not someone else’s (under someone else’s idea of “security” 😉).

 

One of the handy-dandy things it can do is reduce the size of your photo file. I went hunting for this because I was a mite concerned about on-line photo theft. Yep. Even way back then.

Smaller photo size means photo quality is also reduced. Not a good thing if you want to print an enlargement, or to re-use a stolen pic in huge highway signage (it’s happened!).

  • Smaller file size = Fewer potential thefts/mis-use.
  • Smaller file size = Doesn’t bulk up your online storage (i.e., your WordPress Library).

My current WordPress Library capacity = 8%. That’s eight.
Notice any quality issues with my photos? There’s a tiny test up top for you!

I discovered, and continue to use, an easy method for decreasing MB photo files into under 100 KB photo files that look just as nice on-line. And yes, all the huge files of photos are stored off- and/or on-line, depending on age & whether or not I choose to archive them.

[Sorry I can’t recommend a free programme for non-Mac users, but betcha some Lovely Readers can . . . please enlighten us in the Comments – THANK YOU!]

iPhoto basic: get ‘em in, reduce ‘em, get ‘em out
add photos: Either download directly from your camera or use this command string:

File/Import to Library/pop-up screen to choose which & where files to Import are located/click Import.

[In iPhoto there are organisational choices for how you want to organise your photos. Personally, I organise using Events, which I label by years. There are also options for location & facial recognition, which I don’t use.]

export smaller file photos: Click on photo(s) to download, then use this command string:     File/Export/window pops up & I use JPG/Medium/Medium Size/Use filename/ click Export/window pops up asking for where you want photos to go/click OK.

And that’s how I don’t fill up my online WordPress Library.

Hope it all makes sense, Lovelies, and you soon have all worries behind you!

Please ask questions or provide answers below. And don’t forget to give a guess as to which of the photos is the larger file!

sunday sevens #43

freezer-paper“What,” you might ask, “is so special about freezer paper & crackers?”

Nothing.

Except I had no source for either until Friday. Yippee!

We who sew know freezer paper is great for tracing dressmaking patterns. It’s sturdy enough to write on, you can iron it, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than anything else.

My lack thereof was crimping both use and storage of my PDF patterns.

You know what I’ll finally be able to do this week!

I should also explain that an early Christmas box arrived from my sewing bestie, Samantha. Needless to say, I picked up the phone and we had a long natter whilst I was unwrapping things. (Yes, I tried to wait, but it’s been such a difficult time I needed an early holiday.) Have included some of her lovelies below.

Here’s some of the other things that happened last week ~ as my contribution to Natalie’s Sunday Sevens. If you’d like to find out more, just check out her site.

 

 

when nature runs amuck…

snow in chicagoDire weather is forecast for the U.S. East Coast – frozen variations on the recent U.K. floods.

Whilst washing & coring apples, hard-boiling eggs, and in general preparing for some meals without the aid of heat, I wondered what you lovely readers keep in your own pantries for such occasions.

It would be lovely if I had a fire-pit, or a fireplace, but I don’t. And, alas, I don’t can my own anything.

I do have a manual can opener and cans of cooked chicken, beans, and a few other items.

Now that I think about it, a good beef pastie might be just the thing for such occasions. But right now, I’ll be pleased if I’ve the energy to make up a small batch of scones. 😀

What do you have for such occasions?

PS/ If you don’t hear from me for a few days, you’ll know why.  😉

symbols of independence

SYM”BOL, n. [L. symbolum; Gr. with, and to throw; to compare.] … An emblem or representation of something else.

i remember how thrilled i was to purchase this used machine years ago ~ it gave me the freedom to sew knit fabrics & rolled hem edges & it was sheer bliss!
i remember how thrilled i was to purchase this used machine years ago ~ it gave me the freedom to sew knit fabrics & rolled hem edges & it was sheer bliss!

 

 

 

detail feet
additional feet give me more flexibility in what can be accomplished with less effort… when i learn how to use ’em!
ad
this vintage ad is reprinted inside my early 20th century book of pattern instructions by Mary Brooks Picken.

 

another great tool for independence ~ and understanding more about how your machine(s) function! used it on my former machine & saved $ on trips to the repair shop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on Mary Brooks Picken’s The One Hour Dress booklet here.

 

WordPress Weekly Challenge

Ailsa’s travel theme, independence