Tag Archives: patterns

Catching up … and RED!

Crochet ‘s been the main focus this week, although a couple of happy packages did arrive. They need to be washed, PDF patterns sorted – the usual details.

Plymouth Encore Worsted #451, Green Gremlin, 75% poly, 25% wool.

Meanwhile, I’ve tapestry needle in hand joining the two sections of my shawl. Two sections? Considering past experience, I was leery of managing a wide expanse of a new-to-moi stitch.

Roaming around a yarn shop last week I kept thinking I wanted a red hat for next winter, but a tomato red, not crimson.

Plymouth Chunky Merino Superwash, Pumpkin Spice, #131 (washes beautifully).

Adobe is my color-range, so when I spotted the last two skeins of a superwash wool, they jumped into my basket.

Why Red? The last couple of months there’s been a Germany-based Red Dress campaign over on IG. Think of it as a metaphor to encourage older women to do or wear “their red” to become more visible in today’s world.

Possibly you’ve also heard of the #SewOver50 tag on IG. Red Dress, or rotesKleid in German, is greatly supported by #SewOver50.

The idea has been catching on all over. Eventually yours truly saw it, and having explored it a bit, decided to share some English links with you Lovely Readers.

What’s with all the red?

This is the German website for the Festival that runs through 31 May. There are already two magazines available in German & English on the site. Just scroll down to find them. The mags have articles from specialists that I’ve found very thought-provoking.

RotesKleid has also been mentioned on a Sew Organized Style podcast. That’s a series of 20-min. English interviews with sewists from around the world, hosted by Aussie sewist Maria (Velosews). Maria also interviews members of the SewOver50 community.

One of the founders of rotesKleid is Lindy of Stokx Patterns.
She’s an Australian in Berlin that I heard on this podcast, and have become a fan of her PDF patterns (here).

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to explore & click a link or two. If you do, please feel free to share your thoughts. Meanwhile, think RED!

❤️ 🧶 👠 🧣 🌹 🎈 📕 ❤️


Sewing sources . . .

Thanks to a friend, I’ve been watching the many fabrics carried by a quilting company, Hawthorne Supply Co. , plus I’ve a new-to-me pattern company to share.

Sometime last year Hawthorne started offering different fabrics instead of just quilting cottons. When I discovered they stocked a couple of solids in french (French?) terry, which I’d never tried, I was hoping they might make cozy late winter trousers. So . . . .

Finally I took the plunge and ordered some olive French terry, plus a medium weight cotton knit with a design in olive. Although they weren’t advertised as matching, I thought they might (being from the same manufacturer). So I took a chance.

What do you think?!

I washed the terry (on the right), which is lighter weight than I’d hoped. But not having seen or felt a French terry, I can’t judge. It does have good stretch for trousers, but I’m now thinking of a longish skirt instead.

The scissors fabric was labeled as a medium weight knit, but again, there’s no other indication of weight, and I haven’t laundered it yet.

Both selvedges are almost 2.5″ each, but the print itself is the full 58″ I’d ordered.

Overall, I’m pleased with the colors, and have revised my plan: This’ll be a late Spring/Summer/Early Autumn outfit instead of Winter.

Such is life in the Age of Online, eh? 🤪 Moving on, am thinking about red. . . . . . he-he-hee!

Here’s why – Over on IG there’s a very active international sewing group of thousands of women & men, #SewOver50, with many “challenges” to take part in, or not, as you choose. One of the challenges involves wearing red….

If you’re interested (and maybe not using IG) below are several online locations where you can get more information.

Australian pattern maker Lindy, of Stokx Patterns, who lives & works in Berlin, seems to be taking the lead with RED, and she’s working closely with the folks at #SewOver50, on IG. Check out Lindy’s website for some unique patterns, and see her blog for more about RED. She wrote~

“On a serious note it is about being visible and being worthy. This is just a safe space to step out of your comfort zone. It is also a very great reason to have a sewalong.

Please feel invited.

There is no pressure,

You don´t even have to make a red dress… just something a little bit braver than usual.

Even then, if you don´t have time you can still like, share and cheer on from the side lines.”

  • Roteskleid (Means Red Dress in German, but there’s also English text).
  • I discovered both whilst listening to a podcast from SewOrganisedSyle‘s Maria Theoharous, an Australian. Scroll down the linked page. There are two podcasts of approx. 20 min. each & they explain more. Below them you’ll see the RED announcement. And in case you’re interested…
  • Lindy has some great patterns on her web site… I’m hoping to get to the top version of The Hacker Dress soon. 🤞🤞

❤️ Happy Weekend, Lovelies! ❤️

Sunday a’ready?!

Looking at previous posts it’s really been busy weeks around here, but not quite the busy that equates to lots of blog posts, if you know what I mean.

I’ve managed to get 4 pattern PDFs sent off & returned on A0-sized paper, and the one with the most pieces is now cut out. I’m so fortunate to be able to do it this way, but I really admire all the sewists around the world who don’t have a choice.

Rather than write about sewing plans, here’s a wee update on what’s actually happening – which is crocheting. It’s crocheting, because it requires little prep & takes up minimal space. I can grab it for 10 minutes & put it down for 3 days. Plus I can listen to an audio book on Libby whilst doing it. And this stitch pattern is sooo relaxing!

Yes, this is a lighter green than in photo below. I’ve just started the second skein, & currently the piece is 24in/61cm long & growing.

Some History — I’d been looking for another crochet project and thought a soft, warm shawl would be a good thing to have. But before I could get onto Ravelry, my three sisters & I had a Zoom convo.

Talking about current projects, I mentioned looking for a shawl pattern. Sis3 mentioned a crocheter on YouTube she really likes. I got his (yeah! men crochet too!) URL and am just as enthusiastic as she. Check out his Easy Fall Scarf for Beginners.

Yes, I know a scarf is not as wide as a shawl. I have plans . . . 😉

Yes, the current green is lighter than the darker green here, but yarn is the same Plymouth Encore, 75% acrylic/25% wool & washable! My gold ski cap is the same yarn.

silent Sunday ~ NOT!

After a friend found my real sewing machine in the bottom box in the farthest corner of storage, I’m contemplating sewing clothes again! Maybe even those two tops I cut out in September, when I discovered the used machine I’d hoped would like knits didn’t.

That was so discouraging I gave up thinking about sewing, which was almost easy because there have been other irons in the fire which I’ll reveal later. Besides, as every sewist knows, once the stars & the right machine are in place – we’re back in business!

Time to gather up the PDF patterns purchased before the move, see if PDFPlotting had changed, and send down an order for printing. As you can see, they’re just back yesterday . . .

Four lovely NEW patterns to cut out ! ! !

Let the games SEWING begin!


With almost a whole ball of yarn left over from my ski cap, I decided to make a little neck warmer – something I use quite frequently when whatever top I’m wearing doesn’t have a collar.

(Note to self: Next fleecy top needs to have a collar. Maybe another LB Pullover? There’s that long piece of navy fleece I currently use to keep my legs warm. Hmmm .. . . ..)

Meanwhile, cogitations on a wee scarf . . .

Happy Tartan Day!

The Fashion History Museum‘s monthly newsletter landed in my In-Box this morning and first item of business was announcing today is National Tartan Day. As Wiki has it,

“Tartan Day is a North American celebration of Scottish heritage on 6 April, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. It originated in Canada in the mid-1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s. In Australia, a similar International Tartan Day is held on 1 July, the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan.”

Thought I’d pass that along in case anyone has some tartan in their closet. 😉 But if not . . . . .

Image from Great Scot https://greatscotscotland.com/

You may have already seen this on other social media sites, but if not, check out Great Scot, the company that’s made a new plaid in honor of Ukraine, and is busy weaving more yardage for all the orders they’re getting. From their home page:

“With every single Ukraine Forever tartan item we make, sell and ship we will donate funds to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, run by the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee.

“We also have a donation option on our checkout page; we will match the value of any donation made up to £20.

Thank you.”

The new tartan has been named the Ukraine Forever Tartan, and it’s beautiful! Click over to the company for a video to see it being woven.

Now back to the Cambridge, Ontario Fashion History Museum

They’re a lovely smallish museum housed in an old post office building, and have some interesting things to exhibit. (Ever heard of bead strings? 😲 Me neither. Imagine all those antique beeeeads. . . .)

Today’s addition to their YouTube collection gave me several new ideas for some of my own pieces – more repair/recycle/up-cycle! All I need is time to get to them all! If you’re curious, look for the 38 minute interview with Carol Campbell.

Psss . . . . . just in case you’re wondering about that pile of giant paper. It’s been reduced to 5 neat piles of pattern pieces, scraps tossed, and planning begun. 😅

Yes, I know there are only 4 piles. The 5th got cut out after this piccie. Reeeally!

🌻 💕 🇺🇦 💕 🌻


I decided to hoover my mattress the other day. No forethought. No reason.  

“Hoovering” is a British term for vacuuming, but I’m claiming it’s kosher for me, too, because I own one.

It came with a miniature suction roller attachment. They claim it’s for hoovering up pet hair or soft furnishings. (No, it’s not recommended for use on pets, even if some owners are tempted.)

I spent most of the day washing bed linens, putting pillows in the dryer to refresh them, just getting on with it and never changing out of my jammies.

(Don’cha love those days when you give yourself permission to just do the work and not worry about getting dressed ?)

Mind, I did do all the crockery washing up, proper morning ablutions and such, but I sooooo wished I could ‘a been pegging out in the sunshine and fresh air.  Ahhhh . . . . .

About mid-afternoon the thought came that I was getting on with something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and I should be a happy chapess. 😳 What might encourage the feeling?

The Stitch Sisters! The YT gods put up a 2-part Autumn/Winter pattern review from 2020 – their COVID collection of comfy clothes. Perfect! It’s never to early to think about cold weather togs!

Comfy is still the vibe I’d be going for, so I settled down for a very late clean-out-the-fridge lunch with The Sisters.

(They’re really partners who started a sewing business together, and both also have teens and hubbies — none of which applies to moi. But working from home is working from home, and so is comfort! (Plus, their choices aren’t so laid back you’d be under suspicion if you risked a quick trip for take-out.)

Plus — and this is a BIG plus — I got several great ideas for easy crochet patterns for Autumn/Winter, and now have a great free sweater pattern to find yarn for: The Habitat Cardi by Make Do & Crew. (Note to self: Check pattern directions & Ravelry reviews first — would I reeeally make it? Yeeees!)

I had no idea Agatha Raisin (on telly) had continued over in Blighty, and their fourth season is in the works now. 😱 😱 😱

Where have I BEEN????

Not checking BBC, that’s for sure. As I type, series 2 is winging it’s way to me and I plan a bit of binging as soon as it hits my mail box.

Have been test-wearing my Autumn tablecloth top but cannot decide if I’d be comfortable wearing it out. It’s shorter than my usual well-below-waist length.

That’s very cooling inside, and should make it ideal for outside. . . except I keep thinking that if air can flow in freely…… so can 🦟 🦟🦟


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 . . . . . 🥵

2021, continued — or, Can I stop career dressing?

Diaries by paperblanks – my latest now in use.

I knew during the 2019-2020 winter that I needed to sew up some winter clothes a basic winter wardrobe, but I had an intuition to put it on hold. (It was a short, warm winter 😉.)

After decades of dressing professionally — whatever that means — my fabric and pattern collections mirrored that style. Meanwhile, I was working from home, trying to ramp up on-line diction & coaching sessions, and living a more relaxed life style.

Last March the rest of the world reluctantly joined me.  My resistance to more casual styles started to crumble. So did everyone else’s.

By November the wonderful world of indie pattern designers were churning out more appropriate patterns, and smart U.S. fabric stores were bypassing the post office for UPS or FedEx. BUT: Would I go the PDF route?

For me, everything started to coalesce when Love to Sew aired an October podcast, Sewing Loungewear. Then Vogue Fabrics had a quick fleece sale, PDFPlotting announced a big PDF pattern printing sale, and several indie pattern companies also announced sales.

Resistance fled.

3 of 4, washed (brown’s drying). The top navy (& brown) are for pants, gold & green (below gold) are for tops.

Thus, I find myself with 4 pieces of nice, soft and cuddly fleece for pyjama-style tops & bottoms, and a couple other pieces for spring makes. Heaven knows I’ve already got enough rayon for hot weather wear.

Now I’ve gotta run . . . there’s an LB Pullover pattern needing glue stick attention, and a Talvikki, and I need to consult my jacket pdf pattern pile . . . oh, and get those muffins done for Friday’s Virtual Tea Party. You’re all invited!

See you then . . . . . I hope! 😘



silly Saturday

Remember this Thursday’s Virtual Tea! That half-eaten plain scone is from Mrs. Beeton’s book. Recipe to follow ~

It’s that time of year and I, for one, am a bit busy. How about your good selves?

Join me for Virtual Tea this week and we can talk!

Over here, our postal peeps are done in… A few small bits of fabric were sent from Georgia at the end of November and are still “in transit.” Good thing they aren’t anything for the holiday.

Earlier in December several pattern companies had sales, so I got   busy ordering PDFs, then downloading the files to send off to PDFPlotting for printing.

Because of the C problem, my apartment complex’ office can’t receive oversize packages. (Patterns come rolled in a long box, not folded flat.)

Remembering that, I called PDFPlotting and asked about a better way to ship. Got an answer right back with an alternative (UPS) for  only $2 more. Well worth it — no hassle getting them right to my door in 2 days. Phew!

Then Vogue Fabrics sent word they were having a short-but-sweet fleece sale. I realised my winter wardrobe was getting is threadbare, assessed the new patterns, and ordered fleece. After the dust sorta settled I ordered again.

The day I realised the Atlanta cotton wouldn’t arrive this week  BOTH Vogue orders arrived. Talk about a Happy Dance!  The last night of the sale I decided to order a bit more . . . . . .

What can I say… it’s been a tough year.  😀


macro Monday

You’ll never guess what this is . . .

. . . so I’ll put it down the bottom of this.

Lots has been happening over here, but not much sewing. With rellies close to some of the California fires (more & more contained every day now), and others receiving Laura’s heavy rains, it’s been eventful.

I shan’t mention what else’s been going on as there’s already too much repetition. Suffice to say just reading headlines is enough to set one back.

Got it glued together and cut out. The pattern, that is. Still debating the fabric . . . but the cutting table got cleared off so it can proceed!

How some ever, Helen (of Helen’s Closet Patterns) just put out a free pattern for joining (or rejoining) her mailing list.

It’s the Luna blouse pattern, and is super fast to whip up.

Depending on the size & fabric width, it can take less than a yard of knit fabric, and looks cool and breezy. Perfect for our hot & humid summers (typically well into October).

Received my first issue of Sewn magazine, a U.S. publication (they ship internationally!), and am thoroughly amazed by all it contained.

my SEWN magazine – LOVE these hats!

The cover story is about a pair of independent Black men who make bespoke unisex hats up in Washington, D.C. I want one soooooooooo bad!!!

Lots still to do so this will be short. Hope everyone is perking up a bit – maybe with cooler weather. Sigh… at least we’ve got lower humidity for of couple days.

 . . . . . Top’s a photo taken of a NEW box of ice cream just delivered from a local store. . . No, I didn’t eat any. 😱