Tag Archives: patterns

Happy New Year❣️

Has everyone survived the first week of 2020? I’m slooowly getting getting back to whatever currently masquerades as normal.

True to form, the weather here has turned unseasonably warm, and I’ve pulled out a very rustic wool from my collection.

I’m calling it rustic. Actually, the hand is scratchy, even after being washed and air dried. ( Oops, guess who forgot to finish those edges… 😖)

Showing it to a sewing buddy she immediately said it has great movement and I should make a coat to show that off. Maybe a swing coat, and she also suggested Deer & Doe’s Opium Coat.

Sunday I went hunting online. Do you know The Fold Line must have every pattern on earth listed, and at least half of them are coats? Try looking through 30 screens of 24 patterns each. 😳

I did discover several alternatives, including Folkwear’s Swing Coat, and their Hungarian Szur Coat.

But I’m having trouble visualising this rough, loosely woven fabric as anything other than a very casual longish A-line skirt and simple jacket. Something fairly loose but lined so the fabric isn’t against skin.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated❣️

All for now, except to wish you all the Very Best in the New Year! 🎉 🎉 🎉

new tools 😁

It was 85F last Sunday, with humidity high enough to make it feel like 90.

Needless to say, I decided not to work on flannel trousers. Am leaving that for the weekend, when a cold front traveling cross-country should arrive.

Instead, I completed a little sleeve lengthening project I’ve been meaning to get done for… um, several years. Ever since friend Ali sent over some gorgeousness from John Lewis haberdashery.

The jacket is a cotton linen made in 2013 from Folkwear’s Middy Blouse. It hasn’t gotten much wear despite my liking it very much. The weather just hadn’t cooperated, or I forgot about it, or whatever. I still need to re-sew those facings down more firmly, and then I’ll iron it.

Which brings me to hand sewing. I’d quite gone off that, but after reading Karen Ball’s The Little Book of Sewing (click the pic to go to the U.S. site) decided to try it again and realised several things. Mostly that I needed a proper thimble.

But what’s “proper?” Online research landed me on Karen’s blog, where I read fascinating comments about different kinds of thimbles for different kinds of hand sewing.

Since I only had two decorative thimbles sent by my dear Midlands friend (you know who you are, Lovely), and a too-large metal one, I decided it was time for some additions.

They arrived today, along with an ergonomic seam ripper and thread wax, both of which I’d been meaning to acquire.

Will report my thoughts, and there’s already another item I’m hunting. Will keep you posted. 😉

So, Dear Readers, any thoughts on thimbles?

what i didn’t do on my summer vacation

A couple of days into my impromptu Labor Day Week of vacation somebody decided it was time to pay a visit. Perhaps you’ve heard? A little thing called Dorian.

This is one dangerous, dithery dame. Definitely not to be taken lightly. Certainly not a dame to be invited into a sewing circle. So I had to drop a few plans to start prepping.

Thus, vacation is being “extended” until she decides to “make that turn” away from the coastline and hopefully into the total oblivion she so richly deserves.

My ickle sewing spot is positioned far enough off the coast to avoid a direct visit, if she makes that turn. Everybody cross your extremities, pleeze!

So. What have I planned to keep me occupied Thursday and Friday?

Those thoughtful Canadians, Caroline & Helen of Love to Sew had a great podcast last week about planning your dream wardrobe. If anybody needs that, I do.

A HUGE Thank You to you both!

As the eagle-eyed amongst you may observe, there’s also a PDF in that piccie, ready to be assembled and tried out. You know, in case one should have nothing to do.

🤣 L.O.L.!!! 🤣

Fingers & tootsies crossed, will be back with you shortly with a wardrobe report. Meanwhile, be safe, Lovely Ones. 😘 ❣️ 😘

PS/Mystery lovers, did you see this article? I can vouch for Tey as being extremely enjoyable… 😁

PPS/(My thanks to she-knows-who for printing. 😉)

connecting dots

I’d been wearing my dotted duster a few times and decided that the facings along the length of the front, although attached at the bottom, were still entirely too flappy. Time to get out the needle and thread and do a proper stitching all the way round.

So I did just that, whilst enjoying the third Jane Harper book, The Lost Man. Another Aussie mystery, set this time in the outback of Queensland. It was marvelous listening!

In case you’re interested, Harper has done a great 10 minute TED Talk on practical creativity, and it’s on the site.

I spent part of Saturday cutting out a 1998 OOP pattern, Butterick 5487, which I’d just seen over at Anne’s The Compulsive Seamstress. It immediately reminded me of a linen knit top I’d loved and wanted to replace. B5487 is close enough to the linen to have immediately caught my eye, and luckily saw a copy on Etsy.

In between that I finally started an early crochet pattern from Lucy at Attic24, and realized Sunday I was using half double crochet instead of double (U.S. terms). Oops. 🤭 Why I keep confusing these two stitches is beyond me.

Had quite a bit done but decided to frog it all out and start over. Glad I did and it’s progressing much faster as I’m now familiar with the first part of the directions.

Also on the sewing table is a black linen skirt, which I decided last week was too dowdy and needed to be shortened about three inches. The midi look I’d wanted just wasn’t working.

However, because I’d hacked an RTW maxi dress, it was the original hem. All I’d done was cut the dress at the waist, made a casing and inserted elastic. A quick fix.

But as I had a few more cd’s of The Lost Man to listen to I decided to keep the original hem and take the skirt up from the waist. Picking out that seam wasn’t as bad as I feared, and the skirt is on deck to get finished whenever I remember to try it on and measure exactly where to cut a bit more off.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week with decent weather. For those of us desperately wishing for the season to end, the solstice arrives tomorrow, and soon every day will start getting shorter (or longer if you’re south of the equator).

I knew I was forgetting something! Remember my peppermint stripe outfit from last week? It got worn this weekend, and a bit of work has been done to make it more, um, palatable.

The shoulder seams got hoicked up, which raised the arm holes and neck-—already high enough. I also did a 3″ slit on either side, using the side seams. If I feel inclined in the future, I’ll cut more binding and fix the arms.

The other fix is for the shorts. I realized they were a couple inches too long and started fiddling, then realized I should tighten the elastic waist… then realized if I did that I should consider chopping a couple inches off at the waist. That would raise the waist, the legs, and the crotch. Then I remembered adding extra to the top of the waist when cutting out… why, I don’t recall. Duh!

So there’s plenty to do round here. Wonder if I could find another fascinating audio book at the library…

tuesday’s tee

I am bound and determined to get this “muslin” tee shirt D.O.N.E.

The pattern is one brought from California, which means it’s older than dirt. And never made up till last week when I got out the camisole pieces and started measuring tissue fitting.

But my knit fabric is a bit younger… from several years ago when that last fabric store chain was closing. Sad day that.

Don’t know the fabric content of this knit, and seems like either side could be considered the right one.

I can never remember, do you? Does the knit curl to the right side, or the wrong?

Not gonna make any difference with this tee. As you can see, the piece on the left is now the wrong side.

Shorts to come, using my tnt Butterick 5432 pattern.

So what else is going on? I’ve been clearing off the cutting table.

Keeping me occupied whilst dealing with those piles of fabric was an Australian novel, The Dry, recommended by a friend. Not for the faint of heart is this one, chronicling a very small town way out somewhere in Queensland. I’ll pick up the second novel this week.

We’ve got a three day weekend coming up, so I’m getting ready. 😉

A good contrast is another Mitford novel, also on cd… 16 of them!… is To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon.

And the lovely translation of The Little Prince. Such a sweet story with plenty for adults to consider.

All for now, Lovelies! I have a boa constrictor to draw. . . .

so now its spring

Also known as Time for Contemplative Clear-Outs.

Uhm. . . sort of doing that. I did change around curtains in three rooms and am making attempts to decide which boxes must be saved and which can go. Hope that counts. 🙂

Honestly. Why do electronics companies want consumers to keep all their packaging? We don’t have unlimited storage space. And it’s not like we’re allowed to return/recycle gizmos for discounts on the latest model. Oye! 🙄

Don’t they realise adequate space must be allowed for Fabric and Pattern Collections? 🤨

Had been debating whether to use the free Peppermint wide leg trouser pattern or spend my all-too-few shekels on something else which I cannot now remember, so guess that’s sorted.

Then I saw Anne (Compulsive Seamstress) blogging about a new, great-looking jumpsuit pattern, Jadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory, and am now wondering whether to stick to what I already have (McCall’s 6083) or spend shekels on Jadie.

What to do? Hack existing pattern?? Add to the Collection??? Ahhhhh!!! 😱

And that brings up another perennial question — how much fabric is too much, and how many patterns are too many?

All has become Too Much for ickle moi. Will visit the scrap drawer to search for pockets and waistbands for navy flannels. ✂️✂️

Meanwhile, may your bobbins always be full! ✂️✂️

PS/ If you don’t hear from me again soon, send a search party. And lots of dark chocolate. hehehee! 😄

s-l-o-w knitting & sewing in summer heat!

knitting
Have become fascinated with this autumn yarn as it slowly evolves into different colours.

sewing
The shorts-that-aren’t (short, that is) are cut out and might even have a seam or two sewn by the time you read this. Took a gamble with the top of the pocket bags and made them from  blue cotton, left from last year’s shorts. Necessity was the mother of this, as there wasn’t quite enough of the red fabric. Using perennial fav B5432, with length added to use up the fabric.

Somewhere between photo program and WordPress I’ve photos of another cotton fabric cut out for a new toaster cover. (So mundane, but oh so looking forward to!)  Whilst making up the bed just now realised the remainder of that fabric might make a nice little table cover… Never know when inspiration may strike!

nigella’s on our telly
We’re seeing Nigella Lawson’s latest series, At My Table, over here on our PBS stations. In last  week’s episode (No. 4) she admitted – and showed herself using – her “sewing shears” to cut chives. Well! You should have seen the scissors – maybe 6 inches – and definitely not for fabric.  A small needlepoint’s tangle of threads would be more like it.

Clearly, the lady needs a good session with Sewing Bee peeps. I can see it now, can’t you? Nigella Brings Biscuits to Bee!

latest British library crime classics
Just finished reading Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon, which was very pleasant indeed. As Martin Edwards wrote in the Introduction, “For all the chill of the Christmas-time snow… there are repeated clues to Farjeon’s amiable personality in the good humour that shines through from start to finish.”

“Welcome back to the loving family,” she exclaimed. “I haven’t quite (Farjeon’s emphasis) given up my idea of a happy Christmas, David, but Peace and Goodwill have got to get a move on!”

Christmas or no, wouldn’t more Peace and Goodwill be lovely right about now?

Am awaiting Hay’s last and some say best book, not quite in the mail it seems… Don’cha hate it when you see a notice saying “we’ve shipped your books,” and when you click to see the anticipated delivery date the books are still at the bookseller’s?!

Thanks to Sandra at Wild Daffodil for recommending this week’s 15-Minute Drama, “Ground Control.” Several surprises at the end, what?!  (This is only available for a month, so listen now if you’re interested.)

other media
Friday’s Woman’s Hour (just before the Drama) included Aussie author Kathy Lette saying things like “women are each other’s human Wonder Bras—uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.”  Must say I hadn’t made that connection . . . . .

Friday night was also the “current” (as in what’s finally made it across the Atlantic) episode of The Great British Bake Off.

After Mary & Paul, there was a new program, The Food Flirts. Ever heard of The Brass Sisters? I hadn’t.

“Meet the Brass Sisters a.k.a. THE FOOD FLIRTS! Two passionate food explorers of a certain age on a mission to tackle their culinary bucket list…one bite at a time!”

“… We believe that a cookie is like a secret kiss between the giver and the recipient, and that chocolate is a necessary indulgence.”

With a good chocoholic attitude, what’s not to like?

 

yesterday’s squidgy package, or thought processes for summer clothes

Oh happy day!

A squidgy fabric package arrived yesterday from out West and made my week.

In the spirit of ‘when copping a plea, go for the gold,’ I’m blaming it on Mrs. Maile (a.k.a., Tanya Hughes).

Being much taken with the fabric she’d used in her post (previous link), I’d meandered across her conveniently provided link to her fabric source – The Confident Stitch.

As one does, I wondered what else they had, and wandered around a bit, eventually looking at all their barkcloth (or bark cloth). I was surprised to be more drawn to a different fabric, which made me pause, wondering why.

click to go to The Confident Stitch

Being thorough, I’d also noticed their stock of independent pattern makers, including the Closet Case’s Charlie Caftan that Tanya used for her barkcloth dress. Then I remembered seeing it several times last year on Karen Ball’s Did You Make That?

Fast forward a bit:  Having finally acknowledged the sad state of my summer frocks ~ 3 made at least 3 years ago ~ and also having resolved to remedy the situation, I’d contemplated enlarging my pattern stash. On that note, I spent some time reviewing both ladies’ posts on the Charlie Caftan (Karen made several).

Everything looked okay from my perspective, so I ordered the paper pattern, plus a couple of swatches, including that other barkcloth.

Oh yes, somehow a piece of cotton lawn got into that first squidgy package.  Which will be discussed at a later date because I decided it was a bit too sheer for a Charlie and I’d ordered the wrong yardage anyway.

#   #   #

Meanwhile time passed and because hot weather is arriving down here I was looking forlornly at my summer tops and sighing. Actually, doing a great deal of sighing, and wondering how to remedy. I had that lovely cotton lawn, which just needed matching thread… and a pattern…

Just to relax last Sunday (really!) I went browsing on The Confident Stitch site. Up popped a pattern sale: 25% off through 28 April (Saturday).

Divine Intervention!

Which is how the cotton lawn’s matching thread and Grainline’s Hadley arrived in yesterday’s squidgy package, along with that barkcloth, which very possibly will become a Charlie.

Do tell if I’m the only one making such convoluted decisions.

culottes and maybe a Grainline Farrow dress… and 2 sweet labels sneaked in!

P.S./ Almost forgot. A couple more swatches also arrived yesterday, which look like great next additions to the summer wardrobe. Final decisions in a bit…  you know how that goes.😉

phew!

Aside from the grand news about the Sewing Bee, it’s been fairly quiet round here, aside from furious crocheting during the news.

(We’re forgetting that little 3-day kitchen drain issue that “allowed” maintenance to buy a new tool. Some people are always glad to need a new tool.)

We had a recent spell of 80’s which didn’t exactly energize me. (Not the February spell, a March-April one.) Too uncomfortable to walk over and shop library shelves, I started re-reading from my meagre supply: the first Hodge book, Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence, M.C. Beaton’s excellent The Skeleton in the Closet, and Miss Read’s Village Diary.

Have also read Tanya Maile’s excellent 2-part tutorial on pattern grading. The first part is for grading up multi-sized patterns. The second is for mostly vintage one-size-only patterns.

anyone remember these?!

I’ve a certain 70’s Very Easy Vogue pattern crawling slowly up the To Do list, now I know Tanya’s second tutorial is the one to use. All-in-all, it doesn’t look too bad a thing to do, I write glibly, never having enlarged a pattern before.

(Further hints, suggestions, cautions, or dark European chocolate gratefully accepted.)

It would have taken a crystal ball to predict what’s happened with that bamboo tee shirt. Would you believe after half a season’s wear it’s pilling inside and out? (Edited to add: The pattern is called bamboo, but there doesn’t appear to be any in the fibre, unless it’s in the 30% rayon that’s been made from bamboo. See Comments for details.)

Seems any friction at all — draping a sweater on top or leaning against a sink — is enough to bring up piles of fluff.

I tried brushing them. Big mistake. That moved even more of the black piles onto the white and vice versa. Unless any of you  Lovely Readers has a magical solution, this is binned bamboo, along with remaining scraps.

Meanwhile somewhere I’ve got a black gauze duster started last summer. It just needs a sleeve,  front facings and a quick hem. . .

decided to play some more with this sleeve & added a cuff, but will remove as me thinks it’s a mite tooo long . . . . .

Hope everyone’s Last April Week is a lovely one.

Happy Sewing ! ! !

curing the monday blahs

click pic to go to photo on The Rain Shed site. the web site has the true colour – this is a bit dark.

It has been a nasty, gray, rainy Monday so I’ve holed up with my newest find: BBC’s A Stitch in Time and the presenter Amber Butchart.

U.K. Lovelies can view on their iplayer, but ‘usins’ everywhere else must resort to an alternate (youtube).

Having watched the second episode last night (they’re about 28 minutes each) I decided to start at the beginning and not get distracted…

But alas, lunch did it. Plus a growing list of Things To Do that will include a spot of long distance natter and tea with one of my Yorkshire friends. (The Atlantic is a bit of a drawback, but Edison and the internet make it easy.)

So what’s been laying on my sewing/cutting tables seems like forever, whilst my sewing mojo is MIA?

Up top it’s a crazy print from The Rain Shed bought last January & designated for exercise togs. Don’t laugh! My idea is more yogic so the trews will be very loose, and I’m using the renfrew pattern for the top. Again. (I’ll get it right eventually.)

Just to liven things up I got this tissue rayon knit cut last week, using the free Hemlock pattern

from Grainline.

wonderful soft tissue jersey with very subtle colours of navy & dark green

Granted, I’ve had this pattern ‘aging’ and I understand they withdrew then reissued it. This is probably the original. Heigh ho, we’ll give it a go.

Meanwhile, am enjoying these from last week’s mini-Galentine’s Day celebration and hope they brighten your Monday as well!.

Mwah-mwah!