Tag Archives: pockets

thread chicken & pockets

For those who don’t know what the heck the title means, let me explain.

Among sewing. knitting and crocheting enthusiasts, playing thread chicken involves wondering whether you’ve enough thread to complete a specific task or project.

In the case of the above, it was a pocket. Or two…

There appears to be a difference between the colour of the pockets and the shorts in the second photo, which is an error I couldn’t sort out with the lighting. (More about those shorts here.)

The pockets really are the same fabric as the shorts – a heavy stretch denim fabric from my Chicago Collection (a.k.a., Vogue Fabrics). It’s the lining in the first photo that’s different – a lightweight rayon that in it’s former life was the top of a well-loved rayon denim dress (DKNY V1236) that might become a skirt, but the jury’s still out on that.

Speaking of pockets, I ran into some interesting history whilst reading one of Lizzie’s (The Vintage Traveler) blog posts. In the pockets article she lists The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

“Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege, and not just in evening wear. In her 2017 doctoral dissertation, “The Gendered Pocket: Fashion and Patriarchal Anxieties about the Female Consumer in Select Victorian Literature,” Samantha Fitch made the case that a sexist history of oppression is behind the dearth of pockets. Without pockets, women were traditionally dependent on men for essentials—like money. Ms. Fitch wrote, “Women’s pockets, in general, are smaller than men’s pockets, less numerous, or simply non-existent. Possibly worst of all, many times women find that their pockets are actually faux pockets.”

Think about it for a minute: “Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege…”

Might that have had something to do with my adding pockets to this pair of shorts, something I’d been procrastinating doing for months . . . . .


🍂 it’s friday ❣️ 🍂

Lots of reading/listening and a bit of sewing going on here at Chez CnS, with colder weather (YEAH!!!) ushering in last weekend’s time change, and again this weekend.

Results of my thimble experiments are in and not good. The Medium is too big for my finger. Whaaaaaaaa! 😣 However, I’m hoping they will not be unused for long. . . .

FYI: A Size Medium thimble may fly off your finger if a tape measure wrapped snuggly around your thimble finger’s digit is smaller than my 1-7/8″ digit. Not written in stone, because fingers are different with different amounts of taper, and differing styles in hand sewing. Just saying Mediums flew off my finger. 😉

The new “ergonomic” seam ripper is fine, but I’ll probably wrap something around its’ too-slippery handle as my hand slides down it towards the metal. I keep having to move it back up into my hand. The handle is longer and thicker than others, but other than that, ergonomic it ain’t.

An updating project to change the pockets on my only denim skirt was completed. The skirt got lots of winter wear when I lived farther north. (Be aware that if you’re out and about in snow in a skirt this long, the bottom of your skirt may get wet.)

Snow isn’t a problem down here so I left the length for now, but those pockets bothered me. I took them off, adjusted the linings so the white didn’t outline them, removed the cute buttons, and discovered my phone fits with room to spare. Unfortunately, boots won’t get worn with this skirt in this climate. Not cold enough. 😪

A huge Thank You to whomever recommended the Louise Penny books, and my apologies for not remembering who it was. I’ve listened to the first, Still Life, and the 13th, Glass Houses. I listened to the third, The Cruelest Month, the week of Hallowe’en. Perfect timing. 👻 🙀

It is wise to start with the first book, as a Lovely Reader suggested—whose name I also don’t recall so please forgive me. Although I was fascinated and horrified by the subject of the more recent Glass Houses, there were a few things I didn’t understand because I didn’t know past history; however, that did not detract as far as I could tell.

The 13th, Glass Houses, includes an interview with Ms. Penny and the voice and stage actor Robert Bathurst, who took over reading after voice and stage actor Ralph Cosham’s death. More on their creative approaches to writing and acting in another post.

Any Elizabeth Peters fans amongst you, Lovely Readers? Does famed Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson ring any bells? The last of that series, The Painted Queen, read by the incomparable Barbara Rosenblat, also came home for a rollicking listen. (click the pic to link to site)

Author Barbara Mertz has herself gone to that Great Pyramid in the Sky, so this story was completed by Joan Hess, as mentioned at the start of the audio book. As Ms. Rosenblat came to the end, I must admit regretting there will be no more.

The first recorded book I ever listened to was read by Ms. Rosenblatt, and she’s thoroughly spoilt me for anyone not up to her standards. If you like to listen whilst you sew/crochet/whatever, you can’t go wrong with something she’s done.

Today’s Friday and I hope everyone has great things planned for their weekend. I know I do… fingers crossed… 🍂 🤣 😂 🤣 🍂

unpicking pockets (aka, refashioning)

This has become a somewhat muddled accumulation of maybe too many things, and if I ever get all the old links linked properly it will be a minor miracle, which is why I’ve been putting off writing, but here goes . . .

Sewing terminology:
  • Refashion – To make changes to an existing garment, such as cutting a dress to make a skirt, or blouse; or combining pieces of fabric from several different garments to make a new garment.
  • Seam ripper – A small tool used to remove stitches.
  • Unpick – To unpick is to carefully remove stitching, frequently, a seam or seams.

This summer—still considering it’s summer as we’re still having some 80 degree days— I’ve been doing more refashioning than new fashion.

Must say its felt like an obstacle, like an unending pile of repairs to be completed before going on to the fun of sewing something new.

Thus, it’s been surprising to read online that refashioning is so current. What? I’m on-trend?! 😳

What’s being/been chopped up? Basically, dresses made roughly five years ago. I hadn’t been inclined to wear them at all this summer, and needed more tops, so . . .

Also several hems were raised from the waist instead of re-hemming as there were hem features I didn’t want to disturb. Oh, and several pockets got added to existing items. Plus two pockets removed from a dress-that’s-now-a-blouse.

Then along came Love to Sew’s Refashioning podcast, including great suggestions I can use for a certain very holey linen knit. (Intentionally misspelt because it’s faaar from “holy.” 🥴)

Do popover and at least scroll through all the wonderful examples listed. Just looking at them should give you ideas. It did for me.

Then The Fold Line included a very intriguing BBC programme about forecasting trends…

“When the distinguished trends forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort provides her vision of the future in her General Trends Books, her pronouncements are eagerly awaited by those working in the worlds of fashion and design. She talks to Mary about the reasons behind the one forecast she’s made that the fashion world hasn’t wanted to hear – Fashion is dead. However it’s not all bad news as she shares her thoughts about the trends she thinks will be influencing what we’ll be wearing in the very near future…”

Her web site mentions concepts of forgiveness, understanding, comprehension, and compassion.

Li Edelkoort: “We need to trust our instincts to build a better future, full with genuine love towards ourselves and others, even those at fault. . . Desire needs to be embedded in empathy.”

In keeping with her thoughts, I do feel good about my summer’s very different kind of sewing, partly because some old favourites are “new” again, and combine with other pieces for more use.

Now for the refashioning thus far . . .

The rayon top (used to be a dress) works well with the cut offs made several summers ago. I’d like to make another set or two like these, as they are in constant rotation. (Click pic to go to 2013 dress.)

This green cotton print was originally made in 2013 and got a lot of wear. When I decided to cut it off I cut it a bit longer, because of the neckline gathers. They make the waist wider.

That meant I needed to cut into the two side seam pockets. That meant I needed to unpick those pockets. (Now the title makes sense. 😉) However, that wider waist is making me a tad nervous because it can get windy here… we shall see how it works.

The black linen skirt I’ve paired with this is one of the skirts shortened from the waist to save the skirt vent. It was originally a full length RTW dress I cut into a skirt and blouse. (Click pic to see original green dress; no photo of original RTW dress.)

Phew. If you’ve made it all the way you deserve a treat. Your choice! I’m opting for dark chocolate… 🍫

what i did on vacation

Mr. Wabbit from Carmel, CA discovered almost 30 years ago YIKES!
Mr. Wabbit from Carmel, CA
discovered almost 30 years ago

In addition to time spent with my ol’ buddy, Mr. Wabbit, and digging out warmer weather clothes, I finally made time to add pockets to my fav winter denim skirt, still in use.

click to see Lizzie’s inspiration piece
click to see Lizzie’s inspiration piece

My inspiration was this post from Lizzie, at The Vintage Traveler.  Look at those huge, angled pockets – I just love ’em!

For some reason I kept visualising my version with turned down flaps. When actually cutting out, just eye-balled them according to available scraps. Used my trusty pale blue-on-white sheeting for the lining, allowing some of the lining to show.

But those ickle flaps looked lonely, and wouldn’t stay flapped.  To the button stash. where I re-discovered these two, purchased only last year. New!

They were discovered whilst mega-fabric-shopping with dear friend Karen, and I must thank her again for sending me over to her Joann’s huge button section, where these were  discovered.

Friends who sew have such great ideas!

edited to place both photos at top

❤  ❤  ❤

the library tote

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Ever since I saw this fabric on Lovely Reader Samantha’s blog I’d thought what a great tote bag it would make to take to the library.  Then she surprised me by send over a metre of it – wow!

Using this video from the wonderful Missouri Quilt Company, another great find by Samantha, I took time to decide what features I wanted in the tote ~ pockets! ~ and finally put scissors to cloth.

I love it!


ennui pinny

I’ve been looking for the quintessential (for me) apron pattern for some time, having none in my pattern stash.  Unless you count the dim, distant memory of using a yard of 36” wide cotton that was my first sewing project in school home economics class a bazillion years ago.  Ugh.  Talk about uninteresting projects, all of which would make it a very unlikely project for this month’s  Vintage September on the Monthly Stitch.  Right?  Not necessarily…

“Vintage” allowed too much to choose from, and uncooperative weather left me totally undecided.  Until last week, when I stumbled upon some free patterns online at fabric.com.  One, from a man on staff, was a pattern for an apron his grandmother had made and he contributed it in her memory.  Hmm.  Remembering my apron need, I realized it might just do…..

However, I did make a few revisions, and the method for cutting it out deserves a post all it own.  Click back tomorrow for that once!


The neckline had to be lowered.  Notice in earlier photos it looks almost V-necked.  Once I started doing all the edge stitching I quickly decided the V wouldn’t work, so I modified it.  However, i did stick with rolling the lighter side of the fabric over to form a tiny edging on the floral side.

I also made the pockets wider, and repositioned them according to my own arms’ length.  Decided to get a bit frilly with one pocket on the floral side, giving it an eyelash trim, but decided that  really didn’t show against the eye-watering print, so didn’t add to the other side.  The beige side’s pockets I left widened but plain.  The pattern called for self-fabric lining for these patch pockets, and the cottons were heavy enough, so I didn’t both to use any interfacing anywhere on the pinny.

In addition to lowering the neckline, I lengthened the shoulder area slightly and cut it into more of a strap and omitted both button & popper closures.  I felt both might be a little wearing on my shoulders.  Also omitted them on the side closures, as I didn’t want to have to fiddle.

Bows are nice, and I do like them as long as they’re not tight around me middle, so I decided to cut my own generous width for the left side closure. I cut 4″ strips as long as the leftover fabric was, hemmed them all the way round, and angled the bottoms.  When placing them in between the 2 sides I made 2 pleats, pointing them downward so no flour could get into the folds.  That made them about 2″ wide.  At first I considered making the ties reversible, too, but decided the doubled fabric would be too thick and heavy for a perky bow.

Everything fits, I can get into & out of it easily, and now I have a pinny!  The cutting process will follow tomorrow – how to fold thrice and cut once!

summer sheath – puzzle answered

symmetrical pleats!
symmetrical pleats!

Samantha, of Sewin Love came the closest to the correct answer.  She wrote…

“I believe your pleats are pinned in the ‘wrong’ direction, looking at the pattern looks as though they should be folded in opposite direction. EG left to right rather than right to left?”

Remember, that pattern piece was placed on the fold, and I should have had a mirror image of the pleats when I opened it up.  But I didn’t, when I took that photo, because I was busy not thinking about symmetry, and took the photo.

Later, before sewing down those pleats – thank goodness, no unpicking! – I realized the sides weren’t symmetrical, or each side folded towards the center.  I re-pinned one side, then sewed down the pleats and basted across the top.

Dear Readers, did I present the puzzle adequately, so you had a fair chance at the answer?   Be honest, please!!!  I didn’t intentionally mean to trick anyone, and apologize if you’re feeling I did.

Thank you to all who wrote in a comment!

a wee bit more sewing bee!

from the BBC-2 web site
from the BBC-2 web site

Note-This shoulda been a monday or tuesday post, but was too busy to put it up – apologies for not feeling like writing this week, & saving them all up for today – my bad On a brighter note, you’ve the whole weekend to catch up.   he-he!

There’s just something about the camaraderie all 8 contestants displayed that’s knocked a big hole in many people’s hearts around the globe.  If you’re one of those with withdrawal pangs, here’s a wee bit more detail. And lots more piccies!

❤❤  Faithful Readers know I’m a fan of Debi over at My Happy Sewing Place.  Her partner, David, has written a beautiful guest post of his observations of the show, having accompanied Debi to Lauren’s Grand Opening last weekend, when many of the contestants also came to help out. As a man who doesn’t sew, he had time to observe and reflect on what was happening. It’s inspiring reading!  ❤❤

the sewers, in alpha order

  • Ann is on Ravelry, and has ventured into quilting
  • Jane’s gorgeous handbags are available online
  • Lauren’s shop sells online & has just opened in Birmingham, U.K.
  • Mark & his wife spend their evenings making historic costumes for themselves
  • Michelle is a young mum & makes unique fashions for herself & her baby
  • Sandra continues to sew for herself & her 3 daughters… and has started her own label
  • Stuart writes a quilting column for a monthly magazine, and holds quilting workshops around the U.K., including at Lauren’s store
  • Tilly is publishing her own patterns, has a very popular blog, and also does workshops at Lauren’s store

judges & presenter

  • May Martin has taught at Denman College (Women’s Institute Academy) since 1995
  • Savile Row’s Patrick Grant is a director of a bespoke menswear firm and has absorbed their high level of workmanship
  • Claudia Winkleman is well-known for hosting BBC programmes, including Strictly Come Dancing & The Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman

BBC-2 aired the programmes, and this is their site. Note that I’ve tried several times to view clips on their site and have only gotten to see 1 or 2.  Not certain if it’s because I’m not in England, or if the site was overloaded with requests to view.