Tag Archives: recycling

hoovering

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 🦟 🦟🦟

😳

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 . . . . .

😉

Hello, 😲 it’s Friday!

And it’s been long time no blog! But I’ve been keeping up by reading everyone else’s, even if commenting has been minimal.

Must admit to being a bit excited about an upcoming event that’s not sewing related. My nevvie is gradating this month with his Masters. However, there’s a wee fly in the ointment, so to speak, and that’s where this sewing peep comes in…

The wrinkled post-consumer plastic bottles need ironing. Photo by Sis2 & used with permission

It’s the robe, that august symbol of graduation. But this one also has another agenda: recycle & reuse. The tag inside the gown reads, “Made in USA from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”.

When cloth gets wrinkled it can be ironed in some fashion. But what about “… 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”? And that’s the prob.

Sis2 is at her wits’ end. She’s tried hanging it in the shower – no change. She’s repeatedly used a garment steamer, alternately spritzing with hot and cold water. Nothing. “Even dry cleaners in town won’t touch it,” she noted.

Earlier on she tried ironing what she now thinks was a similar material masquerading as a dress shirt. She said it “shredded.”

I’ve asked on IG and so far, no one’s written that they know just what to do. Any ideas you lovelies might have will be very warmly appreciated. Sis2, the one who felts & knits, sends her appreciation & thanks to all. And so do I!!

It’s been a trying last 10 days or so, attempting to get a decent bottle of milk. Sounds simple – right? But no . . .

First there was the totally wrong grocery order, followed by a same-day correct order. So far, so good – phew! But then I happened to look at email after dinner and discovered there was another identical order practically on its’ way.

Frantically I got it cancelled. Running low on milk a few days later I manufactured yet another grocery order for those special things only one store carried. That bottle of milk got squished and leaked all over the bottom of the bag.

Click a pic to enlarge

By this time I had used enough pantry items to make yet another grocery order, and that large bottle of milk arrived with no intact safety seal. So it got poured down the drain.

Today I finally received bottles of milk with intact safety seals, un-squished, and no leaks in sight.

Alleluia.

books
What else have I been doing, if not sewing up a storm?

Reading!

Yep, the itch to read the latest from Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series (The Spotted Dog) has been thoroughly scratched, and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. All the usual cast of characters are around, although Meroe was a bit quieter than in other volumes. (Was it you, Kate, who’s also a fan & recommended it? Thank you!)

Also tackled and enjoyed Erik Larson’s very lengthy but riveting The Splendid and the Vile — a practically minute-by-minute account of the first couple years of WW II as it unfolded for Great Britain. Must admit I hadn’t realised how quickly everything escalated against Britain, and how horribly long it took to get FDR to understand what was at stake. It reminded me of how precarious liberty still is.

I also did a second installment of Barak Obama’s Promised Land, and am about half way through the 800 pages. I borrow the version that he reads, as there’s so much nuance added by his inflections. Very enjoyable, but extremely detailed; enlightening, but with moments of dread, knowing what happened after his presidency. Am still very much in recovery mode from the last 4 years, and the gradually abating (🤞🤞) pandemic.

All for now — time to start relaxing as the weekend is here! What have you planned? I’ve already ordered pizza and salad so I don’t have to cook Sunday. Yippee! Might even have time for a stitch or two . . . 😆

Whatever your plans, be safe!

❤️ 💕 ❤️

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… 🍫

denim: 🥰 or ☹️ ???

Do you love denim?

Guess you could say I love the colour, but not the heavy fabric itself.

I’m all into soft and flowy fabrics. Perhaps part of my non-appreciation of denim is due to not seeing good quality denim fabric, but a lot of it is sheer ignorance. You can find anything on the web, but you gotta know what to look for, right?

So curiosity, and knowing I would get solid facts presented intelligently by women that know their fabrics had me listening to Love to Sew’s latest podcast on denim.

And I got all the info and links anticipated, plus a lovely surprise that had me looking at denim fabric, just out of curiosity, you understand… . . 😉

How long have I been a fan of Helen and Caroline, the hosts of Love to Sew? Probably not that long, considering they’ve been presenting a podcast a week for two years. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ! ! ! 🥂 💐 But I’ve done a lot of listening to older podcasts, and have recommended some to friends, too.

The photo (she said we could use it) is Helen wearing a dress she refashioned in 2016 from three pairs of her partner’s old jeans. Her blog post details how she did it. Definitely a woman who knows her way around some denim!

But the best news for denim lovers is Caroline (who owns Blackbird Fabrics in Vancouver) is doing a Denim Drop tomorrow. Yep. FRIDAY! (Now you know why I went browsing. hehehehee!)

Earlier this summer I ordered a bit of non-denim lusciousness from Blackbird but am caught in August’s intense heat so haven’t made it up yet. Blackbird’s U.S. shipping is good, and all you lovelies in U.K. and beyond should check their rates before automatically turning away.

Blackbird is a Canadian shop, and they know how to make it all happen for sewers around the world. Their packaging is well thought out and recyclable.

See you Lovelies tomorrow at the sale?!

Edited Friday noon: Just checked out Blackbird and don’t see any label of major sale or new denim as yet… but there’s a 100% viscose that looks drapey interesting…

de-clutterings & gatherings

Finally! Three days of winter temps. Makes me feel like gathering those boxes up & going to recycling (see stuffed cart on left!).

My winter wardrobe consisted of a few dodgy baggy fleece items and LL Bean lined jeans. I had planned serious sewing once feet & sewing machine hit the ground.

What I didn’t know was my lovely & generous friend Karen was going to de-clutter her closet.

You know the drill: One day you tear into your closet and toss out everything that doesn’t fit, you don’t like, or you never wear.

Then you call a bestie with your colouring & approximate size and give her first choice.

And that, Dear & Lovely Readers, is how I suddenly acquired a Wonderful Winter Wardrobe of great designer labels, and some great Spring/Summer items, too.

Today I gathered a few of these treasures together to share ~ click any pic to see enlargements & captions.

There are also about half a dozen plain black trousers in various fabric weights.

Ain’t Ms. Karen the greatest?!

 

Submitted for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

holiday packages

Received, amongst yesterday’s mail, this lovely package of fabric from Jess, of Jessthetics.

Love her packaging and using a stamp to decorate the tissue. She’s so creative with packaging and recycling!

Remember this post? Jess had written that she loved the fabric I wasn’t keen about, so we swapped!

Am thinking the knit she sent might do for one of the Style Arc sweater patterns… My new-to-me fabric has 1-way stretch, and is heavier than the sample fabric Style Arc attaches – so helpful for them to do that!

Laura jacket

 

Fiona top

 

Will cogitate a bit more, and crochet some more ickle hearts.

Love crochet for a good thinking through something else.

Anybody else?