Tag Archives: shorts

monday . . ⛈ ⛈ ⛈

Three pieces of tissue viscose/rayon, purchased in 2016, have slowly been rising to the top of the ToDo list.

Thinking to finally get them made up, I decided to drag out a piece of heavier cotton knit to toile a couple of patterns I’ve had since forever.

Yes, I know there’s definite differences between the weights of the two fabrics, but somehow that didn’t seem important.

First up was the cammie version from Lois Hinse’s Tank Dress Group, No. 5305. Just found it on Vogue’s site and still available.

I also cut some shorts from a TNT pattern, Butterick’s B5432. I did a mid-knee version to see if I liked it. The jury’s still out. 🤔

Incidentally, witness2fashion on WordPress did an excellent review of the many trouser names and lengths from the ’70’s. Guess mine are the Bermuda length.

For some reason I put off wear-testing the new duo, but when I did I was surprised by how the top fit.

Look at the neckline in this photo. I hadn’t given it much thought because I’d cut out the tank top pattern, narrowing the shoulder straps.

When I tried it on I realized it wasn’t anything like the photo, even with the narrowed straps. Hm.

See how narrow this neckline is? Compare it to the camisole picture. See a difference?

My opinion is what’s labeled as the camisole pattern has is the same neck and straps as the dress version, but I keep forgetting to get the pattern back out and check.

What do you Lovelies think? Are they different necklines. Suggestions welcomed!

Did I get the wrong pattern pieces? No. There are only four, and the other two are definitely the dress pattern because they’re miles long.

Sure, I could fix it by redrafting the pattern, but I don’t want to. Instead, I’m considering this toile for lounging at home only. And I’m giving more thought to hacking my Hemlock tee from last winter.

But on the other hand, do I want to go to the trouble of hacking the Hemlock?As you can see, heat-induced summer ennui has set in. 🙄

Adding complexity was a recent Love to Sew episode on how to rub off (copy without cutting up) an RTW. If I had a good RTW cammie I might give that a try . . .

Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh! 🤪

Time to switch gears and crochet!

My latest autumnal crochet project’s yarn (Brett’s Marble Chunky – MC07) is still a delight to work with—all that luscious coloured softness running through my fingers is sooo satisfying!

The ski cap is completed, and whilst browsing through early posts of Lucy’s Attic24 I spied an idea for how to use up the large remainder.

Watch this space. 😉

Meanwhile, hope you have lovely things planned for your June. If I can dash out between the raindrops and get to the library, there are several goodies waiting.

Enjoy, Lovelies!

naughty corner

This pair of red shorts-that-aren’t-short has been periodically tossed into the naughty corner all summer long. Yesterday’s go at it had me yet again trying to get the pockets in.

Firstly, you must realise I’d already sewn up the side seams with basting stitches, and done rather more to the waist than I should have.

Translated that meant I was willing to take out the side seam basting, but not the waist. Not a good choice, as it turned out. But as I deal with heat & humidity induced attitudes toward any activity needing cogent thinking, am cutting meself a break.

I also needed decided to use a contrasting fabric for half each pocket. A decision ripe for disaster under such conditions . . . especially as I’d pieced the blue & white contrast.

Three times I fiddled with those pockets. Getting out the pocket directions and squinting to decipher fading markings on front versus back, checking and rechecking which fabric was where.

I was finally reminded of Hila’s mantra, “done is better than perfect.” That was after realising, yet again, that I’d gotten wrong side of contrasting pocket in wrong place. I’m going to try living with it for a bit.

However, I’ve only put in the one pocket. Hedging my bets?  Final report anon . . . . .

P.S.   Has anybody tried the new Schnittchen Trine Cocoon Dress? Saw it Monday on Curvy Sewing Collective and liked what I saw & read. As always, thoughts & suggestions most appreciated!

P.P.S.  At least that dastardly pocket isn’t upside down. 😲

sewing, bread & the creative process

the moon isn’t the only thing with huge craters

Originally this post was titled “whaddya do when the bread don’t rise” but the writing wasn’t ‘rising’ either, so I put photos and post aside.

Serendipitously, whilst chatting with long distance sewing pal Jen the post came to mind again and she persuaded me to fix and post it. So here it is.

progress in slow sewing process

cutting out the shorts

There’s been a bit of progress – I can share a large unlined bag (below), made from leftover red & white cotton for the knee high shorts that are almost done. Plus the green & gold hat I’ve been crocheting is ready to be stitched up & pompommed.

Yeah! Progress in both the sewing and crocheting processes.

Creating something is a process, and I tend to forget sometimes that sharing the steps of that process in a post can be as interesting as a post written upon completion.

Whether it’s baking bread or sewing, the creator gets to choose what to pay attention to and what to work around and what to ignore. And those can be the interesting and valuable bits of the process, the things to share with others in our wonderful sewing community.

Friend Jen and I made a bargain: I’d revisit my belaboured post and she’d write about the latest bits in her process. (I hope she lists those patterns!)

Which reminds me… over the weekend I finally faced up to a black duster I started last summer. You know, the one that’s been lying on my cutting table for at least 6 weeks. I just don’t like the cotton gauze fabric. There’s not a thing wrong with it, I simply decided at some point that it was not “me.” E-vah!

So I’ve given myself permission to Let It Go. Even though it’s almost done. What a relief ! ! ! And you’ll never guess: Jen knows someone who might like it for a project.

What about that bread? I kept it. That weird end piece was eaten in bits with bites of cheese. The normal part I sliced, toasted and enjoyed.

Realisation? Most parts of the creative process are useful, but sometimes later rather than sooner. Plus, its’ value can extend beyond just yourself.

What you think isn’t worth writing about might be just the spark a Lovely Reader needs to move their own process forward.

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?

 

happy, hot july

white loops on red medium weight cotton

Hello, Lovely Readers — how are you? Life’s been happening since my last post, so this is a mite lengthy.

Hope you’ve time to settle in with something cool (or hot, as appropriate to your weather) and stay for a catch-up, including some sewing. Yeah!

Have cogitated and cogitated over what to do with this medium weight cotton, of which I bought maybe 1½ or 2 yards. Finally decided on shorts with pockets, as my blue pair gets worn constantly at this time of year. How long has it been in stash? Ummm . . .  absolutely no idea.

But I couldn’t resist it as it’s that wonderful tomato red that I love but can never find when I have a specific project in mind. Now that I consider it, I was probably thinking “summer dress” but after laundering realised it would be too hot, and stashed it.

At one point I thought “tote bag” and have a piece cut off for that, as well as what I assume were the handles, except there’s a strange “V” cut on one end. Wonder what I was thinking…

Anyway, this is finally out of stash, ironed, and might be cut out by the time you read this. (Not yet, but the pattern’s out!)

this is what I frogged back to – 😳 – but next time maybe I’ll count better

Remember that green & mustard ski cap I was working on last time?  I got it out and looked at it, then counted my stitches and realised I’d got off about 8 rows from the start.

Yes, I was good and frogged it back, but that put a damper on my crochet ardour. That, plus the early onset of extreme heat & humidity. Managed late last week to pull out of the doldrums a bit, and am almost back to where I was.

See what the triple digit temps have done to the lovely hydrangea bushes dotted around the apartment complex? The roses are too scraggly for piccies and grass that isn’t on a sprinkler system is dead brown because our rain has been sporadic.

Looking on the brighter side… Heat means time to tackle the small unread stack of books on my shelf… and was delighted to have found one I’d forgotten I had!

piccie courtesy British Library Crime Classic site

Back story: Several years ago I discovered the British Library Crime Classic series and ordered Death on the Cherwell by Mavis Doriel Hay. I quite enjoyed it, and learned what a humpty is (a.k.a., hassock), as well as absorbing more bits about British women’s university years.

BTW, if anyone has a humpty pattern they wouldn’t mind sharing, please let me know (sewing, not knitting or crochet).

British Library Crime Classics
originally published in 1934
Click to go to book on British Library Crime Classic site

My forgotten mystery was another Hay book, Murder Underground, which also mentions a humpty.

(I’m blaming my humpty fixation on triple digit heat. That and a desire to stuff one with stashed fabric. Add a zipped top & it might be great storage as well as hassock.)

Hay has a third book, The Santa Klaus Murder,  that I haven’t acquired yet just ordered, but I’m also looking for a nice used copy of Bats in the Belfry, by new-to-me author E.C.R. Lorac (Edith Caroline Rivett).

click to go to the book on British Library’s site

If anyone’s read any of Lorac’s books I’d love to know what you thought. Somewhere I read she was a witty author, and if there’s one thing I like to read in summer heat, it’s something humorous.

(Speaking of witty, just found & ordered Doonan’s Wacky Chicks & another Gerald Durrell. And that third Hay book, too.)

I’ve been puzzling over what to do with some of this cotton batik (below) ordered last summer from Vogue Fabrics in Chicago, but now out of stock.  It’s heavier than I’d thought and has a funny sort of texture (possibly from all the dyes used to get the particular splotchiness of the pattern). I love the colours, but the texture put me off for a season.

Chatting over t’internet with fellow sewer Jen (Let the Sewing Begin) with fabric in hand, she thought it would make a good duster, and we talked a bit about what colours to wear with it. Afterwards I remembered a green linen camp shirt I’d found at a thrift shop in Arlington and got it out to check. What do you think—a definite maybe?

Lastly, a “goodness, I’d forgotten” moment earlier this past week when WordPress sent a Sixth Anniversary note. It’s been a tough time down here for most everyone, and I’m trying to buck up and stay more focused on goodness.

To that end I really really am valuing all you sewing bloggers around the globe. Reading your posts and seeing how you all are coping with a very turbulent world makes me feel not so alone over here, and sometimes even hopeful for a decent future. To that end, am sharing one last thing, which I hope will make you smile as much as it does me. . . . . . .

I finally read the last bits of Doonan’s book, Eccentric Glamour, and want to share a quote from the “Wallflowers and Big Stinky Peonies” section (p. 217). This might sound a little strange, but hang on as I’ve the perfect example below it.

“As you begin to stick your toes into the luscious lagoon of eccentric glamour, you will experience a jarring increase in the amount of amorous attention you receive… It is simply a result of how gorgeous and fabulous you think you are…” (Doonan’s emphasis)

If you begin to feel overwhelmed at such prospects, Doonan chides us not to “stay at home and watch “Dynasty” reruns…” Instead, he flatly says that is “…a waste of time—yours and mine (meaning Doonan’s)—unless you share it with someone… It’s a “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play” Liza in Cabaret kind of a thing.”

As promised, here’s one of my favourite bloggers’ recent posts that perfectly illustrates Doonan’s concept. If you don’t already know NYC’s utterly & outrageously adorable Marcy Harriell, also known as Ooonabaloona, click and say howdy.

HEARTIEST THANK YOU’S & CONGRATS TO ALL WHO’VE MADE IT THROUGH!

Ice Cream, Hot Chocolate, or GnT for All!

❤   ❤   ❤    Happy Sewing!    ❤   ❤   ❤

 

 

working that ufo pile…

red shorts from the outside – centre back casing remains open a bit (top centre) for any changes to the elastic during wear testing

The pile is getting smaller!

This time I got out some wonderful rayon/viscose summer sleep shorts I’d cut out earlier in the year.

Had enough fabric to experiment by cutting them on the bias. Used TNT Butterick 5432.

But sewing is completed and they’re in the wash now.

On the inside: I sewed using regular machine with red thread, then serged the seams using white thread. Used rayon bias tape for sewn hem.

This rayon has been in stash for a few years and originated from one of the Chicago stores, but not Vogue… I don’t think… really don’t recall!

Just know that it is wonderfully cool and silky and just right for this horrid summer humidity!

not bad ~ but maybe i won’t wear these inside out! 😉

labor day weekend (sunday sevens #32)

Thanks to the sheer genius of Threads and Bobbins’ Natalie, who thought up Sunday Sevens, here’s my contribution of seven photos from the week, more or less, including a funny one that came to mind yesterday. Not sayin’ why . . .

(click a pic to get to all the words)

In America, Labor Day used to be thought of as summer’s last fling. Time to put away shorts, bathing suits, and anything white, especially shoes and handbags.

Pools closed, schools opened, and thoughts turned to warmer clothes, Hallowe’en costumes,  November’s elections, and wondering if nurseries would stock that same chrysanthemum …

Reality check: Pools remain open, August’s heat continues, and merchants have already put out ‘mums, Hallowe’en cards, and candy for trick-or-treaters. Put away those shorts? I wish. The week’s predicted temps are all 90’s.

Last week’s last days of August included other end-of-the-summer rituals, including the hallway power wash, and the creepy crawlies’ subsequent protest demonstrations. Currently all’s quiet, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

On the human horizon, a dear friend’s husband unexpectedly died. Instead of a memorial service, she held a celebration of life, and yours truly took photos.

I had time to talk with a woman I’d met on a visit four or five years ago. In the interim her niece moved into the area, so I met her, too. We started talking about sewing, and another neighbour joined in. You’ll never guess what they were all saying…

No, they didn’t sew any more because when they bought a pattern and followed it carefully, it never turned out right. They all decided (separately) it was their fault, and they should give up.

Sound familiar???

From the days when Summer ended on Labor Day. 😎

 

we’re havin’ a heat wave…

For everyone in the rest of the world... if you're in the U./S., you don't wanna know!
for everyone in the ℃ world… if you’re in the U.S., you already know it’s too hot! (cut & pasted from weather.com)

… and it’s nothing like that Bing Crosby song. (Didn’t he sing that in one of his films? Wonder why I keep hearing it in his voice?? Maybe it’s hotter than I’d realized . . .  😮)

Kind & gentle words to other states on this side the pond, where they’re even hotter.

Before I forget ~ Just watched the final Great British Sewing Bee episode, and it’s an edge-of-your-seat one. Won’t say who wins, you need to watch. (edited: Hopefully, it stays available over here…. ssshh!)

Please bear with me… it’s about lights. Again.

Some Dear Readers might recall the trouble I had with very yellow artificial light in all my apartment fixtures, which I replaced in key areas with sunlight bulbs (at my own expense, leaving less for fabric~whaaah).

Last week the sewing area got a new fixture, and Tuesday so did the cutting room. You’ll never guess. They both use differing styles of lights, but they all share the same characteristic. Wait for it . . . . .

they produce yellow light. AGH ! ! !

Yep. Now there are 3 different kinds of bulbs in this rental, all with very different specifications.

Why am I freaking out, you ask?  😮    Let me show you.  😢

(click any pic for enlargement, then Escape back to this post)

Nevertheless, I persisted and got shorts and a Colette top cut out of this 1m of fabric from U.K.’s White Tree Fabrics.

The quality is almost Liberty, and I’ve 1 more piece to make up. Might cut the same things. We’ll see…

What’s going on with that black jacket? I think it’s called procrastination.    😱   he-hee . . .

memademay: the final days

absolutely LOVE this vintage blouse of slubbed rayon but never posted about it.
adore this vintage koret blouse of slubbed rayon but never posted about it. (couldn’t get photo to do justice to the colours)

Worn:

For my first participation in Me Made May I didn’t set the bar very high – new job & didn’t want to be stressing out on what I was wearing. So I made a pledge that included upcycled items, and discovered that’s a large portion of what I was wearing.

Thinking about the experience, part of the outcome was influenced by a third of the month having much lower temps than expected, and I’d already packed away those items.

(To be honest, I don’t like making hot weather clothes & have lagged behind in  sewing those projects.)

Another bump in the road is a decision to retire the DKNY Vogue pattern used for three of the dresses, because the front neckline pleats make the dress “front heavy.” Fabric weight doesn’t make any difference. I’m constantly pulling them back into place.

Now, what to replace it with is the big question.

Maybe I should give the McCall’s 6117 pattern I used for the cinema dress another go, as it doesn’t have the same problem (so it’s not my posture going wonky).

Know I need to make several more pairs of shorts for sleep & lounging, and could use some solid coloured tank tops to go with them (and with skirts when it really gets hot).

One thing I discovered is I really like having space to put colours together: all beige/white blouses, red & orange, yellow. It makes it much easier to decide combinations. I can hold up a patterned top or bottom half and decide what will (or more frequently won’t!) match it.

So much to sew and so little time to do it in!

inspiration:

Last Sunday’s Guardian had a list of 50 summer dresses for London, so I picked out a couple of silhouettes I liked ~ 2 kimono dresses, a modified shirtwaist, and one simply because it’s green. (Hopeless, I know.)

So off I need to go and see what patterns I might have (or can modify) to give these a try…

Guess that’s a plan.  😀

How did you all fare in May, and what did you discover?

sewing, sorting, & baking

Well, I could blame it on witness 2 fashion

She did a great post about pyjamas!

But truth be told, have been thinking about them since Ali’s jumpsuit challenge in May somehow combined in my head with my 2 pair of sleep shorts (here & here) that I’ve worn constantly (indoors only!) this summer.

After making that third pair (top), it seemed natural to give a whole outfit a try. If I could just get back to finishing this blouse’s sleeves… Definitely don’t want to keep that neck binding, either. Too stiff by half! Meanwhile, mending summer & getting out transitional continues. . . 😴

Decorating for Autumn? Hallowe’en? Look at all the lovely patterns over on Pattern Patter.

Spent time last week sorting & labeling haberdashery and fabrics. Makes  final fabric sorting much easier. (click a pic to see the whole photo)

Thinking about baking? Know I am, partly because we’re finally getting to see “The Great British Bake Off.” But . . .

In their infinite wisdom (?), American public broadcasting services (pbs) is airing seasons chronologically. Backwards. And they re-named the programme: The Great British Bake Off is “The Great British Baking Show” over here.

Here’s a key to what’s what on our side of the pond.

  • British Series 5 was shown here as Series 1 in early 2015, and is currently being re-run.
  • British Series 4 is currently showing in U.S. as Series 2.

I discovered that both Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have written scads of cook books, and both have lots of listings on YouTube.

Wednesday is the official start of Northern Hemisphere’s cooler seasons, and it can’t begin soon enough for me! How about you?

Edited to add: If you haven’t seen Did You Make That’s post today, do! It’s all about fitting.