Tag Archives: skirts

☕️ 18 Sept~Time for A Virtual Tea Party !

How about next Friday, 18 September or virtually anytime?

I know this is a bit past the 15th.  😉It gives me time  to travel down under to say a quick G’day to  Su (of Zimmerbitch, in New Zealand),  and wish her well. It would be grand to meet her, and perhaps a few of her lovely tea party friends.

As these events are virtual, anyone is welcome to join in with us on the 18th, or any other day that suits. So, fancy a cuppa another day? The virtual kettle will always be on the hob, and the scones will always be fresh. 😘

Sewing — belatedly

I managed to make up a piece of quilting cotton purchased during long ago California years, which means a seriously long sojourn in stash.

With only 1 yard of 45″ rather heavy cotton, I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. But . . .

Something kept reminding me of it in June (so this is really late). It’s almost the weight of my shweshwe (see shweshwe posts of 2016  here & 2020 here).

Emboldened by all I’d seen, read, and heard during June’s virtual Sewing Weekender, I cut the piece in half and made a simple gathered skirt (sans pockets).

One of my favoured skirt lengths is about 21″ and this really came too close for comfort. So I fudged both the waist band (which I would normally turn under for a casing) and the hem.

I used cotton hem tape to extend things a bit around the bottom hem. Searching through my odds of bindings I discovered some wide santiny blanket binding. Using narrower than usual elastic, I just had room. But no pockets for this skirt.

(Ooooo . . . I just remembered where I put my rayon lining yardage, so there’s hope yet!)

I like the body of the fabric! Barely knee length, it stands away from the body as a shweshwe fabric might. By some miracle the width reacts well to the gathers of the elasticated waist so it’s cool during these humid summers.

Discovering I couldn’t get black or beigy knits for tank tops, I forgave myself and  ordered them from L.L. Bean.  I suspect mask production and slowed importing are responsible for the shortages, so I was grateful to find these!

The tanks were too long for my torso, so I immediately shortened their lengths — an easy fix. Both of them work well with this skirt and have been worn.

To illustrate why I’ve kept this cotton fabric for so long, you might should know I’ve specialised in teaching vocal technique of the classical kind for over 40 years.

So you can see how close the skirt art is to the iconic Puccini poster art of yore, I’ve chosen the above three as examples. Via Amazon, here are reproductions of the originals for Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and Turandot.

Hope to see you Friday-ish!

PS/ For those of you on IG, find us at #virtualteaparty2020

PPS/Just linking the bottom half of this post with Wild Daffodil’s Textile Tuesday series. Even though I know today’s Friday. 🤣

🍂 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… 🍂 🤣 😂 🤣 🍂

playing

Had a bit of a play lately.

Figured I had earned it after polishing off my black linen skirt and finally getting the handles sewn onto the veggie bag.

So here’s what I did with some wonderful crocheted doilies gifted to me by Ali, who knows the woman that made them. (Thanks again, hon!)

However, I do think they could use a spot of colour, don’t you? Maybe some ribbon to hide the rubber bands. Hm…

Have been meaning to post this update to that peppermint stripe outfit: It started pilling less than a month after I finished it. Good thing I’d mentally tagged the fabric for stretchy muslins.

Oddly, the bermudas seem to be okay. Wait! Better check the seat . . . . it’s okay! Don’t feel so bad now.

click pic for original post

Have been wanting something in a solid green and remembered this from my Chicago days, languishing in the Needs Refashioning pile. Spent quite some time taking the waist apart, trying to figure out what on earth I’d done. It took a couple of long ripping out sessions.

But newly washed and ironed, it’s hanging whilst I gather my courage to cut into a summer dress I’d put in the refashion pile earlier this year. Hoping to use the dress for waistband facing and a sleeveless blouse. Fingers crossed! 😉

Meanwhile, hope everyone is surviving their season! ❣️❣️❣️

ps… The Guardian had an interesting article on craft/activism here.

a bit of a mix

Enjoying your weekend?! I’m spending it crocheting because my squidgy package arrived Saturday. Yeah!

I’ve also been reviving my listing on Ravelry, so stop by at CurlsnSkirls and say hello if you’re a member. Long ago Chicago efforts are listed, but I’m working on getting things updated.

Valentine’s Day is Thursday and the appropriate cotton cloth (top) is gracing a bedside table. When my voice studio was open I made seasonal table toppers (any excuse to buy fabric) and I still enjoy seeing them each year.

Curvy Sewing Collective had two great posts this week. Both inclusive sizing and inclusive language are extremely important, so do take a look.

And speaking of inclusive sizing, Grainline Studios (Chicago) is increasing their size range and has a questionnaire open to anyone who would like to make suggestions.

For anyone looking for podcasts about sewing, you cannot beat Love to Sew (Canadian) and The Fold Line (London).

Here’s that finished skirt topped with a gorgeous suede jacket from a closing consignment store in Chicago. (Yes, the skirt’s been that long in the making.) Anyone have suggestions for how to clean the suede without going to a cleaner who will charge multiple times my original cost and use icky chemicals?

Here’s one last suggestion for those of us struggling to get better at, or just get back into sewing – Lucie wrote a great post last week about her own experience. Much food for thought!

Meanwhile, hope everyone can hunker down and get to creating something. Creativity is positive! There’s nothing better for overcoming negatives.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

must be past my nap time…

rayon from stash

This morning I logged into WordPress to see what the sewing world was up to and was greeted by a big announcement of Gutenberg.

I thought it referred to the large, free, public domain book site, gutenberg.org, and wondered what the heck was going on.

Mid-afternoon I had a bit of time and decided to explore. Being careful not to click the Download button, I opted for more info.

And promptly thought I’d dropped down the rabbit hole.

Starting here I had trouble making it through the first paragraph:

“The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.”

Rightly guessing my clueless and bug-eyed response, the text immediately set about explaining:

“Key take-aways from parsing that paragraph:

  • “Authoring richly laid out posts is a key strength of WordPress.

  • “By embracing “the block”, we can potentially unify multiple different interfaces into one. Instead of learning how to write shortcodes, custom HTML, or paste URLs to embed, you should do with just learning the block, and all the pieces should fall in place.

  • “Mystery meat” refers to hidden features in software, features that you have to discover. WordPress already supports a large number of blocks and 30+ embeds, so let’s surface them.”

Maybe I am more sleep deprived than I thought. This doesn’t make sense. Can any of you Lovely Readers help?

Meanwhile, on a more pleasant note, am debating about cutting up my last piece of the above buttery soft rayon.

Already have a top and cut-offs, but could also use a skirt.

Nothing fancy, just slip in an elastic waist and zip up the sides. Maybe a pocket, if the bits on the jagged edges are large enough.

Sitting over on the corner is another rayon remnant. This navy might be enough for shorts, but I think the fabric’s print might look better as a skirt.

Do prints ever do that to you?  Sort of give you a Look, as if  peering down their nose and saying, “I am not that sort of fabric.”

The inspiration piece for these skirts is another rayon skirt.  All three fabrics were from Vogue whilst living in Chicago. They’ve been ageing in stash – goodness! – more than six years.

Hope this isn’t a “best-laid plans” sort of post, and I can actually motivate myself into picking up the scissors.

Watch this space…

this ‘n that

Have been trying to finish up a batch huge pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) which includes things cut out but not sewn.

Have had some success, and was wear-testing the last one today. Not that the pile is gone, mind you.

Click a pic below so you can read the texts. And onward to the next one . . .

lessons learnt

Vogue 8750
click to go to pattern

Okay. Let’s look at this one last time, shall we?

Remember this, this, and more recently the petersham post here?

After several years of working (mostly not working) on this, I still think it’s a good pattern.

Just not in the fabric I chose. And there’s a huge learning curve in that “NOT.”

As I got into the pattern, which has some weird pieces that prove interesting for fit, I discovered that precise seam widths were vital. (ugh!) A fraction off in some places and it’s seam ripper time.

see any top stitching?
thought not.

But even more important was the concept of those side pieces. Definitely bias effect going on, which should affect what fabric gets used, and its pattern.

Blithely ignorant, I lost a lot of the skirt’s character, as all the interesting top stitched detail  became invisible on this patterned fabric.

Although I thought the weight of the cotton would be good (it’s okay), it turned out the ravelling has been horrendous. Something I didn’t discover until I’d washed it a few times, which I did over the past 2 years.

see all the straggling ends? don’t believe that using pinking shears on a cotton will handle any ravelling… just sayin’

But lest we get discouraged, there have been positives: Learning about petersham ribbon from Hila’s post and actually using it for a waistband has been a huge plus. (Suspect it will influence most future skirts.)

The other huge plus has been realising, then acknowledging my mistake in using fabric I do not like. (An early on-line purchase so I didn’t touch it beforehand.)

HUGE lesson learnt: Don’t even think about using up fabrics you don’t want to touch… even for a toile.

Below are assorted photos from the recent finishing. However, if you’re looking for sassy photos of me wearing this . . . 😱   Shock! Horror!

Do you ever see sassy piccies of me??  Lol!   Will admit to laundering it again, giving it a good press, and trying it on. It fits loosely, as I made a straight 16 I think, and am not about to alter it.

The petersham waist works really well for me (hate waistbands) as it sits at the waist (or would if I fitted it properly) and doesn’t annoy. Because of the weird side pieces there’s a good fit at the hip, particularly when seated.

Would I make it again? “Never say never.”  Maybe. . . . but with better fabric.

😊  Have a grand weekend, Lovelies!

an odd assortment

at least/at last got this scarf hemmed & washed

With all that’s going on in the world, I sometimes wonder. . .

Am I the only one feeling slightly … um… er… dis………engaged?

Nevertheless, managed to get the cutting table cleared off. Mostly. Which, as we all know, is not a minor feat.

Hila at Saturday Night Stitch had a great post about the difference between Petersham and grosgrain ribbon.

It reminded me of a skirt that’s been hanging for a couple of years awaiting it’s grosgrain ribbon waist band, which I’d managed to locate last year. So what’s been the hold up?

Was it sheer laziness on my part? After reading Hila’s post, I checked the pattern (Vogue 8750) and my posts. 😳

Then I saw an article in Threads magazine (not online), but I had a copy.

Vogue got it wrong. They clearly state grosgrain, and it should be Petersham ribbon.

I’m considering it intuition.

😄

(a.k.a. luck – hehe!)

framed by sunday sevens #31

friday: can you feel the heat & humidity through the window?
friday: can you feel the heat & humidity through the window?

Since last week was an assortment of activities, I’m framing it mentally with Natalie’s Sunday Sevens.

Frame. v.t. 1.  To fit or prepare and unite several parts in a regular structure or entire thing…

After mooching through my photo mind palace for this week’s WPC (over t’other blog) I decided it was time to iron a skirt & blouse that had hung un-ironed all week.

You know how your mind wanders whilst ironing. As I’d just been thinking “frame,” it got applied to the ironing.

  • The yellow blouse had been a charity shop men’s shirt I liberated circa 2013.
  • The skirt & capelet fabric was purchased in Chicago and originally made into culottes, but fabric was too stiff for the style and so it didn’t get worn.
  • Then it got made into a straight skirt, and worn much more than the culottes.
  • The capelet, of leftover fabric from the culottes, was a test.

The shirt’s too long to be worn as styled with the capelet at left (proportions are off), but isn’t quite so off with a solid RTW blouse instead (top, right) Yes, that yellow men’s shirt is still underneath.

 Thanks to J for photos above!

  • Plastic & glass bangles thrifted around chicago (2010-13)
  • Earrings from california arts fair (ca. 1990’s)
  • Sandals by Clarks
  • Hat still in use!

framed! my 1st multi-colour work

And an extra photo just because I’m chuffed to have done some crocheting in colour.

Time for Sunday Sevens again, as dreamed up by Natalie of Threads and Bobbins. Why not join in? Guidelines are extremely flexible. 😉

Submitted for the WordPress Photo Challenge.

q & a: circle skirts

front of hatI’ve met another sewer today, and she’s local.  Happy New Year !

We started out with my hat – remember the green fleece? Yep. I’m still wearing it. Nothing keeps me warmer! The pattern is Folkwear’s Metropolitan Hat #269.

I’m dedicating this post to you, Ms. V, in answer to your questions (and a couple of my own).

And I’m asking you, Lovely Readers, to help us out by sharing your experiences with circle skirts. Here are a couple of questions ~

  • Why do we have to divide by Pi (6.28 in inches try 3.14 instead ~ 😳 embarrassed face) in that formula to get waist measurement?
  • Why doesn’t anyone mention hanging the skirt before hemming it to allow the bias portions of the skirt to stretch out so they can be trimmed before hemming?

I don’t think I’ve ever made a circle skirt. But I’ve planned one and never got to it, partly because of these questions.

Here are three of the things I kept for future reference: Dana Made It, Me Sew Crazy, and Mood Fabrics in NYC/LA.

Your turn, Dear Readers!

Please add to my list, either with your own experiences, or a fav tutorial you’ve used.

😘

Thank you in advance!

 

And since the WordPress Photo Challenge is a “perfect fit” this week, it’s included.