Tag Archives: spring

name that flower

If anybody knows what these things are, please let me know. It will ease my curiosity. 😉

Have only seen them in this one protected corner that doesn’t get full sun. There’s even a little furled bud down sort of in the bottom right corner.

It’s still cool enough to get a bit of baking done before the heat and humidity starts. Am chomping down the latest – Wacky Cake, or Chocolate Depression Cake. A cake with chocolate must be tried, don’cha think?

This recipe has quite a history, but here’s the version I used. (My modifications are in parentheses.)

Wacky Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift these ingredients into an 8 inch ungreased pan.

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar (used less than 1/2 cup dark brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (used heaping tablespoons!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put each of these into a separate dent in the dry mix.

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I never add vanilla to anything chocolate!)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter or marge
  • (there is not supposed to be a dot here, just a blank space… 😠)
    • Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup coffee to the pan and mix everything together in the pan.

    Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

    Ice or dust with powdered sugar or eat without icing!

    Still slow sewing up these flannel trousers. One of the seams is going to have an interesting design detail… the side where a swatch got cut out. 🥰 Lol!

    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!

    happy spring!

    1″ creme & brown rayon petersham ribbons

    The Petersham ribbon arrived Friday. It’s rayon and feels lovely – thank you to Chicago’s Vogue Fabrics!

    (What petersham ribbon? I hear you ask… See previous post…)

    Vogue has a variety of colours and widths, as the link above should indicate.

    There’s also Britex in San Francisco (more choices). Now to sit down and sew & steam mine into place…

    Got into warm weather hat making earlier in the solid week of 80’s, as I’ve been wanting a denim hat for years.

    folkwear’s metropolitan hat is only 3 pieces & a snip to sew up! https://www.folkwear.com/products/269-metropolitan-hat

    Using the never-ending denim (also used for that Morris blazer) it’s been sitting on the sewing table for a bit. Not saying how long a bit. 😳 But it finally came to the head of a pile one night and got mostly sewed up.

    Then I discovered I really reeeally wanted some wire for the brim. And something to cover up the wire and finish off the brim nicely. Guess where I discovered just the thing. . . Yep. Vogue Fabrics, with the Petersham already in the post.

    And all sewn to procrastinate on starting to fit & cut out a new pattern.

    Don’cha just love  excuses.

    😄  Happy Weekend, Lovelies! 🐇

    hope everyone on both sides o’ the equator has a lovely weekend

    linen #2: different kinds

    Why am I still banging on about linen? Because it’s still hot enough to wear it round here: Sunday it’ll be above 80℉/28℃. ‘Nuff said.

    Besides, the Southern half of our world is going into Summer. 😎  First, some piccies from my collection.

    Puh-lease click a pic so you can read all the captions ’cause you’ll miss words if you’re only hovering.

     

    Linen is described by different terms:

    • gauze – light weight, very loose weave, and see-through (think sheer curtains)
    • handkerchief – light colours might be sheer, but generally very good for dresses and blouses; Threads article suggests 2.8 to 3.5 ounces per square yard
    • medium – firm enough for lightweight jackets and trousers, also possibly some home décor; Threads’ article lists 5 to 7 ounces per square yard
    • heavy – think coats, handbags, home décor (including wallpaper!); Threads’ article suggests over 7 ounces per square yard.

    Then there are linen blends, which should always be noted if the fabric isn’t 100% linen:

    • linen and cotton
    • linen and rayon
    • linen and wool
    • linen and silk
    • linen and wool and silk, etc.

    If you’re getting the idea that all linens are not created equal you’d be spot on.

    How to tell the difference between good and not-so good? Know the fabric and the supplier:

    • read the fabric description carefully
    • if in doubt, order a sample piece
    • look at the weave
    • look at the weight (ounces per yard or metre)
    • purchase from a company you’ve learned to trust!

    Slubs: What the heck are they and are they good or bad? Neither! You see them in just about any fabric woven from individual fibres of wool, silk, hemp, cotton, etc. It’s the place where each piece has been joined together to form a longer thread, which is then woven into cloth. Obviously, the longer the original pieces, the fewer slubs, but remember that slubs don’t weaken the fabric.

    According to the Threads‘ article, “Slubs are more likely to be a sign that the flax fibers were cut shorter in order to process them with equipment designed to process cotton, which is less expensive.”

    Visible lint:

    • indicates either the presence of another fibre (such as cotton), or
    • lower quality linen

    Ready to run screaming back to easier fabrics?

    RESIST! Just an ickle bit more and you’ll feel better. Promise. Think SILK!

    Huh? It has slubs too, right? (Silk fibres joined together, just like linen.) Think of the luxurious feel of a heavy silk – the lustre, the smoothness!

    Good linen’s the same. But without the slippery factor ~ a-ha and he-he!

     

    If you’ve watched the Fabworks video above, you’ll see the examples Dawn gives of linens available from their mill store. And while you don’t see close-ups of weave, seeing how the fabrics handle is very important. Dawn writes the descriptions of fabrics for their online store, and I’ve found them accurate. (Close-ups are on their web site.)

    Julianne Bramson, author of the Threads article, suggests Fabrics-Store.com as another good online source. She councils if in doubt, order a minimum amount of the linen, look at the fabric and launder it before making a large purchase.

    HUGE thank you’s for getting to The End! (Chocolate, anyone?)

     ❤     ❤     ❤

    Next up, after you’ve chosen your linen, you can read how to launder and care for it.

    Note that the Threads‘ article referenced here is not available online at this time.

    For the record: Nobody mentioned here or elsewhere on this blog contributes anything to me or my blog. My opinions are my own!

    Edited to add: linen #1: learning about linen 

    linen #3: boring? no way!

     

    question about my morris

    IMG_8001
    gathering stitches in place at top of sleeves & 1 seam already unpicked

    How snug are your sleeves?
    Can you comfortably wear a long-sleeved tee underneath?

    If you can, then I need to do some recalculating.

    Admittedly, I’m experimenting with shoulder size in this toile. My current fix is the change from a ½” to a ¼” seams.

    Otherwise, am progressing well, with the PDF instructions and the online sew-along.

    Those online photos helped get good corners done, as you see below. 😉

    This fabric wouldn’t take any of my usual markers, so I finally used a pencil, and made big dots. Too big.

    Not a good thing.

    Seeing how she held the fabric showed me just how much play there should be, and where. That, plus knowing the dot was supposed to be ½” from both edges made the fix easy. Three stitches removed on each side, and everything lined up perfectly.

    Now about those sleeves . . . he-e-elp!

    sunday sevens #9

    Natalie at Threads and Bobbins came up with the idea of Sunday Sevens.  Anyone can join in, and you don’t have to do a post every Sunday. Why not check out her site & try one, or a few, yourself? My post is a bit short this week, as my holiday hasn’t quite gone to plan. But it’s turning out quite enjoyable despite changes.

    Hope everyone has a lovely week!

    Sunday 7's

    scuttling spring clouds foreshadow storm

    IMG_7995

    The spring snow storm that buried Denver and parts of the Midwest approacheth.

    even the holly bush has something sprouting
    even the holly bush has something sprouting

    Peering out whilst deciding whether to dash to the store, I noticed those empty trees off the porch were full of blossoms.

    Unsettled weather. . . typical spring, residents report.

    We’ve been told there won’t be much rain in this storm. I’m wondering if it’s still packing surprises.

    Meanwhile, planning and alterations continue, whilst Ms. Karen & I had another foray into fabricland: everything on sale again.

    Whoopee!

    top to bottom: black & metallic polyester jade rayon blue floral cotton striped cotton knit
    top to bottom:
    black & metallic polyester
    jade rayon
    blue floral cotton
    striped cotton knit

    Submitted for the WordPress and 52 week photo challenge from Nanacathydotcom,  Rainbow Junkie Corner,  The Aran Artisan & Wild Daffodil

    sunday sevens #8

    Natalie at Threads and Bobbins came up with the idea of Sunday Sevens.

    Anyone can join in, and you don’t have to do a post every Sunday. Why not check out her site & try one, or a few, yourself?

    I do my own version ’cause I like playing around with fonts & photo arrangements. You can do yours any way you like. 😉

    Links from today’s edition:       Sew Deputy     

    Sunday 7's

     

    poncho repeté

    Remember this fabric from a couple of weeks past?

    Here’s a quick update on that package sent to Australia ~

    A piccie of my friend’s mum wearing said poncho!

    one warm Sydneysider!
    one warm Sydneysider!

    Phew! Looks like my fit guesses weren’t too far off.

    Am told she wanted to pose doing a thumbs up, but my friend reminded her I’d rather see the fit.

    Am delighted with this version, but would have loved either!

    understanding (my) transitional clothes

    This is the start of my third summer on the east coast, and I might, just might, be getting a handle on what constitutes transitional clothing for the area.

    The epiphany occurred last week, whilst washing winter sweaters, almost none of which got worn. Why? Some had 3/4-length sleeves, which leave me always trying to pull them down to my wrists. A couple are fading. One is too snug for my taste. The rest weren’t heavy enough.

    Solutions? Undecided about next winter, but can put that off for a bit, as I still have a couple of merino wools in  the fabric stash.

    For this coolish weather, there’s at least 1 heavier rayon that could get made up and worn right now – yippee!

    Lovely Amanda, at Sew Deputy across the pond, wrote lately about wearing a sleeveless blouse with a sweater in the summer. Ah, definitely not the case for summers here! More like late Autumn, or early Spring, neither of which is guaranteed to arrive in any given year.

    What to do? Keep wearing those great flannel pj bottoms when it’s cool, and try to zip up another pair in rayon. Am thinking long ones, but wondering if I should do shorter… guess they could always get chopped off, couldn’t they?

    Slowly the old wardrobe is getting weeded through, and plans being made for spring/summer sewing. Meanwhile, those pillows got unpicked tonight during a thunderstorm, and are ready for zip insertions and finishing.

    Yep. When I was eager to get them done I decided to sew up 3 sides. Then I realized it would be much easier to insert a zip before the other sides were sewn. Sooo…