I remember learning to sew in the dim, far distant past. In those Dark Ages one did not vary from the pattern. It Was Not Done.
As independent pattern designers began trickling onto the scene, there was one who included a permission slip inside each pattern, giving the sewer permission to make changes. Fast forward to now, with everyone hacking up patterns right and left.
But a concept can linger on in dark corners . . . Follow me into last weekend.
I was on a search amongst my two rather large and thoroughly tangled boxes of fasteners, zips, embroidery threads, ribbons, laces, felt squares, and other crafty bits & bobs.
Having a 13-disc mystery to listen to whilst sorting made it much more enjoyable. . . 😉
Remember my linen top mending project? I have a hazy idea for a solution, and that was the impetus for the sort out.
Then I discovered the above little kit, picked up several years ago even though I didn’t like the colours or the method – punch needle. (Lime green??? 😱)
But what have I been learning from blogging friends’ embroidery posts? You’re allowed to make changes. So-o-o . . .
I’ve been giving myself permission to do just that, and left lime green & turquoise on a lime background, for a russet butterfly on mossy green background using satin stitch. And maybe a touch of blue somewhere.
What do you think? Have I gone too far? I’m not trying to copy nature, it’s just what I was drawn to.
If creativity is about freeing one’s soul and spirit, it’s interesting to realise there are still plenty of boundaries to overcome.
I tackled the scrap drawer Saturday afternoon after ignoring its’ overflowedness for months.
Using bits from Marie Kondo’s books, plus bits from Hila’s video, the unwanted items are gone. Oh, one does feel virtuous after diving into chaos and ending with order… perhaps a too infrequent sensation. 🥴
Next up is the clothes closet, but that will have to be done in stages, as the weather is fluctuating between hot Spring and warm Winter temps.
Walking across the street yesterday, the hot humidity of approaching thunder storms brought back memories. Unfortunately, they weren’t of ❄️ & 👢&🧣& 🧤.
From this week’s weather forecast it looks like anything resembling “cool” might not occur again until November or December. 😣 Where did those 50’s and 60’s go??? Couldn’t Mummy Nature crank out a few more before melting the tarmac?
Meeeeeeeeeeeee-eh. 🥺 Even blackberry muffins aren’t consoling. (Yes, it’s muffin time again, yummy-yum-yum!)
Guess it’s the closet next. . .
Trying not to dwell on that thought, have almost finished The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame; Ernest H. Shepard, illustrator). And it is so good I wish it would go on and on. Sigh.
Even the first chapter of Dorothy Sayers’ Have His Carcase can’t tempt me, and with an opening para like this that’s hard for me to believe.
“The best remedy for a bruised heart is not, as so many people seem to think, repose upon a manly bosom. Much more efficacious are honest work, physical activity, and the sudden acquisition of wealth… Harriet Vane found all three specifics abundantly at her disposal; and although Lord Peter Wimsey, with a touching faith in tradition, persisted day in and day out in presenting the bosom for her approval, she showed no inclination to recline upon it.”
Meanwhile a certain stripey brown caftan has been laundered, and after ironing just might find its way onto the cutting table with a trouser pattern on top.
Nothing promised, you understand… but caftans or long skirts are sometimes things I make before deciding what to really do with a fabric. They don’t require much cutting into… if you catch my drift. 😉
❤️❤️ Meanwhile, may your bobbins never run out! 😘😘
As you see, all four buds of this year’s amaryllis have now opened, and that first one is looking a bit tatty. Living in an apartment complex with oh-so-carefully manicured landscaping there isn’t the option to replant the bulb outdoors. What to do with it? Suggestions welcomed!
Moving onward, below is the inspiration for my mystery crochet. It’s from Knit ‘n Sew, October 2010, p. 87.
The original was knitted, but I crocheted one long piece, twisted it once, then sewed the two ends together. (Not as in sewed with thread or machine. 😉 Used yarn, crochet hook and large tapestry needle.)
The stitch used in mine is half double crochet in the back post (U.S. crochet terms). That back post gives both stretch and an interesting three-dimensional ridge to the piece.
Enter the scrumptious yarn from James C. Brett (below right) which kept begging me to make something more wearable than a very slowly knitted scarf. I finally listened, frogged the knitting, and voila. The remainder of a second 200 gram ball is becoming a hat. Which will be worn outdoors.
And speaking of outdoors, last week this duster got its first outing, accessorised as shown.
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.
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!)
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!
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).
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).
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!