Tag Archives: summer

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… 🍫

elevensies’

Goodness, it’s past noon and all I’ve done is faff about online in a reclining position.

Yes, I’m feeling fine quite pleased with meself. I spent yesterday afternoon energetically chopping up various veggies and throwing them in with some chicken breasts. Delicious dinner, and will be yummy leftovers.

The weather has taken a decided turn for the better. A lovely cold front is coming down from Canada and I for one am immmmmmmmensely grateful!

I write “coming” because we’re having off-and-on rain today, which we badly need, whilst the air is a good 20 almost 30 degrees cooler than yesterday. The coming week looks almost as nice, with lower than normal temps forecast, and humidity well under 100%.

Next weekend is a 3-day weekend for us (U.S. Labor Day). That used to be the Line of Demarcation between Summer and Fall. (I prefer to say “Autumn,” as the other can seem negative, and who wants anything negative connected to their favourite season?!)

Parades used to feature local union members. Barbecue enthusiasts prepared to put their mitts into Winter storage. If you were lucky, the old hand churn came out for a last batch of homemade ice cream.

Ah! The last Summer holiday—with an endless school year looming between it and next May’s Memorial Day, when the end of school would be mere days away.

The last hurrah, when everyone put away summer clothes and whites (shoes, hats, gloves, handbags) were seen no more. Reflecting back, it always seemed a bittersweet holiday.

Nevertheless, in order to celebrate it and the weather change I’ve decided to take the coming week off. Heheheeee!

Do I have plans? Umm, vaguely. . . (where’s that sly smirk emoji?)

connecting dots

I’d been wearing my dotted duster a few times and decided that the facings along the length of the front, although attached at the bottom, were still entirely too flappy. Time to get out the needle and thread and do a proper stitching all the way round.

So I did just that, whilst enjoying the third Jane Harper book, The Lost Man. Another Aussie mystery, set this time in the outback of Queensland. It was marvelous listening!

In case you’re interested, Harper has done a great 10 minute TED Talk on practical creativity, and it’s on the site.

I spent part of Saturday cutting out a 1998 OOP pattern, Butterick 5487, which I’d just seen over at Anne’s The Compulsive Seamstress. It immediately reminded me of a linen knit top I’d loved and wanted to replace. B5487 is close enough to the linen to have immediately caught my eye, and luckily saw a copy on Etsy.

In between that I finally started an early crochet pattern from Lucy at Attic24, and realized Sunday I was using half double crochet instead of double (U.S. terms). Oops. 🤭 Why I keep confusing these two stitches is beyond me.

Had quite a bit done but decided to frog it all out and start over. Glad I did and it’s progressing much faster as I’m now familiar with the first part of the directions.

Also on the sewing table is a black linen skirt, which I decided last week was too dowdy and needed to be shortened about three inches. The midi look I’d wanted just wasn’t working.

However, because I’d hacked an RTW maxi dress, it was the original hem. All I’d done was cut the dress at the waist, made a casing and inserted elastic. A quick fix.

But as I had a few more cd’s of The Lost Man to listen to I decided to keep the original hem and take the skirt up from the waist. Picking out that seam wasn’t as bad as I feared, and the skirt is on deck to get finished whenever I remember to try it on and measure exactly where to cut a bit more off.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week with decent weather. For those of us desperately wishing for the season to end, the solstice arrives tomorrow, and soon every day will start getting shorter (or longer if you’re south of the equator).

I knew I was forgetting something! Remember my peppermint stripe outfit from last week? It got worn this weekend, and a bit of work has been done to make it more, um, palatable.

The shoulder seams got hoicked up, which raised the arm holes and neck-—already high enough. I also did a 3″ slit on either side, using the side seams. If I feel inclined in the future, I’ll cut more binding and fix the arms.

The other fix is for the shorts. I realized they were a couple inches too long and started fiddling, then realized I should tighten the elastic waist… then realized if I did that I should consider chopping a couple inches off at the waist. That would raise the waist, the legs, and the crotch. Then I remembered adding extra to the top of the waist when cutting out… why, I don’t recall. Duh!

So there’s plenty to do round here. Wonder if I could find another fascinating audio book at the library…

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!

macro monday

Happy Holiday to those having one!

Thought I’d give you a close up view of this holiday’s watching telly project. (I took out all the seams.)

Just the last bit of fabric from small kitchen curtains from California days—15+ years ago.

Ya can’t keep a good piece of cotton forever in The Collection. Sometimes it just has to come out!

The other piece of this became a market bag gifted to a neighbour.

Below is the entire piece, so you get a better idea of pattern. The small white square marks the enlargement for the above photo. I don’t see any hint of fading, and still love all the bright colours.

Hope your Monday is full of bright, lovely moments. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

tuesday’s tee

I am bound and determined to get this “muslin” tee shirt D.O.N.E.

The pattern is one brought from California, which means it’s older than dirt. And never made up till last week when I got out the camisole pieces and started measuring tissue fitting.

But my knit fabric is a bit younger… from several years ago when that last fabric store chain was closing. Sad day that.

Don’t know the fabric content of this knit, and seems like either side could be considered the right one.

I can never remember, do you? Does the knit curl to the right side, or the wrong?

Not gonna make any difference with this tee. As you can see, the piece on the left is now the wrong side.

Shorts to come, using my tnt Butterick 5432 pattern.

So what else is going on? I’ve been clearing off the cutting table.

Keeping me occupied whilst dealing with those piles of fabric was an Australian novel, The Dry, recommended by a friend. Not for the faint of heart is this one, chronicling a very small town way out somewhere in Queensland. I’ll pick up the second novel this week.

We’ve got a three day weekend coming up, so I’m getting ready. 😉

A good contrast is another Mitford novel, also on cd… 16 of them!… is To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon.

And the lovely translation of The Little Prince. Such a sweet story with plenty for adults to consider.

All for now, Lovelies! I have a boa constrictor to draw. . . .

catching up on puttering

My spring break felt shortened and diminished due to some bad weather, silly politics, and general ickiness.

Hope all you Lovely Readers had wonderful weather, lots of good things to eat and wear, and were able to enjoy Life a bit.

I decided to take as much of last week as possible to make up for losing the first part. Te-hee! Not enough to catch up on puttering! So this past weekend was added.

I managed to decide why two items just weren’t getting worn and fixed them (hems hiked on my red culottes from late last summer, and a jade green skirt made in late winter. ) I also found some light weight cotton for the inside waist facing for next autumn’s navy flannel trousers.

Which led to this floaty duster, now half done — one sleeve in, facings and finishings to go. Am now contemplating the dark & milk chocolate cotton and silk mix for something to wear underneath.

As the duster is a slightly fuzzy 100% cotton with an outstanding print, and there’s this other outstanding silk/cotton print to wear with it, I’m thinking plain lines either dress or skirt and blouse. (More flexibility with separates.)

And I did a bit of baking, as it was Easter. A bit of chocolate, of course, plus the always-a-favourite fruit muffins, and a raisin spice cake.

As usual, the reading and listening continues…

Finished the 400+ pages of Sayers’ Have His Cascase, and enjoyed it very much. However, I think I’ll wait a bit before tackling the third Harriet Vane mystery. It’s over 500 pages.

ADDED TO LIBRARY!

Also listened and loved The Little French Bistro by Nine George, am wending my way through Kipling’s Jungle Book (another childhood book never read) and am half way through listening to Jan Karon’s Come Rain or Come Shine.

Meanwhile, there’s a sleeve to put in and lots more fabric to contemplate. 🥰

❤️ ❤️ Hope your week is going well! ❤️ ❤️

scraps

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! 😘😘