Tag Archives: summer

it’s a 5-day week?

(After a Monday morning “off” in preparation for a long afternoon meeting, am feeling like it’s a repeat of last week: What happened to Monday?)

As you can see from the photo above, I’ve been making headway with this slubbed Italian yarn. Surprise-surprise! It’s going to be a lightweight scarf. The ruler reported 27 inches and I’ve just started in on the second ball. The range of colours continues to fascinate me even if it’s been stashed for 10-ish years. 🙈

Which brings me to this hastily whipped up elasticated-waist skirt. I’m not gonna hem it because it’s a jersey and was cut very neatly. And really – hem jersey?! The length is below knee, for more sedate wearing; hoicked up it’s still long enough to be a dress.

A Nicola Miller design for Joann from more than 4 yrs. ago, it’s one of the two pieces I found in the remnants. Whilst stitching up the casing for the elastic waist I noticed some light staining on the wrong side, which might explain why this buttery soft knit got shifted to the discount table.

I don’t see a thing wrong with the right sides of these two pieces, and they’ve both been washed several times. The jersey’s also got good 4-way stretch! Now what to do with the other piece that’s 60″ wide but under a yard . . . . . . am thinking a loose top. . . . . 🤔 Which reminds me . . .

For yonks I’ve had a couple of smallish tablecloths that just kept shrieking “Make me a top!” so I’m finally paying attention, currently experimenting with a neckline I’m not quite happy with yet.

Thinking loose and boxy so as not to waste too much fabric, and deal with the heavy heat & humidity that’s now here, probably here to stay until….. could I hope for July??? Maaaybe not.

BAH! 🥵

Let’s talk BOOKS!

On the weekend I finished an electronic copy of Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. It was sooo interesting, learning how NASA (National Air and Space Agency) came into being. . . . . . and the Black women who worked there for decades.

Before computers were created, these women were the computers. That was their title, which I found jarring every time it was used in reference to a woman instead of a machine.

Ms. Shetterly has written a superb book, focusing on both how and what several of the women endured in the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s in America’s South. (Unlike the movie, which consolidated events and covered a fraction of that time.)

I really cannot do justice to all she’s written, or tell you how deeply so many things in the book have affected me. The movie doesn’t even begin to do that, but this C-Span clip of the author talking about her book is a beginning. At under an hour, it’s time very well spent if you’re at all interested in America or history.

Laters!

thread chicken & pockets

For those who don’t know what the heck the title means, let me explain.

Among sewing. knitting and crocheting enthusiasts, playing thread chicken involves wondering whether you’ve enough thread to complete a specific task or project.

In the case of the above, it was a pocket. Or two…

There appears to be a difference between the colour of the pockets and the shorts in the second photo, which is an error I couldn’t sort out with the lighting. (More about those shorts here.)

The pockets really are the same fabric as the shorts – a heavy stretch denim fabric from my Chicago Collection (a.k.a., Vogue Fabrics). It’s the lining in the first photo that’s different – a lightweight rayon that in it’s former life was the top of a well-loved rayon denim dress (DKNY V1236) that might become a skirt, but the jury’s still out on that.

Speaking of pockets, I ran into some interesting history whilst reading one of Lizzie’s (The Vintage Traveler) blog posts. In the pockets article she lists The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

“Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege, and not just in evening wear. In her 2017 doctoral dissertation, “The Gendered Pocket: Fashion and Patriarchal Anxieties about the Female Consumer in Select Victorian Literature,” Samantha Fitch made the case that a sexist history of oppression is behind the dearth of pockets. Without pockets, women were traditionally dependent on men for essentials—like money. Ms. Fitch wrote, “Women’s pockets, in general, are smaller than men’s pockets, less numerous, or simply non-existent. Possibly worst of all, many times women find that their pockets are actually faux pockets.”

Think about it for a minute: “Yet for women, pockets are still a privilege…”

Might that have had something to do with my adding pockets to this pair of shorts, something I’d been procrastinating doing for months . . . . .

😉

ScrapHappy Saturday, August

Wonder of wonders! For once I’m working with scraps and remembering to get something posted. Am joining up with Kate, Cathy, and other scrap-happy folk.

Back in June I made a pair of stretch denim shorts from leftover denim. As I started wearing them around the apartment and sitting down, I realized they were the exactly perfect length for the hem to fold up whenever I sat down.

I tried ironing. Nope. Then I remembered I still had scrappy strips of the denim in my stash drawer. He-he-hee . . .

Last month I dug said scraps out and measured them all to the same height. Then I sewed the pieces together, and added them to the bottom of the shorts.

Now they’re just above the knee, and I still have enough for a patch pocket or two. Maybe even one large enough for a phone…

Success is sweet! 🤣

(not so) wordless Wednesday 😉

In looking over my spare summer wardrobe before MeMadeMay I remembered a red Renfrew almost never worn.

Neatly-removed sleeves revealed where I’d cut to the seam line when easing in the sleeves.

Mind you, we’d already had several days flirting entirely too closely with 90℉ when this Renfrew came to light. But would I wear it?

NO!

I doubt I’ve worn it more than once or twice since completion several years ago.  😱

Why? It’s a solid medium weight cotton knit and the fit is snug. But in heat & humidity anything even slightly heavy or snug doesn’t get worn. It was forgotten during cooler weather.

Enter some Snug Hug rayon bias tape, stitched to those neatly trimmed seams where short sleeves used to be.

Would that be enough to put this back on the wearable list?

Happily, it was! And it’s been in constant rotation along with some stretch denim shorts made from leftovers of my (2014!) denim winter maxi skirt.

This is why we keep a fabric stash!

 

friday, sweet friday…

It’s that time again

Oops… wrong day. I’m thinking “Sunday, sweet Sunday with nothing to do” from the musical “Flower Drum Song.”

Just looked it up on YT, and the song’s setting is not what I think of when that line comes to mind. I’m quite happy having Sundays to meself, thank you!

Those for whom self-isolation is more torturous have my sincere condolences.

I hope you’re reaching out via phone and internet, contacting and being contacted by loads of people, perhaps learning a new hobby with online help, or just catching up on your rest.

Ready & waiting!

As you see (right), my sewing table finally got cleared off for last Tuesday’s Virtual Tea Party, and this morning I got the vacuum out.

Not implying the immaculate guests left crumbs!

I got it out mostly to get rid of the dust I swept off the ceiling fan blades today. Summer is here and the AC had to go on, which meant the fan needed to be on as well, which meant… you get the picture. 🤪

Now for a nice nap, so I’ll be ready to tackle that pattern

Hope wherever you are, dear readers, you’re staying safe and healthy!

❤️   ❤️   ❤️   ❤️   ❤️

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…