Tag Archives: summer

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! 😘😘

remember these two rayons?

They’ve been sitting here quietly, waiting for me to locate some stretch lace for their waistbands.

I looked at Vogue Fabrics (Chicago) on-line first, but didn’t find any. So I looked a few more places, browsing other fabrics along the way, as we do. . .

Spent a weekend thinking how to proceed further. Finally thought I could at least call Vogue’s 800 number and ask if they had anything in the store, and they did.

Alleluia!

Turns out they had lots of elastic lace in different colours and widths and percentages of stretch.

We emailed and called over a day or two, and whilst doing that, I had a look at Vogue’s fabrics, as we do. 😉

Despite our winter weather I’d fixated on a summer pattern acquired last year, V1496.

With that on the mental back burner Vogue’s latest laser print linens and pontes were tempting me, until a rayon caught me eye.

The rest, as they say, is history and both the elastic lace and the rayon are winging their way to moi.

Hopeless, aren’t I?

🥴

a stretch too far?

What do you. think, Lovely Readers? (That white is a handkerchief, so you can tell where there’s a pocket.)

Do these two coordinate? Extra points for lining pockets with the rayon skirt fabric??

(Below: Sorry I didn’t stick a hand in to show that lining. It was too busy trying to hold the tablet steady whilst the other hand searched for the shutter button.)

It feels like I’ve been faffing about half-heartedly with these two forever, but haven’t minded it.

(Below: Doesn’t that double row of stitching down the front look nice? Just consider the wee fold in the pocket below it to be a design feature.)

These might both be considered out of season, and submitted for this month’s Monthly Stitch challenge.

But actually, there’s yet another duster, cut out in December, that was planned for the challenge. But even that’s hedging, as it was cut out last year.

What to do? 🥴

sorta silly saturday

Sandra, over at Wild Daffodil, has a year-long photo challenge on “windows” and I thought I’d add a photo.

It includes street lamps and hallways. Can you tell what’s what?

Don’t faint. . . but yours truly actually got some sewing done the other day. Remember this cotton batik? Recognise a slight problem? Note the neck facing attached to the front facing which is almost twice as wide as it should be?? Hmmm. Needed some trimming.

Also note the slight excess of fabric (that fold) in the facing of the other side? Measurement showed a one inch difference in the width between the right and left sides. Somehow the whole neck and front facing thingey got very unaligned.

I decided to trim off that extra inch on the too wide side so it would match the other. Maybe that would take care of that extra fabric that was causing the fold.

So I decided it was time to make things right. Note those chalk lines? That’s where the serger evened things out.

Success! Evening out and matching both sides fixed the fold and aligned all the facings. Remaining is tacking those facings down and hemming.

I guess this is called “Slow Sewing.”

🥴

personal identity & what to wear . . .

Really, how important are our clothes? What do they say about us? What are they saying to others?  Could changing our clothes really change our lives??

If you didn’t see this on Hila’s blog , grab a cuppa, take a break and watch it now.

AUTUMN ! ! ! And just in time for any chilling winds, the crocheted hat & scarf are tasselled & done!

My wooly news from last week was finishing my green acrylic hat & scarf set. Yeah!  And just about completing the 8th of my blankey rectangles. Many more to go. Also continuing to slow knit my autumnal scarf. (All my knitting is slow.)

The teal shorts continue to sit, whilst I decide what to do with a nice bit of leftover rayon…

this will make more sense after you’ve seen the last video – promise!

just another saturday
Having survived a side swipe from the latest  hurricane, it was going to be regular Saturday laundry & maybe cooking a meat loaf. Plus doing a bit of sewing whilst  listening to “Good Neighbors,” a 1970’s BBC series.

If you’d like a peek at the program, click here and here.  Margo’s outfits are so 1970’s I’m putting together a small collection to be aired after I’ve finished watching the 3rd season.

But about that meat loaf. Remember the meat loaf??

About half way through the bake I went out to check it. As I put my hand on the stove top it almost raised a blister. Uh-oh. Something was wrong.

Seems the thermostat had baked it’s last bake and was registering its’ displeasure by refusing to turn off.  Grr… Not an option.

Maintenance came to the rescue, and the dead thermostat was replaced once everything had cooled off.

The glass pan did scrub up fairly easily, and the meat loaf is edible, thank goodness!

But the meat loaf, once I got it out of the cooker, appeared to be more than done, registering well above the appropriate internal temp.

So while I didn’t get any sewing done, the meat loaf is edible.   😳

a life without books is…
Death in the Tunnel.  Despite the fact of the train’s not “com(ing) to a screeching halt” in the middle of the  2½ mile tunnel, I found Miles Burton’s book both challenging and boring; however, the layers of detail kept me interested.

Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm, and taciturn, as reflected by the author’s prose style. I don’t know if I like this one or not. It’s currently feeling ominous. Maybe that’s intentional, and I’ve decided its’ not best to read it before bedtime!

Rather than leaving you with the image of burnt beef and an iffy thriller,  here’s something many of us will find interesting.  And it explains my hand in the middle of the teal fabric…

❤        ❤        ❤

a bit of a catch-up

Things are happening, so grab a cuppa  and let’s start!

my favourite baking book since the 90’s (or ’80’s??)

First, a dive into Muffin-land. After hurricane Flo visited, and slightly more normalcy appeared,  the grocers seemed to be almost giving away berries.

I do love berries – strawberries, raspberries (my fav), blackberries (second fav) and all the rest, but I was receiving more than my greediness could eat. What to do . .  .   .    .

I considered making jam, but lacking the accoutrement and experience, I demurred.  Enter muffins, with a recipe for basic berry muffins (below). Ah! I’d much rather be baking than stirring a boiling pot.

the basic recipe, which I haven’t tried varying yet!

We’re not talking  industrial-scale amounts, but for someone who hadn’t baked in four or five months, anything was major.  Then a few low temp and humidity days magically appeared.

I started baking.

if you’ve never made muffins American-style, do read this carefully.

For those who might not realise, American store-bought muffins are more like sweet cake than a true  muffin.

All muffin  batter is lumpy because the flour is not mixed until it is lump-less.

If you don’t believe there’s a reason why, just try mixing a batch of these one way, and then the other. I know which ones will get binned!

It’s the chemistry/alchemy of the baking process, which I shan’t explain because I don’t know what it is!

(I always use those little paper baking cups in my muffin pans because I hate scrubbing out the pan.)

 

Have I convinced anyone to take a quick break and mix up a batch? (Before we go on, special thanks to taste-testers at h-t #136 & others. You know who you are!)

A large leftover bit of rayon from Vogue Fabric, Chicago, purchased at least 8 years ago!

This fabric has been on my cutting table for weeks because it kept telling me IT DID NOT WANT TO BE A SKIRT.

Oh. I finally listened, and realised how much more I’d wear some shorts, so the shorts pattern is now out and will fit after judicious finagling.

Sometimes, procrastination thinking is a good idea. Tereza, over at Sew for Me, just wrote an interesting post on that, amongst other things (including a look at some Brazilian  fabrics).

Christmas crochet

Thanks to Sheila at Sewchet I spent last weekend, in-between batches of muffins, doing some more work towards Christmas.

Just yesterday I finished my latest adventure in the British Library’s Crime ClassicsThe Lake District Murder by John Bude kept me trying to solve the mystery and was definitely enjoyable!

The three books by Hay ( Death on the Cherwell & Murder Underground here, The Santa Klaus Murder here) were my intro to the series (known amongst aficionados as BLCC).  Since then, I’ve branched out a bit, but only into books written with some humour.

click to go to book on the British Library site

A bit of escape via an entertaining book is part of my regime for staying (somewhat 😉) balanced.

There are limits to what I need in my wardrobe, which is something more and more of us are realising.

Some form of creativity, be it cooking or crochet, is a basic necessity. But more about those another time .

❤       ❤      ❤  Thank you all for stopping by!  ❤       ❤      ❤

naughty corner

This pair of red shorts-that-aren’t-short has been periodically tossed into the naughty corner all summer long. Yesterday’s go at it had me yet again trying to get the pockets in.

Firstly, you must realise I’d already sewn up the side seams with basting stitches, and done rather more to the waist than I should have.

Translated that meant I was willing to take out the side seam basting, but not the waist. Not a good choice, as it turned out. But as I deal with heat & humidity induced attitudes toward any activity needing cogent thinking, am cutting meself a break.

I also needed decided to use a contrasting fabric for half each pocket. A decision ripe for disaster under such conditions . . . especially as I’d pieced the blue & white contrast.

Three times I fiddled with those pockets. Getting out the pocket directions and squinting to decipher fading markings on front versus back, checking and rechecking which fabric was where.

I was finally reminded of Hila’s mantra, “done is better than perfect.” That was after realising, yet again, that I’d gotten wrong side of contrasting pocket in wrong place. I’m going to try living with it for a bit.

However, I’ve only put in the one pocket. Hedging my bets?  Final report anon . . . . .

P.S.   Has anybody tried the new Schnittchen Trine Cocoon Dress? Saw it Monday on Curvy Sewing Collective and liked what I saw & read. As always, thoughts & suggestions most appreciated!

P.P.S.  At least that dastardly pocket isn’t upside down. 😲

s-l-o-w knitting & sewing in summer heat!

knitting
Have become fascinated with this autumn yarn as it slowly evolves into different colours.

sewing
The shorts-that-aren’t (short, that is) are cut out and might even have a seam or two sewn by the time you read this. Took a gamble with the top of the pocket bags and made them from  blue cotton, left from last year’s shorts. Necessity was the mother of this, as there wasn’t quite enough of the red fabric. Using perennial fav B5432, with length added to use up the fabric.

Somewhere between photo program and WordPress I’ve photos of another cotton fabric cut out for a new toaster cover. (So mundane, but oh so looking forward to!)  Whilst making up the bed just now realised the remainder of that fabric might make a nice little table cover… Never know when inspiration may strike!

nigella’s on our telly
We’re seeing Nigella Lawson’s latest series, At My Table, over here on our PBS stations. In last  week’s episode (No. 4) she admitted – and showed herself using – her “sewing shears” to cut chives. Well! You should have seen the scissors – maybe 6 inches – and definitely not for fabric.  A small needlepoint’s tangle of threads would be more like it.

Clearly, the lady needs a good session with Sewing Bee peeps. I can see it now, can’t you? Nigella Brings Biscuits to Bee!

latest British library crime classics
Just finished reading Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon, which was very pleasant indeed. As Martin Edwards wrote in the Introduction, “For all the chill of the Christmas-time snow… there are repeated clues to Farjeon’s amiable personality in the good humour that shines through from start to finish.”

“Welcome back to the loving family,” she exclaimed. “I haven’t quite (Farjeon’s emphasis) given up my idea of a happy Christmas, David, but Peace and Goodwill have got to get a move on!”

Christmas or no, wouldn’t more Peace and Goodwill be lovely right about now?

Am awaiting Hay’s last and some say best book, not quite in the mail it seems… Don’cha hate it when you see a notice saying “we’ve shipped your books,” and when you click to see the anticipated delivery date the books are still at the bookseller’s?!

Thanks to Sandra at Wild Daffodil for recommending this week’s 15-Minute Drama, “Ground Control.” Several surprises at the end, what?!  (This is only available for a month, so listen now if you’re interested.)

other media
Friday’s Woman’s Hour (just before the Drama) included Aussie author Kathy Lette saying things like “women are each other’s human Wonder Bras—uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.”  Must say I hadn’t made that connection . . . . .

Friday night was also the “current” (as in what’s finally made it across the Atlantic) episode of The Great British Bake Off.

After Mary & Paul, there was a new program, The Food Flirts. Ever heard of The Brass Sisters? I hadn’t.

“Meet the Brass Sisters a.k.a. THE FOOD FLIRTS! Two passionate food explorers of a certain age on a mission to tackle their culinary bucket list…one bite at a time!”

“… We believe that a cookie is like a secret kiss between the giver and the recipient, and that chocolate is a necessary indulgence.”

With a good chocoholic attitude, what’s not to like?