Tag Archives: summer

duster update & query

Am just about finished with this duster, but need your assistance in choosing some button. First, an update ~ click a pic to get all the details

Used the selvage for the front instead of facings, to keep the duster very light weight. Then I decided to do the neckline as light weight as possible too, so just did a modified self-bias facing hand sewn on the inside.

But I forgot that the top edges of the self-faced fronts slanted below the neck facing. AGH!!! What to do???

Buttons to the rescue! One on either side wouldn’t necessarily add weight and would hide the now darned edges. But which buttons???

Lovely Readers, puh-lease send your opinion! I’m leaning towards the larger buttons, but do still love them all . . .

click any to see the large views

setting a sleeve & other stuff

Managed an update over the weekend, and a save – not bad! (click a pic for all the details)

What’s on the table just now? What’s not is my denim hat. Remember the hat? It’s on hold, awaiting horsehair braid . . . (no, it’s not real horsehair).

denim hat on the corner, waiting . . .
(click to go to post)

The machine’s currently threaded for a new duster, using handkerchief linen from stash.

(Pattern? Good question. One of the Big Four and very basic: front, back, sleeve, front & neck facings. From California days and I didn’t save it. I had one cut out and made a  pattern from those pieces.)

Since linen ravels so badly this had to have french seams, which means double the work.

Not satisfied with that, I decided to add a bit of shoulder seam detail. And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge . . . 😄

Then there was that one sleeve that had to be pieced to fit the limited fabric…

So its slow sewing this week, and lots and lots and lots of ironing between seaming and seaming and seaming.

Remind me not to do french seams on a fabric that has no right or wrong side. . .

(click a pic for all the details)

 

this ‘n that

Have been trying to finish up a batch huge pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) which includes things cut out but not sewn.

Have had some success, and was wear-testing the last one today. Not that the pile is gone, mind you.

Click a pic below so you can read the texts. And onward to the next one . . .

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!

fluid sewing thoughts

“Fluid. n. A body whose particles move freely among themselves, and yield to the least  force impressed…

”January isn’t the time for me to be making resolutions, ’cause all I want to do is rest up from a hectic December. But…

There are some patterns sitting on my cutting table, so I’m sharing them with you. They’re things I’ve seen and admired on Ruth’s (Core Couture) and/or Felicia’s (Older Babe Sews Clothes) blogs.

My plans would include lighter weight fabrics, and V- or scooped necklines. And elasticated waists. And pockets, inseam or elsewhere.

So, with all that in mind, let’s look at some piccies, and please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts afterwards!

Vogue 9193 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 9193       Love the hem on this top & would do whichever version I’ve linen enough for, but sleeveless. Felicia reports problems with those dolman sleeves, and solutions. As I’ve had similar thoughts about similar styles, will have a long think before tackling. Fabric: Linen (summer), knits? (winter)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy” (click to go to pattern)

Butterick 5655 – “Fast & Easy”    Hm. Am thinking a short version from some viscose in stash. Although it might be fun to play with the sleeves
& that front insert… Hold thought for another season. Fabric: Rayon or maybe linen

Vogue 8813      Still pondering what to use with this one… cannot locate a decent knit is the main problem. Or excuse. 😉

Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 8813 (click to go to pattern)

Vogue 1508      Like the shape of the top’s hem very much. Trousers are too slim for my taste, plus the back is contrasting fabric from the front. Not my style. Fabric: Linen

veravenus-cpat
photo of my downloaded pattern page
Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 1508 (click to go to pattern)

VeraVenus Cardigan Coat (free)    (Click link to go to pattern.) After seeing this several times on people & reading how comfy they found it, I decided to switch my plans for a mustard wool to this pattern. Have a rayon piece cut out now, to check fit, etc., before cutting into the wool. Fabric: wool (winter), rayon (summer)

Butterick 6377  Will change neckline as I don’t do anything that tight round my neck. Fabric: Any stash stretch fabric to pair with V9193 trouser (above).

Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)
Butterick 6377 (click to go to pattern)

SUMMER

Vogue 8975    Liked the jacket on this, but the dress is also a possibility. Fabric: Linen, rayon.

Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)
Vogue 8975 (click to go to pattern)

Farrow Dress, Grainline    Have not purchased yet; keep trying to talk myself into it. Needs neckline re-do, but that back fascinates me, along with the longer length. Fabric: Almost anything from stash.

McCall’s 6083 Lounging ONLY, in the green version. Fabric: Rayon from stash

Grainline's new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)
Grainline’s new Farrow dress (click to go to pattern)
McCall's 6083 (click to go to pattern)
McCall’s 6083 (click to go to pattern)

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!

 

is it wednesday already?

the blue fabric is from anne at http://bellemegan.wordpress.com/ and is a beautifully embroidered cotton lawn of liberty quality & weight - perfect for summers over here! cut the green view but lengthened to use the fabric available
edges serged…

Arggg… much too much going on, and not enough of it sewing, nor sleep.

Not a favourite situation.

But at least I made time to serge all the pieces of this project.

Lizzie/The Vintage Traveler lists two articles (amongst several excellent articles) in her Sunday blog that follow up on a couple of things I’ve been following, so I’m passing them on to you specifically: NYC fabric stores closing and fashion sizing.

The last is very interesting – an editorial by Tim Gunn lambasting designers for refusing to design for all women. He wrote,

“This is a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous … The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up… Done right, our clothing can create an optical illusion that helps us look taller and slimmer…”

We sewers know it takes skill, knowledge, and experience to design clothes for all sizes. Most designers are not doing that. They’ve stuck with the smaller, easy, less lucrative market. Pun intended. Quite a comment on those designers, eh?

Also, on BBC’s Women’s Hour  this week:

“Fashion historian Amber Butchart joins us during London Fashion Week to talk about fashion staples. Each day she’ll talk about key items that many women have in their wardrobe…”

Geesh. Only thing from the list in my closet is the LBD. 😱  Guess I better get busy.

sunday sevens #34

sunday7LOGOIt’s Sunday and time for Sunday Sevens, thought up by Natalie, of Threads and Bobbins. Anyone can participate whenever, so feel free to join in.

Where has the week gone? It’s already past the middle of September!

Last weekend was Last Night at the Proms and I was so preoccupied with breakdowns I forgot to listen. AGH!!!

But the entire 3 ½ hours are available for listening, and a little for viewing, depending on what country you’re watching from.

And no, you don’t have to listen to it all in one go. Above the line in the Iplayer are little squares, indicating where each piece starts. Hover your cursor and titles appear.

Nothing like the zaniness of the second half to put me back on track. (Yes, I sing along.) Only available for 3 more weeks, so listen soon. ⌛️

I attacked the UFO/alteration pile last week, and managed to overcome a reluctance to use a twin needle as well as reduce the pile, and am feeling quite chuffed. Below, the pale green is a men’s silk shirt re-do, liberated from a charity shop. The rest are updates to existing makes.

Am also debating my next project, and what thread to use. I’d thought white originally, but looking amongst my blue  spools saw variegated. It looks tempting, and as this is another lounge around home project, only my eyes would be offended. What do you think? The fabric came from a trade with Anne/Compulsive Seamstress, and the pattern from Ali/Thimberlina.

Lastly, my UK DVD of Agatha Raisin finally arrived. Am a fan of both author  M.C. Beaton’s series(es?), Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth, so was delighted to see Agatha being made for telly. The U.S. compatible version isn’t available yet, so am very grateful my hardware/software plays PAL.

img_8835
meet the adorable Hodge (and Ms. Jensen)

However, the movie raises two questions:

  • Why can’t I find frozen breakfasts like Agatha’s over here?
  • Is everyone flipping back & forth doing video calls like Agatha, her therapist, and Roy?

Hope everyone has a lovely week planned, and we all survive the regional weather shifts!

  🌈  ☀️🌈

labor day weekend (sunday sevens #32)

Thanks to the sheer genius of Threads and Bobbins’ Natalie, who thought up Sunday Sevens, here’s my contribution of seven photos from the week, more or less, including a funny one that came to mind yesterday. Not sayin’ why . . .

(click a pic to get to all the words)

In America, Labor Day used to be thought of as summer’s last fling. Time to put away shorts, bathing suits, and anything white, especially shoes and handbags.

Pools closed, schools opened, and thoughts turned to warmer clothes, Hallowe’en costumes,  November’s elections, and wondering if nurseries would stock that same chrysanthemum …

Reality check: Pools remain open, August’s heat continues, and merchants have already put out ‘mums, Hallowe’en cards, and candy for trick-or-treaters. Put away those shorts? I wish. The week’s predicted temps are all 90’s.

Last week’s last days of August included other end-of-the-summer rituals, including the hallway power wash, and the creepy crawlies’ subsequent protest demonstrations. Currently all’s quiet, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

On the human horizon, a dear friend’s husband unexpectedly died. Instead of a memorial service, she held a celebration of life, and yours truly took photos.

I had time to talk with a woman I’d met on a visit four or five years ago. In the interim her niece moved into the area, so I met her, too. We started talking about sewing, and another neighbour joined in. You’ll never guess what they were all saying…

No, they didn’t sew any more because when they bought a pattern and followed it carefully, it never turned out right. They all decided (separately) it was their fault, and they should give up.

Sound familiar???

From the days when Summer ended on Labor Day. 😎

 

framed by sunday sevens #31

friday: can you feel the heat & humidity through the window?
friday: can you feel the heat & humidity through the window?

Since last week was an assortment of activities, I’m framing it mentally with Natalie’s Sunday Sevens.

Frame. v.t. 1.  To fit or prepare and unite several parts in a regular structure or entire thing…

After mooching through my photo mind palace for this week’s WPC (over t’other blog) I decided it was time to iron a skirt & blouse that had hung un-ironed all week.

You know how your mind wanders whilst ironing. As I’d just been thinking “frame,” it got applied to the ironing.

  • The yellow blouse had been a charity shop men’s shirt I liberated circa 2013.
  • The skirt & capelet fabric was purchased in Chicago and originally made into culottes, but fabric was too stiff for the style and so it didn’t get worn.
  • Then it got made into a straight skirt, and worn much more than the culottes.
  • The capelet, of leftover fabric from the culottes, was a test.

The shirt’s too long to be worn as styled with the capelet at left (proportions are off), but isn’t quite so off with a solid RTW blouse instead (top, right) Yes, that yellow men’s shirt is still underneath.

 Thanks to J for photos above!

  • Plastic & glass bangles thrifted around chicago (2010-13)
  • Earrings from california arts fair (ca. 1990’s)
  • Sandals by Clarks
  • Hat still in use!

framed! my 1st multi-colour work

And an extra photo just because I’m chuffed to have done some crocheting in colour.

Time for Sunday Sevens again, as dreamed up by Natalie of Threads and Bobbins. Why not join in? Guidelines are extremely flexible. 😉

Submitted for the WordPress Photo Challenge.