Tag Archives: tops/blouses

Memorial Day 2022

I used this same photo in 2015, when we had an early Memorial Day weekend, and the fabric was still a tablecloth. Have a click here to see that post, and read a bit more about this U.S. holiday’s history.

This year the tablecloth fabric’s become a blouse. Well, sort of.

At the moment it’s just 2 pieces sewn together with an elastic-gathered top & slits at the sides. But I’m thinking of adding some straps, because I found some extra fabric the last time I went through my scrap drawer.

Ain’t it amazing what can come to mind whilst rootling around in a bunch of scraps!

What have you discovered lately?!

Stormy Monday

Managed to do something with fabrics last week besides moving it from pile to pile, or tabletop to box. Wonder of wonders! So thought I’d drop by and show you what I’ve been up to.

Colours aren’t too true here.

This shirt’s been languishing in my Autumn/Winte/Spring selection of tops for years. YEARS! And I like both the colours and the high quality smooth cotton fabric.

A bit of history — At one point I put tucks in at the shoulders to give it a more fitted look. And didn’t wear it. It felt cumbersome and never sat well on my shoulders — too much fabric in too small a space.

Last Friday afternoon/evening, with storms raging outside & local telly’s severe-weather team live streaming numbers of lightening strikes per city & and projecting tornado paths, I decided to get on with the changes.

Taking off the collar but leaving the collar stand.

Yes, that’s my newest, and therefore sharpest, Clover seam ripper you see in action. I know Leslie S kindly suggested she’d used her sharpest & smallest scissors on a similar reno, but I don’t have any.

If you’re inclined to read labels, you might recognize this as a very nice men’s shirt-maker. I grabbed it soon as I saw it at a local thrift store because I know fabric & workmanship are quality. It’s only been aging for . .. . . . uh . . several years. 🙈

I sliced off one layer at a time, exposing the wonderfully soft interfacing they’d used.

Six inches more got lopped off the sleeve length, some thread tidying up, and I’m ready to take another look and those underarm seams. We’ve another potential series of storms tonight, so it might get revisited then . . . . . . Oops! Editing’s taking too long, thunder’s arriving hours earlier, so I’m uploading & signing off!

✂️ 🧵 ✂️ Happy sewing, Everyone! ✂️ 🧵 ✂️

you’ll never guess …

A couple days ago I sat down at my machine to sew up that gold fleece LB Pullover I talked about last time. Then I thought maybe I should change the needle first.

The needle was probably a couple projects old — about when I last cleaned the machine. Oh! Might as well clean it, too, right?

It didn’t take long. The machine was fairly clean already. But you can see the long thread that fell out of the bobbin casing, and you know what that would ‘a done. 🙄

Every time I pull out the bobbin thingey — the half that comes out of the place where you put the bobbin — I can never get it back until I lean the machine back, then it falls into place. That’s why I made those 2 red rice bags.

Anyhoo – Next day I ironed a couple things and remembered the gunk on the iron’s edges. Might as well get on with another cleaning project, I thought.

Over on IG #James_is_so_happy had a recent post on cleaning his iron. I revisited.

He made a baking soda & water paste & scrubbed with that. There’s a ‘but’ coming: Don ‘t get the mixture into the steam vents. I went looking for an alternative.

And found this, from Architectural Digest. Choosing the steel wool option, I scrubbed. Am not finished yet — those steam vents are filthy! I’m leaning towards trying the vinegar-on-towel method for the vents. Any suggestions?

Our 20 degrees above normal temps continue, so I’m not hard pressed to sew fleece. As Friday night is New Year’s Eve, in the words of “The Wassail Song”. . .

Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

🥳 See you in 2022 🎉

❤️ 🧵 ❤️ 🪡 ❤️ 🧶 ❤️ ✂️ ❤️

Macro Monday

Hope everyone has had a lovely Holiday this year. Mine has been quiet and relaxing, even if the weather is increasingly warm , with mid-70’s by Wednesday.

Ouch! I’d just cut out a fourth LB Pullover from some of Vogue Fabric’s luscious gold no-pill polar fleece, and somehow can’t bring myself to sew it up. Can’t imagine why. 🙄

Maybe I should cut out another, lighter weight knit and leave off the lower sleeve, which would make a short-sleeve version. Maybe that’d be wearable until the humidity kicks in. Hmmm. What lighter weight knits do I have in stash . . . . .

Have you ever seen…

… a little Christmas turtle? I’ve had this little 3-inch ornament for ages, bought at a pottery collective up in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. In this photo it’s sitting on a scrap of that gold fleece. Hinting?

Have a happy last Monday in 2021!

macro monday chat

This might be an “official” holiday weekend here in the U.S., but having the real holiday on Sunday sorta throws me off, if you know what I mean. There were fireworks displays in some places on Saturday night, and other places Sunday night. I wonder if tonight will also be punctuated with pops . . .

But life goes on, and with it came this morning’s overdue walk up to the recycle center, right past a huge hydrangea bush. I couldn’t resist the photo op!

Seems about time for a knitting update, too.

I ripped everything out and started over, using the same 12 stitches cast on. I played with the alternating k2p2, p2k2 and didn’t like the effect at all! This yarn is so slubby and has different colours running in slubs as well as tiny bits of bright colours — totally obliterating everything else.

I found it very frustrating, and definitely not restful knitting. So I am back to the basic stockinette stitch of knit one row, purl the next, and am using where the tail of the yarn is to remind myself which row I’m on. Curling will have to be handled after I’m done. That’s the extend of my definition of relaxing knitting!

Now I might guess someone is gonna spy with their little eye that the felted piece above is attached to a large hair pin. Yes, an extra large plastic hairpin.

But no, I haven’t started felting – it was included in the package Sis#2 sent around the hols. She’s the master crafty person, dabbling in felting, eco dyeing, and a major knitter, far as I can tell. One difference between us is she has a house. With a back porch. And lives farther north, where it’s (generally) cooler than my apartment complex/state.

She also recommended a new author to me (Tony Hillerman), and although technical/electronic bits are outdated, the stories include correct info on various Southwestern areas and peoples.

The main character in the majority of the series is Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, a member of the Navajo Tribal Police. “Hillerman is considered one of New Mexico’s foremost novelists.” Wikipedia. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, The Blessing Way, and learned a lot!

Have I already raved about Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club? In case I haven’t, let me report I literally couldn’t put it down. Finished it in 2 days, and sincerely hope there’s a sequel already in the works.

As this is fast becoming too long a post for Macro Monday, I’ll love you & leave you, to report on sewing projects another time . . . hehehee!

Ciao, Lovelies! 💕 💕

I framed the felted picture & hung it above my sewing table.
It deserves a better mat, but that’ll have to wait for a proper store visit.

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!

LB Pullover #2

1st Try – Front & back from orange? Nope.
2nd try – Front & sleeves? YES, they fit!

Enter a second knit fabric, purchased three or four years ago specifically to be used with this leftover piece of medium weight cotton knit from Vogue Fabrics almost 10 years ago (yikes 🙈).

Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing purple, but this has the perfect orange match for the cotton knit.

Ta-dah! Another LB Pullover ready for a test wear — just in time for our two frosty days right before Easter!

Here’s the front . . .
And the back – where I don’t have to see it – hehehee!

A Scraphappy Virtual Tea Party

(In an earlier post’s comments, someone mentioned tea & sewing, which I thought would be a great idea, so I’m combining them. Tea first!)

Kia ora whānau! (Welcome, friends!)  He kapu tī māu? (Would you like a cup of tea?)

Visiting New Zealand for originator Su’s virtual tea party earlier in the week, I learnt it was Maori Language Week. So I had a special treat, seeing Su and enjoying her delicious tea whilst learning a bit of Maori.

Su is the originator of these monthly teas, but had been a bit poorly, so some of us brought along contributions for all to enjoy. I brought some of my crispy digestives as Su is a dunker, and I wanted her opinion.

Su’s crispy crackers with cheese were fabulous! (I love crisps & cheese and these were sooo delicious!) I’m not much for sweets, but I know Su’s brownie isn’t too sweet, so had to enjoy a bit of that, too. Rich, dark chocolate & beetroot = a chocky lover’s heaven on earth! 😇

Back on my home turf to welcome my Northern Hemisphere friends, I’d made a coconut cake to go underneath fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Using the Foundation Cake recipe, I added about half a cup of desiccated coconut. Will do this again, as I think the chewiness of the coconut lifts the combination above a traditional shortcake.

I also have my latest bake of digestives biscuits (cookies). This batch is crunchy, and perfect for dunking. As I have no cookie cutters,  these are in a different shape, but I’m sure they taste the same. 😉

Here’s the recipe I use, from King Arthur Flour.  King Arthur uses both American and British measurements, so you don’t have to convert.

My variation:  I skimp on the sugar.  After rolling out the dough to about 3 mm (¼”) I left them to cook a good 6-7 minutes longer. They definitely didn’t burn, just got wonderfully crisp after thorough cooling.

And now to Scraphappy sewing ~

Chiming in rather tardily with Kate’s band of scrap happy peeps, I finally got several large-ish pieces of cotton fabric out of stash and onto hangers this month. Everything can be worn with either fabric to the front, providing versatility.

You might think making tops from different fabrics is totally bonkers, and you’d be well within your rights to do so! However, in this wacko country I’m considering myself in quarantine, so am not out except for very local walk abouts.  When I’m out I’m always wearing a duster over whatever top I’m wearing, so nobody sees my back anyway.

The vintage red that I thought would become a bag refused, and has become a top instead.  Ditto the blue combination. I’ve worn each over top of my scrap denim shorts.

Good news has been that Hurricane Sally came & went without doing tremendous damage to this little part of the world. My rellies on both coasts are in good shape, but for the horrible air out West.

Still, there’s lots to be thankful for as everyone is safe. Hope all you lovely peeps are in good shape, being well in yourselves, and able to enjoy your weekend safely.

Haere tū atu, hoki tū mai.

(Go safely and return in good health.)

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️