Tag Archives: transitional

time for a change …

playing with heavier weight cotton batik fabric… how to use?

As you see, I’ve changed themes.

Hope nothing has been lost along the way.

If you spot anything gone walkabout, do let me know so I can fix it. Thank you!

Decided a couple of weeks ago to get out this cotton batik from Vogue Fabrics. (I got the end of the bolt last year.)

It has niggled me since last summer. Heavier than I had anticipated, I had put it aside to think about how to use it.

Finally decided there was nothing for it but to make it up as a duster for when (if?) the weather moderates to the sixties instead of the nineties. It would make a good duster to pull on over something else.

(My duster pattern is very vintage & consists of pieces copied  years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve no idea what company it was.)

But what about the “else” to go under prospective duster??  Not wanting to create an orphan, I took some time thinking about what else from stash might work with this busy batik.

maybe wearable with the batik?

Perhaps a combination of teals?

I have a bit of yardage in that solid-coloured rayon – am thinking maybe trousers.

Already have a top & cut-offs from the patterned fabric.

yesterday, almost at the ta-da! stage . . .

This was taken yesterday before front facings were sewn and wrists hemmed. Decided, as the fabric was distinctly not floaty, to leave long slits on either side to allow whatever floatiness might be possible. I cut the back with no centre seam and a slight flare.

To be completed today are the hems. As the sides  are slit 12″ each there are three sections to hem (back and the two fronts).

Then to decide how to tack down the (un-interfaced) facings. I am not a fan of hand sewing, but might have to do it anyway. We’ll see…

On past duster versions (last year’s) I didn’t use facings, in keeping with the very light weight of the fabric. However, I decided to use them this time. Why? Don’t exactly know. It was just a feeling. Know what I mean?

books

Finally finished my latest Durrell volume, Birds, Beasts and Relatives. Have deliberately tried to make it last as long as possible as am having trouble finding a good but inexpensive copy of the last of his Corfu Trilogy, Garden of the Gods.

(No false economy, as the reissued Trilogy over here has been more than the three separately.)

As always, I found Durrell’s writing highly entertaining, educational, nostalgic in the best sense, and humorous ~

“Now winter was upon us. Everything was redolent with the smoke of olive wood fires. The shutters creaked and slapped the sides of the house as the wind caught them, and the birds and leaves were tumbled across a dark lowering sky.” first sentence in chapter, “Owls and Aristocracy,” Birds, Beasts and Relatives.

❤     ❤     ❤

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creativity vs. ennui

Currently, ennui is winning, but hopefully not for much longer. Seen this past week ~

SCAMPER: 

S-ubstitute, C-ombine, A-dapt, M-odify, P-ut, E-liminate, R-everse

As comic relief to weather, world events, and general January doom & gloom I pulled out some old DVDs of comedy-dramas, this last being New Tricks.

The original starred Alun Armstrong (Brian), James Bolam (Jack), Amanda Redman (Sandra, the boss), and Dennis Waterman (Gerry). The men were all retired London police officers, with Sandra the only serving officer.

The group was called UCOS (Unsolved Crimes and Open Case). For details I refer you to the first episode, which explains many of the on-going and humorous references.

I’m explaining this because an episode in the second year’s series (“Creative Problem Solving”) applies to sewing. In the video, its the framework for how the case gets solved.

✂️       ✂️       ✂️

We sewers don’t have old criminal cases to solve (I hope !), but we do sometimes have old creative problems to (re)solve: those pesky UFOs (unfinished objects) for one.

I’d also include some (many?) of the items hiding at the back of closets, in the bottom of drawers, and stashed away amongst out-of-season clothes.

(Please tell me I’m not the only one doing this!)

Which brings us to the photos below ~

They illustrate how I’ve just spent several weeks frogging (unwinding) an unused (5± years)  3”-wide looong knitted wool scarf, then  crocheted it into a 6″-wide & much shorter fringed scarf.

See all that crinkly stuff in the first photo? That’s how my loosely wrapped & frogged ball of yarn looked as I started crocheting. When it came time to cut the remainder up for fringe I did get a little worried, and hoped I was remembering correctly that it would all straighten out once washed.

Fearlessly I washed everything. All went well.

(I think I owe this explanation to Felicia but I couldn’t for the life of me find her post, so my apologies. And apologies if it was someone else. Edited to add: It was Felicia – see her comment below.)

Am right chuffed to have re-purposed good wool into a more usable object, whilst also enjoying its softness running through my fingers during the reworking.

(He-he! We are tactile creatures, aren’t we? 😉)

Anyone else care to share a creative solution?!

✂️       ✂️       ✂️

happy holidays!

getting lots of wear with several different scarves (this one’s from vogue chicago fabric at least 8 years ago!)

Thought I’d better extend best wishes now, as its been a bit crazy round here for the last month or more. And will probably continue…

But there’s also been odd moments of sewing and crochet going on at some very odd times.

right is latest tee (above) which is getting lots of wear; left is possible hemlock (grainline freeby pattern)

And even have some photos to share!

Best wishes to all you Lovely Readers ~ may all your gifts be inspired and plentiful.

May all health, happiness, joy, and peace be yours now and in the coming year.

(And all your holiday sewing be completed magically!)

🎄   🎄   🎉   🎄   🎄

stash-busting

view d

Finally getting back into a routine here, with sewing definitely in the mix.

In June I’d pulled from stash (after at least 3 years), cut out and finished the edges on a lovely cotton lawn ( White Tree Fabrics, U.K.).  Got it completed this past week (below left).

Used view D from this inspiredly (is that a word?) gifted pattern (thanks again to you know who), which I love to wear for sleep or lounging because it’s so comfortable.

Also just completed a gorgeously autumnal patterned cotton flannel caftan. That fabric I’d ordered whilst living in Chicago and is from fairly deep stash.

Originally, I’d thought I’d wear it a lot, but worried about the so-large pattern. Finally decided no one will see it but me, so why worry?

Am using a “pattern” from my head. Something I sewed up quickly one day in Northern California in the 90’s when I didn’t have time/money/whatever to go hunt for a pattern.

There the evenings used to get very cool in summer, unless El Niño was blowing all the cool Pacific air away. Residents called it Nature’s air conditioning. Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Fog,” expresses that summertime phenomenon perfectly.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Coming back to current East Coast to say the 2011 photo on the right is that summer fog rolling in over the Santa Cruz Mountains and across Silicon Valley, round about 3 one afternoon.

No leaves turning pretty colours round this lower East Coast. They just die, are brown, and fall off. Sigh.

Meanwhile, hope you Lovely Readers are comfy & cosy whichever side of the equator you’re on.

 

mid-week hodgepodge

sewing hang tabs on tea towels – pedestrian, but necessary!

Love this quote (thanks to Prof. Pski’s blog) from Poirot in Christie’s 1947 short story, “The Capture of Cerberus” (The Labours of Hercules):

“All these young women who surrounded him- so alike, so devoid of charm, so lacking in rich alluring femininity! He demanded a more flamboyant appeal. Ah! To see a femme du monde, chic, sympathetic, spirituelle – a woman with ample curves, a woman ridiculously and extravagantly dressed!”

But, wait . . . Searching for a better link to this story after declining to use the official Christie page (“BUY” written everywhere), I found the excerpted story and a newsy bit: Christie’s Poirot, hints of “s*x,” and why this story went unpublished for 60 years. U.K. readers & Christie aficionados may know all about this, but it was news to me.

So take a break from today’s “reality” and escape into Poirot’s world, where method and order prevail.

~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~

last fabric order
Got my fabrics from Vogue Fabrics and immediately checked to see if they were on-grain before serging the raw edges and tossing into the washer. Of the 3 pieces of cotton, one of the six edges was cut properly.

behold the pile from ripping the other five edges.
turquoise cotton batik “pegged out” over the shower rail – it does feel a bit better…

Perhaps because I got the end of the bolt, the touch was rougher than the swatches, and I was disappointed when it came out of the dryer. Have just washed it again and am air-drying over the shower rail. (Noticed the fabric is translucent both wet and dry.)

So, am re-thinking the turquoise/teal group of fabrics…  Perhaps the turquoise would make a better Victoria blazer (By Hand London, or BHL)  but I’d have to try squeezing out the cropped version. And find a lining. So am still very much in planning stages for that group.

The orangey batik is lovely and light weight, but I’m wondering how badly the off-grain printing is going to affect my plan for a duster with an opening straight down the front (like this one).

bottom edge is selvedge; left edge is serged after ripping

Check out the lower selvedge and the left serged edge in the photo. Do please tell me what you think. Am I being too nit-picky?

Had thought an asymmetrical front instead, but am afraid it might look a lopsided mistake rather than planned.

gotta have me greens!

Lastly, the neutrally-dotted lawn’s texture is good and should pair with a lot of the greens I already have (as shown). It will be another duster to blend over the greens and the few browns in stash.

Lastly, from Lizzie’s latest Vintage Traveler Miscellany is a 20-minute film I found utterly charming, scenic and informative. Thank you, Lizzie!

TWEED: From Hill to Hill, a Rural Tradition