Tag Archives: transitional

Typical Tuesday

One project completed . . .

Goodness, it’s been a while, hasn’t it! But I’ve been busier than ever, trying to keep up with everyone’s postings as well as making time now for IG posts.

And then there’s sewing.  And crocheting. And Life!

For those of an inquiring nature, I can offer two online locations for your browsing pleasure: The U.S. Library of Congress, and The British Library.

From time to time I’ve been into both, and never fail to see interesting items.

They might not be what I was searching for, as you never know what you’ll run across along the way, but sometimes that’s the most fun. 😉

Which brings me to another item I’ve had squirreled away: Su L’s (Zimmerbitch) thoughts concerning our current situation, from her  post about a month ago.

Being a New Zealander, she acquaints us with a Maori word, rahui, in reference to what we’re experiencing. I like the concept, and wondered if some of you might also like to know about it. Quoting from Su from  the online Maori dictionary, rahui means,

“Rahui (raa·hoo·ee): to put in place a temporary ritual prohibition, closed season, ban, reserve – traditionally a rāhui was placed on an area, resource or stretch of water as a conservation measure  …  A rāhui is a device for separating people from tapu things. After an agreed lapse of time, the rāhui is lifted…”

I think that idea sounds so much nicer than the LD word.  What do you think?

As you can see, I’ve been taking on some hand sewing tasks that were temporarily put off to get to the wearing part faster- hehe!

But the pile has hit the fan, so to speak, and it’s time to make the wearing part more enjoyable. After all, who appreciates forever-flapping facings?  (Added note: Am teaming up with Textile Tuesdays over at Wild Daffodil.)

And it’s May! Lovely, Springy May! Just to temper the enthusiasm — as if it needed tempering these days! — it’s also Hurricane Awareness week down south.  Sorry if that brought you down with a thud. And I know officially that mess isn’t supposed to start till June, but past statistics have caught up with just how much weather has shifted.

Clouds portending sunshine

Wouldn’t it be lovely if one of the unintended offshoots of our worldwide rahui was better weather?

MeMadeMay, the brain child of Zoe Edwards (Sew, Jo, What do You Know), is with us again. In thinking about this year’s self-challenge, I realised I already have a wardrobe of either me-made or me-refashioned clothes. So what’s to challenge??

Hidden deep in my closet are two boxes and a full hanging rack of things I almost never think about, and therefore never wear. Whatever could they be???

Jewelry. Weeelllll, it’s accessories, idn’it??

Not talkin’ the sparkly, high ticket items, but the dime store variety. Which actually, these days, can become vintage after a few decades. And that, me lovelies, is definitely moi. 😉

So my self-challenge is to wear stuff, and try not to repeat myself. But isn’t that breaking the rules?

According to Zoe herself, as interviewed by Caroline and Helen of Love to Sew podcasting fame, MeMadeMay is…

“…a month-long challenge for people that create their own clothing, be that through sewing, crocheting, knitting, refashioning, to develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe… You can literally pledge anything… The only stipulation is, really, it does have to be a challenge…”

The MeMayMay discussion starts at about the 30 minute mark into the podcast.

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Judging by what’s been worn so far, I’d say there’s a fair bit o’ orangey-red, wouldn’t you? Mind, these have been accent colours, not matchy-matchy.  Hmmm… Interesting, veddy interesting.

In case you’ve been Zooming away, I ran across a couple of articles on settings to help you be less palatable to unwanted “guests.”  Whilst Zoom experts are working on better security, this and this is supposed to help.

Ending with a gentle reminder that the 15th, Friday-week, is our next #VirtualTeaParty2020, and you’re all invited!

Note: This was taken at a Tea Party prior to rahui.

Textile Tuesday

(The above piccies are repeated here from a 2015 post that is referenced below.)

Linking up with Wild Daffodil’s Textile Tuesday post. She’s unearthed some fabulous fabrics, and I’ve linked her to a 2015 post of my own. (And copied the photos from that post above.)

In the 2015 post I was mumbling on about swapping out winter clothing for spring, and showed some of the sweaters and fabrics involved in my musings.  (See above.)

Below is a photo taken just now, showing how I combined the green corduroy and the upholstery fabric into two 20″ pillows.

I could have done one all-green fabric and one all-upholstery fabric, but chose to make them identical, so half-and-half they had to be. Now they match.

I generally show the green in summer and as they’re corduroy, have the nap going down so the shading matches. The upholstery pattern side I use in winter.

That reminds me… still have some of that green cord . . . 🤔

 

🍂 it’s friday ❣️ 🍂

Lots of reading/listening and a bit of sewing going on here at Chez CnS, with colder weather (YEAH!!!) ushering in last weekend’s time change, and again this weekend.

Results of my thimble experiments are in and not good. The Medium is too big for my finger. Whaaaaaaaa! 😣 However, I’m hoping they will not be unused for long. . . .

FYI: A Size Medium thimble may fly off your finger if a tape measure wrapped snuggly around your thimble finger’s digit is smaller than my 1-7/8″ digit. Not written in stone, because fingers are different with different amounts of taper, and differing styles in hand sewing. Just saying Mediums flew off my finger. 😉

The new “ergonomic” seam ripper is fine, but I’ll probably wrap something around its’ too-slippery handle as my hand slides down it towards the metal. I keep having to move it back up into my hand. The handle is longer and thicker than others, but other than that, ergonomic it ain’t.

An updating project to change the pockets on my only denim skirt was completed. The skirt got lots of winter wear when I lived farther north. (Be aware that if you’re out and about in snow in a skirt this long, the bottom of your skirt may get wet.)

Snow isn’t a problem down here so I left the length for now, but those pockets bothered me. I took them off, adjusted the linings so the white didn’t outline them, removed the cute buttons, and discovered my phone fits with room to spare. Unfortunately, boots won’t get worn with this skirt in this climate. Not cold enough. 😪

A huge Thank You to whomever recommended the Louise Penny books, and my apologies for not remembering who it was. I’ve listened to the first, Still Life, and the 13th, Glass Houses. I listened to the third, The Cruelest Month, the week of Hallowe’en. Perfect timing. 👻 🙀

It is wise to start with the first book, as a Lovely Reader suggested—whose name I also don’t recall so please forgive me. Although I was fascinated and horrified by the subject of the more recent Glass Houses, there were a few things I didn’t understand because I didn’t know past history; however, that did not detract as far as I could tell.

The 13th, Glass Houses, includes an interview with Ms. Penny and the voice and stage actor Robert Bathurst, who took over reading after voice and stage actor Ralph Cosham’s death. More on their creative approaches to writing and acting in another post.

Any Elizabeth Peters fans amongst you, Lovely Readers? Does famed Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson ring any bells? The last of that series, The Painted Queen, read by the incomparable Barbara Rosenblat, also came home for a rollicking listen. (click the pic to link to site)

Author Barbara Mertz has herself gone to that Great Pyramid in the Sky, so this story was completed by Joan Hess, as mentioned at the start of the audio book. As Ms. Rosenblat came to the end, I must admit regretting there will be no more.

The first recorded book I ever listened to was read by Ms. Rosenblatt, and she’s thoroughly spoilt me for anyone not up to her standards. If you like to listen whilst you sew/crochet/whatever, you can’t go wrong with something she’s done.

Today’s Friday and I hope everyone has great things planned for their weekend. I know I do… fingers crossed… 🍂 🤣 😂 🤣 🍂

new tools 😁

It was 85F last Sunday, with humidity high enough to make it feel like 90.

Needless to say, I decided not to work on flannel trousers. Am leaving that for the weekend, when a cold front traveling cross-country should arrive.

Instead, I completed a little sleeve lengthening project I’ve been meaning to get done for… um, several years. Ever since friend Ali sent over some gorgeousness from John Lewis haberdashery.

The jacket is a cotton linen made in 2013 from Folkwear’s Middy Blouse. It hasn’t gotten much wear despite my liking it very much. The weather just hadn’t cooperated, or I forgot about it, or whatever. I still need to re-sew those facings down more firmly, and then I’ll iron it.

Which brings me to hand sewing. I’d quite gone off that, but after reading Karen Ball’s The Little Book of Sewing (click the pic to go to the U.S. site) decided to try it again and realised several things. Mostly that I needed a proper thimble.

But what’s “proper?” Online research landed me on Karen’s blog, where I read fascinating comments about different kinds of thimbles for different kinds of hand sewing.

Since I only had two decorative thimbles sent by my dear Midlands friend (you know who you are, Lovely), and a too-large metal one, I decided it was time for some additions.

They arrived today, along with an ergonomic seam ripper and thread wax, both of which I’d been meaning to acquire.

Will report my thoughts, and there’s already another item I’m hunting. Will keep you posted. 😉

So, Dear Readers, any thoughts on thimbles?

macro monday

Recognize this macro photo? It’s scrap cotton lawn used as the inside waistband of blue flannel trousers made at the end of last winter.

Closet/wardrobe analysis has picked up a tad due to some temporarily cooler weather. Yeah!

Last week we had a cold front come through—thank you, Canada! Just in case we get more colder weather I spent the weekend airing out and laundering the coat closet.

Nice change of pace. 😉

Thus the need to get out the flannel trousers from last year, along with coordinating tops, although they were only needed for a couple of days.

And that’s how I discovered the navy flannels need some attention. Oh, goody. More ripping out.

Not a bad thing because I’ve discovered Louise Penny’s excellent series, and our library has a lot of them on disc. Nothing nicer than welding a seam ripper whilst listening to a good yarn. 😁

But I digress… Back to the flannels. I know I tried them on last year, but I didn’t actually wear them. Last week I did, and realised they need the waistband taken off and lowered, and I might also take in the side seams.

I deliberately cut the legs to be wide; however, stiff flannel might not be the best choice of fabric for a wide leg silhouette. Am still debating that one.

After all, one can always take in the seams. 🤣 😆 😁

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?)

playing

Had a bit of a play lately.

Figured I had earned it after polishing off my black linen skirt and finally getting the handles sewn onto the veggie bag.

So here’s what I did with some wonderful crocheted doilies gifted to me by Ali, who knows the woman that made them. (Thanks again, hon!)

However, I do think they could use a spot of colour, don’t you? Maybe some ribbon to hide the rubber bands. Hm…

Have been meaning to post this update to that peppermint stripe outfit: It started pilling less than a month after I finished it. Good thing I’d mentally tagged the fabric for stretchy muslins.

Oddly, the bermudas seem to be okay. Wait! Better check the seat . . . . it’s okay! Don’t feel so bad now.

click pic for original post

Have been wanting something in a solid green and remembered this from my Chicago days, languishing in the Needs Refashioning pile. Spent quite some time taking the waist apart, trying to figure out what on earth I’d done. It took a couple of long ripping out sessions.

But newly washed and ironed, it’s hanging whilst I gather my courage to cut into a summer dress I’d put in the refashion pile earlier this year. Hoping to use the dress for waistband facing and a sleeveless blouse. Fingers crossed! 😉

Meanwhile, hope everyone is surviving their season! ❣️❣️❣️

ps… The Guardian had an interesting article on craft/activism here.

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! 😘😘

so now its spring

Also known as Time for Contemplative Clear-Outs.

Uhm. . . sort of doing that. I did change around curtains in three rooms and am making attempts to decide which boxes must be saved and which can go. Hope that counts. 🙂

Honestly. Why do electronics companies want consumers to keep all their packaging? We don’t have unlimited storage space. And it’s not like we’re allowed to return/recycle gizmos for discounts on the latest model. Oye! 🙄

Don’t they realise adequate space must be allowed for Fabric and Pattern Collections? 🤨

Had been debating whether to use the free Peppermint wide leg trouser pattern or spend my all-too-few shekels on something else which I cannot now remember, so guess that’s sorted.

Then I saw Anne (Compulsive Seamstress) blogging about a new, great-looking jumpsuit pattern, Jadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory, and am now wondering whether to stick to what I already have (McCall’s 6083) or spend shekels on Jadie.

What to do? Hack existing pattern?? Add to the Collection??? Ahhhhh!!! 😱

And that brings up another perennial question — how much fabric is too much, and how many patterns are too many?

All has become Too Much for ickle moi. Will visit the scrap drawer to search for pockets and waistbands for navy flannels. ✂️✂️

Meanwhile, may your bobbins always be full! ✂️✂️

PS/ If you don’t hear from me again soon, send a search party. And lots of dark chocolate. hehehee! 😄