Tag Archives: upcycling

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.

in search of …

Over on the left is a photo of a much loved, 10+ year-old tunic (nightshirt? minidress?) I’d love to re-create. It’s never piled, feels absolutely wonderful, but has developed holes along strain areas—elbows and sleeve head, etc.

Last year I tried shortening the sleeves and adding a remnant, but the fabric just didn’t work. I couldn’t face making a new version, but I kept the original.

After resurrecting it again during Autumn’s Wardrobe Review & Grand Purge I thought again about recreating it. If only I could find a similar fabric. So the search began.

There’s no fashion fabric store nearby, so online is my only option. After searching a few sites, I got to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, just outside Chicago.

After finding an option or three and procrastinating for weeks as we do, just to be sure, I finally tried to order swatches. Paypal seems to be permanently blocked, or their system can’t handle my having used two different emails over the years, so I called the store a couple of days later.

In talking with the office I realised they sell past copies of their seasonally-curated collections—$3 for over 40 swatches, some of which would be out of stock, but not the ones I wanted. And they also had a swatch card of all their combed cotton-Lycra knits (17 swatches for $5).

The downside was waiting a week before these were mailed, and 3 more days before receipt; however, no postage fee. If memory serves, they didn’t list a faster service unless I wanted to fly to Chicago & pick up in-store. Not!

What else is new? Two full bags of donations waiting for a few more additions before being dropped off at Goodwill… Finished another great Louise Penny book and am in the middle of her A Rule Against Murder… A nice holiday on Thursday followed by a long holiday weekend, lots of wonderful fabrics to be grateful for and continue sewing, and some of the nicest sewing friends all over the world.

🍂 🦃 Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates this week, and Happy Week to those who don’t! 🦃 🍂

denim: 🥰 or ☹️ ???

Do you love denim?

Guess you could say I love the colour, but not the heavy fabric itself.

I’m all into soft and flowy fabrics. Perhaps part of my non-appreciation of denim is due to not seeing good quality denim fabric, but a lot of it is sheer ignorance. You can find anything on the web, but you gotta know what to look for, right?

So curiosity, and knowing I would get solid facts presented intelligently by women that know their fabrics had me listening to Love to Sew’s latest podcast on denim.

And I got all the info and links anticipated, plus a lovely surprise that had me looking at denim fabric, just out of curiosity, you understand… . . 😉

How long have I been a fan of Helen and Caroline, the hosts of Love to Sew? Probably not that long, considering they’ve been presenting a podcast a week for two years. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY ! ! ! 🥂 💐 But I’ve done a lot of listening to older podcasts, and have recommended some to friends, too.

The photo (she said we could use it) is Helen wearing a dress she refashioned in 2016 from three pairs of her partner’s old jeans. Her blog post details how she did it. Definitely a woman who knows her way around some denim!

But the best news for denim lovers is Caroline (who owns Blackbird Fabrics in Vancouver) is doing a Denim Drop tomorrow. Yep. FRIDAY! (Now you know why I went browsing. hehehehee!)

Earlier this summer I ordered a bit of non-denim lusciousness from Blackbird but am caught in August’s intense heat so haven’t made it up yet. Blackbird’s U.S. shipping is good, and all you lovelies in U.K. and beyond should check their rates before automatically turning away.

Blackbird is a Canadian shop, and they know how to make it all happen for sewers around the world. Their packaging is well thought out and recyclable.

See you Lovelies tomorrow at the sale?!

Edited Friday noon: Just checked out Blackbird and don’t see any label of major sale or new denim as yet… but there’s a 100% viscose that looks drapey interesting…

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.

connecting dots

I’d been wearing my dotted duster a few times and decided that the facings along the length of the front, although attached at the bottom, were still entirely too flappy. Time to get out the needle and thread and do a proper stitching all the way round.

So I did just that, whilst enjoying the third Jane Harper book, The Lost Man. Another Aussie mystery, set this time in the outback of Queensland. It was marvelous listening!

In case you’re interested, Harper has done a great 10 minute TED Talk on practical creativity, and it’s on the site.

I spent part of Saturday cutting out a 1998 OOP pattern, Butterick 5487, which I’d just seen over at Anne’s The Compulsive Seamstress. It immediately reminded me of a linen knit top I’d loved and wanted to replace. B5487 is close enough to the linen to have immediately caught my eye, and luckily saw a copy on Etsy.

In between that I finally started an early crochet pattern from Lucy at Attic24, and realized Sunday I was using half double crochet instead of double (U.S. terms). Oops. 🤭 Why I keep confusing these two stitches is beyond me.

Had quite a bit done but decided to frog it all out and start over. Glad I did and it’s progressing much faster as I’m now familiar with the first part of the directions.

Also on the sewing table is a black linen skirt, which I decided last week was too dowdy and needed to be shortened about three inches. The midi look I’d wanted just wasn’t working.

However, because I’d hacked an RTW maxi dress, it was the original hem. All I’d done was cut the dress at the waist, made a casing and inserted elastic. A quick fix.

But as I had a few more cd’s of The Lost Man to listen to I decided to keep the original hem and take the skirt up from the waist. Picking out that seam wasn’t as bad as I feared, and the skirt is on deck to get finished whenever I remember to try it on and measure exactly where to cut a bit more off.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week with decent weather. For those of us desperately wishing for the season to end, the solstice arrives tomorrow, and soon every day will start getting shorter (or longer if you’re south of the equator).

I knew I was forgetting something! Remember my peppermint stripe outfit from last week? It got worn this weekend, and a bit of work has been done to make it more, um, palatable.

The shoulder seams got hoicked up, which raised the arm holes and neck-—already high enough. I also did a 3″ slit on either side, using the side seams. If I feel inclined in the future, I’ll cut more binding and fix the arms.

The other fix is for the shorts. I realized they were a couple inches too long and started fiddling, then realized I should tighten the elastic waist… then realized if I did that I should consider chopping a couple inches off at the waist. That would raise the waist, the legs, and the crotch. Then I remembered adding extra to the top of the waist when cutting out… why, I don’t recall. Duh!

So there’s plenty to do round here. Wonder if I could find another fascinating audio book at the library…

macro monday

Happy Holiday to those having one!

Thought I’d give you a close up view of this holiday’s watching telly project. (I took out all the seams.)

Just the last bit of fabric from small kitchen curtains from California days—15+ years ago.

Ya can’t keep a good piece of cotton forever in The Collection. Sometimes it just has to come out!

The other piece of this became a market bag gifted to a neighbour.

Below is the entire piece, so you get a better idea of pattern. The small white square marks the enlargement for the above photo. I don’t see any hint of fading, and still love all the bright colours.

Hope your Monday is full of bright, lovely moments. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

computer’s ba-a-ack . . .

 

real wellies & woolies day outside

. . .  faster and 500 gigs fatter than the old hard drive. He-he! Whilst that tablet left me cursing more than once, it was adequate for keeping in touch and it also uncovered some surprises.

The sensitive touch screen was danged uncomfortable to get used to, but what felt like forever was actually more like three days.

Appropriate apps were quickly downloaded once I discovered how truly bad the pre-programmed search engine was.  (And pop-up ads were conquered, too.)

Using the tablet I read a couple of my favourite Mrs. Malory books unavailable except in on-line editions. Delightful bedtime reads. (Shh! Rumor has it Santa  pre-ordered another favourite: Mrs. Tim Gets a Job by D.E. Stevenson.) I still prefer books to electronics, but needs must when availability (and price!) are concerned.

Friend Scott out in San Francisco has been working with Dean Street Press  getting a lot of out-of-print authors back into print, and this is one of the newest batch from his Furrowed Middlebrow (FM) series. Amazon US                      Amazon UK

I’ve read all of F.M.’s  Frances Faviell books, and enjoyed them tremendously. One of the delightful things about Scott’s series is they’ve all had half a chapter or so on Amazon to download for free, so you can get a sense of the writing before buying. Most helpful ~ wish more companies would do this.

cannot for the life of me remember why there’s a whole packet of this colour in stash… not one of my ‘usual’ shades!

What else has been going on besides watching late election returns and reading? The normal seasonal clothing swap, with associated mendings, such as those leftovers from late last winter’s tops I’d chosen not to hem. They’re now sorted, and I’ve moved on to some RTW slightly short old cords. Plus thinking more urgently about several pieces of winter fabric and how to make them up.  Photos soon.

Slowly some projects are making their way through the thinking stages, and they’re a mix of hot and cold weather items. Am I the only one doing this? The climate down here can be 60’s one day and 40’s two days later.

Sometimes I’ll put on a video while seam ripping, and lately I’ve revisited that dapper gent Lord Peter Wimsey. Ages ago when the series came out in the U.S.  National Public Radio wrote, “They offer us a fantasy of perfect closure, a world where even bloody murder is little more than a brainteaser that can, and will, be solved.” If there’s ever a time for whimsy, it’s whilst seam ripping.

I might have finally cracked my crater bread problem, partly by accident. I was rereading the booklet that came with the machine and realised they’d specified one type of yeast at the beginning, when describing ingredients in general.

But the specific recipes didn’t specify that same yeast. I had been using regular yeast. Wrong. Seems I needed rapid rise for bread maker bread.  I checked with King Arthur’s web site,  my on-line bread experts.

proper bread — at last! ! !

Yep. The change was made. And not too much change resulted in my next loaf. Oops?

Then one weekend I forgot to stop the machine and remove the paddle before the bread started the final rise. That loaf was perfect.

Cutting out the paddle from the centre bottom wasn’t too difficult. The loaf sliced beautifully, and the crumb was more consistent and lighter. Maybe I should give the King Arthur yeast a try, too.

Meanwhile, today looks more like rainy Yorkshire than a southern state (no disrespect meant to Yorkshire as I love such days), but I’ve no fireplace to sit in front of and knit or crochet. Maybe I’ll sort out the un-moldy blackberries and stir up some muffins.  But the library’s open after the hol. Maybe I’ll venture forth and see what’s on the shelf . . .

Lovelies,

May your horizons be even more bountiful!

Forgive me, couldn’t resist adding one of my favourites.

😉

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 . . .

bits & bobs & yet another weather whine

After over a week of 80’s we’re finally having a couple of cooler days with perhaps a bit of light rain. Then the 80’s return with vengeance. Would not be surprised if Friday goes to 90. Thank goodness for rayon, linen, and air conditioning.

On a more seasonal note, but perhaps even more inscrutable, was this bit from Hazel Holt’s Lilies That Fester, being re-read for the umpteenth time:

“Jonah was out to a ferocious yorker and the next man gave an easy catch to first slip… [Gordon Masefield, murdered later in the book but not over cricket] prodded the pitch with his bat and faced up to the bowling…selfishly determined to keep the batting, taking a single at the end of an over when there were two perfectly good runs there…”

All I know about cricket is sometimes people sit in lounge chairs, tea is available, and it lasts all day.

Still procrastinating and haven’t ordered any wiring or trim for that hat brim. Maybe today. Got a bit stuck into a re-do of a floor length black linen & cotton shift yesterday, whacking off enough for a skirt and contemplating the remainder as a possible top.

As the original had been ankle-length, the shortened skirt’s centre front slit came to above mid-thigh. ACK! But it was an easy fix, despite being black. After a nose-to-fabric bit getting the hem undone, the rest came out fairly quickly by pulling loose  threads. Still, that was it for the day.

No. I forgot the rayon lounging trews, also black (with little red rosebuds).

Don’t remember when I cut them out nor serged the edges, but have sewed them up and yesterday sewed a small casing for skinny elastic. Except the skinny elastic wouldn’t fit through the bits where the seams were because the tunnel was too narrow just over those seams.

And I’d nicely opened out the seams, too, to eliminate bulk.  MEH!!  😢

So out came the seam ribber (again) and more nose-to-fabric ripping. Maybe I’ll try a ribbon instead of elastic. Or maybe a combo of ribbon & elastic.

And I keep forgetting to ask everyone for their thoughts on washing machines.

My previous machine wasn’t allowing hot or warm water so management replaced it with the same properly working model.

I played with the nobs to get my white sheets washed in hot water with two – TWO! – rinses & couldn’t believe the difference. Promptly washed all towels, too. (All are 100% cotton.)

I know we’re supposed to be conserving energy and resources, but please don’t make me wash and rinse in 6 inches of water and call that clean, high-efficiency, and energy star.

If washer police put me away please send fabric.. .

…and a good lawyer/solicitor!

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!

  🌈  ☀️🌈