My Bernina may still be somewhere in storage, but there’s one thing that came to light straight away: My crochet hooks, bag, and a bit of yarn. Yeah!
There’s a lovely local craft thrift store that accepts every kind of crafty thing you can possibly imagine. And they had the perfect single ball of yarn plus crochet hooks until I found mine in storage… It might still have been summer, but humidity is veeeerry much less up here, so it was no problem at all to whip up a little neck warmer to gift to my landlady.
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!
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.
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.
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. 🙈
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!
“Tartan Day is a North American celebration of Scottish heritage on 6 April, the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. It originated in Canada in the mid-1980s. It spread to other communities of the Scottish diaspora in the 1990s. In Australia, a similar International Tartan Day is held on 1 July, the anniversary of the repeal of the 1747 Act of Proscription that banned the wearing of tartan.”
Thought I’d pass that along in case anyone has some tartan in their closet. 😉 But if not . . . . .
They’re a lovely smallish museum housed in an old post office building, and have some interesting things to exhibit. (Ever heard of bead strings? 😲 Me neither. Imagine all those antique beeeeads. . . .)
Incidentally, Libby includes magazines, so I’m keeping current with Country Living UK (always fascinated by the glimpses from Lucy’s Attic24 blog). Also Simply Sewing and Simply Crochet (both are UK publications), Peppermint magazine (Australian), Scotland magazine (mum used to get it), and Sew News (U.S.). Very sadly, Threads magazine isn’t available.
But special thanks go to Lizzie over at The Vintage Traveler, for mentioning PieceWork, which is available on Libby. Some really fascinating articles about all sorts of “things made by hand and the history behind them.”
Has anyone been reading Lucy’s Blogtober postings over at Attic 24? For those not in the know, Lucy — considered by many to be Crochet Queen, as well as living in possibly the most charming spot for photographing (Skipton, Yorkshire, U.K.) — writes a daily post during October and I’m thoroughly enjoying them.
Last but not least, here’s a second prototype of the soap sack, using more leftover yarn. It’s been in use and nothing’s fallen out this time, so it might be a working model.
It’s just a rectangle of (U.S.) single crochet, folded in half, with three sides stitched together, and a 3-strand yarn braid woven around the top (4th side) for a gathered closure. Be sure to leave a bit of room at the top of the rectangle for slightly larger soap bits!
I remembered to do that because I’m struggling with how to fix the too small pockets I put on my last denim dress-to-skirt conversion. But that’s for another time, after I’ve tried out an idea that came whilst I sorted through the jumble of assorted to-be-ironed items thrown laying on top of the ironing board.
Trying to convince myself to at least iron the pillowcases and napkins and leave the rest for later, I sat down to check email. . . and here we are. Well, I’m sure you never have days like this, do you? 🤣 😆 🤪 Aaagghhh!
Been meaning to crochet a small open-weave sack to put all my Maja soap shards in, but I don’t have any ideas for a pattern and can’t remember the proper name for what it is I’m looking for, so can’t search Ravelry.
Can anybody help?!?! HUGE THANK YOU’s!!!
In return, here’s some piccies I took to answer a question over on IGgy, when I showed one of my reels of rayon Hug Snug. If you’ve not heard about it, have a gander. . . . .
(Click any pic for a larger view, just like the older version of WP.)
Which also reminds me ~ remember I started knitting the remainder of some brown flecked yarn as a second narrow scarf? When I realised just how tense my shoulders got whilst knitting it, I frogged the puny 4″ I’d accomplished and went back to crochet. So now I have my own lovely narrow crocheted scarf, and a you-know-what gift already done. Hope that rates as a ta-da. (It’s too early for the C-word 🙀)
Plopping in all the Hug Snug piccies reminded me of another query: Any suggestions on if & how I can unravel & recycle the gorgeous Italian merino wool in this sweater? Adore the colour❣️
This being the Autumnal Equinox has gotten me remembering what “regular” Autumn was like before you-know-what.
May your weather be cooperative in whichever hemisphere your lovely selves are gracing.
Comfy is still the vibe I’d be going for, so I settled down for a very late clean-out-the-fridge lunch with The Sisters.
(They’re really partners who started a sewing business together, and both also have teens and hubbies — none of which applies to moi. But working from home is working from home, and so is comfort! (Plus, their choices aren’t so laid back you’d be under suspicion if you risked a quick trip for take-out.)
Plus — and this is a BIG plus — I got several great ideas for easy crochet patterns for Autumn/Winter, and now have a great free sweater pattern to find yarn for: The Habitat Cardi by Make Do & Crew. (Note to self: Check pattern directions & Ravelry reviews first — would I reeeally make it? Yeeees!)
I had no idea Agatha Raisin (on telly) had continued over in Blighty, and their fourth season is in the works now. 😱 😱 😱
Where have I BEEN????
Not checking BBC, that’s for sure. As I type, series 2 is winging it’s way to me and I plan a bit of binging as soon as it hits my mail box.
Have been test-wearing my Autumn tablecloth top but cannot decide if I’d be comfortable wearing it out. It’s shorter than my usual well-below-waist length.
That’s very cooling inside, and should make it ideal for outside. . . except I keep thinking that if air can flow in freely…… so can 🦟 🦟🦟
And it’s been long time no blog! But I’ve been keeping up by reading everyone else’s, even if commenting has been minimal.
Must admit to being a bit excited about an upcoming event that’s not sewing related. My nevvie is gradating this month with his Masters. However, there’s a wee fly in the ointment, so to speak, and that’s where this sewing peep comes in…
It’s the robe, that august symbol of graduation. But this one also has another agenda: recycle & reuse. The tag inside the gown reads, “Made in USA from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”.
When cloth gets wrinkled it can be ironed in some fashion. But what about “… 100% post-consumer plastic bottles”? And that’s the prob.
Sis2 is at her wits’ end. She’s tried hanging it in the shower – no change. She’s repeatedly used a garment steamer, alternately spritzing with hot and cold water. Nothing. “Even dry cleaners in town won’t touch it,” she noted.
Earlier on she tried ironing what she now thinks was a similar material masquerading as a dress shirt. She said it “shredded.”
I’ve asked on IG and so far, no one’s written that they know just what to do. Any ideas you lovelies might have will be very warmly appreciated. Sis2, the one who felts & knits, sends her appreciation & thanks to all. And so do I!!
It’s been a trying last 10 days or so, attempting to get a decent bottle of milk. Sounds simple – right? But no . . .
First there was the totally wrong grocery order, followed by a same-day correct order. So far, so good – phew! But then I happened to look at email after dinner and discovered there was another identical order practically on its’ way.
Frantically I got it cancelled. Running low on milk a few days later I manufactured yet another grocery order for those special things only one store carried. That bottle of milk got squished and leaked all over the bottom of the bag.
Click a pic to enlarge
By this time I had used enough pantry items to make yet another grocery order, and that large bottle of milk arrived with no intact safety seal. So it got poured down the drain.
Today I finally received bottles of milk with intact safety seals, un-squished, and no leaks in sight.
books What else have I been doing, if not sewing up a storm?
Yep, the itch to read the latest from Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series (The Spotted Dog) has been thoroughly scratched, and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. All the usual cast of characters are around, although Meroe was a bit quieter than in other volumes. (Was it you, Kate, who’s also a fan & recommended it? Thank you!)
Also tackled and enjoyed Erik Larson’s very lengthy but riveting The Splendid and the Vile — a practically minute-by-minute account of the first couple years of WW II as it unfolded for Great Britain. Must admit I hadn’t realised how quickly everything escalated against Britain, and how horribly long it took to get FDR to understand what was at stake. It reminded me of how precarious liberty still is.
I also did a second installment of Barak Obama’s Promised Land, and am about half way through the 800 pages. I borrow the version that he reads, as there’s so much nuance added by his inflections. Very enjoyable, but extremely detailed; enlightening, but with moments of dread, knowing what happened after his presidency. Am still very much in recovery mode from the last 4 years, and the gradually abating (🤞🤞) pandemic.
All for now — time to start relaxing as the weekend is here! What have you planned? I’ve already ordered pizza and salad so I don’t have to cook Sunday. Yippee! Might even have time for a stitch or two . . . 😆
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.
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?
“…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.
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!
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.
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! 🦃 🍂
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…
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