Tag Archives: winter

hoovering

I decided to hoover my mattress the other day. No forethought. No reason.  

“Hoovering” is a British term for vacuuming, but I’m claiming it’s kosher for me, too, because I own one.

It came with a miniature suction roller attachment. They claim it’s for hoovering up pet hair or soft furnishings. (No, it’s not recommended for use on pets, even if some owners are tempted.)

I spent most of the day washing bed linens, putting pillows in the dryer to refresh them, just getting on with it and never changing out of my jammies.

(Don’cha love those days when you give yourself permission to just do the work and not worry about getting dressed ?)

Mind, I did do all the crockery washing up, proper morning ablutions and such, but I sooooo wished I could ‘a been pegging out in the sunshine and fresh air.  Ahhhh . . . . .

About mid-afternoon the thought came that I was getting on with something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, and I should be a happy chapess. 😳 What might encourage the feeling?

The Stitch Sisters! The YT gods put up a 2-part Autumn/Winter pattern review from 2020 – their COVID collection of comfy clothes. Perfect! It’s never to early to think about cold weather togs!

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 🦟 🦟🦟

😳

Easter, a not-so-silent Sunday

I almost never use a feature image, but as this is a hol that I had a photo for, and the rest of this is about my LB Pullover test wearing, it seemed appropriate. Not getting fancy, mind, just making do.

Back story: Back last winter, when I was waiting for a load of fleece from Vogue Fabrics to arrive, I downloaded a copy of the Talvikki Sweater pattern by Named. But when the fleece arrived and I had it in hand, I realised there might be some problems with that neckline and my thick fleece. (There’s fleece and there’s thick fleece – I had the latter, which is great for damp, cold weather.) So I messaged someone I knew had made several Talvikki’s: Anne, of Compulsive Seamstress.

Anne suggested the LB Pullover instead, noting it could also be used with woven fabrics. After doing a bit more reading up on it, I was taping the pages together. (Incidentally, she makes the case for making multiples of any pattern you like – so why do we feel guilty when we do?!)

Here’s the front . . .

Friday was a chilly day so I test wore this second iteration to see how it worked in real life. As usual when I’m test wearing a make, I did not finish the sleeves or the hem. In addition, I’d left one side open about 4 inches for a vent. (I forgot when sewing the first side seam, and didn’t want to get out the seam ripper. 🙄 There will be a single vent in this version. )

I’d wanted to try cutting the sleeves with the most stretch going around the arm rather than running the length of the arm, but as this was a relatively small remnant I didn’t have that option. Rest assured, there’s a third version in the planning stage, and that one has enough fabric. Maybe I’d better make a little note . . . . . . .

My other question was using two different weight knit fabrics (the orange being slightly weightier). Would they play nicely together, or start fighting from the get-go? Seaming the sides, from wrist through under-arm and down to the waist was a good test. So far, both are doing okay, with not much detectable – as in wavy seams, missing stitches, and so forth. (Will be back with a single fabric for the next version.)

I did notice, when looking in the bathroom mirror, the sizing on this version – although the same as the first fleece version – looks about 2 sizes too big on both sides. While wearing I didn’t notice any problems. Except I got the dreaded purpley side facing wrong way round when I first pulled it on. 🙈

And the back – where I don’t have to see it – hehehee!

My non-stretchy-for-the-washing-up wrist problem with the first fleece version continues with this, but I’m not beating m’self up over it. Needs must, or not enough fabric in this case.

This is a quick pattern to cut and sew up, provided you don’t misread directions, as I did with this version.

Attaching the neck facing is done a bit differently than I’m used to and I managed to make it a multi-step process, with many trimmings necessary, as well as a real fudgey bit. BIG note on the PDF instructions page to remind myself not to do that again.

But really, we can finish off necks and arms and waists any d##* way we choose these days. It’s called freedom. And we sewists, or people who sew, are free to do it any way we choose!

One facet of this pattern is you can also use woven fabric for it. And that’s something I’m also going to be trying. We’ve already had days in the 80’s, and it’s only a matter of time before those higher numbers become “normal.”

And I run screaming into the AC and dig out all my cotton lawn and light-weight challis . . . . . 🥵

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!

2021, continued — or, Can I stop career dressing?

Diaries by paperblanks – my latest now in use.

I knew during the 2019-2020 winter that I needed to sew up some winter clothes a basic winter wardrobe, but I had an intuition to put it on hold. (It was a short, warm winter 😉.)

After decades of dressing professionally — whatever that means — my fabric and pattern collections mirrored that style. Meanwhile, I was working from home, trying to ramp up on-line diction & coaching sessions, and living a more relaxed life style.

Last March the rest of the world reluctantly joined me.  My resistance to more casual styles started to crumble. So did everyone else’s.

By November the wonderful world of indie pattern designers were churning out more appropriate patterns, and smart U.S. fabric stores were bypassing the post office for UPS or FedEx. BUT: Would I go the PDF route?

For me, everything started to coalesce when Love to Sew aired an October podcast, Sewing Loungewear. Then Vogue Fabrics had a quick fleece sale, PDFPlotting announced a big PDF pattern printing sale, and several indie pattern companies also announced sales.

Resistance fled.

3 of 4, washed (brown’s drying). The top navy (& brown) are for pants, gold & green (below gold) are for tops.

Thus, I find myself with 4 pieces of nice, soft and cuddly fleece for pyjama-style tops & bottoms, and a couple other pieces for spring makes. Heaven knows I’ve already got enough rayon for hot weather wear.

Now I’ve gotta run . . . there’s an LB Pullover pattern needing glue stick attention, and a Talvikki, and I need to consult my jacket pdf pattern pile . . . oh, and get those muffins done for Friday’s Virtual Tea Party. You’re all invited!

See you then . . . . . I hope! 😘

 

 

2021

Diaries by paperblanks – my latest now in use.

Well, it’s here and frankly, I don’t feel much difference, do you?

I mean, apart from the daily dreadful health news and (here across the pond) increasingly bizarre political news.

Is it any wonder my (and many others) have seen their sewjo gone walkabout, and in my case taken blogging with it?

But I keep thinking about blogging, and making notes of interesting-to-me things to share so at least I can collect a few of them into a post or two. Got your cuppa handy? Okay, here goes ~

Always a shot in the positive energy department is Marcy Harriell of Oonaballoona. She’s started a YouTube channel along with her husband, Rob, and I like it.

Here’s a recent interview I found particularly interesting because she explains why she and Rob are living in his hometown (Arkansas) instead of their home base in NYC’s theatre world.

While we’re on YT … I must thank whoever it was that mentioned Kate of The Last Homely House. She’s a crafting retiree living in Northumberland, and a real treasure. I’ve “passed her on” to friends & relatives, who agree.

My long-absent sewjo snuck in just long enough for me to take advantage of a few pre-holiday sales for fleece, patterns, and a couple other additions to The Collection (aka, my stash).

One major reason nothing has been touched involves my printer.

Think PDF pattern printing. A 3D face mask pattern, to be precise. I’d decided to gift myself a couple more and found a seasonal scrap. Couldn’t find the pattern I’d used, so printed off another – only a page! Fussy cut two masks plus linings and had one sewn up, the other 3/4’s sewn. Then I tried it on.

It was toooo small. 🙀 🙈 😫 Comparing it to one that fit I saw it was ¾ of what it should have been. Wrong size, I thought. But after checking I discovered it was the right size.   🤨

Sitting in front of the computer, wondering what had gone wrong and about to hit the Print key I looked at the screen. Normally I see options for printing, but (algorithm?) gremlins had changed it to a generic Print-without-options screen. I changed it back.

Then I could see the scale had been auto-set for 96% instead of 100%.  The light dawned.  A quick look at that what shoulda been a  2″square on the pattern and that was the problem. Mystery solved and 2 non-seasonal masks  made.

That reminds me of another “discovery,” but I’ll save that for another day. . . he-hee!

💕 Thanks for wading through reading! 💕

☃️ 🥂 To be continued 🥂 ☃️

Happy New Year❣️

Has everyone survived the first week of 2020? I’m slooowly getting back to whatever currently masquerades as normal.

True to form, the weather here has turned unseasonably warm, and I’ve pulled out a very rustic wool from my collection.

I’m calling it rustic. Actually, the hand is scratchy, even after being washed and air dried. ( Oops, guess who forgot to finish those edges… 😖)

Showing it to a sewing buddy she immediately said it has great movement and I should make a coat to show that off. Maybe a swing coat, and she also suggested Deer & Doe’s Opium Coat.

Sunday I went hunting online. Do you know The Fold Line must have every pattern on earth listed, and at least half of them are coats? Try looking through 30 screens of 24 patterns each. 😳

I did discover several alternatives, including Folkwear’s Swing Coat, and their Hungarian Szur Coat.

But I’m having trouble visualising this rough, loosely woven fabric as anything other than a very casual longish A-line skirt and simple jacket. Something fairly loose but lined so the fabric isn’t against skin.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated❣️

All for now, except to wish you all the Very Best in the New Year! 🎉 🎉 🎉

boxing it up

[I see Comments have disappeared. Again. And there is no earthly reason for it. Have spent an hour double-checking everything. My apologies, Dear Ones! Click to this post and use the Comments.]

Left: Camel cut from old tablecloth, backed & stuffed for hanging. Below, Right, is the back.

Hope everyone has had time to rejoice and celebrate❣️

I’m taking this week between holidays to exhale slowly and let Life settle. “Digestion” takes time, and this year may take more than most. 🥴

But hands don’t have to idle, and to that end I have several yarny projects on the go.

They started out as it: a single ski hat in my TNT pattern. Details are here. However…..

This scrummy yarn has two threads of colour in a single strand. As I had doubled the strands, that frequently meant four different colours.

Ever notice how combined colour yarns make distinguishing the stitch pattern more difficult? I did.

After too much frustration searching for back loops, I frogged it, and started over, this time as two projects.

The very solid piece on the right, is single crochet. I needed a rest after the hat tussle. It will be a rug for a pair of pirates of a feline nature.

The narrow one below will be a tasseled scarf. And there’s always the “forgotten project at the bottom of the pile. 🤣

Tuesday I did my traditional Christmas listen to A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College (Cambridge). Thank you BBC Four, for carrying it live. Incidentally, if you’d like to have a listen, it’s available here for a month.

Hoping everything in your world is fresh and new and creating beauty for you to enjoy. ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️ 🎄 ❤️

sunday’s sewing

Isn’t this a lovely design! I thought so, which is why I decided to fix the reason it wasn’t worn at all last year.

This was my third update today. Well, I thought it would be. Those belled sleeves trail into all the wrong things, which is why it didn’t get worn.

Even though I’d found it at a charity shop, it is mostly silk, so I decided it was worth a bit of TLC, and a lot more wear before returning it to another charity shop for someone else to enjoy.

Examining the sleeves, I had a hard time flattening the seam. And even more time figuring out how get it to stay flat long enough to figure out what kind of stitch was used. I’d originally assumed it was overlocked, as it’s a knit.

But it wasn’t.

That’s a single stitch with what looks like not-the-average (read, super skinny) thread.

Hmmm.

I think I’m gonna live with it . . . . . .

about the disappeared Comments section

The only solution I can think of is to change the theme, so I’ve been looking at different ones. Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Just wanted to let you know, so you won’t think it’s you.

Please do not hesitate to let me know your thoughts as things shift.

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… 🍫