Tag Archives: winter

it’s a wrap ~ not!

it’s finished & being worn as i type

The former wrap skirt is now a cozy gathered skirt, just in time for cold weather.  Yeah!

Used a clean, damp tea towel and steamed the life outta the 100% poly hem and former side facings that are now a seam.  Still a spot or two that’s not flat, but am wearing it, hopefully sitting on the non-flat bits.  That’ll flatten ’em!

I was remembering working with 70s polyester.  When we’d make trousers we steamed in the front pleat & sometimes sewed them 1/16” all the way down just to keep them sharp.  Anybody remember that?  he-he!

PS/ I did lop off the waist band!
PPS/ Now wondering about a lining, to keep the wind more at bay…
skirt minus waist band!
skirt minus waist band!

did you know?

One eye of a needle is larger than the other?

“The eye of a needle is created by punching it out of the metal, so one side is larger than the other.”       Reader’ Digest Complete Guide to Embroidery Stitches

If you can’t get your thread or embroidery floss through one side of the needle, try the other!

Another thing I learnt is if you’re embroidering something that will get handled a lot, like a pillow, use wool thread, which takes hard usage more easily.

skirt evolution

100% polyester wrap skirt
100% polyester wrap skirt

This morning I started taking a wrap skirt apart, to convert into a simple gathered skirt.  Said wrap was a super bargain last week at about $5.

The fabric’s loosely woven 100 % polyester, not piling yet but looks like it will eventually.  Am trying not to spend too much time with it.  Just want something to keep my legs warm on these chilly mornings, before I give in and turn the heat on!

Normally, a print that wraps vertically instead of running horizontally is the last thing I’d want. But I love paisley and the print is dark, and I couldn’t resist.

Thus far:

  • Got the hem taken down once.  There was a molto generous 3” hem, and under that another 1” hem.  Will leave that as the new hem.
  • Because the skirt originally wrapped, the 2 ends are interfaced nicely, with 1 twice as wide as the other.  Am still undecided on whether to keep trying to unpick the black threads against the very dark fabric, or just lop ‘em off.
  • Have a unique black button to add to my collection.
  • The button used on the inside of the wrap’s closure is clear, which seems to be standard for unseen buttons.   So blah.  So sad.

Knowing there’s something unique no one else can see is rather nice.  That’s why we sew, isn’t?  🙂

whither the weather

Suddenly it’s become unseasonably cold and wet, and the prospect of making and wearing these pinstripes has gone South to warmer climes.  There’s a more permanent solution, but it has to wait until Monday holiday, when I can get to the fabric store sale.

What’s the solution?  Delightful Debi Fry, My Happy Sewing Place, just started up her ABC’s of vintage sewing series again, and the pinstripes needed her info on underlining.  Thank you once  again, Ms Debi!

You know what that means: the green fleece hat moves under the needle sooner!  In fact, it got cut out last weekend, thread chosen, and stitches tested.  Well, it is 3/8” thick per side.  The pattern is Folkwear #269, Metropolitan Hat. Have made it before, and it’s a treat, simple but so classy.  Have been dreaming about this make for a looong time.

Happy sewing, Dear Readers!

weekly photo challenge: lines-patterns

click any photo for slide show


He-he!  What an interesting and thought-provoking group.  All are basic elements of sewing, and most crafts, as well as painting, photography, sculpture, and other arts.

While looking up each word, I discovered they’re all used as verb or noun, and sometimes one or the other isn’t what’s generally thought of.

Dug deep into the shoebox and pulled out some photos from 2008 & 2009.  Hope you enjoy!

Shape, v.t. pret. shaped; pp. shaped or shapen.  1. To form or create.
Shape, n. [OE. shap, schap, AS. sceap in gesceap creation, creature, fr. the root of scieppan, scyppan, sceppan, to shape, to do, to effect;]  1. Character or construction of a thing as determining its external appearance…

Line, v. t. 1. To cover the inner surface of; as, to line a cloak with silk or fur; to line a box with paper or tin.
Line, n. [OE. …prob. from L. linea a linen thread, string, line, fr. linum flax, thread, linen, cable; but the English word was influenced by F. ligne line, from the same L. word linea.] 1. linen thread or string; a slender, strong cord; also, a cord of any thickness; a rope; … a clothesline; a towline.

Tex”ture, v. t.  To form a texture of or with; to interweave.
Tex”ture, n. [L. textura, fr. texere, textum, to weave: cf. F. texture.] 1. The act or art of weaving. 2. That which woven; a woven fabric; a web.

Pat”tern, v. t. 1. To make or design (anything) by, from, or after, something that serves as a pattern; to copy; to model; to imitate.
Pat”tern, n. [OE. patron, F. patron, a patron, also, a pattern.]  1. Anything proposed for imitation; an archetype; an exemplar; that which is to be, or is worthy to be, copied or imitated; as, a pattern of a machine.

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

fabric collection ~ update

click to see slide show & titles

No, I’ve not succeeded in getting the piles of stashed fabric down to nothing.  Not even close, Lovely Readers.

Just last week, as I cleaned up the fabric & patterns strewn from one end of the flat to the other, was mentally patting meself on the back for not having bought any fabric since April.  All the empty space got me thinking about Autumnal clothes that can segue into Winter.

After a rummage through the wardrobe, reality struck: the pile of under-jacket tees was about z-e-r-o.  Hmm.

The stash had 2 pieces of rayon (viscose) jersey; actually only 1.  The other’s firmly committed to a more substantial blouse.

Tough decision, right?  Hah!

A few clicks and the deed was done: 3 solid colours and 2 patterns, minimum 1 yard each.  Felt that was enough restraint.

Don’t you agree?!

those scrappy kiwis are doin’ it again!

tms_logo_teal4Talk about a never-say-die attitude! Their town was the epicenter for earthquakes last week, but has that stopped their creative juices?  Nope!  They’re off and running with another great challenge: The Monthly Stitch is an ongoing sew-along with a different challenge each month.  Instigators are  Kat, Mel, & Juliet.

Guidelines are here.

August’s challenge is to make a cape.

To vote on September’s Challenge, click over here.

I think it’s great that everyone gets a chance to suggest challenges, and that there’s only 1 per month. August might be waaay to early for me to think about a wool cape, but I’ve had the fabric in the stash.  Of course, I could always think creatively meself, and come up with something more suitable to this over-heated swamp I’m currently trying to survive.

😉  hee-hee-hee!

i forgot to say… how ease affects size

Folkwear's #270 Metro Middy Blouse size chart
Folkwear’s #270 Metro Middy Blouse size chart. click to go to pattern online, then click photo to view larger photos

Was talking with a friend last night about sizing in RTW (ready to wear). She’s lost weight.  Wohoo!  Her size has changed, but to what???  Agh!  We discussed size charts.  Later it hit me: the charts say nothing about ease.  Oops!  Hope you’re reading this, My Friend!

Ever had a size x of something fit you perfectly, but the same size x in a different style – even from the same designer – is all wrong? Might be because the ease that was built into the 2 styles wasn’t the same.  Sometimes I’ve seen this referred to obliquely as  “relaxed” vs. “tailored” fit, or “curvy” vs. “slim” fit.  Being fair, this can also be affected by style & cut.

How can I tell about ease in RTW?  I go online, and look for comments, and if there’s an 800 number to call, I call it and ask about the fit: is it tight or loose at bust, waist, hip, & thigh?  I’ve probably sent back  as many items as I’ve kept.  Sometimes you just gotta put a garment on to see if it fits!

What if your measurements are a perfect size x, but every size x  you put on feels too small?  Could be ease.  Maybe your individual stride is longer than allowed for by the skirt designer, or you flex your shoulders all the time & there’s no room for that designed into the blouse.  Whatever the reason, buy what you feel comfortable wearing, and don’t pay attention to numbers. In fashion & pattern industries, there is no standardization of sizing.

I repeat: There Is No Standardization Of Sizing!

summer hat & fabric stash

can you see the brim's been started?!
can you see the brim’s been started?!

Spent lots of time this weekend going through fabric.  Now have all winter fabrics boxed up, awaiting Aug/Sept time frame.  And have all summer things boxed, with a lot of it washed-since-the-move and ready to cut out.  Phew!

After all that, plus getting me serger back and playing with it, just spent a lotta time crocheting in front of telly.  Hat’s almost done – yeah!

‘fessing up!

starry nights - another photo from the hols
starry nights – another photo from the hols

Thought I’d have me sewing machine back by now, but it hasn’t left yet.  Suddenly got cold feet about shipping it. Decided to bring it over myself, but haven’t had time yet.

What changed my mind?  Finding out how other things were shipped. Only 1 box was packed as I’d requested.  Thank goodness only 1 item was damaged.  But I didn’t want to chance it with my machine!

The internet problems seem to have disappeared, so I’ll be turning some things back on again. Hurray!

One check on the endless To Do list!


cocoa sludge

jar of sludge

Know this might not be the most appetizing name for an instant sweeten-to-taste hot cocoa mix, but it’s original!

Firstly, know that I like my cocoa dark.  Very dark.  And not sweet.  As in no sugar at all.  (With good cocoa, that’s definitely an option.)

One day, thinking that I’d like to be able to mix up a mug of the stuff, either hot or cold, got me thinking.

Cocoa doesn’t mix with milk too well.  It does best in hot water, which is why the traditional recipes for cocoa start with boiling water.  But that takes too long, leaves a pan to wash, and waters down the cocoa too much for my taste.

Persnickety, ain’t I!

One day I tried equal parts of hot water and cocoa, mixed together more or less without lumps, and put it in the frig to cool.


Now I can microwave a mug of milk, add a spoon of sludge, and be off enjoying my cocoa in minutes, without a pan to wash.

Give it a go – you might enjoy each family member having exactly what they prefer, and no pan to wash afterwards.