Monday, December 25, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

This and that

This may not be an entirely appropriate post for December, given that most people are showing off pretty party outfits, Christmas gifts they’re making, but I have pictures, and if I don’t post this now …

Leftovers of linen from my pink tunic got cut up into kitchen towels.

What’s more appropriate than linen for tea towels?  And then I discovered that I had some printed fabric with watermelons that I could use for appliques.  Then came the (seemingly) endless discussions with myself on how to deal with the appliques – to fuse or not to fuse – to stitch by machine or by hand – I can take the decision process to extremes and drag out the getting done for a very, very long time, even for something as simple as a few tea towels from scraps.  After all – once I decide and actually do, I’ll be stuck with the results – forever.  Oh, for heaven’s sake – it’s only tea towels!  And why do I have to justify to myself – or to anyone else, for that matter – how I choose to stick on appliques to tea towels?  I did them by hand.

That made for the neatest looking back side.  Besides, it also gave me the opportunity to practise small neat stitches.

And then there was the case of the ugly old pillow slip.  I came across it when I was sorting out my mother’s things.  A linen pillow slip for a square pillow that was not in any way still suited for display in the living room.  It was so worn that there were holes in the linen, and the embroidery was all but rubbed off.  Garbage.  But I couldn’t throw it away.  The embroidery was probably done by my grandmother, or more likely my great grandmother (because I don’t remember my grandmother being particularly good with a needle, or even picking up a needle, for that matter).  Add to that, the fact, that when fleeing for their lives, someone in the family actually thought to throw this pillow slip into their suitcase.  It was probably in sad shape even then.  It’s a family heirloom – if you can call it that.  I took it apart.  Found another piece of equally sad linen in my mother’s stuff that should probably have been thrown out.  Backed both with some fusible interfacing to keep the fabric from falling apart in the places where it was threatening to produce more holes.  Patched the existing holes.

Then cut it, sewed it up and now I have a bag to hold my plastic bags that hangs in the kitchen.  It may not be the most beautiful thing in the world, but for my lifetime it will continue to be of some use, as well as a reminder of people who came before me.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Olive Hounds Tooth

When you just get the itch for something quick to sew – pick a knit – just definitely not a knit that has plaids or stripes or any other kind of lines that need to be matched.  That very definitely adds more than just a few minutes to the amount of time spent on said “quick” sewing project.
 Some sort of ponte/double knit fabric.  It’s been hiding out in the cupboard for some time.  A t-shirt dress is always a good pick – easy to sew, easy to wear.  Nothing too exciting to report about this sew – except the obvious issue of having to line up the black bits with the black bits and the olive bits with the olive bits.  This is my usual “just a lengthened version of Pamela’s Patterns T-shirt”.  Although, I could mention that … Pamela gives ¼ inch seam allowances on her patterns.  I’ve widened mine to 5/8 inch – at least on the side seam/sleeve seam.  Gives me a bit more “fudge” room for fit.  Good thing that I did have that bit extra this time around.  For once I was smart, and I actually basted the sides together and actually tried on the dress, before committing to serging those seams.  Turned out, due to the not so stretchy character of this fabric, the sleeves felt rather tight.  (I know – tight – on me??  It does happen.)  Easy solution – serge at ¼ inch.  Automatic fit improvement.
Collar piece - just a rectangle cut to the size of the neck opening

Back of neck
 Didn’t want a plain round neck (bound in black or otherwise), and decided on a ”60’s” collar.   And just for “continuity”, I bound the sleeve edges in black.

 This is how it normally gets worn.
 …and then there were leftovers…  (I’m on a “kick” at the moment to not leave significant pieces of leftovers, especially if there is a quick way to use them up.)  Not enough for a whole tunic, but definitely enough for a front and back.  Black sleeves.

Decided to add a “tail”.

(Oh no!  One more seam that needed to be matched!)  Black fold-over elastic to finish off the neck. 

 And because I figured the hem configuration would look just plain odd with a belt, I needed to add “a little something” at the back.

(Didn’t even realize that I had olive buttons until I started digging.)
Tunic has yet to be worn – waiting for a new pair of black jeans – or may-be I should just wear the darn tunic and not wait for the new black jeans to magically materialize in my closet.  (I have fabric - they just need to happen!)