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2 January 2012

The beginning of the year finds me in the process of designing a cotton undershirt to keep sweat off my wool and silk cycling clothing.

Today I sewed the darts of the beta and basted the side seams and shoulder seams.  Much to my surprise, it fits perfectly — when drafting the pattern, I'd expected the black interlock on hand to be much more stretchy than it was.  (The sample that was down where I could reach it was from a different batch.)

The french dart is an inch or two too low, and it extends too far toward the middle, but I don't notice any wrinkles or puffs in the fit — perhaps the two errors cancel out.  Or maybe the negative ease *makes* it fit.  Whatever, I'm going to step ahead to designing the sleeves, now that I know the armholes fit.

In the next iteration, I'll omit the dart and instead shave an inch off the side seams at the waist.


9 January 2012

On the fifth, my computer was out of service.  While it was out of the house, I drafted a pattern for sleeves for my shell, cut them out, took the basting out of the body, basted a fold for the flat-felled shoulder seams, pinned the seams, and then it was lunch time. And by the end of nap time, the computer was back — together with a new second-hand computer that needs to be fine-tuned to serve as a back up, in case the next funny noise is more serious than a dying CPU fan.

Nonetheless, I sewed one sleeve in that afternoon, and got the other sewn on Sunday evening.  I also basted the fold for the neck-hem, so now the project can hang from the kiddilit shelf with the other garments needing attention.  Perhaps I'll thread the Necchi and zig-zag the hem this evening.  (I'm doing all the straight-stitch work on the White.)  I want to hem the neck before sewing up the side seams.


10 January 2012

A professional shirt-maker on the Yahoo mailing list that discusses Don McCunn's _How to Make Sewing Patterns_ remarked that men's shirts allow more freedom of movement because the shoulder seams are a half inch too long, so that the sleeve-cap seam is a little outside the natural boundary between arm and torso.  When I tried on the sleeveless shell, I noticed that the shoulder seams are a half inch too short.

I may have to do something about that for the second beta, or it might be that the sleeves will stretch out the shoulder seams to match the stretch in the body.

Sat down this morning to repair a frayed spot in the hem around the neck of my scarlet —now rose— bra.  Upon examining the work, I noticed several other places where the thread had broken, so I threaded up the Necchi with two bobbins — all of the red 50/3 that was left after I made the bra — and zig-zagged the entire hem.  The thread no longer matches, but it's uniform all the way around, so can be taken for intentional tone-on-tone decoration.

And it *is* underwear.

The bobbins had been threaded onto the shred of fabric that used to tie the bobbin to the spool, and one end of the shred was a lump kept folded by wrapping a needleful of thread around it; the other end was stopped by one of my #10 crewel needles stuck into a fold.  Very compact arrangement:  everything I need to sew by hand except the magnifying glasses (which live in my pocket these days) and a thimble.

Would have been a clever arrangement if the fabric had been wool!  The cotton hadn't yet corroded the needle, but I'm planning to substitute a stainless-steel pin when I change the thread to hem the neck of the shell.  And I'll stick the needle that's in the machine into the cone of basting thread instead of putting it back when I take the knit needle out.

Needles don't accumulate in the basting cone; at the moment there is only one.

I used two of them when I was trying to nail a pincushion to the wall, and brads were too short.  While cussing because I needed a nail both longer and thinner, and nails get thicker when they get longer, I spotted the basting thread hanging from the curtain rod.

Old needles are also needed for securing a veil to the lampshade when the light is too bright.

I don't use old machine needles as button-sewing gauges often, because I hardly ever sew on buttons.  And that doesn't use them up anyhow — when the button is sewn, the needle goes back into the cardboard cone.

The cone hangs upside down, by the way, so there is worlds of room for sticking pins and needles around the base.  The tape supporting it is sewn to the cone, not secured with an old machine needle!  And the two pins attaching that loop of tape to the longer one around the curtain rod appear to have been salvaged from a new shirt.


11 January 2012

When I changed the Necchi needle, I saw that the reason the old one had been misbehaving on the woven bra was that it is a knit needle.  I stuck it in the basting cone anyway — like thread, once you've forgotten what it is, it's no good.

When I put the knit needle back into the White, I left the Necchi needle-holder empty.  That way I'll know exactly where I'm at the next time I want to zig-zag.

I'm pleased with the way the neck-hem turned out.  I used the stitch I'd set up for the bra, and guided the edge of the foot along the fold, which put the stitching in exactly the right place.  And the black-on-black matches perfectly.  Now it matches; after hard wear and washing?  But at least it won't be exposed to the sun.

On the other hand, the sun faded two pillowcases right through the cotton-duck pillow-carrying case I used to keep in the car.  So I put the wool blanket between the two pillows.

Right now, my car blankets are a loose and crumpled mess, completely unprotected.  I never straightened them out after using them to insulate a crock-pot I was bringing home.  Time to fold them neatly, put them low in the car with the cheapest on top, and drape a cotton scarf over all.

Oops!  My spouse is using the car.  And by the time he gets back, I will have forgotten about it.

I'll just have to sew.


He came home before I got the White threaded — turns out that the cheap shawls were all that was in there.  Quite enough, considering that there are three of them, I always throw a jacket into the car, and I never leave the city limits — but I found the heavy army-green blanket and took it back out anyway.  Old habits die hard.


When a garment has negative ease, trying it on after sewing one side seam doesn't tell you a lot.


Seems to fit very well — the sleeves could stand to be a snitch tighter around the hems, but the hems should tighten them some; the shoulder seams definitely need to be half an inch longer — that shouldn't make enough change in the armholes to make it necessary to change the sleeves.  I think I'll leave the darts alone.

I wasn't thinking with respect to the needle:  the instant the side seams are done, I have to zig-zag the sleeve hems and bottom hem.  But when only one knit needle is in circulation, I know where it is — and I have only one spool of black 50/3 cotton, so I couldn't have left the Necchi set up anyway.

Mem:  add black thread to shopping list.

And now it's time for lunch and a nap.


Ah, there is nothing like hemming black on black by artificial light!  I was finished before supper, but it's dark and gloomy and wet out there.

The shirt won't be properly tested until I've worn it under my wool jersey, but the weather bureau says precipitation will continue into next week.  But the precipitation predicted for Saturday is snow, which bounces off — but is more likely than not to mess up the roads.

I made the bottom hem 7/8" wide, and the sleeves — something narrower that happened to be marked on the other end of the card.  Perhaps 5/8.


13 January 2012

A sewing day, and choice paralysis.  I'll open with basting hems into the linen-blend jeans that I un-hemmed for washing months ago.  (Hey, they are hot-weather pants and I have an identical pair; I haven't been in any hurry.)  This can be got out of the way quickly, and doesn't require me to clean off the ironing board.


14 January 2012

Getting that out of the way was as far as it got.


17 January 2012

Got the clutter of cotton knits sorted and back on the top shelf of the closet, then cleaned off the dining table to inspect my fall suit and cut out sleeves.  By the time I found all of it — it had migrated into three piles — I was out of the mood, so I decided to triage the pile of herringbone pants yet again, and this time pin on notes saying "donor" and "recipient".

Had a better idea and wrote precisely what was to be patched on the notes for the recipients.  And one donor got so whacked up as to make the note superfluous, but I had already pinned it on.

One pair wanted only a couple of rectangles ripped off and appliquéd on, so I started that.  The weak 50/3 thread allowed me to literally rip the inseams and side seams of of the donor, so when the crotch patch got in my way, I figured I'd rip that too.  The thread was newer and took more cutting, but with my attention called to it, I realized that this patch was in pretty good shape, and could be re-used on the other pair of recipient pants.  And (I took off the note and wrote a new one) I could also apply pre-emptive butt patches before applying the crotch patch, which would allow a neater job than the slap-on-top I planned for the first pair of recipient pants.

Then I drew threads and cut two patches and hung everything up with patches pinned on with the note pins.  Only the crotch patch on the other pair; I'll start that after finishing the first one.

And now it's past nap time.


18 January 2012

I thought that the neckline of my new undershirt was absurdly low, but now that I'm wearing it under my wool jersey, I see that I need to make it a quarter inch lower.  Either that or an inch higher, with embroidery.

The neckline of the wool jersey is too low in front; it seems to be occasioned by the shoulder seams pulling forward.  No way I'll still remember that when it needs to be replaced.


19 January 2012

Oops!  I pressed the edges of the patches under, basted miters into the corners — and then tried them on the seat of the jeans.

Eh.  I'll just let the patches overlap seams and stuff.  There isn't all that much wear left in these pants anyway.


23 January 2012

Back in the sewing chair again!  Short session, long story:

I bought rather a lot of a cotton knit in a printed design called "Twinkle Twinkle".  Some I used to test the idea of making quarter-circle sleeves, some I used to perfect my patterns, some is still on the top shelf in the closet.

Three of the betas for my T-shirt patterns are still around, and I wear them for slopping around and pajama tops.  The short-sleeved beta had been coming undone at the bottom of the side seams for some time, and a couple of days ago the right seam ripped all the way to the waist.

So I decided to rip the pockets off, wash it in hot water and bleach, and cut it up into griddle-cleaning wipes.

But when I took hold of the pocket and pulled, it turned out that those pockets were sewn on pretty well and the thread hasn't rotted.  And the Necchi is already set up with black cotton and a knit needle.  I threw it into the other laundry bag, and this morning I held the edges of the ripped seam together and zig-zagged over them.  Even pressed the reverse button for a few stitches at the end.  Then I did the same for the other side seam and a shoulder seam that was starting to come undone at the neck.

I may be wearing these shirts next winter too.

Another repair job went even quicker:  Spouse gave me his newest shirt to straighten the tail because he didn't want to tuck it in, and while checking how much to cut off, we noticed that it had been made straight in the first place.  He'll probably want it shortened anyway, but he plans to wear it a couple of times first, and it's strictly a hot-weather shirt, so it won't come back for a while. p> 

When the new shell came out of the washer, I put it on a hanger inside-out and noticed that one armscye seam had been sewn toward the sleeve, and one had been sewn toward the body.  The toward-the-sleeve seam looks neater on the inside. The toward-the-body seam has the allowances sewn the way they were cut:  a quarter inch on the body and a half inch on the sleeve.  The toward-the-sleeve seam is the other way around, moving the stitching a quarter inch inward.

Pending observation in wear, I think I'll sew future versions by the way that was a mistake, and not change the pattern to switch the seam allowances.  Well, maybe mark them to be the other way around without changing the cutting lines.


25 January 2012

Adventures in snap sewing:  I took a spool of reeled silk because it's stronger, never mind that it shows more, sit down to work, the snap is on the underlap — I could sew it with red thread and nobody would notice, reeled silk is right — but what's this?  There's a spool of spun silk in the sandwich bag with my thimble and mini-scissors.  Well, it held up all right on the other snaps, and it is easier to anchor . . .

I ended up doing a very neat job that looks good on both sides — matches the snaps on the overlap rather than the other snaps on the underlap.

Still with the pants-patching.  I was minded to use navy blue thread to sew them on, as it will show less, and I have a spool handy that I bought for the linen salwar-kameezish suit.  (It's tunic and jeans, but salwar and kameez was my inspiration.)

On the other hand, the rest of the seams were sewn with black thread, and the machine is already set up with black 50/3 cotton.


26 January 2012

Used the black thread.  Turned out that the edge of the patch was exactly on the side seam, but these pants won't last long enough for that to be a problem.  I suppose I'd better get on with the prophylactic patching while I remember how to do a neater job.

One tip:  I marked one of the herringbone stripes with self-removing marker, and used it to line up the grain of the patch with the grain of the pants.

On free-arming patches:

Stick the wider end of the tube onto the free arm in position to sew one end of the patch the way the see-how-easy-it-is! demonstration is done.  Back down the side of the patch as far as you can — with this short patch on a wide tube, that was all the way.  Stitch up the side, across the top, and down the other way until it gets difficult.

Break the thread — I eventually worked out to cut the thread on top close to the fabric, then use a seam ripper to sweep a loop of the bobbin thread out far enough that I can stick the seam ripper into the loop and cut it.  Then trim the beginning of the needle thread, turn to inside and trim both tags.

Put the narrow end of the tube over the free arm, back up to an inch before the place you left off, stitch down, across, and up to an inch past where you began.


27 January 2012

This morning I read on Fashion Incubator that patterns are color coded:  pieces to be cut from the fashion fabric are marked in black, pieces to be cut from interfacing are marked in red, lining pieces are blue, and contrast is green or purple.

I'm going to have to get some colored pencils; this looks like a very good idea.  Of course, most of my patterns are already right because I always use a #2 pencil, and practically all of my pieces are to be cut from fashion fabric.


6 February 2012

I thought I'd be writing that procrastinating the spring suit is getting my mending done, but I'm procrastinating that too.  Sometimes I have other things to do — there were two days fit for bike-riding last week — but sometimes I check my e-mail, read a few Web pages or some of my old Usenet posts, and all of a sudden it's past nap time.

The patches have been ready to baste to the seat of my old jeans for days.

Today is wash day, but there's a lot of soaking and waiting-for-the-machine time.


7 February 2012

Which I seem to have employed otherwise, but today I got off to a good start by zig-zagging the hems I picked out of my old sweat pants after my last bike ride, when I decided that I could no longer stand the wide elastic that didn't draw them in at the ankles and made big lumps when I pinned them close.  Helped that the machine was already set up, with black thread in and the flatbed plate off.  'Course the pants are dark navy (no black available when I bought them) and the needle was universal.  Came out perfect anyway.


9 February 2012

Yesterday I tried out the revised cycling pants, and discovered that one brass safety pin per leg would have worked fine with the nasty lump out. but I used all four of them, because not using two would have meant getting up and finding a place to put them.  Redundance is good anyway — you never know when you'll need a spare safety pin.

Also got the new undershirt sweaty again.  This time instead of throwing it into the wash, I put it into a bucket of water, then spun it out and hung it up after my nap.  This was partly because I thought I might want it again before washday, and partly because allowing sweat to dry in garments wears them out — and so does frequent washing.

It's naptime, and despite fiddling around with my computer first, I'm wearing a newly-patched pair of cotton-twill pants.  The prophylactic patches aren't as symmetrical as I would have liked — I should have put the first one more centerward, and of course the second had to be a *lot* centerward to meet it.  And it still didn't quite overlap enough, so I had to turn under a half inch of fringed edge on the first patch.

The second patch was easier to baste than the first, because I put in enough pins — all at right angles to the stitching so that they could be less than a pin-length apart — that I could baste with the garment in the hand instead of lying flat on the leg board.

I really appreciated that leg board!  Jobs that would have been impossible without it were easy.

For the third patch, I put in a ridiculous number of pins and didn't baste at all; this worked because it covered much less area than the first two and the pants rotated around it without changing shape much while I sewed.  I did the second round of stitching first; the washed-and-worn-in fold wasn't going anywhere, and it was much easier to mind the pins without also needing to mind the possibility of falling off the edge.


11 February 2012

Yesterday I ironed a shirt, then re-sewed the seam attaching the skirt of an old slip to the T-shirt.  The slip is exceedingly shabby, but I have no other scoop-necked slip, and don't wear the black scoop-necked dress often enough to make it worth my while to make a good one.

I absent-mindedly stretched long chunks of the seam while zig-zagging over the narrow mock fell, and sewed in stretch, but most of the bulges ironed out well enough for underwear.

Read Phillip Steele of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police instead of doing anything useful today.


14 February 2012

Valentine's Day!  I'm making, purely by co-incidence, oat-bran yeast muffins with cinnamon and raisins.

I've started a new undershirt, to be made from the yellow jersey.

Just climbed up on a stool and compared the stretch of the jersey and the un-stretchy interlock.  The new undershirt to be made of the unbleached waffle-knit I bought to make underwear, then declared altogether too underweary and never used.

Perhaps I can sew on pockets made from striped or printed jersey, or put some sort of ornamental finish on the neckline — I'm a big fan of being able to take off my layers.)  And I did parade around the dentist's office in my black T-shirt the last time I got my teeth cleaned; I'd have suffocated in my thick wool jersey.

My tight fitting thick wool jersey.  And the waffle knit is thick — back to stash inspection; I may end up with another black one.

This morning I considered copying my front and back patterns, then attached scraps of spread-sheet paper to them with strips torn from a piece of thin, loosely-woven iron-on interfacing that I bought decades ago.  It has no other use, but it's the nuts for mending paper.


Pat Erny, by the way, is reputed to sell iron-on interfacing that actually sticks and doesn't wash off.  I've been to the website, and it's also incredibly cheap, if you calculate the price by area.  When I get up the energy to obtain a disposable credit-card number, I'm planning to buy a yard of the extra-crisp shirt-cuff interfacing so I can put pocket slits into the tunic of my spring suit.  And have most of a yard left over for other projects.


After attaching the first scrap, I said "Duh!" and attached the other three with a perfectly-straight edge of the scrap lined up with the straight cutting edge of the shoulder seam.  (I cut the pattern on the fold so that it can be opened up when I want to cut single, so there are four shoulder-seams to be extended.)

While I had the iron hot, I also repaired a place where I mistook a seam line for a cutting line while cutting out the pattern.  That's one good reason to cut the pattern out before you pin it to the fabric!

Which seems an odd thing to make a point of these days — in the forties, tissue patterns came cut out, but with an inch or so of margin outside the cutting lines, so it was very tempting to pin it to the fabric as-is and cut pattern and fabric together.

Then I extended each shoulder seam by half an inch — measured at the cutting line, since the armscye crossed the shoulder at right angles — drew a right-angle line with my drafting triangle, blended this line with the armscye curve, cut off the surplus paper, and put more iron-on tape on the other side to hold down the free edge of the patch.

And now it will be nap time as soon as those muffins come out of the oven.  Which might be in six minutes, and DH is having lunch on my cutting table, so that may be it for the day.  Save for more stash roodling.


15 February 2012

Well, there's one other use for the interfacing:  I used it to stabilize the hole when I patched my white jeans.  Monday, while hanging up the wash, I discovered that the interfacing had washed loose, leaving annoying shreds inside the pants.  Tuesday, while the iron was hot for the pattern modification, I smoothed out the interfacing, re-pressed it (with plenty of steam from spraying the patch with water and ironing it dry), and trimmed the loose threads.  This morning, I zig-zagged around the hole to keep it from happening again.

I've settled on the too-underweary waffle knit; it will stretch thin.  Seems stretchier than the interlock — it behaves as though smocking threads of Lycra had been woven in, but I can't see me buying anything but pure cotton for underwear.  It's been around long enough to have lost all documentation.  (These days, I pin — stainless steel silk pins — the invoice to the fabric.)

The ribs seem to be wider in the area where I've been testing the stretch, which argues against the inclusion of Lycra.


Well, well.  Something rustled when I picked up the waffle knit to carry it to the cutting table, and when I unfolded it, there was the invoice and a stainless-steel pin.  "Thermal knit, ivory, 100% cotton." But it has gotten foxed while in storage.

"Foxing" is rust-looking (red-fox colored) stains that develop on improperly-stored papers and fabrics.  Wikipedia says that hydrogen peroxide will take it out.


On the one hand, the fabric is stretchy, off-grain, and bubbled from the way it had been folded.  On the other, it's marked with a convenient grid:  by marking key ribs and grooves with my wash-out marker, I could pull it back into line as I pinned the patterns.  I cut the pieces one at a time (after verifying that all three would fit into the width of the fabric) so that only small patches had to be straight.

After laboriously pinning, I discovered that I'd forgotten to mark the dart on one side of the pattern for the front.  So after cutting, I unpinned the pattern and turned it over — then I got out my typist carbon and copied the marks onto the pattern.

Oops!  I forgot the notch; just got a sheet of carbon and the tracing wheel out and took care of that.  Had to press pretty hard, because the notch is in the area that was patched.

Now for the hard part:  folding the remainder of ten yards of fabric and putting it back on the shelf.  And it was bought back when Stephen was selling by the meter and calling it yards, so there's probably still ten yards left.


It was a mite tedious, but easier than expected.  Instead of trying to fold it in half repeatedly, I fan-folded it.  Or one might say "accordion pleated".  I dumped the wad of fabric on a chair, with the un-cut end running the length of the table (and dangling off the other side).

Then I went down the table matching the edges and shaking to fold it in half more-or-less neatly.  Grabbed the fabric half a yard from the end, laid the fold thus formed on the remaining fabric in such fashion that the cut end matched the fold now being formed, * pull the pile to the end of the table, go down the table neatening the fold-in-half, extend it down into the wad as much as possible, pick up the pile and lay it on the newly-neatened fabric, repeat from * .  Each pass pulled about a yard of fabric out of the wad, so I suppose I made ten passes.

I counted eleven pleats.


16 February 2012

Oops.  I'd sewn the darts before I remembered that I hadn't replaced the woven-fabric needle with a knit needle.  That's the most annoying place for a row of holes to appear, too.

Put a row of zig-zag top stitching on the dart because I figured the straight stitching would pop — but stitched a quarter inch from the seam, so the last inch of dart is unprotected.

About then was also when I remembered that I bought a ball of ecru 100/6 cotton thread for just such an occasion.

By nap time, I had the shoulder seams in, the neck hemmed, and the sleeves pinned, even though I took time out to change the sheets on the bed, cook lunch, etc.  Things do go fast when you don't make pockets!

I finger-pressed the shoulder seams open and zig-zagged over the seam, to hold if the straight stitching pops.  I'm planning to top-stitch the armscye same as the darts; with a half-inch allowance on the body and a quarter inch on the sleeves, this time the top-stitching will work.  I plan to do the side seams same as the shoulder seams.  These I'll stitch a quarter inch wide, even though I cut with half an inch of allowance.  I think that the shirt is tight enough to stand an extra inch of ease despite the stretchiness of the fabric; if not, I can always cut the seam off and re-stitch it.


17 February 2012

Installed the sleeves, did the first stitching on the side seams, and tried it on — it fits!

Then I put the jersey on over it, and it doesn't show at the neck.

I think everything has moved down a little.  It looked as though it could stand to have a little taken off the side seams between the top of the dart and the full of my teats, and marked those points and also marked at my waist.  The waist mark is a good two inches above the bottom of the french dart, which I think I drafted to end at the waist.

There isn't enough space between my marks to taper the side seam in and out again, not even the quarter inch I had in mind.  Shirt must be stretched lengthwise when I put it on.

Whatever, it fits; it only remains to pick out an error in one side seam, stitch the side seams open, and hem the sleeves and bottom.  I think I can do that before time to take the roast out of the oven.

The fabric is too thick to let the dart allowance be caught in the side seam, so I trimmed away the bottom of the dart before stitching the side seam.  Now I've trimmed off the resulting flag to make the dart look like a mock-felled seam.


21 February 2012

Mended an inch of split seam in an old silk blouse today.

The undershirt was hung in the closet soon after the previous entry.  It may not be cold enough to try it out any time soon.  I stitched a little stretch into the hems, but it doesn't show when the shirt is on, and may wash out.


23 February 2012

Yesterday I glanced at the pieces of summer suit among my "to do" hangers, decided that getting back into that project involved too much thinking, and took down a jacket-style jersey that I began letting out years ago.  The jersey definitely isn't worth mending, but you can't buy washable pure wool jersey-knit fabric for love or money, so (after spending a long time feeding various search terms into Google) I sorted my wool-jersey rags, then spent the rest of the day picking apart an old pair of tights.  Those tights might well be the last bit of my Flye clothing — it's a better quality of wool than the other two pairs of worn-out tights (which I put into the closet to be worn under the sweat pants I've been making do with the last ten years, should it ever get cold around here), and they have a Halt pocket.  Which I haven't picked off yet, but I think I can get all my godets out of the other leg.

So I spent a good bit of the picking time wondering what had become of Martha Hess.  When the Internet came along, I tried running a search on her name, but found nothing but old, old posts marvelling at how she could make clothes that fit by mail order.  And of course now I get nothing but other people named Martha Hess.

The waist hem was secured with triple zig-zag, another reason to believe that this was custom work.  Also a tad tedious to pick out.  Once the hem was open, I found the elastic secured to the fabric with overlocking which did not once nick the elastic; what a pain to lose track of someone so skilled!  Since the black stitches showed plainly against the white elastic, and the elastic had a firm surface that didn't catch under the seam ripper, this came out very quickly.

I wasted a little time trying to figure out how the overlocked seams unzipped — not much, because the only stitching I've ever succeeded in unzipping was the chain stitching —complete with a "start unzipping at this end" arrow— on bags of cat litter I used to buy at Big R.  Then I commenced to stretch the seams sideways to show a ladder of stitches, and slip my seam ripper under three or four of those stitches at a time.  I did verify that the seam would separate after this treatment before going very far with it!

I learned, during this step, that I'd done some amazing darning on these tights before they got beyond repair.  I cut through the needle-made fabric with my seam ripper when I got to those parts of the seams.

cuffs [that note reminded me that I wanted to say something about taking off the cuffs &mdash but it didn't remind me what.]

I didn't feel like sewing today.  I did sort out the canned-goods cupboard.  We have enough canned soup to stand a siege!


24 February 2012

Looked at the pieces — I have a pretty good pattern here; pity I didn't think to try on the tights before taking them apart.  Decided to rinse them out to see whether the stretched-out knees would have to be cut around, noticed that the pocket was sewn on by hand.  Ms. Hess is good, but I didn't pay her that much!

On closer inspection, the pocket isn't the same fabric as the rest:  I had picked it off another garment and sewn it onto this one.  Presumably off shorts, since I used to wear out a lot of shorts.  Pocket looks good enough to re-use again.  I'd use a Halt pocket in shorts or tights only when not wearing a jersey, so it probably hasn't experienced much wear. 

I picked the pocket off and put the pieces into the washer to soak during my nap.  Hope I remember to spin them out when I wake up.


A lot of dye came out — the water was navy blue.

Absent-mindedly dried 'em clear dry.  It did take out the stretching at the knees.  This was *good* cloth; wish I knew where to buy it.

It's a Jones Cycle Wear jersey that I'm repairing.  I got to wondering, after my nap, whether they were still around and Googled.  It was sad news.

I had quit buying Jones jerseys when I got one with spiral side seams and figured the old cutter who knew what grain was had retired.  Found several articles on the Web about Jones Cycle Wear, and Jones Cycle Wear was just Grace Jones and her sewing machine — my spiral jersey had been the first sign of early-onset Alzheimers.

Her kids have started up a new company with the same name, but they don't do made to measure.


25 February 2012

Got down the box of silk scraps, and found that I do have some snippets of black dupioni satin suitable for making little diamond-shaped reinforcements over the darns at the top of the pocket divisions of the jersey.

I have decided to take the hem out at the center front, open out the seam allowances, and make a lap seam to attach the extension strips on each side of the zipper — the allowances were overlocked, so that will look fine.  From the bust up I'll taper into folded-under seam allowances, which will enable me to add less up there while keeping the black stripe uniform in width.

I'd better get the silk box down again and put the satin snippets back — the scraps from my black raw-silk shirt will be stronger and less shiny.  Not to mention easier to handle.

The raw silk wasn't in the scrap box because there is enough of it that it's still on a hanger in the sewing-room closet.


28 February 2012

On the other hand, the raw silk is a bit thick for the fine jersey . . .

Saturday I thought I should make sure the zipper isn't going to shrink and dropped it into a bucket of water to soak overnight.  Sunday morning, when I undressed after church, I dropped my nylon knee hose in with it.  Monday, I came back from a bike ride and added my newest undershirt just before plopping down for a too-short nap.

This morning is washday, so I spun it all out.  The polyester zipper came out of the washing machine quite dry; perhaps I should run it through with the blacks, just in case soap wets it.  The undershirt lost its blue markings, but didn't lose the lettuce hem at the bottom and sleeves.  It did lose the lettucing at the back of the neck.

I think I want to use the Necchi's very longest stitch — 4 mm — the next time I hem the thermal knit.

And the next time I use the shell pattern, I think I can shave a little off the side seams from just above the bottom of the french dart to a little above the top.


5 March 2012

I got a little sewing done Saturday.  While changing the bed, I got fed up with stuffing two pillows into one case, and thought of making a slightly-smaller case, stuffing them in, and then leaving that case on permanently.

There followed search and indecision and unexpected discoveries:  I have almost no synthetics in my stash, but one of them is fabric I bought for modifying uniform shirts that I haven't seen in over ten years.  I still have the matching thread, too.

I found a piece of old sheet hanging in the stash, tore off a 36" by 39" piece (standard cases are 36" by 40"), opened up the treadle, got distracted and left it there until almost bedtime.  Then I discovered that there was not only no thread in the treadle, there was no needle.  I never did find my bobbin of 100/6 cotton, so used the anonymous white thread in the bobbin that was in the machine.  (It hadn't been threaded, just stuck in so I could safely park the bobbin case.)

When I finally got the machine set up, it was zip-zip along two sides.  I decided not to hem the case, as it would never be washed — that turned out to be just as well; with two pillows in it, it needed the extra length.

I stuffed the pillows in without even bothering to turn it right-side out, and then they just dropped into the outer pillowcase.  And it looks much better; the pillows are stained, and that had been showing through the case.  When I buy new pillows, I'll make an undercase to start with and maybe they won't get grungy so fast.


7 March 2012

Four inches.

Just put the jersey on and measured the gap again, and this time I'm writing it down:  four inches, which means that I want to add two inches to each side, which means three-inch strips, minus how much zipper I leave showing between the strips.

I was thinking of unfolding the seam allowance, since the edge was nicely overlocked; that would make the yellow part a quarter inch wider on each side, and make the seam flatter.  But I want to add almost nothing at the neckline, which means folding the jersey under — neither a dramatically triangular black stripe nor cutting the fabric is acceptable — and the fold will be easier to taper out smoothly if the edge is folded all the way down.  The four inches was between the folds, so if I do unfold it, I'll want to deduct a quarter inch from each strip.

And now it's down to cutting irreplaceable fabric with no clear guide to the grain, and only a foggy idea of what to leave for cutting the gores.  Perhaps I should baste in a strip of cheap interlock so that I can make the gores first.

Aaaand . . . would it be stylish or dorky to make the black stripe all in one piece, so that the zipper is off center?

Whatever, it naptime.


15 March 2012

Finally resuming work.  I basted the crease into the free side of the jersey opening, then realized that this was enough better to make it worth my while to unbaste the side already attached to the measuring strip, then I realized that as long as I was starting over, I could tear a wider strip and not have to deal with dinky little half-inch seam allowances — the scrap of sheet is pretty much reduced to a few strips now.

As I was planning to measure the strip to see how wide to make the seam allowances, inspiration struck and I pressed a crease down the middle and measured out from that.  It's not only easier to measure the width directly, but more accurate.

Then I basted the crease for the zipper opening, the side-seam opening of the double front to keep the layers in order, and the side seam of the back to keep the pocket in order.

I may want to put a silk patch under one end of the elastic in the back pocket, and the middle pocket definitely needs one of my neat little buttonhole-silk darns.  Probably won't use the middle pocket much, since this jersey is to be worn over another jersey.  (The middle pocket is for my wallet, which I don't need to get at while riding.)

Fairly good for the morning, considering that it was nearly nap time before I got around to starting.

I think I'll go bike riding tomorrow.  The National Weather Service says I'll want my cotton jersey, with the linen one over it when I start out.

Neither one photographs well.  Perhaps I can wear my kelly-green scarf a day early?


28 March 2012

Wore the cotton jersey for the photograph; not enough of it showed to matter, it turned out.  I was trying for "slightly amused", but the print-out of my license shows an expression better suited to a drill sergeant.

Forgot all about my green scarf on St. Patrick's day.

I've just wasted most of my sewing time poking around in Wikipedia trying to find out what a dickey worn on the outside is called.  "Mantelet" and "Capelet" come closest, but clearly indicate rather more cape than I had in mind.  My first thought was "bertha", but a bertha is attached, according to wiki — and I think the word implies some ruffling or fullness.  Let's call it a "matilda" and get on with the post.

Virtual sewing:  when I was making my linen jersey, it struck me that if I trimmed the outer edges of the patterns for the yokes along a decorative curve, I'd have an excellent pattern for a matilda to cover the low neck of my long-sleeved "villa olive" dress.  I thought of using scraps from the dress, and of making a white scalloped matilda with laborious embellishment, and abandoned the idea.

Last Sunday, when I was noticing how my black bandanna was hunching up in the back, I realized that a black matilda, cut in square points front and back, would be perfect.  I'd have to make the collar longer to button in front — take some fitting to make it lie neatly without choking me — no, the V that it currently has would look nicer.  Sew on two hooks — one to hold it closed at the neck, one an inch or two lower to make the two "scarf ends" lie side-by-side

Then's "deal of the day" was utility fabrics, and I broke a long habit of deleting the notices unread, meandered into the muslins, looked at the dyed "Fiesta" muslins — 78 square, and 80-square is considered coarse — enlarged, yes it's tightly woven — black Fiesta would be better than the broadcloth I was planning to use — hey, I've got scraps from my black linen pants, perfect!

So we have a project.  But it's very low priority — the black bandanna *works* and I wear that dress maybe three days a year — so it will probably never be done.

But now I wonder:  is Fiesta muslin an adequate substitute for Indian Head muslin?  I'm not quite curious enough to buy some.

I've been looking at the wool jacket-style jersey this morning, but mostly frittering my time away.

I did bundle up the waste paper and put it into the recycling bin.

Using a rag to make my under-pillowcase was a mistake.  My instinct, when I pick up a pillow in an open-ended case, is to pick it up by the open end and jerk a couple of times to be sure the pillow is all the way to the closed end.  Every time I do this with the rag case, I tear off another strip.  But it's short enough now that I think I'll remember not to jerk on it, and it still works.  It will probably last until I get around to buying a fat new pillow.


1 April 2012

I wore my linen jersey a few days ago, and saw that if I do make a matilda, I'll need to make the collar at least half an inch longer.  Perhaps making the neck hole a whole inch bigger wouldn't be out of line.

And I also have some black raw-silk scraps.


15 April 2012

Took a good look at the dress in question in the full-length mirror this morning, noted that I looked like an extra from Barney Google, put the matilda project on indefinite hold.



10 May 2012

In retrospect, I looked more like Olive Oyl.

Hemmed up DH's new Carhart pants today.  When I went to thread the Necchi, my light-brown thread had vanished and was not in any of the places thread might conceivably be, so I used ecru.  This kinder over-strains the "they don't grovel at your feet" principle, so I used 3.5mm stitches to make it easier to take out when I find the bag of spools and bobbins.

Yesterday I gathered my salwarish kameezish, unrolled and unfolded it and looked at it, and drafted a new watch-pocket pattern.  I'd been cutting the little square pocket a bit wide to catch in the seam on one side, but sometimes it doesn't get caught all the way down, so I copied it with a slanted side to match the slant in the side seam.  So now I've got to cut mirror images as well as hem mirror images.

Hmmm.  If I moved the pile of pants-weight fabrics to the high shelf over the encyclopedias and dictionaries, I think I could swap the shelf the roll of blue-plaid cotton&linen shirting is on for the wider shelf above it, and have a flat place to put the pieces of salwarish kameezish when I'm not working on them.  I'd work on it more often if I didn't have to hunt it down first!



17 May 2012

While changing the pillowcase this morning, my fed-upness reached critical mass, so I hunted around in the stash for fabric to make a proper under-case.  I found a piece of pre-washed coarse muslin that had been torn to two yards long and twenty-seven inches wide.  Now half of thirty-seven, plus an inch for seams . . . nineteen and a half inches; yes, thirty-seven is one inch more than a yard, so I want half a yard, plus half an inch, plus an inch.  Checks, off to the tape measure and scissors.

Thirty-seven inches because the old undercase, at thirty-nine minus an inch for allowances, is too loose.  Also I measured around the compressed pillow.  I plan to sew this one closed to prevent shifting around.  It will probably involve "basting" with square knots to hold the tension on the case while I sew.


It's all over but the basting.  It was easy, and would have been quick if not for various interruptions.  The hardest part was stuffing in the two pillows and getting them lined up and smoothed out.

I thought I could make it way too long and fold in the excess, but tucking a wide piece in past a jammed in pillow was not something I thought I could do neatly.  Oh, well, make it too long and tear off the excess works too.  I measured twice and snipped a seam — much to my surprise, the two tears met perfectly at the other seam.  Fabric that's exactly on grain is much easier to work with!

I was of a mind to skip pressing the seams open, but cleared off the ironing board — I must make a place to keep that pile of salwarish kameezish pieces; I had to pick up the sleeve pattern, and worry about maybe having dropped something else — and not only pressed the seams open clear to the ends, I pressed the dart they form at the end so that it would lie square in the corner.  I didn't sew across the corners to make a boxed shape, though.  Let the ears stick out!

After tearing out my undercase, I took all the muslin scraps off the roll of muslin, and hung them on the hanger with the remainder of the scrap that had been on it.  Makes the shelf much neater.

I hear my lunch coming out of the microwave.  The next interruption is to finish changing the sheet and take a nap.  Must get the sewing-closed done by bedtime, or DH will dis-align the pillows and I'll have to do the stuffing all over again.



30 May 2012

Never did sew it closed; seems to be working fine.

I'm wearing my black furoshiki with a black shirt.  The scoop neck isn't unbecoming, but it's drafty.  Perhaps the matilda project is on again.  As a neck-warmer, the raw silk would be perfect.

The day before Race Day (which is the day before Memorial Day Observed) I basted a hem in the slacks I wore on Mother's Day and spilled fruit salad on.  I undo the hems in my fancier pants before washing to keep the edges from wearing in the machine, and to make it easier to remove the inevitable line of dirt.  Then on the way to the barbecue, I spilled Dr. Pepper on them.  But it came off with a wet paper towel, so they aren't back in the laundry bin.

Today is Memorial Day, but I'm not doing anything to celebrate.

As the season progresses, I'm becoming keenly aware that all my slopping-around pants are made of black fleece.  Happened to spot a hanger of linen-and-cotton rags that were betas when I was designing my Injoo Kim pants, decided that one of them was worth repairing, cut a crotch patch [&& add URL] from blue-plaid scraps, and designated another pair to provide patches for the fronts of the thighs.

Finally figured out that it was typing that wears out my pants in front — I rest my elbows on my legs.  That doesn't explain the similar wear on my cycling knickers, but on my latest ride, I felt them slipping a little above the knee despite the ample ease.

Saw a sign in the flea market advertising sewing services; I must discuss having her make up my gray linen into everyday slacks.  I suspect that eight-pocket jeans will be expensive even though a professional won't take days and days to make them.



3 June 2012

The sign wasn't there when I returned to the flea market yesterday.

And, duh, the wear on the knickers is only on the *right* knee — it comes of brushing the saddle when throwing my leg over the top bar.

I finished the crotch patch* on the betas (these gardening pants were part of the process of designing my Injoo Kim pants) today.

* search for "One way to patch the crotch in pants"

I started the job on Friday, but it was unexpectedly complicated.  When I started to bring the typing chair to the treadle machine in the bedroom, I realized that a chair with wheels would grind crumbs of corncob into the carpet, so I had to sweep the whole room first — with a broom, since corncob crumbs don't yield to vacuum cleaners.

Then after the two halves of the patch were sewn together, I had to press the edge under, and that meant clearing off the ironing board, and that meant ironing a shirt and a dress that have been waiting ever since washday.

And sewing around the edge wasn't as straightforward as expected; I kept falling off the fold, and for some reason the stitches made gathers.  The gathers were easily stroked off the ends of the threads, which was worrying because lockstitch isn't supposed to work that way.  By then the light was failing, so I put it aside to work on today.  Well, I meant to work on it yesterday, but the trip to the farmers' market was exhausting.  I think next Saturday I'll just buy my tomatoes and come home; I've yet to find anything interesting at the new market downtown anyway.

I think maybe I'd better cut the gray linen.  Prolly be faster than finding someone to do the job for me — particularly since I'd have to make an entire new pattern if someone other than me is to use it, and I don't have any place to buy suitable paper.



6 June 2012

As I was preparing to go for an all-day bike ride with a turn-around point at Aldi, where I can buy a very large number of the things we are out of, I thought "It's a lovely day and all, but I don't feel like a bike ride — I wanna stay home and SEW!"

So I took off my linen knickers and put on my black fleece pants — yes, fleece; we have whole-house air conditioning, DH is sensitive to heat, and my old knees like to stay warm.

I figured I'd warm up gently by cutting an old bath towel into four dish towels, then put the leaves into the table and study on my salwarish kameezish, or maybe iron the gray linen.

Cutting the towel started out well.  Raising the drop leaves wasn't quite enough, so I opened the table to full length right away.  The towel is a bit longer than the yardstick; this is easily dealt with by marking the middle of the crosswise line, but hey, I've got a laser level, use it.  So I did, and DH said he'd been wondering how I used it and watched.  Gratifyingly, when I went around the table after lighting up the cap of my wash-out marker, I found the light line exactly on the mark.  Nice to get things right the first time when you have an audience!  Then I delivered a short tutorial on how you look at the line on the marker, not the line on the fabric.  Didn't mention why I put the level on a book.  I doubt that that puzzled him.

So now to set up the Necchi — but where is the flat-bed plate?  It's always on the floor beside the sewing machine when I've been using the free arm.  But it's not, and not on the ironing board either.  (Insert intervals of looking in unlikely places through all further discussion.)

Well, thread the machine while waiting for the flat-bed plate to get tired of hiding.  Don't want to un-thread the White, perhaps I should wind another spool of 100/6.  Change the bobbin first.  Not much thread on the 100/6 bobbin; it's going to run out before the job is done.  Somehow this reminded me that I suspected the bobbin thread of causing my problems with the patch; zig-zagging a dish-towel edge would be a good way to use it up.  So I opened the White after all.  Urk, yes, this is definitely lousy thread.  Should have acted on my suspicions.  But the thin fabric will wear through again before the lousy thread wears out.

Necchi threaded with a White bobbin for a spool.  Still no flat-bed plate.  Good time to wind a new bobbin for the White.  But the bobbins for the White have also gung agley.  (Merriam-Webster refuses to tell me the past tense of "gang", so I made one up.)  I can't even account for all the bobbins that came with the machine, and I know I stole a half dozen from my late Mother-in-law's Kenmore, which I use only for winding bobbins because she wore it clear out.  But I found a spare spool of white 100/6 while hunting for the bobbins, and the missing oakwood 50/3.

Ah, well, sewing flat without a flat-bed plate isn't that hard.  I sewed most of one side before running out of lousy thread.  Now I've got an empty bobbin.  I said I use the Kenmore only for winding bobbins, but I also use it for a sideboard.  I knocked the receiver for our driveway motion detector off the shelf while transferring stuff from the sewing machine to the table — some of which had been transferred to the sideboard from the table a bit earlier in the day.  DH examined the receiver and discovered that it had merely undressed without taking any damage; he put the case back on, then walked past the sensor and it buzzed as it should.

Couldn't seat the bobbin properly, so I wound one side for a while, then turned the bobbin around and turned the handwheel the other way for a while until it was more-or-less full.

Another look round for the flat-bed plate.  No joy, but one of the boxes that I moved contained the missing White bobbins, most of them still strung on the straw that had been on the spool pin I'd stacked them on, to be handy when I need basting thread.  I had extended one pin with a piece of drinking straw so I could use the lightweight fly-away spools 50/3 comes on, and didn't bother to remove it when I used that pin to store the stolen bobbins.  Sometime or another I must have swatted the straw hard enough to send it flying, and it took all but one of the bobbins with it.  Not a likely story, but better than anything else I can come up with.

So then I felt like writing, and now I'm hungry.  Maybe lunch will take my mind off the flat-bed plate long enough to remember where I put it.

I also sewed a bit on Monday.



8 June 2012

Ran out of steam before saying that I'd looked for something to do between washloads, and started to straighten the ends of the gray linen.  One end, it turns out, had been torn off the bolt — took a while to establish that, because washing had tangled up the fuzz.  So I picked the basting off that end and commenced drawing a thread on the other.  Drew rather easily, but I was halfway across before I realized that I'd already drawn a thread in that exact spot.  But from that point on the thread insisted on breaking as soon as I'd pulled out enough to take hold of, so it took a while to finish drawing.

I'm going to need my magnifiers when I cut along the drawn line even though it's two threads wide.

Then I took the linen out to the picnic table —after standing on the bench to sweep the table with a broom— and sprayed it with water.  The dampening was very uneven, so I rolled the fabric up and put it into a plastic bag, intending to iron it after my nap.  I probably had enough time to iron it between naptime and time to cook supper, but I don't like to start a job like that when I have a hard deadline, so I left it until after supper.

After supper I put the bundle into the freezer, and there it still sits.  No point to ironing it before I'm ready to cut, and I'd like to get the salwarish advanced enough that I have all my pants patterns free when I start to cut the gray linen.

Studied the salwarish kameezish yesterday, and found the missing waistband patterns pinned to carefully-cut waistbands.  But the front waistband was a good bit shorter than the pattern.  Looked and looked at that, and then put the waistband with the scraps and cut a new front waistband, carefully matching it to the same selvage as the back waistband.

A few hours later, I remembered that I intend to make slant pockets.  Duh!  I'm half inclined to use the full-length waistband anyway, leaving a stretch of pure belt to clip things to.

Also cut out a pair of sleeves, which completes the kameezish, save for some yet-to-be-designed complications about the pocket slits.


Frittered the whole day away playing with my computers, but I did finally order the Super Crisp interfacing I need to make the pocket slits stay closed.  Got two yards, so I can also stiffen the waistbands of the jeans, making the pure-belt scheme more practical.

Also ordered ten yards of black 1/8" elastic, which I haven't been able to find at the local fabric store — though I forgot about it the last couple of times I dropped in on my way to somewhere else.  And a ruler and a "swatch set".  The description of the swatch set sounds more like a fat-eighth assortment.



9 June 2012

UPS says the interfacing will be here Monday.

May not be any progress on the salwarish kameezish in the meantime.  I expected to finish cutting it out this afternoon, and I woke up from my nap in plenty of time to do it — and my backache was worse than ever.  I can get around well enough to cut, but with my mind firmly on getting around, not on cutting.  Grumble, gripe, snarl, snap.



12 June 2012

On Monday, in intervals between loads of wash and playing with the computer, I got the cutting advanced enough that I could fold up the table for supper.  Dave says he misses all that space.  Nothing but patch pockets to cut out now.  As I work with the scraps, I vividly remember a long-ago incident in which I cut a collar or facing or some-such from a piece that *wasn't* a scrap.

Late in the day, I realized that it was USPS, not UPS, that said the package would come Monday, and checked the mailbox.  Now I think I'll start a box for interfacing.  When I had only one piece (used only for patching patterns) I kept it in the footlocker filed under misc.

Today I installed the shelf I bought yesterday.  It was a mistake to go just before the store closed.  In my haste, I bought a shelf shorter than the one I wanted.  So I replaced a narrow shelf that had stuff hanging over the edges — and put the stuff back endways so it's still hanging over the edges, but there's more space.  Perhaps I'll install the shelf I removed over one of the wide shelves already in place to make a place for my back-pack of in-case-I'm-called-to-teach supplies — or perhaps I'll find space for it in the bedroom closet.  I don't think there is anything in there that would be damaged by storing it in the attic with the other luggage.

But, speaking of being damaged by the heat in the attic — it's a tad late in the spring to go up there.



13 June 2012

The empty box that's flat enough to put on the top shelf isn't wide enough to take two yards of extra-crisp interfacing without folding it too much, and the wider boxes all contain more stuff than will fit into the empty box.  (Gee, I wish U-Line sold suit boxes.)  I marked over a couple of labels so that I can read them without taking the box off the shelf, and ought to do that for the rest.  (Some will need new labels.)

But there's a nice big box that might contain only stuff that I can throw/give away or distribute into other categories.  Haven't taken it down yet because there's an untidy pile on top of it.

Can't get rid of *all* of it because there's a scrap from my wedding dress in there.

And I haven't used anything out of the solids/woven in box for a long time.  I think I've been through two ten-yard rolls of black broadcloth since I opened it!

Yesterday I stacked a lot of empty document-sorting boxes in the parlor, planning to sort documents Real Soon Now, which makes it possible to get at some of the other clutter in here.

This morning, I finished cutting the salwarish kameesish, save for interfacings and yet-to-be-designed pocket slits.  And I remembered to make the watch pockets mirror images!  (I changed the pattern to have one edge caught in the side seam, so they are no longer simple rectangles.)

Next up is to unbury the ironing board and press a lot of turned-under edges.  Every pocket, and maybe some flat-felled seams.  I think I'll concentrate on the slacks first, but I might prepare the armsceye seams while I'm pressing.

But right now, it's time for my nap.



15 June 2012

Harrumph.  Whole morning gone, and all I've done is to wind a bobbin and pin tape to the hem of one of the broadfall pockets.  But I did sleep late, and then just as I was sitting down to the treadle I thought of a couple of paragraphs I've been meaning to add to the "pins" entry of the file on Tools.

And the bobbin winding was rather fraught.  When the previous bobbin wouldn't fit the spindle on the Kenmore I thought it was rusty or dirty or something, but this time I looked into the hole, and also fetched one of the bobbins stolen from that very machine — it wouldn't go either.  Most likely the spindle's guts rusted and expanded it during the forty years of storage — but I'm *sure* that I personally have wound bobbins on this machine, and within the last year or two.

But the White was able to wind the bobbin evenly despite tensioning by hand, and tightly even though the belt is loose.  Yes, I should cut an inch out of the belt, but it was *such* a struggle to splice it in the first place, and the belt rarely slips while I'm sewing.

I wonder what sort of bobbin the other Kenmore takes, the one we found in the barn.  Looking would entail cleaning the sewing room so as to gain access to the closet — I've already made a start at that, but the chore includes sorting fifty years of papers and manuscripts that got scrambled when we moved ten years ago.



18 June 2012

DH left Thursday intending to come back Saturday; aha, says I to me, on Friday I'll completely cover the eating table with fabric and sew up a storm!

Well, I got the first done.  Only sewed the corners of the hems of several patch pockets and thought over the interfacing of the hems on the fronts of the pants for the side openings.  Decided not to use my new extra-stiff fusible and selected a piece of selvage to make hem tape with.  And phrasing it that way makes me wonder whether I want to sew it on top instead of inside.  But that would have a turned-under edge running into the seam.  Turning the edge of the hem under would also have a fold running into the seam, but in a different place.  I think I'll put it inside, and trim it to the exact finished width of the hem, then spread it with undiluted starch and let it dry, so that it can serve as a template while forming the hem.

Sewed both sides of the watch pockets, then picked out the stitching on the side that's to be caught in the seam.  Didn't even decide which end is up for the smock pockets on the tunic, and still haven't.

Ooohkay, what would that take, thirty seconds?  And though the table is set up for food, the bed is available.  Conclusion:  it doesn't really matter.  And upon seeing the pockets from a distance while coming back with a pin to mark the end I'd chosen to hem, I saw that it doesn't matter that I didn't bother to match the print.  (I'd thought it wouldn't, which is why I didn't.)



19 June 2012

When I trimmed the selvage to make hem tape, I cut it exactly the width of the allowance, rather than the hem, intending to let the selvage stick out with the folded-under edge of the hem stitched on top.  But when I started to spread starch on it, I realized that this selvage isn't usable after all.  So I pinned it to a coat hanger, and now that it's dry, I'll cut off the white streak and start over with the starching.  Which brings me back to my original plan of making it the exact width of the hem.

The elastic has worn through the casing at the waist of my oldest pair of hemp panties, so I opened it out, intending to cut off the worn fabric and fold down a new casing.  If I'd realized that it was stitched twice all around, I'd have thrown the panties out, but once I start that sort of thing I get determined.  Finally worked out to shove the seam ripper through the tunnel of the zig-zagging on the side where any fabric I nipped was fabric I intend to cut off.

But I spent most of the intervals of wash day writing letters.

Still haven't found the flat-bed plate, and my bag of clothespins vanished while I was hanging clothes, so the last quarter-load was dried on a rack.  (More convenient to bring it in and put it away anyway.)  And a bra was missing when I put the clothes away this morning.  Gremlins?

Ta dah!  Took one more look around for the bra — and discovered the clothes-pin bag hanging in the clothes closet, on a pants hook under a pair of pants.  Then I looked again for the bra, on the presumption that it was the one I'd worn on a bike ride and rinsed out after, and discovered that after my cycling clothes dried, I'd taken the hangers off the drying rod to the closet together, so the bra was hung up with the blouses — and blending right in, being next to a jersey of an even-brighter shade of orange.

So I've not only found it, I know how it got there!

Took another look around for the flat-bed plate while I was on a roll, but all I found was a piece of cardboard that belonged in the "beginning embroidery" box and the piece of pattern-patch that I've been meaning to put into the new interfacing box.



20 June 2012

Wore the newly-mended panties today; they don't miss that half inch at all.



22 June 2012

Sewed up the under-case on the double pillow —got tired of adjusting it when I change the outer case— and peeled a freshly-starched interfacing off the counter.

Still no flat-bed plate.



27 June 2012

Still no flat-bed plate.

Perhaps it will turn up when we put back all the stuff that was shoved into other rooms so the carpets can be cleaned tomorrow.  (But hardly any of the displaced stuff came in here.)

Yesterday, I got the broadfall pockets ready to baste under the pocket-openings on the fronts of the pants — oops, when I was doing hems, I forgot the pocket-openings on the fronts of the pants. 

I didn't want to wind a bobbin and move the thread to the Necchi, so I used four rows of straight stitch instead of zig-zag to close the bottoms of the pockets.  Straight stitch worked just fine before zig-zag was invented.  Folks used only *one* row of straight stitch to stop ravelling, but (a) one row is to close the bottom of the pocket; one needs a different row to stop ravelling (b) this is linen (c) I'm a belt-and-suspenders type girl.

Odd way to put it — nothing I wear uses either a belt or suspenders, if you don't count drawstrings.  And the drawstring waists are all on store-bought clothing.


  Read the rest of 2012 journal

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