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2015 Sewing Log

2 July 2015

shirt on picnic table

In the afternoon, I sewed the front pockets and marked where to cut the straps before sewing the shoulder seams.

In the evening, I marked where the safety pin in the cell-phone pocket of my old jersey was, and worked a couple of bar tacks connected by running stitch.


7 July 2015

Yesterday my white bra came out of the wash with a frayed spot on the hem of the neck, so in the evening I cut the hem off — using a rotary cutter and magnifying glasses to cut off as little as possible.  Indeed, I found it necessary to pick out bits of thread where I nipped off some points of the zig-zag I ran the first time it frayed.

There was a piece of white linen bias tape that was just right in the linen-tape box, and it turned out that the White was already set up with the correct thread and stitch length.  But I'm going to have to buy another headlamp, because I missed it, but wasn't quite annoyed enough to move it from the Necchi to the White.

After I sewed the tape to the neck, civil twilight was nearly gone and I didn't feel like heating up the iron, so I knocked off and read Usenet.

This morning I patched the black bra that has been hanging on my to-do hook for ages, and stitched along the fraying parts of the adjacent armhole facing.  All stitching done by hand.  The bra is quite thin, and I should get on with my red ramie bras Real Soon Now.

In the evening, I thought I should at least touch the jersey, so I started to pin the shoulder seams.  Before I could do that, I had to trim the excess strap — my little stork scissors, that I bought just because they were cute and keep in the parlor (in a glass-front bookshelf next to my parlor magnifying gadgets), proved perfect for the job.  It was surprisingly difficult to pick out the stitches in the excess strap, even though only a quarter inch on each side held the excess strap to the back.

But when I was about halfway through the trimming, Spouse decided to go for a walk and I went with him, then I decided to take the flatfoot for a ride to try out the old GPS and fetch some broth I left in the church last Sunday, then it was time to feed the cat and clean his ears.

I did finish the trimming, but didn't start to pin.

Aaagh!  *Right Sides Together*!  I trimmed off too much.

I'll work a little embroidery when the job is done.  It's a design feature!  (Maybe I can find some retro-reflective embroidery thread.)


8 July 2015

Well, duh!  I prefer that the outer fold on a flat-felled shoulder seam point forward, but it doesn't really matter.  I absent-mindedly prepared it to sew the other way, so I'll sew it the other way.

Pulled the basting out of the shoulder seams of the front after I got back from shopping today.

Shopped for a headlamp for the White, but didn't like those at K-Mart and failed to find the headlamps at Big R.

Well, there was one at K-Mart that I'd put up with if it doesn't cost much, but they'd put a price label for something else entirely above its peg, and I wasn't interested enough to hunt down the bar-code reader.

I wonder whether someday they'll put up maps showing where to find stuff.

The maps would have to be on monitors, because stores keep re-arranging themselves.


9 July 2015

Managed to get through the whole morning without even looking at the jersey.  I basted the turn-under on the back yesterday, so the shoulder seams will take only a few minutes when I get to them.

And then again …

I had to press out the crease that had been basted in; since I had to heat up the iron, I pressed the binding on the neck of the white bra:  first as it lay (which included pressing the seam that joins the ends of the tape), then away from the body of the garment.  I managed to scorch a spot in the second stage; I'm not sure how.

Then I rubbed some glycerin on my fingers and was nearly finished with pinning the binding into place when I found a couple of inches where I'd sewn a fold into the seam allowance.  (I'd done the pressing as it lies from the other side.)  By the time I'd picked that out and pinned for re-sewing, I didn't have enough thinkum left to resew.  I did pin the shoulder seams of the jersey.

And tomorrow is predicted to be one of the rare days when I can Get Out of This House.  But I think I'll spend it working in my sadly-neglected garden, which means I should have some sewing time.  The day after is predicted to be almost as good, and that's the day I like to go to the farmers markets.

And then I noticed that the sun wasn't quite down, so now I have three bras hanging in the closet.  (Because I washed the new one by hand after wearing it on wash day.)  Two of them, and the one I'm wearing, are not long for this world.

I fell off the fold in one place, and re-sewed without picking out the defective stitches.

I missed the headlamp I didn't buy, but the White is amenable to having a table lamp placed on it.

Perhaps I can come back from the farmers' markets by way of a big-box store the day after tomorrow.


10 July 2015

Wasn't I wondering where my plastic eggs were a while back?  When I went to get some tin boxes in case I need to send half-done embroidery projects home on The Day of Helping, I noticed that the label said "tin boxes and plastic eggs".  After sorting out the boxes I wanted, I stuck a label that said "Plastic Eggs/Pill Bottles" below the "tin boxes" label on the other end, and put the box back on the shelf with that end out.


13 July 2015

What the?  I wanted to baste the flat-fell fold on the top of the sleeves, put on my magnifiers to see which side was the right side, picked up the dangling basting thread without making a fresh cut or waxing it or anything, poked it at the tiny round eye in the basting needle — and it went through at the first try!

I'm not sure I know how to deal with this.

I suspect that I may be making the fold too narrow.

Basting is a nice mindless activity for between loads of wash.

"Just one more thing before resting" syndrome strikes again.

After supper, I sewed the ends of the neckband together, then, in anticipation of the high probability that I'd want to open the seam to insert baby elastic, zig-zagged the seam edges down instead of pressing it open.

When pinning the neckband to the shirt, I changed that to very high probability of needing elastic; I didn't stretch the neckband one teeny bit to make it fit the neckline.

Then I did a beautiful job of sewing the band to the shirt with a very even quarter-inch seam sewn under tension.

On the inside.  And I'd reduced the stitch length from 3mm to 2.5 mm before beginning.

I think I'll say "I meant to do that", fold under the free edge, and top-stitch it.  I like to have the edge flat and raw (and on the inside!) to reduce the number of layers, but this fabric is rather thin, so I think I can get away with four layers and the abrupt change from four to one.

This will make the band slightly narrower than planned, but I don't think I will notice.


14 July 2015

Right now I want, desperately, to be sewing hooks and eyes on my linen-blend pedal pushers so that I can wear them to the fair tomorrow, but I can't find them.  I've taken everything off the to-do hook, I've been through my closet garment-by-garment, I've been through Dave's closet garment-by-garment, I've inspected everything in the hanging stash, I even looked through my darning basket, which is too small to contain pedal pushers, and those pedal pushers purely Do Not Exist.  And I wore them, safety-pinned, only a few weeks ago when I needed to ride my pedal-powered wheelchair in a long dress.

Finished the neckband; not too bad.  I basted both creases and never used the iron.  Took a yard-long piece of baby elastic out of the box; I figure I'll need a tad under half of it.

Also basted creases around caps of both sleeves.  I pinned one by gently stretching the armhole, sewed first stitching of flat-fell seam.  I mean to get the other sleeve to this stage before pressing as it lies and continuing with the flat-felling, but at the moment all I can think of is that my lunch will be ready in four minutes and twenty-four seconds.


15 July 2015

Hard to type because I've still got an afterimage from the sun on the cream-colored bed of the sewing machine.  Before rushing off to the fair, I stitched the sleeve seam that I pinned yesterday.

When I get back — and have a nap — I can heat up the iron to press as it lies, and to see whether vinegar will take out the permanent creases where two of my sweat rags included seams that I ripped out instead of tearing them off.

Well, one is a seam, the other was a hem.

Now I suppose it's time to hit the road.  I don't go to have fun so much as to remember when going to the fair was fun.  Kinder depressing that I see the same farm machines I saw in the forties — but now they aren't displays of the latest new technology.

I don't think they display new tech anywhere in the fair nowadays.  But it's a very small fair; might be more stuff in bigger towns.

I'm wearing my full-length heavy-denim slacks, but I should be home before it gets hot.

Off to smear on sunscreen, the marvelous sunscreen of Oz.


20 July 2015

Washday.  The elastic that I re-inserted last washday came out again, so I cut the briefs into skillet wipes.  Gave them thirty seconds in the microwave before putting them on the pile.  It didn't dry them, and you can't count on a microwave to sterilize, but it was symbolic.

During my embroidery gig at Day of Caring, I lost three children I would have retained if I'd had an assistant — or if the children had been traffic shaped so that they didn't come in such big clumps.

On the other hand, at least five children finished projects, and two of them took needles home.

The adult minding the next table took one of the discarded designs and finished it to her own satisfaction; she said that she is going to use it as an appliqué.

Learned that I should give everybody darning needles except those that can thread their own needles,  Must buy some new darning needles.

I should have put the evaluation form in my bag instead of leaving it on the table.  A helpful customer threw it away while I was packing up.  Or maybe she carried it off in the stack of magazines that had mysteriously appeared on that end of the table.

I've made a start at re-organizing the bag, which got rather scrambled when I shoveled stuff back in so the parson could go home.  I need to stamp a lot of new designs

One of the boys made a great point of taking the only star design.  I must make some stars that look like badges on purpose in addition to re-stamping that one.

And now the laundry is all on racks, I've eaten my zucchini and onion soup, and it's time for a nap.

I should have put more kow choi into the soup.

Sometime during or after this year's event, the dime finally dropped:  I should stop fooling around with that stupid "bonded nylon" gathering thread that's almost impossible to tie a knot in, and that will melt and ruin the whole project if I don't take the most exquisite care in pressing the puckers out of the medallions, and buy some all-cotton Button and Carpet thread.

Today I was planning what I would buy if carpet thread has gone out of style when I realized that I have a large box of DMC Cordonnet in a number of sizes,  #30 will do just fine, and be easier for the children to pull through the stitches than carpet thread would.

#20 would do even better, I think, but I don't appear to have anything between #30 and #10.


21 July 2015

Finished the sleeve seam I errored out on at the last session, basted the fold on one side seam, ready to pin, and repaired the safety-pin substitute stitching on my "taxicab" jersey, which I plan to wear tomorrow.

The predicted high is only 77F, so I could have worn the new one if I'd worked on it instead of fooling around.

I didn't remember that the pocket needed mending until after supper,  I thought that I'd left some linen thread on the curtain after the previous repair job, but all the yellow threads appear to be silk,  Looked at the box of linen scraps, but didn't open it — instead I used the yellow floss out of the demonstration kit of the embroidery gig,  The yellow needle was missing and I threaded another,  I hope it didn't leave stuck into the baby that got into my stuff!  (Mem:  when jumping out of my chair to greet a new customer, push it well away from the table in case a mother sits in it.)

One of my fooling-arounds included revisions to the embrogig page,  That page needs a lot of work.

Haste makes waste,  Took another look at the silk threads, thinking that I really should have labeled them — and there beside them is pinned a swatch of paper on which is written "linen thread", and pinned to the paper is a strip of red wool flannel into which I'd stuck a threaded needle.



27 July 2015

I'm seriously considering picking the embroidery floss out.

I sat on the front patio (aka parking apron) yesterday evening and finished basting the flat-fell creases of the side seams, then pinned the side seams.

Then I reflected on how many seams sewn in the evening have had to be picked out in the morning, and put my tools away.

Last Wednesday, the first stop on my bike tour of Nappanee was the Heritage Fabric Shop, marked on my map as JC Fabric & General Store,  They had a very nice skein of blue floss, and a bodkin that one doesn't have to sew to the elastic,  The darning needles weren't suitable, but I noticed that chenille needled have enormous eyes, and bought a packet of #22.

I shall, of course, have to check that they are easy to embroider with,  I've conceived the idea of putting a sheriff badge in progress into a zip-lock bag as part of the exhibit, and working that would be a good way to test the needle,  I plan to exhibit it with a needle in the process of making a detached chain at the point, but pull the needle out when packing it away.

I saw a large hoop and assumed that if they had small ones they would be on the same wall, and didn't ask,  I did ask after beige knee socks, and was met with a puzzled expression,  I usually get them at a discount shoe store in Sprawlmart, but they had no plain when I last tried, and I was hoping that a plain-people store would have opaque hose,  The best I've been able to do so far is to buy very cheap sheer socks.

Saw some small hoops at Lowery's the day before yesterday, but I couldn't reach them, and was in a hurry to get to the farmers' market before it closed.  One was like the darning hoop that came with the Necchi, but larger — perhaps I should buy it in case I resume machine darning,  The other peg appeared to be plastic hoops built like my better wooden hoop, in assorted pale, dirty-looking colors.

The floor-length cotton-print shift I wore to church yesterday is in the washer,  I'd better get all that embroidery stuff off the ironing board Real Soon Now.

Now is a fine time to think that I should have picked out the hem before washing it, so that I could put it back a little wider,  I step on it going up stairs.


28 July 2015

scan of sampler

A few years ago, I worked a small sampler to show what could be done with simple stitches.  I haven't been using it because I don't have time to explain what it is.  Today I conceived the idea of scanning it, printing out the scan, and writing labels on it.

So I scanned it,  The image was huge, so I cropped it with Gimp and pressed "print", wondering whether it would fit on the paper,  The image came out about two inches square, not usable at all,  So I pasted it into Open Office Writer, which will crop and scale pictures,  Might as well type the labels beside the pictures so drawing arrows will be the only thing I have to do by hand,  Then I discovered that the wrapping styles included "wrap through", which meant that I could type my labels right on the image, with the help of a lot of tabs to get labels in the right place.
a scan of the scan

I think I could make a scan that gets the left edge in, but I've spent too much time playing around already, so I cropped off the other edges.

Perhaps I should draw some arrows.


30 July 2015

I put all the stuff back into the backpack this morning, except for the osnaburg, which I laid on top,  I still need to make more designs, stamp the remaining blank strip, and test the chenille needles by making a partly-worked badge design.

Then I sewed the side seams that I pinned a while back,  Need to press them as they lie before going on to the next step.


31 July 2015

Side seams finished, sleeve bands attached, working on elastic in the neck,  If I'm going to put on a wide neckband like this, I need to raise the neckline an inch,  That might make it too tight to pull on over my head, but the back needs to be lowered an inch — that might compensate,  And if I widen the neck by half an inch, that ought to be compensation to spare.

Pity I didn't measure the elastic before beginning; that would give me a starting point for next time,  I just moved the safety pin an inch and a half, because it was difficult to pull on,  I don't think there is any alternative to conspicuous gathers — short of re-cutting it with a higher front and a lower back.

bodkin looks like tweezers

I tried out my new bodkin,  It works a treat,  I was caught off-guard when the ring that holds it closed caught on the edge of the opening, but it was less trouble than the lump of the sew-on type.


4 August 2015

Found places for all my garage-sale loot this morning, and wadded some defective designs while I had the backpack open to put away the embroidery-lesson thimbles,  Still haven't written Lynette to tell her I want another gig,  (Preferably before next year's Day of Caring.)

No sewing yesterday, but I cropped and scaled some photos.

garage sale purchases

This is what I bought at the garage sale.  I lost track of what the other two pictures were; presumably they have been linked somewhere else.

There are four spots on the point-presser box.  One is the price tag, two are plastic thimbles in a child's size, and one is an antique tatting shuttle.

scan of moustache scissors in package
Last Saturday, I bought a pair of 49¢ (plus 3¢ tax) moustache scissors at Sherman & Lin's,  Haven't yet taken them out of the package to see whether they are suited to put into my embroidery-lesson backpack,  I had trouble at the last gig because the scissors I'd brought had bluntish points that wouldn't let me start cutting in the middle,  (Didn't think of spiraling down from the edge; I snipped a fold, which wasn't easy with cheap scissors that don't cut well at the tips.) The background is out of focus because this picture is a scan,  Scanning is quicker and easier, but works only on things that are flat.

Such as the instructions that came with the point presser.

When I sew on wide sleeve bands, I really should have used wash-out marker instead of pins to divide them into four parts, and I should have put marks on both edges of the band.


5 August 2015

A flat spoiled my ride today,  But I didn't sew with the extra time,  My knickers have been drooping, so after supper I began the trivial task of shortening the elastic.

Started well — I'd basted the fold of the hem with contrast thread at the spot I left open for inserting elastic, to keep the fold from coming unfolded during the procedure, and afterward I'd left it in, so there was no problem finding the gap,  Some trouble seeing what I was doing, and I enlarged the gap while picking out the old mend.

Then it was a simple task of pulling out the join in the elastic, cutting it, and safety-pinning it shorter,  Tried the pants on, decided to shorten the elastic a bit more, took the pin out to move it, lost my grip, both ends pulled back into the casing.

After various expedients failed, I managed to catch the old join with a crochet hook and pull it out.

Then I decided that as long as I had to insert elastic, I might as well insert a new piece,  Found a zipper bag of scraps of quarter-inch elastic, didn't realize that there was another bag containing a fresh reel until putting the scraps away, but one of them was the right length, so all went well, and I'm still pleased with my new bodkin.

Though I had to start sewing the ends together three times, as the thread insisted on wrapping around the elastic in geometrically-impossible ways.


6 August 2015

Finished the jersey today, and cut out the crotch liner for the matching underpants,  Won't take long to assemble them, and the machine is already set up, but I didn't feel like it.

I should cut out the wool overjersey Real Soon Now,  I'm going to re-try the flatted quarter century again tomorrow, though.

Took a picture of my shoebox of elastic; when I went to name it, I found that there was already a file by that name,  But I like the new one better,  Started making an index file for the pictures of notions.


10 August 2015

Washday,  My white bra is frayed enough around the armholes that I didn't want to run it through the washing machine, but hasn't enough life left in it to make it worth while to pick off the bias tape and put on fresh, so I washed the darks first, and while they were in, I ran a line of hand stitching around each armhole so that edges that have frayed through won't flap around,  I went back and forth at one point where the fraying had already extended into the fabric,  I secured the beginnings with a single back stitch, and secured the ends only by overlapping the beginnings,  Also hid the end at least once.

I'm not sure when the remaining sewing book is due at the library,  I *think* it's in my Trafalgar bag, where I put it intending to read it during an appointment that didn't happen,  After I write that review, I'll write a note that I've given up the project.


11 August 2015

Yesterday, I got around to opening the moustache scissors and testing them on a scrap of osnaburg that somehow came home with me and was in a wastebasket that hadn't been emptied yet.

They don't cut well at the tips of the blades, which makes having sharp points pointless,  But they do fine for cutting threads, so I tested the thread snips in the arm of the futon on the scrap, they passed with flying colors, and I swapped.

Which I could have done with the blunted-point scissors that were already in the embroidery-lesson kit.

Yesterday I also opened the box of linen tapes,  I was mistaken about having no black bias:  I've got nearly six inches!  Plenty of black in the linen-scraps box, but there isn't enough wear in the bra to make it worth my while to make more tape — not to mention that the inside of the hem is a sharp contrast to the exposed surface,  The bra would look gray if repaired with scraps left from making it.

I've got white bias tape, perhaps not enough, lots of curry, pale green, black-and-white print, and red, and a little embroidered linen blend,  I intend to use the red, but sew it with black thread,  Guetermann should be good enough, since the repair isn't expected to last very long.


13 August 2015

I was about to resume work on the yellow panties when DH discovered a glitch on my Web site while he was debugging his own,  That called my attention to a lot of broken links on my main table of contents page — some of them dating back to a flakey provider I haven't thought about in years.

So it's nap time and I haven't even put the foot control back on the floor.


14 August 2015

This morning I sewed the remaining side seam in the briefs, pinned the hems, started to zig-zag — and ran out of thread,  Which required me to wind another spool,  Didn't take me too long to remember how to put a long bit into the cordless screwdriver and wedge the spool into place with three flat toothpicks.

(Dave says they aren't bits because they don't clamp into a chuck, but they look like bits to me,  One of them is a drill!)

Oh, man, winding was slow, really boring, and slooooooooow,  Finally the dime dropped and I swapped in the other battery, which speeded the drill up considerably.

Thread kept catching as it spun off the ball,  After trying several expedients, including putting the ball on my starch bottle, then clamping the bottle into a strap wrench so it wouldn't fall over, I set my box of attachments on the floor, opened it, and let the ball bound around in the lid.

That was my last ball of ecru, so after picking the kow choi — so late that most of the stems had begun to get tough, and several were tough so high that the flower bud itself was all I got — I looked up Van Sciver Bobbin Lace, and was delighted to find that she not only accepts checks, but has an order form to print out and mail in, so I don't have to fool around with virtual credit-card numbers and shopping carts.

I have almost six unopened balls of white*, a nearly-full spool of white, I think that there is another white spool on the treadle machine, and I intend to use ecru on fabric that isn't white from now on, so I'm planning to order only ecru.

(*That's five unopened balls and one that hasn't been used much.)

In checking to see whether I also had partial balls of white scattered hither and yon, I discovered that I have another ecru ball with just enough thread to wind a bobbin.  Yay!  I hate to wind a bobbin with thread I've gone to the trouble of winding onto a spool, and there is no back-up ecru bobbin in my DMC bobbin box.

The minimum shipping charge is almost a third of the price of six balls, so I'll read the whole site to see whether I want something else too.

After my nap, that is.

Awk scrickle I haven't planned anything to feed the spouse for supper,  Well, we ate less than half of yesterday's meatloaf, and he liked it a lot.

The meatloaf was acceptable, and my new yellow panties are in the drawer,  I may wear them and my new jersey to the farmer's markets tomorrow.

Used a yarn needle, not my new bodkin, to thread the elastics,  I think the bodkin would have gone through those narrow casings, but I wasn't sure — the casings get constricted at seams.

One of the side seams was considerate enough to be already undone inside the hem at the waist,  I worked a bar tack to keep the opening from growing, then worked similar tacks at the side seams on each leg opening,  I cut a stitch to put in the first leg elastic, but simply forced the yarn needle between stitches for the second,  Which I couldn't have done with the new bodkin.

Had some slight difficulty in persuading the knot in the waist elastic to go inside the casing, so I sewed the baby elastic even though the pattern says I knotted the elastic for the last batch and I've never noticed the lumps,  The sewed place didn't want to go inside the casing for the second leg hole, the one where I forced the elastic between stitches instead of cutting one,  I guess the thread didn't break under the strain; I did use DMC Cordonnet #100 to sew that seam.

I should cut the left-over PFD jersey into briefs while I remember how to make them; the pattern says I made my current PFD briefs in 2013, so they should soon show signs of wear, but I need to get cracking on that wool overjersey; it isn't long until cold weather begins.

Also need to mend the handkerchief pocket on my taxicab jersey; the woman behind me in line at the pharmacy was kind enough to alert me that it was leaking.


19 August 2015

Yesterday, as I was hanging my yellow briefs on the line (I had a dental appointment on Monday, so I washed on Tuesday), I reflected that the yellow jersey was too thin and sleazy to make into T-shirts, but these underpants were excellent,  Then I entertained the thought of cutting up the rest of it about as long as it took me to envision half a dozen pairs of bright-yellow underpants.

One pair is nice, but if I got so sick of the brown stripes . . .

There is only one pair of the brown striped panties, and it isn't long for this world,  Ditto the stars-and-moons print panties.

By good luck, I decided to hang my cycling knickers by the knees instead of the waist, and that made me notice that the elastic had come untied in the wash,  This morning, looking for something to do in the ten minutes remaining of the Roomba's time in the sewing room, I unpicked the mend.

While getting my new bodkin off the curtain — it worked beautifully, by the way, and even served as a third hand while I was tying the knot — I groused that I can't buy any more of the coil-less safety pins that make storing bodkins and the like on the curtains easy.  Then I realized that I could go to Canal Street Gallery, buy another packet of lobster-claw clasps (nickel, this time), and use my mini split rings to attach them to regular safety pins,  That would be even more convenient!  For the things with holes that big, anyway, but when I buy something that won't fit on a lobster claw, I can move something off a coil-less safety pin.

However shabby the old curtains get, I can't put new ones in here,  It would mess up my filing system.

Got around to telling Lynnette I'm available for embroidery lessons; she wrote back that she would pass the word.

So I suppose that I should get on with those new designs in case I'm called on short notice.

Spent the whole morning writing this and correcting some obsolete links in EMBROGIG.HTM.

When I started to hang up the knickers after mending them, the handkerchief fell out of its pocket, so I hung them up by the waist after all.

I really ought to shorten the elastic in that waist by an inch.

If I don't get around to the ironing Real Soon Now, I'll be going to church in jeans and a T-shirt next Sunday.


20 August 2015

So that's why I couldn't find the blue plastic dinger to measure my casings with!  I also found the seam gauge that belongs in the drawer under the sewing machine.

The card table in the parlor has been accumulating stuff I will deal with later for some time now.  This morning I got a good start at clearing it off so I can lay something out to cut.

Probably my wool overjersey.

It smarted a bit to throw out all those WEBS yarn samples, but I doubt that the store still exists, and it's certainly sold out of those yarns.


25 August 2015

Ordered six balls of DMC Cordonnet #100 ecru from Van Sciver Bobbin Lace this morning, and while clearing a space to write the check and address the envelope, I found and hung up the "my pants" pattern envelope.  I've no idea how it got down, since all the pattern parts I use are hung directly on the nail — many of them have never been in the envelope.

The remaining clutter on the cutting table will fit on the ironing board; I may start assembling the pattern for the wool overjersey after my nap.

I also found a box that might contain the long-missing half-knitted socks while getting my back-up city bicycle shoes off the closet shelf.  My current pair of black oxfords has a lot of ornamental seams, some of which are coming unsewn.  The back-up pair sweeps back smooth from the toe, like a man's dress shoe, so I hope it holds up better.

Feels odd not to save the shiny new shoes for walking to church for a while — toe clips scuff up shoes promptly — but I wear sandals summer and winter now, because closed shoes give me corns, and singing in stiff shoes makes my hip hurt.

My winter sandals fit over indoor slippers; I hope that I remember to take my ugly overshoes off when I hang up my wraps more often this winter than last!

Got down the overjersey pattern.  Can't find the collar, but according to my notes, all I did was to copy the woven-jersey collar half an inch wider.

So if I can find the woven-jersey collar, I'm all set.

I think that light-colored roll on the top shelf of the closet is my jacketing, but I'd have to bring the ladder back in to find out.

There is a "summer is over" feel to the air tonight.


27 August 2015

I trimmed the ragged hem off my black bra this morning.

My old blue hat is dirty, but when it is washed, the lining of the brim will shred, so I put in some extra rounds of quilting to hold the shreds in place.  I guided the first round on the sweatband and the second on the first.  The third was guided on the last round of hand quilting, and the fourth was between the third and the second.  Then I put in a round closer to the sweatband, and an edge round guided on the first round of hand quilting.  This here hat should hold together in the wash!  But I fear that the machine quilting may shrink.

I couldn't see to thread the needle on the White, so I installed the headlamp that I bought a while ago.  I'm quite pleased with it, so I photographed the brand name before throwing out the package:

my new headlamp and the package it came in

It is small, like the first headlamp I bought (that headlamp is now serving as a red flashlight when I need to feed the cat in the middle of the night), and it can be aimed at the needle without sticking in wads of scrap fabric, like the second headlamp I bought.

It is slightly annoying that the first click gets the brightest setting, but there are only two settings.  The second lamp adjusts brightness by turning on varying numbers of LEDs, but this one appears to feed varying amounts of power to the same two LEDs.  (The first has no brightness settings, but you can choose between both white LEDs or the only red led.)

I wonder whether anyone makes a headlamp that has red LEDs only.  I'd buy that one to use as a headlamp!  [I Froogled:  no.]

Yesterday I found a Web site that links to the Comcast copy of ROUGH003.TXT.  Today, I replaced that file with a copy of the "comcast is making "some changes"" file.  So if anyone clicks on that link between now and October 8, he'll get the current URL.

I really ought to do that to *all* the comcast files, but I have a lot of them.  I settled for making index.html in each directory the we-are-moving file.

The black bra is repaired and hanging in the closet.  I noticed, while sewing, that the fabric is sheer.

I don't get to strike this off the to-do list because I never put it on.

I looked through the pattern on the card table, hoping that the collar pattern was folded up inside one of the pieces — and noticed that the front was missing.  Thought I might have hung it on the wrong nail, but soon remembered that when I was done with it I couldn't get at the wall and laid it on a shelf intending to hang it the next time I brought the ladder in.  It would appear that more sun shines on that shelf than on the wall; the pattern in brown, and the partial half is stencilled onto the whole half.  Perhaps I should re-think storing fabric on that shelf.

I should have noticed; I looked for and didn't find the check-list of pattern pieces that is written on the front.

The collar pattern may now crawl out of the woodwork.  I folded a sheet of the 2005 desk calendar, drew a line a quarter inch from the fold, and copied the collar of the woven jersey with its fold on the line.

Murphy says that it will appear immediately after I cut the wool by the new pattern, and prove to not be quite the same.


31 August 2015

My six balls of ecru DMC 100/6 Cordonnet arrived today.  It was very difficult to open the Flat Rate box without wrecking it; I suspect that the post office does that on purpose, to discourage re-use.  But I need something to keep the thread in until I've used up what's left of the previous batch.  I stood the box on end and put it on the shelf behind the miscellaneous threads.

Dave said that he liked one of the T-shirts and would wear it if it had a pocket; I remember seeing a white patch pocket of just the right size among my knit scraps, but can't find it.  There aren't as many messy small white scraps of knit fabric as there used to be; perhaps I threw the pocket out.

I put the PFD jersey into the "Brief" box.

When I took the wash off the line today, my last pair of "Twinkle Twinkle" underpants became skillet wipes.  I still have a substantial amount of Twinkle Twinkle jersey on the shelf, but I don't think I'll make more Twinkle Twinkle underpants any time soon.

I've gotten my yellow wool jacketing down off the shelf, but haven't unrolled it yet.  I think I'll unroll it on the bed to plan how to cut it.  The width is less than the width of two card tables put together, but there are more than two yards of it.  The eating table is going to have to participate in this project.

I didn't iron sweat rags today, or last week either.  I'd been wetting the creases in the sweat rags with vinegar, then ironing them dry, to see whether vinegar removes creases.  The results have been precisely what they would have been had I used water:  the creases remain completely unchanged.  Either there's more to the trick than I gathered, or there is less to it than was reported.

Got the last of the sticker off the "key caddy" I bought to tether my scissors during embroidery lessons.  The caddy cost more than the scissors did, I'm pretty sure.  The caddy expects one to wear a belt, but I find that it clips to the waistband of my jeans just fine.  The bit of naked waistband above my slant pockets finally comes into its own!

But under the sticker was an ugly screw head.  I wonder whether I've got a decorative sticker around here someplace.

Still haven't gotten around to stamping more designs.  But I'll probably have a week's notice if I get another gig.


2 September 2015

I unrolled the yellow jacketing on the living-room floor, smugly reflecting that now that we have a Roomba I don't have to vacuum the carpet first.

The cat, who had settled in beside the glass door for the day, promptly moved to the soft wool.  I laid out the patterns to scope out the project, then reflected that I meant to cut the drawstring casing from the same yellow ripstop I used to make the beta, went to fetch a sample.  The cat had abandoned the fabric while I was gone, but came rushing back when he saw that I was once again paying attention.

I laid the sample ripstop on the wool:  yuck!

But I've still got quite a lot of the black ripstop I bought for my wind pants.  (I don't remember why I bought so much; perhaps the fabric was wider than I allowed for.)  A black belt would look as though I'd meant it as decoration.  Perhaps I can find a black separating zipper.  Yellow is impossible to find even without trying to match a particular yellow; black will be excellent.  Won't harmonize with the casing; if I install it right, it won't show.

I think I want to line the collar with silk.  I've got a lot of silk scraps; I don't know about silk scraps that harmonize with orangy yellow.  Meanwhile, back at the ladder . . .

But first I'd better re-roll the jacketing before the cat plays with my patterns.

Did, then took all the scraps out of the box marked "sheeting" and put most of them into a plastic bag to take to Goodwill.  I haven't used a scrap from that box since I bought a bolt of unbleached muslin.

Next job:  print out a label to put into the plastic bag.  Mysteriously didn't print.  Finally I tried sending it through again, using the menu instead of the icon, worked.  (I was hesitant to do that because resorting to it on a previous job had produced two copies after I re-filled the paper bin.)

When the program closed without giving me a chance to discard my changes, I figured it out:  I'd clicked "save" instead of "print".

I've got some black china silk, but it is very flimsy and sheer.  I have some silk twill — I used it for reinforcements inside the banana-wool jersey — but the print is too conspicuous to use in a place that shows.  I have some orange dupioni; I suspect it would be a bigger "yuck!" than the yellow ripstop, and I'm not keen on dupioni for lining.  I'll look into the silks more thoroughly after my nap.  And I'll feel my black raw-silk shirt to see whether I want to use scraps from it for lining.


3 September 2015

I think raw silk will be acceptable.  I'll go through the silk-scrap box before cutting anything, of course.

While clearing out so the Roomba could clean this morning, I noticed that the shirt I started as a beta for my windbreaker ten or twenty years ago was nicely sorted, with relevant parts pinned together, and together with large scraps from cutting it out.  So I put it into another two-gallon food-storage bag, printed out a label, and put it on the shelf in the garage beside the muslin scraps.  I note a cardboard box in the discard pile that will be suitable for bungeeing to my rack to keep the bags unrumpled when I ride to the Goodwill store, and I can leave the stuff in the box when I hand it over.  I must get around to telling DH that I want that box before he gets around to breaking up the boxes.

Then the dime dropped and I put the bags into the box and put the box on the to-go shelf.  Room in there for more stuff if I find something before I go on a Goodwill tour.

I also got a few manuscripts sorted.


4 September 2015

Yesterday evening I drew threads in both ends of the jacketing.  Much to my surprise, the first drawn thread never wandered more than half an inch from the cut edge — and I got the thread out in one piece.  So I wrote "Wool Jacketing" on the back of a left-over rent receipt, folded the thread in half a couple of times, and put the skein through the paper with a doll needle.  I meant to use a chenille needle, but those are all packed away with the embroidery-gig stuff, and the doll needles are in a pincushion pinned to the curtain.  A longer needle worked better, it turned out.

The other end wasn't cut as straight, and the thread I drew was weaker, but it was still quite respectable.  And both lines are easily visible.

All my previous experience with wool has been woolen, and the jacketing is worsted.  I hope the surprises so far don't raise unrealistic expectations.

Today is a shopping day; I don't expect progress on the overjersey.

I remember when I could go to the grocery, change into a house dress, and start the day's work.  And that included walking to a store a mile away!

Well, time to change into driving clothes.  (I put on grungies to eat breakfast.)


10 September 2015

The ends of the pencil-pocket stitches in my new jersey make dimples, though it's not as bad after I put a pencil into the pocket.  I ended the stitches half an inch above the fold, and that was not high enough.  Up to half the length of a golf pencil would work.

I wonder whether the bottoms of the divisions ought to be staggered like the top, and if so, in which direction.  The top has the higher bar tack on the right, because I pull on the pocket with my left hand while tucking a pencil in with the right.

If staggered, the longer also on the right — we don't want my cell phone wandering into the notebook pocket.


11 September 2015

Sorted some more manuscripts this morning.

I have a plan for dealing with the too-big-for-any-table fabric.  Most of the pattern pieces are cut, in part, along threads, so I can lay out the pattern on the carpet or the bed, then mark it for drawing threads and cutting into rectangles that will fit onto a table.

But this afternoon, I'm cooking.


17 September 2015

Yesterday I laid the cloth out on the floor and determined that if I take all the pieces of the back off one edge and two copies of the half front off the other edge, there will be ample fabric for sleeves, collar, and the front pockets.  So I cut the not-a-selvage off one side, rolled it up and put it into the "silk scraps, silk tape, and wool tape" box, cut the straightening strip off one end, rolled it up and put it on the ironing board, and marked a rectangle to be the back and back pocket (which are the same width), and plan to cut the back yoke above it.

Turned out that the warp thread is much easier to break than the weft thread, and a lot harder to find the end of.  When the light went dim, I gave it up and went to read Usenet and my funnies.

Today I took the fabric to the picnic table and finished drawing the warp thread, breaking it when I got to a pin showing where the length-of-back mark is on the other side.

I started using 3.5 reading glasses and a seam ripper, but pretty soon realized that the ripper designer expected that if you pick up a thread, you mean to break it.  The edges are blunt enough to pick up most threads without breaking them, but they are still edges, and using the ripper on fine, soft, fuzzy thread took more attention than I wanted to give, so I went inside and fetched a doll needle.  This made a perfect awl for the job: it has a fine point on one end, the eye end is blunt and smooth, and there are no edges.

Somewhere along the line I also fetched the magnifying glass that came with the Compact Oxford English Dictionary.  This has to lie flat on the fabric to work, but I can slide the point of the doll needle under it to mark the thread that I want to pull after I remove the magnifying glass.

If I hunt for the thread before it has time to relax, I can spot some of the tight places with my reading glasses.  Often, it's easier to see the thread with the weaker magnification, because seeing more detail somehow obscures tight and missing threads.  Holding the fabric up to the sun to view it by transmitted light also helped, making me long for a light table.  But I once again concluded:  where would I put it, and I wouldn't use it often enough to make it worth my while to sweep around it, and would I bother to set it up or would I just hold stuff up to the light as I've always done.

I considered using the other not-a-selvage as the edge of the front, but concluded that it was too rippled.  Good thing, because I just now realized that I can't cut both halves of the front off the same edge without turning one of them upside down or inside out.

So if I tear the fabric lengthwise, I'll have a torn edge at center front on one side, and a torn edge in the side seam on the other side.

If I have enough fabric, I could cut two whole fronts from the space reserved for the sleeves, and cut the sleeves where I meant to cut the fronts.

But a double front would be very thick.  I might make very wide facings, and so not have the double thickness in the side seams.

It's nap time, and the bed isn't made.


19 September 2015

I stopped at Lowery's today and verified that I can buy black separating zippers and black ribbon there.  Didn't get any, as I don't know the lengths.

Also gave some passing thoughts to the embroidery gig.  I need to make some muslin bags that can be labeled with the child's name and address, in case I volunteer to set up in the ramp room every Kidzone.  I should make it easy to take out the seam without disturbing the drawstring, in case the student wants to embroider on the bag.  Or I could make some that have not yet been sewn.

Is "washout marker" on my check list?  I think it is.


21 September 2015

Ta Dah!  DH moved the stack of candy wrappers this morning, and while he was putting it back I noticed that the magazine rack on the end of the futon where I sit while doing hand work is full of projects I could have been using as an excuse to sit on the front patio and watch the squirrels — I can't sit very long without something in my hands.

This included the long-lost pedal pushers in need of hook eyes — now that it's too cold to wear them.  But I still need them for their original purpose as underwear.  With any luck, I won't be riding my pedal-powered wheelchair to church, but I can wear them after it's too cool for linen drawers but not yet cold enough to wear sweat pants.

Yesterday I tore a strip off the muslin, intending to make four or five project bags for embroidery class quickety-zip without washing the fabric first, then hesitated over whether to tear off the selvages, sewed the torn edges together in a french seam, and it's in the pile of white stuff waiting its turn in the washer.


22 September 2015

My first impulse, to leave the muslin unwashed, was the correct one.

Today's plan:  cut out back of overjersey, iron shirts and muslin.  First step is to clear off the ironing board, and that entails sorting out the box of Grandmother's handkerchiefs that I knocked off the shelf a few days ago.  I started by lining the box with an old all-cotton pillow case, and now I'm sorting out the printed handkerchiefs, to stack them together.

At least very few came unfolded, and many stacks are intact.  I paused in the sorting to post on facebook that I had them.  A few of the grands and greats like that sort of thing.

Ah, I've dallied long enough that I can put the gauze-lined linen dress away for the winter, so I can skip ironing that.

On the other hand, I'll need the red silk underdress within a few weeks, so I do have to iron it.  Long sleeves, gathered at the wrist, calf-length pullover — ugh!  At least the seams are flat-fell; not a french seam in sight.


23 September 2015

I finished clearing off the ironing board, and ironed three shirts and the strip of muslin I mean to make into project bags.

Ironing the PFD-jersey T-shirt renewed my determination never to make another shirt from PFD jersey, but I like the collar and may use it again.


24 September 2015

I went dress shopping because I don't have time to sew, and what did I do but buy an utterly‐impossible dress because I liked the skirt and it wouldn't take much effort to rip off the bodice and put elastic in.

Now I'm thinking that there is enough fabric in the bodice to make broadfall pockets.  But I just measured the shoulder straps and they add up to not much more than two feet, which isn't enough to make waistbands.

I don't have one solitary blouse that suits it; perhaps my best bet would be to take it to Goodwill; it was only three dollars.

On the other hand, I stopped at Goodwill on the way back from the strip mall and found a fleece robe, which means that I can strike "wool nightgown" off my list of things to make.

Also tried on half a dozen dresses at Goodwill, Shopping would be a lot easier if manufacturers marked sizes on their garments.  Among the half dozen were a "large" that was too big, and an XXL that was way too tight.  The "large" was a plain gray dress that would have been lovely if it had fit.

So I guess I'd better take a look at the dresses every time I go to Goodwill.  I'm more likely to find something that fits there than at a dress shop, now that dresses are so unfashionable.


25 September 2015

Wasted the whole morning playing with Open Office Draw, making an illustration for my hypothetical trapezoid skirt pattern.

cutting a width of fabric into trapezoids

But I did do a little sewing before breakfast.  When I was shopping yesterday, I put my finger through a hole in the back of my T-shirt while taking it off.  Several times, since the robe was the only thing I tried on without taking my shirt off.

Examined it this morning.  The fabric is too thin and soft to patch, and the hole would tear bigger if left alone, so I cut a length of the feeble two-ply cotton thread from the cone that hangs in the window and brought the top and bottom of the hole together with baseball stitch.  To prevent puckering, the ends were left unsecured except for a short line of running stitch, and an eighth of an inch of thread left flapping free on the wrong side.

I had trouble finding the darn when I wanted to inspect it just now, so I guess it is inconspicuous.  I worry a bit that I didn't use enough running stitch at the beginning.


26 September 2015

I wore my yellow-jersey jersey on the Tour d'Warsaw today.  In the ladies' room at the library, a woman told me she liked my shirt.

It was all the pockets that attracted her attention.


30 September 2015

Roomba day in the sewing room.  Alas, I did very little to get ready — the foot-control is still on the bed of the sewing machine and so forth.

The good news:  there is plenty of fabric to make the fronts double, or, rather, to put in facings wide enough that I have to put dart-tips in them.

The bad news:  no matter what I do with the fronts, I'm going to have to piece the sleeves.

I'm going to ignore the front pockets, and cut them of wool if there are suitable scraps, and of silk if there isn't.  The collar must definitely be wool, and all in one piece.  I plan to quilt it to a silk lining.

The fabric is slanted, and hard to straighten.

I drew a thread to mark the top of the back.  It was easier than drawing the warp thread was, but not so easy as drawing threads to straighten the ends was.  The doll needle and tweezers were in frequent use.

Since the wool is so thick, I'll use butt seams covered with silk tape to piece the sleeves.  A black stripe at each seam will also add an "I meant to do that" air to the appearance.

Hrrmmm . . . Since the fabric is so thick, perhaps I should shorten the sleeves and run the wrist elastic through black-silk cuffs.

Alas, the shortening to allow the wrists to gather won't be enough to get both sleeves out in one piece.

Then again, the shortfall is nine inches.  I drew a wash-out mark five inches above the end of the windbreaker's sleeve and tried it on.  It came at a quite reasonable place on my arm because the sleeve is an inch or two too long, which I did on purpose to allow freedom of movement.

And the seam will be a hem allowance lower than the mark was.  On the other hand, it will also be a seam allowance higher and that is a narrow hem.  At any rate IT WILL WORK!

I think I'll make the upper half of the raw-silk cuff double; this will allow me to cover the raw edge of the wool on both sides, and make the sleeve warmer.

Just put the black ripstop back into the closet; the drawstring casing should match all the other black bits I've added to this pattern.

I think that clever cutting could get another shirt out of the raw-silk scraps, though probably not a loose, long-sleeved shirt like the first one.  I wonder why I bought so much?  Perhaps I thought I might need it for jobs like this.

Thick fabric:  I think I'll hong-kong one edge of each seam with black habotai so I can make mock-fell seams and still have a finished inside.


7 October 2015

In clearing out for Roomba, I found a black separating zipper that I bought for a rehab that isn't going to happen.  So now all I need to buy is a piece of ribbon.

Yesterday was a shopping day, but I ripped up a pillow case that tore when I tried to straighten it and made two sweat rags.

And on Sunday, I ripped out the hem of the skirt I'd worn to church, to be sure that I shortened it before I wore it again.

Next step today is to clear the ironing board so I can iron a T-shirt and mark the skirt.

Shirt's ironed, skirt is marked.

I measured the hem:  three inches; I want the skirt an inch shorter, I set the hem gauge for four inches, discovered that the wash-out pen isn't very visible on this print, started over with the Nonce pencil, got closely-spaced marks all around, all the while it was niggling at me that this wasn't right.

So I started to pin:  oh, yes, if you want the skirt an inch shorter, the hem must be two inches wider.  So I set the hem gauge to . . . it won't set to more than four and a half inches.

Ah, well, the pocket clip on my six-inch stainless-steel ruler works like a hem gauge, and there is nothing to stop it from sliding to five inches.  Nothing to keep it there, either, because the end of the clip falls off the end and ceases to act as a spring.

Well, gunk is easy to get off stainless steel.  (Rubbing vigorously with a dry rag did it, and shined up the whole ruler.)  I wrapped the loose end of the clip with cellophane tape — and then threw out the rest of the roll, because it is very old and I'd just barely been able to get enough off it to do the job.

Second marking went quicker because I was more practiced — and I made the marks farther apart.

Now it's right-angle pinned.  I can go sit on the patio while I switch them to in-line pins, then put black cotton thread on the White.  I'm using the White so I can make five-to-the-inch stitches; the longest the Necchi can manage is four millimeters.

Or I could eat lunch, set some pizza dough to rise, and take a nap.

I should have mentioned that the real-bristle clothes brush was a great help in getting the lint out of the crease of the hem before pinning it.

The pizza was delicious, and so is the current bread I made out of the left-over pizza dough.

I pinned and stitched the hem after supper.  The leaf of the White is a free arm in many important respects; it was definitely easier to manage a long skirt on it than it would have been with a portable machine on a typing table.


8 October 2015

With all the useful things I could have done today, I spent the morning making project bags for the embroidery gig — which, since I declined a dress rehearsal yesterday, it may be that I am not up to committing to.

I did press the newly-stitched hem of my loud brown-on-black print skirt and put the skirt away.

I completed only two of the bags.  One of the bags that I'm leaving flat in case someone wants to "sew on my bag" has been hemmed on three sides and the hem of the other is pinned.  The completed hem isn't sewn as neatly as I had hoped.  I plan to put a finished casing on the remaining side.  Then after embroidering as he desires, the child can fold the piece in half and baste or whip (according to skill level) to make it into a bag.

I think I'll add a bodkin to my check list and let the child put in a ribbon of his choice as a drawstring.  No.  My embroidery-gig ribbons would make poor drawstrings; the sew-on bags will get twill tape just like the pre-made bags.  That way the bags can just be in the backpack and not be thought about unless they are wanted.


15 October 2015

I cut off the rectangle for cutting the back, and managed to draw a thread to cut off a rectangle for the fronts.

Drawing the thread wasn't easy; it broke frequently, and I can't tell warp threads from weft threads, let alone pick out the right warp thread.  It was frustrating that I could feel the tightened thread, but couldn't see it.  Indeed, a tight thread is less visible; it pulls down below the other threads — from both sides of the fabric.

The fabric is persistently slanted.  Cutting into rectangles first helps with straightening, since a small piece is easier to work with.

Who needs a light table?  When the light began to fail, I came inside, put a table lamp on the floor, kneeled beside it, and draped my fabric over the shade.  Worked like a charm — and, unlike a light table, it was easy to put a hand under the fabric while trying to pick up the thread.


17 October 2015

Yay!  The red marks that came of hanging my windbreaker on a painted hook came off when rubbed with a damp cloth!


20 October 2015

Between ceasing to wear heeled shoes and getting more fragile, it seems that all my skirts are going to need to be shortened.  Luckily, I have only two.

Last Sunday, when I noticed that my red-flowered skirt was hazardous to my health, I reflected smugly that this time I'd remember that to make a skirt an inch shorter, one must make the hem two inches wider.  Uh, *mark* the hem two inches higher, one inch for what is taken off the skirt and one inch for what is added to the hem.

I was considerably startled to realize that the hem was already six inches wide.  I cut an eight-inch strip from the 2008 desk calendar I use for making templates to use in lieu of my six-inch ruler.  (And marked it "8"" and put it into the drawer under the sewing machine.  Any chance I'll remember that?)

When I started to use the hem guide, I realized why I hadn't noticed how wide the hem was:  I'd put it in by hand, with stitches invisible on both sides.  It is not going to be put back that way!  That hem is two yards plus about ten inches around.

I cleaned the crease thoroughly with my boar#bristle clothes brush even though I didn't see lint in it.


21 October 2015

I never touched the jacket project, if you don't count moving pieces off the ironing board and back again.  I did press my red-flowered skirt and put it back in the closet, and I ironed the ties of my white linen do-rag so the knot wrinkles wouldn't confirm themselves while it sits in the bottom drawer all winter.

I wish I knew where I got the cotton print the skirt is made of.  It's a very good print — from a short distance it's hard to see that it's inside out even though there are seven inches of right side around the bottom to compare with the wrong side, the print extends right to the edges, and those edges are perfectly-usable selvages.  Doesn't muss much, either.

While clearing the board for the ironing, I finally put away the lace that's been cluttering the sewing room ever since we got a Roomba and had to stop storing stuff under the bed.  I moved the cotton flannel into a large shoe box so I could have the gift box it had been in to store the doilies.  I lined the box with an old all-cotton pillow case.

I wonder whether my heirs will guess that one of those doilies was crocheted for a cat?  When we had three, I fed the old one on the glove chest in the entry hall so the young ones would keep their noses in their own dishes.  And I didn't want the dish to scratch the glove chest, so I made a place mat that I wouldn't mind leaving on the chest between feedings.

In the evening, I cut the neckband off my black mock turtleneck and sewed it on again.  I didn't fuss much because all the seams were sewn with the defective needle that had cut the neckband off, so it won't hold up long.  I'll probably wear it mostly under other shirts.  It will be perfect under my Wizard suit for the fall festival; I can peel the gown off while working in the kitchen.  But then it might be better to wear my short-sleeved T-shirt.  If it's cold, I'll wear both.

I cut the untorn parts of the tear-along-the-dotted-line with scissors, then took my small cutting mat out to the picnic table so I could use the last rays of the setting sun to cut very carefully along the edge of the zig-zag stitching of the collar I'd just removed.

Note:  dividing both edges of the neckband into quarters is all very well, but I need to mark both sides of the edge that will be sewn on first.  The marks on the far edge were no use because the marks on the near edge were inside the seam.  No, I should have marked both inside and outside of the shirt.

After sewing one edge of the neckband to the shirt right sides together, I drew a chalk line just touching the stitches, pinned the fold in, pinned (right angles) the free edge to just cover the chalk line, pulled each pin out and stuck it back in to hold all four layers — changing from woven in to just down and up in the process, which unintentionally made it easy to see which pins had been taken care of.  And I inspected both sides to be sure I'd disposed of all the right-angle pins.

I'd sewn the first layer on with the White set up with the black thread and long stitch I'd used for the hem of the skirt because it's the second stitching that does the work and the first round can be thought of as basting that you don't have to take out.  Then I didn't want to re-thread the Necchi, so I did the same for the final stitching — long stitch and all, because stitches in fabric that's stretched firmly while you are sewing end up shorter than they were sewn.  I think that I stretched it about as much as it will be stretched when I pull it on over my head, and if it breaks, well, repairing it isn't all that much fuss.

I twirled the handwheel most of the way around, the better to keep the center of the left toe on the fold.

I did make progress on the jacket:  When I pulled my leg board out from behind the foot locker, something fell to the floor, presumably dislodged from the nail where I keep panty patterns.  When I picked it up, it turned out to be the missing collar pattern.  I compared it to the replacement I'd drafted, and the replacement was very slightly smaller.  I threw the replacement into the recycle bin to avoid confusion.


22 October 2015

Sprawlmart Tour called on account of rain.

I cut out two rectangles to be the fronts of my wool overjersey, darned a small hole in my polyester tights, and found four pieces of black silk bias tape to bind seams of the overjersey

I don't think four pieces will be enough tape if I decide to bind the front pockets instead of turning the edges under, but there is plenty of black habotai to cut more, and I didn't make sure I'd found all the pre-cut tape.

With regret, I've come to the conclusion that the fabric is skewed because it's twill — another flaw to be hidden under a "dry clean" label; it's the first unstraight twill I've encountered.

But I think this stuff was labeled "hand washable".

A prepared thread drawn from the crepe that my red blouse-slip is made of is hanging on the curtain, but I don't feel like replacing the broken bar tack tonight.


27 October 2015

I swear, if I ever make this shirt again, I'm going to hold out for flannel.  I cut out the front pockets this morning, and I'm exhausted!

A heavy wool shirt like this should last the rest of my life, but I might get fed up with the inferior fabric.

Pulled threads don't break unbearably often, but when they do break, they can't be found again.  It's frustrating that I can feel the tightened thread, but I can't see it.

It doesn't help that it's a gloomy day.

It was amusing to know that I'd dropped a needle when I heard it clang onto the floor.  It was a doll needle, the very best awl for picking up threads.

I should collect up all my awls and take a picture.


28 October 2015

three more pieces of overshirt to cut out of wool

That isn't the angle of the camera — the fabric really is that crooked — and this is after so many passes of stretching on the bias that I feel that I ought to sponge it before cutting.

after sponging

So I did spray it — and discovered that when it was damp, I could straighten it just by putting a palm on each edge and pulling with one and pushing with the other.


I left it to dry relaxed.


29 October 2015

Al napping on my work


2 November 2015

The sleeping cat wasn't the reason I didn't get any work done Thursday morning — I had an appointment for my annual check-up.  I must have done some work in the afternoon, because these pictures are dated then:

pressing the tab -- not quite straight
The tab wasn't quite straight, but I was fed up
yoke freshly-cut from tab
and cut the yoke out anyway.
longer shot from end of tables
A longer view of the scene

I needed to embroider arrows because the wash-out arrows will disappear when I wet the fabric, so I made a thumbnail of embroidered arrow tutorial

3 November 2015

Wasted the whole day fiddling with the new tutorial, but I did locate my silk thread, wind a bobbin — after unwinding some thread I don't think I'll use soon to get a spare bobbin — and thread the White.

I should buy some more White bobbins.  I think that Lowery's stocks them.


4 November 2015

yoke with hong-kong on bottom

I sewed a strip of silk to the yoke and hand-basted it into place.

Alarm at beginning of sewing:  poked light, it didn't come on.  Gaak!  I must have left it switched on and run the battery down.  Yup, when I look right into it, I can see a dim glow.  Tried to take batteries out, realized that it would be extremely inconvenient to get at them without taking the headlight off the machine, which I couldn't do without unthreading, decided I had plenty of light anyway and could deal with it later.  Later on I noticed that I hadn't quite closed the battery compartment, closed it, poked the switch to make sure it was off:  full light!  I presume that poking at the batteries scraped corrosion off a connector.

After sewing about half, I tried folding what was finished, thought (erroneously) that there wasn't enough fold-over to make sure I could catch it in the ditch-stitching, started over a sixteenth of an inch narrower.  I forgot that that makes a sixteenth of an inch more silk to wrap and a sixteenth of an inch less wool to wrap the silk around, and it wraps both sides, so that's three-sixteenths of an inch more silk on the back.  I fear that I'll have to trim the silk before I sew the back to the yoke.

I'm not sure whether that was this morning or yesterday afternoon.

This morning.  The picture is dated today, and I'm pretty sure I took it right after the basting.

It was hard to remember that I was basting when I was trying to make the stitches tiny on the right side!  For the first half, I absent-mindedly took back stitches at intervals, and very nearly didn't have enough thread, as I'd measured it out on the assumption that it would all be running stitch.

yoke with shoulders hong-konged

Hong-Konging the shoulders went more neatly.  (I did both with one strip of silk and haven't cut them apart yet.  I pinned the silk with just a thread of yellow sticking out at the edge, and guided on the wool while stitching one toe-width in.  And I back-stitched only at the beginnings and ends!  I used one strand of thread as well as one strip of silk, secured on both side of where the cut will be.

Shortly after finishing the first strip, I realized that that would leave the fold of the mock-fell seam pointing up on the outside.  Contemplated a while, realized that there would be a loose edge on the inside, and that should point down to reduce lint accumulation, and so did the shoulders too — the yoke wraps a little past the top of the shoulder, so this flap will also be pointing down.

pockets are straight!

After a nap and a shower, I embroidered arrows on the pockets, pausing part-way through the first arrow to take the missing picture for the tutorial.  Not a good one despite taking three shots.  I think the first shot is the best.  But I should take another of an arrow that is more like the one in the tutorial.

Then I put them on my small cutting mat, sprayed them with water, and lined the edges up with the grid.  If they are dry this evening, I intend to sew silk to them and have the basting to do in the waiting room tomorrow.  (Bone-density test.  No idea what is involved.)

Second batch of arrow photos was taken in process of doing the same (on the big cutting mat) for the back pockets.  Meant to do the back, but the pocket strip was easier to get out of the pile.


5 November 2015

I felt too stupid in the evening to set up the pockets — put an old hat in want of mending and two books into my bag — but I had a little time before time to leave and got the rest of the black china silk out of the box:  a few snippets and one large piece with eight long strips of tape already marked for cutting, and room to cut rather a lot of progressively-shorter strips.  I think I'll change the blade in the cutter just before cutting them.

I was thinking that it was time to order another two yards of china silk, but the side/sleeve seams will use at most four, and that leaves only the hem and pockets — and what's already cut will do the pockets.  I don't think I'll need to cut all eight strips.

I should look into the bias box to make sure I haven't absent-mindedly put silk tape into it.  I should write "except silk and wool" on the label.  Or mark it "cotton"; I don't think I've got any polyester bias, and linen tapes have their own box.


6 November 2015

The silk gown is measured, ripped, pinned, and thread and needle are pinned to it, ready to go when I feel like hand work.

I was surprised when I put it on the ironing board and saw that it had already been taken up an inch.  Didn't appear to have been pressed since then, either.

I hunted out my eight-inch piece of desk calendar — it's under the silk box in the drawer under the Necchi because it won't fit into the box where I keep hem gauges — intending to mark six and a half inches on it, but decided instead to use my blue-plastic dinger to mark two inches from the current hemline.  I was alarmed at first that my washout marker didn't show on the black stripes, but it shows up very brightly everywhere else and made a line that was easy to use.

I intended to sew the hem with black 100+ Tire silk thread.  While pinning, I noticed many bright flashes of the size-A silk I died brown with onion skins.  So that's what I made such an invisible hem with!  Pity I haven't any more.  So I looked into the silk box to see whether one of my other size A threads would do; all were bright or contrasting, but lo and behold, I do have half a bobbin of the onion-skin thread.

But it turned out that I'd sewn the hem with black 100+; for some reason, I'd basted parts of the turn-under with brown silk.  I'd wondered how such a bright brown could blend in!

Once pinned, time to attach a spool of 100+.  I was pretty sure I had one open, so I planned to look under the Necchi, in the drawers of the White, and in the arms of the futon before opening the box on the shelf.  <checks:  two boxes, one containing a spool each of black and white 100+, the other ditto in #50>

But during the first step, I found a bobbin of charcoal-gray size A, and decided that that would be even better.  So I threaded a #10 crewel needle onto it, wound it back up, wrapped a snippet of black china silk around it, and pinned it to the hem.

Now to pin the hem of my Wizard suit, with, I hope, less to remark on.  I was thinking that I'd have to use chalk pencil to mark it, but the wrong side of that print is white.  Washout marker still in service!

Wizard suit hemmed, but not finished:  at some point after ripping out the old hem, I remembered that I'd planned to shorten it by putting quarter-inch elastic into the stretched-out neck band.  But I'll be seventy-five the next time I wear it; I'm sure Michelle (who phoned the results of my bone-density scan to me) would approve of shortening it twice.

I've touched the overjersy pieces.  Mostly to get them off the ironing board so I could measure hems.


9 November 2015

back piece before straightening

wet back after straightening

At first, when straightening, I worked columns side by side, then I realized (I was working left to right) that it was better to put my left hand where my right had been, and finally worked each column half a handwidth farther right than the one before.

It took a while.


10 November 2015

back pattern on fabric

It looks as though I stretched the fabric a little while straightening it.  I won't cut off the excess because the fabric will go back — and probably also shrink — when washed.

overhead shot of books on pattern after cutting

Several pattern weights were lying on the coffee table.  If you look very closely, you can see arrows drawn on the scraps in case I find a use for them.  The object under the card table is a scratching post.

back pinned to yoke

I trimmed between an eighth and a quarter of an inch off the hong-kong strip, then pinned the back to the yoke just far enough from the folded edge that I could see the basting.

yoke seam ready to press

The trimming was just right.  Not one thread of binding shows through the seam, but the raw edge is close enough to the stitching that it is sure to be secured by the top-stitching.

I don't think I need to press this seam as it lies, but I intend to anyway.  I intended to top stitch it twice, one line near the fold, then turn it over and ditch-stitch along the binding.  But such thick fabric should be top-stitched the width of the White toe from the fold, and that will be fairly close to where a ditch-stitch would have been.

I think this shirt is coming together.  And I'll probably have time to sew after tomorrow's blood draw.


11 November 2015

Time, but no ambition.

shorten silk gown   However, I did finish hemming the silk gown, press the old crease out (being careful not to sharpen the new crease), and hang it back in the closet.

And before pressing the gown, I photographed the seam I sewed yesterday, then pressed it through a damp cloth.

I started hemming the gown yesterday or the day before.  I was concerned that I couldn't find any lumps in the gown, finally found the scrap of silk pinned to it, but the bobbin and needle had escaped.  Looked on the floor under where the gown had been hanging and all the route between there and the rocking chair, no dice.

The rocking chair, by the way, had been dragged back into the living room the previous day or the day before, after spending the summer in the garage.  It's much nicer to sit in a patio chair beside my little glass table — until recently.

Looked for the black 100+ in a few places, looked at the pincushion on the floor, missed my thimble, cussed at myself for not allowing for the cat, picked up the gown in case he'd batted the thimble under it — and there was the bobbin!  It had fallen out while I was looking for it.  It had also unwound, which caused me much anxiety with respect to the invisible needle, but when I picked up the bobbin, I discovered that the needle still lacked a quarter inch of falling off the thread.

And I *had* allowed for the cat — my thimble was on the monitor stand.

When I saw it in bright sunlight, I discovered that the "charcoal gray" thread was actually a dark, grayish brown — perfect for the mostly-brown print.  The stitches on the right side are hard to see even though I deliberately made them long.


12 November 2015

It was so dark and gloomy this morning that when it was time to start sewing, I washed the dishes instead.

picture of eagle eating squirrel
I also spent some time bird watching.

But I did top-stitch the yoke seam and baste the hong-kong on the back pocket.  I finished that, looked at the other side, and thought "Urk!  I'm going to have to trim this seam too!" before remembering that this one is a hem.

I plan to straighten one of the fronts before going to bed tonight.  Tomorrow I can prepare pockets, cut out belt casings, and straighten the other front.


13 November 2015

Wha' hoppin to today?  All I did was to attach the back pocket and straighten the other front piece.  This was the quickest to straighten yet — because, I think, I got it very wet, straightend one pass to squish the droplets in, turned it over, and sprayed again.

I was thinking of taking the Tire silk off the White to thread the Necchi, then realized that the zig-zagging wasn't going to show and threaded the Necchi with two bobbins that were already wound with size A thread.  The pale green thread merged into the yellow so well that I regretted not putting it on the side that will show when the shirt is inside out.  That side is onionskin-brown silk.  I no longer recall what color I overdyed, so I can't make any more of that.  (And it's almost certain that I have no more of that color.)  But I could probably make something just as pretty, given motivation.

While helping Dave snitch my picture of an eagle (which I had snitched from him and cropped) I noticed that I forgot to update the link from the Contents page to this file last July.  There are also a lot of obsolete references to Comcast on my pages.


16 November 2015

I thought I'd begin by marking my front pockets and sewing binding to them, but they weren't as straight as I thought they were, so they are drying on the smaller cutting board.

But the casing pattern I thought I'd mislaid was on the piano under the destined-to-be-sleeves fabric.

Perhaps I should cut the raw silk today — after hanging the wash and taking a nap.  Just the drawstring casings; better to wait to cut the sleeve extensions until there are sleeves to sew them to, so they don't get lost.  Besides, I keep getting confused as to how much seam allowance to add — and I might be able to cut the sleeves a tad longer than the folded pattern.

After much dithering, I think I'll sew the sleeve extensions on after sewing the side seams — that way there are no seams to mock-fell over, and the seams in the extensions can be offset from the seams in the sleeves.


17 November 2015

I cut two two-inch strips for the belt casings this morning.  Drawing threads in fuzzy black raw silk wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  I did have to resort to the lampshade and doll needle when I broke a thread, but threads didn't break very often.

When I discovered that a lampshade would support fabric over a light bulb — and that a table lamp set on the floor supports fabric at a convenient height — I said something along the lines of "I don't need no steenkin light table", but I definitely could have used a light table and a translucent cutting mat today.  I managed by drawing two threads and taking the work outdoors to cut it.

Then I held my smaller mat over the lamp:  it appears to be perfectly opaque.

So I DuckDucked "translucent cutting mat" and found a whole bunch of Web sites wanting to sell me some — and that made me remember that when I took stuff to Goodwill for a neighbor who was moving, I kept a transparent "two-sided craft mat"; since the brand name is Fiscars, I presume that the side alleged to be a cutting mat is a cutting mat.

It isn't quite stiff enough to cut on without a firm surface under it, and if it were, a lampshade would be insufficient support.  It wouldn't have helped today.

Some of the mats on the Web appear to come with light tables — but there is still the matter of house room.  And of remembering that I have a light table when the situation comes up again.


19 November 2015

On closer inspection, they didn't.  It turned out that if you want to find light tables, you must search for "light boxes" even though they are now more like flat-screen monitors than like boxes.

I'm binding the edges of the front pockets this morning.  While basting the third edge, my fingers started going numb, and wiggling the affected hand and waving my arm around didn't help, so I stopped and took a picture:

basting the hong-kong on the sides of the front pockets

The jacketing is so thick that I couldn't weave more than two stitches at a time. I tried to keep the stitches short on the right side and long on the back.  Since the fabric is thick and loose, pulling the stitches a tad tight tended to embed them, and pulling the fabric a bit restored proper tension.

And my hands are back to normal, so it's back to the glycerin bottle.

front pockets ready to stitch the hem
I think that I could pick those arrows out now

I got a little confused stitching the pocket hems:  I forgot that the black binding that I wanted to not stitch on was on the other side, and skipping the black binding on the wrong side put me a noticeable distance from the black binding on the right side — I'd trimmed a scant eighth of an inch off each end of each side, tapering to nothing at the fold, to insure that the turned-under part is completely hidden.  But once I figured out what I was doing, I just stitched the full width, cut the ends long when I separated from the machine, unpicked the unwanted stitches, and wove the ends inside the binding or inside the hem with a needle.

The ditch-stitching on the back pocket wasn't as neat as that on the front pockets, but no-one will be able to see that the white stitches wandered onto the black binding in a few places.

2015SEW1.HTM says that I used twenty inches of elastic in the ripstop back pockets, and I had some more of the same elastic, so I cut off twenty inches and noted that on the back-pocket pattern.

But, once again, I have no silk or synthetic tape to thin the ends, and this time self-fabric won't do at all.  There's a piece of white fabric in the silk-scrap box, but I don't remember what it is — it may well be a swatch from when I was selecting fabric for my wedding gown.

I think I'll use ripstop; there are plenty of scraps.  Or I might buy an eighth of a yard of 3/4" polyester ribbon.

I have decided that I'd rather hand-sew four inches of hem on the ends of the drawstring casings than thread up the Necchi.  I'm using Guetermann spun silk, partly because it will blend with the fuzzy raw silk, mostly because there was a threaded needle in the bag.

But it was time to set the table before I decided what to do about the poor quality of the light.  Explain to me again why we must start sleeping an hour later just when the evenings get unbearably short?  I tried to adjust my sleeping schedule back an hour, but everything else being delayed an hour has already reset my clock.


21 November 2015

Having hand-sewn one two-inch hem, fuzzy black on fuzzy black in artificial light, I've decided that yes, it is worth my while to thread up the sewing machine for the remaining three hems.  I'll use Tire thread so I can use the same set-up to top-stitch the casing to the shirt.

When sewing black on yellow, it's nice to have two machines so that I set up one with black and one with white.  But I'll have to re-thread the Necchi when I attach the front pockets — no reason not to use black thread, since the zig-zag doesn't show, but I'd rather match the stitching on the back pockets.

Last time I wore my windbreaker, I had to fetch it from the sewing room, where it is hanging to serve as an example.


25 November 2015

Yesterday I sewed the other hem in the back drawstring casing, and hemmed one end of the strip destined to be the front casings.  I hem one end, lay my 24" ruler on it, mark across the strip with my nonce pencil, and cut a hem allowance beyond the mark.  Perhaps I should measure from both ends of the front-casing strip.

I also hand-basted a crease in the back casing, and gave one of the fronts another wetting and pushing.  This morning I re-straightened the other front, and it's drying on the card table.

I've mastered, I think, the art of pushing.  Instead of studying out which way to push to change the angle of the corner in the desired direction, I just push with the hand on the side where the edge is closer to me, and pull with the hand where the edge is farther away.  Also no hesitation when I walk around the table to work at right angles my previous exertions.  Thinking this way also makes it obvious where some areas need more pushing than others.

Because wool is hard to wet, I start with the right side against the gridded mat, spray it thoroughly, make one pass of pushing to mash the water into the fibers, turn the work over, spray again, and begin straightening in earnest.

I was studying the two-inch by five-inch scrap left from cutting the back casing with an eye to cutting squares to fold into diamonds to put under the bar tacks at the edge of the back pockets when I realized that it would be a better plan to cut this strip into two pieces, fold them in thirds, zig-zag the ends with the black silk on the Necchi, then appliqué them to the inside of the back.  Easier to do, flatter, and a much larger target.

Back with casing attached
I think it's time to pick out that arrow.

Only one of the patches was caught in the stitching of the casing.  I don't think it will matter.


27 November 2015

Front casings marked to cut
I began this morning by marking the front casings.
Both ends of that strip of raw silk have been hemmed.

That's a flash picture.  It's so dark in here I have to turn a light on to type — and I'm a touch typist.

Next, I pinned the other edge of the casing to a line marked 5/8" below the fold of the edge that has already been sewn.

Calculating:  that fold is a quarter inch below the line marked "waist" on the pattern, so the new fold is 7/8" below the waist line.  A quarter inch has been folded under:  9/8".  The first fold spends a quarter inch going down and another quarter inch going back up:  4/8" plus 9/8" is 13/8" of the original 16/8" strip below the waist line, which leave 3/8" above.  Folded in half, that would be a very stingy quarter inch of fold extending above the line, and in fact there is a somewhat generous quarter inch.

Something must have stretched.  Or maybe my fold-unders were stingy.

Now it's time to quit playing with the computer and go back to work.

I cut two pieces eleven narrow squares wide.  I miscounted, and instead of being nine squares long, one is ten and one is eleven — but the tabs are going to be cut to length in this direction anyway, so all is well.

2015SEW1.HTM says that the tabs overlapped by 3/8".  I think these are closer to half an inch.

Since both the elastic and the tabs being sewn to it are synthetic, I'm going to have to re-thread the Necchi with nylon thread.

Perhaps I should hem the front casings first.

Hemmed them, basted the creases, pinned them to the front pockets, and laid them on the box of silk, which was conveniently protruding from a nearby shelf.

Then I sewed the nylon to the elastic, and took two flash photographs, rather pleased that both pictures included the part I wanted a picture of even though the viewfinder was a uniform black.  But it turned out that my hand shook on both shots, just enough to render the stitches on the nylon invisible.

nylon sewn to ends of elastic

After typing that, I thought of clicking the tulip icon so that I could rest my elbows on the table.  The first shot was very overexposed; I don't know what I did different for the second, but the exposure was just right.  Then I remembered reading in the manual about a complicated way to get autofocus to focus on both of two items when the autofocus box was between them; I couldn't remember exactly how it went, but I could move one of the ends so that both would be in the box.  Sure enough, when viewed on the big screen, the second shot was fuzzy, and the third shot was just right — and you see it above.


28 November 2015

Drew lines one inch from the end of the elastic on each of the tabs, to show where the end of the casing should lie after the elastic is inserted.

My wash-out marker was under my hat and I couldn't find it, so I used a graphite pencil.


1 December 2015

The back is ready to sew to the front, so I guess I'd better get on with cutting out the fronts.

I put a pin in the stitching that holds the bottom of the pocket and marked on the front, intending to start stitching a quarter inch below that when I divided the pockets, but got a better idea and started where I knew it was too low, then picked the stitches out from the back, where I could see the stitching.  I tied the two threads together, then hid them between layers with a hand-sewing needle.

There's about an inch unstitched at the bottom of each division.  I turned the middle pocket inside out and checked:  that is an ample allowance for picking the lint out of the corners.  That is also ample room for my lipstick to sneak into the wallet pocket, but I don't think that it will be a problem.  All of the other small items in that pocket are tethered to my keyring with "lobster claw" clasps.

I've been wondering whether I should put a row of snaps inside the cell-phone pocket instead of working a pair of bar tacks with running stitch between.  This fabric is soft, and might tear at a bar tack.

Hmmm . . . just two snaps, sewn where I would have put the bar tacks, should do the job.  That would also mean that I could brush lint out of the pocket when I wash it, and I wouldn't need to undo any snaps while wearing the jacket.

But I do wish my phone had a lanyard shackle.  Perhaps I should put a D ring in the shoulder seam, in case the shirt outlasts the phone.  Surely phone makers have realized the absolute essentialness of lanyard shackles by now.  But then, they had protective cases that didn't have to be bought separately and did cover the sensitive parts, and abandoned them as old fashioned and dorky.

Um, guys?  Progress doesn't mean dancing in place while trampling any improvements you accidentally make.  When you achieve something, you are supposed to take another step, not undo some previous achievement.

If I had thought of the snaps sooner, I could have used reflective tape to make a reinforcement for the snaps, and hidden its ends under the binding.

I had better sew the snaps on well, because I seriously don't want to sew snaps inside a pocket that is already assembled.


2 December 2015

Basted the sides of the back pockets to make it easier to keep everything lined up when sewing the side seams, then covered the seat of my sewing chair with black duct tape — twice, once front-to-back, and once side-to-side.

I basted the sides with the White set on five stitches to the inch, but used white silk so that I wouldn't have to take it out.

Also re-arranged my collection of cardboard and plywood when Roomba wanted to clean that corner.  Heaven only knows what is under the printer stand; I've worn out two printers and a scanner since the last time we moved it.

Which isn't quite as bad as it sounds; it's a two-printer stand, and both were old when we put them on the stand.


8 December 2015

Took the Goodwill-Aldi tour today, and didn't get back until half-past four.  Good thing I forgot to go into Meijer after eating lunch at Panda Express; curfew is five.

Yesterday I thought I'd cut the fronts out between loads of wash, but it turned out that one front was still too crooked to cut.  So it's lying on the cutting mat, patted to the grid.

I was minded to fold one front right-side out and one inside out, and cut with the same side of the pattern up, but I think it would be better to baste the center-front folds before cutting.  Perhaps machine-stitch them a couple of times to make them stiff; the fabric of my windbreaker keeps getting caught in the zipper.  Probably won't be a problem with the thicker fabric, but topstitching won't hurt.

I have decided that I'll press the darts in the shell with the extra thickness below the seam line, perhaps top-stitch them into place as I do the darts in my bras.  Then I'll cut along the upper leg of the dart in the underlining/facing, so that the extra thickness is above the seam line and doesn't overlap the dart in the shell.  Then I'll zig-zag both raw edges.

<checks calendar>  I just might sew tomorrow.

Before leaving this morning, I re-threaded the Necchi and sewed a pocket closed on Dave's armchair caddy, to make three other pockets function correctly.  Yesterday I ripped off a frame that had been supposed to create a tray on top of the arm, but didn't confine small objects and did prevent him from resting his arm on the chair.  Turned out to have been sewn on with very large stitches, so that about six inches came undone for each stitch I cut.


10 December 2015

Potential fronts on card table, hand basted

Yesterday it somehow got to be lunch time before I'd eaten breakfast and read my mail, but I did manage to fold and hand baste the potential fronts before naptime.  I lined each up along the edge of my cutting mat, and made the fold on the line marked "16".  I made them mirror images by pointing the arrows opposite ways during this operation.

Potential fronts on card table, machine basted and overcast

Today it happened again, but I zapped a boxed entree (plus some frozen corn and some fried onions) instead of making a single serving of soup, and while I was waiting for it to defrost, I carried the fronts to the White and machine basted them, then changed the thread on the Necchi and attempted to zig-zag what will be the free edge of the facing.  The top thread broke repeatedly, and nothing I tried (including taking the needle out and putting it back) helped.

So I unearthed the manual from its tomb under the silk thread; nothing on the trouble-shooting page I hadn't tried.  Fetched the flashlight from the kitchen and peered inside:  no threads stuck in the shuttle race.  Removed and oiled the shuttle race; no problems here.  Took the needle plate and various associated parts off and brushed and blew out lint and wiped various parts with an old towel that was lying around waiting for me to happen to thread the Necchi with white cotton.  During this operation, I took the flashlight back to the kitchen and found the microwave beeping and my fried onions cold.  So that's why I felt like a second lunch!  The machine was in bits, so I went back to the sewing room and put it back together:  Yay!  Whatever was wrong, I got it.  But with all this distraction, I put the facing under the needle with the wrong side up, and the onion-dyed thread was in the bobbin, the blends-into-the-yellow green thread was in the needle.  I was halfway across when I noticed, so I sewed the other facing to match while I was still sure I had enough onion-dyed thread to do so, then turned it over and overcast the edge — which you will have trouble seeing in the photograph; even the onion-dyed thread doesn't show up all that well.

Then I stirred the fried onions into my entree and re-heated it.  Since all was at room temperature, this took one minute instead of eleven.  DH wandered through the room and exclaimed "How did it get to be so late?", so I guess he got distracted too.  After lunch, I took a picture and went to bed.  And now the clock dings that it's time to look into preparing supper.

I don't like to cut in the evening, but I did do a little mending:  when I was sitting down to play with the computer, my feet were cold.  I was about to put on two odd wool socks that I don't mind wearing out by walking in them without shoes when I realized that I could sew the holes shut by machine — these socks will never again go inside shoes — and the zig-zag was already threaded with silk, so now the socks are a bit warmer.  And not too lumpy to walk in.

Hmmm . . . if I mend them again, I could take a big wedge out of that side, making a heel on what was the top of the sock.


11 December 2015

The fronts are cut out at last.  Now let's see whether I can remember what these pictures mean.

facing of fronts pinned

Before cutting, I machine-basted the bottoms of the facings, to keep things lined up.  I think that tomorrow, I should also baste the facings along the shoulder seams.

I didn't photograph the fronts after machine stitching, but the basting shows in the picture below.

front pattern pinned, shows basting that 0679 was pinned for

I was much puzzled by a line marked "center", and very nearly folded on it before I realized that it was the center of the pattern that I widened to make this pattern.  I wrote "OLD" before "center" to avoid future confusion.

These pieces were cut to the length of the pattern, and were the same length before I stretched and straightened, so I placed the pattern with the point of the shoulder seam on the cut edge, and let the surplus hang out below, hoping that when it's washed, it will revert to proper shape.  For the same reason, I allowed extra at the side seam.  If you click to enlarge the picture and look very closely, you can see where I drew blue lines to cut along.

Left front cut out

Cut at last, cut at last!  I forgot to mark it before I removed the pattern for use on the right front and put the left front on the ironing board — which I set up for the purpose; it had been leaning on the stash-closet door since Roomba Day, when I brought it in after Roomba was done, but didn't set it up.

I find it amusing that I have room to leave my ironing board set up, but I don't have room to fold it away — every wall is fully occupied.  But I could probably get it into the closet if I re-arranged a little.  (Re-arranging involves sorting out fifty years of manuscripts; it is not going to happen soon.)

Right front cut out and partly marked

It's probably just as well that I didn't mark the left before cutting the right.  Turns out that there is a lot of thread marking to do on the front, and I got too tired to continue and knocked off for lunch before marking the dart.

I did get the dart marked before nap time, and I am ready to remove the pattern for use on the left front Monday morning.

I woke up from my nap early today — and made potato salad for Sunday's party, because tomorrow I'm helping to set up for the party, and will probably be tired in the evening.

Then again, I may still be bushed from the party on Monday.  We shall see.


16 December 2015

Kinder frittered away Tuesday, too.

fronts on card tables

Today I basted the shoulders and, having realized that there would be a turn of the cloth at the hem, basted along the fold lines of the hem so that the hem could be turned up without runkling the rest of the piece.  I won't remove the edge basting until I'm ready to sew on the hong-kong binding.

Before basting, I blue-lined the tailor's tacks, on the right side for the pocket, on the wrong side for the dart.  In the picture, the other side is laid out for thread marking.  Hmm, I'm awake and it's half an hour before suppertime . . .

So I started to pin the pattern to the left front, and realized that the pocket and dart aren't marked on this side.  A little quality time with a sheet of carbon paper, a ruler, and a brass knitting needle ensued.  It felt queer that I didn't have to be careful not to get out of register while tracing.

thread marking the upper leg of dart

I bought my little stork scissors because they were pretty, but they have turned out to be very usefull — here, because I didn't have to worry about pulling a tack out while trying to trim it.  When the scissors are closed, the stork's beak is an excellent awl for loosening stitches.

thread marking lower leg of dart

After this shot, the battery in the camera died, and by the time I swapped cells, put the dead ones in the charger, and re-set the date and time I'd forgotten what I meant to photograph.

I did get a start on blue-lining the pocket.  Tacking the pocket got easier when I realized that I could turn the piece over to mark the pocket on the right side before I peeled the pattern off, therefore I didn't need to make tacks that could stand up to having a pattern peeled off them.  I didn't even need to snip the thread marks between stitches, but I did anyway.


17 December 2015

Another pattern piece on the pile on the document scanner.  (As distinguished from the radio scanner.)  I haven't been putting them back on the nail because I can't reach it.  With the immovable printer stand in the way, I'm not sure I can reach the nail even with the stepladder — but the pattern was on the nail, so it must be possible.

Briefly pinned a pocket to one of the fronts:  It looks good!  Now to blue-line the other dart and I can start sewing.  I plan to attach the pockets and casings before sewing the darts, so as to have flat pieces to work with.

fronts with pockets and casings in progress

This is as far as I got before lunch.

The pockets aren't quite as high as they look; the shoulder seams are displaced to the front.

I have realized that I need to pick the hong-kong binding off the back shoulder seams and sew it onto the front shoulder seams, because the doubled fabric shouldn't be folded in the seam.  I thought long and hard before binding the shoulders of the back, but can't remember why I thought I wanted that fold to point up on the outside.

The doubled fabric doesn't quite reach the point of the dart, which pleases me.  It also doesn't quite reach the far edge of the pocket, which doesn't please me.  I need to cut some raw silk to back the bar tacks on the single-layer side.  Well, the place where bar tacks would be if I didn't plan to use two rows of top-stitching, to harmonize with the mock-felled seams and to hide the raw edge of the binding.

Oops!  I got down the raw-silk scraps, found two mirror-image pieces off the selvage — bob'syeruncle!

Carefully folded the rest of the scraps inside the largest, pinned it to the left-over piece, hung it back in the laundry room (where I've been keeping the raw silk for ready reference), picked up my two pieces — and they were one piece folded in half.



18 December 2015

It's mañana, but I didn't touch the jacket.  Nor yet the cakes I planned to bake.  But I did get rid of one of the boxes that were cluttering up the floor.  (Now where do I put the heavy-cotton scraps that were in the suit box I transferred the scraps from the floor box into?)

I knew there was a reason I was saving the two little thin-corrugated boxes that were inside the shipping box that I keep my plastic spools in.  They perfectly fit the bias-tape cardboards that were in a bag in the floor box that I got rid of.  My heirs will wonder why two boxes of identical slips of cardboard are labeled "tape winders" on one and "hem gauges" on the other.  Tape winders is what they are, hem gauges is what I use them for.  I want to use the partly-filled box first, and leave the one marked "tape winders" for later.

"Later" assumes that there will be a miraculous breakthrough in life extension.  The half-full box will last about ten lifetimes.

Of course, a lifetime is only about ten years now.  (The nice part is that it will still be ten years next year and the year after that, if I don't break something or contract the horrible awfuls.)


20 December 2015

bar tack on red silk underdress

Realized this morning that this is the last Sunday before Christmas:  If I want to wear a bright-red blouse with a gilded black skirt, this is my last chance.

So despite being late, I bartacked the slit and overcast the gap.  There was a prepared silk thread on the curtain, but I like to never got it threaded into a needle.

The hanger had been poking out through the slit for so long that the fabric was longer on one side than the other.  Had to ease it in as I overcast the slit.

I think I'll move "make gray-wool slippers" up on the priority list; they would look nice with my new gray dress, and black stockings would look much better with gray slippers than with black.

Pity there's no such thing as an opaque beige stocking.


21 December 2015

Mem:  synthetic bagged threads in bottom right drawer, silk bagged threads in bottom left drawer, cotton bagged threads in top left drawer.

The top right is for small tools used while working at the machine.  Sometimes I have the current bag in there.

I found two matching scraps that really did have selvages.  They were rather half-moon shaped, like the scrap from cutting a neck, but I don't think I've ever cut a neck touching a selvage.

So I folded them in half, matching the curve, not the ends, and snipped with my pretty little stork scissors about where I thought the tabs wide enough.  Drew threads at the snips, then longed again for a light table and translucent cutting mat.  But these were so small that it was easy to hold them up to the window and cut wiht my stork scissors.

I imagine that putting white paper on the cutting mat would have made the gaps visible.  I must also consider putting my Fiskars "craft mat" on a sheet of white paper.

Using Guetermann spun-silk thread, I baseball-stitched one scrap into a tube, then overhanded the selvages to flatten it.  I *think* that "overhanding" is the technical term for overcasting when you catch only one thread of a fold or selvage.  Must look that up in The Sewing Book.

Well, well.  I thought it easier to verify the title with the computer to my right than to get up and search the antique-book shelf.  Amazon wants forty-five dollars for it!  That's the one by Anne L. Jessup.  I presume that there are lots of books with that title.

When I did the second one, I folded the scrap so that the narrow side matched the first, but on the other side, then folded the other cut edge to meet that one and let go of the narrow one.  I overhanded starting at the corner of the longer side, then backstitched from the other corner back to the gap in the middle and baseball-stitched it closed.

The first time I baseballed toward a pinned-down edge, and came up in the gap.  It was much easier to stitch toward an open end, and go down in the gap by sliding my needle in at the open end, then sliding down to where the next stitch should be taken.  No risk at all of catching the back.

I had a time finding light to work black-on-black by.  It's raining, and the only artificial light that's both bright and not fuzzy — I don't see how light can refuse to focus, but there it is — is bolted to a desk that my spouse was using.  I finally sat in his swivel easy chair and turned it to face the patio door.  I did the thread pulling kneeling on the doormat, but needed to sit while sewing.

the reinforcement patches ready to be sewn

You can sorta see the stitches if you click on the picture for the full-sized one.

the reinforcement patches basted to facing

Black on black disappearing is more-or-less expected, but I was surprised that the orange basting stitches are so hard to see.

I could put the fingers of my left hand inside the facing while basting the left front, but on the right side, I had to resort to sticking a ruler in to stitch against.


23 December 2015

I started to sew one of the tabs to one of the facings, but got a snarl in the bobbin when I got to the first corner.  Picked it out after nap time.

But I did get the old dish towel out of the sewing room.  Since I was unthreading the Necchi anyway, I re-threaded it with basting thread — an old cone of two-ply cotton that I picked up at a garage sale or something — and overcast the edge that had caught fire.

Then I re-threaded with black reeled silk, but didn't get far.


27 December 2015

While I was cleaning the fridges, the pastor happened to mention that the fellowship hall is going to be empty all week.  That gives me a deadline to get on with bias-lining the red ramie.

Here, the only clearable patch of floor that's big enough has our squishiest carpet on it.  And it's much nicer to work on tables!

I had the whole day to sew yesterday, but didn't manage more than sewing on the tabs I had basted to the facings.  I took and processed some photographs in the evening, though.

Just realized that I forgot to sew the name tag to the back pocket.  Oh, well, sewing one name tag on by hand isn't that big a deal.


28 December 2015

Thirty-seven unread messages in the Creative Machine mailing list.  Resolutely, I turned my attention to sewing, and called up this file on the other computer.  Just as I learned that I'd pinned the back casing to a line 5/8" below the fold of the edge that has already been sewn, I noticed that the washer wasn't making any noise.

And again, the washer isn't making any noise.  Dryers blat to let you know the clothes are done; why can't washing machines do the same?

Same reason they don't give you any clue as to what the radio buttons disguised as dials do, I suppose.

THe washer was quiet because it was dribbling water in for a rinse — first or second is none of my business.  So it's off to find my blue plastic dinger and my wash-out marker.  (I saw the marker on the card table where I intend to work, and I'm pretty sure the blue-plastic dinger is in the snack bag with the other hem gauges.)


29 December 2015

Fifty-six unread messages.  Time to allot a little time to the mailing list.

I was thinking of cutting along the drawn thread on the red ramie at the church, but that would entail clearing out my backpack to allow me to carry my smaller cutting board.  I think I'll use it on the kitchen table, and just be careful not to wool the cut edge around.  I may draw a thread at the other end too.

No new ideas on the mailing list, but there was a thread or two I'd have participated in if I'd read them in a timely manner.

I think next I'll sew the casings I pinned yesterday, then cut along the drawn line on the ramie.

Between the predicted weather and the party preparations, I don't know when I'll walk to the church.  Desperately need the exercise.

Did get the casings sewn.  Had unreasonable trouble with the first one, because I forgot how lumpy the narrow hem at the beginning was.  On each casing, I sewed from the cut edge to the casing, along the fold, made a U turn on the other hem, and stitched back a toe-width from the fold.  This entailed changing the needle position after the turn; it's easier to stitch along a fold with the needle in the middle position, but that is too wide for the return trip, so I changed it to the right position.

Cut the ramie after my nap.  I set up a card table in the parlor instead of using the eating table.  Both ends had been drawn sometime or another, so the job, though tedious, was trivial.  After spending much time looking at it closely, I'm very pleased with it.  Seems a pity to use it for something as humble as bras — and bias cutting wastes the perfect selvage.

I was also pleased with who-ever had cut it off the bolt; both straightening strips were very narrow.  I wonder how he, she, they, or it managed to come so close to cutting along a thread that can't be seen?

Then I folded the ramie and put it in my go bag, together with my laser level, a package of double-A cells because I don't want to walk that far in such weather and not do the job, my wash-out marker, and my nonce pencil in case the wash-out marker runs out of ink.

I think that that is all I need to mark bias lines all over a piece of cloth.  Been a while since I did that chore.


30 December 2015

My pin cushion would have been nice, but I did bring my little bag of stuff, and in the bag was an Altoid box, and in the box was a little tube, and in the tube were a few assorted needles, a silk pin, and six plastic-head straight pins.

bias-line the red ramie

The fabric is eighty inches long, and fifty-four inches wide.  That made it rather difficult to line up the cut edge with the selvage by bending the fabric around.  I used pins to hold the measurement as I walked toward the rumples.  Didn't think until after marking the first two bias lines that with pins, it would have been feasible to fold from the corner — Which I did when marking for the second two lines.  Made only four, since I can measure from those to intermediate places.

I'd planned to use the iron kept in the parlor for brides (the parlor is also the brides' dressing room), but couldn't find it.  The ironing board was in the closet, but not the iron.

I managed to use four hymnals instead:  I put two on one end of the fabric, walked around to the other end and pulled the folds out of the cloth, then put the other two hymnals on it to keep it from springing back.

That left me with no hymnal to put the laser level on, and all the other books in the classroom were Bibles.  But someone had left a box of paper handkerchiefs on the table, and that raised the level enough to shine down on the fabric.

I remembered with no delay that one watches the sparkles on the pen, not the line on the cloth.

I think I put everything back where I found it.  Since I was wearing long johns, it was pleasant that the temperature in the Fellowship Hall was low — supposed to be sixty Fahrenheit during the week it isn't in use.  I was careful to close all the doors when I left.

continued in 2016

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