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2017 Sewing Log


3 January 2017

I have touched a needle for the first time this year.  I'm cooking corned beef tomorrow, so I made a bouquet-garni bag, boiled it, and hung it up to dry.



11 January 2017

Still no sewing, but I took down the deprecated patterns, folded them up, and tied the papers in the recycling bin into bundles.

Latest date on any of them was 2005, so I don't think I'm going to want to refer to any of them.

Also brought in the Kick-Step and put back the label that had fallen off the knickers and drawers.  Made a new label for the deprecated patterns, and when I went to hang it up, discovered that I hadn't mislaid the old label, I had mislaid the nail it was hanging on.  I'd shifted the knickers patterns to cover it.

Perhaps now I'll get around to polishing up the diary for 2016, and moving the to-do list etc. to this file.



24 January 2017

I excavated the ironing board.  After moving the leg board to the bed, there was only one pile.  Plus a pillow case that tore when I was putting it on a pillow a few weeks back, so I tore the rest of the hem off and added it to the pile on the ironing board, and today I pressed a turn-under, sewed a new hem, and put it into the linen closet.

It won't last long, and I'm short of cases.  I've *got* to find suitable fabric for making new ones.  I should stop at Lowery's after the Winter Farmers' Market on Saturday.  I don't think I thought of checking out the quilt linings when I was there before.  If that fails, I'll order some samples from Dharma.  Several of their cottons look suitable.  The linens are all "super soft slightly loose weave", but if I get samples, I'll order those too.

I swore last night that this morning I would iron the dress I washed yesterday.  I never got that far, but I've made a start on shortening my pleated cotton-print skirts.

When I laid the red-flowered one on the ironing board to mark it, I thought that the creases looked as though the skirt had not been washed since the last time it was shortened.  Then when I opened the hem, I found nonce-pencil marks inside, still so clear that when I began to pin, I started pinning to those instead of the new chalk marks.

And *then* I remembered that to make a skirt an inch shorter, one must mark the stitching line two inches higher.  I'd been of two minds as to whether it really needed shortening, so I finished pinning it half an inch shorter.

I'm going to make the marks on the black skirt two inches higher.  I think it was up to half an inch longer than the flowered one.  The black one *has* been washed, or at least ironed, since it was last shortened.  We'll see whether there is lint inside when I open it.  The flowered skirt had no visible lint, but I brushed the crease anyway.

The procedure:  Mark chalk line, measuring from current bottom of skirt.  I measured eight inches for the flowered skirt; the black has a four-inch hem, so I'm marking it at six.

Open hem — fairly easy, since I took the precaution of using a long stitch when I shortened it before — brush out lint, re-pin with edge just covering the chalk dashes.

So now the flowered skirt is hanging pinned and ready to sew, and the black skirt is on the ironing board, where I have begun marking it.  I intended to sew the last seam on the hat before changing to black thread, but I've decided that the hat band is still too tight; I need to take out the patch I put in and make one a half inch wider.

But tomorrow is a shopping day.  Perhaps I'll buy something ready-to-eat and sew between naptime and supper.



25 January 2017

I got back from the store soon enough to finish marking the black skirt and take the hem out before nap time.



27 January 2017

This morning I brushed the lint out of the crease and pinned the hem to the marks.  I ran out of pins — there must be a forgotten project with a lot of pins in it somewhere.  So I decided it was time to take some more pins out of the box.

I know my box of glass-head pins is in the footlocker, but I can't find it.  When I've restored some hint of order to the sewing room, I'm going to have to dump everything out of the foot-locker tray and put it back.

I did find a pin cushion holding enough plastic-head pins to finish the job.  I also found a small C clamp that belongs in the shop; I wonder what I was using it for, and why it was in the footlocker.  I have, in the past, done jobs that call for clamping a ruler firmly while I use both hands to cut along it, but that requires *two* C clamps.

A few days ago, I noticed that my "brass edge" ruler sticks to my magnetic pin dish.  Steel is harder than brass anyway, as long as it doesn't rust.

I am not surprised that the wooden ruler that I bought just because I was so tickled that school children are still using them sticks to the magnet; it was very cheap.

It has holes for a three-ring binder in it, and one to hang it on a nail, but I think that the two-ring binders that grammar-school children used to use are extinct.  Tools that fit loose-leaf binders used to have five holes in them.

I think that the loss of two-ring binders is a good thing.  Paper to fit them fits nothing else, while three-ring binders fit standard letter size.  I suppose the original idea was that small children should have smaller notebooks, but the reduction in weight isn't enough to notice.

I wonder why I keep sticking an "i" into "ough".

At least I do know why I tacked a "t" onto it in the previous paragraph!

I think I'll eat lunch, then change the thread in the White and get my pins back onto their magnet, and get those two skirts out of the sewing room.  I might want to wear one of them the day after tomorrow.



1 February 2017

The skirts were ready, but I wore the silk dress I bought at Goodwill.

My underpants are too worn to bother replacing the elastic in the legs, but they aren't worn enough to throw out, and they don't fit at all well without the elastic.  So now there are four pairs on the ironing board, waiting for attention.  I hope I have enough baby elastic.  There isn't much left on the card.

They are on the bed, actually, and the ironing board is leaning up against it.  It Roomba day in the sewing room.

Now to get the chair I'm sitting on out of the way.

All done, but one pair is the prototype I've been trying to wear out, and one pair was lined with too-worn a piece of hemp/cotton jersey.

There were two inches of baby elastic left.  Weather Underground says that Saturday will be fit for a bike ride to Lowery's.

And tomorrow will be good for a dump tour, so I finally moved the pencil pocket to the correct side of the front pocket on my wool-jacketing jersey.  It appears that that job never made it to the to-do list, but in looking for it I found:
sort and discard deprecated patterns
shorten flowered skirt and black skirt

I have no idea when I got rid of the deprecated patterns, but they are gone.  I do remember writing in the Banner that they final-strawed the bin and I spent a considerable time bundling papers for recycling.



3 February 2017

Yesterday I went to Lowery's to buy ten yards of baby elastic, and also found four yards of muslin that I mean to make into pillow cases.

I was getting ready to sew the ends of the muslin together in preparation for washing it when I realized that I plan to cut the cases out by tearing it into four equal pieces; it doesn't need prewashing.

So now I'm preparing to straighten the ends.  I didn't buy extra for tearing, so I'll have to draw threads.

When I started to wind the elastic onto a card, I found a flaw.  After a few more winds, I realized that I could use the flawed elastic in the worn-out briefs that were in the laundry when I did the others, and started over from the other end.

4 7/8" goes into ten yards . . . I don't think I'll calculate how many turns it took.  I took a few turns on top of the first one to hold the end down, then proceeded to make side-by-side piles across the card, then wound the last bit angling back and forth to cover the piles.  It made a flatter package than my usual haphazard winding.

A snack bag fits a tape winder just right to prevent unwinding.  I glory in that idea every time I get into the elastic box:  I can tumble things every which way hunting for the piece I want, and nothing gets tangled.  Even the coils remain perfect in their sandwich bags.

The fabric was cut amazingly close to on the grain.  The widest part of the offcut was less than half an inch, and each end had a stretch where I didn't cut off any.

I tore the fabric into four one-yard pieces, folded them in half, and laid them on the treadle sewing machine.

I didn't notice until drawing the threads that the "muslin" (unbleached batiste) has real selvages.



6 February 2017

I pinned two of the pillow cases, but ran out of pins halfway through the third.  I took another glance into the footlocker, and left it open to air.

I found boxes of sequin pins, silk pins, T-pins, and some I've forgotten, but no glass-head pins.  I suppose that box will pop right up if I buy a new one.  I hope Lowery still sells that sort of pin.

I noticed, while hanging my everyday jeans up to dry, that they are going to need a crotch patch soon.  They've been needing to have the hem turned up for quite a while; it may already be too late to avoid having to cut off the worn edge.

When I noticed how neat the selvage-edge seams of the pillow cases are going to be, I entertained, for a split second, the insane notion of making a french seam at the bottom of the pillow cases.  It would be easy enough if I sewed the french seam first — but it would make quick-wearing lumps.



8 February 2017

Yesterday I sewed the seams of the pillowcases, and discovered that I'd moved the box of pins to the upper-right drawer of the treadle to make them easier to find.  There aren't many more pins in the box than there are on the magnetic pin cushion, so I guess I'd better start looking for a new box.  It's only been fifteen years!

Today, after finally ironing my long-sleeved villa-olive dress, I'm hemming the pillowcases.  At this writing, I have all pressed and one pinned.  When I was pressing the seams open, I pulled on the end of the seam and it opened up as nice as you pleased.  I must mention somewhere on the site that finding fitting problems isn't the only way you can take advantage of fabric's tendency to wrinkle parallel to lines of tension.

Now back to work:  I want to get them all pinned and my chair moved from here to the sewing machine in the bedroom before DH remembers that it's Roomba day in the sewing room.

I thought for a moment that I should bring in the kitchen stool in to spare my back, then remembered that the ironing board is adjustable.  I sat on the KikStep while pinning.  It's about a fist-width lower than my typing/sewing chair.

All pinned, and there are still pins in the pin box.  Four pins on the Grabbit, but one of those I found on the carpet when I started taking stuff into the bedroom; I used only two pins to hold the end down on the last stretch, and had only one right-angle pin to remove after all the seamline pins were in.

Now do I want to carry out all those boxes, or just shift them when Roomba is half done?



9 February 2017

I carried everything out, including the foot locker.  WW II doughboys must have been real he-men.  There is no provision whatsoever for using both hands to pick it up.

So I wonder what the handle on the end was for?  Soldiers might be strong, but they aren't ten feet tall.

The pillow cases are in the linen closet, except for one that I put on a pillow.
more pillow cases
I suspect that "more pillowcases" will be back on the to-do list soon.

I took down my box of silk scraps, and found a pair of silk tights with enough good parts to cut patches for my newer silk tights.  One of the two pairs isn't in much better condition than the patch donor.

The irritated parts of my hands snag the silk, but a little Eucerin should smooth them enough.  I think that it's time to stop putting cortisone on them; it might be actually causing the rough spots.

I picked out the seam holding one of the ribbed cuffs to the patch-donor tights, picked out the patch in the hatband of my russia-drill hat, and cut a bigger patch.



22 February 2017

I put new elastic into the last pair of ragged underbriefs, then tackled the loose reflective tape on my overmittens.

 split mittens

The job was much easier than expected; only one mitten needed repair, and not much of the stitching had come undone.  It had seemed like a lot because it was in a place that tended to catch on my brake cable.  I chose yellow- green buttonhole twist, and laced through the original holes.

I have rather a lot of buttonhole twist, once it's sorted out from the sewing silk:  twenty spools, the majority of them un-opened.  There are five spools of white, though I think one of them is intended to be pale ecru.  Only one each of black and a grayish brown.  The rest are brights and pastels.

darn lobster-claw mittens
One off the list and three jobs added.  And "darn" should have been stricken off a few weeks ago.

And I noticed, when taking a picture of the project, that on the right mitten, the lacing holding the two strips of tape together has broken.

And when I went to check which mitten it was, I noticed that there is more darning to be done on one fingertip of that mitten.



23 February 2017

Yesterday I picked the timer pocket off my sea-robin T-shirt and put the shirt into the cleaning-rag bin of the laundry hamper.  Today I sewed the pocket onto my City of London T-shirt.  This shirt already has a hole in it, so I imagine it will soon follow the sea-robin shirt.  The Fibernet shirt I have on will last a while.

The sewing machine skipped more stitches than it made, but it made enough stitches to hold a timer, so I let it go.  I dug out the manual, but didn't find any skipped-stitch causes I didn't already know about.  I took the needle out and put it back in again, but don't have a scrap of knit handy to try it on.

I folded up the muslin I've been flattening on the ironing board and put it on a hanger; I don't think I want to make a muslin poncho shirt after all.

On the ironing board:  silk tights and linen drawers that need patching, and twinkle-twinkle scraps for putting timer pockets on my two twinkle-twinkle shirts.

And lots and lots of clutter.

When I was getting ready for my nap, I remembered that I'd thrown away a cotton-jersey shirt, pulled it out of the cleaning-rag bin, and zig-zagged down the middle of the hem.  Perfect stitches!  The needle had seemed to be seated correctly, but when I took it out, I could turn the screw with my fingers; it may not have been tightly held.  I used the screwdriver to tighten it, so I hope that all will be well.

There's only one rough spot left on my hands.  I resumed putting cortisone on it, three times a day instead of twice, and just the spot instead of the whole hand.  It seems to be working.



27 February 2017

Yesterday:   cut fuzz off Dave's pants

Today:  made sweat rags out of an old pillowcase.

Tomorrow or this evening:  expand this entry.  Today is for outdoor exercise.

I bought a pair of sweat pants that need to have elastic taken out of the hems today.  Dave bought a pair of pants that need to be shortened.



1 March 2017

I realized, as I was taking the last few stitches to repair Dave's torn hems, that the tape I was using was still in the original coil.  But I washed them yesterday, and the hems didn't pucker — I generally soak some extra when I use off that coil, and wind it back on.  The hems didn't use much, so that some extra appears have been enough.  The first piece I used had been cut off the coil and wound back on — which I discovered when half-way through pinning it, but by good luck it was just barely enough — so that had definitely been soaked, and enough for the other leg is well within "some extra".

Picked the elastic out of one leg of my new pants today.  Haven't touched Dave's new pants.

Yesterday, one of my new sweat rags came out of the washer in the form of skillet wipes.  To my surprise, my black bra is still a bra, but it's worn so thin I'm not sure I'll wear it again.  I certainly won't wear it away from the house!

Forgot my cortisone twice today, so I'm declaring the treatment over.



4 March 2017

This morning I finally got around to shortening Dave's pants, which I'd marked the day they came in the mail.  After the measuring and cutting and measuring and pinning, the actual stitching was anticlimactic.  Which reminded me of the March sisters, hemming sheets and needing games to relieve the tedium.  Machines like the one I used to hem the pants began to be available in 1856, but it would have been a while before Louisa May Alcott even heard of them, and I doubt that she was *ever* able to raise the ten dollars to buy one.

Wikipedia says that Little Women was published in 1868, and I believe that it was set a bit earlier.  Not a bunch:  Wikipedia says that the war between the states lasted from 1861 to 1865.  So sewing machines had been around only five or ten years, and despite the installment plan, would not have been thinkable for people as poor as the Marches.

I allowed an inch when I cut the pants, folded under a half inch, and then folded on the cut edge.

Now I'm working on my new sweat pants.  I measured the hems by the simple expedient of folding the fabric where it wanted to fold, but first had to remove the thread snippets left when I took out the elastic.  My real-bristle clothes brush was a great help with this.

Now I'd better thread the Necchi with the black poly I took off the White and get to zig-zagging.

After finishing the sweat pants, I took the pants he was wearing off Dave and ripped out the hems.  That was after checking his closet and finding that there were no other pants that needed work, except for pants that he may or may not need at some future date.

I resumed work after supper, and finished when it was so dark that I had to take them into the living room for the final pinning.

Since the edges were worn to various degrees, stitching at a uniform distance from the fold/ragged edge was out, so I used my

blue plastic measuring dinger

blue plastic measuring dinger to mark a line a uniform distance from the edge of the hem that left about the right distance from the worn edge.  I didn't choose one of the official measurements, but one that gave me a long straightedge to mark along.

Then I folded along the worn line, matching ragged edges in the gaps, and stitched along the marked line.  To save heating up the iron, I lengthened the stitch to max (five per inch, as I was using the White), folded the seam allowances toward the hem, and stitched the crease.

Then I took it into the living room, sat under the lamp, and pinned the hem in, eyeballing "about right" between the stitched crease and the new edge.  This was perhaps less than a quarter inch, and the "about right" for the seam allowance was a tad more than a quarter inch, so I figure this shortened the pants by a tad over half an inch.  Since the edges had been rubbing until they wore through, this is all to the good.

Back to the sewing machine, where the headlamp strapped to the throat

 sewing machine, headlamp, and the package the headlamp came in

gave ample light.

I've really got to get on with timer-pocketing my winter slopping-around shirts.  I won't need them before fall, but it won't take long and it will get the pile of matching scraps off my ironing board.

Patching my linen drawers is urgent — I can wear the muslin prototypes, but I'd rather not — but that will involve a thorough pattern search, and if I don't find a suitable patch pattern (I think that I can use the gusset from my riding knickers) it will involve pattern drafting.

Next question:  should I make the patch double, as I do the riding knickers?  I think not, as underwear should be thin, and I think that the rest of the drawers will wear out in the time it took this area to wear through.

One purpose of the pattern search will be to find out precisely how long that was.  It's been years, but how many?

The rough spot on my left index finger hasn't gotten any worse since I stopped the cortisone.



7 March 2017

I finally found a use for my bonded-nylon thread — but I didn't find the bonded-nylon thread.  I used two strands of the nylon I bought on pre-wound bobbins instead, and it was nearly impossible to tie the knot because the strands wanted to go their separate ways.

It isn't often that there's that much effort to making a single stitch.  I wanted to plant potatoes this morning, and the velcro had come off the toe strap of one of my garden sandals.  I figured that one stitch with a stout thread would hold the strap closed.  Hunted all over for the black thread — do you suppose that I left it in the embroidery-gig bag?  I should overhaul that bag soon.  Found a stout needle — in a box that belongs in the backpack — despite the curly thread off the bobbin, it wasn't hard to thread an eye that big.  Then I found a use for another seldom-used item:  the needle didn't want to go through that thick plastic, but a quilting thimble with a wall around the top persuaded it.  Then the needle was too long to push up from the inside of the toe strap, but I got it started by seating the eye end on the innersole of the sandal and pushing on the strap until the thimble could get under it.

Then the struggle with tying the knot.  My finger slipped on the surgeons knot while making the second half-hitch, so the stitch is a bit loose, but the sandal stayed on my foot while I planted the potatoes.



10 March 2017

mend darts in black undershirt

When it was time to stitch the hems and attach the pockets, the light had faded.  I had a terrible time stitching the black undershirt in midday sunlight — finally turned the machine to nearly right angles with the window — so I'm leaving the mostly-black pockets for another day.  Not tomorrow, since I'm planning a long bike ride for my blood pressure, coming back by way of Aldi to pick up a lot of things sold only there.

Since everything is basted, no pressing will come undone during the delay.

At least the bundle of twinkle-twinkle scraps is off the ironing board and back up on the shelf.  I sorted out the smallest scraps, made pockets out of the two biggest, and threw the rest onto the compost plate.  (Twinkle-twinkle is pure cotton, save for the dye.)

 pockets, one basted, one to be un-basted

I cut them by eye to fit the scraps, so they are more-or-less the same size, and not at all the same shape.

I basted entirely by hand:  the creases because I didn't want to clear the board and heat the iron and knit doesn't hold creases well anyway, and the ends of the hems because it was easier to sew four half-inch seams by hand than to get up and walk to the sewing machine.

There are two schools of thought with regard to basting thread:  one is to choose a contrasting color to make it easy to get all the thread out, and one is to choose a matching color in case you can't get all the thread out.  I began by basting the sides of the pockets with the thread that happened to be in the basting needle, which was a contrast.

Then I remembered that when making a patch pocket, I turn the hem to the right side, pull the ends out a bit to grade the seam and make the hem a tad shorter than the pocket, sew along the fold line, then turn the hem right-side out and use that seam as a start to turning the sides under.

I'd used up the needle of thread basting those four unwanted folds.  When I re-threaded it I chose a black thread that has lost its provenance, and I don't plan to even try to take the basting out.

Doubleknit hems can be zig-zagged down by the raw edge, but for some reason I felt that the edges of these hems should be turned under, same as woven-fabric hems.  Before turning the hems right-side out, I snipped off the corners of the turn-unders.

In each case, I turned under the bottom of the pocket before basting the side edges.  I cut the thread at every corner, so that if I do try to take it out, it will all be straight pieces.  Not to mention that only at the bottom of the five-sided pocket were two adjacent edges done one after the other.



12 March 2017

Once again, I wore my black flowered overshirt to church with a pin in it.  How long does it take to sew on a snap?

Time to put the shirt I'm wearing into the cleaning-rag bin.  Perhaps I'll rip off the pocket and sew it onto a newer shirt while the wash is in tomorrow.

I'm still feeling yesterday's missed nap.  Devil Satan Time didn't help any.  Must get to bed on time tonight.



15 March 2017

 two sewing machines in the bedroom

On Roomba day in the sewing room, the two machines sometimes get together.  I lowered the leaf of the typing stand to make it easier to drag.  The plastic bag contains a White bobbin of the thread on the Necchi.  The blue patch is the pocket I took off my expired slopping-around shirt; the timer pockets for the twinkle-twinkle shirts are under the foot control

Today I'm assembling the new sewing chair I bought yesterday.  I didn't notice, when I decided to get it, that it is an executive chair (i.e., it has arms).  If it turns out that I can't stand them, I can easily undo the six bolts that hold them on.  Might could be I'll find that I need them to get out of the chair — there have been days I scooted over to the door so I could pull on the doorknob.  (When the door is half open, one can use both hands.)



16 March 2017

A drawback to all that basting:  When I finally resumed work this morning, I'd pinned the first pocket to a shirt before I remembered that I hadn't sewn the hems.

Sat down and found the sun glaring on my work, so I turned the sewing machine to right angles to the window, which moved the presser foot into indirect light, and also makes the light shine across the work to leave useful shadows.

While I was doing that, taking time out to put the cat boxes back after Roomba was done in the bedroom, and typing this, the sun moved.  But the original position would still have had me squinting at the window.

Shine on the work, not the eyes!

Perhaps I could work the above motto into one of the essays somewhere.  I don't think I have an essay on light.  I should.

timer-pocket the twinkle-twinkle shirts

I selected the Capitaland Nautilus shirt as the shabbiest, laid the timer pocket on it, and the blue looks horrible on the red.  In fact, that shade of blue looks horrible with everything, the pocket is a snitch too wide, and the fabric is too stretchy.  I threw it into the compost and added "make timer pocket" to my to-do list.  It won't be urgent until it gets too warm to wear the long-sleeved twinkle-twinkle shirts.



17 March 2017

Joy!  At some time or the other, I had sorted the drawers pattern and the knickers pattern onto their own nail, so it was easy to find the gusset pattern of the knickers and verify that it would do for making a patch for the drawers.

So I took down the linen box and found a bundle of white labeled "small scraps and bias".  After reading that as "and bras" I fetched a pencil and dotted the i.  To my surprise, two of the scraps I sorted out as possible patches matched, so I was able to cut both sides of the patch at one go.  One of the two had a fuzzy selvage, so I knew which was the long grain.  I took a wash-out marker and put a double-headed arrow on left-overs that didn't have selvage on them.

Then I hand-basted the fold for the pre-graded flat fell (I know that that seam has an official name, but I can't ask because nobody can picture what I'm talking about.  Perhaps I should make a tutorial that I can refer them to.)

Pinned the two halves together, stitched the seam, realized that I'd set the machine for five stitches to the inch the last time I used it.  (I wonder why the lever is marked "7" at that point?  One-fifth of an inch is five millimeters, so that's not it."

Since it's the top-stitching that holds a felled seam, I left it.  Stitched the first row of top-stitching slowly, smoothing the fabric constantly, then rotated the work one-eighty and sewed the other row without breaking the thread.

I still didn't want to warm up the iron, so I hand-basted the turn-under.  A good thing, too, because curves are very difficult to press neatly.  I trimmed the front end of the center seam and mitered the pointy end in back.

At this point I should have warmed up the iron and pressed the crease I'd just basted, but I proceeded directly (if you don't count a pause for lunch) to pinning the patch to the drawers.  I first pinned the grain line to the inseams, then pinned the center seam to the center seam, then smoothed each quadrant and pinned its edge.

pinned patch

And now it's naptime.  Wouldn't take long to do the anticlimactic stitching first, but that way lies ripping, and I don't think the worn fabric would stand for it.

presser foot on pinned patch in puddle of light


18 March 2017

attached patch on chair

Sewed it after nap time yesterday, this morning I set out to mark the wrong side for cutting out the worn fabric.  Picked up the marking pen, then realized that taking the basting out first would include a close inspection of every stitch, went to the rocking chair by the living-room window to do that.

Came back to put it on the ironing board — awkward and too soft, not to mention that, despite the tragic (and expensive) absence of ash trees, there is little light coming through the sewing-room window.  My eye fell upon the wooden stool I use for a mouse-pad stand for XP:  perfect!  I took it into the living room, and found it just the right height for working while sitting in the rocking chair.  I laid my half-inch-wide stainless-steel ruler on it and drew short segments with my wash-out marker.

While working I realized a major mistake.  Where the edge of the patch crosses the center-back seam, it comes to a sharp point.  This is all well and good when it's a gusset and I set it in before sewing the center seam.  It's extremely awkward when I want to cut out worn fabric and turn the edges under.  I briefly considered buttonholing over the weak spot, then re-drew the line to cut the corner and leave a triangle of double fabric.  It would have been much better to re-draw the pattern to make a gentle curve there.  There's no chance that I'll remember this the next time a pair of drawers needs to be patched in the seat.  Shuckins, I wear them only on Sundays; the patched pair might last the rest of my life.

Time to cut.  I'm going to use my "straight operating scissors" to be sure of not cutting the patch when I remove the worn fabric.  I don't even have to worry about poking too far when starting the cut, as there is a hole in what I'm cutting out.

patch on stool I had used to mark the cutting line
Worn fabric cut out and the turn-under basted


24 March 2017

patch linen drawers

I've forgotten what I meant to say about finishing the project.

Another bouquet garni bag this morning.  Sewn entirely by machine for a change, and I simply plucked a skillet wipe off the pile and tore off a piece, no pre-boiling.  I didn't like the fabric being yellow with age, but the rag I tore the skillet wipe from had just been washed in hot water with bleach.

The "spice packet" in my corned beef didn't appear to have any glass-like shards of bay leaf in it, but I put it into a bag anyway — and then got a bay leaf out of the freezer and put that in the broth loose.

No, that's the ordinary can of dried herbs you get at the grocery store; I keep my seasonings in the freezer because I don't use them very fast.

I've remembered one aspect of finishing:  the turn-under needed to be pressed before finishing the flat-fell seam.

pressing ham and the package it came in

On my way to the tomato festival one year, I stopped at a garage sale and found a pressing ham bigger than the one I'd bought at Lowery's, brand new in the original package.  Pressing this seam finally gave me a reason to open it.

If you zoom in on the strange gadget used to tie the bag closed, you can see that this ham was also bought at Lowery's, for $7.95.  That must have been a long time ago.  Perhaps before they added vacuum cleaners to their stock.



28 March 2017

sew snap on black print shirt

At last!  Didn't take long.  Didn't even have to hunt a needle, as there was one in the bag with the thread.  Glasses, scissors, and thimble were in the arm of the futon.



3 April 2017

I took the hems out of my everyday jeans today, and I am going to have to cut along the worn line, but at least I'm not going to have to cut off more than that.

They have faded enough that the crotch patch is going to be quite conspicuous, so I'll postpone that as long as I can.

Time to make another set of two pairs of jeans.  I don't think I have any more of that lovely herringbone, but I appear to have lots more of the black denim I made my current jeans from.

Black broadcloth for the passport pockets has held up well, so I'll use that again.

Easter is the Sunday after next. and I haven't even selected scraps to make pockets for my spring dress.

I was planning to ride on the 29th, so on the 28th I pawed through my mending basket and selected my fingering-yarn hand knitted tights.  The note said two holes near the waistband and one in the seat, and the two holes I could see near the waistband were small, so I thought I could darn the tights in time to wear them on the following day.

I never did find my black persian yarn, but two strands of medici work better anyway.  Couldn't find any of the skeins that had already been detached from the hank, but one of the two hanks was down to two skeins.  After a considerable period of trying to untangle it, I decided to leave the skeins connected as I removed needlefuls from the skein that I wished to detach, thinking that sooner or later I'd unwind the strands that prevented me from separating the skeins.  I think I did get one of the loops.

Found a suitable tapestry needle in a box marked "tapestry needles" (!!) and set to work.  Turned out there were lots of small holes, some of them small enough to repair just by weaving yarn up the columns to prevent unravelling.

The "hole" in the seat was only a thin spot, and the saddle area consists entirely of naalbinding, so there would have been little consequence to letting it wear through, but I did some embroidery there.

Then when I tried the tights on, I found that they fit so tightly that I would have to wear them as underwear.  (I'd been planning to put them on over my Spaulding tights.)

I also tore a large hole in the ankle, so I went on the ride wearing the rags of a commercial pair of wool tights under my guaranteed-cool Spaulding tights.  I'd really, really like to be able to buy a new pair of commercial wool tights.  Preferably stretchy enough to wear two pairs.

Found one store in Fort Wayne that sells nylon tights with a substantial proportion of wool.  I didn't find any suitable place to park the car and ride to bike shops — a pity, because there are lots of them, and more than half are in a clump.

I never removed my sweat pants, but I think that I could have.  But I wasn't too warm, and wanted the space in the pannier for groceries.



6 April 2017

turn up hems of everyday jeans.

I did that yesterday, and now forget what-all I had to say.  I verified that my smallest cutting mat would fit inside the legs, then decided that scissors were the proper tool for cutting along the worn line.  I pressed the opened hem flat before cutting, then eyeballed a quarter inch to turn up the newly-cut edge.

Pinned the hem using the half-inch tab on my blue plastic dinger, opened the White, contemplated the white 100/6 that was on it, realized that the black thread I wanted to install was on the Necchi, turned the pants right-side out, and used the free arm instead of stitching "inside the teacup".

I read "inside the teacup" somewhere; I don't know whether it's an official term, but it's plain and graphic.

I have decided not to put the rolling walker back into the closet, because it has proven to be excellent exercise equipment, so if I ever get around to sorting the boxes of papers cluttering the sewing-room floor, I will have a place to put them.



13 April 2017

I am very gradually emptying a huge box marked "needlework" into smaller boxes, mostly the one marked "tatting" and the one marked "needlework".  Before I get much farther into this project, I must dismantle the pile of paper boxes supporting XP's monitor, because at least one of them contains old manuscripts.

Today I unearthed a few mss. that should be reviewed for possible inclusion in Rough Sewing, but I don't have a box for that yet, so I put them in the misc. needlework box.

I'm going to need a box marked "knitting" too.  I had no idea that I'd written up my pattern for tights.

I've found two manuscripts marked "sold".

It's been so long since I've used my neck-hung magnifier that I didn't recognize its string when I magnetted a map to the printer stand.  I should photograph it for "pictures of tools".



20 April 2017

Made red bar tacks at the backs of my new yellow gloves and an old pair of socks.

The gloves were too expensive for what they are — even if I count only half of what I paid for them; they were attached to a black pair that I re-attached the tag to and wrapped up to take to Goodwill — and they have decidedly unwanted conductive fingertips, but you don't see yellow gloves very often, I can't count on finding gloves of any color next fall, and one of my current two pairs is worn into holes.

I put all of the old gloves (including one pair and two half-pairs of black gloves) through the washer on Tuesday, and put them and the new ones away for the summer today.

Getting scraps down to make pockets reminded me that I have villa-olive scraps somewhere.

I chose an oval scrap of tulip print and trimmed it to 4 3/4 inches by 6 3/4 inches; I'll see how this one does before cutting another.  I'm planning to make it wide enough that my 4" cell phone can lie on its side at the bottom, since I'll be wearing these shirts in the garden.

Now, do I zig-zag the hem into place or turn it twice?  Zig-zagging is working well on the twinkle-twinkle pockets, but I shall make the hems an inch and a quarter instead of three quarters.

And the phone fits nicely — but I don't like putting the timer in on top of it.  Then I remembered that my gardening pants — I've been gardening in old sweats so far — have a button-flap pocket, probably intended for cell phones.

I've put the tulip-print scraps back on the high shelf; now that I have two short-sleeved housework shirts, making another pocket can wait a few weeks.

I used a cheap black cotton thread to hand-baste the fold-under, and left the basting in to make it easier to transfer the pocket to another shirt.  This might take a while; the Arachne shirt is stained, but isn't visibly worn.  I made the hem in the way detailed at Pockets.



26 April 2017

Resuming work on the timer pocket today.  The original attachment wasn't quite right:

pocket attached, not quite in the right place

So I picked it off and re-pinned it:
pocket attached, not quite in the right place

and it still isn't quite right, so I made guide marks with my wash-out marker, and that is where I plan to pick it up today.  I'm definitely going to look at it on a hangar before I stitch!

Side note:  I tried to use one of my little thin pieces of plywood from a clementine crate to aid the pinning, and couldn't slide it around inside the shirt.  I'm going to have to sand at least one of the splintery little things.

Ayup.  The pocket looked absurdly slanted when the T-shirt was lying flat; when I put it on a hanger, it slanted the other way.

What a struggle!

If you click on the pictures above and look closely ,you can see that the ends of the hem stitches were coming undone.  The ends of the threads were too short to thread into a needle, and I couldn't remember where I put my roll of crochet hooks when I cleaned off the shelf where I used to keep it, but I did remember that there is a #14 tatting pin in the little box of stuff in the little bag of stuff in my go-bag.

Whoosh!  There was a whole bunch of stuff in there that I'd forgotten about:  razor blades, needles, a vial of pins, chalk, ear plugs, pigtail holder, safety pins, bobby pins, needles from huge to tiny, paper clip . . . I did remember the tatting shuttle, since that Altoids box was a shuttle case to begin with, but the shuttle isn't loaded — I'll have to do something about that as soon as I remember where I stashed the Speed-Cro-Sheen.

The fine hook poked through the fabric just fine, and it caught the thread jut fine, but a hook is a barb, and I couldn't pull it out of the fabric without losing the thread.  So I poked a threaded needle eye-first, pulled it back to make a loop, and used the tatting pin to pull the dangling thread into the loop.

Stitching this is going to be anticlimactic.

finished timer pocket

make timer pocket for T-shirts

There will be no photograph of me in it.  Partly because I don't have a tripod to take selfies with, mostly because the T-shirt fits a little tight.

I found the needle I used in one of my four-compartment bobbin boxes, which prompted me to search to see whether such boxes are available anywhere.  (Pity I can't remember what they were called in tackle shops and beading-supply shops.)  I haven't managed to limit the plethora of boxes any, but I did find that a company called "Collins" sells twelve "metal bobbins" in what appears to be that exact box.  The bobbins look like my Necchi bobbins, but I haven't found a page written by someone who knows that there is more than one kind of bobbin.

Found it!  They are Class 15.  Now to find out what Class 15 is.

My manual doesn't say anything about bobbins except that three come with the machine.  I found an ad for generic "necchi bobbins" that said that they were Class 15, but it also illustrated a 10-pack of plastic bobbins with a close-up of a metal bobbin.



9 May 2017

Have I been neglecting my sewing that long?

I've been reading on the Creative Machine mailing list a long discussion about tricking Pattern Master Boutique into drawing a pattern that fits; I'm feeling smug about my pencil-and-paper technique.

Seems as though the more sophisticated computers get, the easier it gets to do the job by hand instead.  When we got my first computer, I wrote all letters and addressed all envelopes with it.  I still print out the occasional letter, but I address envelopes with a pen, which I hadn't done since acquiring my first typewriter in 1960.  I never even consider printing a label, and not too long ago, it became impractical to print checks instead of writing them with a pen.

When sorting my old papers, I found a label saying "Crochet Manuscripts" in two elegant fonts, with a decorative border around the lettering.  I shall use that when I get around to sorting the box I've been dumping needlework manuscripts into.

This morning I tore an old pillowcase into two bra rags, and two bra rags that will disintegrate into skillet wipes the first time they are washed.  Also tore up a bra rag that came out of the washer in pieces.

I'm washing on Tuesday because I went riding on Monday.  Severe shortage of dry days, and I'm not inclined to risk getting wet at 48°F.  It looks as though my next chance for exercise will be next Monday.  This is no way to get ready for the Tour des Lakes.



16 May 2017

Spent the whole morning repairing a ragged pair of underpants.  I should add a paragraph to my underpants-making essay to suggest making it easy to take the waist casing out.

I re-inserted the elastic three times.  The first time, the cord pulled out of the needle, the second time I pulled the end inside the casing.  The third time, I tied the end of the elastic to a D-ring that happened to be handy.  But it was the knot, and not the D-ring, that restrained the elastic.  But I think the ring kept the knot easy to untie.

I've removed the elastic and cut along the worn fold of another pair of pants.  Vaguely thinking of spraying the edge with starch before I take my nap.  The edge on the first pair didn't curl much, but there were a couple of inches where I wished I had ironed it.



21 May 2017

Yesterday I noticed the elastic carefully stashed in the drawer of the typing stand under the Necchi, but couldn't remember what I'd done with the underpants.  This morning, while hanging up a bra that had soaked overnight, I remembered that I'd starched the waistband and hung the pants in the laundry room.

This evening, I picked the stitches out.  Starching had glued them in place, but after a while I mastered sliding the seam ripper under to cut each one.

I need a new seam ripper.

Also need exercise, and tomorrow is a good day to ride downtown.



29 May 2017

Went, bought the seam ripper and six spools of thread, forgot where I put the thread, found it just before the cooking frenzy for Race Day.

I finished repairing the underpants today, and picked two more pair out of the clean laundry.  I plan to cut a strip of sponge — if we have cellulose sponges in that box on the top shelf in the laundry room — so as to starch the edge without starching the stitches.

I also sewed the bottom seam in an old pillowcase, then absent-mindedly turned it right-side out and had to turn it inside out again.  A while back I stored a pillow case inside out by mistake, found it easier to put on the pillow that way, and have been storing them inside out ever since.

One day while hanging a pillow case on the line I found the bottom seam torn, tore the rest of the seam off, then absent-mindedly put that pillow case away with the rest.  Last week it came to the top of the pile, and I reached through a case to grab a pillow and found my bare hand sticking out.  I laid the torn case on the ironing board, and today I finally got around to re-stitching the seam.  The fabric is very soft, but there is a good deal of extra length in the case, so I can make the same repair again.

It's about time I took everything out of the backpack to make sure I'm ready for embroidery lessons on the Day of Caring.  (checks)  Yes, we have round toothpicks for the button-sewing kits.  Six kits should hold us for a few more years.

Aha!  I found the very sponge that I'd cut a slice from the previous time I wanted a starch-dabbing brush.

I used my ham slicer to cut a quarter inch off the end.



30 May 2017

And the edge-starched briefs are hanging in the laundry room.  Yesterday I picked up my spray bottle of diluted starch and wondered what little dish I could pour it into, then realized that if I put the nozzle close to the end of the sponge and squeeze the handle gently, I can use it like a drop-dispenser bottle.

 button kits on patio table

Today, while waiting for the towels and rags in the washing machine, I finished the button-sewing kits for Day of Helping.  (Also noted, when checking the exact name, that I missed the planning meeting the Monday before last.)

Three buttons in each kit.  I'd buttoned three of the six bags before finding my bag of white shirt buttons — a selection is good, said the fox.  My button collection is slightly more organized; I took some shirt buttons out of the jar and put them into the mostly-shirt-button box.

A round toothpick in each bag, and one #7 John James embroidery needle.  I thought I'd have to find sharps, but the needle in the sample kit is long-eyed.  (I still think I have a bunch of sharps around here someplace.  Time to empty every box in the foot locker, I suspect.)

I used Dave's mother's silver-plated pinking shears, which I keep in a drawer of the sewing machine she wore out, to cut rectangles off a torn strip of red wool flannel that I found in the wool scraps.  I think I'd been using the same strip for needle holders for the embroidery gig.  But I used one layer, cut crosswise, for the embroidery gig.  For the kits, I cut a strip to length and folded it in half, because the sample kit used thick felt.  I mis-cut the last rectangle despite measuring it against the first one, but it wasn't quite too short to use.

And, of course, the six spools of thread that I bought at Lowery's.  Left them perilously short of white polyester thread.  The bags are those that I bought to organize thread in, which fit better than the sandwich bag the sample kit is in.



5 June 2017

That's an unusual problem for this sewing room:  I sat down to sew the casings I pinned into my old underpants yesterday so I could put them on instead of dipping into my supply of new pants, and the sun streaming in the window was so bright that I couldn't see to sew.

I was slightly surprised that I didn't need to turn my light on after closing the curtains — but I didn't close them all the way; I left a narrow shaft just outside my field of view.

The sponge-starched briefs were easier to rip, but I overlooked a simple fact:  diluted starch wicks.  Water wicks faster than starch, so it wasn't glued much but when I do the third pair, I'll pour a little undiluted starch into the cap of the bottle.  I'll swell up the sponge by squirting diluted starch on the working end before starting to starch.



13 June 2017

A while back Dave asked me to straighten the hem of his new shirt so he could wear it untucked.  I hung it on my to-do hook and forgot all about it until yesterday, when I ripped out the hem at the highest part of the curve, and also ripped the casing out of the last pair of old briefs, which I starched several days ago.  Undiluted starch did stay where I put it, and also glued the seam allowance firmly in place, which proved convenient.

This morning, I pressed the edges of the casing and the shirt, and also dry-ironed two shirts and a dress that have been hanging on the hook for ages.  This evening, I pinned and sewed the casing, and put in the elastic.  These pants had quarter-inch elastic, so I used the "weaving needle" bodkin that one has to sew the elastic to.  The thread came out of the needle just as I started to tie off, and adamantly refused to go back in.  I did manage to tie off eventually, and the rest was easy.  I made the elastic about a quarter inch shorter; there had been very little overlap when I sewed it before, and I re-sewed it with the same square overlap, since it had held up perfectly.

Come to think of it, the quarter inch I cut off was double, so the elastic is half an inch shorter.

After ironing the flowered shirt, I photographed one of its pockets to add to my essay on fold-bottom pockets, then discovered that I never got around to writing it.  But I had created a folder to hold illos.  I cropped and scaled the photo and put all three versions into "FOLDPOCK".



15 June 2017

I bought groceries yesterday; I don't think I did any sewing.

close-up with corner of pocket folded back

This morning I started revising my newest cotton jersey, and have the front pocket almost picked off.

vertical seams removed, pocket folded down, lint shows

I've decided that I can't stand the double pocket any longer — the bottom of it is down over the curved part of my chest, which makes it an unsafe place to put my glasses when I'm caught in the rain, so I plan to cut it in halves and move it up onto the shoulders, like the front pockets on my other jerseys (except for my second-oldest interlock jersey, which I appear to have copied when I made this one).  Or I may move up a little more than half and make a new pocket for the other side.

Egad, I used teeny little stitches when putting this jersey together, and when I looked ahead to plan what I'd do after taking out the last row of stitches holding the pocket on, I saw that I had thought it clever to sew the straps all the way to the bottom of the pockets, so that every last one of the stitches dividing the seam-to-seam pocket into three pockets will have to be removed — in addition to the plethora of tiny stitches holding the straps to the back of the jersey.

I think I'll settle for putting a dart across the back; after all, this jersey was made of inappropriately-thin fabric, and there's a stain in front that I can't get out.  (Pause to dribble peroxide on the stain and lay it out on the washing machine to dry while I'm taking my nap.)

It's a pity that I can't think of a way to hook the straps supporting the pockets in back to the straps supporting my boobs in front.  Perhaps I should ask Dave to buy me a copy of Don's book on sling bras and how to use them to design underwear-free garments.  Can't think how to make a bra-based shirt with sleeves and a high neck, but the book might say, and there *is* a forum.

pocket fully off, deciding whether to split it evenly or unevenly

In the evening, I pulled out the remaining row of straight stitches.  Now I need to decide whether there is enough fabric in it to make two pockets; if not, I need to bring in the ladder and get down the scraps.

Whoosh!  There are a *lot* of scraps!  I don't want any more shirts of this thin fabric.  It makes lovely underpants, but I've got a pair of yellow underpants.

Might make just one more, the next time I cut out underpants.  Perhaps one each of any other shirt scraps I find.  Even though many of my first batch of PFD underpants are nearing their end, that should be at least a year off.


19 June 2017

Today I cut the pockets apart, basted the turn-unders, and re-sewed the severed ends of the hems by hand.

basted pockets from the wrong side

The basted pockets from the wrong side.  There were some drops of rain on the table.
basted pockets from the right side

The basted pockets from the right side.

Marking where the tuck should be

dart back of snap-front jersey

Well, that didn't stay on the to-do list long.  Noticed it at the top of the list (which is where I put new additions) while putting this blog away, grabbed the jersey out of the closet, and sewed the tuck.  If it doesn't do the job, I'll put a wider tuck into the jersey that I'm re-pocketing.

The eighteen-inch ruler was the first to come to hand.  I tried to use wash-out marker to indicate thirteen and a half inches, but it wasn't visible enough, so I used re-positionable correction tape.  A mark that hangs over at both sides was quite convenient.

After marking the fold line, I used the width of my stainless-steel pocket ruler to mark half an inch below it to indicate the stitching line.  This operation showed me that I'd drawn the fold line too close to the reinforcements under the ends of the pocket dividers, so I pressed the tuck up instead of down.  I plan to do the same when I tuck the newer jersey; after all, I'm working on the wrong side, so the tuck points down where you can see it.  And I think that it looks nicer with the visible stitching above the concealed stitching.

The tuck ends in a dart at each end, tapering two inches past the seam into the front.  When I do the jersey jersey, I'll end the dart at the seam, beginning the taper two inches away, partly because appearance is more important on the newer jersey, and partly because the seam is flat fell instead of a plain seam pressed open, and wouldn't dart well.



20 June 2017

Ruler and pocket lying on jersey

I thought I could have this jersey to wear tomorrow, but I didn't figure in the time it would take to sew reinforcements inside.  Before finishing those, I realized that if I tried to finish the job tonight, I'd wake up to Just One More Seam syndrome.

I sewed on the two patches for the right pocket and decided to knock off for the night after basting the two for the left pocket.

I basted a square for the left side of the left pocket, started on the long patch for the pencil-pocket side, turned the four corners — by then I'd learned to turn under a ridiculous amount, as if I were shooting for an octagonal patch, to keep the corners blunt, but they still looked sharp and neatly mitered when I sewed them down.  Maybe I really should shoot for an octagonal patch.

I secured each corner with a single stitch, worked from the side away from me so the ends would be on the outside, easy to pull out when I basted around the outside.  Each stitch consisted of a tad over half an inch of thread.

Then I deemed the thread remaining in the needle too short to finish and cut a new piece of basting thread.  It wouldn't go through the needle and wouldn't go through the needle.  I moved to a better light (rain had driven me in from the porch by then, and the rain attenuated the light on the rocking chair), and finally fetched the needle threader.  Thread in at last, I pulled the needle to the middle to be sure it wouldn't fall off and put the threader back into the folder, dropping it once because I'd forgotten which side the retaining fold was on — and the needle no longer existed.  I looked everywhere and under things and assumed I'd gotten up and walked around in a fugue, and turned slowly turned in front of Dave asking him to look for threads stuck to my clothing.

Finally I wrote off the needle, put everything else away, discovered that I couldn't read the paper, not even the funnies — that was mostly the dim light from the rain and I didn't fancy turning on a lamp, hey the sun's out; maybe I should try again, but this way I'll have a paper with breakfast — came into the sewing room to pontificate on Usenet (it's a running gag that I write posts when I'm too stupid to sew), and saw a pair of garden scuffs that have been cluttering the room for days.

I cut all the straps but those across the toe from a worn-out pair of sandals so that I could step into them when leaving the house.  The Velcro on one toe strap gave out, so I sewed the strap closed, but my bonded-nylon thread had gone Someplace Safe, and the stitch held for only a few months.

Hey, only one stitch; I can get those things out of the sewing room in a few minutes.  My bonded nylon is still Someplace Safe. but four strands of upholstery thread ought to hold.  And I can use two darning needles, poke both ends through from the bottom, and tie the threads together on top.

Four strands of upholstery thread are almost impossible to thread into a needle, and extremely difficult to keep in a needle, but I finally managed to get both needles stuck into the strap.

But they wouldn't come out.  They finally yielded when I wrapped rubber bands around my thumb and index finger, but it took so much force that only two of the threads made it through the strap with them.  After a vain attempt to tie the ends together, I threw the slippers into the trash.  I'm perfectly happy to go out barefoot at this time of year, by by fall I may have worn out another pair of sandals.

I was walking toward the living room for some reason, grumpily composing what I'd say when I sat down at the computer, when my hand happened to brush my butt and I felt a tangle of thread stuck to my shirt.  White thread against a white shirt.  The needle had decided to rematerialize.

I've put the backpack on a card table in the parlor.  The Day of Helping is this coming Saturday.  Hope I don't find that I need to buy something.

pockets of jersey pinned, ready for first stitching

Taken on 6-20-17 @ 11:47a.  I've forgotten the context  


30 June 2017

JULBAN13:  recipe for cheese dip.  I copied it to COOKBOOK/SAUCES.

One of the students wanted pink floss.  I'd never thought about adding pink to my collection, concentrating on bright colors.  She settled for purple; the other student wanted purple and black.

Maybe I'd better add dark brown to the selection too.



4 July 2017

Yesterday Jeanie invited me to take my embroidery gig to Maker Space!  Date not set.

Every pair of PFD panties except the pair that I have on is in the washing machine.  It was two or three washdays ago that I cut up the prototype pair and threw it into the dirty-rag hamper.

And I am wearing a clean bra only because I rinsed out a sweaty bra last week.

Must be time to move new underwear up on my priority list.  Today I hope, between loads of wash, to finish revising my sleazy-thin cotton-jersey jersey.  It would be a shoe-in, but the left pocket is three-eighths of an inch too low, so I'm going to have to pick out two rows of stitching before I proceed.

So I thought I'd snap a quick picture of the current state before beginning, took the shirt outside and hung it on the shadowed leg of the clothesline — and at that exact moment the wind rose and began to thrash it around.  The search for a uniformly-lit place to hang it turned into a major expedition.

jersey on wall, sliding off hanger

After bringing in some of the wash, I tried to hang two T-shirts that needed ironing on the to-do hook and couldn't.  I've really, really got to draw that hook down a little.

Then I went to the shirt under revision.  Before my nap, I'd stitched across the bottom of the pocket that needed to be higher and pinned it for stitching along the sides.  The left pocket had been pinned at the corners:  first try it on, then stick a couple more pins on each side, stitch four sides, make a dart, I can wear this shirt tomorrow!

While sticking the pins, I noticed that there are reinforcements under the upper corners on the left pocket.  I'd left off before the Fourth-of-July hiatus just before re-inforcing the top corners of the right pocket.

No way I can make patches and sew them on before I'm too stupid to put in a dart.

In addition, my wash-out marker is missing.  I used the fading marker to guide the bottom stitching, because I intended to use the mark immediately, but marks to show where the patches go have to hold while I make the patches and hand-sew them on.  I guess I'll have to make thread marks.

So I thread-marked the spots where the patches need to go and hung the shirt in the closet for lack of space on the to-do hook.



7 July 2017

Hummm . . . past time to start 2017SEW2.HTM.

Lights went out while I was typing an entry in my diary this morning.  I barely had time to save the document before my UPS cut out — both computers crashed.

For reasons not unconnected with the power outage, we were getting very little natural light.

lengthen apron strings

But my apron was on the ironing board.  I couldn't feel around for fabric to make a timer pocket, but sewing on string extensions would be easy, and I'd turn the handwheel for this job anyway.

I cut two pieces of twill tape to splice the strings with and started zig-zagging the ends of the strings and the ends of the extensions to the ends of the tape.  Things were going very well until I carelessly unthreaded the needle.  The battery light on the Necchi died a while back and I didn't feel like installing new batteries in the dark, particularly since I'd forgotten how to open the battery compartment, and the light had shown no signs of failing batteries before I found it dead, so I wasn't sure that new dry cells would help.

So I snitched the light from the White, put it on the Necchi, and finished the job.

Then I fetched down the scraps from making the jersey and chose one to baste into a patch for a pocket corner.  I could manage that by putting the rocking chair very close to the glass door.  Then I went looking for the hand-sewing thread.  I found it in the arm of the futon, together with two patches, one basted, and a long one with the corners folded.  I put the patch I'd just made back into the pile of scraps and sewed on those two.  I think that I'd meant to trim some off the long one, but I used all of it anyway.

The lights came back on before I'd finished.

Slept so long at nap time that the work party had begun before I got out of bed, and I hadn't told anyone that I meant to come, so I didn't go.  Don't recall doing anything useful with the time, except select frozen dinners to warm up for supper.

After supper, I realized that I have time to finish the jersey tonight, but after sewing two of the five needed rows of zig-zag, and hand stitching a break in the armscye seam, I ran out of thinkum.

While making final preparation for the stitching, I noticed for the first time that the pockets are very dirty and stained.  I'm going to ignore that, except for soaping the pockets whenever I soap the stain at the hem.

Fabric this thin isn't going to last very long anyway.



10 July 2017

Well, I marked where to make the divider stitching for the pencil pocket.

I used the new wash-out marker I bought last Saturday; it hasn't brought the old one out of hiding yet.



11 July 2017

I also bought pink, purple, and blue floss while I was at Lowery's.  Came across a check point for the Tour des Lakes on my way back.



12 July 2017

I finished the pockets this morning.  The shirt looks terrible on, but it does provide a safe place to stash my glasses when I get caught in the rain.  But I'll have to move my notebook to a back pocket when I do.

The linen ravellings didn't "well, duh!" at me the way they did the last time I used something else, and I looked at the part of the curtain where they appeared, too.  Perhaps it's because embroidery floss is better for bar-tacking a phone pocket anyhow.  Softer (less likely to tear), and I think it's closer in color.

Only the dart in the back to go!  But I'll probably make meatloaf when I wake up from my nap.  I also have a quarterly report to read.

dart marked

Found a little time after supper, but won't stitch until morning, for fear of "just one more seam" syndrome.  The interlock dart was marked at thirteen and a half inches, so I marked this one at fourteen. I was surprised when the first end I marked came out precisely at the dart seam.  The other end came out mid-dart, so I copied it onto this end and marked a new fold line.  Since the new line is straighter than the old one, I suspect that the seam drew up a little.

I made a mark two inches from each seam, then used eyeball and ruler to mark the tapered ends.

I was planning to let sweat take out the blue marks, but the right back pocket is so grungy that I can see the gray from the inside of the jersey; I think I'd better do a full wash, with extra detergent on the pockets.  The instructions on the marker say that I should rinse it in plain water before adding detergent.



13 July 2017

cat interrupts photo session

Oops, I've been photobombed

dart pinned, ready for stitching

I used the little blue dinger instead of my stainless pocket ruler to mark the stitching line, which made the dart a millimeter wider.

The fold deviated from the fold line at one point, and there was a jog in the stitching line just there.  I marked a straight line with pins.

The first stitching went well, once I let the thread-cutter hold the long-enough-to-thread-into-a-needle threads instead of holding them myself with the scrap on which I'd tested the stitch length.  I tend to forget that the Necchi has a thread cutter.

Running the ends back in was more difficult.  I had quite deliberately made the first few stitches too narrow to put a needle through.  There is still a bit of pucker next to the seam, but that will no doubt be stretched out when I put heavy stuff in the pockets, and it doesn't show much anyway.

I tried it on, and it seems to be right.  I'd meant for the dart to be at waist level rather than at bust level (not that there's a lot of difference at my age), but putting the dart so high seems to make it look more like part of the original design, rather than an awkward alteration.

So I've pressed the dart up, and I'm ready for the last bit of stitching.  I can't hold the bobbin thread, but sliding the work on in a direction that smooths it back usually works — and this time the zig-zag will be full width from the beginning; It should be easier to run the ends in with a needle.

Easier, but not easy.  I began and ended by straddling the first row of stitching, and the new stitching squeezed up to match.  But the sleazy quality of the fabric is a great help with hand-needle work — I can gather an entire sleeve into my left hand and treat every spot on the jersey as if it were near an edge.

I meant for the stitching to be near the fold, but it turned out to be more natural to run the fold against the inside of the toe and stitch over the fold.  I stitched in a little lettucing, but I think that that will wash out.

It mostly did.  If I press it after it's washed — this was just a rinse, to keep detergent from setting the wash-out marks — it should be perfect.

And now I can go to 2017SEW2.HTM and strike this job off my list.


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