Back to 2017 July – December
Back to 2017 January – July
Back to 2016 January – June
Back to 2016 July – December

2018 Sewing Log


3 January 2018

The sheets are showing signs of imminent failure and I still haven't found any suitable linen, so it looks as though I'm using scenery muslin again.

Yesterday I looked up wide fabrics on Dharma's Web site, and got wound up in deciding how much to order.  Muslin 120 inches wide would allow me to use it lengthwise, which means that I need two and a half yards per sheet, rather than three yards when using it crosswise, but one reviewer said that the batch she bought had lost two feet of width when washed, and 96" isn't quite enough - - not to mention that I might have to hem the sides; some batches have selvages, but not all.

This morning I realized that I can buy enough to make matching pillowcases.  Two yards would make five pillowcases, and two yards is also the difference between four times two and a half and four times three.

I was going to say "all set but for the minor difficulty that they are out of stock", but I just checked, and their shipment has arrived.

So I need twelve yards, plus ten percent for shrinkage and straightening -- fourteen yards.  Nearly half a bolt; I'm tempted to make eight sheets -- which would last forever, and I got really tired of the last batch of scenery-muslin sheets.  And I'm not sure the laundromat has a washer big enough to shrink thirty-three yards.

14 @ $8.99 = $125.86 — that's more than thirty dollars a sheet!  Plus shipping.

33 @ $8.32 = $274.56 — $34.32/sheet.  But only three and a third dollars per pillow case, and I have eight pillows.

Next decision:  do I also buy black raw silk to make a less-dramatic version of my black, brown, and gold pleated-skirt outfit, or would that be *more* dramatic, and it's probably better to wait until after I get around to cutting my black crepe.

On the other hand, buying new silk long johns would make more sense than patching sheer silk knit.  But I'm not taking "patch silk tights" off my to-do list.


5 January 2018

And I also need a yard of hemp-and-cotton jersey.

I started darning my alpaca tights this morning.  As usual, stretching them over the stainless-steel mixing bowl I use for a darning egg revealed lots of places where it's worn down to the two strands of size B sewing silk that I knitted along with the alpaca.  That was a very good idea!

I need to buy a replacement for the other stainless-steel mixing bowl.  I suppose the missing bowl will re-appear if I do.  It was slightly easier to use as a darning egg than the one with a lip to fit the ice-bucket cooler, and I never bother to dig the ice bucket out of the Wheelie-Kool, but use the twelve-quart bowl instead.


6 January 2018

I just mailed off an order for one bolt of muslin, two pairs of silk tights, and two yards of hemp/cotton jersey.

It's lunch time, and I haven't yet touched the alpaca tights.

Worked some in the afternoon, and I think none of the remaining thin spots are in danger of tearing into holes if I wear them next Tuesday.  It was getting hard to see black-on-black well before five o'clock, so I won't be trying again this evening.  We have one lamp that I can sew by, but it has to be aimed just so, and I have to sit in Dave's chair to use it.

The lamp store is strictly ornamental; perhaps I should look around in Staples.  Pity our last stationer's went broke years ago.  Biggest problem with buying a new lamp is finding a good place to put it.

Hrmmm . . . perhaps I should try using one of the headlamps I'm using as sewing-machine lights.

I also wound all the scraps of bias tape onto a bit of cardboard, one of the tape cores left from Evelyn's baby-gown making.  One of the church ladies gave me the baby-gown stuff, but I lost interest when I discovered that a ready-made baby gown costs less than the flannel to make one.

I have yet to neaten the scraps and put them into the linen box.  I hope wash-out marker doesn't set with age.  There was a time when one could search for information on the Web.  Wasn't as much information posted as there is now, but one could find it.  If it isn't in Wikipedia, tough luck.

And Usenet is dying.  I have yet to see a Web forum with usable threading.  No discussions possible.  There are long threads on some of the Go Comics comments, but replies aren't near their antecedents, and the whole thread is gone tomorrow.  And no way to filter out malicious posts and people interested only in things that I find boring.


8 January 2018

I removed the elastics from the old hanky-linen bra.  The loops had stretched to sixteen inches, meaning the elastic had grown two inches since 2011.  The houndstooth bra was made in 2015, which led me to downgrade my estimate of how good the houndstooth linen is.  Then I remembered that the white bra had, for a long time, hung in the closet waiting for one last wearing in case I needed a white bra, but I polished off the houndstooth the minute it wore through.  I don't think the white bra had been retired when I made the red ramie bras in 2016.

And I put the scraps into the box.  Perhaps I should put a note in the bias box that there is some pre-made bias . . .

done.  In the process I knocked a tatting shuttle attached to a net purse in progress, an unfinished pair of baby booties, a bobbin-lace bookmark, and some two-inch squares of blue plaid cotton-and-linen shirting to the floor.  I put the tatting shuttle into a box marked "tatting samples" — I suspect that the un-marked child-size shoe box would have been a better choice.

I wonder how I came into possession of a child-size shoe box?

I put the other things back on the bias box.

I tried to unfold the scraps already in the box to add the small scraps, and discovered that it was two piles of scraps.  Pinned to the one underneath is a packing slip for "hanky linen" dated 2006, with a hand-written note that it has been reduced to small pieces and bias.  I didn't unfold it to verify that it's where I got the four "hanky linen" bras.

I'm wearing Bra A.  I put it on for church yesterday, so it will be easy to remember that it's been worn twice when I undress tonight.  If I remember, I'll write "Tue" on tomorrow's bra with a wash-out pen; it's time I stopped wondering, every night, "Did I get this bra out of the closet or off the floor this morning?".


12 January 2018

Shortly after sending off an order for a bolt of wide muslin, I got an e-mail offering a free pattern for linen sheets from  Oh, arr . . . I've overlooked fabric suitable for making sheets?

After much complication, I managed to download the pattern, and found that it calls for "cleverly" seaming their regular sixty-inch pre-worn-out artificial tow.

Spent today escorting Dave to the doctor.  The doctor listened to me hacking all through Dave's exam and prescribed antibiotics for me too.

And now my eyes are hot, as if I had a fever.  The forehead thermometer says no; I should dig out one of the old mercury thermometers and get a real reading.

On 1/17/18 6:15 PM, 'Robert Kahan' [creativemachine] wrote:

> . . . and a circle based bias wrap skirt,
> which looks to have enough of the generally
> missing wrap to avoid panty displays, and
> wind in general.

If I were designing a wrap skirt, I think I'd cut one back and two fronts, and make a buttonhole in the waistband just behind the left side seam -- no, make a buttonhole on both sides, so that one can swap fronts after spilling chili into one's lap.  There needs to be a belt loop just behind the buttonhole on each side, to keep the sash that isn't coming through a buttonhole in place.  Then there needs to be at least one more belt loop on each side


Joy Beeson
west of Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.A.

At which point I realized that the post was getting away from me, copied it here, and deleted it.   When I pasted it, I meant to expand it.


22 January 2018

The muslin I ordered to make new sheets and pillow cases arrived today.  I'd worried about where I'd store thirty-three yards of ten-foot muslin, and I'd worried about how I'd wash thirty- three yards of ten-foot muslin, but I didn't anticipate that I can't *lift* thirty-three yards of ten-foot muslin.  Just thirty-one now, as I've torn off two yards and four inches to wash to see how much it shrinks, and make five or six pillow cases.

Dharma said that it might or might not have a selvage.  It has a tuck selvage, but I had to ravel out threads to be sure of it, so I can use the selvages -- if they don't pucker when washed.


23 January 2018

I zig-zagged the torn ends of the sample yesterday evening, emptying two bobbins of thread that had lost its provenance.  I was slightly surprised that my double-wound bobbin didn't give out.

But I was too tired to mark it and put it into the washer to soak overnight.  It didn't help that the un-liftable bolt was on the table I wanted to use for marking.

This morning, I did the job on the living-room floor, and divided all four sides into one-yard increments.  I marked with a wash-out pen on the floor, sticking a magazine-style ad under the place where I wanted to mark, then sat in the rocking chair to running-stitch over the marks.

The width of the fabric is nine feet and eleven inches at both torn edges.  The length is a quarter inch longer on one selvage than on the other.  I started marking one inch from the torn edge, and had three inches left on one side and three and a quarter on the other.


24 January 2018

This morning I spun the soaking water out and started the sample washing, then paused it until after supper because I needed to go shopping.  This evening, I finished, and found that it had lost three inches of each yard in both directions wet, and was about the same after tumble drying.

The selvages appear to be quite usable.  So to make a sheet, I need only tear off a suitable length and hem both ends.

And now I'm back to one sheet filling up the entire washing machine.  Perhaps the linen ones will hold for a while; on Monday, I washed the one I'd basted around a hole in, and it came out still fit to use.

I put two of the three elastics into Bra B, then left the bra and tools beside the rocking chair.  Al had not noticed when last I looked.

So I got up and tucked the thimble and bodkin into the snack bag of thread.


27 January 2018

Bra B is hanging in the closet; I'm not sure when I did the work.

The garments I washed with the sample felt a bit starchy when I put them away; perhaps I didn't get all the sizing out.  Though I did wash it twice, I didn't let it dry between washings, and I think that drying and re-soaking has an effect.

I ordered two yards of hemp-and-cotton jersey.  It not only is too fine to make third-piece lining, it's too fine to make a T-shirt.  I'll use it up making briefs sooner or later.

The silk tights are working out fine.  At least the pair I wore on Tuesday is.

I validated OUTLINK.HTM yesterday, and the link I was trying to add still acted like a comment.  Finally traced the problem to a missing close quote.  Getting all the other errors out made it a bit easier to find.


29 January 2018

I tore the sample muslin into five pillow cases and sewed the seams today.

I ran out of pins -- partly because I didn't press the fabric first, so I was pinning out creases, and I had to watch that it was flat as it went under the needle.

I planned the tears to use up every bit of the sample, and suspect that I've made the cases too loose.  I think that next time I'll tear the selvages off first.  If I remember.  I had four fairly-new cases before I made these five, so that makes nine cases for six or seven pillows, so all the worn-sheet cases will wear out before I feel the need of more.

I have decided that when I make a sheet, I shall simply tear off three yards and hem the ends.  I'm pretty sure that the classic "81 x 108" was the unhemmed, unwashed fabric.

On the other hand, I suspect that two-and-three-quarters yards (three yards minus nine inches) will make a rather long sheet, since we don't fold the sheet back to protect the blankets any more.


31 January 2018

Hemmed the five pillow cases and put them into the linen closet today.  One-inch hems.


3 February 2018

Yesterday I went to Lowery's and bought ten yards of quarter-inch elastic, a box of pins, and a 28" parka zipper.

I selected red-headed pins, to be different from what I already have.  I think that they will also be easier to find when I drop one on the carpet.  I didn't check that they are glass, but just selected a box that looked like the one I recently emptied.

The parka zipper is to repair Dave's down jacket.  I doubt that I can do it in time to wear it this winter.

The bolt of muslin is still on the card table in the parlor because I can't figure out what to do with it.  I think that I can put it on the shelf where my five-foot muslin is, then put the roll back on top of it.


5 February 2018

I'll have to move the shelf above it -- if I ever contrive to put the sheeting on the shelf.

This morning I measured one of the old sheets:  two yards and two feet.  That makes the traditional hundred-and-eight -- three yards -- just right.  I'll lose nine inches to shrinking and four inches to hems, and the old sheet is a couple of inches longer than it needs to be.

So I tore three yards off the bolt, folded the piece with some difficulty, and stashed it in the linen closet under the sheets.  Then I folded the bolt in half lengthwise as neatly as I could.  It really needed to be picked up by one end and shaken to take out the internal wrinkles from being folded in half the other way, but that is purely impossible.  I managed by folding the bolt a few layers at a time and tugging on them -- there are still going to be weighed-in creases, but not as many.

I cleared off the shelf, cleared everything dangling from the shelf above, cleared a path to the shelf, and cleaned it with a synthetic lambs-wool duster.

So I put my arms under the bolt like a fork lift and carried it to the sewing room with the two ends dangling down -- and discovered that there isn't a way in the world that I can slide it into the slot reserved for it.  I ended up dropping it on the floor, causing the careful folds to come undone.

At that point the washing machine needed to be emptied.  Alt least the card tables were clear for drying the sheet.

Perhaps if I pull the pattern trunk out of the way so that the bolt can lie flat on the floor, re-do the folds, somehow turn it around so that the fold is toward the shelves . . .

I have a feeling that I'm going to end up tearing off three more sheet-lengths.  I'd really, really like to post-pone that until the new sheet is made and washed at least twice, though.

Hmmm . . . I'm pretty sure that I can get it onto the ironing board, and the board can be adjusted to be about as high as the shelf . . .


8 February 2018

Today I cleared space and got the muslin onto the ironing board, and found that by good luck the height I'd left it at after working sitting down was just right, so I didn't have to adjust it with all that weight on it.

To neaten up the bolt to fit onto the shelf, I had to fold one leaf at a time.  Tugging the ends after each fold kept the rumples reasonably in check until the last few folds.  In the process, I realized that what I have here is book muslin:  it's muslin, and it's folded like a book.  It's not much like organdy, though.

To get the roll of five-foot muslin back on the shelf, I had to raise the shelf above one notch.  But this made room to pile on the roll of blue-plaid linen-cotton shirting and the roll of agricultural burlap, which had been behind the shirting and I'd forgotten that I had it.

In the meanwhile, the slot above the rolls was now too narrow to be any use, so I cleared off the books from the shelf above, moved that up one notch, and I'm now putting the books on the shelf above the rolls of fabric.  When I've got that all done, I'll have to move the shelf that I took the shirting and burlap off of down a notch so that I can use it and the former bookshelf for the boxes that I cleared off the shelf the books are now on.

I've got a post-note on the wall to keep track of the order the books are in.  So far I've put back general housekeeping, general sewing, costume, and designs, and I'm starting on embroidery.  In those categories I made no attempt at alphabetizing, since there's no more than a half dozen of each.

I discovered that I have a copy of McCunn's _How to Make Sewing Patterns_; I'd been thinking that I needed to buy one.  I do need a copy of the bra-making book.  Dave says that our credit card has a service in which they will transfer money to a vendor without giving him any secret numbers; I'll have to look into that.

I wasted some time reading one of the housekeeping books.


9 February 2018

For a while there I thought the books wouldn't fit on a shelf exactly as long as the one they came from.  I didn't have space for the Woolgathering leaflets, and laid them on top.  And I shoved one of my thin pieces of orange crate under the last few to keep Knitting Workshop from falling off the end.  Knitting books are alphabetical by author; I made no effort to sort within the other categories.

I should have put flags on the "hey, I want to read this" books.

I suspect that the boxes I put back are not all of the boxes that I took off, but I have access to the ironing board again.

I've begun work on winding my teaching shuttle.  I dithered over how much thread to cut off and mark, then realized that I can mark couple of yards, wind them, and then decide how much more to mark before cutting off the ball.

In marking the first section, I discovered that I want to dilute the bluing way down.  It's going to take a while, since I need to let each section dry thoroughly before starting on the next, but I'm not going to need that drying rack for a few days.

Unless I decide to wash Sunday night so I can postpone the laundry until Wednesday.  Can't wash on Monday because I'm getting my teeth cleaned — and Tuesday is the only day in the ten-day forecast fit for riding my bike.

I ironed the two shirts I washed stains out of last Sunday, and learned that re-arranging the shelves lost the space where I used to keep the sleeve board and hams, but I think that tidying the bottom shelf, to the right of my collection of Tarzan and other E.R.B. books, will create a place to put them.

I should take all the books off the shelf again, and use my horsehair whisk broom (the maker called it a shoe-polish dauber) on the tops of the pages.

The sleeve board and both hams fit neatly into the narrow slot formerly occupied by the roll of shirting and the roll of burlap.

Pity.  I could use some motivation for tidying the bottom shelf!


10 February 2018

the newly-sorted shelves

From the bottom up:  my pattern chest, with a corner of the footlocker in the background.  Since it's nearly black, nothing shows except a white bag in the black backpack lying on top of it.

My fiction collection, with the ends of the shelves in need of tidying, and a bigger mess on the bottom shelf to their right.

The bolt of muslin and three rolls of fabric:  shirting, five-foot muslin, and burlap.  These extend under the broomstick supporting the "petal pink" linen-cotton blend.  The roll above the pink fabric is newsprint.

My needlework books.  The offset shelf to their right keeps them from falling off.  They fit so tightly that Knitting Workshop doesn't slip down, but I put a scrap of very thin plywood underneath it.

Three irons and two boxes.  I used twist-ties to keep the cords of the two irons I seldom use from tangling in the cord of the iron I do use.  The green box is silk scraps, and the other holds synthetic tape and iron-on thingies.  Hey, there are three spools of ribbon I could add to my embroidery-gig stuff in there.  I should take everything out of that box and put it back.  There is some silver reflective tape -- yellow tape, alas, is extinct, but I shouldn't need to re-reflect my mittens any time soon.

And, just barely in the shot, two hams and a sleeve board.

I really should find out what's in the squashed-looking box above the tin boxes.  (That also includes plastic boxes, such as the pin box I recently emptied, but I haven't changed the label.)


12 February 2018

Yesterday, while getting ready to go to the dentist today, I wound off a few needlefuls of black Medici and finally found the thread connecting the two skeins.

The skein that has the original neatening-stitch and the label appears to have only two ends, and it's fatter than the other, so I hung it in the closet.

There are only two D-rings attached to the skein still hanging on a spare shelf-support; perhaps I have also found all the broken ends.

The dime finally dropped, and I started using the D-rings to hang up the ends to keep them out of the way.

The patient ahead of me cancelled, so I never even got my mittens out of the bandanna -- until the hygenist asked what sort of mittens I was darning.

But I did darn them this evening, under the triple lamp, and used up all the Medici I'd wound off -- there was a second hole I hadn't noticed.  Then I re-attached the reflective tape where it had worked loose and was catching on the handlebars.  I needed a thimble for this part, and reflected that it was lucky that I was working at home right next to the arm where I keep my Magnetop thimble.  But I do have a thimble in my little bag of stuff, and I'd brought it.

Had a little trouble seeing black on charcoal despite 3.5 glasses; the triple lamp just isn't as good as natural light.

I put the chocolate-truffle box I'd carried the needle, medici, and silk in into the backpack, because that is where I look for needles.

I didn't use up anywhere near half of the gold buttonhole silk.  This was lucky because the spool of red buttonhole silk I'd brought as a back-up was, on closer inspection, size A.  So that's why it wasn't lined up with the others!

We're past the middle of the coldest part of the year, and I still haven't repaired my wool jersey.  But nowadays, I don't go out if there is the slightest chance of rain.


14 February 2018

Roomba cleaning near the pattern chest and footlocker

It's Roomba day in the sewing room.  You don't often see this much floor.

Today was also laundry day, since I was otherwise occupied on Monday and Tuesday.


16 February 2018

Yesterday I sat down to thread elastic into Bra D.  After a while I looked at the bodkin I was sewing to the second piece of elastic & thought that I ought to take a picture of that for Pictures of Tools, and did, and upon uploading it I found that there was another picture of bodkins that hadn't been linked to, and the page really, really needed divs.  I did get back to threading elastic eventually (the picture of Grandmother's bodkins still isn't linked) but the third piece of elastic is inserted-but-not-sewn and the cat is sitting on it.

I spent most of this morning adding a Table of Contents.


19 February 2018

A day or two ago, I noticed the scrap box marked "unbleached", and reflected that I never dig into the box for muslin when I have two bolts in plain sight, so I took it down intending to sort out what was fit to take to Goodwill and trash the rest.

When I opened the box, I found that I'd already done that.  There was nothing in the box but some reclaimed sleazy muslin that might do for underlining and a sizable piece of unbleached seersucker that I don't want to part with.

So I added a label this morning and put it back on the shelf.

Yesterday I started to change the dirty bottom sheet and found that the top sheet was torn.  Of the two remaining sheets, one has basting around a small hole.

So the three yards I tore off the bolt of wide muslin are now on the ironing board, waiting to be hemmed.  I hope to press the fold-under between loads of wash today.  But first I'll finish sewing the last piece of elastic in bra D so I can get it off the rocking chair.

The actual stitching of the hems will be an anti-climax.  I wonder what the March sisters would have thought of that.

The tear in the sheet is along the flaw in the goods that I noticed when I dried it on the card tables.  Now I'm debating whether to darn the flaw or make pillowcases at once.  But the pillowcases I made from this fabric when it was brand new didn't hold up any time at all.  Perhaps my best bet is to reserve it for underlining.  In the meanwhile, I've put an embroidery hoop around the tear to keep it from getting bigger.

I've begun wearing black pants to church, which has revealed a dire shortage of winter blouses.  It's also put "lengthen waistband of polywool pants" on my to-do list.  I think the best procedure is to replace the safety pins with stitches.  Stitches that will hold, but will be easy to remove.

Bra D is off the rocking chair!  That leaves three pieces of elastic to cut and thread into E, and a bit of embroidery on C, D, and E.

This is not a rush job, as it's washday and there are four bras hanging in the closet.  On the other hand, I washed two days late last week, and absently-mindedly wore one bra four days instead of two.  On the third hand, I washed two days late last week and didn't run out of bras.  I did use all the sweat rags, so I tore up a pillow case that has been cluttering up the sewing room because I didn't want to put it on the rag shelf without washing it, I didn't want to wash the tear bigger, and I thought I had too many sweat rags.  It made two good sweat rags plus two that I tore into skillet wipes when they came out of the washing machine today.

Save for underlining.  I'll have to wash the sheet before putting it away, so I have to baste back and forth over the tear.

I can move the seersucker to "solids and woven-in", and replace the "unbleach" labels with "underlining" labels.  It will be quite a while before I need another summer dress.


20 February 2018

Yesterday Dave had to turn the end table upside- down.  While emptying it, I found thirteen unread issues of Threads.  I was right to let my subscription expire.

Stacking Threads flat does allow me to take full advantage of the unseemly height between the top shelf and the ceiling, but for all practical purposes the issues on the bottom half of each stack are inaccessible.

 Sheet pinned to ironing board

I pinned hems the width of an appointment card in the muslin this morning.


21 February 2018

And sewed them that afternoon.  The bobbin of the White was at least half empty, and almost lasted the six and two-thirds yards of hem.  Someday I'm going to have to load some measured thread onto it.

The torn sheet is now in the laundry bin.  I learned that if you darn in an embroidery hoop, you need to keep the tweezers handy, because every now and again the needle gets flat to the fabric and can't be picked up with fat fingers.

About halfway through, I realized that running stitch across a slit while weaving over and under the raw edges is a variant on baseball stitch/antique seam.  I meant to make the rows across the not-yet-torn flaw half an inch apart, but they were seldom more than a centimeter and often less than a quarter inch.  Perhaps I should have drawn guide lines with a wash-out marker.

I took my left hand out from under the hoop once and like to never got it back.  It seems that all of that king-size sheet is immediately under the hoop.


26 February 2018

mend pocket on wool short-sleeve jersey   That jersey is too badly worn to be worth mending, but I need to wear it tomorrow, so I darned the two leaks in the pocket with buttonhole silk.  Besides, washable wool appears to be extinct, so I'm not likely to be able to replace it.

I wish one could still buy custom-made bicycle clothing.  Mrs. Jones died; I've no idea what happened to Marthe Hess.


2 March 2018

bar tack on back pocket of cotton jersey

If I patch the old wool jersey up and wear it, I need to pick the front pockets off and move them up onto the shoulders, and I need to put a dart across the back.

So I tried it on -- and if I'm going use the back dart to convert this into a woman's jersey, I'm going to have to do it in that order.  The dart needs to be in the middle of the pockets.

Should I judge the dart by the size of the wrinkle under the arm, or by the size of the dart in my T-shirts?


5 March 2018

Or I could make a very short dart.

Today is washday, and while putting in the first load, I decided that the shirt I was wearing should go into the second load.  Thinking about brushing out its pockets reminded me that there was a leak in one of the smock pockets, and that reminded me of a couple of big leaks in the smock pockets of the shirt I was about to put on.

Quick, quick, before the first load comes out, set up the Necchi.  First I had to dig down to it, because there had been a few weeks of "where's a safe place to put this for a few minutes" since it had last been used.

It was still set up for basting from when I washed the sample of 120" muslin.  I dropped the bobbin of no-provenance thread and unwound quite a lot, so I loosened the clutch and used the bobbin winder.  There were only a few turns left on the double-wound bobbin I took out of the bobbin case; being already set up for bobbin-winding, I wound one strand of greeny-brown and one strand of blue onto an empty bobbin.

Necchi bobbins are easier to come by than White bobbins, so I have several extras — enough to use bobbins to store no-provenance thread.  Of course, it's no-provenance because it's on a spare bobbin; I never lose track of what's on a White bobbin.

Then off to the White to fetch a spool and two bobbins of black poly thread, thread the Necchi and test the zig-zag stitch.  I was thinking of putting a note into the bag so I'd put the poly thread back into it, but the White bobbin left in the bag has a label that says "poly".  Also it's the only spool bag in the drawer of the Necchi.

At which point I realized that I'd already mended the shirt I was wearing, so I went through all that for two inches of zig-zag.

I got all the wash clean and hung up before I finished writing the above, and prepared and ate a skillet of tamale-pie grits.  Now it's nap time.


6 March 2018

While putting yesterday's wash away, I noticed that the casing had worn through on the least-shabby pair of shabby underpants, and judged that there was enough wear left in them to bother with a repair, so I picked the stitches out, saturated the edge with a 3:1 starch dilution, and hung them up to dry.

lengthen waistband of polywool pants

When I added that to the list, I thought that I'd hand-baste with silk where the safety pins were, but this morning I reflected that I had the Necchi set up with black poly -- then realized that I couldn't machine-stitch around the hook, and went back to the original plan, but two layers of waistband are so thick that a lot of the "basting" is widely-spaced backstitch.

Anyhow, it's done and I have black pants to wear to church next Sunday.  I don't have a suitable shirt, however.  I've been thinking of making a cotton-print shirt to test my plan to use Pat Erny's sleeve placket to make a side slit, but whatever print I choose is going to be striking, not something that I can wear two Sundays in a row.

Perhaps I'll wear my black turtleneck and blue vest next Sunday.

Hey, I've got a gray vest.  Requires a tucked-in shirt, though.

I've also been thinking that I could test the side slit by retrofitting my raw-silk shirt.


7 March 2018

darn seam ends of tan blanket

If I have tan mending wool, it isn't in the box labeled "Medici and darning wool", but a white no- provenance wool thread did a neat and inconspicuous job -- on the second end, after I'd figured out what I was doing.

Yesterday I started work on converting 042, the apron essay, into HTML.


8 March 2018

revise apron essay

Still need to convert a cross reference into a link.

I ironed a shirt, and pinned the new casing in the underpants I'm mending.


9 March 2018

And I should take some photographs to brighten it up.

When I made the dark-brown blanket, I tore off exactly a third, and joined the halves of the third with a butt seam to make them the same length as the two-thirds I was sewing it to.  You really, really can't butt-seam torn edges!

While making the bed this morning, the buttonholes in that seam bugged me.  I reflected that the Necchi was already set up with black poly, inspected the holes and noted that each was overcast on both sides, and ran a line of zig-zag down the seam, squeezing the buttonholes closed as they went under the presser foot.  Two of the buttonholes didn't close, so I also made a partial pass.

This should have left eight ends of thread to trim, but I could find only two.  Holding the mend up to the light reveals places where another pass of zig-zag is required, but I don't have a light-table flatbed plate, so I put the blanket back on the bed at this point.  It had been surviving for years in its previous state, after all.

Now to change the thread on the Necchi and finish repairing the underpants I plan to wear tomorrow.

Got distracted with polishing links in 042; the underpants are on the ironing board with a bodkin and a piece of elastic, waiting for ten minutes of work.

I lost track of the cord elastic I took out of the underpants, so I selected one of the quarter-inch elastics that I took out of the discarded bras.  Took a few grabs to find one; there appear to be a lot of short scraps of new elastic in the bag of used elastic.


10 March 2018

Wore my garish tights for the first time today, and discovered buying them large enough to fit over other tights made them too loose in the waist.

The good news is that the waistband is a casing, and it's wide enough to divide into more channels than I can use.  I think one quarter-inch elastic will do, it can't need more than three, and it's wide enough to take four comfortably.

The bad news is that I can't think of a way to open a flat-locked seam and close it again.

A buttonhole would work, but I'm not sure that one round of elastic will be enough.  And hand- worked buttonholes are a bit tedious.

It will probably be simple after a good night's sleep.

I also bought cheap fleece tights in four sizes, intending to wear one over the other.  I must mark them before taking them out of the package.  At the moment I'm thinking of bar tacks in red, orange, yellow, and green -- red on the smallest, of course.

I should shave at bedtime so as to get ready for church faster in the morning, but in my present condition I'd probably cut myself.


12 March 2018

I've figured out how to elastic the maroon-stripe tights.  I'll make a hole just big enough to put in a quarter-inch elastic near the bottom of the hem, and buttonhole around it.  If one added elastic isn't enough, I'll pin it near the top of the hem and stitch around below it, then put in a second piece of elastic.

Hmmm … first I'll pin it near the bottom of the hem and stitch around a toes-width from the edge.  Might be a good idea to make a vestigial ruffle even if I put in only one round of elastic, in which case I'd stitch, then insert.

Today washday.  I cleared the ironing board -- putting everything away! -- so I could iron the hems of a sheet that had been washed for the first time, and now it's draped over the ironing board to dry.  I'd hung it outside, but it was blowing too hard to leave it out while I take my nap, and I want to lie down as soon as I finish hanging the load that's in now, so I brought it in damp.

The muslin sheet and two pillowcases crowded the washer; a linen sheet takes less than half.

I soaked it overnight in the hope of getting out all the sizing; I'd like to get a clear idea of how big this sheet is before I have to make another.  Before hemming and washing, it was three yards long and ten feet wide.


17 March 2018

I thought I could get my sewing organized today; instead I'm going to have to search the sewing room for an extremely-important paper that I left on the ironing board.


23 March 2018

I've forgotten exactly which extremely-important paper it was, but it didn't take long to find it.  I think I'd put it into the embroidery- gig backpack.

Mark the four pairs of new tights

I put them all into a bag to be taken to Goodwill.

I revised the bodkin section, and scaled the picture of grandmother's bodkins, but not only didn't get to <strike> "check ed.dir of pictures of tools against the links", I have to add "photograph polish dauber" to the list.  I have a large horsehair polish dauber for delicate whisk-brooming, and it isn't in the picture.


27 March 2018

I've begun work on tightening the waistband of the tights that have a gray stripe across my butt.

The waistband is a faced strip more than two and a half inches wide, with 3/4" elastic caught in the top seam.  Yesterday I stitched around it the width of a narrow presser-foot toe below the top and worked a tiny buttonhole close to the bottom.

When working the buttonhole, I quickly found that it was wise to poke the handle of a pair of tweezers into the hole at frequent intervals to check that only the facing was being stitched.  After the second time I was forced to break off and cut the stitch that had caught the public side of the waistband, I switched to overcasting so that I could take a stitch out.  Pulling on the thread to lift the edge while poking the needle also helped.  It didn't help that I cut the hole with the low-quality "straight operating scissors" I keep in the White for cutting threads, and didn't think of cleaning it up with my stork scissors until after I'd started stitching.

It's an untidy hole, but it won't face much wear, and it doesn't show.  I used the same polyester thread I'd used for the ruffle- stitching, since "no cotton" is the theme of these tights.

This morning I checked my briefs pattern.  I cut the cord elastic thirty-three inches long.  Then I pulled on, as if it were pants, one of the elastic rings salvaged from a worn-out bra and it was plenty loose enough, so I intend to cut the elastic thirty inches long.  But right now, it's time for my nap.

When hanging up the wash yesterday, I noticed a frayed spot on the neck hem of one of my new bras.  Shouldn't take long to pick out an inch of hem and re-stitch it.

On Saturday, I stopped by the animal shelter and found out what size pieces to cut my dirty quilt into.  I've got the straightening strip I tore off the ten-foot muslin soaking in a bucket of water with a drop of dish soap, and plan to use it for binding.  I also intend to pick the pink hems off the worn-out linen sheet and bind cat blankets with it.  My scraps include a piece of washed muslin five inches long and nearly a yard wide.

No telling what I will find when I start going through the boxes.


28 March 2018

When hanging my wool jersey on the to-do hook, I noticed a piece of unbleached muslin that I cut off the bolt with the intention of washing it smooth and making a spectacular poncho shirt with appliquéd quilting motifs, but before it had been washed enough I got tired of poncho shirts.  That will make excellent cat- blanket binding.

I spent most of the morning sewing -- and dragging stuff out of the sewing room, then putting it back when Roomba was done.

I decided that I'd move up the pockets on my wool jersey even though it isn't worth mending, because washable-wool fabric is extinct.  (I thought online shopping was supposed to give us more choices!)  So I drew water-erasable guidelines on the spots that need darning, finding lots more in the process, then picked off the cell-phone pocket.  It was surprisingly difficult because the thread Mrs. Jones used blends in very well.  I brushed off the lint and dropped the pocket into the bucket where I'm soaking the straightening strip off the ten-foot muslin.  I should change the water today.

Add elastic to garish tights

Then I finally got around to cutting thirty inches of quarter-inch elastic and threading it into the tights with a gray stripe across my butt.  I pinned the ends together and felt around to be sure it was flat -- finding, at the end, that I'd wandered off onto the elastic that was already in there.  So I went around again -- this time I figured out that when a bunch of gathers have piled up in front of where I'm feeling, I can pinch the elastic where I've gotten to, then take a firm grip on the elastic on the other side of the gathers and pull it through my pinch.  After getting back to the beginning, I unpinned the elastic, gave one end a half twist, and went around again.  Lo and behold, I'd twisted in the correct direction!

I used my tweezers-and-ring bodkin, the one I bought in Nappanee.  (Sigh.  I'd love to shop there again.  I've got to start spending a little time building up my injured rotator cuff every day, and I should drive the car on a straight road more often.)

I was surprised that the ring went through the buttonhole with no trouble, but the place where the tweezers gripped the elastic hung up.  Perhaps that was because I was expecting trouble from the ring and didn't think about the beginning of the elastic.

Then after lunch, I picked out the bit of hem where I'd missed the edge while hemming the neck of bra B/red/two.  I decided to get out the tools to remind me to sew it up after my nap, then saw that the job was so small I might as well do it now.  I used running stitch anchored by back stitch at both ends, but switched to overcasting at the frayed spot, putting my needle through the holes left by the machine stitching.

After naptime I'm making meatloaf, and after supper I'm buying milk and eggs, so this is probably all the sewing for today.


31 March 2018

When I undressed after yesterday's ride, I wanted to put some sweaty silk into the bucket where the straightening strip and the pocket were soaking, so I rinsed the pocket under running water, wrung it in a towel, and laid it out to dry.

This morning I basted it to the jersey.  I was in some doubt as to which was the hem, because the sewing-on marks had washed out.  This gives me hope for the stitch marks on the jersey.

I shoved one of my pieces of plywood inside the jersey so that I could baste with it lying flat and not worry about catching the other side.

Then I tried it on -- when this high, the pocket doesn't work when the zipper is open.  Then I put my notebook into it.  Something isn't right -- I never reach for my notebook with my left hand.  Then I tried my cellphone in it.

I can sew it on in this position.  I'll use a safety pin the first time I use it, then stitch around in a circle instead of making a bar tack, to avoid making a stress riser.

Now where did I put the silk thread I ravelled out of the tights with the too-tight waistband when I removed the elastic and replaced it with quarter- inch elastic in a casing?

Found some on a wooden spool that wouldn't fit into an Altoids-type box, and a tea box won't fit into a pocket.  Finally, down at the bottom of the box of tin boxes, I found a screw-top aluminum provision box that used to be a first-aid kit.  That thing must be fifty years old.

Now it's labeled "jersey-darning silk" and the spool is in it.  Soon to be joined by a needle and, I hope, the rest of the silk-tights silk.  I do have a little white and off- white buttonhole silk.

Make cross-reference in 042 into a link     I can't find any cross reference that isn't a link.  Perhaps I should have been more specific than "cross reference", perhaps I mis-typed the name of the file, perhaps I linked it and forget to check it off.


4 April 2018

Old dirty quilt on floor, with yardstick

I marked the old quilt for cutting up for the animal shelter.  Crawling around on the floor is more strenuous than I remember.

I got four rows of two 30" x 18" cat blankets, with two 27 1/2" x 36" dog blankets at their ends, and a 24" strip is left along the side.  I'll probably cut that into three pieces, perhaps one square and two rectangles.  I'll decide after it's a size I can mark on a table.

I can use deprecated thread for the before-cutting zig-zag, since it will be covered by the binding.

I see that the thread already on the Necchi is suitable for mending the body-pillow pillowcase, so I'll do that first.  It's not on the to-do list, since I found the broken seam while collecting pillowcases for Monday's wash.


6 April 2018

Finished cutting up the quilt yesterday, except for the 24" strip.  I think I'll cut it into two pieces, because each piece will be a reasonable shape after being folded in half, and this thin quilt needs to be at least doubled.

On Wednesday, I found a bobbin of olive Subsilk in the drawer, and then picked what I thought was the spool it was wound from for the top, but that turned out to be tan when I wound the last of it onto a bobbin.  The light was poor enough that I didn't notice the first two times I wound bobbins.

The first time I re-wound, the thread piled up at one end, and I found that the winder had been threaded all tangled up.  I had to break the thread to get it out of the tensioning device, so I used up the partly-wound bobbin -- and made exactly the same mistake, but noticed that the threads were wrong before winding any.  The third time, I put the bobbin in the winder and guided by hand until there was enough thread on it to hold, then put the thread through the tensioning device and the guide.  (The guide hole is slotted, so this was possible.)  And it wound neatly.  That bobbin ran out when I was neary done on Thursday, and the spool ran out just before it was full.  So I found a greeny spool that probably was the one that the first bobbin was wound from.

My original thought had been to zig-zag on each side of all the cuts, then cut with my rolling knife, but while sewing the cut that separated the 24" strip, I realized that I should make the quilt smaller as rapidly as possible.  So as soon as that cut had zig-zag on both sides, I draped it over the stool that I use as a small table for JOYXP's mouse and cut it with shears.  Then I cut the dog blankets off, cut them apart, and so forth.  I don't know at what point I knocked off for the night.

I began and ended each zig-zagging with short stitches.  I was nearly done before I thought of shortening the stitches when crossing cutting lines.

Althecat, AKA Al E., approves of having a stack of quilt pieces in the sewing room.

The 24" strip has been cut in half and added to the pile.  Now I need to bind them.

Oops! I did the stitching on that cut with the double bobbin I put in to zig-zag the edges of the straightening strip, which I need to wash before using it.  These blankets will be washed early and often; it wouldn't do to have the binding shrink.

I figure that the straightening strip will do one cat blanket.  Or two, if I cut it in half lengthwise.


12 April 2018

frayed pocket on everyday jeans

This was both easier and harder than I expected.  When I saw the fringe poking out, I assumed that the raw edge had torn free of the stitching, which would have been a small but complicated repair.  Turned out that the stitching had worn away -- rather a lot of it, so that I had a simple but large repair.

But the other pocket has torn free of the side seam at the bottom of the opening.  This looks like an easy matter of shoving it back in and re-stitching the seam, but I'd have to rip a little more of the seam first, and I need to put the pants on early tomorrow morning.  I don't want to start something that absolutely has to be finished before bedtime.  If it's done before the pants are washed, that's plenty of time.

They really ought to go into the next load of darks.  That isn't until Monday; should be plenty of time for a small job.  But today and yesterday I got up thinking "today I iron the shirt I washed on Monday, and press the straightening-strip so I can make it into binding" — and I haven't quite finished clearing off the ironing board.


14 April 2018

Today I ironed the shirt, the straightening strip, and the muslin for the abandoned poncho shirt, which I plan to make into binding strips.  I plan to use the edge-stitching attachment of the White to join the selvages of the poncho muslin; I may practice on the straightening strip.


17 April 2018

For a while there, I thought I didn't have an edge-stitching attachment, but it's merely different from the one in the book.

Searching the attachment box was incidental to cleaning out the upper-right drawer in search of my seam ripper -- I found a screwdriver I hadn't been using because I thought I didn't have one, and put it into the drawer with the attachment box.  I thought I could put it into the attachment box, as I do with the screwdrivers for the Necchi, but I was lucky to be able to fit all the attachments back in.  So it's in the drawer beside the box, along with a mystery tool that appears to be a weight for something to do with sewing.

There are more packets of sewing-machine needles than I thought.  I decided to put them into a box marked "Schmetz" to neaten the drawer, but when I went looking for the small Altoids box to see whether it was big enough, I first found a clear plastic box that perfectly fits two stacks of machine-needle packets.

The seam I need to replace is mock fell, and the White is already set up with black thread, but I need to find a basting needle.  I think I'll baste the pocket to the front with black thread and just leave it in.

Come to think of it, that's the way I sewed the seam originally -- but it was machine basting.  Once two of the three layers are attched, I can treat it as a lap seam.



«»«»«»«»«» «»«»«»«»«» «»«»«»«»«»

Back to Part One of 2017
Back to Part One of 2016
Back to Part One of 2015
Back to Table of Contents
Back to cover page, which has a list of my other sites