I still can't sleep, so I might as well write up what I figured out while lying awake.
Just before going to bed I reviewed Pat Erny's sleeve-vent tutorial. This is a quick and easy finish when intalled in a slit, but quite impossible to set into a seam -- let alone a flat- felled seam.
The underlap is comparatively easy, and not all that different from the way Erny does it. Start out with a rectangle, as she does, but fold a quarter inch of the top edge to the wrong side. Might could also fold the corners in, to make mitered corners when the sewing is done.
Unfold the crease in the underlapping seam (I'm thinking of retrofitting an existing shirt, to work out the kinks before designing a new one), match raw edges with the right side of the lap against the wrong side of the shirt, stitch along the crease, press the seam open -- that will fold the crease back the way it was.
Fold a quarter inch of the remaining raw edge to the wrong side, fold the rectangle so that the folded-in raw edge touches the raw edge of the pressed-open seam, like the flat-felled seam that was opened. Edge-stitch along this fold and the top.
I spent a lot of thought on how to make the peak at the top of the overlap when the overlap can't simply be appliquéd on top, but must also cover the raw edge that must be folded to the inside to continue the felled seam. Finally I thought of folding the point of the peak down, to make a hexagon instead of a pentagon. Then the triangles folded down need not meet in the middle, and the triangles folded down in the fold won't stop one from putting the shirt inside the fold of the overlap.
One would mark a line across the inside of the overlap, fold the vertical edges a quarater inch to the inside, then fold the corners so that the folds lie on the horizontal line. Then fold the overlap in half and use a ruler or long needle to reverse the fold at the top until it, too, lies along the horizontal line. If that line is in the right place, this fold won't quite reach the middle of the overlap, and the overlap can be slipped over the shirt centered over the visible edge of the flat-felled seam.
I think that we will also need vertical lines dividing the rectangle into quarters.
Baste carefully so that the fold underneath is a thread-width beyond the fold on top, edge-stitch the vertical fold to a stitch or two above the proposed opening.
Ah, yes, before opening the seam, we must draw horizontal lines showing where the top of the opening will be.
Now arrange everything the way it should lie when finished and stitch around the hexagon, using the lines proposed in the previous paragraph to show where the bottom of the hexagon is.
Then restore the flat-felled seam by sewing it as a lap seam. Since the fabric of the shirt I intend to retrofit is black and fuzzy, I don't think hand work will be required except for hiding the ends of the threads.
Now I'm wondering at what stage to install the vent in a new shirt, and how much of the side seam to sew before installing the vent.
I pinned the pockets ready for the final stitching, then got performance anxiety: When that stitching is done, I'm well on the way to adding back, front, and sleeves and having a shirt!
So I set it aside to sew tomorrow when I was more alert and tomorrow never came -- I never even found time to bring this diary up to date. I thought sure I'd do it between loads of wash on Monday, but there were other things to do and we went to a party in the evening. Tuesday was shopping; I got back in time for supper, but I'd skipped my nap.
Today, I sew! But somehow there was always one more tiny little job that had to be done right now, and suddenly it was lunch time. Then I got up from my nap just soon enough to make chili and cornbread.
I hesitate to sew in the evening, but this is pre-planned and pinned; I'll just work very slowly and pay close attention and turn the handwheel a lot. And Lo and Behold, It Is Done. And enough light left that I could photograph at a short enough exposure to freeze the wind-whipping, save at the extreme edge.
I looked up the width of a pencil pocket and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had discussed it. I should add some disclaimers (heavy fabric, fat pencils, etc.), and finally get around to mentioning the clever way Carhart makes pencil pockets.
I was pleased to see that my seam gauge had a five-eighths notch in it; I'd entirely forgotten five-eighths-inch seam allowances. After drawing a line with self-removing pen, I pinned the line and stuck a pencil in just to be sure.
I left the needle thread long enough to thread into a hand-sewing needle at both ends. I suspect that not simply tying the threads together at the bottom was a mistake; I was beguiled into bar tacking by the presence of a seam to bar tack into. Which made the end of the stitching uncomfortably close to the bottom of the pocket, but I'll wear the shirt for a while before judging.
Not today, either. It being Thursday, I had to clean a catbox, and before I could do that I had to cultivate the asparagus, because I have to finish mulching it by the first of August so that there will be a full month of heat and sunlight to bake out infectious organisms. While out there I noticed a lot of work that must be done in the adjacent garden. When I returned to the sewing room, I was annoyed again by the hand- sewing needles that have been lying on the briefs box ever since I stopped using the curtains as a filing system, and realized that what I needed was a little bitty bulletin board to pin the packets to. As I was turning around to head for my shopping list, I remembered that we have a lot of corrugated cardboard in the recycling bin, and I could cut three rectangles of that, stack them, nail them to the wall with old machine needles, and get those needles filed today. While I was cutting, DH mentioned that his latest attempt to extract information from a totally-ignorant help-desk had left him convinced that the simplest way to deal with Comcast would be to discontinue the service, so I need to activate my G-mail address. We spent the rest of the morning utterly failing to make Thunderbird connect to Google.
I did pin the back to the yoke and stitch it today. Next I need to press the seam, pin the yoke lining, and make two rows of top-stitching.
Shortly after midnight, I visualized that my scheme for the overlap of my shirt vent was overly complicated.
Start with a rectangle. Draw a line across it above the top of the opening and about a quarter inch below where the corner of the peak is wanted. Turn the corners down so that the raw edges lie along this line. Sew one edge to the shirt and press it toward the opening, so that the shirt lies flat and the overlap is creased. Press under the other edge to match. Baste the fold to just barely cover the stitching on the wrong side. Press, if needed. Push in the corner of the folded edge to match the other bias fold. The reversed fold will be about a quarter inch above the line. Turn under the raw edge still showing at the peak. Top-stitch from the right side, catching the edges on the wrong side.
And that is also too complicated. The folded-in dart keeps the overlap from sliding onto the shirt beyond the middle -- but the middle is exactly where one wants the edge of the shirt.
Fold a quarter of the width to the wrong side at both ends of the rectangle, fold the top corners down to match the edge of the folded-in bit -- or make the fold-down all the way to the top of the opening and draw a line across it to show where the corners go. Match the bottom of the rectangle to the bottom of the hem, sew it, fold to back and push in the dart. Baste as required. Repair flat-felled seam by sewing as a lap seam. Arrange vent to final configuration and edge-stitch, ending by stitching across the bottom of the pentagon.
By george, I think I've got it. Must draw some pictures before I forget.
And now I'm late for a bike-ride to the farmers' markets. [One of the markets was gone when I got there.]
No, mend the flat-felled seam, then do the top-stitching.
This morning I finally cleared off the ironing board, heated up the iron, and pressed the seam I sewed last Friday. Then I had to press the crease out of a hem I picked out of a very voluminous nightshirt a while back -- the hem doesn't look that wide when the shirt is on him or on a hanger, but it goes round and round when draped over an ironing board. But it shouldn't take long to put it back into service once I figure out how much to shorten it; I'm simply making the hem wider.
Then I really needed to press a white-linen poncho shirt that I put away un-ironed last fall. My everyday jeans need patching, so I've been wearing the pants from a suit that turned out to be too loud to wear, and I have only one other plain white shirt. They are good, comfortable linen pants, but the first time I wore them, Dave accused me of leaving the house in my pajamas. I hope the poncho shirt covers a bit more than my collared T-shirt. I do have two knee-length shirts, but one is plaid and the other matches the pants.
Poncho shirts are supposed to be easy to iron, but stout linen needs to be ironed on both sides and more than once.
And I needed to iron a sports shirt of Dave's that I had washed on Monday. No surprises this time; I've been ironing sports shirts for sixty years.
I pinned and top-stitched the seam just before suppertime. Now I'm too stuffed to proceed.
The curry jersey was top-stitched once, the taxicab jersey twice. I think once is sufficient.
Another first: I brought the kitchen's working-at-the-counter stool into the sewing room. I want to sit down while I'm marking the hem on the nightshirt, and I also want plenty of room under the ironing board for the rest of the skirt to dangle.
Another thing I did yesterday was to clear all my shirt parts off the piano. I put the small scraps into the linen box -- and replaced the widthwise scrap on the ravellings pincushion with a lengthwise scrap. Pity I didn't think of that before sewing the patch on. I was reminded of it by reading back entries to get oriented before writing yesterday's entry.
The rest had already been folded to the shape of the small cutting mat and neatly stacked, so I just lifted it and transferred it to the ironing board, then put the mat and its plywood back into the bag in the laundry room. I forgot the ruler, pencil, tape measure, and card of twill tape that had been precariously balanced on top, but they were exactly where I wanted to put the dirty cat box this morning, so they are back with the pile.
I should use the tape this evening, if it's fit to sit on the porch and sew. That will be the last bit to check off my list of notions; then I can reformat the list as an HTML list, which will erase all the checkmarks. There's probably a way to combine checkmarks with <ul>, but it would involve styles and presentational markup.
I'm looking forward to cluttering up the parlor with card tables so I can cut out the bra and scarf.
Time to get back to work -- and I realize that the "table" for the mouse of the other computer is a kitchen stool.
The hem is 100 inches around. According to my solar calculator, that's 2.777777777777777… yards. Felt like more when I was pinning it.
The chairs on the porch hadn't been rained on, but it was too cold to sit outside, so I dragged the rocking chair to the patio window.
The warp threads aren't a bit better than the weft threads, so I overhanded the fronts together with ecru 100/6, from the inside. You need a good light and 3.5 glasses to see the stitches. Then I hemmed twill tape over the raw ends of the hook- and-eye tape, with white 100/6 because I didn't intend for any of the stitches to come through to the right side.
Oops, there's another unchecked item: elastic for sleeves. I think I'll continue unchecking everything else, and mark that one with arrows or something.
First chore was to make a couple of little pouches for a magnet and a washer, and pin them to the curtains. I'm not only out of bent pins, I had to move a few from the box to the Grabbit. I didn't take many, as there are a lot in the wide, wide hem of the nightshirt that hasn't been tried on yet.
When we turn in our leased car in a couple of years, a whole bunch of bent pins and several good pins will be returned to circulation. But with any luck healthwise, we'll lease another car and it will probably have a part we want to wrap in an old sheet and stash in the loft.
I found a strip just the right width among the "binding strips from roll muslin", tore it in half, folded each piece and stitched around two sides, and pinned it to the curtain.
Right place first time! But the higher magnet separated by itself when the curtains were opened, so I thought we needed to move the magnet in the hem up, so it could pull open too. There were two more strips in the pile, so I cut them to twice as long as their width.
Then I had a terrible time persuading the three rolls of cloth to go back onto the shelf. They are on top of the folded bolt of wide muslin, which slants down where it hangs over the edge. I finally had to use an upholstery pin to chock the roll of agricultural burlap.
I should make another sheet just to lower the muslin level. The surviving linen sheet isn't going to wear forever.
I see the empty Grabbit and think it's upside-down. I don't know why this gives me a jolt; it's supposed to be upside down when not in use, to protect the cat.
I'll have to take a few more pins out of the box today; I'm finally going to attach the front to the front yoke.
The magnets appear to be working well in the higher positions, but I'm going to wait a week before I sew them in place.
I was given a nifty ball-point pen a few days ago and thought I'd carry it in my pencil pocket. Pens aren't 100% reliable the way #2 pencils are, but I have a pencil in my notebook and a back-up pencil in my wallet.
The pen (which includes a flashlight) won't go into the pencil pocket. I thought I'd pick out the stitching, but this morning I tried my notebook in the notebook pocket, and it can't spare any fabric to widen the pencil pocket.
But the pen has a pocket clip and is blunt (and very secure) on the end. I can carry it in the cell-phone pocket.
Before naptime, I trimmed a quarter inch off the bottom of the yoke (tapering to full width at the seam), basted a quarter inch of the yoke lining to the right side, and pinned the front in place.
And after supper (and after writing some important e-mails) I sewed the front to the yoke and picked out the basting that had been holding the yoke in register with the yoke lining. I had been careful to baste the turn-under with a different color of thread for this purpose.
Now I want to press as it lies before top-stitching. I could do the first line just fine un-pressed, and I could smooth and flatten as I stitch for the second, but I've spent too much time on this project to start cutting corners now.
I'm going to go riding in my old ragged jersey tomorrow. Might have energy to press when I get back.
While putting my wallet in my jersey pocket, I was annoyed again by the curl at the edge of the flap, reflected that I meant to make the coin-catcher wider when I make the new one, realized that I could pick out two short seams and try out the idea.
The new wallet is getting on toward desperate.
Today was washday. I had planned to iron the two summer dresses I put away wrinkled last fall, and get some sewing in while the iron was hot, but I got only five hours of sleep last night, so I caught up on Facebook instead.
I felt better after my nap, but had other things to do in the afternoon. After supper (and after a bit of weeding and planting), desperation moved me to iron a patch on the jersey I want to wear tomorrow, and while the iron was hot, I pressed the seam between the front and the yoke of the new jersey. I finished sewing it, but ran out of steam before pinning the sleeves in.
The seam is rippled, but it's flat at center front where it counts. I'd count this as a failure of patience, but I doubt that a second try would be any better.
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