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2021 Sewing Log


1 January 2021

darn hole in silk tights

The previous darn was a runner that had started in mid-fabric and run to the junction of three seams. I had begun by working point d'Venise back and forth, beginning before the hole and continuing well past it, then I'd switched to baseball stitch to the end. My method of securing the thread is not visible.

The new hole was near the end of the previous darn, and ran along the leg seam. I secured the thread in the seam allowance and baseball stitched toward the hole. I switched to buttonhole stitch before reaching the hole, and worked point d'Venise parallel to the seam, catching at least two threads of the darn in places where I couldn't catch the fabric. I had to work some short rows to keep the rows reasonably straight. I secured the end by slipping the needle under the last row of stitches, then going under the next-to-the-last row to get back to the seam, where I pushed the thread into the seam allowance.

Then I turned to the wrong side, pulled the end of the thread free, and used the finer of my two tatting pins to draw it through the overcast stitches of the seam.

And I hope I remember this the next time I want to start a darning thread in silk tights.

Just checked the other pair, which has been in the arm of the futon for months. Near as I can make out, all that remains to be done is a baseball stitch or a loose point de Venise in a runner between two point d'Venise darns. It's rather a wide runner; I've half a notion to declare the job finished, since it can't enlarge, and stitches might put a strain on the delicate fabric. I'll inspect it when the light is better and I'm not due for a nap.

I hunted all over for a needle, found one that would sort of do -- I really must organize my needles, and buy some new John James needles -- then took the darning silk out of the bag and discovered that I'd left a scrap of wool with a needle stuck in it in the bag, but it was between the two cards in the bag and I couldn't see it.

I couldn't think of a reason to have an empty card in the bag and took it out. I think the card the thread is wound on is somewhat clever: I snipped a slit into the edge of the card, caught the end of a piece of salvaged thread in it, wound the thread close to the slit, cut another slit, and caught the other end of the thread in it. No unwinding or tangling, and each piece is separate.

I was surprised at how much thread is in a winding; it will be a long time before I need to unravel more darning thread from the silk rags hanging in the closet.

Um, not hanging in the closet, nor yet on the to-do hook. Ah, well, by the time I've used up the thread, I will have stumbled upon them by accident. I don't wear holes in my silk tights often.

Tatting box and little bag of stuff

I put a tin box into the little bag of stuff I carry in my attaché case so that I could carry a tatting shuttle and two tatting pins, and this little sewing kit sort of sort of happened. The blue oval in the box is a tatting shuttle, with a pick so that the two tatting pins are not necessary (particularly when you consider that the shuttle has not been wound), but by keeping them there, I know where to find them. The tatting pins are cut-off extra-fine crochet hooks, (One #14 and one #11) which have been jammed into pieces of drink-stirring straws to protect the delicate hooks.

In the lid of the box are a pair of ear plugs and a piece of real chalk.

The tube to the left of the box contains pins and needles.

I don't know how a half dozen razor blades got into the box. Perhaps there was a time when I thought I might need to give some away, or perhaps I handed out (that many?) calling-card kits to children and took out the razor blades.

I put all but three back into the razor-blade box. One of the three that I kept had been used as a thread winder.

The messy brown rectangle above the box is a piece of silk faille with needles stuck into it. Some of the needles are threaded.

To the right of the needles are a large blunt needle for use as a bodkin, a pair of tweezers, and a seam ripper.

Across the top, generally-useful items: a paper clip, four bobby pins, a safety pin, and a pigtail holder.

In the snack bag spilling out of the little bag of stuff: my emergency back-up in case of delay tatting shuttle, shuttle-and-ball edging wound on a card, and a ball of thread that doesn't fit into a candy tin.

I measured the four-inch strip around my head, and stuck a pin in at 22 1/2". The raw edge of the neck measures 22". My head measures 22 1/4":  that doesn't allow for ears and nose, but I think I can skimp the band enough to get a little ease around the front.

Then I put on the short-sleeved version of the dress and held the folded band up to the back of my neck. It's going to be almost too wide, but not quite. And I don't think I allowed as much for seam allowance as I'm going to use.


2 January 2021

Today I cut a strip four inches wide --one side of the scrap was straight, and I trimmed about a quarter inch off the other side-- and an eighth of an inch shy of twenty-one inches long. I must have stretched a bit when I measured it.

Been thinking about the runner in my other pair of silk tights. I think I'll work buttonhole stitch on each side, then work baseball stitch between the rows of buttonhole stitch.

After all that fuss getting ready to ride —darning tights, putting on three pairs of socks, etc.— I looked out the window at the gloom and decided not to go even though the roads were clear and it didn't rain again until sunset. I'd gotten interested in my dress repair by then, which didn't help.


Thursday, 7 January 2021

Resumed work this morning by changing the needle in the sewing machine, because I wasn't certain that the needle that was in was a stretch needle, and because it had been around for a while. The cone of basting thread that hangs in the window is in my darning bag from trips to wait in the parking lot while surgery was done, so I stabbed the old needle into the black pincushion pinned to the curtain. Then I wondered what had become of the basteing needles stabbed into the base of the cone, found them on my magnetic pincushion, and stabbed those into the black pincushion too.

That is the only discarded machine needle around, after a spasm of hanging computer cables on the wall. I haven't been sewing much. Too often, the two hours when I'm smart enough have been devoted to other activities.

Next, I sewed the ends of the neck band together. When done, I found that I'd stitched only half an inch of seam on account of running out of bobbin thread. Seeing only ecru bobbins in the bobbin box reminded me that I'd meant to make this repair with ecru thread, so I took the white spool off and replaced it with the lowest bobbin, because three ecru bobbins are two too many.

I set the stitch length for 2.5 millimeters. A tad more wouldn't hurt, but I don't think I'd want to go all the way to 3 mm.

Finger pressing opened the seam quite flat, a big advantage of working with jersey.

Then I divided the band into eight parts by folding and creasing and sticking pins in. I'd used all red-head pins for the band, so I sorted out eight white pins to divide the neck. I feel that having the pins color coded made matching the band to the neck more convenient.

I matched the pins, pulled out the red one, then pulled out and re-inserted the white one. Then, in a stroke of genius, I stuck the red pin into the seamline halfway between two white ones. (Since I started by matching the seam in the band to the center back, I didn't have a red pin to dispose of until two white pins had been restuck.)

Now I think I can stitch without further ado.

Then I tried it on, and it's going to work, and it's very lucky that I have enough white 1/8" elastic left to draw it up after I do the zig-zagging.  I think I'll retrofit the pockets on the short-sleeved dress before tackling those on the long-sleeved dress, in the interest of having the long-sleeved dress to wear next Sunday.

The headlamp on the sewing machine was of no help in threading the needle, and I recalled having forgotten to turn it off for a few hours not too long ago, so I changed the batteries. Had to open every battery box on the shelf to select the correct batteries. The batteries must have been low for quite a while before I ran them down -- I nearly blinded myself when checking that I'd put the light back together correctly.

It's lucky that I happened to park under a street light while waiting for DH's cataract surgery.  (I parked even closer to it on purpose when waiting for the second eye.)  The headlamp would have gone out in a few minutes:  before changing the batteries, I pushed all its buttons and one light came on usable, then faded to almost nothing. That was the one that left a persistant afterimage after I put in fresh AAA cells.


Friday, 8 January 2021

I thought pressing, pinning, and zig-zagging the neck would be nothing at all -- and I was right until I started sewing. The machine zig-zagged an inch and a half beautifully, then started skipping stitches in an un-ignorable manner.

I contemplated putting the project on hold until I could take the machine to Lowery's, then got out a needle.  Back stitching was harder than I expected until I gave up, pushed the needle through to the other side, and began back-stitching from the inside.  It showed terribly on the outside even though I hadn't been able to catch the bottom layer when working from the outside, but by then I didn't care. A few inches from the end, I realized that overcast hemstitch would be easier to work, show less on the outside, and be less likely to break when I pull the band over my head.

Now the dress is hanging in the closet waiting for me to thread eighth-inch elastic into the band. I'm tempted to leave the funnel effect and say it's high fashion, but I don't have the face and figure to pull it off. And I think it would bug me.

About halfway through the hand stitching I realized that I hadn't tried taking the needle out and putting it back again. I think I'd have noticed a wonky needle while threading it, though.


Monday, 11 January 2021

When hanging up today's laundry, I noticed a frayed spot on the neck hem of bra #2 that will become a tear if I wear it before repairing. I think it's time to bind the neck.

I have lots of red-ramie bias tape, and some red tape that I think is linen even though it's the same red as the ramie. There's a bundle of white tape that looks like enough, and probably is left over from making this bra -- but it's not going to match now. There's loads of tape made of shepherds-check print: absolutely not. (The print isn't all that ugly when cut into narrow strips, but the fabric is stout.) A large piece of curry linen and some pre-made curry tape wound on a DMC Cordonnet core. I think the pastel-green linen tape is the sheerest, but the bra made from it washed to pale yellow, and the matching scarf (now worn into holes) is almost white.


Tuesday, 12 January 2021

I could re-hem the bra between the shoulder seams, but I think binding now would save work in the long run. The stitches are very difficult to take out; what possessed me to use 2mm stitches?

That fuzzy black stuff isn't wool flannel, it's wool jersey! I could make my own tights.

If I had more than two hours of functioning brain per day; I frequently need to do things other than sewing in the mornings.

Today, I'm baking bread.


Thursday, 14 January 2021

The facings on the arm holes of bra#2 are also worn.

I cut three 30" pieces of quarter-inch elastic for bra#5. I don't know what else I did with today. I spent yesterday riding my bike in Warsaw.


15 January 2021

Elastic installed and bra hanging in closet, with a tag bearing the rune of the god Tuesday was named after pinned to it.

My wash-out marker ran dry, which messed up my bra rotation system.

I've picked out the neck hem of bra #2.

This was not easy; the stitches were glued to the fabric in a way that kept me trying to remember having starched it. I noticed the fray after removing the bra from a washing machine that definitely didn't include anything starched or new.

Many stitches were invisible even under a good light with magnifying glasses, an eighth-inch hem doesn't give a lot of room for stretching the stitches by separating layers, and the beginning/end wasn't the only place where it had been stitched twice.

I did the first part of the work beside the window. After it clouded up, the only good light was a task lamp in DH's office, and I definitely didn't want to scatter any snippets there, so I spread a sweat rag on my lap. When the work was done, I picked the rag up by the corners, went outside, and shook it.


Tuesday 26 January 2021

Bra#4 came out of the washer with a frayed hem, so I'd better get cracking on the binding of bra#2. I think I've settled on the pale green bias tape.

I've sorted out the green bias tape. The short pieces won't quite do two necks. Since I have to cut into the wide piece anyway, I'm going to use that for both bras. I think that it's long enough to do two necks; if not, I have at least two scraps that are long enough to piece it.

I started picking out the neck of bra#4. Once again, the threads behave as though they had been glued in place with starch. My experience with bra#2 helps -- I know what won't work -- and it's moving a teeny bit faster.


Wednesday, 27 January 2021

I finished picking out the neck of bra#4. While removing bra#2 from the clutter that had been on the ironing board --now on the leg board on the ironing board, because I set up the ironing board expecting to press the creases out, then I had to do something with the leg board on the bed at nap time-- I found a piece of worn-out linen pillowcase about the right size and shape for a sweat rag, so I put it on the lid of the washing machine and wet the edges with diluted bottle starch. I think the starch was a bit too diluted, so I plan to do it again.

I spent most of my alert time putting away the month's groceries, putting away some of the clothes that I washed on Monday, and shifting stuff out of the bedroom so that it could be swept.


29 January 2021

Yesterday, I ironed the orange niqab, which I'd washed weeks ago, then pressed a crease into the wide piece of bias tape and flattened the frayed edges of the hems.

The bias is four inches wide by about five and a half feet long, and had been folded in half lengthwise. I folded one of the halves in half and pressed in a crease, the usual triple press: press it in, cover with a cloth, press the cloth into flat contact, spray water on the cloth, iron the cloth dry, remove the cloth and make one more pass to make sure the tape is dry.

I wonder which pass I'm not counting when I call it a triple press?

Now the cutting mat is on the ironing board and one of the bras is on the cutting mat.


Saturday, 30 January 2021

Trimmed one bra yesterday, the other this morning.

cutting off the frayed edge

It wasn't particularly hard to see where to cut. The fuzzy red spot is the wrong side of an inventory mark:  a two-petal flower worked in red

Then I cut along the crease in the bias tape. It proved easier to see valley side up, and I cut toward me to keep the cutter from blocking my view of the guide. It took a while, and now it's time for a nap, since I need to be awake by two thirty to turn on the oven.

After putting the ribs into the oven, I basted a crease along one side of the strip I'd cut off. I had so much trouble threading the needle that I didn't cut off from the spool, which led to a lot of pucker-smoothing when the job was done.

After a few stitches, I thought of basting bodkin style, that is, when I'd piled some pleats up on the needle, I pushed them off the back instead of pulling the needle through. This works only for long-stitch basting!

Then I laid it on the ironing board and measured it: one yard, twenty-five and a half inches on the shorter side. I was surprised to see that the ends slant opposite ways; I had thought that the strip was cut the full width of the fabric, but the slants of the ends proved that it had been taken off a corner. The bra that this tape is left over from has long since worn out, and the cleaning rag made from it has also worn out and been discarded; there is no chance I'll remember how I cut it.

Whatever, there is fabric to cut off three more pieces of bias tape, each a tad longer than the one before.

I'm pinning it to the wrong side, and plan to sew one-eighth inch from the raw edges, which should make it wrap amply to the right side.

After supper I finished pinning the tape to bra#2, but don't think I should cut in my present condition. It looks as though there will be just enough tape left to bind bra#4.

Now if I can persuade at least one of my sewing machines to work . . .


Tuesday, 2 February 2021

What ho, my old thread snips still cut fabric! Considering that they are over fifty years old, were cheap to begin with, and have been treated like cheap scissors all these years, that's pretty good even though all I did was cut across one-inch bias tape.

This is the pair that I carried up my sleeve when I was working in the Singer store. They are still the pair I grab when I want scissors in my pocket, since they still have the leather sheath I made for them at that time.

I was finally alert enough to cut the bias this morning. There is 27" left -- less than half of the five and a half feet I began with. I started pinning bra#4, then decided that I should finish #2 first, so if there are any pitfalls, I'll step in them only once.

I fiddled and faddled with the Necchi, and checked or re-inserted the needle at least half a dozen times, and found a thread guide that the thread wasn't in. Still skipped more stitches than it made. Peered in through the end while turning the wheel by hand -- every other stitch, the thread didn't pass around the bobbin. Bobbin wasn't pushed in all the way -- I took it out and put it back a few times; no soap.

Finally I took the shuttle race out -- no lint at all. I poked the cleaning brush in on general principles and a yellow thread mysteriously appeared on the underbed, or whatever you call what the free arm hangs out over. Oiled the shuttle race, put it back, and now it sews. I even think the clutch slips less, but it could be that I've gotten used to push-starts.

So at last I zig-zagged the starched sweat rag, then put it into a bucket to soak out the starch.

Then I sewed the ends of the bias tape together and sewed the tape to bra#2. Stitches were much too short, I felt, while I was taking half of them out. Stitched too near the edge in a lot of places, and when I turned it over after removing those, I found a lot of places where the raw edges weren't lined up and the bra was not securely attached to the tape.

So I've got all that picked out and pinned, and the machine re-set to 3mm, and it's time for my nap.


Thursday, 4 February 2021

Bra#2 is hanging in the closet, with a square of paper marked with a picture of Saturn pinned to it. I took that tag off #6 because I wanted to wear #2 as soon as possible.  So running out of wash-out marker isn't all bad; I can't move wash-out marks around so easily.

#4 is partly pinned.  I'll need the second-longest piece of tape to piece it out. There are only two short pieces; I'll have to take a gander round the sewing room, because I thought that I had at least four that were shorter than the two longest pre-cut pieces.

Annoyingly, the ends of both of the pre-cut pieces that are long enough slope the wrong way for sewing to the piece that is pinned to the bra, and also the wrong way for sewing to each other -- a good reason to cut the full width of the cloth instead of across a corner when making tape. But not practical unless the whole piece is being made into tape.


Friday, 5 February 2021

Bra#4 did go smoother.

I sewed two scraps of tape together, fingernail-pressed the seam, pinned around, inspected both sides of the pinning, cut the tape with half an inch of seam allowance, finger-pressed the seam, pinned the gap, inspected both sides, sewed around, inspected both sides, pressed as it lay (spraying the seams with water), inspected both sides, pressed the tape away from the bra, inspected both sides, rubbed my fingers with glycerin, folded the tape to the right side and pinned, inspected both sides, and now I'm ready for the final stitching but it's nap time.

My skin is really dry:   I didn't have to wipe excess glycerin on my knees or elbows or the backs of my hands; rubbing my palms together got it all.

Bra in closet, with symbol for Monday pinned to it.

The very carefull stitching would have been easier on the treadle sewing machine; I must get around to having the tension device repaired. Also, the machine has *never* been professionally cleaned. Well, I presume the previous owner had it cleaned, but it was so dirty when I ransomed it that it didn't work until after DH washed its innards in kerosene.

To complete the account, after stitching, I pulled out the basting on the tape. I frequently baste turn-unders instead of pressing them when they are going to get rumpled around before the final stitching. Also, basting poses no risk of burning my fingers.

I had comments on the procedure before my nap, but no longer remember what I wanted to discuss.


Saturday, 6 February 2021

The neckband on my long-sleeved Villa Olive dress is a total failure. There is no way the elastic can be short enough to draw that wide band up enough to look halfway decent without being too short to pull over my head.

But starting over with a narrower band isn't my only option. While lying awake one night, I realized that I can pick it off, turn it around, and make it into a collar like the collar on my white T shirt.

But first, I think I'll finish hemming up my flannel nightgown. It can be quickly done, and will get a very large item off my to-do hook.

Not to mention that I've been sitting up in the cold, cold night fairly often of late.

It wasn't all that quick. I used two full breadths of the cloth to make the gown, and according to my rule of nose, the breadths are two yards wide.

So both the pinning and the stitching took a while. I ran the bobbin out, but there was a wound bobbin of the same color in the 100/6 bobbin box.

I lowered the ironing board so that I could sit in my secretary chair while pinning.

Shorten flannel nightgown a whole bunch

But while searchng the to-do list for that, I found first that there is a loose snap on that gown.

My first thought upon seeing "zipper of wool jersey" was "I've taken care of that".  But I took care of the zipper pull, which was never on the list -- I went pull-hunting when I got tired of feeling for the pull with gloves on. I found a membership badge of a forgotten women's cycling network way at the bottom of my jewel box, intended to wear on a zipper pull.

The zipper tapes are starting to come unstitched at the bottom. I've half a notion to just put in bar tacks to limit the unstitching; putting the split higher might reduce the strain on the zipper. It would be different if the zipper went all the way to the hem.

darn bicycle glove

I'm pretty sure that I did that, and in any case, I won't need the glove until spring and I have two pairs.

add collar bands to villa-olive dresses

I put the collar for the long-sleeved dress on the to-do list, and the old neckline will do just fine for the short-sleeved dress.  I also moved "fold-bottom pockets" for those dresses up on the list.


Monday, 8 February 2021

Another bra came out of the washer with a frayed neck hem. I must remember to stretch the bias when pinning it to the center front.


Tuesday, 9 February 2021

I darned a split seam in my heavy silk turtleneck today.

working baseball stitch

I began by working baseball stitch through the end stitches of the rows of knitting. The white buttonhole twist matched the ecru shirt surprisingly well.

completed darn

When I neared the end, I switched to interlocking buttonhole stitch to create a gusset to make it less likely that the seam would split again. This was not nearly as neat as the baseball stitch, but the mend is under my arm where nobody will see it, and I don't think I made weak spots.

Note the fashion marks where the shaping was accomplished on the loom, not by cutting and sewing, the nearly-invisible seams, and the very thick fabric. This must have been a very expensive shirt when it was new. I presume that I bought it at a thrift shop; I don't remember acquiring it.

Finding it in my cedar chest made it much easier to dress for the very cold weather we are having this winter.

The tin box in the picture is a kit for darning silk and fine wool.


Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Aldi is offering the Easy Home 12-Stitch Sewing Machine for $39.99 this week. After I read reviews of the machine, I decided that I'd buy one to take with me when I go somewhere to sew, but I think I'll hold out for the mini. It's a simpler machine, smaller, and the 12-stitch also has only two speeds.

On closer inspection, the mini doesn't come with a wall wart. One could use up a lot of batteries.

On both machines, the hand wheel is a tiny button.

Frankly, my dear, for portable, you can't beat a needle.

add snap to phone pocket of old wool jersey

I took the jersey down from the to-do hook, realized that I'd have to sew a reinforcement patch inside the jersey, and decided that the stitches going halfway across the pocket were doing just fine.  It's a pain when brushing the lint out, but a middle layer doesn't get washed all that often.

Next job is to put darts into an old pair of sweat pants to make them into slopping-around tights. I believe that I put that project on hold a tad less than a year ago, so there should be a discussion of what I'm up to in 2020SEW1.HTM.

Here we go:  I took notes on March 28.

I think I'll sew the two-inch darts an inch off center to the inside, then press them toward the outseam, so that the doubled area is centered, and the two darts are mirror images.

The first item to be disposed of when clearing off the leg board so that I could use it to mark the darts on the sweat pants was a pillow I washed a while ago, after it fell onto a wet spot on a carpet sample, and I didn't know what it was wet with. I intended to lace the holes in it to prevent loss of stuffing, then put it back into the sham-style muslin pillowcase which had been a muslin for some shams I made for the prayer room at the church when it wa Pastor Bonnie's office. After, that is, I wash the sham. I put it in the bin of towels and cleaning cloths so it would be washed with hot water and bleach.

But on inspection, I realized that those pieces of jean leg had been worn out when I made a tick of them. Nothing would do but to make an entirely new tick. This is a low-priority project because I have two other pillows that I can put under my elbows when reading in bed, so I put an ordinary case on it to keep its stuffing in its neighborhood and put it back into the closet to await laundry day for the muslin sham.

Sudden change of subject: the to-do list was cluttering up the page, so a few years ago I commented it out. (Which led to some odd effects because there had been comments *in* the to-do list, and in hypertext, comments don't nest. I think I've corrected all that.)

So the to-do list is visible only when reading the source. This has no effect on me, because I read the file with a browser only when I'm proofreading.


11 February 2021

I dumped out the pencil mug in search of my chalk pencil, which has worn shorter than the sides of the mug. While putting stuff back, I noticed that I have four chopsticks and only one dowel. So how is it that when I grabbed a chopstick at random to make a fid so I could get out of a garment with a jammed knot, I got the dowel?

Of course, the chopsticks could have been elsewhere at the time -- I've been using that fid for a long time.  Biggest usefulness to effort ratio possible in making tools:  all I did was stick it into an electric pencil sharpener.

I began by marking the center line of a leg <checks to make sure that was the front of the leg> and marking points 21 1/2" and 24 1/2" from the hem on that line.  My shaku stick is a centering ruler; marking the center line with a ruler that has zero on the end would have been fraught. Especially if the marks are a sixteenth of an inch apart. Go at once to Ben Franklin on Maui, sometime between 1960 and 1970, and buy one!

Now I need to mark lines one inch to each side of the center line. The inseam-side line is the fold line and should run straight to the 24 1/2" mark. The outseam-side line is the stitching line and should be parallell to the fold line for six inches, then head for a spot a quarter inch from the fold line at 21 1/2", then to the fold line at 24 1/2".

I think I'll baste this leg and try the pants on before marking the other leg.

Well, that was easy. At 21 1/2", the center line was a tad over a quarter inch from the fold line, so I just used the center line as a stitching line from there.

The center line should have been a eighth of an inch from the fold line at that point, but what's three millimeters on stretch fleece?

Sewn, tried on. I need a dart of the same width, but shorter and tapered more sharply, on the back of the leg. I think I will leave that until the front darts are complete.

Now to mark the other leg.

This time the fold line was about an eighth of an inch from the center line at 21 1/2".

While marking, I realized that it is going to be hard to mark the back dart with the front darts already sewn. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.


Saturday, 13 February 2021

I think I can center the back dart by folding on the center line, then flattening the dart after the manner of a box pleat.


Tuesday, 16 February 2021

I folded on the center line, but I've decided to simply fold each dart toward the outseam.

Centering the fold for the first leg occasioned a lot of feeling through the fabric for the seam, but the second leg just flopped into place.

I was dismayed, when I tried the pants on after creating the front darts, to realize that the length had been cut to fit when I'm wearing shoes; I was stepping on the hem. And, of course, slopping around pants will almost always be worn with bare feet. But now that the back darts are basted, the hem can't descend below the ankle, and the extra length is exactly enough to let me bend my knees and sit.

When trying the pants on yesterday or the day before, I stuck a safety pin in one leg where it was tight enough around the calf. This was ten inches above the hem. After folding on the center line, I made marks ten inches and four inches above the hem, then marked a line two inches from the fold, and drew a line from where this line crossed the four-inch mark to the ten-inch mark.

Lo and behold, it fits properly the first time around, so now I will press it flat and zig-zag it.

For the other darts, I sewed beside the basting first, starting (or ending; one dart was stitched in each direction) well before the dart point and centering over the fold until the right swing of the zig-zag was beside the stitching. Then the outer edge began (or ended) where the zig-zagging left the fold. (With some overlap, of course.)

All stitching done from the right side.

I stitched in reverse at the hem ends to secure the stitches.

I was nearly done picking out the neck hem of bra#1 when I noticed that the front of the bra is going to give way before the hem would have if left to its own devices.

Nothing for it but to finish the job -- and maybe get around to making a bra out of the scraps from my yellow linen jersey. I have five other bras, but except for #5 they are all about the same age.


Thursday, 18 February 2021

I turned two deprecated niqabs back into a rayon napkin and a yellow furoshiki in the dentist's waiting room. Then I began to darn a linen sweat rag, but quickly found a tangle that needed more magnification than my pocket reading glasses, and more concentration than I could give while waiting to be called. As it was, I put "Mrs. Vereker's Courier Maid" back into my attaché case unmarked. (I quickly found my place at nap time.)

I surprised at how interesting the story is, even though I know how it must end. Romances were better-written before they started mass producing them. Of course, this Victorian story has the SF charm of depicting an alien society.

I wanna go shopping in that market. I don't think my forgotten German would be a problem; one can say "I want that" by pointing and one can verify numbers by holding up fingers. Ein, zwei, drei, vier, funf, sechs (?), sieben, oct (?), neun, zehn. In those pre-inflation days, I don't think I'd have to go beyond "zwanzig", and one can get the teens by saying "zehn und".


Thursday, 25 February 2021

I've been debating whether to finish repairing the bra or make it into cleaning rags at once.

I think I want to use it to test the idea of easing the bra onto the binding at center front.

I took care of the tangle in the darning on the sweat rag by snipping it off.


Friday, 26 February 2021

Took down the jersey that matches the old T-shirt I want to add a timer pocket to, found a suitable scrap, put the rest back (reversing the positions of the brown etc. stripe and the villa olive), put the scrap on the washing-machine lid, saturated it with diluted starch.

I can't go any farther with that project until it dries, so I'm going to pick the collar band off my villa-olive dress. The band will make rather a narrow collar, but I might like a narrow collar. I'll use large stitches, just in case.


Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Roomba day in the sewing room, which meant that I had to haul everything out and then haul it back in again, but I managed to press the collar for the villa olive dress, the scrap destined to be a timer pocket on the brown etc. stripe T-shirt, and the ties of two masks that I washed yesterday.

I also finished darning the linen sweat rag and put it on the pile.


3 March 2021

If I ever make any more jerseys, they must all have separating zippers.  It's getting harder and harder to pull a shirt off over my head, and I nearly always need help getting into my linen jersey. Lovely day for a ride, and we can expect many more such days.


4 March 2021

I figured I'd get bra#1 off the pile of things to do, got the bias tape pieced and ready to pin, realized that when I'd pressed things a few days ago, I'd forgotten the bra and the neck is too rumpled to pin to.

So I set it aside and started on the collar for the dress.  First step is to sew on a piece of quarter-inch twill tape to take the stress between the ends of the collar. Much puzzling over which side to sew it to, with puzzling over how to sandwich the neck inside the collar in the background.

So I inspected the white T-shirt and found that the collar had been simply sewn to the dress, wrong side to right side, then the allowances had been turned to the inside and stitched down.

So now the collar has been sewn at the ends, turned right-side out, and basted across the ends to keep the seam slightly to the wrong side -- which was determined by which side I eased the seam toward. Then I divided the collar into eight equal parts with pins, allowing the right-side raw edge to protrude a tad beyond the wrong-side raw edge to guarantee that the underneath allowance would be hidden.

Meanwhile, the tape has been basted to the dress but not sewn.

And it's nap time.


Saturday, 6 March 2021

While I was walking home from the bank yesterday, the headband of my orange niqab annoyed me by continuously needing to be pulled up. I need to make a veil that hangs from a do-rag instead of a band.

My first thought was to use scraps from my gauze- lined linen dress, so the veil could be only one layer thick, but I could wear it only with that one dress -- and then I envisioned the outfit, and it looked really silly without a straw hat on. (And somewhat silly with.)

I can test the idea by basting a veil to an existing do-rag.


11 March 2021

Back in the saddle again. I sewed the collar to the villa-olive dress, ironed out the creases in bra#1, and pressed a crease into the collar seam. Then I considered white, ecru, and oakwood for the zig-zagging and selected oakwood, but partway through changing threads in the Necchi, it got to be lunch time.

I had a sausage melt (fried cheese sandwich with a patty of sausage on it) with lettuce and fried shallot on Martin's multi-grain bread, and it was delicious.


Friday, 12 March 2021

I finished the collar on the Villa Olive dress this morning. It needs to be at least twice as wide to look good.

I also learned that the dress displays my enormous belly to its worst advantage, so I'm not in a really-big hurry to finish the job.

The binding is sewn to bra#1, and needs only to be pressed, pinned, and top-stitched. I stretched the bias at center front as much as I could; if that takes away the out-poking, I'll bind the next new bra I make. It's about time I made the yellow bra to go with my yellow jersey -- the jersey is fraying at the back of the neck.

I have to buy a wash-out marker first -- it might be possible to get more than one bra out of the scrap.


17 March 2021

I have a wash-out marker now, but haven't taken it out of the package.  There are more kinds of wash-out marker now; the ones that I noticed are more expensive and less-suited to my purposes than the one I bought. But one or more of them was refillable.

This morning I machine-darned a frayed spot on a sweat rag -- I had dabbed the ravel with undilited starch and left it to dry on the lid of the washing machine when folding the laundry, so sewing back and forth was easy. I used the widest zig-zag and a two-and-a-half millimeter stitch. Since only a small spot was starched, I put it on the pile of sweat rags.

Then I got out the oakwood thread and started baseball stitching the slits where the hem is tearing away from the striped shirt that I'm adding a timer pocket to. It's working out much better than expected.


Thursday, 25 March 2021

Yesterday I changed the thread in the Necchi, and today, I swear, I shall sew the timer pocket to the old striped T-shirt.

I goofed in starching the pocket.  It did make it much easier to cut and will make it much easier to sew, particularly the zig-zag over the edge of the hem, but The bottom edge of a fold-bottom pocket must be scroonched a little to keep it hidden under the folded-up part, and that will be impossible with cardboard-stiff fabric. Perhaps I shall put in two gathering threads, then work the fabric a little to break up the starch, scroonch it, and press it through a damp rag to stiffen it again.

pocket pinned for first stitching

In the event, I had a better idea and simply turned the turn-under a little more.

pocket pinned for first stitching

Perhaps I should have photographed the finished pocket without putting a cell phone in it. With all that starch, you can't see why it's bulging.

I should re-photograph with the camera a bit higher and not pointing up, but I ain't gonna.

When putting it on, I found that most of a side seam of one of the smock pockets had ravelled out, so I restitched that too.

Such a worn shirt won't last long as a work shirt, but I plan to put similar pockets on my leave-the-house shirts, so can use the practice.


Saturday, 27 March 2021

loose snap on flannel nightgown

The snap had long since fallen off completely, but the other half held it secure until I got around to sewing it back on.

mark purple socks

Moment of well duh! After marking the first pair with green O.N.T., I noticed a spool of green buttonhole twist in the drawer under the Necchi. That would have been much easier to use.

There was an end of white butthole twist floating loose in the box of silk threads, so I used that to mark the other pair. Three or four stitches in the white bar tacks. I didn't count the green ones.

repair BUSTDART.HTM (broken links, no div.)

Checked, div was present, broken links were not. I must have done this and forgotten to strike it off the list.

More handwork next on the agenda, but first, a nap.


30 March 2021

Today I ironed the two niqabs that I washed yesterday.  I ironed only the headband of the gauze one.

Bra#1 has been washed twice now, and it's still a bra.

HCJ #6, side seam

I don't know when I did this. I overcast the folded edges together, as the easiest way to keep the seam flat. I'm going to have to look up the precise definition of "overhanding" to see whether that is what I did. It turned out quite well, and can't be seen unless you look for it. (On the other hand, I am due for new glasses.)

There was also a broken stitch in one of the crotch seams; I back-stitched from each side.

The needle with the current ball of white #100/6 was too thick to push through, and I replaced it with one of my new #9 needles.

I examined two needlework encyclopedias, neither of which defined the names of the stitches, and concluded that overcasting becomes overhanding or oversewing when two folds or selvages are laid one on top of the other, then overcast together not quite so tightly that one cannot open the seam and flatten it with one's thimble or thumbnail.

So "overhanding" is what I've been recommending for the miter of the handkerchief-hem corner.

But it isn't what I did to the side seam, because I kept the seam flat through the whole operation.

&& make link &&

If I worked that repair on something that would be seen, I would work from the wrong side to keep more of the thread out of sight. Or overhand it.


Thursday, 1 April 2021

While figuring out how to remove elastic from the red-ramie bra, I noticed that it's worn clear through near the dart.

So I hung it on the sleeping-bra rack and took down another. I inspected this one carefully, and it seemed worth repairing.

While hunting around in the elastic box, I found elastic that had been taken out of a worn-out bra and thought that I didn't need to look up how long to cut the elastic, but the elastic had lost its sproing and wasn't much better than the elastic that I wanted to replace, so I dropped it into the waste basket and went hunting for the bra pattern. I was much puzzled that the current version wasn't on the bra-pattern nail until I remembered putting it with the linen I intend to make my next bra from. It says that my current bras were made in 2017, so it's time to get on with making more. The three red ramie were made in 2016, but I stopped wearing them when the expensive swimsuit elastic gave out, so I think all but the one that I'd been wearing in bed will be worth repairing.

I puzzled over how to get the old elastic out -- when designing the bra, I had never considered the possibility of wanting to change the elastic.

Then I remembered buying a 2.1 mm "wig hook" at the beauty-supply store even though I have a full set of crochet hooks, just because decent crochet hooks are no longer available. I threw this one into the upper right drawer of the treadle, so it didn't disappear when I mislaid my roll of crochet hooks.

Removing the first elastic was a royal pain, but I knew what I was doing when I took out the other two.

And now I've skimmed the paper and read the Wednesday funnies and it's nap time.


Wednesday, 7 April 2021

PFD#2 bites the dust. I threw my briefs onto the typing chair instead of into the laundry sorter last night, and this morning I cut open what remained of the casings to salvage the elastic.

I looped the elastics over the frame of the hamper so they wouldn't get lost before laundry day.

Now back to the red ramie bra. I appear to have worked a bit more before nap time; one of the three elastics is inserted, one is waiting for me to sew the ends together -- something that I would not care to do while sleepy -- and one is on the leg board on the ironing board, together with the tools I'm using.

I should update "Joining Elastic" in Edge Finishes. I now use between a quarter inch and half an inch for everything.

Done. I also added the trick of skimming through the covering of the elastic instead of desperately trying to hold the thread between the two ends while matching them up and beginning to sew.

I hope it wasn't confusing.


Friday, 9 April 2021

Inserted the last elastic this morning, and now the red-ramie bra is hanging in the closet.

I continued to mark the days of the week with little squares of paper after obtaining a wash-out marker, and I may not stop:   I wanted the newly-repaired bra to be the next to be worn, so I hung it on the bottom rung and moved all the little squares down.

The needle was already threaded with waxed 100/6, so the sewing was easy. Sewing the first elastic was horrible: elastic seems to magically make twist out of nothing, so even though I dangled the thread before every stitch, I had to untangle it several times during every stitch, and hold the loop open with the needle while pulling the last bit through. Then I thought of waxing the thread and poof! Perfect behavior.

Next, I think, I'll pick the collar off the villa- olive dress and cut one that is twice as wide.

Collar off, and opened to serve as a pattern. But I'll get the villa olive off the shelf after my nap.


Saturday, 10 April 2021

I wonder what I meant to say?


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Took the Necchi to the shop today. It may take two and a half weeks. I went grocery shopping afterward, and that used up the whole day.

I wonder whether I can figure out how to thread the machine we found in the barn? And Evelyn's machine works, but probably needs a degunking after all these years.


15 April 2021

I think that instead of making a wider collar for the villa-olive dress, I'll cut down the neckband to the width of the neckband on my villa- olive T-shirt.

I can get that ready to stitch while the machine is in the shop. Can't put it on a hanger to get it out of the way, though.

Time to catch up on hand sewing.

But today, I plan to cultivate the garden.


19 April 2021

I got the villa-olive scraps down intending to cut a wider collar a while back, but I have decided that my best plan is to cut the existing collar to the width of the neckband on my villa- olive T-shirt.

Belatedly, I have realized that I could have salvaged the too-narrow collar by adding a hook and eye, thereby returning it to the original idea of a wide band -- but with a placket to open so that the elastic need not be long enough to pass over my head.

Lowery's doesn't do sleazy, but I really, really need a black veil. Perhaps I have some jersey that would do?


23 April 2021

Put the villa-olive scraps back into the closet.

The band on the T-shirt is a tad under one inch wide. I need to cut two and a half inches. The current width is four inches. That isn't removing all that much. I plan to trim both edges of the band.


25 April 2021

Back to sewing, after a fashion. Yesterday, I back-stitched a couple of inches of overlocked seam that had come undone in the armpit of one of DH's shirts the day before.

While dressing for church this morning I couldn't find my black hose anywhere, and was obliged to use my last new pair. Really the last, as the store where I used to buy knee hose has vanished.

This meant making bar tacks to show which side of each stocking is the back. The spool of orange basting thread was right where it belongs, but my thread-snipping scissors were missing from their usual place. Rather than waste time hunting for them, I used a seam ripper. When I stood up to go back to the bedroom, I saw them lying on the floor behind an unsorted book I'd brought in while tidying the parlor.


Monday, 26 April 2021

My machine is back!

And all those things I was going to get ready to stitch?

It's washday, but I did rip the seam and hem out of an old linen pillow case.

And I basted hems on the ends of a square I tore off my roll of black muslin, planning to wash it in vinegar and machine dry it in the hope that it will get soft enough to make a niquab.

Had trouble finding the black muslin; will make a note under "resumeshelf". I have a feeling that "resumeshelf" is going to follow along like my To Do list.


Tuesday, 27 April 2021

I'm washing the black muslin, and a few towels that could stand softening.

I hung the towels on the line and tumbled the muslin for an hour. It was no surprise that the muslin came out of the washer covered in lint, but when I took the hem out, I was very surprised to find the raw edge of the muslin, which had been fully enclosed inside the hem, covered with a strip of paper: white lint so firmly felted that I could peel it off in long pieces.

It's easy to see that lint inside the hem would be turned into paper, and easy to see that it would migrate down to the fold and stop in the slight fringe of the raw edge tight against the fold, but HOW DID IT GET INSIDE THE HEM????

It was uniform from end to end, save for the irregularity of the deckle edge, so it didn't come in through the open ends. And anyhow, that would have been on the other side of the raw edge, or both sides equally.

Test called on account of cat: I was nearly through zig-zagging the edges of a scrap of linen rag by way of trying out my repaired machine, but shortly after I re-threaded after using up all the thread on the bobbin of unidentified thread I was using as a spool, I was called to chase down Al, and never got back to the machine.


Thursday, 29 April 2021

This morning I measured against the orange veil and tore off a two-and-a-half-inch strip to be the band of the niqab, then tore off a thirteen-inch strip to be the veil. I'm using the full length, which is equal to the width, which is significantly more than a yard.

Then a lot of work with the whisk broom. The white marks in the creases didn't brush off, so I'm using that side as the wrong side. At least the white marks make it easy to be sure both veil and band are turned the same way.

Then I heated up the iron and ironed the orange niqab and the band of the white gauze niqab, some used tapes that I washed last week, a shirt that has been hanging around for weeks, and the band and veil. Then I triple-pressed a crease on the raw edge of the band and both ends of the veil.

Next to find the black cotton thread and re-thread the Necchi. (I've got to take the White to the shop Real Soon Now.)

Side seams sewn and pressed open and the veil is right-side out. I also pressed under a quarter inch of the ends of the band. I'd thought it was too long and would have to be cut, but it is the same length as the band on the orange niqab.

I left the light on the Necchi burning again. I expect I'll need new batteries soon. It's a pity that head lamps don't come with wall warts.


Monday, 3 May 2021

Again, bra#1 was still a bra when it came out of the washer. Again, I'm not sure it will still be a bra the next time it goes in.

I almost got my new black muslin niqab ready to wear to church yesterday. Friday and Saturday were tiring, and I didn't feel intelligent enough to attach the veil to the headband.


Tuesday, 4 May 2021

My yellow linen jersey needs washing, and there are at least two holes I need to darn before I dare to do so, and one of those holes really needs a patch, but the elastic in the pocket will make that very difficult, so I'm darning to get it through the wash. Hand wash, in a bucket.

I always *have* hand washed it, and it won't be two years old until July. I am very annoyed. I shall ask Mrs. Lowery (I will be surprised if that is really her name) to help me pick a durable yellow cotton.

It's the handkerchief pocket that has worn through. To my surprise, the pocket that I carry my keys in has held up just fine, and I didn't re- inforce it as I sometimes do. The pocket that I force my wallet in and out of is also sound. I must have been very snotty.

The other hole is in the cell-phone pocket. I think it would be easier to pick it off and make a new one than to darn or patch the hole, so I'll leave that until after I wash the jersey.

The hole in the back yoke, in the middle just below the neck, will answer best to a patch, I think.

hole in yoke of yellow linen jersey

When I noticed the collar starting to fray, I thought I'd leave it until it was non-functional, then pick off the collar and make a new one, but I doubt that that will be worth the effort with all that other wear appearing. It probably won't become non-functional anyway, because the black- linen lining is showing no signs of wear.


Wednesday, 5 May 2021

The jersey will be ready to wash after I patch the hole in the yoke.

Sorted some books and spent five minutes pushing the cultivator today; otherwise, nothing useful done.


Thursday, 6 May 2021

yoke patch basted

Baste, baste, and baste

First I took the linen scraps down, and there right on top was a strip about the right width, so I laid it against the yoke and cut off what I thought would be the right length, then took it outside and trimmed it along drawn threads.

I turned each corner down by what I thought would be a tad more than turning down the edges would take up, to make beveled corners that are less likely to tear the fabric than sharp corners, and basted them. I turned the edges under an eighth of an inch, pulling the basting out of each corner as I came to it.

I discovered, while pressing the patch, that one corner poked out where it shouldn't. I cut the basting, pressed out the crease, folded the edge properly, pressed it in, then triple-pressed without re-basting.

Folding and pinching the yoke showed that the hole was off center. I marked the center of the yoke with a wash-out pen, then matched a crease pinched into the patch to the mark and pinned.

When I basted the patch to the yoke, I noticed that the corrected fold wasn't quite as proper as I like, but didn't fiddle with it. I used a different color of thread, intending to pull out the fold-holding basting.

yoke patch basted

But when I saw that the first round of stitching would clear both bastings, I left it be. I can pull the stitches out as they get in my way when I sew the edge down.

That's a slick-on-one-side piece of cardboard inside the shirt. It was a great help in pinning and basting, and essential when I drew the stitching lines.

Now it's nap time.


Friday, 7 May 2021

I got a smidgeon more than half the inner round of stitching done before the light failed, and it took about ten minutes to finish the job this morning.

Since there should be no strain on these stitches, I indulged myself in sharp corners. But they are slightly-blunted by diagonal stitches on the back.

I used embroidery floss to get a color match. I think a double strand will hold up -- particularly since it probably won't have to hold up long. I used slightly-spaced backstitch even though a running stitch would have worked fine. Now to thread a needle and sew down the edge. I considered a sort of back-overcasting, i.e., backstitch, but going down through the yoke only, and coming up through the patch. But I think I'll backstitch this round too, just make it as close as possible to the edge.

Since I plan to wash the jersey as soon as the patch is secure -- I want it dry by morning, as I'm taking a long ride -- I'll make no effort to remove the guide marks, save by running cold water on them before putting detergent on the dirty sleeve.

Somehow it "felt right" to space the edge backstitches a little more than the first round. It took about half an hour.

The jersey is hanging in the laundry room, and appears fit to wear tomorrow.

I'm planning to stop at Lowery's to look at yellow quilting cotton.


Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Too many garage sales; I was tired when I got downtown, and didn't go to Lowery's. Perhaps next Saturday.

There is now a brand-new toothbrush in my pencil mug. I did stop at Dollar General --it's right across the parking lot from Penguin Point, where I had lunch-- and there I bought a toothbrush, but it's too big for my mouth, and having used it, I can't pass it on to someone else.

There were two sweat rags still clean when I did the the wash yesterday, so I guess I've got until the beginning of hot weather to cut up the old linen pillowcase.

David Coffin has died.


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Yesterday I buttonholed the majority of one side of the runner in one of my two pairs of silk tights. I must remember that these tights can be rolled up small to fit into a waiting-room bag.

On my previous waiting-room visit I was quite clever, and just took a needle and a ball of thread to darn the gloves I was wearing.

Bra #1 came out of the washer fuzzy around the armholes, but still a bra. It may have been worth the trouble to re-bind the neck after all.


20 May 2021

Awk scrickle! The aluminum bodkin that I keep behind the feed-drop peg on the Necchi is missing!

I hope I put it someplace safe when I took the machine in for service.

The flaw in the leg casing of HCJ#5 is geometrically impossible. I think I shall pick out an inch or two of stitching to see what is going on.

And as I was reaching for the seam ripper, Duh!  There really are two layers here:  it's the crotch lining. (Pardon me, nanny-bots: "third-piece lining".)

HCJ #5, leg casing
HCJ #4, #3, #1 broken stitch in crotch seam


Saturday, 22 May 2021

At almost nine o'clock I couldn't stand my sweat-soaked bra any longer and threw it into the bucket with my do-rag, niqab, and jersey. Then I went looking for support that wouldn't rasp the irritated skin and found the last of my interlock bras, which has been hanging in the closet for years. As I pulled it on, I heard a lot of snapping and crackling. (No pops!) I gather that the elastic has dried up. But it has enough spring-back left to keep three thick layers of cotton between my pendents and my chest, which is soothing on my galding.


Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Nope, the elastic is entirely gone; the bra works on the principle of tucking one's T-shirt under one's endowments -- more effective, and doesn't need to be undone if one needs to answer the door.

I gather that the ancient Greeks made string aprons to provide a little ventilation and soak up sweat, and that these were the "magic girdles" mentioned in the myths.

Today and yesterday have been shabby-underwear day. I always wear my HCJ briefs after washday, to finish wearing them out faster, and to make sure newer panties are available when I feel like dressing nicely. And this week Bra#1's turn came up on Tuesday and Wednesday. It now has holes in it, and I intend to throw it into the cleaning-rag bin of the laundry hamper.

It appears that I didn't make an entry on the day that I sewed the neckband together and zig-zagged it to the villa-olive dress. It would have been a grumpy entry, because I was halfway around before I remembered that I hadn't swapped out the universal needle that the repairman put in. I'm in the habit of using stretch needles for everything, to avoid just such a catastrophe, so I am not in the habit of checking. Rumor has it that knit needles make slightly joggy straight stitches by going around threads instead of through them, but I haven't noticed any problem. Perhaps universal needles are for fine sewing -- on the rare occasions when I do fine sewing, I use a John James needle.

(John James are the best of the hand-sewing needles available in these parts.)

Today I pressed the seam and pinned the free edge of the collar. Even though the dress is worn, I intend to pick-stitch it by hand. It is a dress, after all.

That was after I pressed a shirt and the short-sleeved villa-olive dress, both of which I washed on Monday.  I just discovered that I forgot to iron my orange veil while the iron was hot. I don't need it until Saturday. I still have one one-tie mask clean, but I don't like to wear it in warm weather. And the yellow plissé one-tie mask is probably clean, if I can remember where I stashed it.

And I could put in the five minutes to finish making my new black veil. It must have been lying around the sewing room for weeks.


Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Yesterday I found pattern piece LJ#8, which was easier than I thought because all the LJ pieces are on the same peg and nothing else is on that peg. Pity I sorted the peg labeled "pockets" first.

Perhaps I wouldn't have done that if I hadn't blown the "woven jersey" label off while dusting the ceiling a few weeks ago, and left it on the printer stand because I need the library stool to put it back.

Today I got down the yellow-linen scraps and sorted them on the freezer -- the only horizontal surface guaranteed to not be buried in clutter. There was nothing medium, just a few scraps too small to make a pocket and one piece that's full width (which my notes say is 52"; I didn't measure it) for forty-four inches, at least 23" for fifty- one inches, plus eight inches thread-straight and fifteen inches wide. This tab was just right for cutting the pocket, so now it's eight by nine, with a slight jog where the pocket pattern was just a smidge longer than the tab on the scrap.

I think I can get at least two bras out of the large scrap.

I no longer want a scarf, and I've already made the do-rag -- and worn it enough to get a frayed spot in one corner. I think it will last longer than the matching shirt.

I had to move my villa-olive dress to draw the threads. It has been draped over the hand-sewing rocker for weeks because I won't need it until fall, so everything else has priority.


Friday, 11 June 2021

It seemed efficient to finish the black veil before beginning work on the pocket, because I'd already changed the thread on the Necchi. I eyeballed an inch of black quarter-inch cottin tape, then cut another tab to match it.

It would be easier to sew a veil with a band attached than the sew a band with a veil attached, but I quickly saw that I needed to have the tabs sewn to the veil to be able to tell where to sew them on the band.

Sewing the tabs to the band was complicated only by finding the battery in my sewing-machine light dead, and hunting down AAA cells, but the tabs mysteriously refused to stay in the positions I'd basted them into when I was pinning the band. I basted them twice, and each time when I came to pin them, there was a quarter-inch gap between the veil and the band. I finally subdued them with a last-minute pin and took the basting out. Now to see whether the pins mysteriously shift when I am sewing -- which won't be until after my nap.

Before starting work on the black veil, I did iron my orange veil and sorta-iron a white poncho shirt, and press a quarter inch to the back at the top of the pocket and a quarter inch to the right side at the bottom of the pocket. I managed to steam the creases without getting the wash-out marks wet, by dampening a strip of press cloth well away from the scene of operation.

After I stitched the black veil (which is now hanging on the cane-bottom chair with my orange veil and my white gauze veil), I was quite pleased with how quickly my pocket became a pocket.

First I threaded the Necchi with ecru 100/6, then I stitched the ends of the hem. I folded on the hem line, put a pin in the middle, and pinned each end with the hem sticking out a little beyond the pocket, so that the seam rolled to the inside. Then I set the stitch to maximum length with no other provisions and put two gathering threads at the bottom.

I absent-mindedly cut the ends of the second gathering thread short, but I was able to catch the bobbin thread with tweezers, pull in some gathers, and push the gathers to the other side of the pocket. I pulled the bobbin thread that had been trimmed properly from both ends.

Then I pushed the corners out with my advertising- premium point turner -- I wish I could tell you where to buy one! -- and warmed up the iron to press the hem and take the puckers out of the easing across the bottom. A line of stitching across the hem, and voila! A pocket!

I left long threads to hide with a needle at the beginning of the stitching, but absent-mindedly cut the ends rather short. Much to my surprise, it was easy to thread them into a needle already stuck into the fabric, but I had to hide them separately instead of putting both threads into the needle at once.

Then: exactly how big a square do I cut for the snap reinforcement? The finished patch is one inch square, but that's on the bias.

Voila again! I opened 2019SEW2.HTM, searched for "diamond" and upon typing the "m", precise directions for making the patch popped up.

When I opened the box of line scraps, the layer on top was black linen with a label that said I'd used it to make the yellow jersey.

Then, even though I distinctly remembered using my last large snap for the jersey, I opened my box of snaps and found half of a large snap, it was the correct half, and it fits the snap sewn to the jersey.

And it's only 4:34.

I was intending to say that knocking my Grabbit off a table and scattering bits of pink plastic over the floor was an exception to things going well, but when I got around to picking it up, I found that the two halves snapped back together and it works as well as ever. I wish that I'd taken a better look at the magnet while it was open, but when I fitted the pieces together, I wasn't expecting them to go.

Basting the patch was fussy, fussy, pick it out, and fussy, and I still had to do a bit of needle- pushing at each corner when I put in the final stitches, but I remember that the original was that way too.

I've decided to use the original snap after all -- the very next step after sewing the snap on is to pick off the old pocket -- so why not do that first?

Back to the porch while the light lasts.


Saturday, 12 June 2021

I finished the job on time and wore the shirt today. But I also need to patch the shirt under the back pockets. I frisked Lowery's for yellow fabric before buying #4 snaps.

Went to put them away and found that I still have two #4 nickel-colored snaps from the previous card. Ah, well, snaps keep well, and I did need the black ones.

Lots of urgent garden chores; I may not get back to sewing soon.

When I brushed the lint out of the pockets before putting my sweaty shirt into a bucket of water, I found that the notebook pocket is also wearing thin.


30 June2021

Darned pocket in jersey using weak thread, glasses case as darning egg, fate of thick-fabric jersey


Friday, 23 July 2021

Long time no sew, it would appear.

Since the back pockets of the yellow jersey are doing fine, the previous post must refer to the darn in the glasses/handkerchief pocket of the taxicab jersey, which I'm trying to make last until fall. I put iron-on patches under darned slits, and a smaller iron-on patch over a hole that got a patch under it on a previous occasion.

I remember posting something about what shall I do when I've used up all the sleazy, loosely-woven iron-on interfacing but it's not here. Where *else* would I comment on that?

I think that "fate of thick-fabric jersey" was meant to be a reminder to say that the yellow jersey is too warm, and I plan to put the two extra rows of elastic back into the wrists, and wear it only in cold weather, over warm underwear. Had a chance to buy four yards of lightweight yellow linen at a website reccommended by a poster on Creative Machine, but was too booked at the time to take time figure out the website, and it's probably sold by now.

There is also a small hole worn through by the corner of the notebook; I wonder (knock wood) why there are no signs of wear in the pocket that I put knives and keys and stuff into. It *is* very dirty.

Oops. I checked the to-do list and "patch back pockets of yellow jersey" is on it. The pockets are fine, but the shirt under them is worn through.

I sat down here to scratch "mend clothespin" bag off my list. I'd meant to take before and after pictures, and find the worn-out bag it was copied from, and create a sub-file on shoulder bags, but this afternoon I just dumped the pins onto the counter and zig-zagged the broken seam.

Some stitches had broken in the seam joining the mesh bag with the canvas upper. With a free-arm machine, it was easy to overlap the free edges (it had been a lap seam to begin with) and zig-zag along the edge of the mesh, then turn it inside out and zig-zag along the edge of the canvas.

For good measure, I overcast the frayed edges of the hem. This gave me an idea: if I make this bag again, after hemming the canvas, I should bind the edge of the hem, using long stitches so that when the binding wears through, I can pick it off and have a bag as good as new.

I really should write an essay about that pattern.


Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Previous post written here because I forgot to modify the shortcut to 2021SEW, but I'll leave it because it discusses the last post in June. #


&& closet cleaning begun

Villa Olive on brown, grey, black, and white stripe. I could get at left half and right half, needed to be in middle.

took brown, grey, black, and white stripe out from under Villa Olive

23 April 2021

Now the Villa Olive is back on top of the brown etc. stripe.

26 April 2021

The black muslin is behind "notions", "tape winders", and the wooden cigar box.


6 September 2021

I bagged up the blue interlock and the maroon interlock to take to Goodwill.


8 September 2021

ditto the greenish-yellow interlock.

Villa Olive now bottom layer of stack to the right of the waffle knit.

&& &&

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