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2023 Sewing Log


Monday, 2 January 2023

10:35 PM 1/2/2023

Meant to do some pressing today, but clearing the ironing board brought my attention to an old T-shirt that I mean to downcycle into a much-needed dirty-work shirt by adding a timer pocket.

The note pinned to it said to repair a couple of places where the hem had come undone, and I thought, hey the machine is already set up with thread suitable for that from sewing the beta pair of yellow cotton briefs.

Sat down to mark the places that needed repair and discovered that the entire hem needed to be picked out, and sewn back wider to cover the frayed edge.  So I did that, brushed off the snippets with my horsehair brush, then dabbed all around the hem with diluted bottle starch and hung it up to dry.

The sponge I dabbed with had rotted at the middle, so I put it on the compost plate -- it's cellulose, so will be good for soil -- found the sponge I'd cut it from, and cut three slices to put into the syringe jar where I'd found the rotten one.

The sponge was discolored in the middle.  I think I must have spilled bottle starch on it; my starch turns that color when rotten.

Which is why I cut three slices.  I expect that I'll use each one only once before tossing it.

Now I need to iron the starched hem tomorrow, along with the white shirt I washed a couple of washdays ago and the seams in the veil I started a while back.  I'd like to finish the veil in time to wear it on Wednesday; I'm tired of wearing the white one inside-out to hide the mysterious stain.


Thursday, 5 January 2023

5:12 PM 1/5/2023

I'm wearing the new old shirt now.

I marked "bar tack pocket" off the note pinned to it because I examined all the bar tacks and they were good.  But yesterday, I noticed that a corner of the right pocket was dangling down, and there was a patch ironed on to the back.  The patch hadn't stuck, and it still isn't stuck even though I pressed it through a wet cloth, but the mending stitches will hold it.

(Did I examine one pocket twice?)

I got the villa olive scraps down; they appear to be enough for at least one more T-shirt.  Went through the small scraps folded inside, selected one just a tad bigger than was needed, re-folded everything and put it away.

When I started to cut the pocket, the scrap turned out to be a tad smaller than what was needed, but rather than climb up on the Kik-Step and get the scraps back down, I made it work.

The pocket is a tad big for my shoulder, but the busy print disguises that.  I think that next time I add a pocket, instead of trying to make room for my phone in the timer pocket, I'll sew a snap on one of the smock pockets.


Friday, 6 January 2023

I've plugged the light into the outlet that can stand high current, but I can't warm up to climbing up on the KikStep and plugging the iron in.  You'd think I'd be more eager to get my new veil.

Perhaps it's the distraction of the wash.  I think I'll calculate how much pink cotton-linen I need to reel off for my new jersey.  I'm pretty sure I was forethoughtful enough to make a note and leave the note with the yellow linen scraps.

And I could mend the split seam in my "banana" wool jersey.

1:06 PM 1/6/2023

Wash done, lunch eaten.  I'm going to mend the jersey and go to bed.

5:17 PM 1/6/2023

Well, I got out the tools for mending the jersey.

In the afternoon, I used up all the light trying to thread the needle.  I had on my +4 reading glasses, and the light was still good (at first), so I could clearly see the thread jump aside as it approached the eye.  Eventually the thread zigged when the smart money was on zag (to quote _Emergence_) and I was able to backstitch the fell, but by then, I had to sit under a lamp.


Tuesday, 10 January 2023

The smaller scrap yielded four crotches and one crotch lining.  I haven't cut them out yet, as they will be easier to keep track of all in one piece.

Yesterday I unrolled as much jersey as the card tables would allow (which is just enough to cut a row of backs comfortably), and spray it with water until well damp.  It relaxed overnight and is now ready to mark for cutting, but I'm going to take a nap instead.  I think that I can dampen the next row without disturbing the water- erasable marks, so I plan to lay out everything before cutting anything.

I think that once I have four fronts and four backs, I'll cut them out and pin them to the four crotches.  A smaller piece of fabric will be easier to handle.

Of course, I will have to mark three crotch linings too.

In marking the smaller scrap, I made a mistake and had to wet a finger-wrap of washrag to erase it.  I had to leave some of what intersected correct marks, but there won't be any confusion in cutting.

Afterward, I discovered that if a rag is just barely damp, you can wipe wash-out marks off paper without damaging the paper, so now my crotch and crotch-lining patterns look much better.

Those patterns were made from an old file folder, and might be more resistant to damage than Dollar Tree posterboard.  [When writing that, I forgot that the front pattern is on thin corrugated cardboard and the back is a piece of desk calendar.]  

Thursday, 12 January 2023

12:21 PM 1/13/2023

Marked the second and third backs, then cut the four backs off the main piece, but left them in two pieces.

Measured the fabric while putting it back on the card tables:  a tad more than three yards full width.

I did today's marking and cutting on the freezer, which has a brilliant light above it.


Friday, 13 January 2023

4:36 PM 1/13/2023

The freezer has better light than the card tables, and it doesn't have a crack in the middle, but if I lose my grip while working on the card tables, the fabric doesn't fall into an uncleanable slot and get unutterably filthy.

I've marked three fronts and two crotch linings, and I'm about to cut them off the main piece.

5:10 PM 1/13/2023

This row remained connected, but I had to make a point of it.

I shook it well and added it to the pile of briefs parts.  Shaking and the air compressor got most of the cobwebs off, but a lot of what I blew off with the compressor made a bee line for the uncleanable slot.  Blowing down into the slot doesn't seem to make the dirt inclined to leave.

There's two yards and a foot left now.  I must iron the lengthwise edges before marking any more.  It won't flatten them, but it will make it easier to uncurl them.

I don't think the cut making the tube into flat fabric was precisely on-grain, but it's the only grain guide that I have.

I believe that I'll cut out each piece just before sewing it to another piece.


Saturday, 14 January 2023

5:20 PM 1/14/2023

While undressing after today's ride, I noticed that the fell of the shoulder seam on the other side of my tight wool jersey also needs to be re-stitched.

Someday, when I have some spare time and ambition, I'll work a point d'Venise darn over the stain on the front of that jersey.


Monday, 16 January 2023

I pressed the curled edges of the fabric, which will make it easier to uncurl them when marking.

One of the factory-cut edges is dramatically ragged, the other is fairly straight.  Shouldn't each tab on the ragged edge be matched by a hollow on the other, and each hollow matched by a tab?

I didn't get to the pressing until afternoon, but I did iron the pockets and hem of my new old shirt while I had the iron hot, so it's ready to wear again.

It wasn't very bright of me to make an old shirt that has to be ironed, but it's only the smock pockets that require it.  The timer pocket would have been improved by a swat of the iron, but I didn't think of it.


Wednesday, 18 January 2023

This morning I marked three fronts, and began the next row without cutting off, because the scrap is now short enough to pleat up on the back of the freezer lid without too much danger of slithering into the slot.

After marking a back and a front, I got hungry and wanted into the freezer, so that's probably it for today. I want my nap now.

I was thinking that I could mark the rest of the fabric without cutting off, but I'm starting to get confused. I think I'd better start organizing the pieces into sets. I think I'll sew a crotch to each of the fronts, and pin a crotch lining and a back to each set.

I may embroider my monogram on the beta pair -- it looks like a "B". I'll mark the rest with resistor-code bar tacks. Don't know how I'll mark #4! (yellow on yellow)


19 January 2023

Four backs sewn to four crotches are on the sewing machine. I pinned numbers to four fronts and three crotch linings.

I think I'll mark crotch linings only when there isn't quite enough room for crotches, until I have a crotch for every back. If I come up short, I can use a different fabric for the linings. I have some of the hemp-cotton jersey that is good for linings, and there might be some small pieces of the thin white HCJ I got when I tried to buy more of the coarse unbleached hemp-cotton jersey, and made into the briefs that I'm now replacing. And I think that there is some white PFD cotton jersey also.

There are nearly two yards beyond the two rows marked on the big scrap, and the two rows don't come to much more than two feet. Three rows would be nine half pairs.

I'm going to have a *lot* of these panties! I do hope they aren't too skewed.

make pillowcase to fit small feather pillow

The two pieces I cut off body-pillow cases when we threw out the body pillows need only to be hemmed. The plaid is ugly, but my eyes will be shut when I'm using the pillow, and the fabric is very soft.

I'll remember the name of that fabric any day now. It's Indian, and it's supposed to bleed.

*** evening

Madras! Probably fake, since I didn't pay a lot for it, but even the fake is obsolete now. And it doesn't bleed, according to Wikipedia, unless you mistreat it. Which may be why mine hasn't bled. It has faded some.

I have numbers pinned to eight fronts and four backs. The backs are "5" to "8", since I've cut out four. Also two crotches (5 & 6) and three linings. Since I used #2 pencil to mark the fronts and linings, I used a red Sharpie to write on the paper I'm pinning to the backs and crotches.

The paper I'm using tears neatly into eight squares, so I mark all of them and those that haven't been torn off yet help me keep track of what I still need to cut.

Sewing these things is going to be anti-climactic.


20 January 2023

Oops! I realized this morning that crotch #6 was actually lining #4. I corrected that, then cut out back #5 and crotch#5 and sewed them together.

No other sewing done. I think I'll cut the marked rows off to make it easier to mark the rest.


I cut off two of the three marked rows, leaving a marked row to guide the next.

Until today I've been placing patterns by measuring from the edge or a reference line to the center line at the bottom, then measure at the top and nudge it to match, nudge at the bottom, nudge at the top ... nudge, and when they finally match, find that the pattern must be shifted up or down. When finally in place, I would mark the ends of the center line so I could draw the notches for matching seams/turning hems, and after drawing around the pattern, mark both notches at once by drawing a line across the pattern.

Today I drew two reference lines, one two feet from the edge and the other two feet from that. Then I placed the pattern, measured, and drew the center line by measuring from the reference line. Then I could just lay the pattern on the center line and draw around it. More often than not, I got the center line wrong the first time, but with the wrong line as a guide, it was easy to draw a right one, then mark arrowheads at each end of the line that should be used in sewing.

I've marked a row of three fronts and a crotch, and the first back of the next row. With my newly-sane method, I should get the next two backs marked before I have to turn into a cook even though I took time out to write this.

6:45 p.m.

Only one back, because of some colorful language when I brushed against the dangling fabric halfway through marking. When I went out to mark the third back, I discovered that I was too stupid to mark the centerline, so I folded up.

Still need to pin on some numbers and mark some arrows. Nap doesn't matter, but I've been alternating right-side-up and up-side-down for economical cutting, and that triggers the habit of marking arrows that all point to the same end of the fabric.

I plan to match arrows when sewing fronts to backs as much as I can. I also arrow the crotches and crotch linings, but no matter what, the crotch is going to match nap at one end and not match at the other.

Eight plus three is eleven. I may make all of the remaining fabric into crotches and crotch linings.

But if I make it an even dozen, I think there will still be plenty of fabric left.


Monday, 23 January 2023

No sewing done on Sunday, but I did draw nap arrows on everything and pin numbers to the marked pieces. After seeing a red 8 on the pincushion and wondering whether that was for a back or a crotch, I put "C" or "L" on half the new number tags that I made.

This morning I put away the clothes I washed yesterday. I think I'll cut out crotch #6 and back #6 and sew them together, then mark some more crotches.


I absent-mindedly cut out front #8 instead of back #6. When I went looking for back #6, I found that I'd pinned its tag to front #9. When the dust settled, I had twelve fronts and the back I was too stupid to mark is only #10. Fortunately, there is enough fabric to mark two more backs. Six more crotches, I'm not quite sure.


After marking back #10, I cut out back #7, since it was an inconvenient tab dangling off the fabric and I planned to sew it pretty soon. After marking backs #11 and #12, there is room for one more back or front in that row, but the next row is too narrow -- but plenty wide for cutting crotches.

I think that I can cut six crotches without encroaching on the end of the two-back row. Then I'll sew them to the six remaining backs and use up the already-marked linings before marking more linings. The clearing of the card tables is in sight!

But I really, really need to buy groceries and cat food tomorrow.

It has been years since I could do more than one thing a day. When I was first married, I would walk to a grocery a mile away, walk back carrying two gallons of milk or one grocery bag that I would balance on my head when nobody could see me, put on my apron, and start the day's work. Nowadays, driving to a grocery *is* a day's work.


Wednesday 25 January 2023

I've been noticing my diminishing supply of pins with some wonder, but not until I wondered whether I had enough to pin crotch #7 to back #7 without raiding the box did I realize that I have forty-eight number tags pinned to pieces.

Minus eight lining tags.

I marked five crotches this morning, but rumpled the cloth while marking #12 and messed it up enough that I had to erase most of it. That, of course, left the fabric damp. I figured it would dry while I was sewing #7 and maybe cutting out #8, but it was lunchtime and some dishes had to be washed and I was due for a nap, so I'm quite sure that it's thoroughly dry now. (3:09 p.m.)

7:36 p.m.

All twelve crotches sewn to all twelve backs, and a lining pinned to back #1. Much of this was done in the afternoon and evening, so I have hope of sewing the four marked linings after my appointment tomorrow.

Then I can make quite sure that the number of fronts matches the number of backs and mark more linings.

I lacked only one pin of having enough to pin crotch #7, but with the eight unpinned tags in mind, I took all the pins that stuck together and that turned out to be eleven.

Fancy B for beta? Why not a simple *black* bar tack for zero? I'll make two, crossed to make an X, just for emphasis. Or maybe a +.


Friday 27 January 2023


Couldn't sleep, got up at one to read Friday's funnies.

Yesterday afternoon, I sewed the lining I'd pinned, and cut out the lining I marked on the smaller scrap where there wasn't quite enough room for a fifth crotch. After supper, I felt stupid, so back #2 and the lining are still lying on the open drawer of the typewriter stand. (An old typewriter stand from after they added a heavy motor to typewriters and before the platen stopped thumping back and forth makes a perfect sewing- machine table.)


27 January 2023

10:17 AM 1/27/2023

Ooops! When I sat down to pin lining #2, I found that the crotch had been sewn right side to wrong side, and had to pick it out. And the stitching I had to pick out was perfect!

It didn't take *too* long by the peel back, snip, peel back other side method, but having to snip this pair off the chain after I re-stitch the crotch is going to mess up my filing system.


Saturday, 28 January 2023

10:32 AM 1/28/2023

Sewed lining three, cut out and sewed lining four.

Then I counted the twelve backs, first by counting three in this string, three in this string, six in this string, then by checking the pinned-on numbers to see that all were there and in order.

Now to count the fronts, then start marking the other eight linings.

11:04 AM 1/28/2023

Cat washed, pillowcases installed, filthy comforter discussed (spouse is proving that it will too fit into the washing machine), fronts counted, scrap on freezer, marking pen and rotary cutter in pocket.

I first counted, then checked that the numbers were all there. Definitely twelve.

12:09 PM 1/28/2023

Instead of cutting, I changed the mat under the cat's food and swept the carpet around the food and the litter box. Then I was hungry, and now it's nap time.

It looks as though about six linings can be cut from the remaining scrap.

6:32 PM 1/28/2023

[put pictures here] Yup, six linings.

I absent-mindedly cut out lining #7 instead of #5. Easily dealt with by swapping number tickets, I thought, but the arrow lining I cut points the opposite way to the arrow on crotch #5, so I cut out what had been #6, and shuffled the tags around.

Then I took the fleece quilt off the card tables, put it on the bed, and put the cutting mat and linings on the card tables. I don't think I'll do any pinning, sewing, or cutting tonight.

Might see whether Windows Explorer can get pictures out of my camera. It won't be as easy as using Z-Tree, but Z-tree died with computer JOY98.


Monday, 30 January 2023

The last few entries have mysteriously vanished. Oh, how I hate working with a crippled computer, and above all, how I hate Explorer's imprecise drag-and-drop way of moving/copying files!

And now I'm too bummed to write today's entry.

15:00 - 3:00 p.m. - after my nap

When it was time to sew lining #9, both of the remaining crotches were napped the opposite way to back #9. Doesn't really matter, but after a moment of thought, I cut out both and put #10 with the #10 back.

Then I got the coarse hemp-cotton jersey out of the briefs box, and put the small pieces on the pile I intend to put into the pocket-scraps box when I bring the KikStep in here. Which will be after I stop adding scraps to the pile.

I was a bit surprised to see that the jersey had been shipped as a tube, not sliced open, which is one of the reasons that I regret not being able to buy more.

I marked and cut out a lining, then pinned the #9 tag to it and pinned the #11 and#12 tags to what had been #9.

After sewing #9 and #10, I cut out one more crotch and put the remaining HCJ (that's what it says on the shipping bag, which is still in the box) back into the briefs box. This box now contains only that scrap and the paper patterns I made my trace- around patterns from. It will probably be four years before I open it again.

Then I laid eleven and twelve on the ironing board and spread out the fronts on the card tables. Front #1 has the nap arrows pointing in the same direction as back #1, so I may get through this without shuffling tags.

With the snow and the even overcast, there was good light in the parlor, so I did all of today's cutting on the card tables.

Now to copy this file into PAGESEW and upload it to the Web. Oh, man, I miss Z-Tree.


1 February 2023

In the intervals of a load of wash, I sewed front #1, which I pinned yesterday, cut out and attached #2, and cut out #3. I was wise to postpone cutting; edges that were cut earlier are curling enthusiastically. The light was good, so I cut #3 on the hard-top card table. I used the smaller mat and made the first cut separate this front from #4, so that I could turn the piece this way and that to keep all of the edge I was cutting on the mat.

The more-expensive padded-top table is worn; the cheaper hard-plastic top looks brand new. Except for needing a good scrub.



For raw content see: sewing diary 2022 list of changes to site 

For *really* raw content see: 


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