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2024 Sewing Log

January – July


Monday, 1 January 2024

Won't be uploading this before tomorrow; the internet is down.

Since I can't read my funnies, I examined the acid-burned reusable bags, and decided that the worst-damaged bag would be the easiest to repair, since the damage is all on the bottom, and it was the least worn before the incident.

I need to take out the overlocked seam that wasn't eaten up by acid, and the seam ripper on the sewing machine is hopelessly dull.

So I found one in the spare tool arm of the futon; it's even duller. It appears to be one that I bought in a bag of second-hand tools.

So I brought in a table and started taking stuff out of the futon arm. Pretty soon I found an antique bone crochet hook, stopped to put it into the wooden cigar box, and wrote this entry

I'll be tacking stuff onto the bottom of the 2023 file until I create 2024.

I still haven't closed out 2022.

Found a #00 Boye steel hook, which I put into my roll of crochet hooks.


Thursday, 4 January 2024

Prolonged waiting-room sit got YD#11 and YD#12 out of my go bag. Started pinning casings for #12, but the first leg used up all my pins. Just as well, as I was called after I packed up and before I could get out a book. I had just got back from the ladies' room, which is even better timing.

I worked the second bar tack of the last inventory mark from the wrong side, which made it much neater on the right side. Alas, there are no more inventory marks in my forseeable future.


Tuesday, 9 January 2024

I found an essay on adding pockets to sewn clothes while searching the needlework box for "How to Stop Knitting". It's near the bottom.

Also found dummy type for an issue of the Banner that included instructions for making a loom out of two combs and some cardboard.

Found "How to Stop Knitting" and stopped looking. I must return to this box.

This article would make a very good Web page, but ye cats! it would take a long time to punch it in. I wonder whether my scanner is compatible with character recognition, and whether character recognition is compatible with any computer I have access to?


Wednesday, 10 January 2024

My scanning program makes a PDF that supports keyword search. That would be good enough, I think, but I don't know how to concatenate, so I'd have to do all the scanning in one sitting.

Today's project is to replace the worn overtick on my feather pillow. I had in mind printed upholstery fabric, and found one suitable in the stash closet, but I've settled on white cotton twill. After taking out canton flannel, which is twill on one side. I'm glad to find that I didn't use it all up after all, as the duck cover on my ironing board is getting worn.

(Time out to get my medical history taken.)

It was quite a struggle to get the twill (not to mention the studied and rejected fabrics) out of my jammed stash closet. I've got to use up some of that stuff. After I unfolded it to eight layers, it measured one yard six inches. I've got a *lot* of that twill! I think I saw a bargain and bought a lifetime supply.

It has good selvages, which is quite rare these days. One selvage has tufts to show where the shuttle of thread was used up. It's a yard and twenty-six inches wide. One end is thread straight.

Measure, snip, draw thread -- do I have to re-fold to the new length, or will I be able to use the old folds?

[I was, which was a great relief -- fabric exactly as wide as I am tall is not easy to fold.]

Measured pillow against the fabric, marked, snipped one inch beyond the mark.  The location of my six-inch ruler wasn't immediately apparent, so I used my blue-plastic measuring dinger.


11 January 2024

Correction: the white cotton twill has an unusually-neat tuck selvage. I can feel the fuzzy line, but need magnifying glasses to see it.

The straightening strip is seven inches wide at one end. I presume the end that still has the pre-washing zig-zag on it is equally crooked, but I don't forsee cutting from both ends.

Puzzling over how to cut the case square: I need to measure the width against the cut edge, deduct one seam allowance, fold at the mark, and snip at the edge of the selvage.

Found the stainless-steel pocket ruler in the pencil mug where it belongs.

The selvage is a hairsbreadth wider than my proposed half-inch seam allowance, but that will be lost in the noise.


Friday, 12 January 2024

I didn't notice until I'd sewn it up and basted the seam allowances of the opening that this overtick is a *long* way from being square. The case is a tad over seventeen and a quarter inches wide, as it ought to be, but only twelve and a half inches long and won't even think about going onto the pillow.

I can't imagine how I could have made such a gross mistake. But at least there is plenty of the strip that I cut off to cut another one.

*After* my nap.

All measurements include seam allowances.

I found the headlamp dead when I tried to use it to thread the sewing-machine needle, it wasn't long ago that I changed the batteries, and I'm quite certain that I double-checked to make sure it was off the last time I used it.

The *last* time. If I have to have new batteries for every use, this light is of no use, and the floor lamp works quite well. So I took it off, but I put it into the synthetic-thread drawer of the treadle instead of the trash.


Sunday, 14 January 2024

put elastic in necks of white silk T-shirts Deep scoop necks are appropriate for a base layer.

I have measured the replacement tick, but I'm not cutting anything until after my nap.

Good thing the error was as egregious as it was -- there is only an inch and a half left of the scrap.


Wednesday, 17 January 2024

Finished the twill overtick today, and have the old overtick soaking in a bucket. Good that I decided to wash it before putting the new overtick over it -- the water is very dirty, and I plan to soak it in a fresh batch of ammonia water before rinsing it.

It is much too worn to put through a washing machine.

After much study of my stash, I selected the same drab madras the old pillowcases were made from to make new cases for my small feather pillow.

I'll be using a kapok pillow while the under-overtick is wet. Or I may forage around for the large feather pillow.

I machine-basted the seam allowances of the opening to make it easier to sew shut.  The opening of the old overtick had been sewn with admirable large yellow overcast stitches; I shall do the same for the new overtick when re-assembling the pillow.

It proved impossible to machine sew the allowances of the parts of the seam that had already been sewn without catching layers that ought not to be sewn, so the ends were basted by hand. I secured one end by taking small stitches and the other by stitching over the machine stitches.

I had stitched around the corner when sewing up the sides, to make it easier to close the opening.

I hope to make new pillowcases before the old overtick is dry. But right now, it's time for a nap.


Thursday, 18 January 2024

I used all of the remaining full-width madras. It's now a rectangle with one selvage edge, two torn edges, and one edge cut along a stripe to remove the overcasting from when the madras was washed. The straighening strip was nowhere very wide. Oh, I miss Phoenix Textiles!

I plan to tear it into two pillowcases -- after taking a nap.

The current soaking of the old overtick isn't putting out as much dirt as the first two or three. I think I'll spin it out in a few hours, then rinse.

Rinsing done and the under-overtick is hung up to dry.

Washed clothes today; somewhat to my surprise, the faded pillowcase was still a pillowcase when it came out of the washer.

I used to have it on a pillow I carried in the car, when I frequently sneaked out of noisy parties to take a nap, and the sun faded it right through the duck pillow-carrying case. But part of the case was folded between the pillows and isn't sun-rotted. I kept the wool blanket between the pillows so it wouldn't be damaged.

It's a tad large for the small pillow, so I decided to tear off the worn-through parts and re-stitch. Turned out that the fabric is so rotted that it wouldn't tear straight and I ended up cutting along the print with the tiny scissors I'd brought to make starting snips. It was wierd; I could *feel* the warp threads. I wonder why the weft got so weak while the warp actually felt stronger than usual -- primarily, I suppose, because the threads weren't tied together by the weft threads and I could feel them individually.

It tore quite neatly in the other direction, but I had to pick out the seam. It is draped over the sewing machine awaiting further attention.

I have an admirable project for the go bag: socks that I won't need before May. These were my first socks, and I was so eager to get to the heel that they haven't any ankles. Very small, will take a long time to darn, and it's white on white. I must refill the pill pouches of white medici in the "wool jersey" Altoids box.


Saturday, 20 January 2024

Morning spent visiting with my niece and and shopping at the Winter Market.

When it was time to change into my old sweat pants (sitting at the computer wears out the fronts of the thighs, so I prefer not to wear leaving-the-house pants in the evening) I was reluctant to take off my shoes in order to change, and the sweats had been irritating my itchy ankles, so I took out the back (shorter) dart on each leg. They are much more comfortable now.

It proved easy to cut the black-on-black stitches when the seams were stretched crosswise, not so easy to stretch the seams without touching off my trigger finger.

(Obligatory complaint:  "Getting old ain't for sissies.")

There's a prolonged discussion of putting that dart in beginning on 28 March 2020.


22 January 2024

I finally put the old overtick back on the small feather pillow, then put the new overtick over it.

I sewed the old overtick with orange thread and the new one with beige, since those spools had needles attached.

I noticed that I hadn't adjusted the tension of thet Necchi as well as I might have when making the overtick. But that seam doesn't feel any strain, and won't be washed very often.

I appear to be recovering from whatever I came down with yesterday, but I think I'll have another nap before making new pillowcases.

But not before repairing the old pillowcase.

The edge that I tried and failed to tear was unbearably irregular, so I trimmed it with a rotary cutter. I tried first to mark a line to cut along, but the fabric kept slithering around and putting the line in the wrong place, so I used the print as a guide directly.

Complete, back on the pillow, and the case that was on it in the wash. I didn't bother to open the hem and sew it properly because this case won't wear long enough to be worth the trouble, and cases washed inside-out fold more neatly when the side seam is left sticking out. Some folks use french seams for pillowcases, but I consider them lumpy and just let the fringes hang out when I salvage an old hem. Not to mention that you still have fringes poking out of the ends of the french seams. [Unless you hand-sew the ends of each tube.]


Wednesday, 24 January 2024

Casings of YD#12 sewn, ready to insert elastic, then mend the gaps in #12 and #11.

I was puzzling over a way to make the mends unobtrusive, yet easy to find in case I need to change the elastic. Finally the dime dropped and I'm darning in a short piece of orange thread on the inner side of the casing at each gap. Poking my <&&&>seam-flattening bodkin in through the gap keeps me from sewing the two sides together.

When I thought about writing this, I realized that I'd been doing what I did with my first batch of 4-H cookies. [That would have been during my twelfth summer.] I was trying desperately to make the cookies smaller and also make them exactly the same size as the previous sheet of cookies. I was almost out of dough before I realized what I was doing, but I did get three cookies to exhibit.

When I was setting up to sew yesterday, I worried over whether I'd have to resort to using the brighter yellow thread before the job was done. Then I realized that the needle thread is on the side that doesn't show, and decided to use the bright yellow spool from the get-go, so I wouldn't have to change in the middle of a seam. Also, if I used up the bobbin, I'd have light yellow thread to rewind with.

I belive the sparse spool would have lasted three short seams even though I was sewing a wide zig-zag, but this way I didn't have to worry about it.


Friday, 26 January 2024

YD#12 and YD#11 are complete and in the drawer.

I think there would have been plenty of light-yellow thread.

Aside from the pillowcases, which have not yet been hemmed, it appears that only darning and an urgent button-sewing are on my immediate agenda.


Tuesday, 30 January 2024

And an urgent snap-tightening. I've put the envelope of silk thread into the ticket pocket of my go bag, since I'll have the bag with me if I'm wearing the shirt.

This entry makes the backup now copying obsolete. I'm going to put it into the tin of thumb drives anyway, with today's date on it.

While waiting for backup of a different folder, I started work on darning Dave's turnout stockings so I can wear them with my three-sock sandals. These are all damage holes (m*ths?) in the legs. If I ever wear through the sole, I will pick out the grafting that runs through the middle of the sole, unravel the damage, and re-knit the soles. The pattern is in one of Zimmerman's books, possibly _Knitter's Almanac_.

Yep, November.

There is gray yarn in the box marked "Crewel & Persian + 5 bamboo needles", but I really needed to take down the box marked "Persian Projects/Alpaca Yarn/wool jersey parts" -- at the bottom of the stack in the corner, of course. I did a lot of re-organizing that should have been done long ago -- and which will need to be re-done when I put the darning-and-crewel box back.

It turned out that the only persian project was a pair of stockings that I began to use up small balls of pastel yarn, and intend to turn into stocking caps. I re-wrapped everything more logically, filling the laundry basket with wrinkled bandanas in the process, pinned labels to the bundles, and put new labels on the box. This time I put them on the outside corner so I can read them when stuff is piled up next to the box.


Monday, 5 February 2024

When re-organizing the out-of-season drawer, I found a wonderful real-wool sweater, knitted to shape, made before merino became the only wool available -- and so riddled with moth holes that I couldn't even try it on to see whether it is too tight. I soaked it a couple of days in the hope of drowning moth eggs, with vinegar in the first change of water, and put it into the wool-scraps box.

We used to have some moth balls around here some place . . .

Yesterday I wound off several needles of white medici and put them into a "pill pouch" in the tin box marked "wool jersey" so I'd have plenty to darn the white sockies in my go bag. Might have occasion if I arrive early for my eye stick, but of course can't sew while waiting to be picked up.

While dressing for church, I discovered a hole in the leg of my Sunday hand-knit socks. I'm sure there is plenty of black medici in my go bag, but I haven't put the socks in.

While organizing for today (Two appointments!) I looked into the attaché case and found silk tights and the other pair of black socks. Also magazines and bottled water.


Tuesday, 6 February 2024

I'm wearing YD#11 today. When I put them on, I found a construction tag pinned inside.

No appointments today for a change. I washed a muslin sheet and some towels and rags.


Saturday, 10 February 2024

I hemmed up Dave's new Amazon Essentials pants yesterday. The first spool I took out of the drawer was a perfect match, but of course I looked at all the others.

When I was stitching across the under-the-foot scrap after changing the thread, the needle hit something and broke. I never did figure out what, but turned the handwheel a lot while sewing.

Never did persuade the floor lamp to shine on the needle. This morning I noticed that the machine had crept far to the left, so that the middle was directly in front of me instead of the needle. I think that that was the problem.


Sunday, 11 February 2024

Hoo, hah, when did I find time to write yesterday?

I did some darning on the white sock during our second trip to the emergency room. I stretched it over the egg very firmly because the sock is a teeny bit too short, and that broke the thin yarns connecting the sides of another hole. This one is large enough to allow considerable fudging of the darn, but I'd have rather broken the yarns on purpose.

I had just re-threaded the needle when the doctor came back, so I put it into the "wool jersey" altoids box instead of trying to secure it in the sock.

Aha! I just remembered that I closed this file when Dave said we had to go to the emergency room.


Tuesday, 13 February 2024

11:25 AM 2/13/2024: While sorting papers, I noticed a yellow thread on the floor beside the monitor stand. It was the needle that I keep stuck under the label of the yellow-orange basting thread. I paused the paper sorting to put it away, and got so involved in tucking a scrap of wool into the hole in the spool that I lost track of the needle. After crawling with a flashlight from the parlor, where I'd gone to use a #2 knitting needle to tuck in the scrap, through the hall to the sewing room, I gave up and returned to the paper sorting.

Whereupon I saw the needle on the floor not far from where I'd found it in the first place.

At some point in the procedure, I tried the spool on the spool holder of the Necchi, then trimmed a bit, re-tucked, and pressed down firmly on the wool while the spool was on the spool pin.

The finger that I bruised by shaking dust out of a scrap I'd found on the floor without taking due notice of the nearby card table doesn't appear to be interferring with typing, but I think I'd better put off transcribing my ride notes.

Finger has just said "enough is enough".

The finger is much improved. Washing dishes in hot water, laundry soap, and bleach helped.


Wednesday, 14 February 2024

8:04 PM 2/14/2024 I could have ironed all night, I could have ironed all night . . .

It was a bit of a shock to reach for the next shirt and there wasn't any. There were only three, but before beginning those, I ironed my muslin cap, my orange veil, and the muslin I might patch my grocery bags with, I pressed turn-unders for the hems on the new pillowcases, and ironed a pile of bandanas and a black furoshiki.

The ironing board is much neater now. Still a few weeks of work piled on it.


Friday, 16 February 2024

I finally sewed the snap on my raw-silk shirt. I'd thought it was merely loose, but it was off entirely, and stuck on a snap that wasn't the snap it mated with.

In the afternoon, I finished the cases for my small feather pillow. I thought of looking for dark grey thread, then remembered that there was dark gray on the machine. After sewing the first case, I realized that it was too dark a gray, and remembered that it was polyester. So I changed to dark-khaki cotton for the second case.

Khaki is the all-time champ for blending with colors that it doesn't match.

I also sorted out four polyester fiberfill pillows and put them into a trash bag to take to Jeanie, to use as stuffing.  The pillow shelf in the walk-in closet is *much* neater now.


Friday, 1 March 2024

I selected the least-unsuitable gray from my collection of Persian yarn -- when did I collect so *much*? -- and put it into a canvas bag together with the gray stockings and a plastic egg containing a suitable needle. I usually have scissors and magnifying glasses about my person, so didn't put any in the bag. It's already warm enough that I don't need such heavy stockings.  

Monday, 11 March 2024

I mended a torn pillowcase I noticed while loading the washer. It was torn at the bottom seam, and is longer than needed, so finishing the tear and re-sewing the seam made it as good as new. I wish I knew what sort of fabric it's made of and could get some more -- it's much softer than any cotton I've bought recently.

And y'all are nodding wisely and saying that it's soft because it's an old, worn case that I found at the back of the linen closet -- but modern cottons don't soften with wear and washing. I once ran a piece of a worn-out sheet through a platen printer -- it was just as crisp as paper.

I had forgotten where I keep bobbins of 100/6 cotton. I wonder how I came to wind three spools of ecru 100/6? I thought for a minute there that I'd have to wind a spool of white. Which suggests that I once mislaid a spool of ecru and thought that I hadn't any.

I have three un-opened balls of ecru and three of white. I won't need to place an order for quite a while. Pity I can't buy other colors. You'd think that with just the one mill in the world, and the whole world having access to it, there would be enough demand even though needlework has gone out of style.


Friday, 15 March 2024

11:48 AM 3/15/2024

Got down the box of cotton-flannel scraps and verified that the top layer matches the night shirt that has a hole in the back. That shirt already has a patch near that hole, and the collar band is torn. Worth mending because I don't want to make a new one.

I wonder why pants wear out on the fronts of the thighs when I wear them for typing, and the nightshirt wears out in the back. (The fronts wear out because I rest my elbows on them, but that doesn't seem to happen with the shirt.)


Saturday, 16 March 2024

I bought thread, needles, and other things at an estate sale today. I think that I would have liked to work with the dearly departed.

A few days ago, I noticed that I need to patch my nightshirt again, and got down the cotton-flannel box to verify that I have scraps from making it.

So the next time I needed a quick cover-up I put on my seersucker sleeveless daygown, and discovered that it, too, needs a patch. I think it's accidental damage rather than wear like the nightshirt.

So I'm wearing my flannel nightgown to type in now.  The collar is frayed, but I don't think it needs work. There's a lot more fabric in it than in the nightshirt, but it isn't bothering me when I do my midnight exercises, as I thought it would. It is, in fact, pleasant that it's long enough not to fall off my knees when I'm doing partial sit-ups.

I haven't had time to sew in ages, if you don't count darning a hole in a sock while waiting to get a needle stuck into my eye. The team are so matter-of-fact that I don't freak out a bit.


Monday, 18 March 2024

11:11 AM 3/18/2024

There are two philosopies to choosing basting thread: contrast thread to make it easy to get it all out, and matching thread in case you don't get it all out.

In practice, I take the thread that is already in the needle. Today two needles were threaded: the one on the orange spool and the one on the beige spool. I took the beige, and was glad when I realized that I was going to whip the mitered corner on the turn-under.

I was despairing when all the strips in the flannel box were on the cross grain, then I found the mate to the scrap I used to patch the other hole. It's much darker than the old patch, and a bit smaller. I shall match the stripes at the top and let the rest wander. One edge is a good selvage, and one corner is rounded, so there was only one corner to miter. It was quite easy to ease the fold-in around the curve.

Now to clear the ironing board and press the fold I just basted.

1:15 PM 3/18/2024

Somewhat to my surprise, the shirt hadn't stretched lengthwise. Still had to shift and poke while basting, as the worn fabric is slithery.

The misalignment of the lengthwise stripes doesn't show much. I eased in the shirt on the selvage side of the patch to keep a lengthwise stripe out of sight.

Seems a bit daft to be so fussy when there is such a color contrast and so little wear left in the shirt, but I think things wear better when everything is lined up and straight.

There's time to do the machine stitching before my nap, but I find it unwise to do something hard to undo just before lying down. And the patch will benefit from lying under a cold iron for a few hours.

I used the orange thread to baste the patch to the shirt, in case I want to remove one thread and leave the other. I expect to machine stitch and then remove both at once.

9:02 PM 3/18/2024

I can't scratch "patch flannel nightshirt" off my to-do list because I never put it on.

But New cases for feather pillow. I don't know when I did it, but there are two new cases in the linen closet.

And loose snap on black raw-silk shirt. I vaguely remember doing that, and I just checked the snaps and none are loose.


Thursday, 21 March 2024

I sorta sewed a little this morning. When putting on YD#5, I found that the waist elastic had come untied. A bit of the waist casing had also come unsewn, so it didn't take much time to pull it out, put it back in, and tie the ends together. I tightened the knot firmly!

Most of today was spent washing a sheet and organizing an old desk that had twenty years of clutter in it. I have more choices of printer paper than I had before. And not near as much junk between the layers of the barrister bookcases.

Yesterday, I darned a large hole in the white wool footies, but hadn't fastened off when the doctor came back.


Friday, 22 March 2024

Talked about knitting with Linda this morning, and sorted some of my knitting stuff trying to find my cable hook.

Forgot to try on the footies before putting shoes on. I've been trying to darn them bigger. These were the very first socks I knitted, and they've shrunk some in the ensuing half century.


Monday, 25 March 2024

Put a needle of yarn into the heel of the sock and was starting to thread it again when it was time to go.

Only one coil of yarn left in the pill pouch; time to remember where my white Medici is.


Tuesday, 26 March 2024

Filled two pill pouches with coils. I measured one piece against the pair I was about to thread into a needle when Dave came out of the blood-draw room, then measured a second piece against the first one, carefully matched the ends so that the fuzz pointed in the same direction, wrapped it around two fingers, and put it into the pouch.

As I was putting away the box marked "Medici/darning wool, I wondered whether darning wool was still being made.

And wanted to begin this post with AAAAAAGH!!

The first hit was the beautiful, professional Woolmark website, which says that you can make a treasured wool sock as good as new by running-stitching around the hole and puckering it closed.

About to [cringe] click on "patch holes and rips".

Step one:  cut the hole into a neat rectangle. That's standard, but seldom the best way.

Step two:  pin the patch inside the garment. Also standard, but I usually prefer to put the new fabric where the wear is. Only one centimeter overlap when nothing has been said yet about finishing either edge?

Step Three:  Ah, one overhands the edge of the rip, backstitching to reinforce the snipped-weak corners. Good for light-duty wool, as it's thinner than turning the edge under, but not wonderful for the knees of jeans (specifically mentioned). Alternatively, zig-zag by machine.

Step Four:  And it's as good as new without doing anything about the flapping seam allowance of the patch. In wool, with suitable thread, the edge of the patch could be overhanded down without showing on the right side, or not showing much.

Repair seams:  sensible, but a bit laconic for something addressed to people who don't know that mending is posssible.

Repair hems:  ditto. It uses the overcast hemming stitch, which doesn't wear well, but that was the first stitch taught to me and I used it for years -- frequently, because the job kept needing to be done again. As always, step four is "It's as good as new."

Sew buttons on:  The instructions are for two-hole buttons, the picture shows shank buttons.

"You can double-thread the needle . . . " but they don't say what they mean by that.

Step 3 is to wrap the thread six times around the shank you have created, but Step 2 does not tell you to create a shank -- it suggests sewing the button quite flat to the fabric. I think the writers were very hipped on making exactly four steps to every instruction.

Instructions for four-hole buttons are much the same.

Whoosh! I thought I'd find expert advice on washing wool blankets on a wool-blanket maker's website, but they must have farmed the website out:  "wash blankets sparingly . . . once every three months."  !  Wool blankets should be *kept* clean, and washed only when there has been a mishap.

The actual washing instructions are comparatively sensible.

Next site sells fingering-weight "darning yarn", 25% nylon.

Next site sells 100% lambswool "Fine Darning Wool in Bold Colors". 8.6 meter skeins.

Next site seems to be the same stuff, different colors.

Next site is on a card like old-tyme darning wool (not the same shape of card), but it's 100% merino lambswool. But the price is in dollars. The other sites are all in the United Kingdom.

It's lucky that I have a good stash, probably bought at garage sales.


Saturday, 6 April 2024

Lovely day for a ride, interrupting a long string of cold, wet, and windy. Found some broken stitches between the handkerchief pocket and the wallet pocket of my cotton jersey.

Added three items to my to-do list.

Took "and put them away for the winter" off "mend do rags".


Sunday, 7 April 2024

This afternoon, I took the drawstring out of the garden pants I bought yesterday, preparatory to putting elastic in. There is already elastic, but it isn't quite tight enough. "JUNIPER + LIME" clevrly used the stitching on their trademark tag to keep the drawstring from being pulled out of the channel, but that wasn't necessary. I had to undo one of the hems on the ends of the drawstring to get it through the grommet.

Even though the beige stitches were on a white background on one side, the label wasn't easy to remove.

I do have a bodkin that goes through the grommet. When the drawstring was still secured, I pushed it through the casing to make sure it was open.


Monday, 8 April 2024

I have selected a scrap of yellow linen to replace the tail of the newer do-rag. I don't think I have any sheer linen to patch the tail of the white one, but there's got to be some sheer cotton around here someplace.

8:09 PM 4/8/2024

I cut off the worn tail, after unpicking some seams and hems, and flat-felled the scrap to the stub entirely by hand. Then I basted a hem on the side where the hem of the side piece had not frayed and re-stitched the seam. I'd nearly finished repairing the frayed hem when it was time for supper, and though there was some light left, I didn't feel like finishing.

I took thread off the nearly-empty spool instead of the nearly-full bobbin, which was a big fat mistake -- I'm going to want to sew the hem of the new tail by machine. But it will be a month before I need a do rag; I'll probably get a chance to go to Lowery's before then.


Friday, 12 April 2024

Finished the frayed spot and basted the hem of the tail on Wednesday.

Hem of patch machine stitched, nametag sewn back on by machine, using the pale-yellow thread -- which, bythe way, I'm still not out of; I tend to panic when I can see spool between the turns of thread. The yellow rag is in the garage waiting for a hot day.

The white linen has a suitable patch pinned to it, cut (and torn) to shape and the edges basted under. Since this hat was made of better matierial than the yellow one, I plan to press the patch before sewing it. Might even hem it down by hand. I'm definitely going to turn under the edges of the hole by hand.

The clutter in the sewing room is unbearable, and I still have needlework magazines to bring down from the attic.


Monday, 15 April 2024

I re-tied the elastics in YD#8 gray and KYD#10 brown black.

For those who came in late: the resistor code starts with zero and runs black (no reflection), brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, gray, and white.

If you have trouble remembering which end of the rainbow is down, think "infra-red and ultra-violet".


Wednesday, 17 April 2024

I just cut 35" of quarter-inch elastic to put into my new old pants (the beige striped linen-rayon). The pattern says that I put 33" of cord elastic into my briefs.

It would have been very inconvenient to try the pants on with the elastic still attached to the coil. If it turns out too tight, I can sew in a piece of twill tape.

The pants fit much better now. The two grommets were convenient for pinning the elastic together without needing to work the pin into the casing. I'm tempted to just leave it that way; these *are* garden pants. And, judging by the care it took to keep from poking the very blunt bodkin through the loosely-woven fabric, they aren't going to last very long.

put elastic in new rayon-linen pants


Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Time to shorten the pants I measured a few days ago. (I also picked out the stitches holding the current hem.)

Current hem 1" wide.

Turn-under of current hem 1/2".

From current hem to measured turn-up 2" in most places.

So I should cut on the crease and use up 2" in the hem: turn under 3/4", make the hem 1 1/4" wide.

Now to (cringe) cut. I think I'll use the cutting mat.

When I saw that the fabric wanted to fold close to the stitching of the previous hem, I got a better idea and folded under one inch, completely filling a one-inch hem. Look, Ma, no hem gauge!

Such fiddly folding required me to baste the creases instead of pressing them, but I didn't feel like clearing the board and heating up the iron anyway.

Now do I have gray thread? I think I used dark khaki last time.

My only gray synthetic is too dark, the gray threads I bought at the estate sale (I *must* get around to sorting that bag and putting things away; I got up and threw the threads into one of the two garage-sale bags.) are all too light. One of the old subsilk spools is about right. I had to look intently to choose between that and the dark khaki.

I thought yay, it comes with an already-wound bobbin, but the bobbin is for the treadle machine. I need to get around to finding two strong men to load the treadle into the car so I can have it repaired. I should open it up and try to use it; perhaps I misremember about not being able to set the tension. (I *think* there is a market in repair parts for old machines. Probably at custom prices.)

The old Subsilk thread matches well. Pity I didn't save any of the original thread to compare it with.

As well as pressing the hem and restoring the crease, I pressed out one of the wrinkles the pants had gotten in the package.

Also pressed the patch I intend to sew to the linen do rag. I think I'll use Jessup's "combination stitch", just for practice -- running stitch would be plenty strong.

All modern works say back stitch is the strongest hand-sewing stitch, but I think combination would be stronger because there are no long stitches to catch wear, and you still have the loop that reduces the stress a lengthwise stretch puts on thread.


Friday, 26 April 2024

2:12 AM 4/26/2024

The failure to match of the patch on the back of my nightshirt becomes a feature when I put it on in the middle of the night.


Saturday, 27 April 2024

Sometime or another I basted the patch to the tail of the linen do-rag, and today I sewed it.

I regretted letting my two-ply thread hang in the window until it was too weak to run through a sewing machine, but I found that I have a spool of white fine cotton machine-embroidery thread. I *think* that is what it is; both labels have fallen off. And there was a fine needle already threaded and lashed to the spool with its tail.

Though worn, the patch is a bit too closely woven for the job. In spots I couldn't push the needle through two stitches at once, and everywhere I needed to stab straight down at the beginning to make the stitch short enough.

So instead of weaving the needle twice, as in the illustration, I made a one-stitch bar tack, moved over a stitch length, and made another. It felt very like doing backstitch.

It shows very little on the right side. I am now turning the frayed edges of the hole under, smoothing them with a bamboo skewer, and basting the crease with the same fine thread, taking very short stitches so that I won't need to take them out.

I noticed, while sewing, that the other side of the tail is also breaking at the sharp corner; I should have re-hemmed both. But it's a smaller break, and buttonholing the frayed part should do. Especially if I work the buttonhole stitch over a couple of rows of running stitch.

I worked the buttonhole over three rows of running stitch, running well into the sound fabric. I used the third row to lasso loose threads.

When I buttonholed back to the seam, I saw that three rows had not been enough, so I baseball stitched down the seam and back up again, buttonoled over the edge of the tail back to the corner, over the baseball stitch, and over the end of the first pass of buttonholing.

Before that, I finshed basting the fold-under of the hole and continued with the same thread to make two rows of running stitch around the hole. Then I took a fresh thread and sewed the edge down with a sort of hybrid of overhanding and whipping: keeping the stitches at right angles to the fold on the right side and slanted underneath.

It's surprisingly inconspicuous. I wish I could say the same of the patch that shows through the hole.

Mend do-rags


Tuesday, 7 May 2024

On Sunday night


Monday, 13 May 2024

"On Sunday night" must be when I put the elastic into the neck of the flowered T-shirt. When I opened the casing, I found that there was already baby elastic in it, but it had stretched out and was useless. I used the fine cord elstic that I bought when white cord elastic was unobtainable. I think this was the first time, and I did have to spend some time untangling it from having been shoved into the bag after it was measured.

elastic thread neck of flowered T-shirt
sort stuff bought at estate sale
pocket divider on quilting-cotton jersey

Putting the estate-sale stuff away happened in increments. I put the needles into the embroidery-gig backpack.

The repair of the pocket divider happened in a panic the night before a ride, probably the Friday before last -- the bike has been in the shop for a week. I had something to say about it at the time.

The frightfully-clever hooks and eyes on the tunic that matches what DH justly calls my pajama pants just purely don't work, and I can't wear the tunic. I must pick that complicated job out and install zippers.



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