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2021 Sewing Log


8 July 2021

The armrest on DH's computer chair is uncleanably filthy, and I can't find the one I made to put on when that one is being washed — perhaps the one on the chair is that one, and the old one wore out.  But my 2018 diary says that I cut a ten by sixteen-inch piece out of the old mattress pad and rounded the corners.  On the other hand, the cover that isn't on the arm doesn't have rounded corners, and there is a 10 1/2" x 24" piece missing from the mattress pad.

Scrap of worn-out mattress pad

I wish I could remember what I made out of two fifteen-inch circles of padding.

I can measure the length of the old cover without unpinning it, which I don't want to do until I have a clean one to pin on:  About seventeen.  Twenty-four is definitely too long, but twenty should do fine.  I think I'll cut it 22"; if that's too long, I can zig-zag across and cut it off.  Also, it should draw up a bit when I stretch it sideways.

The piece to be cut off is a corner, so only two sides will need zig-zagging.

mattress pad marked for cutting

I rounded the corner a bit to make it easier to zig-zag.  It measures 10 1/2" x 22".

all done

I meant to put white 100/6 on the Necchi, but it was already set up with ecru, and ecru is better for this old, yellowed fabric.  I stitched around with the widest zig-zag, needle in the middle, 3 mm stitch length.  I guided the side of the foot on the cut edge for the first pass, which held everything firmly in place when I pivoted and made the second pass over the raw edge.  Guiding with the raw edge on the inside of the toe worked perfectly.

All that remains is the pinning, but DH is using the chair and I want my lunch.

Twenty inches would have been better, but not enough better to bother cutting it off.  I think the other side of the old cover will be presentable after a bath in bleach.


Sunday, 11 July 2021

And it was.  Probably helped that I poured all the detergent for the whole load on the arm cover before starting the washer.

The bloodstains faded considerably; I squirted them with peroxide before putting the arm cover in the machine, and also made sure they were soaked with straight detergent.  The peroxide foamed up on the fresher stains.

It is fifteen and a half inches long, nine and a half wide at one end, ten and a half at the other.  I think the arm cover now on the chair is too wide as well as too long.

I wanted to post a pointer to a picture of my leg protector on today, and couldn't find it.  I distinctly remember saying "if you don't go for the rugged-viking look" when describing it, but I searched ROUGH001.TXT - ROUGH044.TXT without finding it.  If it were post ROUGH044, in the HTM-only files, it would be in the table of contents.

It's probably old enough to be among the files I posted directly in ROUGHSEW before I got organized, but looking through ROUGHSEW\ED.DIR didn't turn up anything that might contain it.  I did find a description of the sampler I made while reading _The Stitches of Creative Embroidery_, which I wrote, didn't quite finish, and haven't linked from anywhere.


Thursday, 15 July 2021

I darned the tear in my hat and the slit in the taxicab jersey on Monday.  On Tuesday, I ironed patches behind the slit and the holes at the corners of the pockets on Dave's Carhart shirt.  Also ironed two of my shirts.

Wore the jersey on Wednesday, got it sweaty and soaked it overnight in weak detergent, then this morning rinsed it in two changes of water.

It looks much better.  The hole over the patch under the keychain pocket is fuzzy around the edges; I must iron a small patch over it.

I still have plenty of the loosely-woven iron-on interfacing, but I wonder what I'll do when it's all used up.


Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Today's chore is "find the floor in the sewing room".  Roomba is in the bedroom, so I have less than fifty minutes.

I officially gave up on mending the black and the gray linen knickers, but stitched around the holes before throwing them into the wash.

I still can't think how the right leg of the gray knickers came to be covered with orange powder.  It isn't quite a rust-colored orange.  Well, next washday the clues will be gone.


Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Yesterday I cleaned out the sewing room so it could be roomba'd and mopped; today I have to move all that junk back.

While most of it was still in the parlor, I ironed a poncho shirt that has been on the to-do hook for months.  One big thing about poncho shirts is that they are as easy to iron as pillowcases — not that I would ever iron a pillow case; if you fold one neatly and put it on the bottom of the stack, it will be pressed by the time it gets to the top.

But this one is covered with puckery embroidery that has to be ironed from the back, and no ironing two layers at once.  It took a while, and I'm still not entirely happy with the center front of the neck.

Which causes me to reflect on the lesson that I learned by buying this fabric:  You can make do with a print when you wanted embroidery, but you can't make do with embroidery when you wanted a print.

I also pressed all the iron-on patches on my taxicab jersey.  Some of them were getting loose; I had bar-tacked two corners of one of them.  Left the basting in; the patch will work loose again.

In other news, my Tuesday briefs are now on the compost heap; they weren't even worth turning into cleaning rags.  I think the remaining two pairs of shabby briefs are equally unpresentable, so which is Tuesday and which is Wednesday will probably vary.

(Context:  I put the shabbiest garments on top of the pile to make them finish wearing out faster, and to guarantee that I won't find that shabby is all I have clean.)

A point in favor of using a square knot instead of one of the joining knots to tie cord elastic into a circle:  just pull on two ends of the same strand, and when it straightens, the other strand collapses into a cow hitch that can be slid off the end.

This doesn't work for flat baby elastic, which deforms inside the knot and makes the knot really, really firm, but a fine knitting needle under one of the strands loosens it enough for one end to slip out, and with that end out, the whole knot is gone.  I wonder whether that would work on a weaver's knot?  I think so, but it would be harder to see where to stick the needle.  Also, one end of a weaver's knot sticks out at right angles.

collar on villa-olive dress

It almost certainly needs baby elastic inside the band, but it's off the rocking chair.

Now all that's on the chair is a very low-priority worn-out bra that needs to have the elastic casing picked out.


Thursday, 29 July 2021

Now all that remains in the parlor is three stacks of books (one of them in my carry-on bag) and the footlocker.  I left the foot locker because the cat is on it.  I did move it to under the window to get it out of the main path.  He complained at first, but seems to have come to terms with the new position.

I wonder whether I can resume getting rid of books and magazines by leaving them in waiting rooms.

I added quite a few sheets of paper to the recycling bin.


2 August 2021

The cat is still on the footlocker — I'm going to have to paste-wax the top, because he likes to have his meals served in bed.  Is WWII footlocker paint compatible with paste wax?

Roomba day in the parlor, so I moved two piles of books back into the sewing room and put the carry-on of magazines in the bedroom closet.

The ironing board is all cluttered up again, and I didn't think of putting the leg board on it first.

I've put the pattern trunk where the footlocker used to be.


Thursday, 5 August 2021

Briefs PFD #3 have bit the dust.  There was enough left of them that I put them into the laundry bin of dirty cleaning rags instead of the compost heap.  I was able to invert the square knots in the baby elastic to cow hitches after a perfunctory poke with a brass knitting needle, but to my surprise, the knot in the cord elastic also needed poking before it would collapse — it was harder to get out than the knots in the flat elastic.

Gardening is still taking up most of my alert time, and today I'm making pickles, tomorrow I make potato salad for Sunday's pitch-in, and Saturday I'm going to try to get my usual Saturday ride in after we sign some papers.  Not the usual route, since the farmers' markets will be closed when we get back.

It wouldn't take long to install the already-cut patch pockets on my Sunday dress, but I think I'll be lucky to get the other dress ironed.

I need to get on with the new pocket wallet, because the old one vanished between the time I got a quarter out of it to unlock a cart at Aldi and the time I tried to put the returned quarter in.  I've searched the car any number of times, and the pocket that I should have put it into isn't one that ejects its contents.  There wasn't anything in it but coins, safety pins, a half-comb that I *might* have the other half of, and an un-inventoried pocket of small useful items such as nail clippers and a pencil stub.  A splinter of wood for cleaning nails, which I'm going to miss, half an emery board, easy to replace, and stuff that I won't miss until I want to use it.

Also a calling-card sewing kit containing information, and useful items that fit into pill pouches.  That was shared between the large wallet and the small one, so I must replace it fast.


Monday, 23 August 2021

Today I wore the crepe capris I bought at Our Father's house to the dentist, and decided that they are worth altering.  They are too big except in the waist, and are more like high-waters than capris on me, but the dutchman's breeches effect didn't bother me, I can fold the waistband down to deal with them being too long in the rise, and they are a lot cooler than the knickers I bought at Goodwill, so this evening I went out onto the porch to unpick the slits so that I could put elastic in the hems.

Good:  instead of the elaborate twill-tape facings on the garden pants I'm wearing, they simply left part of the seam unsewn and hemmed the seam allowances.

But between black-on-black, tiny stitches, and the crepe-like broomstick wrinkles of the fabric, the stitches I wanted to take out were quite invisible.  I struggled, not without damage to the fabric, and finally managed to cut one.  Then I could stretch the stitches and things went fairly well until I came to a very tight, very narrow half inch of satin stitch intended to serve the purposes of a bar tack.  I can't imagine how zig-zag kept the stitches from breaking under stress, but it was very efficient at keeping me from picking them out on purpose.  [There was straight stitching under the satin stitching.]

By moving into direct sunlight, I managed to get one bar tack started (It's still not completely out.) and picked out the seam far enough to get the slit hems unfolded.  A slight complication:  after the seam was sewn with an overlocker, it was pressed to one side and edge-stitched from the right side.  I may need to hand-sew a little gap, or press to one side and top-stitch.

Then I began unpicking the hem, but it was time to cook before I got enough undone to re-stitch the seam.  For some reason, the hem was secured with two rows of straight stitch about a quarter inch apart.  I may be able to run cord elastic between these rows of stitching, leaving a stylish ruffle.


Thursday, 26 August 2021

I has plugged in the Necchi!

I'm not fussy enough to keep it unplugged when not in use, in case of lightning, but after I move it into the parlor so the sewing room can be cleaned, I see no point to plugging it back in again.  It has been unplugged for weeks.

Yesterday I finished picking out the slits in the hems of the crinkle-weave capris that I bought at Our Father's House.

This morning I ironed a shirt and the blue-plaid cotton-linen poncho shirt that I plan to give to Our Father's House.  I can't wear it, but I do want it to have a good home, so I'm making it as presentable as I can.  Even though it's a poncho shirt, it took a long time to iron because there is so much of it.  I think I made it for Dave, because it has four pockets like a guyaberra — which didn't reduce the ironing time any.

Then I pressed out the creases in the unpicked seams of the crinkle capris, and ran a piece of white cord elastic between the two rows of stitching on the hem, just to check.  It goes in easily, except for a speed bump at the inseam, and looks as though it's going to work.  Hmmm . . . I'm not sure there is enough room to pull the knot in.  I could whip the ends together, as I do for flat elastic.

Then I verified that I have black cord elastic, and I'm about to re-thread with black Guetermann cotton, made in Greece.  But it's lunch time — I got up late after taking until three or four to fall asleep.

Deadline:  I have nothing else suitable for the high heat predicted for the day after tomorrow.

Afternoon:  I pinned one seam, stitched a bit too far into the seam that hadn't been picked out, had some black-on-black out-picking to do.

Got that neatly top-stitched, pinned the hem, turned to the second slit determined to mark the exact spot where I need to stop stitching, discovered that I hadn't gotten quite all of the seam-allowance downstitching, had some more black-on-black outgepicken and no direct sunlight to carry it out into, but feeling around under an overcast sky finally did it.

Now back to the Necchi, Nonce pencil in hand.

Back to the kitchen, actually — it was past time to serve supper.  Luckily, there was delicious pork roast, left-over canned peas, and fresh ears of corn in the fridge.

Seam sewing and topstitching went without a hitch.  Then I sewed the lower round of topstitching on the hems, deliberately putting the repair stitches farther from the edge than the original stitches.

The sky is still overcast, and it's getting late, but I have a very bright headlamp on the Necchi.  Also a pair of 3.5 reading glasses.

Next to look into the bag of black cord elastic.  I have two unopened packages, two small scraps, and an unexplained pair of stretch shoelaces.

When I gave up on my hand-made knickers, I kept them as patch donors, which I'm now glad of.  The hems of the gray pair are a tad more than seven inches across on one leg and a tad under seven inches on the other.  Both legs of the black pair are almost exactly six and a half inches.

If I cut fourteen-inch pieces and use up an inch for each knot, that should make them just right.  I shall try them on before re-stitching the hem.

I had a little trouble getting the bodkin past the speed bump on the first leg; before threading the second, I observed which way the pressed-to-the-side inseam lay within the hem, and it went much smoother.  There was still higher friction at this point.

When I tried on the first leg (which seemed advisable before threading the second), I didn't feel the elastic and thought it was too loose, but it doesn't shift.  The fabric on my old knickers is much thicker, which would make the elastic less comfortable.

All done and hung in the closet.  Before sewing the gap in the hem, I lay on the bed and did a repeat or two of each of my back exercises, and the elastic seemed to be the right length.

To avoid fussing and fuming about catching the elastic in the stitches, I sewed the gap by hand with running back stitch, more backstitch than running.  The second leg was much easier, because I had learned that you don't turn on the high-intensity lamp, you twiddle it on.  And a mere touch to the switch turns it off again.

The outside light was very poor.

The knickers need to be shortened at the waist, but turning the waistband down works, and this thin fabric will be lucky to make it through September.


Saturday, 28 August 2021

rolling waistband will not do -- - pins, will sew ---thin , not last

12 March 2022:  I think that I meant to say that the waistband wouldn't stay rolled and pins probably wouldn't hold, so I'd need to sew, but not well because the thin fabric wouldn't last — but your guess is as good as mine


Monday, 30 August 2021

I just crossed "jersey snap" off my list of things to do.  A wrinkle in the pocket (huge boob underneath) seems to be holding my phone just fine, there isn't a lot of wear left in that thin jersey (it already has tiny round holes), and sewing a reinforcement patch under an existing pocket would be fussy.

I found that "turning the waistband down" does not work.  The band promptly turns itself up again.  I stuck three pins in it for Saturday's ride, thinking that I would baste it down, but now wonder how stitching would stand up when the waistband is stretched.  I might make a series of vertical bar tacks, or I might pin it to the ironing board stretched as far as it will go.

It needs to be shortened from the top, as I did for the store-bought dirty-work pants that I'm wearing, but that is a lot of unpicking, and that thin fabric isn't going to last very long.

I have until Thursday; that is the best cycling day predicted for this week.  I plan to wash towels and rags tomorrow.  Hope I don't forget to put them in to soak tonight.

White-linen bra #2 probably won't make it through the washer again.  Most of the other bras have been re-bound at the neck.  Past time to get on with making the scraps of the jersey that just wore out into bras.

All my HCJ briefs are getting shabby.  And I have only seven of them, and the last of the PFD briefs will get cut into cleaning rags this week.  So that leaves only the black pair and the yellow pair as back-up — and the black pair was made with used hemp jersey for a crotch lining.  (I wish I could buy more of that coarse, half-hemp jersey.  When I bought the HCJ, I meant it for linings.)

The PFD shirt is doing fine.  It's my only white shirt.

For those who just came in:  Previously, I made briefs from the scraps from making shirts, so I found it amusing that I bought Prepared for Dying cotton jersey to make briefs, and made a shirt from left-over fabric.

I think I have worlds of cotton-jersey scraps to make briefs out of — I won't get so tired of striped briefs if I have some other colors too — but the flowered jersey I bought to make a dress and a T-shirt, and found so flimsy that I made only two tops and left the rest, is Right Out even though the fabric the dainty flowers are printed on is just right for underwear.

I'm not sure I would have liked panties made from that print when I was young enough to wear flowered panties!


1 September 2021

Waistband sewn.  After making tea, printing out a map, etc., I went to the ironing board to finish basting the waistband down and found that barely a quarter of it had been sewn.  I kept getting interrupted on Monday — it was wash day — and I don't think I gave it a passing thought yesterday.

I began with the band around the ironing board and over the two-sided craft mat, pinned at both sides to keep it taut.  I quickly learned that it was much better to pin at one end and keep the tension with my left hand.

Better, but not good.  My ironing board cover isn't secured firmly, and it kept yielding and standing the pins up.  Toward the end, it occurred to me to pin the waistband to itself under the board, as tight as I could by feeling around.  After that, picking it up to sew it stretched it just right, everything stayed flat, and the last few inches went fast.

Anyhow, I tried them on and they seem to work, and they are hung up in the closet.

Y'know, gang, I think I could have sewn this on the zig-zag sewing machine.


Sunday, 5 September 2021

I've worn them twice now, the first time on a thirty-mile trip, and it goes well.  I'd rather have short wool tights, but I'm the only person in the world who knows that wool can be comfortable, so it isn't worth anybody's while to sell it.

Today, a stop-run darn on briefs HCJ#3.  I meant to cover the entire runner, but the flimsy thread I was using broke in the middle, and there wasn't enough for the last few stitches.


Monday, 6 September 2021

You've heard of "choice paralysis"?  I've got overbook paralysis:  "How can I work on this when I need to do that, that, and that?"

So I decided that between loads of wash I'd sort out fabrics suitable for making briefs.

There's ample HCJ for cutting out a back, and there's a front cut from a similar weight of black jersey in the briefs box, but I'm not quite ready for color blocking.  The good news:  there's rather a lot — I didn't unfold it — of the coarse unbleached hemp-cotton jersey for making linings.

When I realized that I was pleased that none of the blue interlock scraps were big enough, I bagged them up for the Goodwill, and I plan to bag up the maroon scraps without even checking.  I don't like maroon and this interlock is stretchier than jersey.

But there's a great big piece of black jersey.  I may cut a shirt out of it, the same design as my only white shirt.  I'm not sure that all the black jersey scraps are the *same* black jersey.  We'll see when I unfold it.

I haven't completely unfolded and measured, but it looks like enough black jersey to make an ankle-length dress and a shirt, and have plenty left over for briefs.  Neither shirts nor dresses are high on my priority list, but I could cut them out and put them into a box to finish later.

I held the folded-in-half fabric up to my shoulder, and saw more than enough to make a shirt trailing on the floor.  Then with extreme difficulty I folded it in quarters and laid a yardstick on it:  a bit more than four yards, plus an irregular bit dangling out.

Then I forgot to measure the width before finishing the folding.  It dangled onto the floor when laid on the card table:  fifty or sixty inches.

I have gotten down the villa-olive and the yellow jersey; the greenish-yellow interlock came along for the ride.

I'm pretty sure that I don't want villa-olive briefs, but I intend to unfold it.  I'll have to haul everything out of the parlor tomorrow, then haul it back again so as to roomba the sewing room.


Wednesday, 8 September 2021

I unfolded the greenish-yellow interlock, then packed it up for Goodwill.

Then I unfolded the striped jersey and found a lot of pieces to cut crotches from, and one big piece the wrong shape to make a shirt, so I decided to cut as many backs and fronts from it as I could.  Cutting efficiently requires unfolding it, and that requires taking out the basting that keeps the edges from curling, so I set it aside, unfolded the villa olive, refolded it, and set it back onto the shelf.

Then I decided that it was too close to lunch time to unfold the yellow jersey, so I unfolded the big piece of striped jersey, patted it out on a water-resistant card table, mixed up some spray starch, and soaked the basted edges.  I wondered at first how to hold the unbasted edge flat while it was drying, then realized that it's flat now and I shouldn't mess with it.

When I get up from my nap, I think I'll set the striped jersey aside, cut the yellow jersey, then put the striped jersey back on the table with the other side up.

Then before beginning to sew, I should cut out as many bras as the yellow linen will yield.

Tomorrow, I plan to go for a long ride, so all this could take a while.

The best-laid plans of mice and men . . . when I got up from my nap, the striped jersey was still damp.  I slid the large cutting mat under it, moved it to the ironing board, got ready to be called to pick up the car, and now I'm about to unfold the yellow jersey.

When I got the jersey down, I found a pre-made reinforcement patch on top of it, which caused me — very briefly — to reconsider my decision not to sew a snap on the pocket of the flimsy yellow jersey.

One yard twenty-nine folded in half, two yards fifty-eight, three yards twenty-two.

There are three and a half yards of very wrinkled 62" jersey, square on both ends, one small scrap perhaps large enough to make a patch pocket, one large irregular scrap.

It's a pity this is too sleazy to make a six-pocket T-shirt from.  (I'm counting the pencil pocket.)

I must have thrown out trivial scraps the last time I cut into it.

I don't feel like pressing it tonight, so I'm going to fold it up and dampen the other side of the striped jersey, which is now dry.  I'll resume work on Friday.


Sunday, 12 September 2021

I had other things to do on Friday, but I did pull the basting threads out of the striped jersey today.

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.  It's only to drop off some blood at the lab, but I plan to buy groceries on the way home, and that usually leaves me exhausted.


Tuesday, 14 September 2021

It's going to take some finagling to get two pairs out of the 26½ piece of 56" fabric.  It's almost, but not quite, long enough to cut a front above a back.  Two fronts could easily be cut one above the other, but the piece left after cutting two backs isn't quite wide enough.

But I believe that if the two backs are spaced just so, their corners can fit up into the curves of the fronts.

Needless to say, there will be no effort to match stripes.  But the stripes will be a big help in keeping the cutting on grain.

There are lots and lots of scraps big enough to cut crotch pieces.  I think that when the cutting is done, I will sort them and put them into a box marked "jersey pocket scraps".

So I marked around the back pattern once, and while trying to line up the front pattern, I found that the light wasn't bright enough see the marks.  There are four lamps in that room, but not one can be made to shine on the table, so that's an end to sewing for today.

Not all that bad considering that I washed clothes today, and cleared out the sewing room for sweeping, and ironed a shirt.

I think that every striped-jersey garment I have should have a timer pocket added.  That's one under-dress and three long-sleeved shirts, and one of the shirts already has a timer pocket.  I thought that I also made a short-sleeved shirt, but if I did, I wore it out.


Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Finally got the fronts and backs cut out.  I had to cheat ever so slightly on the grain of the second front.  I made a jagged cut at the top of one back before thinking of taking everything out to the picnic table.

Now the big cutting board is put away and the little one is on the card table, along with the small scraps and the crotch patterns, and it's time for my nap.

Took everything out to the picnic table and finished cutting.

I briefly considered cutting three timer pockets before putting the scraps away, but I want to match the stripes and didn't want to spend that much time on it.

Collected another pile of eentsy scraps for the compost heap — this fabric is all cotton, and will rot nicely.  As I was piling up the usable scraps, I asked myself whether I really did unfold all those big pieces and verify that they are too small to cut a back from.

The scraps are now in a flimsy box that used to contain "lace and needlework" — did I really do all that hand crochet and lace knitting?  It's time to put a fresh piece of well-washed muslin around the lace, not to mention sorting through it to see what I've got.  I see that Erica's tablecloth is in there.  I fed the old cat on the glove chest so that the kittens wouldn't steal her food, and crocheted a doily to keep the dish from scratching the glove chest.

After twenty years of using the glove chest as a dresser, the top is far from unblemished.  I've been struggling and re-arranging all that time, but it only recently occurred to me that I need something bigger.  I haven't been to any furniture stores yet.


Thursday, 23 September 2021

Awk Scrickle!  No wonder I haven't been getting any feedback.  While looking up my instructions for making briefs, I clicked "write to me" on a whim — and it goes to an address that doesn't exist!

I sent a test message through the web site after I corrected the error.  It arrived.

As far as work goes, so far I've fetched the correct color of thread from the White's upper left drawer an put it on the ironing board with the brief parts.

Now I've edited the article on briefs, and made a directory to put pictures into.  Needs some more editing in the place where I say to sew the crotch before the crotch lining.  Same instructions, different reasons.

Didn't find anything to modify my plans for sewing the striped briefs together.

A excessively-common typo has me wondering about a meaning for "stripped" briefs.  Perhaps the briefs that I've stripped off and thrown into the laundry?  A stripped shirt or skirt would be seminole piecing, but you'd have to be desperate to make briefs out of strips of material.

Well, I threaded the machine.


Friday, 24 September 2021

Finally I am assembling the two striped briefs.  Halfway through attaching the crotch linings, I paused to mark the edges of the crotch lining on the crotch pattern, which will be a big help next time.

I will also make sure, when sewing the front to the crotch, that the center marks still show, to make it easier to attach the lining.

I first sewed the crotch to the back, then sewed the lining to the assembly.  Doing it in this order means that the crotch will be held by two rows of stitching right to the cut edge.

I permanent-baste the crotch by guiding exactly as I will guide for the final stitching, but with the needle one notch to the right.


Tuesday, 28 September 2021

I picked up the lining by mistake for the crotch, sewed it in the wrong place, picked it out, pinned correctly, decided not to sew for fear of "one more seam" syndrome, but I can pin the other crotch to the other front.

At this point I discovered that I'd sewn the other lining to the back right side to wrong side instead of wrong side to wrong side.  I considered picking it out, then reflected that having the wrong side showing on the inside might actually be better, and having the crotch linings different would save embroidering inventory marks.

Today I had the whole day to sew, but somehow it got to be lunch time before I sat down at the sewing machine.  After lunch, I sewed the front of the "right-side inside" pants to the crotch and the crotch lining, then pinned a side seam and reflected on "one more seam" syndrome.  It would be safe to pin the lining of the "wrong side inside" pants to the front, but I'm going to go to bed.

After I'd gotten supper planned and the ingredients laid out, I sewed the seam I'd pinned, then, boldly daring "one more seam" syndrome, pinned and sewed the other just before time to cook, so underpants A (right side of lining shows) are finished except for the finishing.

Since all of my HCJ briefs had broken stitches at center back, finishing will include some hand backstitching at the center back.  Pre-mending, so to speak.


Thursday, 30 September 2021

This morning I sewed the crotch lining of briefs W ("Wrong side showing) to the front and the crotch, and sewed the side seams, so now R and W are same stage of development.

Then I cut up vegetables for the shepherd's pie I intend to make this afternoon.  Now it's nap time.

After my nap, I pressed the seams with a dry iron, pulling on the crotch so that I could press in the pull.  Stretching the side seams also helped them lie flat.

Then I stuck a pin into the middle of each crotch to keep the crotch and crotch lining lined up, and pinned three of the leg hems.  I ran out of pins when I was almost done with the fourth.


Monday, 4 October 2021

It took only one pin to finish pinning the leg hole of briefs W; I could have taken the one securing the middle from shifting — but since I didn't get around to stitching until now, that's just as well.

Striped briefs W are complete and laid out to wear tomorrow.  Since the elastics from the last PFD briefs I threw out were still on the ironing board, I used those:  black 1/8" on the leg holes and white cord on the waist.  Since there are white stripes and black stripes among the shades of brown, I figured that either would do.

The crotch is too narrow in front, and when I put today's pair back on, I found that the same is true of those.  How could I make so many pairs by that pattern without noticing that?

I'll have to make another trip to Dollar Tree; when last there, I noticed that their "poster board" is a pretty good substitute for oaktag.  (Probably a tad thin.)  But I won't need a new back pattern and I think I can get a front out of a file folder.

And the beta versions can be done on newsprint.

Striped briefs R lack a waist casing and elastic of being done.  I'll have to get the elastic box down tomorrow.

Or right now.  I find that I was forethoughtful enough to segregate the salvaged leg-hole elastic in a snack bag inside the sandwich bag of black eighth-inch elastic.  I shall do the same for the white cord elastic when I sort it out tomorrow.


8 October 2021

Striped briefs R finished, worn, and in the laundry hamper.  I think that it will be better to wash them before the prophylactic mending.

I ironed the yellow linen this morning.  When I laid it on the ironing board, I noticed that the 53" fabric fit with just enough board left to be comfortable, and reflected that I didn't know how long the board was, so I measured it.  One yard twenty inches is fifty-six inches.

I had been forethoughtful enough to measure the scrap and write it on the list of things used to make the yellow jersey.  On the receipt, which is still with the linen and has some notes on it, would seem more logical.

Now I have to figure out how to mark bias lines on it — and in which direction to mark the lines.  I'm not sure that I can use the 28" x 51" tail.

And I must read 2017SEW to see how I did it last time.  I vaguely recall taking lots of pictures.


Thursday, 14 October 2021

Sat on the porch soaking my feet and mending underpants.  HCJ#1 took twenty-five minutes.  #2 had the sort of break I'd been expecting and took less than five.  #3 and #4 had already been mended, but there were some broken stitches in the waist casing of #4.  I replaced the broken stitches with overcasting.

So that leaves #5, #6, and #7 on the rocking chair.


Friday, 15 October 2021

But when I decided that porch-sitting was a good way to spend this morning, only #6 and #7 were on the chair.  Where is #5?  I've looked at all the places the chair was dragged to, and in my lingerie drawer too.

First chore was to open up the casing on the droopy leg of the yellow briefs and re-tie the knot that had come undone.  But on gaining access to the elastic, I discovered that it had worn out — and had, in fact, been sewn together, not tied.

So I took the elastic out of the other leg too, reflected that it would be really easy to rub soap on the crotch when there was no elastic in the legs, and decided to finish the job after the briefs were washed.  (I had noticed the droopy leg while wearing them yesterday.)

#7 was missing only a few stitches, and only on one side, so I did those and put them away before working on #6.  When #6 was done, I didn't feel like going inside, so I dropped them in a heap and fiddled with the totally-not-needed job of taking the casings out of a bra that is completely worn out, almost too far gone to cut into skillet wipes.  (And it may well be too far gone for that when it comes out of a hot-water-and-bleach bath.)

When I got bored with that, #6 was damp even though it wasn't so much as misty.  Humidity is really high!

DH came home while I was picking up stuff to go inside, so I dropped most of it and helped put the groceries away.

I finally bethought me of looking in the laundry room.  They are there, and they don't require mending.

crotch seam, HCJ#1, HCJ#2 but while fetching that item from the to-do list, I found a note that there's a broken stitch in the leg casing of #7, so it's back on the rocking chair.

Oops, I forgot to measure the elastic before putting it into the casing.  Ah, well, it needs a different length for every application.

After my nap, I got the elastic box down, took out the white quarter-inch elastic, then sorted the bags black on the left and white on the right to make sure I hadn't overlooked anything.

There was one skein and three short pieces in the bag.  I tested the stretch of the short pieces, threw two into the trash, measured the third around my head, and marked it with wash-out marker.  Then I laid it on the neck of the dress to make sure it was shorter, threaded it into a large blunt needle, cut a stitch in the seam joining the ends of the neck band, put it inside the neckband, and went into the bedroom holding the elastic in place with one hand and searching for a wee tiny safety pin with the other.  I had to dump all the pins onto the dresser top, which wasn't easy with one hand because there are seven compartments in the desk organizer that I keep hairpins etc. in.  (Safety pins are in compartment "stamps".)

When I cleaned up later, I put the five tiny brass-colored pins into the four-compartment bobbin box I use for two bobbins of 100/6 cotton, next to the brads that I no longer use to hang patterns on.  (Old sewing-machine needles are much better.)

While threading the elastic, I had noticed a weak spot in the neckband attachment that might tear when pulled over my head, so another session of porch sitting. I'd thought I'd need to baseball stitch the slit, but simple overcasting proved to be better.

Finally tried it on — just before time to patty hamburgers — and I think the elastic could stand to be an inch longer.

So I eyeballed a little more than an inch, tried it on, marked the spot where the elastic ended and eyeballed another inch plus, still more puckers than absolutely necessary, but the elastic is going to stretch out with wear; might as well save cutting a piece out later on.

Sewed the ends together under the high-intensity light in DH's room, and it's in the closet.  Pockets need ironing, but they get so lumpy when I put stuff in them that it won't matter if I don't find the time before Sunday.

Now I need to do the same for the neckband of my sleazy cotton-jersey jersey, but that doesn't have to be done before it's cold enough to wear two jerseys.


Wednesday, 20 October 2021

It's clear-off-the-rocking-chair day.

HCJ#5 turned out to be easy.  The cord elastic really had come untied, it still had plenty of oomph, and there were two places where the stitches of the casing had broken enough to get the elastic out, but not so much that I needed to repair them afterward.  The first break I found was in the center of the gap, but the only difficulty in pulling the elastic out through the other was getting the stuck tip protector off the 2.1mm wig hook.  (Where oh where is my complete set of steel crochet hooks?  It's been missing for years.)

I put it back through the first hole, as it was larger.

The break in the waist casing of HCJ#7 did need sewing up.  I used white 100/6, thinking that the sans serif chevron stitch would be easy enough to find.  I secured the ends only by running them through the zig-zag stitches on each side of the break.  When I was done, there was a tuft of zig-zag thread that I pulled back through the stitches with a #11 tatting hook.

After lunch:  cut new elastic for the yellow briefs.


27 October 2021

The yellow briefs are still in my to-do pile, but I basted a pillowcase closed with a pillow in it this evening.

I spent the whole day today washing a king-size quilted-fleece bedspread in a triple loader on Lake Street, with a stop at the library on the way out and the grocery store on the way back.  This was in connection with a scabies infestation that sent all our non-washable bedding into quarantine.

A few days ago, I spent the whole day washing the rest of the washable bedding in my own machine, and sealed up the comforter in a garbage bag.

With all our pillows sealed up in garbage bags — two weeks and the mites will starve to death, it says here in the fine print — all the pillows I've been piling on the shelf in the closet for years came down for us to select substitutes.  I kept finding clumps of shredded rags/floor sweepings in the bed and peeked inside the case to see that my big fat pillow was one of those that I made many years ago by making ticks out of patchwork denim —somewhere there's a file titled "Playing Tetris with Bits of Blue Denim", but I can't find it— and stuffing the contents of two pillows into each one.

This pillow was the first one made, and I used the biggest pieces, which were legs cut off blue jeans.  I can't imagine where I got them; even if one of us wore blue jeans, I'm quite sure that I would never make daisy dukes out of them.

These legs were well worn and I was pretty soon patching leaks.  The pillow is by now well past patching, but there was also in the pile of pillows a muslin sham I made to test my scheme of making pew cushions for the prayer room by stuffing two worn-flat pillows into one sham.  I had worlds of flat pillows!  Those cushions are still in service, but the pews under them are not, the prayer room having reverted to storage.  I wonder whether I took notes when making the long cushion; I think I made a new tick (or pieced two old ones together) and arranged the stuffing from three or four pillows in it.

So I stuffed the leaking pillow into the beta sham and this evening I finally got around to sewing it shut and covering the makeshift tick with a pillow case, and DH is sleeping on it.  My hugging pillow is another of the tetris-with-bits-of-blue denim pillows, made of more-durable fabric, and I think that the one in quarantine is a third.

Took longer to write this post than to do the job.


Friday, 29 October 2021

I planned to hand sew all day yesterday, but at lunch time I'd just gotten to threading a needle to pre-mend the striped briefs when it was lunch time, and I slept all afternoon — we had our supper late because I'd planned frozen pot pies that have to bake an hour.

But I'd put elastic into the yellow briefs and put them into the drawer before doing that.

I disarranged the skein of eighth-inch elastic, and had to wind it onto a card, which took up some of the morning.  I'm not sure what I did with the rest.

Striped briefs W are in the drawer.  Pity I didn't take note of how long the thread was, because it was exactly right.

I spent the morning getting a shingles shot, but two phone spammers saw to it that I got up from my nap in time to get some work done before supper.

I was more than halfway through striped briefs R when it was time to clear the table.


Tuesday, 2 November 2021

I don't know when I finished the job, but both pairs were in yesterday's wash.

I got most of the frayed hem picked out of white linen bra #6 today.  It hasn't been re-hemmed.  The binding on the armholes is fuzzy, and the fabric around the neck is too thin to hem even if I hadn't already decided to go straight to binding.  I hope I remember that I intend to put gathering threads in front, where I intend to stretch the binding mercilessly in the hope that it will lie flat around the curve.

It's way past time to finish darning the silk tights I've been carrying around in my waiting-room bag.


Thursday, 4 November 2021

I finished picking out the old hem of WL#6 this morning, thought reluctantly of the green tape that is the thinnest in the linen-tapes box, then thought "No law says it has to be linen!" and opened the shoebox of bias.

Ye cats, I have a *lot* of factory-made bias!  Over half the box is little packets.  I vaguely recall that I kept buying every packet of all-cotton bias I saw for some time after Evelyn died.

There is also a tangle of short pieces of factory bias and some hand-cut bias.  And a note saying that there is pressed bias in the linen box, folded inside the scraps it was cut from.

I stopped looking when I found a coil of soft, very thin inch-wide muslin.  I wish I could remember where I got the muslin!  It looks like that lovely six-yards-for-a-dollar muslin (practically batiste) sold by the aborted first wave of dollar stores, back in the sixties.  (The business model was based on not having to handle change — then sales tax arrived.)


Friday, 5 November 2021

It was dry today, so I washed a load of towels and cleaning rags.  After taking the wash down, I cut WL#1 and WL#2 into skillet wipes, also a half bra that had been a cleaning rag for some time.


Sunday, 7 November 2021

Saturday I went for a bike ride, today I went to church, tomorrow I wash clothes.  It's predicted that it will be dry and warm, so it's a good day to hang clothes out.

It's getting desperate that I get on with opening out the dining table and marking the yellow linen with bias lines to guide bra cutting.

I should check re-enactor sites for good linen for making bras.


Monday, 8 November 2021

I set up a card table this morning, put my larger cutting mat on it (it was easier to get out than the smaller one), and trimmed the frayed edge of the neck hem of WL#6, not as carefully as I would have if there had been more wear left in the bra.  Sometimes I followed the worn streak, sometimes the fold mark, sometimes the edge of the first fold of the old hem.  Later I got a start on putting basting thread on the Necchi so I could put in easing threads, then the laundry called.

I had marked the center of the neck, then used my centering ruler to make marks one sun to each side of the center mark.  I think I want to draw it up one or two bu.


Tuesday, 9 November 2021

I set the stitch length for four millimeters, set the needle to the right, and guided the toe along the cut edge — starting a centimeter or so before the first mark and sewing the same beyond the end, then guided the toe along the first row of stitching, Left long strands at each end to give me something to grab onto.  I don't use the cutter-and-grabber built in to the machine very often, but it's perfect when you want to leave tails.

I straightened and tightened the double threads in each row, and smoothed the fabric flat.  Now the mark at each end is one bu closer to the middle than it was before.

I intend to stretch the bias all around, since the folded edge of the bias will be farther from the edge than the seam, and really stretch it at center front.

My double-wound bobbin is getting low.  I considered winding a new one now, but I go a long time between gathering stitches, and might get confused and overlook one.

I must have been careful to keep track of my threads; there are only two no-provenance bobbins on the odd-bobbin stacker, and both of those are nearly empty.

After stitching the seam, the marks are one sun and seven bu apart.  I'd been hoping for more than three bu of take-up.

I turned and basted a turn-under of a tad more than an eighth of an inch.  The seam allowance is close to a quarter inch (eyeballed), perhaps a tad under in most places.  I didn't cut the thread off the spool, and after a few inches, I remembered bodkin-style basting:  basting a turn-under is what that style was invented for.

(I must check to see whether bodkin basting is mentioned in one of the ROUGH0nn.HTM files.)

When work resumes after I make pickles and repair my bike's wire pannier, I'll press the seam as it lies, which will firm the crease of the turn-under, then press the binding away from the bra before folding and pinning it into final position.

The splicing seam of the bias is two selvages sewn together, which suggests that where-ever it was that I got the fabric, I cut all of it into tape.  There's a lot of tape in that roll, but I don't think it's as much as a yard of fabric would make, and the end had been cut before.  I must have made it for a project and had some left over.


13 November 2021

Today's ride was cancelled because of rain, so I got the bra finished.  Now I have exactly enough again!  Past time to get on with making new ones out of the scraps from my linen jersey.  I did get on with it a few weeks ago, then had to fold it up and put it on the to-do pile on the ironing board, and now I'll have to press the fabric again.

In moving the legboard (With to-do pile) and the box of lace, I searched for a box big enough to lay the sunbonnet-baby filet-crochet panel out fIat.  There are none in my stack of empty boxes, so I looked for one could swap with the lace box.  I found that there is some cloth that's loosely woven, but not gauze, in the unbleached box.  I added labels that said "seersucker" and "mask muslin".

I still have scraps of the "fluff crepe" I made a dress from when I was working in the Singer store.  It's a great shame that that stuff is no longer available; it's wonderful for purely-ornamental clothing.  Folds up small, doesn't muss, and is perfectly opaque.


Wednesday, 17 November 2021

I mostly frittered, but did do a little sewing today.

The first job was quick and easy.  On my ride yesterday, I got tired of digging for the pencil in my pencil pocket and used a safety pin to keep it from sliding all the way down.  So this morning I went hunting for a needle, regretting that my only spool of yellow thread is way too gold, and discovered a needle with yellow embroidery floss in it stuck into one of my needle strips, and a few minutes later the jersey was back in the closet and the needle was back in the strip of wool dangling from a spare shelf bracket.  And the floss made a very neat and glossy bar tack.

I noticed, while hanging it back up, that it has worn through where the drawstring rubs on the side seams.  I should make a special trip to lowery's to buy yellow muslin and D rings.  (The D rings are for retrofitting a purse.)

On Monday, bra Red Ramie C came out of the washer with inches of raw edge in the neck hem.  I'm spending so much time mending old bras that I'm not making any progress on making the new bras.  I just now carried the leg board into the parlor and put it on one of the two card tables I set up on Monday to dry the king-sized sheet on, by way of reminding me that I have that job to do.  I think I'll have to use both card tables and also open up the dining table to mark bias lines on it.

So this morning I picked the stitches out of the remaining hem.  The thread was so worn that I mostly couldn't pull them out, but I had, at least, had the sense to use 3mm stitches, so it wasn't too hard.  I mostly used the "pick up the tag and pull back until it breaks, repeat on the other side" method.

But before I could press out the creases, it was lunch time.

Yesterday, while selecting undershirts for my ride (black mystery-fiber long-sleeve T-shirt, long-sleeve ragged silk, waffle-knit cotton short sleeve), I noticed that the end of the hanger was poking out through a slit in the armscye of my black cotton turtleneck and threatening to tear it bigger.  (The slit was caused by using a universal needle on a knit.  I've been ignoring most of the damage, save for downgrading the shirt to underwear.)

This afternoon (after four spam calls made sure I wouldn't get a nap), I baseball-stitched the slit closed.  Black on black is a two-edged sword:  I couldn't see what I was doing, but nobody will be able to see what I did.  The needle stuck into a scrap of wool in the black-cotton-thread bag was easy to find because there was a thread in it, so I cut the new thread extra long to guarantee that a needle-finding thread would be left over, but when I put the needle away, the thread wasn't in it — or anywhere else, as near as I could make out.


23 November 2021

I cut out the posterboard bra pattern today.  This required me to clear off the dining table so that I could work under the chandelier.  First time in a long time that I've scrubbed the entire top of the table at one time.

Then in the afternoon I trimmed the frayed neck of red ramie #c.  Since I'd used the small cutter to cut out the bra pattern, trimming the neck called for a new blade.  It has been so long since I changed the blade that I'd forgotten where I keep the spares, but it didn't take long to remember that they are in the other end of the pocket that I keep the cutters in.

There weren't as many spare blades as I thought I had — only three of the small, and none of the large.  The three were so old that the anti-rust coating had glued them together, which made it difficult to get one out of the package without damaging an edge or cutting my finger.  But I didn't cut myself, and I don't think that I damaged any edges.  I wiped the anti-rust off before putting the blade into the holder.

I'd been keeping both cutters in the zip-lock bag the large one came in; getting everything out of the pocket(s) revealed that it had sprung a leak at the bottom.  I remembered buying, by mistake, a box of snack bags that open at the end instead of the side; one of these holds both cutters (an a razor blade that had also been in the bag) nicely, and it's much less likely to get rulers shoved in by mistake.

I should photograph the bag for "Bags and Pillows".  One of my sister's easter baskets was a tote bag, with the handles a continuous wreath that passes under the bottom of the bag.  Since there is a seam at the bottom of the bag, and only one side seam, I'm not at all sure how she managed that.  A strip of contrast fabric was hemmed at both ends and laid on the bag where the handles would secure both sides, which created a double-ended pocket.


Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Yesterday, washday, I still hadn't found a few minutes to finish mending red ramie bra #c, and I hadn't even begun on white linen #3 orange, which came out of the washer frayed a couple of weeks ago.

So I put on red ramie #A, which had long been relegated to wearing in bed when I think I might have to get up and answer the door.  To my surprise, it supports well even though I'm sure that I never bothered to replace the stretched-out elastic.

So I put #B back into the rotation too, so now I'm well supplied with bras — for a time.  The reason I didn't replace the elastic was that the neck of #A must be bound before the bra is washed again.  But most of the stitches are already out, so it won't be as much work as the two in progress.

And I found that most of thread in the hem of #3 orange could be pulled out in long pieces.  I should press it and trim it so that it and #c can be be finished together, but in the interest of actually getting one done, I plan to get #c to the seam-pressing stage before clearing off the ironing board.

In case you wonder about the mixed-case labels:  When I made the three red bras, I marked the pieces A, B, and C.  When I embroidered marks on the finished bras, I used my monogram, J and B sharing a vertical stroke, for the one assembled from pieces marked B.  This suggested the flying A that had been my monogram when my initials were J.A.L. for A.  But I couldn't think of anything pertaining to me that looked like a C, so I made a tiny fly-stitch c in one shoulder seam.


Wednesday, 1 December 2021

This morning, I ran a line of basting stitches around the neck of Red Ramie #A so that it could be washed a few more times before it had to be bound.  I made a number of mistakes.  First was deciding to do the work by hand so that it would be easy to take out.  Duh!  I could have set the stitch length for four millimeters and unbalanced the tension a tiny bit.  Then I decided that since I was basting, I could cut the thread long enough to go all around the neck in one go.  And then I chose a beading needle, which was very hard to thread, and I never actually used the extra length.  #9 Crewel would have done just fine.

Next I measured the easing stitches I put into Red Ramie #c yesterday:  marks that were two sun apart are now a sun and a half.  I don't know why the ramie eased so much more easily than the linen.  Perhaps it was partly that I've had practice and mostly that the ramie is worn thin and soft.

I also put easing stitches into White Linen #3 orange while I had the double-wound bobbin in, even though I haven't pressed the hem open and cut along the frayed line yet.  So I measured that, and it has shrunk almost as much as RR#c even though I haven't pulled on the easing thread yet.

Now to pin the bias to RR#c.


Friday, 3 December 2021

Re-stitched the bias to RR#c and picked out the old stitches.

Went out for exercise yesterday, and have another all-day trip planned for tomorrow.


Wednesday, 8 December 2021

And church on Sunday, wash and shopping on Monday, to the vet and putting away the wash on Tuesday, but red ramie #c is finally hanging in the closet.  And I pressed the hem of white linen #3, which I picked out some time ago.

Pressing was tedious because my ironing board is too wide and my sleeve board is too narrow.  I pressed #c first as it lay, then pressed the bias away from the bra, then wrapped it around the raw edge and pinned it, trying to pin out the irregularity where I joined the ends.  I appear to have succeeded.  I wandered away from the edge a bit when stitching; I must sort through my feet to find one that makes it easier to guide on a folded edge.  I've been using the zig-zag foot for everything so long that I forgot that I had others.

Is it possible that I can begin to mark the scrap from making the yellow jersey for cutting now?


Sunday,12 December 2021

Nope.  I haven't even found the time to trim the frayed edge off the neck of white linen #3.

When sorting laundry for tomorrow, I noticed that red ramie #A had gaps in the stitching that were long enough for the hem to unfold and fray, and an inch or so was worn almost through.  I didn't want to put it in line behind wl#3 and take it out of circulation, so I put the double-wound bobbin in the Necchi, threaded the needle with no-provenance thread, and set the stitch length for maximum, intending to baste it so it would hold for a few more washings.

Then I turned on the battery light and saw that I'd already done this job by hand with red thread.

The laundry will leave me too tired to sew, and I have a blood draw on Tuesday.  It's at eight o'clock, so I'll probably want an early nap.

Awk scrickle.  I also have a mammogram scheduled.  But it's in the afternoon.

Wednesday rain.  Might get some work done.


Tuesday, 14 December 2021

I swore that I'd trim the frayed neck of WL#3 today, and I did, but just after I'd put the cutting mat away and was thinking of pinning bias tape to the bra, it was time to do something that had to be done Right Now — perhaps it was lying down for an hour so I wouldn't crash into anything on my way to my one-o'clock appointment — and there were no more free minutes.


15 December 2021

All day to sew — and at bedtime I haven't even finished putting away Monday's wash.  I have made a start on sorting my socks into shoe boxes.

A peck of socks and nothing to wear.  I keep buying "well, it will almost do".  Big R (now R.P.) shows no sign of intending to bring back the grey ragg socks that suit me so well.  I have two pair of those left, but the heels are worn to the reinforcement, and a bit drafty in sandals.  I can hope to find a newer pair when I dump the out-of-season drawer.


Thursday, 16 December 2021

At last, time to sew and I spent it sewing.  First I reached across the ironing board to get the bias.  I lost my grip, and the bias box, the velcro box, and the buckle box all crashed to the floor.  But only the bias box popped open.  I picked the roll of unbleached batiste out of the mess and left it to clean up later — no more getting sidetracked!

Pinned it all around with right-angle pins, stretching it as much as I could.  Overlapped the ends and pulled a thread rather less than one seam allowance from where they met, took out adjacent pins and pinned the ends together, careful to match at the seamlines.  I put the pin right where I intended to stitch.

I had planned to use the straight-stitch foot for edge stitching, so I blew the dust off my attachment box and opened it.  Rummage rummage rummage.  No straight-stitch foot.  There is an edge-stitching foot, but it's not intended for hemming.  And I still want the straight-stitch foot for sewing the ends together.

The dime dropped.  There must have been a time when I was swapping feet back and forth and didn't want to open the attachment box each time.  So I looked on the left side of the thread drawer under the Necchi, picked up a bunch of hem-gauge cards and other tools, and there was the straight-stitch foot, also the satin-stitch foot and the roller foot.  I never got any use out of the roller foot; if I recall correctly, it increased, rather than decreased, the pushing of the top fabric.  'Splains why one didn't come with the machine.

I finger-pressed the seam, trimmed an excess triangle of seam allowance, stretched the gap, and put the right-angle pins back in.

Commenced switching the right-angle pins to in-line pins while checking the alignment.

Oops!  the piecing seam is right-side out, which means that the seam allowances will show when this side is folded to the inside.

I've got two choices here.  I could pull out all those carefully, carefully placed pins and turn the strip over.  I chose to say "I meant to do that".  Both allowances are good selvages, after all.

I've barely started the final pinning, but it's naptime.  There is still bias tape scattered on the floor, but I picked up the velcro and the buckles.


17 December 2021

I'd better finish soon.  RR#A just bit the dust.  A thin spot near one dart has become a hole.

There's a red bra now serving as a kicking rag (for minor spills in the kitchen), but all the red ramie is accounted for.  This must have been the red linen that I bought when I bought the curry linen that my oldest linen jersey is made of, back when Phoenix Textiles was a source of such good bargains that I would buy fabric on spec.  That was such good linen that one could sew with the ravellings, and the rag still looks and feels nicer than some of my new linen.


Saturday, 18 December 2021

I'm not supposed to think about the real world when I'm trying to sleep, lest I have an idea that I must get up and write down, but shortly before half-past one, my mind drifted to analyzing Jessup's "Combination Stitch", a series of spaced back stitches, and I realized that it has all the virtues of closed backstitch, is quicker to work, puts less thread into a seam, and doesn't have double-length stitches on the back.

I wonder why such a useful stitch has been forgotten?  I'm eager to do some hand sewing so I can try it out.

And, oh, I did pick up the bias tape.  The box isn't as neat as it was before, but it's on the shelf.


Monday,20 December 2021

I did sew today — in the evening, for some reason, I tugged at the right armhole of my old sleeveless seersucker instant-decency gown, and heard a rip.  Inspection revealed a tear a bit more than an inch long.  The machine is already set up with white thread to sew bias to the bra I've been trying to find time to mend for weeks, so I checked that the drapes were closed, took the gown off, and sewed a narrow dart.  Then I stroked the seam allowances to one side and stitched along the hem to keep the dart from pulling apart.

I ought to be wearing my flannel long-sleeved nightgown instead of a sleeveless seersucker daygown, but it's only fifteen minutes until bedtime.


22 December 2021

My sworn goal today is to mark the yellow linen for cutting out bras even if nothing else gets done, but it's almost eleven and I'm just now getting ready to plug in the iron.

Well, among other things, the plug of the drop cord that switches the power supply from the dimmer switch to the surge suppressor (which I'm using for an octopus) was hard to pull out, so I needed to clean the prongs, then I went to the closet for the step stool so I could plug the iron into the light fixture before turning on the bright lights by plugging their power supply in, it was buried in pillows that had fallen off the shelf.

Oh yes, the linen got rumpled during the hiatus, so I've got to iron it again.

I do have a faint clue as to how I'm going to mark bias lines on fabric that is thirty percent wider than my card tables.

I thought I could iron it dry, but even cheap tow is linen, and linen has to be ironed wet

Not very wet, since I desired only to flatten it, not to make it look nice.  (Which isn't possible anyway, since it musses so easily.)

I see how I can mark the corners of a square on the wide end of the fabric, then turn it bias to the tables and mark one of the diagonals.

But for now, I'm hungry and sleepy, and I want to get to bed early enough to be sure of waking up in time to dress for the party.

I had my dress-up clothes on in plenty of time to work on the bras some more, but I was too hungry to think.  So I ate a devilled egg and a fig bar, and took my pills with milk, then went into the parlor with a clear head and a needle of basting thread — and found that it was too close to sunset to sew in a room with no overhead light.

With the aid of magnifying glasses, I did manage to thread-mark both ends of the drawn line marking the end of the full-width part of the scrap.


Thursday, 23 December 2021

With the aid of a lot of pins, I measured the drawn thread against the longer fuzzy not-selvage and marked it.  Then I found that the diagonal of fifty-two inch fabric is significantly longer than the width of two thirty-four inch card tables, so I needed to put the leaves in the dining table to mark the bias line.

Before I could do that, I would have to wash the dishes so that there would be room on the counter for six kinds of salt and so forth.

So I finished pinning bias tape to bra white linen #3, inspected both sides, sewed the seam, and inspected both sides.  Then I folded under and basted a tad more than an eighth of an inch of the free edge, and pressed the seam as it lay, incidentally flattening the seam joining the ends and creasing the fold-under.  I had to snip the basting in a few places to allow the tape to stretch into position.  My larger ham was a big help; the sleeve board won't let me press much at a time, and pressing on the main board kept the bra rumpled up and in my way.

Clearing the ironing board wasn't much trouble, as all the clutter was piled on the leg board, except for a box of lace I'm looking to move into a larger box so that the filet panel of a sweeping sunbonnet baby can lie flat.  While shifting the lace back onto the ironing board, I noticed a box labeled "pure synthetic and [??] striped cotton jersey" that is wide enough, and the contents will almost certainly fit into the lace box, particularly since I'll want to put the striped jersey elsewhere.

I inspected both sides of the pressed seam, removed some rumples that had been pressed into the bra side of the seam, then pressed the tape away from the bra and inspected both sides.

I had just begun to pin the final fold when my lunch finished cooking, and now it's time for bed.


Friday, 24 December 2021

Washed the dishes today.  I don't know what I did with the rest of the day — except that I slept all afternoon.

A Christmas gift came in a box suitable for the lace.  I found a place for it on the shelf, but haven't lined it with linen rags yet.


Saturday, 25 December 2021

Cleared the table, opened it out, cleaned over a year's worth of crumbs out of the cracks, put the leaves in.

[Pictures at this point.]

The bar of soap was to give me a target to light up with the laser level.  It proved impossible to make everything stay lined up long enough to dot the bias line, so I resorted to marking the ends with my 45K° triangle and filling in with a yardstick.

[picture of marks]

Of course the hypotenuse of a twelve-inch triangle wasn't big enough to reduce two yards and three inches to one yard.  I vaguely recalled seeing a longer stick hanging in the shop, and put a ruler and a yardstick together to see how much longer it needed to be, then realized that with the two sticks edge-to-edge, I could use the ruler to reduce the gap to less than a yard.


Tuesday, 28 December 2021

All that fuss drawing the bias line, and I've decided not to use it.  All that fuss getting the table open, and when I finally got time to use it, it was Roomba day in the living room, which cluttered up the kitchen.

I did get the endpoints of the line for the first back drawn, using the card tables — and a prolonged search for the spare light bulbs.

But the points marked are an even yard from the corner, so no way to mark it on card tables.  It's now clear in the kitchen, but it's also past time for a nap to rest up for the afternoon.


Wednesday, 29 December 2021

When I got the bias line marked, the corner was big enough to get a front from.  I marked two bras, marked them "A" and "B", and cut out the front in the triangle, which is marked "A".  I'm sure I can mark more bras on the remaining linen, but plan to cut out what I've already cut first, so there will be less fabric to flop around.

A front and a back fit on the other side of the bias line, and I marked back A with its straps between those straps, with the aid of my big red triangle.  It took a lot of fussing and fiddling, and two corners are off its seam allowances.

Laundry tomorrow will probably use up all my thinkum.


Friday, 31 December 2021

And my time, too.

Each cut leaves a thick line of yellow dust.  This is a really poor quality of fabric.

I've found several places where I forgot to extend marks into the bra, all before cutting, thank goodness.

I have remembered to mark arrows on all the scraps before cutting.

I made the trace-around patterns to comply with the rule "lay out everything before you cut anything", but it is also really convenient to be able to wool the fabric around to bring the line I'm cutting along right under my nose.  I may trace around patterns when I want only one copy.

Back A yet to cut, then I can mark some more.

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