Friday, January 21, 2022

Not the Cardi...

 So,   I bought some merino wool jersey right at the end of the year, because I wanted to see if the whole 'wool jersey t shirt' thing that I've seen promoted on social media is worth the hype...only I didn't want to spend 90 bucks on a shirt.  A T SHIRT.  

So I got a yard and seven - eigths of some nice merlot jersey from one of my favorite dealers, er, online fabric stores, because I wanted a long sleeved T and knew I'd need at least two body lengths worth of fabric, but it was pricey and I shaved a few pennies off the expense by keeping it under two yards.

Pulled out my Jalie 2566 pattern with the long sleeve I'd cobbled up between the cardigan sleeve and the short t shirt sleeve and laid it out to cut it out today, and, yes, I needed two body lengths (the long sleeve is pretty much the same length as the body pieces).  Just can't get a front, a back and a pair of sleeves out of the width of the fabric.

But I had a whole lotta fabric leftover.  I had, oh, maybe a quarter yard extra in length but with only the sleeves cut out of the second 'body length' there was a BUNCH of fabric there that probably couldn't be used for anything.

Or could it?

I finagled around and discovered that, while I couldn't get a front, back, and two sleeves off of the first body length, I COULD get a front, back and ONE sleeve, by folding in the lengthwise edges each just wide enough to cut a body front on one fold and a body back on the other, with enough single layer in the middle for one sleeve.

So, I did that twice (being careful to flip the sleeve the second time), and I could get both short sleeves and two neckbands off the bit leftover.

And this was all the fabric I had left:

So...getting two t shirts out of my pricey fabric...which was still a little less than one T shirt at retail...makes me very happy.   Having mere scraps leftover makes me exceedingly happy. Planning to sew them tomorrow so I can wear at least one of them during our cold spell next week.

I had hoped that this would work for the SWAP wardrobe but it's got just a little too much brown in it to work with the deep pinky-red in the Hydrangea Scarf.  Rats. should be quick sewing.

I think I've made up my mind on the cardi pattern.  No buttonholes or facings.... more news on that next week.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Hoover Trunk, Part 5 : Accessories

 I *think* I have sifted all the accessories out of the bin and photographed them...maybe...

Anyway, first up, SCARVES:

I am pretty sure all of these are silk.  And they all have abraision damage/ tiny holes and/or stains.  But...what era?  The teens?  The twenties?  The fifties?  Who knows?

The first one is black w/ gold threads around the border

Then we have this red, blue and gold scarf that I love.  Such rich color!
Cream, rust, orange jacquard...the sides are reverse images.  Not sure which one is supposed to be the 'right' side

It's pretty grungy...I wonder if a cleaning would damage it or refresh it.

There were actually two of these long skinny ties; I just didn't photograph the second one.  They are woven to that width; not a tube and not hemmed.  I'm guessing an ascot type of tie?  Wrapped around the neck a couple of times and then knotted?  They're both about 4 feet long...I took this pic and then packed it up before I figured out I should make use of  tape measure, lol.

Next up, we have this interesting little printed leather bag:
I didn't realize it was leather until I actually picked it up.  

It has a little snapped case at the top...for coins, I suppose, but it could also be for a housekey.  The bag is lined, but the case is not and you can see that it's actually leather.

I don't know if the metal snap/ grommets would be useful in dating it.  I think it's adorable.

Finally, I have a couple of things that I think are more modern...I am pretty sure these gloves are from the 1960's or early 70's based on the print on the bag...and the fact that they came in a plastic bag at all:

They are nylon knit and I held my breath when I put it on...but I have small hands and it worked.  And I cracked up that shiny nylon knit was marketed as 'leather look'

The last thing I'm going to include on this batch is a sunbonnet...but I suspect that this sunbonnet was made for the Bicentennial in 1976.  I took a picture showing the black braided elastic that cinches the back but it didn't focus well; I tried to take it too close up.  But this fabric doesn't have that vintagey feel to it the obviously older cotton fabrics have...and a truly older one would not use elastic at the back neck. But even if it was made for the bicentennial, it would be about 46 years old, so that's something, lol.

There is another sunbonnet in the bin but it matches a shirtwaist and I do think it's least, contemporary with most of the rest of the garments in the trunk.  I haven't photographed them yet so that'll be a later post.

And I thought the Hoover Trunk would be good for two posts, lol.  I obviously did not know what I was getting myself into.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Cleaning out the queue...

 So, as I was hunting around for the pattern I'm considering for the cable sweater knit fabric, I ran across a bundle of stripey gauze and suddenly remembered the gauze pants I'd started last summer and got half done.

And realized that they might come in handy for a Florida trip next month, so I pulled them out and finished them up.

It's a New Look pattern; I don't have the number handy but it's one of my faves for pull on pants (ETA: 6203 -- I bought it for the top, which I've never made, but the pants have been great.  I added the drawstring and the pockets)

Back when the weather was warm and I was frantically trying to figure out how to add 6" of girth to a bridesmaid's dress,  I ended up at JoAnn's for some blue satin.  Now, JA's is not handy to my house so every time I go in I do a slow walk around the place, just to see if there's anything worth taking home.  And I found this crinkled stripe cotton gauze.

Now, back in 2019 I got to go to Israel and spent some time in the Judean desert.  And I happened to have an ANCIENT (like, I think I made them in 2003?) pair of Tencel crinkle gauze drawstring pants.  Let me tell you, the were PERFECT for wearing in the heat.  So when I saw the stripey gauze at JA's I had to nab it, even though I knew I wouldn't have time to sew it up.

I cut it out a couple of weeks after the wedding and worked on them kinda hit and miss...we had a vacation in there, then it was fall and the Christmas production sewing kicked in and I stuck the pants in a bin and forgot about them.

So it just took me a couple of non-dedicated hours to get them out of the sewing room and into the closet.  They are every bit as light and airy as the old Tencel pants.  I really don't expect it to be terribly hot in Orlando in February but if it is...I'm ready, lol.

I also found a maxi dress that had stretched out and was too long; I'd cut it down but it still needed a hem.  Black thread in the machine...ok, I put in the double needle and sewed that down, too.  But it's a tank style so I won't wear it until Summer.

Part of me is wondering if I'm procrastinating...but it does feel good to finish some things.

I have a piece of merino wool for a T shirt; I may make that up this week, too, so I can wear it while it's still winter.  But after's time to face the CARDIGAN.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Finishing up the alteration of recent acquisitions....

 I had a few things that had arrived of late (some later than others, lol) that needed some altering so I decided to knock that out before I hit the new wardrobe sewing.

One was a pair of fleece-lined yoga pants from Land's End, for walking on chilly days.  They were about 2" too long; I tried wearing them cuffed up but the fabric fought folding so about 1/8 of a mile out I started walking on them and spent the rest of the walk hitching them up.  Annoying.  So I whacked off a bit and then hand basted them up before I double-needled 'em to hold that fold.  No pics...they're black pants so nothing would show up anyway.

And I had two more T shirts.  One I picked up during the family road trip to Indiana last summer; one of our favorite eating places is Das  Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana.  If you go....go for breakfast, order off the menu, and get the beef biscuits and gravy.  SO GOOD.

Anyway, I wanted one of their 50th anniversary shirts but there wasn't a one to be had in my size.  But...hey, no problemo, I sew.  I got a 3XL.

 It's a little big, lol.  I took the picture last summer but didn't get around to getting the shirt apart for resizing until last week.  Cut it out last night and...doggone it if I didn't have the same 'too low   armsceye' issue with it that I had with the merino top.

Well, I knew how to fix it, lol.   I didn't have  enough cut off of the sleeve to fill in the gaps, so I cut the bottom to length and used that for a fill in.  Oddly enough, the front armsceye was considerably lower than the back armsceye...what's up with that?  But no one will notice it.


And I have my 50th anniversary commemorative t shirt...

Finally, I have a T shirt that I ordered online a couple of weeks ago...purely for whimsy...

Tron '82...Can you believe it's been 40 years since Kevin Flynn defeated the MCP?

Me neither. 

The ONLY size available was 3XL.  Fortunately, this shirt didn't need any gap filling on the underarm...I just took it apart, re cut it, and sewed it back up.  I left it the original length; I can wear leggings with it if I want.

If I dare, lol...Anyway,  I have a Tron shirt to wear to the Magic Kingdom on our long-planned whole family trip  in a few weeks; the Lord willin' and the Covid don't rise...

Moral of this story:   So what if the t shirt you love isn't available in your size?  If you can sew, you can make it work!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Year's First Remake

 So, back before Christmas, I bought some socks from a bee-themed online sock maker; I like giving nice socks at Christmas (their merino wool socks will change your life, no joke there).  They've branched out into other garments as well, and I've been intrigued with the whole 'merino wool t shirt' thing I've seen.  So I thought I'd get one to see if the hype is true.  

The long-sleeved t I ordered wasn't 100% merino's blended with viscose...but it didn't cost $90 like some others, either, although I still thought it was a ridiculous amount of money for a t shirt.  But, given that merino jersey sells for about $30/yard, what you gonna do?

Well...when it got here and I put it on, I thought, maybe they'd better stick to socks....the fabric was nice and light and lofty, the color was good, the thumb holes are kewl, but...

Holy saggy bosomed batwtings, Batman, that looks awful.  Maybe I ordered a size too big?  My bust measurement put me right at the bottom of the XL range but I didn't want a snug fit, so that's what I got...

I think the armseyes are just cut Too Low.  It fits well at the hips.

But, you know, I really didn't want to mess with a return and I can't find fabric like that anywhere and I kinda specialize in recutting t shirts these days so... let's give it a go.

Unpick the seams, remove the sleeves, and open the sleeve seam to just above that coverstitched cuff that I did NOT want to remove.

Stack the sleeves, being very careful to keep right sides together:

Now, lay the selected t shirt pattern sleeve pattern over the cap, matching, as much as is possible,  the underarm seam lines.

 Whack off the excess sleeve cap.  This should take care of the extra long sleeves.

Now, fold the t-shirt body in half and, since I happened to grab the back first, lay the back over the fold, matching the fold line on the pattern and the intersection of the armsceye and shoulder seam.

Uh-oh.  The armsceye dips too low.  Um, what if I use the sleeve cap pieces I cut off to fill in the gap?

Let's cut the sides down, first.  

I morphed from the narrowest bit of the pattern out to the existing sideseam at the hem; I didn't want to narrow the hip area.  Just the top/shoulders.  Repeat for the front

Then, I cut the extra sleeve head bits in two and put one half on each underarm to fill in the gap and re-cut the armsceye.

I will not lie; I put a couple on backwards and had to redo them.  I don't have any intermediate pics, but here's the finished underarm, after adding the sleeve and closing the underarm seam:

Not dead was not an exact process...but way better, doncha think?




Crazy to remake the thing, given what I paid for it, but I will wear this.

 ETA, looking at those pics...I think I ended up with the sleeves on the wrong sides, lol.  I was careful to put the back sleeve bit of the pattern against the back sleeve bit of the sleeves BUT...the fabric was wrong sides out.  I'm not sure, but I think I laid the pattern on right side up...which would have flipped the sleeves right to left. Wouldn't matter...except the thumb hole really is on the wrong side of the wrist, lol.  Doesn't hurt it; it just looks odd if you look close. But, you know, the original sleeve was twisted when I put my thumb through the holes, so...maybe it came that way and I didn't realize it.  Yeah, that's it. LOL.

I have a couple of more alteration projects in process to finish out before I dive into the scarf wardrobe sewing.  

Gives me a bit of time to ponder exactly what I'm going to do with that gorgeous but unstable cable sweater knit that arrived last week for the core wardrobe, lol.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Start with a Scarf 2022: Here We Go! we go again.

My wardrobe needs a bit of refreshing; I really haven't sewn much for it since the middle of  2019, despite the continued influx of new fabric (albeit at a slower pace than years past...still, it's coming in way faster than it's being sewn).

Back in December, I started to consider attempting another year long sew-along with The Vivienne Files Six Scarves 12 Months wardrobes.

But I hadn't been wearing scarves much; a scarf and a facemask really don't work well together....especially if the facemask is made of printed cotton and not a solid.  But masks are getting less and less expected, especially for folks who are vaccinated, and I was thinking a  scarf-based wardrobe might just be the push I needed to get the scarves back into the rotation.

One of the scarves I pulled out to consider was this one that I'd spotted a year or so ago and was utterly smitten with:

(Hydrangea Scarf from PJ Studio Accessories via Wolf and Badger)

I don't remember the occasion but I snagged it at a SIGNIFICANT discount. But it, like the other scarves I've collected in the last two years, has just languished in the closet.  

Well, this year Janice posted about the 2022 scarves on Christmas Eve; typically that post goes up on Jan 1 (or shortly thereafter).  But she has completely reimagined the approach to the wardrobe building this year and, as shown in the linked post, she's starting each wardrobe off with five garments in the neutral color.

All of the scarves are from PJ Studio Accessories...and one of them is the Hydrangea scarf!  She picked a scarf I actually own!

If that's not A Sign...I don't know what is.

Now, I had originally thought I'd use black as the neutral with that scarf, with mint, rose, royal and white as the accents:

But Janice used black as the neutral for a different wardrobe; this one gets navy blue as the neutral:

Now, I have SOME navy in my wardrobe but I will definitely have to add some.  The five garments she posted as the core of the wardrobe are a long sleeved crew neck t shirt, a button-up cardigan sweater, a pullover sweater and two pairs of (rather casual) pants.  

I have navy pants...two pair and a couple of pairs of nice dark wash jeans...but the tops, well, not so much.  I did poke around online; tried to buy the sweaters she had linked but for some reason I couldn't use the discount I'd been emailed from that vendor just a day or two earlier that was supposed to be good through the week...and in a fit of pique I closed down and started looking at fabric sites.

I may be sewing in the upstairs room before I quite get it set up...

When Janice's 1/3 post was not about the scarves, I thought I had all month to come up with the five core garments, but the 1/5 post was about the first additions to the core:  A long sleeved knit shirt and a cardigan (a twinset in some wardrobes), two pairs of shoes, a bag and a pair of earrings....chosen to expand the wardrobe enough for a weekend getaway.  The pink she chose for the Hydrangea wardrobe is lovely...and, with some hunting, I think I found a pretty close matching knit to concoct my own version of the twinset.  So that's five garments to make this month

I think I will cut myself a little slack; if I'm late, I'm late.  Maybe I will be caught up by May.

I've joined the Stitcher's Guild S(ew) W(ith) A P(lan) contest again this year; hopefully I can meld the two challenges into one.

Here's to more garment sewing in 2022!

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

A Wild Start to 2022

 Just a little catch up...

We started the new year off with a bang.  January 1st tied the record high for the date at 79 degrees F, but before the day was over we were hunkered under the concrete porch with a radar-triggered tornado warning.

Not the ideal start to the new year, but, considering all things, the storm damage in the area was pretty minor; the rotation stayed in the clouds when it was in our area.  We just got a lot of rain.

But the next night, a low pressure system developed behind the cold front and we got snow.

Now, I grew up in Indiana, where snow is pretty and then it's a jolly nuisance.  But in Alabama...snow is magical.  It's been ten years since we had snow on the ground two nights in a row.  So I took all kinds of pictures.

It's gone now, by the way.  Doesn't hang around long enough to wear out its welcome, lol.

I stayed up till a ridiculous hour to get the night photos; I didn't think it would last long enough to get good pics in the daylight...

Being the 9th day of Christmas, we still had the lights in the bushes.  So cool.
The night setting on my phone is amazing; it almost looks like daylight.

This would have been better if I had walked all the way around the house, but I didn't have on appropriate footwear to walk in the snow...the driveway was still just wet.

But it stayed cold and I took a 3+ mile walk down to the greenway and back the next morning.  The pics look black and white...but I promise you, they are color.  It was just that stark in real life.

I am not going to do a review of my sewing in 2021; it was pretty pitiful in many ways.  I only had 22 posts all year.  But I have something brewing that might turn out to be a series...and I need to finish posting the goodies in the Hoover Trunk.  My upstairs sewing room is progressing; the next thing is to get the old Simplicity pattern cabinet moved up there.  

But here's to a more inspired year in 2022 for all of us!  Happy New Year!