Monday, November 30, 2020

Heirloom Decorative Technique

 I found this on a vintage silk blouse last year, and I thought the technique was so cool, I wanted to try it.  It's a narrow turned tube that's then looped around and stitched into place.  The center pieces have me temporarily stumped, though.  I'll be doing some extensive searching and asking around for guidance on this particular technique.

I have several books on decorative techniques, but this one doesn't seem to be in any of them.



Other than this, I'll be working on a vest for my daughter and one for myself.  I've joined the Fabric Stash contest over at and since all of my fabric is stash right now, I'm hoping to get lots sewn up over the coming months.

I've sewn the vest I want to make for myself once already in a wool suiting.  I've reviewed it on Pattern Review way back in 2012. Butterick5534

The one for Daughter is McCall's 5186.  I have also made this one before, but I never reviewed it.  Besides, the last garments I made for her was when she was 11 years old, so this is a whole 'nother ball game.  She is 17 now. With a very different set of fitting issues.  So we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

 I've been struggling all week to find time to make more items for my Etsy store.  Sigh.  Sometimes it's just impossible.  I'll get there.  It's just that everything is taking longer than I'd like.

On a not-complaining note :o) Daughter and I spent a lot of time hiking this year.  We went out almost every Saturday and tried to take a trail or go to a location we hadn't been before. There's a lot of hiking around here, so it wasn't that hard.

I also live on a dead end road, which turns into a nice walking path along side a creek.  That one is a favorite of ours and all we have to do is walk out the front door.

On one of our many walks that way, we came across this little guy.  Almost impossible to keep in your hand, Mr Jumpy didn't sit still for very long and I barely got a few good pictures in.  I decided he's make a great sketch, and so here we are.

I haven't done any drawing for years, actually, so I wasn't sure I still had the touch.  Nothing is quite as crisp in this drawing as I'd like, but that also might be the paper, which I've never used before.  Anyway, it's kind of cute, so I thought I'd share.

In sewing land, I'm really enjoying my 1931 Singer.  I've never taken such delight in sewing with any specific machine before, but I'm in love with this one.  It's only a straight stitch, in fact does not even have a backstitch, but I'm absolutely hooked.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Newest Addition 1931 Singer

My newest baby.  A 1931 Singer in a beautiful bent wood case.  I found this at my local Goodwill way back before COVID happened.  It's taken me some time to get her into good shape, but she got her last oiling last night and I spent several hours sewing with her.  Beautiful!  And so quiet!

I was working yesterday on a new quilt.  It's just random fabric scraps that I didn't try very hard to match or make a nice pattern with.  I don't know.  It's probably the ugliest quilt I've ever made.  For some reason, I decided to do the piecing last year more out of duty to use up those scraps than any real desire to make a quilt or any real creativity.  

As a result, I could probably win the ugly quilt contest hands down.  I suggest.  No, I implore.  Please don't ever do this to yourself. 

I am however, determined to press on.  I will free motion quilt the squares in sections that are 25"x25" and go ahead and make it anyway.  This is the first time I've used Insulbright instead of cotton batting, so I will be curious as to whether or not it is actually warmer than a regular quilt.  Any of you have experience using Insulbright?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Merino Wool Fingerless Gloves


Daughter has been looking for fingerless gloves for some months now, and everything she's found so far has had some deal breaking flaw.  So I offered to make her something if she could find a yarn in my stash that she approved of.  Turns out there was a single ball of this blue, green, purple variegated merino wool that she positively fell in love with at first sight.

It took me a couple of weeks, simply because I've been having a hard time finding project time. But persistence prevailed!  I finished these a couple of days ago to an astonishing amount of excitement over how beautiful they were.  I love making my girl happy!

These are done on a circular needle and if I'd had two balls of yarn I would have knitted them both at the same time. Alas, I had only the one and no idea where it came from.  I would guess a clearance bin somewhere, but honestly, I keep my supplies for years sometimes before I get around to using them.  I can almost always shop my stash and find something I didn't even know I had.

I've used the book Knitting Without Tears as my go to reference book for knitting techniques, so that's where the thumb design comes from.  I have made countless fingerless gloves over the years, so my technique has morphed into something kind of my own, but that book is definitely my origin.  I used it 30 years ago to teach myself how to knit.  Left-handed.  People tell me I knit backwards.  I have no doubt they're right.

The wristband is your standard k2,p2 as is the finishing at the thumb and finger ends.  The palms are a straight knit.  The backs are a popcorn stitch.  Alternating double rows of k2, p2.  It's my favorite knitting stitch, for mysterious reasons of irrational personal preference.

Youngest Son is now clamoring for a pair like his sister's. I can't really blame him.  Hers turned out really nice.

I will, however, have to fix my knitting needles first.  I thought it was cute when I saw my cat Gizmo carrying them around by the nylon part, with the bamboo needles hanging from either side of her mouth.  Needless to say, I took them from her and put them away with my knitting things.  Apparently, not away enough.  She found them overnight.  And chewed them.  

Cats. Like husbands, can't live with 'em and can't live without 'em.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

More Pattern De-Stashing!

Wow! Definitely feeling nostalgic this morning as I go through some more patterns that I am looking for new homes for.  I remember why I bought each and every one, and why I fell in love with them.  Silly, I know.  But for me, loving them is not enough.  If they don't get used, then what's the point?

So, anyway, there's another dozen or so patterns listed on my Etsy store. Check them out and see if there's any you'd like to give a new home to.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Pattern De-Stashing

If you know me even a little, you know that I love sewing patterns.  And not just a little, either.  If it has some little tiny detail or embellishment that I like, I have been know to buy the pattern and do a happy dance. 

See that neckline?  Must have that pattern.  Look at the pocket! Must have that pattern.  Those lines...that curve...that interesting design.  All good reasons to buy that pattern.

 Did I mention that when I moved back in 2015, I moved to a smaller house? Some patterns I've owned or at least 25 years.  Some I've only picked up recently.  Either way, there are patterns I don't need, won't use, or used once and never will again.  Hence, I have started populating my Etsy store with sewing patterns for sale.

Some of these patterns I have very nostalgic memories of. If you're a member, I reviewed this pattern for these jeans a million years ago Pattern Review Jeans Review

Check back every few days.  It takes a while to make those listings and I only have so much time to do them.

This week it's a couple of vintage Burda's and some of those delightful old Kwik Sews on that heavy white paper that we all knew and loved and mourned its demise.  I have more Kwik Sews and Big 4's to put up, but I probably won't get to them until next week.

Take a look at the shop if you're in the market for a new-to-you pattern.  And as a thank you to all my blog readers, you can get 10% off any patterns with the coupon code BLOG10

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Mama's in the Kitchen--Aprons Galore!

Okay, so I've never met a jar of pasta sauce that  didn't spill on my clothes at the first introduction.  Or a hamburger that didn't spatter me with grease while cooking.  Why haven't I made any aprons sooner?  Good question.  Wish I had a good answer.  I could've saved myself a lot of money over the years on clothes I didn't have to replace.

There are so many cute aprons out there.  And so much cute fabric.  Heck! I should  just make some.

So I did.

First I bought some lightweight canvas.  Because quilting cotton makes great aprons, but the canvas was on sale and it had just the most pretty or adorable prints.  This tropical flower print is easily my favorite of the lot.

Next, I drafted me up a pattern that looked like it would work.  I tend to be a visual pattern drafter so I eyeball a lot of what I draw.  The first draft wasn't perfect, but the second was pretty good, and the third even better.  Then I added a pocket or three on the front.  Because I love pockets, and I'm always looking for places to put things down.  I even made some with contrasting binding around the edges.  Extra work, but I think it looks really cool. 

Then I said to myself, "Self, other people might like an apron, too.  People who don't sew, or who don't have the time."  Hence, my Etsy shop.

I've got aprons on there, of course.  But also tea towels and pot holders that match, because I do like it when the things in my kitchen match.  So I figured other people might like that, too.

I've also popped up some hand braided jewelry as well.  Because it's fun to make, but some folks just don't have the time, or the patience, or they just don't consider themselves crafty enough to make things like that.

Take a look, if you're so inclined.  I'd love to have your feedback, sewing and crafting friends.  I always love good feedback.