Saturday, 21 September 2013


Love to smell clothes fresh off the line! DH would prefer his unmentionables to be dryer soft. I shall make it so. I do think my towels look whiter. My clothespin holder is too small and is available upon request. I need to build a new one.

This week I sewed with a body part not previously used by most sewers. Minimizer bra now being considered. As I make my own, I have to think this one over. The Great P thinks I should teach a class in different ways to get that seam done. Just think of the supply list!

I joined Mayflower Quilt Guild this week. There were 86 people at the first meeting and easily over 100 quilts for display THIS MONTH! What have I done? It was a well organized and talented group. I knew some people from different parts of my life so I felt quite at home. Now I understand I need to find a 'bee'. A bee is a social group that meets to work together. Most bees have a quota and I may need to start my own. Then again, maybe I'll coast for a bit. These people are productive!

I'm working on a dress. Again, I am reading the directions as I didn't draft this myself. DH is helping with the fitting. He has decided I need a sway back adjustment. He doesn't know that. He just pinned one out and said "Much better!". I have avoided that previously. It just seemed to be an adjustment for the overly picky. However, It did really look much nicer. He also requested sharper pins please.

DH is home now on medical leave. It's an adjustment for the better for me. Weekends no longer mean what they used to as he doesn't have a schedule. But he is inspecting my lunches and slipping in vegetables where no vegetable has gone before. He had a hot supper on the table when I got home from the shop! Mind you, there were (again) vegetables. It's nice to have him home and he is looking after himself properly. Good boy!

The Sensational Snip and Sip slapped me round tonight. I had a water bottle and placed it on the cutting table, rather than the designated SSS drink corral. Next thing I know I have a flood on the floor. That thing gave me a most dirty and 'I told you so' look. Nasty.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Shop Girl Again

Now here is the most - well I'm not sure I have the words. The Great P and I spotted this in an order book somewhere and got 1 in. We have these crazed moments.  Alcohol may have been involved. She took it home first and wasn't sold. I took it next and I love it! It's actually very sturdy and holds my huge mugs solidly. Note the slot for the handle! Instead of tossing scraps over my shoulder (like I do when driving my truck) many of them actually make it to the scrap bag.  Nothing has fallen into the mug, and that was a concern. Or maybe I didn't notice? I haven't spilled tea on fabric or machine since I got it. It's called the Sensational Snip and Sip and cost about $27. Now do you see why my job is more of a 'break even' activity? If you want one, call us and we'll order you one in. It's an exclusive item for the very discerning sewer, methinks.

Hung Out To Dry

I got a clothesline! It's my first in about 30 years. There was an unfortunate incident back then with a load of wash and 50 million spiders, and it no longer seemed worth it. Until now. I want to smell sun in my clothes.

I picked up this slender model at Lee Valley, so you know it should work well. So far I am very pleased. It goes up and down with one hand and spins with 1 finger. And it looks tres chic! The picture of it collapsed didn't cloud properly. It looks like a metal pole. All the lines fold up neatly inside. Its installation was my reward for helping with the Ledwidge lookoff  Rally.

There are things I need to learn about having a clothesline. My sisters have a long list of things they think I need to learn, but the stuff they consider important does not mean as much to me. I don't care about how many clothespins are needed on each garment. Do you overlap and share pins, or not? Shirts  hang from the armpits or the hem? Don't know, not all that caring either. They should be thankful I hang out their clothes in the first place. Ungrateful!

But I now know you need to wash in the morning or things may not be dry by supper, when they should come in. I may need to wash twice a week, as 2 loads seems to be the right amount of wash vs dry time vs length of day. And leaving sheets on the line at night doesn't deter the deer in the nearby vegetable garden. I've set up a motion sensor water squirter (Lee Valley again!) to deal with the deer, and it may be working. I'll get back to you on that.

Also I have learned that my new clothespin holder is the most adorable thing ever, but it's too small and I need to make another.  Not a problem. I bought a set of baby sized plastic hangers, so I may run up a few more. Anyone need a small sized holder?

Monday, 2 September 2013


I have been really avoiding garment sewing and I don't know why. I hadn't even made the sewing guild challenge garment, and it is a summer dress! So I got to it. I borrowed a book on fitting and took a stab at a full bust adjustment. The tissue fitting had indicated I needed to go out and down with things. OK. I did try. Really. But it just didn't work. It would have been a lot more time and what seemed to me a hit and miss procedure.

I went to plan B. I drafted a front sloper with the same princess seaming using Pattern Master Boutique.  I laid it over the original pattern and traced a new front from the waist up. I frankentaped it together and cut it out.

Hmmm.... Should have checked the shoulder seam match first. The original pattern called for an extended shoulder forming a cap sleeve. Therefore I had a case of cap sleeve meets sleeveless dress. I rather liked the idea of a cap sleeve. So I drafted a yoke that bridged the front and back and filled in that missing fabric in front.

The yoke was a plain blue linen and I decided I should embroider it a bit, as I have this great embroidery machine and haven't done anything with embroidery yet. Some frustration later I called the Great P at the shop to tell her the machine wasn't working, the service hadn't been done, and all kinds of other things that had nothing to do with why I couldn't embroider.

I had the wrong embroidery foot selected. The Great P is so patient with me! Isn't it funny how driver error is the last thing we think of?

So I embroidered some lovely flowers and put the yokes in place. Down the stairs to DH, my best sartorial critic. He loved the dress, but didn't like the yokes. He thought they would have been better in a faux leather perhaps. I swear that man writes for Vogue. I had originally considered that, but thought it too edgy. We examined the possibilities and went with a sleeveless dress. It just meant cutting the back to reflect the front.

I love Blueberry. The pattern is actually a large knitted sweater pattern. She's a comfortable dress and seems to suit me. I am going to try more frankentaping. (Thanks to Sew Lady Sew for the franken idea).  I like patterns as they give me a design with a lot of the design parameters worked out. My software gets me a fit I can wear. I also need to finish fitting my dress form. That will complete my fitting arsenal methinks.

 Now here are the edge finishes I used. The left finish tended to stretch the edge a bit. The one on the right did not. You need to pay attention to your machine. It does try to help you out with clues.  (I'm so thrilled I recognized these on my own, after only sewing half the edges!) When I selected the stitch on the left, my machine suggested a foot that was not IDT friendly and no IDT. The stitch goes forwards and backwards, and a walking foot doesn't. The stitch on the right did work with IDT. IDT keeps the edges from stretching. The bits of paper caught in the stitches are from the pattern tracing paper I used to stabilize the fabric. Then I trimmed the edges close with my beloved duck billed scissors. Quack!