Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pink blouse progress

Hello, everyone

Today there is a small update on the "Don't-Run-Me-Over Pink" blouse.

Progress to-date
The pocket in this photo, the lower pocket that is, had snap closures. I wanted to try putting a zip closure there instead, and turned to the Stash of Zippers.

They have their own drawer in the little plastic cabinet!
Sadly, no hot pink invisible zips are there. After crawling the internet and deciding not to order one--really, it would have been the only thing I needed and would cost a small fraction of the shipping costs--I conferred with DH and he suggested seeing if there is a zip that goes with the pocket stripes.

As happens, while there is no invisible zip in Ecru, there is one in Natural which is only a tad lighter than the pocket trims.

So, in addition to installing snap closures down the front and hemming the bottom, I will try adding a zip on the pocket opening.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The hot pink blouse has cousins, so to speak

Hello, everyone.

The blouse under construction, from the February, 2007, issue of Burda, is close to being a TNT for me. Or it was! I'm out of practice on collars, so there is no picture of the hot pink blouse today. It's a day of frustration!

Here are two of its "cousins."

In batiste, without a collar, and the gathered sleeves

In flowered shirting, with black collar and the gathered sleeves
Maybe tomorrow there will be a progress report on the hot pink blouse.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It was meant to be blogged on last year but didn't happen: orange top

Hello, everyone.

The orange top of the title has been mentioned in passing more than once. It was made to use up stash and to have a shirt to wear on the Camino Portugues.

The fabric is a nylon Taslan crinkle type, very light weight, and there is a mesh panel in the upper back for breathability. (Is that a word?)

attaching the mesh inner yoke

the mesh needed an edge, so a strip of the Taslan was added as reinforcement

"Feeding" the bronze chickens. Love the Portuguese street sculptures! 
The fabrics: the mesh was bought along with a red mesh, to patch a pocket in DH's pack that had been slightly torn on the return in 2014. A little snip of the red took care of that handily--and there was a yard of this salmon mesh just lying around, blending into the mass of stash. The orange nylon was bought at the same time--both from Fabric.com--and a Burda blouse pattern was used. (Link goes to a Pin of the pattern.)

The yoke seams have reflective piping, which is light gray, and there is an AB finish button at the front neck: a blue fish.

The light crinkle Taslan ravels quite a bit. It has a DWR coating, so moisture basically doesn't pass out of the top. Thus the mesh yoke!

Bearing in mind that the technical fabrics were all bought in late 2014, for the pack repair, and then the various 1 yard pieces were just sitting there, I call the entire project a stash buster.

It works OK for evenings but doesn't let out heat well enough to hike in during a hot day. 2015 had a lot of hot days. This top came out in the evenings.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Progress on the hot-pink blouse

Hello, everyone.

Today a small progress report on the poly microfiber blouse:

 The collar pieces are being assembled.

Bodice, with one of the chest pockets showing. (Stash ribbon for pocket trim) The pale strip going down the front edge is the organza sewn into the button area for a bit of stability.

This poly fabric being stiffer than the light cottons in earlier versions, the sleeves were positively wings when it was tried on. There are now pleats on the outside to control the fullness a little.

The fabric is not excessively hard to work with--it ravels a little, and the tightly woven microfiber often makes that popping sound when the needle goes through. I'm using hand basting to control slippage, just because the peached outside surface will get "stuck" after it slips out of place and be difficult to herd back into line.

One thing about this color of fabric: oncoming traffic will certainly have no trouble seeing me!

Friday, August 19, 2016

More on the tree ducks

Hello, everyone.

DD2 went strolling out along the edge of the field near the ducks the other day. She took my camera and had some fun with it.

 She got a lovely picture of the ducks, showing their bright bills.
She also caught a picture of a rabbit hiding in the grass.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A few notes about gear and sewing

Hello, everyone.

There has been sewing going on around here, and thinking about what to sew...paging through the mountains of accumulated Burda Style (formerly World of Fashion) issues and wondering which of the patterns would work with the stash fabric on hand.

There is a new top done now. It's cotton cambric, a smooth-finish fabric that is a bit like batiste. I still have over a yard left of this red fabric, plus there is also a chunk of blue that is like it. (Really need to learn to either make a decision or don't get anything!)

The pattern has been made before, in a linen-rayon blend with pictures of houses.

 The linen-rayon blend was comfortable to wear while traveling, and if folded right away isn't a mass of wrinkles. (The shorts were bought at Bass Pro Shop: nylon-lycra blend fabric, extremely comfortable, though I had to add a piece of elastic at the back waist and take it in a smidge so they wouldn't fall down! They still need a belt if the phone is in the pocket.)

 Some more stash used! Though now I remember that the cut-on cap sleeves are a little bit odd when I reach forward.
 Next stash usage project: a blouse, to use up the microfiber poplin in the collection. This has a peached surface on one side, and DWR coating on the other. With only one yard, there isn't enough to make an outer garment out of it, so it will be a blouse.
The pattern, except that the gathering on the sleeves may not happen. The fabrics they had in mind for it are lightweight stuff like the cambric, and this poplin is more of a regular shirting weight. Possibly the sleeve will get a small pleat instead. The possibility of a mesh pocket in the front darts is being explored. It would be a place to stick thin things, like maybe a passport or a keycard. It would also be a way to vent heat, as the pocket material is going to be mesh.

Y'all may remember the orange blouse with the reflective piping from last year's gear sewing. There was a mesh yoke in the back, under the fashion fabric layer, since the fabric (a crinkle nylon with DWR) was incapable of breathing. It worked out okay, but I mostly wore it in the evenings. It wouldn't be suitable to wear in 100 degree heat (afternoon hiking last year) as the heat had only the one mesh panel and the neckline to vent out through. (The odd remnants of the orange stuff, though, would make a usable pouch for various things.)

As far as purchased gear lately, besides the wonderful beige shorts pictured above, there is a merino knit wool dress from Icebreaker. (I peeked at their site yesterday, and while the gray I got is gone, they still have pink and also a lovely light aqua.) It is a tank style dress, and it's very comfortable. Works with regular bra straps, but not so well with the thin-strap racer back ones. (Bra straps creep into the neckline area.) I styled it with a bright long scarf and wore it to church and to official functions. It's wonderful!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Even in the Canicula (Dog Days), there is still Nature to look at

Hello, everyone.

As y'all have likely noticed, there has not been a lot of nature walking and outdoor photography lately. Something about lows around 82 (27 to 28 C) and highs around 103 (39 to 40 C) just discourages me from going out into the wilderness. Or the local parks!

This evening DH went outside and came dashing back in to tell me there was something special outside. The tree ducks were visiting.

zoomed-in shot of some of the tree ducks in the back field

more tree ducks in the field
These are the whistling tree ducks that are native to this area. Sometimes there will be a small group perched on the roof-peak of our house. (Haven't ever had a camera when they were there.) There are actually two varieties of whistling tree ducks, one black-bellied and the other not. They nest in palm trees locally, and hang out in drainage canals, golf course water hazards, and occasional park ponds. Their cry isn't a quack, nor is it that low-voiced squawking sound that mallards and domestic ducks make when it's dinner time. They whistle, or they squeak, and they do it while they fly overhead.

This visitation came around sunset, when the temperature had declined to around 100. (38 C) They will stay for a little while, maybe eat some bugs or fallen sorghum seed, and then they will take to their wings and go to their roosting place for the night.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Needle laces

Hello, everyone.

Today is just a little note about a new blog--and a new needlework technique. New to me, that is!

I followed the link on the sidebar to the Italian Needlework blog and trailed around in there for a bit, discovering Puncetto. This is a firm, needle-made lace of northern Italy, up in the Alps. (I looked on a map, sadly it is not close to the walking path of the Via Francigena!)

And in the process of reading posts on Puncetto on her blog, found a like to another: sewn lace. This lady is writing in Czech and she has a lovely instruction post on doing Puncetto.  I have added her blog to the list on the sidebar, if anyone is interested. Chrome will translate it reasonably well. (Enough to get the idea.)


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Another stash project finished

Hello, everyone.

The striped top is done. And I may end up tossing the pattern tracing altogether.

 Except for needing to lower the front of the neck by quite a bit, and take in a couple tiny tucks at the neck, the front wasn't too bad.
The back, however, was just way, way too big. I ended up taking it in a lot, except at the bottom where the rear hits. And if the top were shorter, the rear wouldn't enter into it, so to speak. Or if the top were traced a lot smaller to start with, a peplum could be put on at the back.

Which kind of takes the thing out of casual top and into fussy top. Maybe it's just that the linen is a fabric with too much "body" for the design. I think I'll look at the magazine and see if they had in mind something lighter and clingier, and if that doesn't clarify it, I'll just toss the tracing and write that one off as too much bother to do again.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Skirt finished; next stash project is begun

Hello, everyone.

As you see in the title, the gray skirt is finished.

The fabric is a batiste, so it's a little bit see-through. Thus the light blue lining that went behind it.

Most recent photo of the project:

The skirt is hemmed. 
 On the skirt order of work: the hems were added to the fashion fabric and the lining before the circle of the garment was closed. Then the lining was joined to the waist and the invisible zipper was added. After that, the bottom part of the seam was closed up and the edges of the lining around the zipper were hand-stitched down. and at the end a hook and eye were added above the zipper, to keep from having too much stress on the teensy, tiny plastic teeth of the zip.

Bias tape pinned to the armhole
 As with the skirt project, I'm trying to remember to do steps that involve closed circles before the circles are closed. (The neck edge didn't happen that way. But I think it's worked out okay.)
Back neck pleats for shaping
The traced pattern on this top (Burda magazine July, 2015, number 113/114/115) was bagging out terribly all over, and the neck was very high in front. Higher than my neck has ever been! Even the tracing was uncomfortable. So I lowered the center front by possibly 3/4", and also added tiny pleats to help control the fullness of the bust. Then, the back being all over the place, too, and the armholes looking weird, added larger pleats to the back of the neck. When sewing those pleats, I decided to treat them a little bit like "action pleats" and add matching pleats to the waistline area. The space in between the sewn pleat may be pressed into shape, but it will be able to open when I reach forward. (We'll see how that works out. This particular top is in part a wearable prototype for future garments.)

The fabric is a stash piece of linen with woven-in stripes and tiny flanges at the bottom edge of each stripe. It feel thick to the hand, but it's very easy to sew.

On another subject, since the rosary hasn't gotten any new beads for a few days and the finish may be delayed, a progress photo. The center is ready to be added. The wire is 22 gauge black-coated copper wire. I'm hoping that the wraps will be a little bit more delicate and less attention-grabbing than the 20 gauge wire wraps always are.

Pendent of the aqua rosary in progress

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Just for pretty

Hello, everyone.

With various home repairs, and sewing, and doggie care, things have been a wee bit to disorganized to post much this week. Sorry about that.

Here are some rain lilies to look at.

These ones remain in the trumpet shape. They also don't set seeds at all.

These ones sprouted up in the midst of a butterfly plant. The little purple things are
the butterfly's favorite flowers around here. Unfortunately, their favorite plant needs
a lot of water.

And a marigold!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Progress on the gray skirt

Hello, everyone.

First off, a small mention of what has been consuming our evening time lately: the Great Courses DVD's on the Middle Ages. We have finished the High Middle Ages course (teacher: Philip Daileader) and we're working our way through the Late Middle Ages course.

This time period overlaps the Renaissance CD course we were listening to in the car on our recent trip to Illinois and Tennessee. Oddly enough, there was basically no mention of the Black Death in the Renaissance CD's. (Maybe we didn't get far enough before we got home? But the course included a fairly large chunk about the life of Petrarch...who lived through the first, devastating wave of the pandemic...and somehow didn't mention its impact at all. Odd.) This course includes a quote from Petrarch on the effect of the plague on the people. And follows up with another quote from a less "literary" author that said something similar: that it was devastating.

We also watched a mid-1950's movie, A Man Called Peter, which was a good movie. I was inspired to look up the Rev. Peter Marshall on the internet and discovered that he died quite young: 46! But he certainly did a lot in his few years.

Now for the skirt bulletin.

Pin-basted lining skirt. 
The lining skirt is almost done: it needs to be hand-basted before going into the machine, and it needs a hem, and then it needs to wait until the face fabric layer catches up to it. (The gathering stitches are placed in the face fabric--two rows, so it should be more stable than the lining's single row--but it hasn't been pin basted into place yet. And I haven't dug out the zipper for the garment from the stash of zippers. At least, I hope there is a suitable zipper in that container!)

I have learned in this project that the variable presser foot pressure on my new sewing machine is a wonderful thing. Getting a smooth row of stitching was impossible at first: tried holding fabric firm. No dice. Tried changing thread. No dice. Tried changing to a brand-new needle. No dice. Tightened the presser foot pressure: success! So it pays to keep trying things until the right one is found when a project is going wonky.

I have also started making another rosary, for a hand occupation while listening to the DVD course on the television. It's aqua with 22 gauge black wire. (Did I spell that right? Dunno.) The Our Father beads are 8?mm. aqua perles and the Hail Mary beads are 4 or 5 mm. glass that looks like it was made in India. This way a person can use the strand in the dark or with their eyes closed. I have always thought that it is important that in that long loop of at least 53 beads a person should be able to have an approximate idea of where she is. In case she has fallen asleep in the middle! Picture of the rosary will come later, probably when it's finished.