Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Stuff I Just Never Wore and Why

When the film "The Purge" came out, I assumed it was about cleaning out the clothes you no longer need, wear or have room for.

I am still a little disappointed that movie has not been made.

Saft T Pockets kimono jacket, "Journey Jacket Two". I cannot recommend this pattern enough. Black does not photograph well, but it's poly crepe and yes, the lapel can't stop twisting. Actually did wear the bejeebus out of this, it was my work jacket. Which is why it has two sets of zippered pockets in each front panel, for a total of four currency sized pockets.

I don't do much box office work anymore, but I did for decades.


I could carry thousands in twenties and still look professionally not bulgy.
The sleeves had room to cover a holster (I made a stack of these coats for coworkers), but  that's not my style. A good sized baseball bat behind the counter but well in view did the job.

I just can't wear it again. It smells like cigars and sadness, and you know how poly hangs onto a smell.


The aspirational swing/Chanel coat. Soft and light and I cut it too small in the shoulders, so when I started weight lifting it just would not go on. Now I'm just too fat all over.

Buttonholes would have been nicer if I had taken my time. I'm a better sewist now.


Harvested my nice red sombrero buttons back from it. I already have a project for them in the workroom. 

This shirt (McCalls ?) with the two part cowl front is pretty good, but fits very differently with each fabric you might use. I've made it three times, and each time it's been  a headshaker.

I needed a shirt for this fabric. It's my dragon shirt. I'd turn it right side out for the photo, but you can see the construction problem better this way.


Seams of evil hurtfulness!
This fabric is made of wire. I have bought more fabric lately that has nylon fishing line for the warp weave. I've covered the arm seam, but I would have to do all of them. 
It's off to be a costume, it matches the Smaug puppet at the theater.
Ow ow ow.


Simplicity 2444. Love the Freshcuts fabric, love the dress. I never wear it. It's pretty, but I am of an age where there's no occasion this dress makes sense for. And the collar is way too wide (already made some darts in it so it would stop falling off).


Decades of Style Kitchenette Pajamas. Made them for a review that is just so nasty I cannot bear to send it in.


See, I made a PicMonkey collage for this review.....
They were sooooo gappy in the back. I moved the belt, I put elastic in...oh forget it.

If these photos seem like mug shots, perhaps they are. I cannot be bothered to try them on again 

I am just not interested in spending any more time with any of these things.

And now I have room for fabric from SewExpo this Thursday!












Monday, February 15, 2016

Quilting Someone Else's Family Treasure

I am not a quilter. This long post will be the only quilting post I do this year. Possibly ever, but I hate to be so self-limiting.
This is not my quilt.
This isn't even a quilt top from anyone I'm related to.


Not quite squares, 7 by 6. A mathematically pleasant rectangle.







It is going to be a wall hanging for my friend Michelle's therapy office. It's bright and aimless enough to be soothing without being distracting. And it's definitely homemade.

Yes, those are airships. Yes, I love them. This is from 1977.



I've only made one quilt. Because I only needed one, to go to college with.
I used a sheet set that lent itself to the theme, and machine appliqued the shapes.



This was done by my dad's mom. Yes, they lived in Wyoming. Yes, that says "Round Up Time"


Bless the cowgirl, she's not riding sidesaddle


All the kids were blonds


But what the devil is J.E.F. Ranch? Those initials don't match anyone.
Mystery!


It wouldn't be a family heirloom for 1930s white Wyoming people without some racial stereotypes. No offense meant, that's just what they did.


My father said he never met a Native American until he moved to Seattle and met our neighbors, who were Navaho and Cherokee, and introduced us to the local fight for tribal fishing rights. He did not use the term "Native American" at that point,  but he soon would. I have my doubts about the truth of that statement, but he was a city boy in a very white world of 1930s Wyoming. 

Is this where I say that my grandfather was a labor lawyer, and not a rancher? And that all the kids went to college? In the 30s and 40s? In Wyoming. Even the girls? And graduated? 

This quilt is made out of "Auntie" Jeanette's dad's ties.


She's the auntie of my friend Michelle, and she lived and sewed and sent me fabric from North Carolina, back when it was the textile capitol of this country. I never met her, but I heard plenty about her from Michelle. And I heard about this quilt top.

And over Christmas, it came to me.




Yes, she did a hand feather stitch in embroidery floss around all the pieces after they were machine stitched together (stitched to a white cotton square). And machine stitched the resulting squares and feather stitched over those seams.



This is the backing material. It will get edged with dark green velvet from someone's curtains. A shade lighter than Scarlett/Bob Mackie's curtain dress.



Yes, I love the Clover needle threader and we're engaged to be married. Bpfffffff!
There's going to be a lot of handstitching this to another sheet, then hemming that to the backing and the edging (making long pockets for rods on the sides).
I got two long fabric tubes from my pals at Pacific Fabrics (if you spend that much money somewhere, it does pay off in favors) to roll the quilt up on.

The idea being that I can put the rolls on the arms of the skaterondack and work in that flat gap inbetween.


Or that's the plan for the Skaterondack chair

And as soon as I get that part of the house dug out again, I will.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Flashback With Three Armholes: Mom Made One Mondays

Three Armholes makes a comeback


Butterick 4699 Most photos from Vintage Sewing Wikia, with one obvious exception

Yes, it has one pattern piece. Two shoulder seams. And forty miles of foldover braid.
You will only make this mistake once a decade.


Once or twice as a kid, in terry cloth as a vacation wearable towel.


With a fake spare flap front once because like to own the complete edition.


Yes, it really is a wrap dress


But most importantly

6.5 yards of trim balanced out by a fabric saving border print!

And just in case you thought this mania was over, may I present this spring's latest release?

As with all Laura Mae posts, a great post and conversation in the comments about this design


This is a 'Mom made one' for me. Note the bow on the shoulder, which is a beautiful feature in this dress. 

My mother's coat kept grabbing the bow knot and undoing the dress (pulling coat off left shoulder) at the snaps that closed it. This is partially a design flaw, not aided by the lack of heft of snaps available to the home sewer. A set of hooks had roughly the same results.

My mother dropped a lot of money on nice fabric for this, at a point where we were pretty short on it. Frankly I remember this dress in the context of the beautiful satin-backed crepe I was gifted with for my Barbie doll sewing. I would wager my mother made this for an event she and my dad were going to attend (and they didn't do that much).

It looked really good on Barbie.

I miss you Mom.