The project Cha Cha

You know how projects can be: two steps forward, two steps back and a little side step or two.

The steps foreword happened with my Edwardian blousewaist.  I have sewn the main seams on the body.  img_20170319_202657443.jpgI like the way the embroidery and lace look but I’m definitely going to have to get a corset cover organized with this thing (and a proper Edwardian corset)!

My idea for dealing with the lace at the seams (bias tape) seems to be working.img_20170319_202636265.jpg

That lace isn’t going anywhere!

Two steps back: that happened with my knitted undersleeves.  I’m going to have to take them apart.  They are just going to be too tight.  I don’t know how tight they are supposed to be but I’m pretty sure they weren’t going for compression garments or arm corsets.  I had hoped that I could just follow the instructions and count on heavier wool and bigger needles to make up the difference but it wont.  Drat that means I will have to do some math to figure out how many rows and stitches I need.  Since I was starting from scratch, I thought I may as well buy a second color and see how it is supposed to look with the stripes.

And the side steps: I made an impulse stop at a thrift store and picked up some wooden knitting needles (like I need more) and this fabulous strip of sari fabric.  img_20170319_202724856.jpg

Oooh.  Shiney!

Obviously I can’t use this for Victorian wear.  And it is a bit much for modern work wear.  I’m thinking an over the top beach wrap.img_20170319_202948509.jpg

Well, have a good week folks.  Hopefully, I will be disciplined and be back in a couple of days with some progress to share.

I finished the impulse buy

I saw some wool about a month ago that called to me.  It was variegated in colors I associate with old Hudson’s Bay blankets.  It kept calling to me but I steadfastly ignored it and followed my “no new wool till I finish what is in my stash” rule. (Following this rule got easier after going through a funk because no one wanted what I was making.)

But the wool called to me for a few weeks and I decided I could make something that I want with it.  I decided to make a throw for my living room.  The dog uses the one currently there as an extra bed on the couch.  Talk about Princess.  Needless to say, I’m not inclined to offer it to guests who may wish a cozy cover while watching TV.

For the most part I am pleased with it.  The wool is chunky so it made up fast and I used a single crochet stitch for the whole thing so it was a no brain power require project.  It needs to be blocked and it probably could have used a chain stitch or two in the corners to make it lay flatter but I didn’t want holes.

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My Princess on her bed.

The colors and boxes match my carpet perfectly.

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You can really see the need for blocking in this photo!  It is just so big and heavy as it is that I’m not excited about trying to deal with blocking…

These are the colors that drew me to it.

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Now I should get to work on historical projects…which is what this blog is supposed to be about!

More modern sewing: repairs addition

This past long weekend has been a productive one.  I did quite a bit of crocheting (nothing finished yet) and sewing. I completed (finally) HSF’s January challenge and some modern sewing/repairs.

I have a shirt I really like except that it is too low cut and my bra is fully visible to the world.  This means I’ve had to wear a camisole under it.  This is fine except I work in a nursing home where the heat is set a tad high for the comfort of the seniors and I have my own personal midlife internal tropical heat waves happening.  An extra layer of clothing is not desirable!  (I stopped wearing my corset daily because of the combined reasons of the start of hot flashes and the cessation of chronic back pain.)  This weekend, I fixed the problem by sewing in a chunk of lace into the neckline of the shirt.  Easy fix.

I also have a pair of pants that I LOVE except the zipper wouldn’t stay up.  I tried to fix it by using pliers to squeeze the slide tighter but ended up breaking it right off.  This meant I had to either pitch the pants or fix the zipper.  Zippers are the devil but I am pleased to say I successfully replaced it!

Finally, I have three sarongs that I wear on the beach.  I can wrap them around my chest or waist and tie them off like a bath towel but I’d like to do the style where you wrap it around yourself and tie it behind your neck.  But my sarongs don’t have enough material.img_20170220_113324807_hdr.jpg

I’m short by at least half a meter.img_20170220_113330863.jpg

When I last went fabric shopping, I was hoping to find a fabric that would suit for a sarong.  No luck.  So how to make the ones I have work?  Add ribbon along one edge.img_20170220_132104805.jpg

With this added ribbon, I can still wear the sarong in the styles I was able to before, just with an added bow decoration.img_20170220_120357463.jpg

And I discovered another way I could wear it with the added ribbon.img_20170220_130446505.jpg

All in all, a productive weekend.  I wish I had 3 day weekends every week!

Next post will be about my completed HSF January project.

Marshall’s modern shirt

I finished my modern shirt today and I will wear it to work.  It is pretty comfy! I made a pattern from a stretchy shirt that I like the fit in the body…a bit snug but better than the boxy tent most t-shirts my size.  The alterations I made were, scoop neck not turtle, 3/4 length sleeve not full length and very long with slits on the side (like tops I’ve seen from India).  I went for the long option because I hate yanking down shirts that wont cover my tummy and I wanted one that covered my butt so that my stretchy pants would be slightly more suitable outside the gym (because I never go to the gym).

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Please excuse the weird white spot my camera put on my face.  I have no idea what that is!

The shirt is called the Marshall’s shirt because that is where I bought the fabric last Saturday.

The photo on the right is a more true reflection of the color.

I probably could wear some sort of tummy control with this shirt but other than that, I am pretty pleased with it.  I would do this again.  I have enough fabric left over for a tank top I think.  May be even a sleeveless mini dress.  So bang for the buck: I spent less on making this top and a future tank top than I would buying new ones. (Almost 3/4’s of the money spent was on the trim but DANG it is pretty…so worth it.)  And unlike store bought shirts it is totally to my specifications. Most store bought shirts I own have some thing I wish was different. It would still be cheaper to buy used but thrift shopping can be hit and miss.

My new heaven

Some time ago I talked about this little chunk of heaven in Minneapolis…basically a fabric store the size of a football field.

Little did I know, I have a slightly smaller version of it here at home (and only a 10 minute detour from my route to work).  The prices are not quite as good but I’m not paying for gas, a hotel stay or meals and I’m not getting murdered by a bad currency exchange.  It is called Marshall Fabrics.

My niece and I went on a little excursion there today.  I vowed to treat myself but not buy costume fabric. At this point I have enough project material for this year. I can’t afford to get drastically side tracked by a new idea or to amass more crap for the stash.  Yay me, I stuck to the plan!

I surveyed the lay out and made mental plans to come back and buy this plaid and that velvet…but mostly did my real shopping in the notions.  I bought a few things to fix some modern clothing items (a zipper and some ribbon)-boring. But while looking in that section, I saw some very pretty trim that I HAD TO HAVE!  But what was I going to sew it on to?

I decided I could use some more tops for work and I have frequently thought that I have a few shirts that fit very well and it would be smart to use them as patterns for others.  When buying shirts, it is hit and miss.  Most of my shirts fit one part well but miss the mark in other areas (too baggy, too shear, too short, too clingy, too low cut, too high cut, empire waist line to high….).  But some do fit well and would make good patterns.  If I could find the perfect material for that trim, I would buy it and that would be my treat.  And I did!img_20170211_173927678.jpg

When I get caught up on the HSF challenges for this year, I will make time to sew this up into a t-shirt.  There might even be enough left over for a camisole as well.