Toaster Sweater 1

November 1st, 2020 No comments

Count me as one of those who looked at this pattern and who said “um, noooo, never”. Well, never has arrived . . . and it’s pretty cool. Or warm. Or cozy and just right . . .

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Categories: 2020, Covid, Tops Tags:

Dogbone Pillow

October 27th, 2020 No comments

So I’ve had to learn to sleep  on my back (ugh) . This has not been a nice process, and has involved a lot of more-or-less ineffectual trial-and-error experimentation. The latest iteration — and one that seems to be working! — involves this triangular pillow.

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White Wide-Legged Pants

October 18th, 2020 No comments

I know, it’s October, and totally the wrong season for white pants. But what’s a season, anyway, in our Covid world?

I’ve made these pants — Vogue 8499 — many times in the past, and always mis-remember how hugely over-sized they are. This time, at least, I sized down to the smallest in the envelope — which has absolutely nothing to do with the size chart Vogue provides. If I want to keep making them, it’s probably time I just re-drafted the whole thing so that it actually fits me.

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Categories: 2020, Covid, Pants Tags:

Masks? Why, Yes

October 11th, 2020 No comments

Herein, a brief history of my life with masks. (Hail, Covid!)  I began researching and sewing when urgent calls went out in early 2020 from institutions desperate for any kind of masks at all.  Home sewers like me took to their machines, and produced vast quantities of the things when, somehow, our government just couldn’t get it together to support our first-line medical care providers.

My own initial effort was a pack of thirty surgical-style masks with filter pockets donated to a big city hospital, quickly followed by just under 130 more of the same style donated to an assisted living facility where a loved relative lives.

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Talvikki Mash-Up

October 5th, 2020 2 comments

I bought the Named Talvikki pattern strictly for the neckline, because I didn’t want to draft it myself. This was just as well, since the neckline was the only part of the pattern that came close to fitting me. But ohhh, what a neckline! For someone like me, who wants to live in sweatshirts, but hates the standard styles, this collar makes all the difference.

The bottom line is that Named patterns are not made for smallish, 5’2″/157cm people. Nothing — other than the neck/collar — about this pattern worked for vertically-challenged me. Since the collar is stunning, though, I simply franken-patterned the rest, combining it with Vogue 8854, from which I’d made a batch of sweatshirts many years ago.

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Dowager on a Converted Tote Bag

September 27th, 2020 2 comments

I spied an odd canvas tote at the Freer Gallery several years ago. It was just black canvas, but the (rather nicely done) print on the front was Philip Evergood’s Dowager in a Wheelchair. (Yes, the name’s not his original one.)  The painting is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where I’m afraid I still haven’t seen it.

Although Evergood called his inspiration “tragic“, I loved the indomitably of his subject; the (intended) evocation of vulnerability in a privileged person, and the vibrancy of New York life (Evergood says it’s Madison Avenue, and it clearly is the Upper East Side, right?) crashing all around the dowager and her ghostly, younger, attendant.

I didn’t need a tote bag, so I converted it to a backpack so that I could easily transport my Cricket rigid heddle loom.

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Categories: Bags, Weaving Tags:

Scooter Handlebar Bag

September 21st, 2020 No comments

Sometimes — that is, some non-Covid time — when I’m in a city — looking at you, Washington, New York, and various other smaller, sidewalk-enhanced locations — I like to have a small (non-electric) scooter with me. This is especially nice in summer in Washington, where it’s often possible to work around pedestrian routes, and where the humidity and heat are only enhanced by zipping through summer on wheels.

But my little scooter needed a bag. Topo Designs makes a great bike bag, and I really, really wanted to buy theirs, but it’s way too big for my scooter, so I took inspiration from their slightly kooky triangle shape and made my own.

That strap is actually a bright bold red. Sadly, I’m someone who sews,
not someone who actually knows how to use a camera phone.

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V1642 Sweatshirting Done Differently

September 14th, 2020 No comments

It makes very little sense, even in ordinary times, for me to wear anything other than sweatshirts at home. I live with a herd of cats, all of whom have highly functional claws, and with whom I interact all the time. Sweatshirts can take that kind of heat.  But sweatshirts are b-o-r-i-n-g.

When I saw this pattern, though, I was chuffed.

It didn’t hurt a bit when I went out to buy it, eons ago, and one of my favorite people at my local store asked me if I’d seen this new release — “I saw that, and I knew it was YOU!” he said. He was so right!

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Maywood Totepack

July 26th, 2020 No comments

It’s literally been years since I posted here, but now, in the middle of Pandemic 2020, there’s been time to clean things up and re-start. And what better post to begin anew with than Klum House‘s Maywood Totepack? It might be coffee time — this is a loooong post!

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Kwik Sew 3463: Skinny Pocket Version

March 17th, 2014 No comments

This post marks the beginning of “historic” posts from 2014, before I took a long break from blogging:

Once I’d made one tunic, I made another and then another, each time varying the pockets and and the neck bands.

kspk

This is the second of four:  Pink isn’t really my thing, but I can’t seem to resist stripes, and this was a lovely, soft, cotton knit.

kspkpt

The pockets, in this case, are skinny and vertical, just wide enough to put a hand into, and they’re set perpendicular to the main stripes.  I didn’t want my stitches to conflict with the stripes on the fabric, so I carefully attached the pockets by sewing along one of the skinny white stripes.

ksppkst

That gave the pocket attachment a much more deliberate look, and also made the white topstitching look more organic than it would have if run across the pink stretch.

Instead of making a neck band, I faced the neck edge with a strip of fabric, cut crosswise and then turned under.

kspnh

I didn’t have a coverstitch machine when I made this, and you can see that I had some trouble making consistently-sized stitches on the second (lower) row.  Stitching near the bulk of the seamline is much more consistent.

The seamline between the facing and the tunic is to the right in the photo below; that strip is the facing, turned inside.  I like this finish better than simply turning the edge of the garment in and stitching; the facing strip gives a little more substance, and a more finished look.

Because I didn’t have the extra width of the band called for by the pattern, my neckline is larger and lower than the one designed by Kwik Sew.  Next time, I’d alter the pattern so that mine doesn’t turn out this wide.

The Kwik Sew pattern is excellent; I did change up the shape of the skirt to make it flare in an “A” shape.   Construction is really simple .  .  .

kspstr

.  .  .  but skinny-stripe matching less so.  I was really annoyed that these weren’t perfect, but perfection is hard to find!

ktnc-400

I hope this isn’t one of the huge number of Kwik Sew patterns Big Pattern kills — it’s fun and versatile, and a great stepping stone for playing around with various decorative elements.

See different versions of this pattern:

Color-Blocked Tunic with Hidden Pocket

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