Sunday, September 26, 2010

For No Good Reason

Ok, I do have a reason for this post, but it's not a good one. I'm sewing growth tucks. I want this gown to have growth tucks. I just don't want to sew them. But I'm doing it. But I'm also bored. I have about 1.5 lengths of thread left to do, and I don't want to. So I'm procrastinating here.


My thread is waxed silk thread, from Utica threads. Size A.


I take the skein, as it comes out of the bag, fold it in half, so that there are two loops at one end and it's about 9 inches long (this makes each strand 18 inches) and tie a string around it at the middle. Then I cut the two loops, and divide it all into 3 sections, and braid it, and tie it off. Then, when I need a new strand, I gently separate one from the top of the braid (not the fringy end), and pull it out! No tangles, no cutting, no waxing, just one piece of 18 inch sewing thread! Very efficient, I love this thread!

This is how I sew. I always use a thimble. I didn't use one many years ago, and I wanted to learn to rocker quilt, so I used a trick by Ami Simms' How to Improve Your Quilt Stitch. I wore a thimble all day! I got used to it, used to considering it part of my hand. Now I hold my hand like this to sew:

You can just see the eye of the needle at the thimble.

The bandaid is from the abuse I gave my hands on Friday. I stabbed my thumb repeatedly, burned two fingers making dinner, and scraped a sewing callus off while peeling squash. And I never figured out what I used to shred my thumb. Then on Saturday, for the first time in YEARS, I stabbed myself on a pin closing my bedgown. I haven't done that since I first started wearing straight pins! I figure it was the cold I was just getting over.

I hold the right of the fabric between my pinky and ring finger:

Then I push the needle the rest of the way through with my middle finger.

This is pretty much what my hand usually looks like:
I hold the left side with my left, of course, and my thumb nail presses down right next to the needle tip, and my left and right hands stay tensed, while then rock up and down, building up sts on the needle. The fingers stay pretty still, relative to each other, except for slight pressure on the needle with my middle finger.

There. A totally useless post, and I'm ready to go finish those foolish tucks!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Some finished little clothes

It used to be that I could see threads in fabric, and doing things like cross stitch over squares made of two threads was easy. It's no longer easy...with my reading glasses (not bifocals), I can just do it. Sigh. But it came out ok.


So this makes the shift done. And cute. As long as I was at it, I ironed pleats into the sleeves, just to be silly. You can see them, a bit, if you look closely. A simple shift like this probably wouldn't have those pressed in pleats, I suppose, but they are hard to do, at least if you don't want to burn your fingers, so I keep trying, to see if I can.

Clearly I have some work to do.

See? The cap is done, with a cute bow and ribbon to tie behind. Nice shift, the skirts that will attache to the bodice, (which is all cut out, but still in pieces), and the apron.


We'll see how much I get done tomorrow. Eyelets...I don't have green silk for eyelets. Blast. I could've gotten it from Sue, had I thought of it on Wed...or even earlier today.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

LIttle clothes coming along

This isn't really exciting...but things are becoming wearable! The little shift just needs marking and ties or button links for the wrists (ties for now, certainly!)

The bodice lining is basted, boring boring...gotta stitch it properly in the morning, and cut out the outside fabric.
it's a lining!

The skirt waist is all pinned...that is the most nuisancy part of it. Whipping it in place will be quick, now.
pinned waistband

I'm sure Anna will LOVE her pockets (also half done, no photos yet) she needs slits to get at them. I think I made them a bit too long, though. She has tiny little hands!
pocket slit

It really is starting to look like a gown skirt!

Monday, September 20, 2010

More linen cuteness

Anna's cap is done! I still want to make a ribbon bow to put on the top, to tie behind her neck, but that will wait for a calm time, when I don't feel like getting something useful done.


They are pretty boring, when spread out flat, but it makes it easier to iron, if the back is on a drawstring.


When it's pulled up all the way, it's just such a sweet little cap! I tried to copy this one, the one the blue girl is wearing. I liked the ruffles...they are box pleats! Box pleats are easier to make than gathered ruffles, look better with less fullness (so less hemming), and are easier to iron, as you can just plow the iron right over them! So, box pleats like the painting or gathered ruffles? No contest!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Testing, 1, 2, 3! N

This is just a test to see if iPhone a d blogger place nicely together. The answer is, sort of. I have to grab any photos, first, because flickr and iPhone don't play nicely. At least, I haven't figured out how to do it, yet!

But, I've been meaning to post my crutches for a while. Today, I had PT at 9, and my knee worked until 8:00!!!! Clearly, there is hope, that I won't need them forever.

Forest Clogs for Alex

I got this pattern from Meg Swansen. It's going to be in the new book she's putting out, on her mother's garter stitch work: Knit One Knit All! I'm really looking forward to it! I have preordered my copy.

Here is my adaptation of Elizabeth Zimmermann's pattern for funky clogs


I cast on and went merrily along, until I realied I was knitting way too tight, and they were way too small. (the color above is too pale)

So, I redid the toes, and here I am, getting ready to do the really weird (easy, but weird) shaping on the foot/instep.
FunE Feat from knit one knit all

I decided that my pattern was not quite what I wanted, so I lengthened the ball of the foot part, for more coverage, and made the sides higher. I appear to be almost incapable of following a pattern without making changes. But, I LOVE doing so on EZ's patterns, because I have perfectly good brain, I know how to use it, and I use it to make my knitting do what I want it to do!

But, my changes aside, it's a fun little pattern, really fast and easy, and took less than one ball of Sheepsdown yarn! I've decided I really love this yarn. I'm working on an afghan out of it, too. It's funny,'s a bit delicate, for all that it's so thick. Ok, that is a "duh". If it were more tightly spun, for more strength, it'd be thinner, with the same weight of fiber, so to get this thickness, with more twist, it'd need more fiber, making it heavier and stiffer.

Here they are in all their finished glory!

Teddy says they are radish shaped. Teddy is a strange child.

They are not at all a teal color, they are really forest green.

They look much smaller than they are. Garter stitch stretches so much that if you don't make 'em small they'll fall off after a few weeks!

They are for Alex, who's about to spend a year at St. Andrews, in Scotland. It's cold over there, and raw, so he needs to have warm feet! Good luck in school, Alex! Enjoy the Scottish Weather!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Colonial Tinies

I'm making a set of colonial clothing for a little girl. She's tiny, so are her clothes. I have her first cap almost done, just going to add some more ruffles.

I'm attempting to copy, more or less (in a coarser fabric) the cap on the Ludwig's Blue Sash Girl.


We were at a party, so I tried it on. I need to pull the strings in back a bit tighter, she is clearly at the small end of this cap, but the baby size would certainly be too small. So, since I rather doubt Anna will shrink, it's perfect!

Here are her shift sleeves, languishing in my bag (caps are more fun):

But the apron is completely done.

These clothes are fun! I'm making them to free up our friend Steven, who would otherwise have to make her new clothes, so that he can help my son Teddy, who's turning 16, put this together:


It's a big project, the wood is only roughly shaped, and the is a bunch of metal work still to do...

Teddy is about the happiest boy in the world, right now!