31 October, 2016

Rummaging At The End Of October

 Found at the last church rummage sale. A linen tablecloth bought new at the old Meier & Franks Department Store for $3.98 and then tucked away as too nice to share.

Or, buyer's remorse?
Or, a gift that wasn't quite what the recipient had in mind for their home decor.
Or, it was on sale.
Or, .....????

Still with the tag attached.

 It measures 54" x 70" - just large enough for my dining room table.

 Oh good - you spotted the Piper J-5 ailerons being stored here.

 I just love this grape vine motif with the aqua-grey stripes. Supposedly hand-printed.

 This was found at another church rummage sale. Opening it ----

 Airplane Dominoes! Woot!
Two bits.

 These are the thick - nearly 1/2 inch thick old fashioned dominoes.
28 of them.
I don't need dominoes. I have zero use for them.
But they have airplanes on the back.

  I'm home sick today with the coughing crud. It came on last week and I spent most of the weekend in bed just sleeping, trying not to cough. I think I turned the corner this morning as my energy seems to be coming back. I called in sick because I'm still hacking up sputum samples (as the pharmacist son said).

I had been giving out Smarties last week at work to my very smartest customers. Inspiring Smarty jokes - tailored to the transaction at hand. They lend themselves to humor so well. Laughter is the best. And, most people love these.

Anyway, I was taking a break with two of my carriers who, quite obviously, had a different childhood than mine. Most of us, as children, decided these were pills, to be taken as needed.
These two, however, used to smash them to powder and snort them up their noses.


Moving on.

Vilnius, Lithuania
DD is back from her European vacation. She loved Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Very affordable. Sweden and Helsinki were more expensive.
I love her rooftop photos with all the red roofs.

25 October, 2016

Boring Sewing

On Sunday, I surprised myself with energy to complete several "must do" projects around the house. Usually, on laundry day, I spend some much needed time recovering from the work week, getting myself in shape to go another week at work.
Especially after the last two weeks of copious amounts of overtime.

I finished voting (Oregon is a  Vote-By-Mail state ). Wrote four thank-you letters, readied my Halloween care packages, paid bills - cleaning off my kitchen island counter in the process.

I re-strung my Duette honeycomb blind (hunter douglas) - Thank You Youtube! After 26 years, the strings are starting to give up the ghost due to reefing on the strings and the dratted UV sunlight.

 I couldn't find the 9mm cord locally. I had to order online - found a seller in Florida who included a recipe for Pumpkin bread staple to her packing slip (sweet).

I then made chocolate chip cookies on my cleared off island. I wrapped several bundles for the freezer to go into the aforesaid care packages.

And I sewed.

I did some fun sewing right off the bat - playing with black & white patchwork to make some boring hotpads be spectacular. Then I did the chore sewing.

No photos because swearing was involved. I sewed together some 1/2 inch felt strips to go under the windshield of the Piper J-5. Didn't have to be awesome sewing because a flange seal goes over the top.

The problem lay with the copious amount of spary adhesive used by the hubby and the hissy fit  my sewing machine pitched. That adhesive gummed up everything,. The needle, the thread, me.

My intention was to sew two parallel lines for durability but my sanity won out when I told my hubs that one line of stitching was all he was gonna get.

I printed shipping labels for my packages (four!) and also wrote some other letters (8!).

Between  my split shift on Monday, I finished putting together my care packages.
I was sending trail mix to the nephews and needed halloween chocolate eyeballs to make eyeball stew.

DS camped near Mt. Jefferson this weekend and got these photos for me.

Fresh snow on Mt. Jefferson

Mt. Jefferson

DD is now in Latvia, having given Estonia her best. This is The Armoury Bar.

20 October, 2016

Random October Musings

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn
My dear daughter is traveling through Sweden, Finland, and Estonia right now.
In the rainy, starting to get chilly, Scandanavian October.

She landed in Stockholm, met up with some friends (the only way to travel!), and then took the ferry to the Aland Islands to visit her paternal family of second cousins in Mariehamn.

***She has now been designated the genealogy consultant of the family.***

She then ferried off to Helsinki and stayed with my host-sis - who had just gotten back from visiting me, here in Oregon.

Today, she is in Tallinn, Estonia. She is used to traveling alone and, frankly, it's easier in some ways, doing what you want to do and not having to endlessly debate going to yet another museum. She's been able to stay with people which helps with her travel budget and also grants access to local yokel sightseeing.


No sewing going on. I'm working two solid weeks of serious overtime and even double time on two days.
Occasionally, I have time for some random pop-up thoughts, I thought I'd share.

1. Delirious that the ballots were delivered today. I can mail it in tomorrow and be done.
2. I'm sad about not being able to bike to work anymore. It's too  dark to be safe.
3. I must do a post about biking and doing something others think is too dangerous to even try.
4. My supervisor is off for two weeks, decreasing the toxicity at work by 74%.
5. I've made a new local acquaintance who sews pendleton too. Excited to get to know her better.

6. My schedule, barring any people being sick, allows for garage saling next Friday morning.
7. Creative Girl also has Friday morning off!
8. The new library opened recently and my first impression is echoing acoustics and gray.
9. Trying to coordinate dry weather with me being home in the daylight to get the yard straightened up.
10. I'm pretty sure I failed to finagle the weather gods last autumn.

11. I miss Rusty with his face pressed up to the door.
12. We have a teeny tiny mousey in the house who can run faster than me.
13. I did catch him under a mixing bowl but he managed to escape via the pour spout -- somehow.
14. This two weeks of 12-hr split shifts is very hard on my body.
15. I've got three more Christmas seasons to get through before I can retire.

16. I get way less political ravings on my IG feed. I am turning FB off for a few weeks.
17.  I live in a community with a significant latino population. I know many of them and they come see me because they know I treat them equally --the same as any other customer. I do not want a wall built. Most of my friends came to the US for a better life. And they are making their dreams come true.
18. I feel our rights as women to make decisions are very shaky. I don't want to go back to the days when a woman had to have a man co-sign a loan. She couldn't buy a car on her own. She couldn't make life decisions without someone's okay. No matter what you believe about anything affecting a woman, She is the one going through whatever and there isn't a blanket law that covers every situation. Be in control of your own life. Let others make the best decisions they can, at their particular moment of crisis. We don't always have to be right.
19. I want to go see the movie,  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I have not read the book and my library is taking holds but has not bought the book yet. The title just draws me in.
20. I'm watching Indian Summers (season 2) on PBS, as well as Poldark (season 2) via the internet.

21. Also binge-watching Ugly Betty - the entire four seasons is on abc.com.
22. I need to send some Halloween care packages. One less niece as she is studying abroad in Ireland and Berlin.
23. I've won two giveaways lately. One for a quilt book and another for a pattern that I've been eyeing enough that I thought I'd have a go at figuring it out myself. Now I can just use someone else's pattern.
24. I gave everyone Smarties today at work.

25. Off to bed. Goodnight. Sleep tight.

11 October, 2016

The T-Shirt Hack



 My dear friend sent me this tshirt from Japan in a size large. Its a men's large. It fit me through the shoulders but the tummy area was bunched up and tight.

I needed a tshirt hack because I liked this color on me and it came from Japan!
So I started a Pinterest board. Pinterest helps me focus by being able to easily organize photo inspirations. The photos link back to where you found them, so if there is a tutorial, it's easy to find again by clicking on your saved photo.

I started a Pinterest board called Tshirt hacks and I latched onto the long vertical triangle of added lace under the arm to give  me room for my tummy.

Brown cotton lace - how hard could that be to find? If we were still in the late 70's - no problem. Here we are in the current year with only a few colors of cotton lace to be had.
Dyeing white to brown is more difficult than you know. Polyester lace would work for the look but is way too itchy.

I met up with Pencil Girl at Mill End Store in Beaverton, where we spent over an hour the year before to find some lace for her to try her tshirt overlay. It took just under an hour to find this camo knit instead.

I didn't mind a lace insert at the bra strap area because normally you aren't holding your arms above your head to flash people, although some people are more comfortable with flashing.
Also, the insert, right there at the bra strap area, would be pretty narrow. The point of the insert is a wider triangle at tummy and hips to allow for more room there.

Side seam insert.
Sleeve insert

It went in so easily. I decided to add a godet to the sleeves too. Godet - word of the day, pronounced Go-day. And it means a triangular piece of material inserted in a dress, shirt, or glove to make it flared or for ornamentation.

The side seam godet was for fitting better and the sleeve godet was purely for ornamentation.

Feeling pretty smug, I attacked the neckline too.

 Don't you love this color brown? Except it's not brown as we discovered in the fabric store, it's a dark olive. Anyhoo, like all dark colors, it's a beast to photograph clearly.

1. I cut along the side seam from the hem up to about 1 inch from the sleeve seam.

2. Knits don't fray, so I decided to just sew closely on the edge of my tshirt fabric onto the godet.

3. I placed my tshirt onto my ironing board and laid a 5 inch wide piece of the godet fabric underneath. Maybe 1/2" above my top cut but below the sleeve seam, extending down past the hem. We bought 1/2 yard of this material because of the way the camo pattern ran. 18" x 5".

4. I started pinning. Very close to the edge and just eyeballing that my triangular line was straight.

5. On the side with the serged commercial seam, I trimmed it off at this point, cutting close to the stitching.

6. My hint? Run your pins down one side in one direction and up the other side in the opposite direction. I sewed from the hem up to the sleeve seam on the right side, pulling pins out as I did.
However, when I came around the top, my pins were now backwards to being able to pull them out head first. So place your pins in opposite directions.

Bye, Bye, Care label

7.  I used a long stitch length - a basting length. There would not be any stretch going down but usually when you stitch on knits, making the length longer helps with the feed dogs and how the material feeds through. Almost forgot - I used a stretch needle too.

8.  I had some concerns my new seam would curl on the edges inside and make me crazy wearing it, so I stitched another line of stitching about 1/8" away and then later  trimmed the excess of my godet fabric close to that seam.

9. My godet width at the bottom of the hem ended up being 3 1/2" wide. I simply turned up my godet fabric a matching amount to my tshirt hem and sewed  it down using that same 4.0 stitch. Again, not a lot of stretch here. If you're concerned, you can get out your cover stitch and make a more commercial stretchy hem finish.

10. Finally, trim off your excess godet fabric.

You can see the double stitching here on the sleeve

On a roll, I decided to attack the neckline too. Guys t-shirts hit me at the neck making me crazy. I don't like things around my neck. 

I had pinned a hack showing how to turn a round neckline into a v-neckline. The technique said, and it's true, you can re-use the neckline binding up to 2 inches more stretch to make that deeper vee.

My machine design on the front of the shirt came close up on the neckline. I decided to keep the round shape but 1/2 - 3/4" lower.
And it worked. Remember, tshirt knit doesn't fray!

I snipped close to the binding from shoulder seam to shoulder seam (leave the back neck attached - just fooling around with the front side).

Then I folded my shirt in half, matching the shoulder points. I started cutting from the bottom about 1/2" - 3/4" down and just tapered my eyeball curve back to the original shoulder points. I might have been able to cut a little deeper except for  my design. (Don't cut that off...).

Then I wonder clipped my neckline back onto the binding right on top of the serged edge.
I matched the centerpoint of the shirt to the binding centerpoint and also about 3" up on both sides of that. The binding is smaller than the shirt so you have to stretch the binding as you sew.

I basted it on with a 5.0 stitch on my pfaff. Looked at it. Awesome. Then I took it to my serger which had to be re-threaded in a dark color. I used black as I don't own dark brown serger cones. And I re-serged that seam.

All of these hacks took less than an hour to do. Yes. An hour.
Time Flies on the logo

The hem is a little long and I might change that, but since I'm working overtime, I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. Trying it on - it fits! So much better.

The most difficult part of t shirt hacking is finding the right fabric to coordinate.

Thanks for the shirt, Janine!
The camo knit  matches so well, no one will be able to tell that I custom tailored it to my body.

***December 2016 update. This shirt is so soft. It was worth fussing around for an hour to make this fit me. None of the cut/sewn edges are curling, nor are they bugging me.

09 October, 2016

Can You Stand More Rope Bowls

My friend, Pencil Girl, hand dyed some more clothesline for me.
I scored on the styling end as I happened to have some hops and white pumpkins in my kitchen table centerpiece. They offset the autumnal colors of the clothesline perfectly.

 I just love all the random swirls this method of dying creates. She keeps the hank of clothesline intact and uses a tall vase for dying.

I will say, I wasn't as enthused about this orangy and dusty purple combo when she handed it to me. I loved the blue/green combo she dyed for me before, so these colors weren't as exciting to me.

But my friend hand-dyed it for me, so I jumped in and fell in love with the autumnal colors that emerged as I designed as I zigzagged along.

I wanted to do those loopy things again  - for no particular reason.

 There was enough left to do a small saucer which is just darling.

  I had in mind a black & white version and what emerged from the sewing machine is another piece of awesomeness. It doesn't scream black and white as much as my vision but I did a couple of new techniques on this one.

For more color at the top, I did a final round of zigzagging so it shows more.
I also made my three knots looser and just attached them with the sewing machine for a cleaner finish.

I also discovered when turning it inside out, I like the loops inside and I also like the top edge rolled down.

You might say, I have found my groove.
So much fun and quick to do.

If you search for Rope Bowl over on my sidebar (web version - won't appear on the mobile version), you can see all the posts I've done on Rope Bowls.

I am amazed I haven't gotten tired of making these yet. They are super quick to do -- less than two hours, and they come off the sewing machine all different. Very organic designing - very freeing.