Happy Halloween

It's like a Davis Sedaris essay where a bunny and a lollipop go out for a walk...

It’s like a Davis Sedaris essay where a bunny and a lollipop go out for a walk…

I couldn’t resist one more nostalgic photo and since its Halloween, that’s the theme. Don’t you just love Claudia in that bunny outfit?! I adore this picture and I’d guess I was in kindergarten and the bunny was in second grade. Could be a year earlier though. No matter, much cuteness was sewn up but our momma. Happy Halloween friends!

Zoo girls

Sisters at the San Francisco Zoo circa 1967 sporting matching hand knits, of course.

Since the present is being rather difficult, I’ll embrace the past this #tbt and post this pic of Claudia and me at the SF Zoo circa 1967.  Please notice the matching hand knit WOOL skirt/jacket combos knit by our mom.  Seriously, two children under 3 and knitting matching wool outfits.  Of note, I do have a picture of Claudia on her first day of kindergarten wearing a jacket very similar to the one here.  Clearing ripping out sweaters and reknitting them runs in our genes.

P.S.  I’m the one on the left looking dopey.  Can you see the little Claudia’s inquiring mind here already?

Easy button

I’m trying out a super hero pose here.

Well it’s not Rhinebeck, but it’s something.

The upside of not going to New York Sheep and Wool is that I’ve got some time on my hands.  I took advantage of that by finishing Staple dress.

The material is from a layover in Los Angeles that had me trekking over to the fabric district and picking up a few things, this included.  The material is a rayon/poly fluid print that presses well.  I thought it would be a good match for Staple dress’ elastic waist.  The material’s drape should be nice and fluid and make for soft folds in the finished dress.

Well the finished dress is fine, I just don’t know how much I’ll like wearing that elastic waist.  It was annoying me just taking pictures, but I suspect the elastic will relax a bit with wear (plus that fact that I yank on it while taking it one and off).  I even tried to wear a belt when taking pictures and you know I hate belts, which is probably why it’s kind of wonky.

I made the dress as instructed, but it’s a pretty easy dress so variations are limited.  The dress has pockets and a shirred elastic waist.  It’s pretty basic.  The neck and armholes are finished with bias, the waist is shirred with elastic thread and I added bra strap holders at the shoulders so that wide neck would stay on.  I didn’t add any length and hemmed with a baby hem, so if you want a longer dress or are tall you may want to add a bit to the length.

All that said, I’m still on the fence as to whether this will be useful.  The blouson effect of the bodice isn’t the most flattering on me.  I think I prefer a more fitted look on top for me, but it is fairly comfortable and easy to slip on under a cardigan, so maybe.  I’ll keep it for a few months and see if it gets worn.

I think I’ll try to make another blouse next from my latest fabric from New York, which I cleverly left out waiting for inspiration (and time off).

Dress with cardigan, it’s most likely wear. Can’t wear it long today since it’s still pretty dang hot out.



Does that look like $1K worth of damage? Can’t I just pad out that dent with some leftover sock yarn? Apparently the yarn thing is NOT an approved fix…

Why am I not going to Rhinebeck this year?

Is it because I don’t have the time off work.  No, I do.

Is it because you can’t fly across the country to get to NYS&W?  No, indeed I can.  I fly for free because I work for an airline.

Then why?  Because I backed the car into another in my driveway and have used my Rhinebeck yarn slush fund to pay for a new bumper!  Seriously.  Why do we even have bumpers if you can’t bump into anything?  Why can’t I use my excess yarn as bumper filler to make the fixing cost under $1K?

That is my sad tale, sorry to vent.  My sister tried to make me feel better by saying we should plan a trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool instead?  We’ve not been to Maryland in ages and barring any more demolition derby stunts on my end we’re in.  Anyone else planning on Maryland?

Yards and yards of love

A first taste of purchases – these are the two that I think I’ll use first.

I was forced to buy fabric.  Really.  It was probably the last, best thing I’ve done.  Since then my week has been absolute shit.  I’m now intimately familiar with the deductible on my car insurance.  My other car’s smog check is now turning into a multi-day slog and the upcoming lunar eclipse can only spell disaster for me.

So let’s focus on the fabric.  I’ll just start by showing the first two pieces I think I’m going to use.  It’s a bit dull to see a big old pile of fabric in posts so I’ll bore you little by little.  The other day I got sent to New York and actually had a layover in Manhattan.  It’s not too often I get a long layover, mostly I stay by the airport.  It was a beautiful day so I thought I’d spend a bit of time down in the fabric district picking up some yardage.  I didn’t spend much money and I only had about two hours but I made the most of it.  I went to my favorite haunts from FIT days and they’d all moved around (except Mood) but Steinlauf and Stoller had the EXACT same dusty window display from my time there in the mid 1990s.  Love that, and love them since they have everything you’ll ever need notion wise.

So the fabrics, above is a sweater knit merino/cotton Italian fabric from Mood for a luxurious slouchy top.  Bottom fabric is cotton from B&J Fabrics that is much lighter than quilting cotton but a bit heavier than voile.  Perfect for a tailored blouse.  I’d not been to B&J since they moved to 7th Avenue (@38th St. 2nd floor – you’re welcome).  Their fabrics are on headers on racks so you can easily see prints and feel the hand.  Nice!  Plus it’s quicker, time is money people.

So those are my plans but my crap luck may alter those plans somewhat.  Plus I’m going to have to go back to work soon and they’ll be some long trips.  Sigh.  I’ll get over my bad self, don’t worry.  Hope you’re all well!

Is that candy striper job still available?

I didn’t crop out my head so I could enjoy the bit of hair that was sticking out like a tusk that appeared mysteriously when I woke that morning. Wasn’t there the night before, but during the night I grew it.

Just so you know, this cardi will never go outside the house.  It’s destined to be “home wear”.  I don’t know why I bought 2 yards of this pink and white strip jersey but there is was in the stash, perfect to make a toile for the Jenna Cardi from Muse Patterns.

I saw this pattern on Lauren’s blog and she looked adorable in it.  Of course Lauren is totally adorable and would look great in a Safeway bag, but buy the Jenna pattern I did.  It fills a niche between tee and sweater, which is a wide niche here in sunny California.  I thought I’d make a practice garment to evaluate the pattern since I’d not used this company’s patterns before.

Enter pink stripe jersey.  While this fabric isn’t hideous, it would be perfect for a 5 year old’s Easter dress.  I matched up the stripes on the sides and sleeves but totally lost interest in straight lines at the cuffs and hems.  Oh well.  The buttons are from the stash so this was a pretty easy and fast make.  It was constructed almost totally on the serger, only used the straight stitch for the top stitching.

As for fit, it fits pretty well but the sleeves are WAY too long.  I have long monkey arms and they’re too long for me.  I took out 1″ in the above photos and need at least another inch out of the length.  I may think about taking a smidge out of the shoulder width, but may not bother with the next iteration.  Off to root around the stash for some more jersey.

Saucy girl!

Before, during and after.

Seriously, what’s up with me and the puns?

I’ve made my first batch of roasted tomato sauce and I’m a fan.  Very easy and delicious.  I used this recipe because it seemed reasonable and used doable quantities.  My freezer is pretty full and I don’t need a gallon of anything.  I’d guess this is enough sauce for a pound of pasta but I’m batching mine up for personal use.  First scoops will be used on pizza.  Made the recipe as written, though I’d probably skip adding butter next time – but on second thought butter never hurt anyone.

Every time I go to Greenstring Farm for tomatoes I worry that they’ll be over, but I may have time to make another batch or two of this sauce before that happens.  First I have to go to work but my mind will be on tomatoes!


Blue and white pattern

I look pretty pleased with myself here, but it’s just a pretty straight forward blouse.

Finally!!  I finished something.  It seems like I hit a work patch there and couldn’t do much craftwise.

Here is a basic cotton voile blouse cut out weeks ago and sewed up last week.  I finally added the buttons this weekend so it’s done.  The pattern is Kwik Sew 3555 and is a classic button front blouse with breast pocket, collar and stand, cuffs and a shirt tail hem.

I’d initially planned to sew this up following the most excellent Craftsy class “The Classic Tailored Shirt” by Pam Howard.  I’ve made a shirt following the class before and it’s a great way to learn, plus you end up with a high quality shirt.  Unfortunately, I cut out the blouse forgetting that Kwik Sew uses 1/4″ seam allowances and the tailoring techniques in Pam’s class use 5/8″ SA for the tailored techniques.  I didn’t remember until after the blouse had been cut out so I just sewed it up following the Kwik Sew directions, which are fine.

The blouse turned out well and has been worn, so success there.  I do have some more voile in the stash that I’d like to use with a more fitted blouse pattern so this may be the first shirt of many.  Eventually.  Tomorrow I’m making some sauce from the 2 pounds of sweet tomatoes I bought today.

The freeze frame of the shirt, but it’s pretty much a basic style.

No much here

One sleeve, one sleeve nubbin.

The past few weeks have all been about work. And more work. Now the icky bit has finished, I’m back! That said I’ve got nothing much to share though.

Knitting-wise I finished one sleeve for Grettir and have the nubbin of the second sleeve started.  I still work sporadically on A Little Romance which is my travel project.  I should really get on that scarf because I really want to start a new scarf pattern that’s just come out, plus it’s getting cooler so it’ll be useful quite soon.

But what’s this talk of a new scarf pattern you’re obsessed with?  It’s a Veera Välimäki pattern called Neon Beast. It’s striped and made up in lovely bright colors.  Another perfect travel project.  I’ve made quite a few of Veera’s patterns and have enjoyed all of them.  I like her aesthetic and if she didn’t live around the world from me I’d probably peek in her windows to see what she’s working on next.  But I have neither the time nor inclination to stalk poor Veera, so I shall just read her blog.

Sewing-wise the only thing I’ve sewn is to hem some new work uniform pants.  No, I didn’t take pictures of that since it would be the most boring thing in the world!  I have decided I need more blouses so I’ll have to get on that soon.

Hope everyone is doing well and I hope I’ll be back with something to share!

20 Bernina 1080 years

20 year old receipt!

Twenty years ago I bought my sewing machine and serger. I didn’t remember when I’d actually bought them until I was moving stuff out of one drawer to another.  Voila, a receipt slipped in between two other things.  It’s a testament to the Bernina quality that those machines are just as good today as when I bought them.  Which is good because they were pretty darn expensive.  I’m sure I made payments for yonks.

Cute pink and green skulls.

I wish I had a dramatic and glamorous garment to show you to celebrate my machines’ and my 20th anniversary, but what I’ve got is pretty much cake and not frosting.  That really does sum up what my machines have made for 20 years, so I guess it’s only fitting that I’ve got pajama pants.

Yes, another pair of flannel pajama pants made from the Tofino pattern.  Same mods as the last two times, 28″ inside leg measurement (this pattern is REALLY long!) and omitting the bow belt thing.  The fabric is cotton flannel and is covered in cute skulls.  It was pretty difficult to find skull fabric for these pjs.  My friend (the recipient) wanted skull pjs for her birthday and I thought it would be a snap to find fabric since skulls and pirates are kind of popular now.  No, I was mistaken.  There are several quilting cottons I found with skulls of varying scariness, but this was one of the only fabrics in flannel.  Nevertheless, they’re cute and the pjs will hopefully be well received.

Pajamas that are hopefully not scary.