Friday, October 30, 2015

Change of Seasons

My closet is only about five and half feet long and it has a narrow door that makes it difficult to reach the ends. Only about two and half feet of it is easy to reach. I have to play contortionist to reach the rest. The only good thing about it is that it's all mine. My husband has his own, identical closet so I don't have to share. Five and half feet is not enough closet space for a woman, especially one who sews. Once or twice a year I do take a few things out and take it to Goodwill but I keep putting more in than I take out.

After nearly two decades of living with this closet, not sure I could stuff one more garment into it, this past spring I decided to buy one of those big plastic storage containers for my off season clothes. I stuffed it full of sweaters and jackets and flannel shirts and put it in the closet in the spare bedroom which, as my mother-in-law used to say of a small outbuilding she had, "You could hide an elephant in there." It was hard. I felt like I was sending my beloved mostly-made-by-me clothes into a black hole. What would happen to them? I need them all to be in my closet where I know they're safe.

October has been lovely, almost like summer, but the last few days have been cold. Well, not really cold but definitely time to face the fact that summer is over. So today I got out the winter stuff and put my summer dresses in the storage container and into the black hole spare bedroom closet. It was really terribly hard to do. It felt like I was saying goodbye to my lovelies indefinitely even though I know that's not true. I might have to go visit them every day for a while. But my comfy cozy flannels are back, which is good, because I'm going to be needing them but I'm going to miss my dresses and summer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Slow Projects and Intermittent Blogger's Guilt

I hate it when I don't post anything here for more than a week but I suppose that's the nature of sewing blogging. Whenever you finish a project, that's when you blog and if you don't finish anything for a week or two...

I feel like I need to come up with an idea for a weekly blog series but, 1, I haven't thought of anything that would be either entertaining or informative and 2, I'm afraid I would have trouble being consistent. Actually I do have what I think is a pretty good idea for a limited series - just three or four posts. I'm going to take some pictures and search for some old pictures and start that soon(ish)

For the past two (going on three I think) weeks I have been working on a Granville shirt. It's actually going well, so I don't know why I'm not getting it done faster. I have been doing one little step at a time and then stopping and sometimes I go back to it the next day and sometimes it ends up being two days. There are so many things I want to get done, I'm tempted to put it aside for a while and start something else but I have always had this fear of not finishing things. I feel like have to finish each thing before I move on to the next.

So, what are you working on? Do you do one thing at time or do you work on multiple projects at once? How do you motivate yourself when you feel stuck?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


I have found it impossible to find slippers that I like. All of them are either too much or not enough. If they cover your entire foot they have enough insulation to keep your feet toasty warm on a 10 mile hike in the snow. Seriously. I wish they made snow boots as well insulated as a typical winter house slipper. The solution, of course, is to make my own. I am so happy that I know how to sew.

The pattern is Green Pepper 837GP. Green Pepper has some very interesting patterns for things you might not think of making yourself. I have made the slippers before and I wasn't entirely happy with the result but now I'm experimenting.

The ones I made before were all polar fleece but earlier this year I found this great soling material. Since I used that I had to make insoles of polar fleece. I wish I had taken pictures of the process. What I did was, after sewing the slipper together with the soling linked above, with the slipper still inside out, I sewed the fleece insole over the top of the slipper, with the right side of the insole down and leaving the heel open. Then I turned it to the bottom of the slipper and hand sewed the heel. I hope that makes sense. I fear that I'm not very good at explaining things.

As you can see, they don't match. These are actually my second attempt. The first ones were perfectly matched with an orange dot on top of each one but they turned out a little too small. The ones I had made before were a bit too large so I tried making these just a teensy bit smaller but they ended up too tight. So I tried again with the fleece I had left and ended up with the ones you see in the picture. I am mostly happy with them. The heel seam bothers me a bit, which is embarrassing to admit since it's hand sewn. I might try to re-work it, but it's really not too bad.

I made a pair for my husband with a full lining. They're brown so they wouldn't show up well in a picture and, anyway, he's not around to model them right now. I'm thinking about making a pair with a full lining for myself.

The pattern includes all whole shoe sizes from infants size 0 to men's size 13. I can sew a simple pair in less than half an hour. With the insole or lining it takes a little longer, naturally.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Summer to Fall

At first I was thinking of this as "one last summer top" but this would be great with a cardigan or light jacket, which makes it perfect for the kind of weather we are having right now: 50° (F) in the morning and 80° in the afternoon.

This is New Look 6963 and one of the 2-yard pieces that I bought back in July. (Which seems much more recent than it is) I don't have much more to say about this other than, I love it. The color, the really cute sewing notions print, and my current favorite shirt pattern. This one's a win. (The print being almost perfectly matched in front is a complete accident.)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Too old? Or old enough?

I don't remember if I said this before or just thought it and never said it. We go through phases of age appropriateness. First, when we are little, our mothers dress us in adorable little things and we're fine with it. I was more than fine with it. I loved all the cute bright colored, lacy, ruffly things my mom made for me. Then we go to school and suddenly that's "baby stuff". We are Too Old to dress that way. What we consider that we are too old to wear changes over the years but overall the Too Old phase lasts well into adulthood as we feel we must look a certain way in order to be taken seriously. Eventually, if we are lucky, we realize that we never stopped liking the bright colors and cute prints we used to wear when we were little and that life is too short to dress to please other people. We are not too old to wear brightly colored novelty prints; we are Old Enough.

I already decided a few years ago that I have reached the Old Enough phase but sometimes it's hard. Sometimes I have this internal battle between Too Old" and Old Enough. For example, I desperately want this Laurel Burch fabric but my Inner Stuffy Person keeps telling me, "You're way too old for Laurel Burch." My Inner Five-Year-Old and my Inner Old Lady are trying to gang up on her but Inner Stuffy Person is pretty stubborn. I'm really hoping that Inner Five-Year-Old and Inner Old Lady win though.

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I do have some finished sewing to show off and I will really try to get around to it this week. Yes, I actually do still sew, not just buy fabric and patterns.