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Monthly Archives: October 2012

slightly off-square bandanna

Cycling bandanna number 2 is made and I can only say that, as with the grey sweatshirt and its green prototype, the original was better. Number 2 is slightly off square. Obviously somewhere I measured wrongly or pinned crookedly – the sewing is all right given one or both of those initial mistakes – but across the diagonal I don’t think there’s much loss of size and Dr B was happy with it. Therefore I now have the orange fabric on my cutting table.

Summer having returned with some enthusiasm, for a couple of days anyway, I think his third bandanna might just have to wait until I’ve magicked up a new top for me. My need is reaching the point of desperation that his for a bandanna had reached and now he has two and I – well, I just need one (top, let me be clear; I’m not into bandannas at all). Should I dig out the pattern now or let the fabric sit there for a bit longer?

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Cycling, Sewing

 

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what you do when things go wrong

Summer suddenly reverted to winter a week or so ago and I had no decent tops I could wear to a family function. The skirt fabric that wasn’t quite large enough for the pattern I wanted to use started to look like a good option for the unexpected sartorial lacuna, so I nutted out how to make something appropriate using Portia’s simple top in a long-sleeved, layered-looking version, augmenting the patterned fabric with some plain black knit fabric that had been in my stash for a very long time (it featured in one of Boy’s pyjama tops, 10-or-so years ago).

I said life had been a bit nuts and that was all part of the drama. I was trying to talk to people while trying to sew (not a good thing to do). I was hurrying (also not a good thing to do). I was away from the house for hours at a stretch at times I’d planned to be at home sewing (at least I was able to take my knitting with me; the White Caps Cowl is coming along very nicely, thank you). Everything that could have gone wrong probably did. I broke my new twin needle, luckily after doing a very good job of topstitching around the neck (I was extremely pleased with how well that turned out but didn’t seem able to take a good photo of it).

Of course I only had one twin needle suitable for stretch fabrics, so that little mishap necessitated reverting to first principles for all the rest of the topstitching – that is, sew one line, align presser foot with previous stitching and off you go on the second line of topstitching – but hardly surprisingly that took at least twice as long as one effort with the twin needle. I couldn’t get the sleeves to work, so ended up simply hemming them and calling them done. They looked like this:

Nothing wrong with straight edges but they do so get in the way (in my case, in the curry)

Eventually I had an opportunity to sit and sew without interruption and tried to improve the sleeves. After many more nightmares, I ended up with a simple elastic cuff (I was going out to an evening event and needed to have a closed cuff to prevent chill air going up my sleeves), which looked a bit like this:

Functional but deserving of the, “Oh, dear,” reaction one family member bestowed on them

Today, after having battled quite a bit more, I ended up with something that is far from perfect. But it looks acceptable and probably even presentable and there comes a point where you have to say, “Enough,” and mean it. The top now looks something like this:

It’s warn and at least as well made as anything I could have bought.

The fabric on the left is a second bandanna I’m making for Dr B. His needing a new one quite desperately also played a part in delaying my finishing the sleeves for my top; but, as I say, it had elastic to keep the chill out (and worn under a jacket, who was any the wiser?) so the bandanna was a clear priority. It looks very nice – sorry, no photo; it’s in use! – and the size has been voted as precisely what was needed. As I say, I’m pinning another and will get onto the orange number within a week or so, I hope. This fabric was decreed to be something all right to use for a test but probably not “for real”: it’s a mustardy yellow with leopard spots and roses on it. Doesn’t it sound ghastly? It’s actually not and, you know, once it’s under the cycle helmet and tied so that there’s a tail hanging down to cover Dr B’s neck, you can hardly see the design on the fabric anyway.

I’ve had to give up on the Apronalong, though. I couldn’t quite fit that with all the other things going on. I’ll make an apron, probably even two, but much closer to Christmas. They, at least, shouldn’t give me any grief in terms of sleeves, should they?

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Cycling, Knitting, Sewing

 

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uuuuuh

So life has been a bit nuts, but I think we’re getting back on track. Knitting and sewing have continued. There will be some photos. And tomorrow is the opening of our rowing season. YoungB is now coaching. Yeah.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing

 

fifty things

I’m sure there are at least that many chores awaiting my immediate attention. I am, however, far too tired to attempt any of them (it’s not wise to sew when you’re tired). I bought some fabric for Dr B’s bandanna and brought it home to approval from both him and YoungB. This is what it looks like:

Fairly wild, isn’t it?

We were discussing size of finished article and I was attempting to explain that I’d have to make a different calculation depending on whether I used a flat hem or a rolled hem. Dr B wanted a flat hem because a rolled hem wouldn’t be flat, would it? I gave up at that point. Obviously I’m incoherent. In any case, I was able to convince him that the hem wouldn’t dig in either way because he’d be wearing the square of fabric with the diagonal across his forehead. Oh, yeah. That’s right! But not tonight he won’t.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Cycling, Sewing

 

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white fluff on a blue jacket

Today I managed to do a row and a bit of my White Caps Cowl while I was on the bus. Darn it all, the yarn made such a mess of my blue jacket that I’m revising my plans with regard to knitting on the way to work. I don’t mind so much messing up clothes when I’m on the way home but I’m supposed to look presentable for work. Hm, I might have to find another little knitting project to keep me busy.

And in the way that other people sometimes throw my plans into disarray, Dr B asked for a bandanna. He wasn’t necessarily asking me to make one, but he was hoping he might be able to find one with funky fabric for cycling purposes. In the end, I offered to make it. I spent my lunch break checking out fabric at the local Spotlight store. The restrictions related to not having flowery fabrics (or music that wasn’t Dr B’s own – no, there’s no fabric with his music on it, I promise you! – which ruled out quite a lot of options that I would have thought might be passable otherwise) or anything green (which he doesn’t much like, probably because I do) or too thick or with too high a polyester content. Ideally I wanted to find a pure cotton fabric. Quilting fabrics offer a good range but they’re generally heavier than might be desirable for a bandanna that has to go under a cycling helmet. I found some that I thought might be all right, anyway.

YoungB pointed out that cyclists wear some fairly wild bandannas (we know this to be true) but even he vetoed some of the options. His words were to the effect that, if Dr B were to wear that fabric as a bandanna he (YoungB) would have to laugh at him (Dr B) to save everyone or anyone else having to do so. Oh, how did I manage to get the boys to “audit” the fabric? (Neither has the patience for fabric shopping, I tell you from long experience, unless it’s for themselves and even then their attention span is, well, short.) Why, phone camera, of course. I might be technologically inept – I am; just ask YoungB about how I alway mess up trying to set up the TV unless he’s there to tell me how – but I have my moments.

Sure, there are plenty of bandannas available but Dr B wears his out with amazing rapidity so the idea of my making a couple for him is far from silly and, once I’ve tracked down a fabric he’s prepared to wear, shouldn’t actually take very long. A square of fabric with a rolled hem – he’s not after the fancy shaped sort you can buy. He has a couple of those and while they’re good, they don’t provide quite as much protection for his head as the cotton numbers that he already owns – should be a reasonably quick sewing projection, don’t you think? And then I can get back to my aprons and my knitting!

Sorry, either my computer is playing up or our Internet connection is but I’ve had a few crashes in the writing of this post so plan to send it as is without photos or links. Soz, as the kids these days would say. 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Cycling, Knitting, Sewing

 

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farewell on a sunny day

Today a large group of friends and relatives farewelled a wonderful woman who died at the great age of 98. We had sunshine to cheer us and nobody wept too much because after such a long life, so well lived and generous, who could be sad? Of course, we could have been sad but there is always life and there is, as we age ourselves, the recognition that all things end. There were plenty of young folk there including a young baby. There were old friends. And on my way home, I stopped to visit my own parents’ grave. As I was doing all the driving, I wasn’t able to knit today! 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Musing

 

banalities of life

I’ve been mending reusable shopping bags. I know. You’d think there’d come a point where you’d reckon enough is enough and out they’d go but when it’s just a bit of stitching that’s come adrift, the urge to fix it is overwhelming. Also, Dr B asked if I would!

I have also been knitting and am a little over three inches along with the White Caps Cowl.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Knitting, Sewing

 

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