All spring, I carried my lunch to work in the little paper bags you get from Starbucks or (in my case) Fabric Depot. The bags were the right size, but wore out quickly, especially if I carried them in the rain. So when I saw a strip of vinyl in the remnants section at FabDep, I thought "There's my new lunch bag!" I made it on my mending day, while the pumpkin-colored thread was in the machine. Here's a tutorial, in case you ever want to make a bag with a squared off bottom.
A very strange thing is happening in my living room... Pretty Kitty inspects it with great suspicion.
No, this isn't a police line-up, it's my lovely sister showing off the entirely unlovely block I've made for her. Twirly twirly twirly!
A few months back, I decided to use up some of my stash. I pulled out a lovely piece of green rayon(?), with gradients of warm color and Japanese style twisty trees on it. I love this fabric! I figured out I had enough to make a dress, by the simple expedient of wrapping it around myself. Not a very full dress, but a dress it would be! There was about 1 1/3 yard at 60"(?) inches wide.
See, in my conversations with her about clothes, she occasionally expresses her frustration with how RTW doesn't fit, and how frustrating it is to find clothes that make her feel good. Of course, my sister is beautiful, and if her clothes make her feel otherwise, it's their problem, not hers! There's no reason for a gorgeous woman to feel dumpy when she gets dressed!
* Home sewists sometimes call this basic body-fitting garment a "sloper", but that's ambiguous, because in manufacturing a sloper is any pattern without seam allowances. Though I'm not manufacturing, I'd hate to contribute to confusion about terminology. I believe "block" is a better term for what I'm making, since a block is a basic garment pattern, which other patterns for specific garments are built off of.
As I rarely wear white clothes (not my color, and too hard to keep clean), I don't usually sew with white. So this project, sewing a pair of jeans that are not just white, but blindingly white, has been interesting! Some white tips I'm learning as I go:
I am a procrastinator. I wish I weren't, but since that is my natural tendency, I find ways to "hack" my life.
How do you hack your life, you ask? By understanding how it naturally works and manipulating it. In my life, there are two opposite forces at work: I hate to be idle and unproductive, but I put off starting things because my big plans for them overwhelm me. So my lifehacks involve forcing deadlines on myself for the big things, and having a variety of small things on hand to fill my procrastinating time. I call these small things procrastination projects: things to do when I'm putting off the bigger things. That way the time is not wasted! And the big things get done because there's a deadline and I hate to let people down. (As a side note: if you care about me and my goals, the kindest thing you can do is hold me to my deadlines.)
When I was a kid my dad listened to talk radio. Most of it bored me. But one show was quite amusing: the hosts were Deminski and Doyle, and they had a segment they called the "Hour of Duh". (I can't find the Hour of Duh online now... I wonder if I'm mis-remembering, or if I've fallen into one of those unpredictable holes in the internet... stuff that hasn't made it online yet.)
Well, today I'm going to tell you about a project that has been my hour of duh.
My client arrived with several large scraps of blanket-weight felted wool, in a large-scale charcoal plaid. The pieces were odd shapes, like they'd been trimmed from something. He also had a pair of pajama pants, and he wanted to make the wool into a new pair of pajama pants based on the existing pair.
A shopping trip to Goodwill landed me with a pattern ($0.99) and a small bit of green wool with a simple weave and a lovely drape ($2.99). The pattern is Simplicity 3631, and I like View B, the belted jacket with three-quarter length flared sleeves. When I got home, I realized that I might be smidge short on fabric, so I raided my stash and found a bit of green checkered wool of a similar weight. I also found some silver-taupe satin (unknown fiber) that would serve very well for a lining.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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