long t-shirt skirt

I am a bit surprised that I am writing today.  My arthritic conditions have an element of fatigue to them.  With the allergies this week, I am tired.  Every time I walk out to my truck, the windshield and wipers are covered with pollen.  I am too tired to be using my sewing machine or working on anything that is to be sold.

The solution to that problem is hand sewing for msyelf and presents.  My old treadle sewing machine does not deal with stretch fabrics well.  But I can do them hand sewing.  I would actually only have to hand sew the curves and anything that stretches but I just do the whole thing.  Videos and audio books become my best friend.

This is an Alabama Chanin pattern for their long skirt.  It is also very similar to the Sense and Sensibility walking skirt.  After too many Murdoch Mysteries, I need more of this style in my life, whether it is t-shirt knits or woven fabric.

Alabama Chanin uses a lot of raw edges in their designs.  It is a trademark of theirs.  I like finished edges so I used a stretch embroidery stitch around the hem.  I also did not make the waist too tight, even though it has elastic in it.  I just do not like tight waists very much.  I would rather be appalled at the waist measurement and have something be loose then have a smaller waist and have something tight.

I embroidered a flower on the back.  It has texture so in the dark, in a tent, I can figure out where the back of my skirt is.  This is the true reason why I started adding tags to everything, easier dressing in a tent.

I have worn this skirt on errands this morning and I will have to say that it so comfortable.  My hands are a little tired.  And once I am off the computer I may end up taking a nap or in my sewing chair hand sewing more because I think my errands were a bit much this morning.  It will work well for both.  I would like a few more and I can see them as a great travel skirt, especially as after walking clothes.



I have been noticing that when I do my hand sewing, I never seem to know where to put my feet.  My chair is lovely for my joints.  Yes, it could do with some refinement and I think I should sand some of the sharp edges off but it works on my hips.  I feel like I should build another.  I will paint turquoise or red when I do.  But my chair was needing an ottoman.

I looked at different types online.  I wanted something I could build or make.  I also knew I needed softness.  The cube shaped ottomans appealed both in terms of price, size, and softness possibilities.  

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, I picked up two pieces of upholstery fabric.  Each one yard.  It is enough to make two ottomans.  I cut six 18 inch by 18 inch squares of each and started stitching.

I will say the stitching on the stiffer fabric was easier then on the softer fabric.  But not terrible.  I fashioned a t shape from all the squares and then sewed that together so I had a cube with one side still open.

It was cheaper to buy inexpensive pillows then the amount of polyfill I would need.  Six standard pillows fit into each of the ottomans.  The cashier thought I was having guests over.

I pinned that last opening and hand sewed the edge together.  I bent every single straight pin.  The squeeze clamps the boyos use in knife making actually worked much better.  If I were making many of these, I would invest but instead I borrowed.

Now there are two lovely ottomans.  

The blue one sits by my sewing chair and is quiet lovely.  The brown/grey one above sits by my Beloved's rocking chair.  It gets used quite often as well.  Not bad for an afternoon of work.


Craft bag for me

While I was traveling, I bought a craft bag that holds my crocheting exceptionally well.  It stands by itself.  It has pockets.  It controls my yarn better then any yarn bowl has.  I started doing much more hand sewing when I got home.

I decided to give making one of my own craft bags a go.  I chose not to use any zippers but I had a fun pinecone button.  Also, the colors I chose actually please me more then the bag I purchased.

A bit of time on my sewing machine and I had one.  The time it took felt like less time then a market bag but that may just be due the bag being something new.

I am very pleased.  I use it everyday for my projects.  When I traveled recently, I put a crochet project and a hand sewing project into.  Nothing too large but I was only gone for about 48 hours.  It was a good size because it gave me choices of projects to work on but I did not bring too much.  I am notorius for bringing too many projects and books while traveling.  Anything that helps to limit that quantity is a good thing!

I have started to put some in my shop here and my Etsy shop.


playing with hibiscus and soy

I few weeks back, I played with soy mordant and hibiscus for dyeing.  This is what came out of the dye pot.  The middle piece is cotton, then there is a cotton/silk piece, and a china silk piece.

This is how it came out of the washing machine.  The cotton is not white even though it looks so in the picture.  When it is placed next to white it comes out to the eye as the palest of blush or mauve.  There is a bit of grey tone in the pink.  

The middle is the cotton/silk piece.  I am working on a slip that has a lot of embroidery on it that I am using this for.  That gold tone comes out but there is just a bit of blush to it.  Again, it is all about how the light hits it.

The piece is the china silk.  Mauve, almost grey.  It is really pretty but not what I expected.

It is really hard to capture with a camera and then broadcast it on a computer screen.  I took half the china silk and added an iron mordant.  Basically, a bowl of rust water.

It is the prettiest silky grey green.  Hanging from the clothes line or a ribbon floating in the house is beautiful.  I am thinking about making a hand sewn chemise with it.  I am not sure there is enough here but I can add strips of more, or just dye more and make this into ribbons.  This is one of those I could keep all too myself.  But then I would fill my house.  

I am going to have to dye more soon.  There is a cabbage waiting.  I do like dyeing with things that can go into the compost and feed my garden.  There was broccoli from the garden last night.  And there is amaranth flowers I wish to pick to see how they dye.  Experimentation.  Pretty cool.


Something new for my Etsy shop

I have started to put something new together for my Etsy shop.  Slips.  They are fun for me because they combine dyeing, hand sewing, and sewing.  I am working on one right now that will have embroidery.  I have not put them in the shop here yet.  I am not completely sure why.

The slip itself is a cotton silk blend that I find works very well under dresses.  But is not too hot for where I live most of the time.  The hand torn ribbon on the dress is what I made using cabbage and hibiscus.  Grey pink lavender.  Something like that.

Then I sit and hand sew most of the ribbon and lace on.  I listen to audiobooks while I do it.  I have to admit, this one of those tasks which I wish I could do every day, all day.  It is restful and meditative.  I love hand sewing.  Now if I could just get the community college to respond about their tailoring program, there might be more of it in my life as a way to make money.  Baby steps.

I had to share the sunflowers in my garden.  Are they not pretty!