Entries in sew (23)


Carpenter dress

When I am traveling, especially driving, I have been wearing overalls lately.  Part of that is that Koda Bear and I match.  The other part is that most of my dresses do not have pockets and the pockets in the overalls make life just a little bit easier.  It was suggested to me that maybe I should put the pockets I like on one of my dresses.

I mostly like the pockets that are lower on the leg best.  Not the bib pocket.  And I do not need two butt pockets.  I find the lower leg ones are perfect for my phone and possibly a key.  I do not sit on things in those pockets and they are easily to hand.

I took out my Carhartts and used them as a go by for both position and size.  I still needed to fit a phone.  I played with a piece of fabric that I really liked but also was not so expensive that I would worry about screwing it up.  It is a mid to heavy weight cotton.

Can I say I was pleased?  First, I did take the dress in a tatch.  It might look a bit tight in some of these pictures but it is not tight at all.  I put short sleeves on it instead of three quarter length sleeves.  I kept the neckline high and added two inches to the hem.  The dress itself is a better version of the sheaths I have been wearing.  I still do not need to put a zipper in it because it can go over my head and that still helps my shoulders.  I have days.

But the pockets!  The pockets!  This is going to be one of those dresses that gets washed and it is one of the first that I put back on.  Which also means it will wear out faster.  It is a difficult catch 22 but this dress is a winner.  I was thinking I might start looking for a light twill to make some more in.  A fabric just a little bit heavier so it my last longer with the washing.

I am pleased!



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.



Somehow I got wrangled into making a backpack for one of my Mom's church friends.   This was harder then you might think because I was given the instructions:  blue.  Wow, there are so many different blues!  This is what I ended up with.  I did ask for help with the choosing of the fabrics.

Then, there was the putting it together.  It was not hard but probably not the way I would have put it together.  I would also have cut some of the pieces different shapes, like the flap for the opening.

But I liked how it turned out.  The straps are adjustable because you tie them at the bottom.  I would have changed the top for me but that would have required grommets.

I would also have wanted more coverage for the opening but I followed the pattern.

I would also have probably used a buckle or a different closure for the flap. But I am hard on backpacks.  

I hope the person likes it.  I am delivering it next week.  If I were to make it again, I already mentioned some of the changes I would have made.  I also think I would go thrift store shopping and see what I could find in weather proof fabric.  I use backpacks and weather proof matters.


dress form

So I am back.  The move to Reno is off.  We were unable to find a living/working situation that was acceptable for many reasons.  I needed to be able to afford it on the new hourly rate that I was going to receive.  Which was possible but everything that we found that fit our requirements was either falling down or in a neighborhood that was hugely questionable.  Especially since I would be there by myself most of the time.

It is time to look at different opportunities and paths.  There are even a few classes I would not mind taking.  The observation was made by more then one person that everything was happening very quickly.  Maybe much too quickly.  Time to take a deep breath and move a bit slower with more consideration.  It is actually very good for me.

The Sunday before I left for Reno, a friend helped my make a dress form.  Now, I know the picture looks pretty bad.  But I ran out of polyfill so it is not finished being stuffed.  There are end to cover and another layer of duct tape to add.  But, having my own dress form is exciting!  I am working on a sweater right now which I can already seeing me walk up to the dress form to test widths and lengths.

It is probably one of the best decorations for the season I have ever had.  It is a headless, armless, legless body.  That matches mine!  It should get along really well with the ghosties in the house.


influenced by Raw Craft

I got to watching Anthony Bourdain's Raw Craft series on youtube.  They are short videos about people who make things.  Make things with a vision and well.  Other people in their chosen field might not say they are the best at what they do, like Anthony Bourdain says about a few, but that does not mean what they do is not impressive.  There were a few that truly spoke to me.

One was Frank Shattuck.  He makes bespoke suits.  This means he makes the suit for a person by hand to their measurements.  There are usually multiple fittings and 60 hours or more of work, much by hand.  He says he in the video, which really speaks to me.  I always feel like I am still learning.

I am not up to a suit.  But my Beloved loved Frank's vest that he wore in the video.  I can do this.  Because the pattern I had was not quite right, I have started with a muslin.  I wanted to make sure that it fit and that change in neckline worked.  It does.  Now that I have this and I have a few more supplies, I can start working on the garment.  I am hoping for a few hours this weekend were I can get started.

Why are there not more hours in the day for me to learn new things?