Central Pennsylvania Fiber Festival

mohair on pocket drop spindle

A couple of weeks ago we visited a local fiber festival.  The rain kept all of the animals away much to the disappointment of my husband.  The kids got over it as soon as their little fingers touched fiber.  Soon they were asking for pretty much everything.  They did each get a little something (as far as souvenirs go they could do worse).  My fiber collection was down to practical and somewhat dull fibers that will be spun and spun seemingly forever, which meant it was time for something to spice it up again.  Practical is easier to handle if there is a shiny fun fiber to spin from time to time.  I thought I’d get some nice blend of prettily dyed wool.  Instead my pretties went almost entirely the other way.  I bought a lot of white fiber.  It happened like this.  Some lovely mulberry silk-I haven’t spun silk before, it would make a nice shawl, this color is great, definitely not practical and boring-jumped into my bag.  It was followed by some lovely dyed pearl fiber.  I was going to pick up some of the practical, not spun before by me nylon, but didn’t see that it was pearl-well this is a new experience too, and when will I see it again? Into the bag it went.  A little sample of purple bamboo jumped in after it.  Then I stumbled upon a stall with sampler bags of so many fibers.  A large bin of different types of wool was very tempting, but the bin of exotic fibers caught my eye first-mohair, angora, fox/wool, camel down, yak, cashmere, hemp, milk, rose. Jump, jump, jump.  Just little 1/2 oz. samples for a few dollars each to teach my fingers new things.  To go with them a tiny spindle to test them on and to travel with me everywhere.

Camel Down Swatch

Camel Down Sample

First fiber test was camel down.  Sheer pleasure to spin and oh so soft.  I could have spun and spun this, but I thought I’d learned enough for now and would save some to share or to combine with something else.  A small crochet sample and a bit of spun and plied yarn for a sample book. The second was yak, a request from my husband who likes to play at being a farmer and wants to raise fiber animals for those of us who are fiber addicts.  Yak it seems needs a special type of wheel.  It was set aside to go to guild for exploration by more experienced spinners.  My spinning mojo is back and I’m back to the 5 lb. of mill ends, I had been working on.

Next up mohair, which told me almost immediately that it needed to be spun woolen rather than worsted in order to be a lovely airy mohair yarn.  Spinning woolen is something I do on the wheel rather than the spindle so, that will wait too.

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Charity Stitches

Quick projects in the middle of mfeSAL catch up. The local EGA chapter supports a number of charity projects thoughout the year by stitching. One of those annual projects is stitching bookmarks for the literacy program run by the local library district. A horrid busy feeling with which you may be familiar kept me from participating until someone brought in some riband, thus enabling bookmarks to be stitched without needing extra time for finishing.

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Me Made May Follow Up 2018

fumeterre with linen

Another me made may, another set of lessons.

Wardrobe Holes: camis (black and white/knit and woven), maxi skirts, dress clothes, half-slip, crop tops, cardigans. There is room for improvement with regards to the dress segment of my wardobe, but building the basics of the separates segment should probably take precedence.

My wardrobe doesn’t reflect the style I want.  At least few to none of the non-dress items do.  It’s time to start addressing that major gap.   In that vein, I really need to buckle down and make some tops and some neutral skirts.  I realized that tops are so hard for me because they’ve always been difficult.  The FBA is my major fitting issue along with being short waisted.  This doesn’t make them any harder than dresses, but it does mean during all the years that I wore RTW I rarely wore anything other than knits even though I prefer the look of wovens.  So many woven styles, just don’t have a knit equivalent and it isn’t like I can just pop by a shop and try on tops.  Like woven tops, crop tops were also to be avoided, because that just meant that they would ride further up in front, exacerbating existing fit issues.  Crop tops, however, are perfect for some of the my favorite skirts and wovens are far more suited to many of the styles I like.

Beloved Wardrobe Orphans: Silver and Black Satin Skirt-There were more, but they were weeded out of the wardrobe all together.  There are a few items that have minimal matches which will be improved with some basics.

Basics to Sew:  4 camis, navy, grey maxi skirts, short black skirt, half slip, black and navy cropped cardigans, crop tops in white, black and other

Oddball Items:  Full Apron, Petticoat

Here again is my pledge (please forgive my early morning wording):

I, Logan of http://www.loganstitches.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May. In an effort to design my style and wardrobe holes not only will I wear my me-mades, I will clean out my closet, update my measurements, make Burda 05/2017 112B (doing this as part of #2018makenine), and get started pin copying my remaining favorite RTW (14 year old linen dress that introduced me to my love of dresses with pockets-I’m looking at you.) so that they can have new incarnations and alterations to become part of my TNT patterns, so I can build a wardrobe I’ll love.

Overall Achievement:  Me mades were definitely worn.  My closet is cleaned out apart from sweaters, which will wait for fall and hopefully the making of a couple of replacements that are in line with my goals.  Measurements are updated.  Burda 05/2017 112B was made even if I don’t love it.  Pin copying isn’t as far as I’d like, but I have gathered all of the supplies and have my first three items ready.

New Direction:  In hopes of filling some important holes, I’m going to make a couple of Fumeterre skirts in Slate Essex Yarn Dyed Linen and something navy.  Being as that I like things complicated the plan is a view A button down front with view B pockets.  This will take the place of one of the two unmade dress patterns in my #2018makenine. Giving me 2 skirt patterns, a top pattern and one dress pattern, which may also be swapped out for a basic cami.

Thank you to everyone who participated in #mmmay2018 for the eye candy, inspiration and support.  Happy Making.

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Modern Folk Embroidery SAL

The supplies arrived a month ago and I’ve since finished January, February and March. We’ll see if April gets done. May is probably too much too hope for, but June should see me on track and able to work on some other projects again.

And on the last day of May, I begin May.

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Me Made May 2018 Final Days

Things were a bit all over the place this time-weather, me, my clothes. I wore a custom made dress once and two unblogged pieces, had to go from sun dresses to long sleeve maxis with shawls and the daily bathroom selfie was about 50/50. The selfie failure was due in part to the fact that after a day of very productive yard and housework on Saturday, rain on Sunday somehow made us think “What we really need is a road trip to Canada.”  Half a day later we discovered that the weather in Ontario was lovely.

What I wore:

5/21 Brown Mendocino (photo above)  This is from five years ago and needs to have some of the shirring mended.  I never blogged this, but I blogged the previous one complete with a link to the free Heather Ross pattern.  This one I added not only straps, but self drafted petal sleeves.

5/22 Autumn Sky and Uluru Muscari

5/23 RTW Linen Dress and Iris Shawl

5/24 Myrtle Muslin

5/25 Dottie Turner

5/26 Brown Mendocino

5/27 Custom Maxi

5/28 Cherry Blossoms

5/29 Nightlife

5/30 Wine Rosari

5/31 Silver and Black Satin Maxi Skirt -This is another unblogged wardrobe orphan.  This was made before my Mendocino dresses and doesn’t even have seam finishes beyond a second row of straight stitch along each.  I remember the godets taking forever.  This Big 4 pattern is MIA, which is a pity.  Can anyone suggest a similar pattern?

silver and black skirt with black tank top

 

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11 Tips For Cleaning Out and Revamping Your Wardrobe

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It is easy for Marie Kondo to tell you to go through your entire wardrobe and assess each item piece by piece to see if it brings you happiness, but have you tried it?  It takes forever and just going through each piece isn’t necessarily useful.   You need to try things on and you need to see how they work together.  That can take even more time.  If you are going to put in the time you, want to get as much as possible from that time  and to be as efficient as possible.  A friend can help, but if you want to assess each piece and assess various outfits you need to see them and be able to look at them again.  Here’s what worked for me.  May you fine a few tips, that will help you.

  1.  Do take Marie Kondo’s advice about passing on things where you know there is something wrong about the item, such as the color, comfort, or size.
  2. When creating outfits try to limit the number of changes you have to make.  Which goes with number 3.
  3. Change in or out of difficult items as little as possible.  For instance I have more tops than skirts, but most of the tops simply pull over my head, while the skirts have buttons and zippers.  So for me the best option was to put on a skirt and try all of the tops with that.  Then I would put on another skirt and repeat the process.  This would tell me if the skirt didn’t fit or look good, I didn’t have to try all of the tops.  It also meant I tried every combination.  Starting with just tops and bottoms, rather than extra layers can speed this process.  You can always retain something that you know you prefer to layer, but anything you eliminate is something you don’t have to try on with other items later.
  4. Take a picture of every outfit…in a full length mirror.
  5. Use the mirror to see what you think of each piece individually and of the outfit as a whole while you are wearing it.
  6. When you take the picture, give yourself a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  This will help you remember how you felt about it while you were wearing it.
  7. Use the picture to tally the number of times each piece is worn, to look for patterns in color, style, silhouette.  Finally, use it to look at each outfit while asking yourself if the outfit is the style and/or image you want to have.  Looks good, but too sporty/dressy/dark?  Ask yourself, what you do or don’t like about each outfit.  What tips it toward good or bad?
  8. Pick your favorite outfits.  Those most in line with your style.  What defines them?
  9. Ask yourself if these are outfits you wear regularly or not?
  10. Ask yourself what gets worn the most? What items are the most versatile?  Are there any wardrobe orphans that fit your style?  What types of tops work best with which types of bottoms?  Are there any wardrobe holes?
  11. Now that you are armed with information about your wardrobe as a whole and items individually, make decisions.

Do you have any tips for closet clean out and/or wardrobe assessment?  Good luck.

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Yellow is for Dandelions

Finished Dress

This was a three challenge project. Originally this was part of my #2018makenine project list. Then it became part of Hila of Saturday Night Stitch’s #burdachallenge2018 and finally part of #sewtogetherforsummer. A shout out to everyone else who is taking part in any of these challenges. Good luck and have fun sewing.

When I put this on, my husband looked at me in a way that told me it was awful.  It was kind of funny.  He tried so hard to make a you-worked-so-hard-let’s-find-something-positive face.  He hates yellow though.  The face was sort of expected.

Fortunately for him, I will probably never wear this dress again.  This seersucker is a lovely shade of yellow (The picture above is accurate.), but yellow doesn’t suit me.   That might still have been okay, but I messed up my muslin.  I muslined the bodice several times, but didn’t put the sleeves on because I’ve never had to do a full bicep adjustment of a broad back adjustment.  Clearly both were called for.  On the other hand check out these pipes.

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Check out the bonus 1970’s wall ugliness

Beyond that the front flap didn’t tuck in at the side. It poofed out just a little creating an awesome waist enhancement in the wrong direction.

Pity this isn’t a happier final product because I did some lovely work on it.  Look at those darts and French seams.  They felt amazing.

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I even stitched down the waistband and the entirety of the facing using catch stitch by hand.  Sewing the hem was an adventure in the joy of using my rolled hem foot.  Money well invested there.

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Bottom Line: There is enough extra fabric to recut the back and sleeves.  The latter might be fine sewn with a narrower seam allowance, but the dress would still be yellow.

 

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