Wednesday, April 06, 2011

No-Fun City

This exasperating cough seems to not be going away any time soon. It made me miss a guild lecture from visiting weaver Ruby Leslie on Monday. I figured my hacking would not be a good background sound effect to her talk. It’s also causing me to miss out on my Spectrum Study Group’s dye day tomorrow. It was supposed to be here in my dye studio but I have no energy to clean up the house, wind skeins and mordant yarns, prepare a potluck dish or host my friends. I don’t want to share this thing with anyone! I’m currently taking it very easy and only doing the barest minimum housework. The dust buffaloes are very happily roaming the corners of my house!

One chore I could not avoid is transplanting my seedlings into bigger pots. I did the tomatoes yesterday. Today it’s going to be the marigolds and calendulas and perhaps the broccoli and cabbage if I have any energy left. T-Man had to go on an emergency run yesterday after work to buy me some more soil (ran out with half a dozen plants remaining with their roots in the air!) but I hope I don’t run out of pots next. Usually plants cycle from the grow lights to the greenhouse and then into the garden leaving their pots free for subsequent seedlings. Not much has gotten planted so far so many of my pots are still in use as the poor seedlings hold in the greenhouse hoping for slightly warmer and less rainy weather. Oh, and for me to recuperate enough to get out there, finish preparing the beds and plant them.

Meanwhile some knitting is being slowly accomplished. I’m nearly at the end of the third ball of yarn on the Abotanicity Tunic:


I think it’s looking quite good – at least on Debbie Double. Those bubbles at the waist will smooth out when the sweater is finally blocked. You are cautioned not to stretch the ribbing or pin out the lace but to pat it into shape. You don’t want to lose the elasticity. Sock yarn does loosen up and go slinkier when washed though so that will improve the skirt’s drape. It will probably lengthen some too so I need to take that into consideration when I decide where to stop knitting and bind off the hem. Not nearly there yet though I’ve already switched to the 3.75mm needles. Carrying on.

So here’s the new shoes that I bought on Sunday:


See the cute button detail?


A little more upscale than my dirty plastic holey clogs, huh? I’ve been looking for a pair of clogs or mules to replace the nice nubuck ones I used to have that self-destructed a couple of years ago. I think these ones are kind of elegant and they’re fairly comfortable though I don’t think they’d be considered walking shoes by my standards. It’s just that one can’t wear big clunky Blundstone boots all the time! Occasionally one might like to look just a smidge more feminine, especially when wearing a dress, and black will go with more things than my orange Keens. This might be some kind of record for me though – 3 pairs of boots/shoes in less than 4 months. The usual rate is perhaps one pair in 2 or 3 years! Am I stocking up before T retires? You bet. Anyhow I’m pretty sure my recent shoe-buying binge is not at all excessive when compared to the shoe-aholic tendencies of many women. I’m very fussy. And I have tender tootsies. No heels, no ballet flats, no pumps, no flip-flops, no gladiator sandals (yuck!), not even a pair of running shoes (truthfully because I think they are extremely ugly and anyway I don’t run). I’m all about the sensible footwear.

Speaking of the dresses that I’d like to wear with my new shoes, I’m stumped on the pattern fitting for one of my planned garments:

V8509 V8509_line

Vogue 8509 View A: “Fitted, mid-knee dress has princess in-seam pleats, side seam pockets, back zipper and sleeve variations.” There’s also a view with 3/4 sleeves but I wanted a summer dress that perhaps also could be worn as a jumper. I thought I had my pattern alterations all correct but in the final tracing there’s a 3/4” discrepancy in the side seams where the front and back don’t match. The problem is either at the underarm or the hem but I’m not sure which. The only way to tell is if I do the adjustments to the side bodice all over again to see if I subtracted something I shouldn’t have. That’s the part that has the most chopping and taping so if there’s something wacky that would likely be where it’s located. Sigh. And here I thought this fitting thing was getting easier the more I do it. Apparently not.

BTW on the chopping and taping issue, I tried a different brand of “magic” type tape and – no surprise – it acts the same way as the real thing: looks nice and smooth after ironing on the wrong side but curls and shrinks badly as it cools. Back to the ugly green painter’s tape. which seems to hold up very well. Needs a weighted tape dispenser though. I end up tearing off a bunch of little pieces and sticking them in a line on the edge of my table for convenience.

Complaints aside, there must be something that’s pretty exciting to me about getting a better handle on fitting issues for my current body shape. It’s a challenge and it feels empowering when I get it right. Good old Debbie has been a great help too. She’s my best and only sewing partner as well as a handy photographic model and she never complains or criticises. She even holds my pins for me. Perfect.

So while I’ve been sitting around feeling sorry for myself (and feeding the dust buffaloes), I’ve been reading the sewing blogs. There’s a lot of vintage-style but still very wearable sewing going on out there! Here’s one that’s new to me which also includes a forum: Sew Weekly. And local girl Tasia (aka Sewaholic) has just released her second pattern, the very cute Crescent Skirt. Love her sensible sizing – the 16 would actually fit me with barely any tweaking. Novel. If you’re interested, check them out. BTW the ever-brilliant Tasia demonstrates exactly the same method that I’ve been using to adjust my shoulder-princess garments for a full-bust (FBA). No hints as to why I’m having side-seam length issues though! Off to investigate this.

But first I had to make the 3-block trip to the dollar store for more tissue paper. Apparently chopping large pieces of tissue into smaller and smaller and ever-smaller pieces uses the stash up pretty quickly. I think I wiped them out of their stock of white and made serious inroads into the spring green at 2 packs of 5 sheets for 99 cents. Pretty nice. I passed on the leopard-print tights for $6.99 however. Not my style.


Sharon in Surrey said...

Waddayou mean you passed on the leopard tights??? Are you nuts?? You wear those under your long tees or short house dresses for effect! I'd wear them with my ratty T-shirt to bed! Glad to see more sewing going on. It's the only way you get what you want, that's for sure. Keep up the good work. And, have you tried the Cough Tea for your cough? I buy it at the Health Food Store although London Drugs carries a line of medicinal teas. Benedryl also helped me with that hack I had for several weeks.

Louisa said...

Not to worry, hon'. Those tights wouldn't have fit either of us anyhow! Nearly every pair they had were size XS. No wonder they ended up in the dollar store!

Heather said...

Hope that cough hasn't turned into something worse. Miss you!