Summer cotton 4

Up for coffee, newspaper, polar fleece robe…

Whoa! It is too hot! Time for stash hunting, cool cotton! This Burda is an old pattern I made when my daughters were much younger.

burda 4835 & remnants

I finished the robe,  added pretty buttons, pocket flaps and seersucker contrast. Then didn’t want to put that fabric away, wanted to use it up!

Cooler robe

Cooler robe

Well, those remnants were left, after I added this Sorbetto Top, Creative Commons free ware. I added darts, a front opening, and serious back alterations. It will need more fitting work before I make it again, but it is fine for today, cool for 80 degrees.

Sorbetto top front

Sorbetto top front


Sorbetto back

Sorbetto back



Nihon Vogue Linen Jacket 2

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Here’s my first try at following a Japanese pattern magazine, like copying from Burda, but without any translation for the Kanji . I wanted something to bridge the hot weather I expected in DC, with the aggressive air conditioning popular there. It was ready in time for the meeting, LWVUS Council 2013. The magazine comes from a Japanese book store, sorry I can’t read the title for you. I found a website that didn’t help me much.

Photos: You can see the cover, the linen jacket photo, #13, then the instruction page. I copied the pattern pieces from the insert pages, altered and fitted them. The instruction sheet helped some. 🙂 The fabric is an interesting linen weave, a sturdier plain weave for the collar and covered buttons. The lining is Imperial Broadcloth, from a bolt unearthed in the sewing room, left over from smocking days- sheesh! Photos were taken with the top straight out of the suitcase, a little worse for wear, how linen looks. And I’m not shaped like their willowy model. 🙂

Fitting: I made a muslin. Shoulders were tilted and narrowed, bust points moved and expanded. Next time I will widen the front overlap a little further.  I might nip in the front waist a bit, lots of free swing there. I wish I had a fitting buddy to help, like with the back, the armholes, hard to judge, not seeing them.

Sewing: Every seam showed top-stitching. There was a princess line marked on the front piece that wasn’t a seam, so I stitched it with a double needle. It added a nice definition. The front edges and hem were interfaced, button and inner snap areas (lining only) reinforced with button felt circles. The beaded button was a gift and I sewed it on the night before our meeting, a nice nod to our 2012 League of Women Voters of Oregon Rose Parade Suffragettes! See my sewing post on that.

I enjoyed sewing this. The linen was a dream to work with, though I needed to press the sleeve cap firmly, using all the tools I had, sleeve board and hams for a smooth fit. I would make this again, maybe with a stretch cotton that doesn’t need lining.

Stay tuned. 🙂 I want to see what you’re working on!!


Inauguration Pie 4

Inauguration Pie today, raspberry-blueberry custard.  Some Red, some Blue, it looked awful, sort of like we did, 18 hours into Inauguration ’09, after absorbing cold, outside all day. But wow, damn-fine pie. We’re getting up at 3am again tonight to take a friend to the airport, just like we did for that 3am cab ride to the first Metro into DC from Hither-&-Yon, VA, just beyond the end of that line. Tomorrow I can feel bleary, remember the surreal gratitude all over again!

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Here is the pie, and a photo I would only share with friends, of us at the Western Regional Ball. Photo manipulation could only help a little, hat-hair, make-up blown off, from many hours before. We walked all over creation in DC, Metro bolluxed by crowds, roads still closed for the parade, cabs impossible. I hadn’t thought to engage a limo, probably not possible anyway. You can just see the edges of my shawl, which is huge and luxurious, but not warm.

For my sewing friends, the shawl I wore is made of Pino Lancetti silk, lined with red silk. I fell in love with the fabric in the garment district in Manhattan and it languished while I fretted over not ruining it. I ended up facing it with a red charmeuse I chose for it, lots of fine hand hemming. I could still take it apart and make it into something spectacular. Thank you 1912 sewers for helping me to even consider that!

I started the knitted hat after our inaugural tickets arrived, Friday before the Monday Inauguration. The hat was not warm enough when I finished it, so I lined it. Plenty of time to knit when you’re fretting over making last-minute arrangements to fly, sleep somewhere(?!).

Today we enjoyed the Inauguration from home turf.  Obama looked burnished by the last four years and so do we. And looking forward to the next term. I promise you that we are still adding to the volunteer mix here, trusting that it’ll make a difference. For today though, I got my contented fill of Sousa marches, speeches and the poetry that make me belong here, an American at home , in the place we’ve been working on. Here’s to all of us, Deo Gratias!

Kelly Cardigan repeats, with Variations 2

Knitting with mohair, camel , Italian Bouclé, and tweed insertion yarns was fast, so now – variations!

I’m making a couple of new sweaters, same basic design:

  • Fitting- from the old Sweater Wizard software. I don’t think it is available anymore- not ideal but I’m grateful for it, ready for an update–hint, hint! Options included knitting sleeves top down into the sweater, nice for good shoulder shaping.
  • Yarns– Silk and more mohair- Yum!! I added a Shibui Wasabi strand from a Wool & Company visit, Geneva Illinois. I was guessing on yardage, added a tam for the Wasabi. 🙂 he Caramel strand came from a visit to Art Fibers in SF, thanks to 1912 Sewer pal recommendation! It is Tsuki, 40% silk, 60% superkid mohair. Btw, they are great for distance requests, mailed another 300 yards (the cone in the photo) when I redesigned. They dye their own, no dye lot worries, aah.
  • Buttons – for the Wasabi, are from Mindy’s, local to me- Yay! I am on the prowl for the caramel sweater.
  • Variations– the Wasabi sweater has buttons, not Vogue Vintage Kelly, but I loved those and had to use them! Also, the snuggly shawl collar is smaller than I thought but still toasty.
    The sleeves are longer, too. I actually tore the cuffs out and lengthened them. The 3/4 length was perfect for spring, that warm green, but it was chilly! 🙂
    The caramel sweater is longer and will have a notched open or buttoned up collar, haven’t decided yet.

There will be a little of these original yarns left on the cones, so maybe next I’ll add in an Italian rayon, Ice Cream pastels, nice for Spring, will post…thank you to my m-i-l for the original cones! I had no idea there was so much yarn there! Xenia & Laura have two of these now.

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Hello from Harris House! 1

Welcome to the view from our house. You will find things that interest me:

  •  fashion press– why don’t I see for grown-up women?!
  •  sandwich generation-what’s going on with my kids, my folks?
  • my friends are, what are they doing?
  • Gardening and around this 1925  house…
  • Politics Not much, since I was elected Secretary of the LWVOR and agreed to maintain a non-partisan stance. I still work for causes I care about, want my friends to keep in touch!

Drop in and chat, have some virtual tea.