Archive for March, 2011

Sketching out some practical house stuff

Sigh. It’s not glamorous. But sewing practical stuff from the stash beats spending real money that could buy shoes. Or plants.

Plus it’s all easy straight lines.

Number 1: Somewhere to store the extra duvets.

What if I put them in big square pillow cases? Envelope-style pillow cases made from a purple velour blanket? Then they’ll sit in plain sight against the window wall, insulate the room a little bit and keep clean, too…
purple velour

Number 2: Separate laundry bag for my sweaters.

Mister keeps shrinking mine. And even though I pull his shirts out of the general wash, yanking out the sweaters for a delicate wash in cold is beyond his skills. A square bag with a drawstring should do it, French seamed all around. I don’t have any mesh in the stash, but there should be something heavy enough to stand up but light enough to see through…

Maybe this weird-o green stuff? It breathes. And I’ll never wear it.

Number 3: Something stiff and waterproof to keep prints and posters in.

The portfolio folder I kept prints and posters in got WET during a pickle-making experiment that, um, didn’t work. I essentially need an envelope that’s like 30 inches by 24 inches. And I have some sparkly red vinyl… If I cut it 30 by 30, and sew in a flat bottom, that could work. Could also make it with three layers — a clear layer in the middle — with smaller pockets on one side for smaller things still waiting for frames and wallspace…
red sparkly vinyl

Number 4: Pillowcase to stash pajamas in.

They normally sit on the bed’s corner under the duvet, making a big old lump. Hardly the end of the world. But if I had a spot to hide PJs in plain sight, I’d use it.

Hiding in plain sight: The secret to living in a small space.

Sweater fix: the neck (a how to?)

purple pearl sweaterI loved this silk cotton purple sweater with the pearls all over the front and the sleeves.



But the original crew neck was such an ugh. It was so ugly, I never photographed it at all.

Picked at this sucker over months, trying to figure out the best way to fix it and then getting up the nerve to cut into this baby, too.

Finally I unraveled the knitted crew neckband. Pinned the fabric back into a bateau neckline.

IMG_6566Picked off the couple pearl beads in the way.

IMG_6561Then I cut bias strips from the back side of some old irridescent purple taffeta because it was a pretty close match to this lilac color. The taffeta’s light enough that it doesn’t add bulk, and the bias means the neckline will give a little.

IMG_6569Pinned them in place, wrong sides together, sewed. Pressed them back out, pinned pressed and sewed.


purple pearl neckAnd neckline. Now the question remains: Should I leave the sleeves long or cut them to cap? Which will I want to wear more? (Am leaning toward CHOP.)

My plants arrived!

Figures my plant order arrives the coldest week of spring so far… One’s a bulb that’s living in the crisper another minute, as recommended. But the perennial grasses and salvia plumosa are little plants…

Here’s what the purple love grass should look like come summer…

Delightful! So far, though, it looks like this.

purple love grass, march

I think the nursery sent it too early. I clearly don’t want to kill it. It’s supposed to be in the 30s all week still. At least the Japanese ghost ferns are still en route.

What to do?

So excited about this dress

This Butterick 5277.

Raglan sleeve, darts for easy shaping, nice neckline and length, not too fancy. Belts and collar all optional:

Cut a muslin out last night from some khaki polished cotton I thrifted at the Unique in Markham, like $2 for 3 or 4 yards.

Once it fits, there’ll be no stopping me. It’s such a necklace dress. It uses only 1.5 yards of fabric, plus 1.5 of lining, so I can make it in posh things.

I already have some polka dotted polished cotton. Maybe add some piping for top and sleeve edges?

Some lightweight denim

Some black polished cotton

And some dark purple twill.

Welcome back, friends

Hey! Where’d you come from?

cheeky chives

Next time, tell your buddies to come too?

tower's not ready yet

Can you change a turtleneck?

Stunner of a silk sweater. Perfect color. Love the little sleeves. Beads on one shoulder.

purple turtleneck before

But turtleneck?!

I’m wondering if it’s possible, without wrecking the sweater, to turn the turtleneck into a crew neck or jewel neck.

purple turtleneck before

Because this beauty’s going to waste as is…

purple turtleneck before

Could I stay-stitch the neckline I want, then gently and invisibly bind it?

Happy spring! But…

I killed this fern once already. Left it in the pot, jammed something else in, too, watered well, and the fern somehow came back.

fern, march

Today is technically spring, but March is still way too early to put him outside. There hasn’t even been an afternoon he could sit outside. He’s hanging in there, with the others.

I’m getting super itchy to grow more stuff.