Feast of Trumpets

I try to at least wave at the Biblical holidays, since they’re … you know…. Biblical.   It’s been a long time since I gave myself the pleasure of setting a really beautiful table, and I can’t think the last time I hauled the silver down.  Years.  (I get the crystal/china in use more often).

So, this was the dinner table.  And yes, I fixed the fork placement when I put out the steak knives.  We had steak, risotto, tomatoes w/feta, and kale w/garlic for dinner, with baked apples w/whipped cream for dessert.  DSC05902


The flowers are blooming gloriously, which makes my little heart twitterpated.  I could have gathered rather a lot of Fire and Ice, but they’d really have clashed with this tablecloth, so I stuck with Midas Touch and the Lavender (which I believe is Sterling Silver, but don’t quote me).

I also included a little bit of everything … I wanted this to be a true harvest arrangement, so it has a few different sorts of rosemary, some mint and some geranium and a little tri-color sage, as well as two sorts of butterfly bush.  Scent of honey!


Happy New Year!


Pinstripe madness

I’m so glad that my friend Chris told me how to take pictures of pinstripes without making your eyes bleed… because bleed they would have!  I found out, the hard way, why pinstripes aren’t TV friendly.  Taking photos at a normal distance was also not friendly.  Distortion?  Oh my. Taking them from very far away and editing has worked.   This fabric is SO cool though… 🙂

Here’s an upclose – the wider stripes are how most of the fabric was, and then there was a border of the finer stripes, which I used for design features.  Here, it’s used on the sleeve placket.


Here’s another view of the placket – you lose the stripes entirely on the distance/edit though.

cuff and placket

Here’s the pocket, up close – I set it farther to the side than I normally do, so I could get something cool going with the stripes on the front:


And here’s our big reveal.  I try so hard to find shirting that will suit DH that isn’t endlessly blue or grey – I thought this plum/grey was just the thing.   (The back doesn’t have the border stripe, that’s just for the front.  And I cut the yoke on the cross grain of the regular stripe.  The collar is finestripe).


Same shirt.   He said it was a smidge boxy… I think I need to narrow the shoulders by 1/4″ and take a smidge (1/4″) out of the front sleeve width like I did to  the back sleeve width.

Onward… more pinstripes.  So many more pinstripes.


Among other things, I organized my sewing stuff and put my wee tools and needles and things in an organizer box that I picked up at ASG the other month.   SO much better than having to dig through the big box for a tiny packet of needles.  (Yes, I had a shelf thing, but it always got tipped over while I was digging about, so it wasn’t too useful).

Cut a shirt for DH (also in this pic) which is lovely and soft.  Should be interesting – it’s a border print, and I played with layout a bit.  Why not?

So, this is what my toolspace behind my sewing desk looks like.  And yes.  Yes, I really do use all of this.  Excepting maybe the spray starch.  LOL.


Come to think, I have one more little blue box, and I’m going to thin out the drawers in this blue box and put some of the stuff in that one.  I’m SO done with digging.

It’s been an education

I finished!  Someone at ASG asked after the jacket, so I sucked it up and finished it, even though I was mad at it after trying on the first sleeve and seeing how boxy it ended up.

Dude.  The thing’s too big, 2″ too long on torso and arms.  I measured it 10lb ago… and it was made in denim, not loose-woven boucle.   So yeah, I’m not happy with this as a garment I might wear (I may very well see if I can’t find a woman more-or-less my size who needs a jacket, at least once I make the real one).  And how you get that much too much sleeve inserted smoothly?  I don’t even know.  It’s a miracle I got them in as smoothly as I did – which wasn’t very.


It was worth all the work (and the stash-fabric I used up, plus notions) in the amount I’ve learned about sewing.

It’s worth it for the amount of times I said, “this cannot POSSIBLY work” … and then it did.

For all the little stitching… and my belated discovery that I kind of enjoy it.

To have a Chanel-esque jacket – even if I don’t wear it very much before it passes along.

Anywho.  I finished.  It’s off my sewing chair, off my conscience, and in my closet.

Garden update

This was a busy week in the garden for me – I had three things I wanted to do, and I got them all done.  🙂

  • Rip off the dead vine (thanks, Mr.  Gopher) and the weed vines that grow behind the old pink rosebush on our North fence.  (Filled a green-bin)
  • Prepare soil for sweet peas and plant them.
  • Prepare soil for snap peas and plant them.  (Includes relocating quite a lot of ice-plant, and setting up some strings for them to run).  This was urgent, I had 3″ high seedlings and they needed to get in the ground NOW.

This is a picture-with-rambling post… 😀

At the top you see what will be the star of our winter garden – kale and chard.  I know that chard doesn’t just put up with my awful soil, somehow it loves it here.  I’m going to assume that kale, being a relative, will feel the same way.    Prepping a space for that winter garden (which will include a deeply dug, carefully fluffed bit of soil for beets and carrots) is next week’s project.

Top left:  A sweet-pea start.  I also planted pre-soaked seeds, and lots of them.  Sweet peas don’t do well historically, so I’m hedging my bets.

Top right:  The hill – looks a little different than last time, right?  New plantings are the ice plant which was relocated from the snap pea bed.

Middle left:  Sad kiwi vines.  I dug them up, heavily amended the soil, put them back in and barely covered their roots, and increased their water (they like rich soil and drainage – oops).  So, they haven’t died, and there is some new growth.  But for a vine that’s supposed to out-grow a grape?  They’re not happy.  😦

Middle right:  The passionfruit vine on the other hand, grows about 8″/day.  VERY happy.  I’ll be nomming passionfruit this time next year.

Lower left:  Sad dill plant.  Our soil SUCKS.  This was somewhat amended before I planted in the dill… but all I could get was a 2′ tall plant.  Dill, in my climate, should be 4′.  This lil dude gave its all – but it’s done.  Well enough, soil gets better the more you work it.

Lower right:  Snap pea bed.  I put them under the wisteria – the wisteria will go dormant soon, and won’t bloom out until long after the peas should be history.  Why not use the space?


We’re going to start working on the front yard soon, but we’ll be temporarily uglifying it to kill some sedge that has invaded… everything.  If it’s not a tree or a thoroughly established rosebush, it’s going buh-bye.  /sadface

I’m enjoying having a real backyard.

Half-Failed Shirt


Win:  Fit.

Lose:  Fabric

Meh:  Details

Verdict:  Yard Shirt

So, what happened?

  1. There are occasional perils to ordering fabric online.  Although this is very obviously a shirt-appropriate pinstripe, the heft/texture of this fabric would be more appropriately used on pants, or maybe ticking a mattress.  Why you’d want pinstriped pants escapes me… but since I didn’t feel the fabric before ordering it, I got a very heavy weight fabric.  It’s a light-canvas weight, I suppose.
  2. I went ahead anyway and sewed it up as a shirt.  Bad me!  Although I’m not sure what else I’d have done with it, DH isn’t about to wear pinstriped pants.  Maybe I could have used it for interlining something.  I dunno.

This was a MISERABLE sew.  I’ve sewn with this weight fabric before, in skirts and whatnot, and it goes okay.  But all the details of a man’s shirt, in what is really more of a canvas weight?  Oh my.  My fingers hurt.  My nerves hurt from the tension of making sure my needle didn’t break (yes, I used a denim needle, and yes, we had some close calls).  I’m all about the fabric as I sew, and this is … yeah.  No. It wasn’t fun.

What did I like?  Well, it fits, and when I make up something in SHIRTING material for DH to try, I think we might have achieved the fit he’s looking for.   I also like the brown details and the way the double-muslin made the collar feel (instead of commercial interfacing).

What was weird?  The topstitching.  I thought, “hey, my husband doesn’t need perfect formal buttondowns for work, he needs buttondowns, but not with any formality, he does a lot of physical stuff and wears jeans – so I should make these shirts a little more rustic”.  And I picked up some dark brown topstitching thread.  The dark brown was a win, as noted – but the topstitching thread?  Oy.  It was awful to use on the topstitching one does on a shirt.  It’s really meant for jeans.   You can’t see it – but that topstitching is UGLY.  And that’s because of the thread.  And it took two spools of TS thread to do this shirt!  Ridiculous.

Final verdict:  DH said it was “scratchy” and he isn’t into wearing scratchy stuff.  But since this is a tight weave, it will make a nearly magical shirt when DH decides to go work with the rosebushes.  Hiking through scrub would be another good use for this shirt.  A winter yard work shirt, layered over something else.  That’s not what I was after, never what I am after for this kind of work… but it can be used for something, anyway.

And it fits.  :p

A hot and rainish Sunday

The first week of school is behind us, including the Friday of driving in circles.   Today is too hot to work outside (or in the patio, where I keep my sewing things), so I scratched the creative itch by stringing a couple of necklaces.

I’d gotten rid of my faux pearls – they didn’t suit me, and were starting to age into stickiness – but pearl is a base gem for me, so I felt that I needed to replace them.  My (very old) bead stash included quite a lot of freshwater pearls … so now I have a pearl-only necklace and a pearl, peridot, rose-quartz and cloisonne bead necklace.  (My husband bought me the beads as a gift some Christmases back).  They go together rather nicely. DSC05834

For makers – I found in my stash a 2 meter silk cord with “needle” (a bit of wire attached to the cord), and this turned out to be the perfect thing to string these necklaces.  I might switch over – super easy to deal with.  (I strung both necklaces with the same length of cord, by which time the “needle” had been snipped off from bending enough times to be about 1/2″ long).


I was hoping to hit Joanne’s today and pick up a pattern I’ve been wanting, McCall’s 7537.  I ordered some border print fabrics for it this week.  No dice, they were out.  :p  I’ll have to go back next month on Pattern Sale Day.   Because this dress is designed for color blocking, I printed out the line drawings of the pattern and did some scribbling to get ideas.

Who wants to guess which color-way I’ve chosen? 🙂  (PS I’ll definitely use the lacings on view D, and the bottom of view C is just going to be border print, not separate fabric).


Time to spend some time praying, chilling out, and maybe working in my journal.  I hope y’all are having a wonderful Sunday.