Monday, February 28, 2011


aka sewing a vintage pattern that is two sizes too small.

Okay, I must have weighed 25-30 lbs less when I acquired this pattern, or I was delusional, or I thought maybe some day it would fit. Who knows. I've had it for a long time. The envelope cover is literally disintegrating. I keep it in a plastic sleeve and every time I look at it more of the envelope falls apart. The measurements are barely there, the only reason I know the pattern number is because it's on the instructions.

This is the pattern, obviously not my picture, because on this one you can actually read the size.

But, and it's a big but, it is two sizes too small. But I want it. And I really don't want to learn what I'd need to learn about grading patterns to grade this up two sizes to make it out of a woven. So my solution was to spend an entire evening measuring all the pattern pieces, figuring out based on measurements what the ease was, doing the math on if "I add 1/4 inch to every seam" it will still not fit, thinking about 1/2 and deciding I'm not up for any more math or disappointment and then arriving at the brilliant idea to lay it out against a dress I have that fits, that I destroyed by spilling nail polish remover on, but saved because it fits. It is made out of knit. The fabric I want to make it out of is knit. So okay, it appears it will work.

So, I've ironed all the pieces, which amazingly enough are not fragile like the envelope, and tomorrow I will lay it out and cut. Plan b is well if it doesn't fit, I'll still be able to make a skirt out of the bottom half pieces and hey, I'll be on my way to a many pieced ensemble but I'm really hoping the dress works out.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Wool Has Been Shipped and Pants Update

I'm so excited. The wool I ordered on Presidents Day is on it's way.

Is it suitable for a coat. Nope, still haven't found the perfect wool for any of my vintage coat patterns. But while looking I came across this great wool, that yes, it will work for a retro suit jacket and, bonus, I can dye the excess for rug hooking. How much excess will there be, oh about 7 yards or so.

Meanwhile, the pants. Well I pretty much went as far as I'm going on the pants. The good news is, hey they fit. And the bad news. My fabric selection sucked--but remember, I have no fabric for pants because I generally don't sew pants and this fabric was free. I burn tested it and hey, it's not synthetic, so I think I will sew up the side seam, attach the facing, baste the hem edge so it doesn't ravel and wash these every time I do a dark load and see how much this fabric will soften up. I don't want to waste my time on a zipper unless these soften up. So it's cotton, it's a medium weight twill, there is some hope these could end up very soft and hanging very nicely by summer. Currently they are too stiff. It's like trying to make something out of cardboard. So now that I know they'll fit, I just need to make them out of something decent fabric wise.

And now for he darts. Check out the angle of the darts. Different eh, but they work. Anyway, having difficulty the first time out with trying to pin and sew I gave that method up and basted just inside the line I should be stitching on. I wised up after the first one and used a contrasting thread.Then I finger pressed along those lines to form a ditch to stitch in, then I matched up the stitch lines to find the fold line for the dart and finger pressed that. Then I sewed just outside the basting. The threads on the outside are the bobbin from the basting using contrasting color. You just pull those threads and your basting goes away. More on these after a few months of washing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vintage ? Vogue 7648

I had planned on cutting out a coat, but no I didn't have enough fabric for any of the vintage coat patterns I have especially when I know I'm going to need to lengthen the sleeves and probably the bodice too by at least 3 inches. I couldn't just take off and go to the fabric store, not that there would be a whole lot of selection had I managed to get there, because we got dumped on with a blizzard.

Given that I have 5 comic book boxes of patterns, a baby bed full of fabric, yes that's where I store my fabric, in a baby bed with a folding door on top that acts as my cutting table, chances were good I had a pattern and fabric I could amuse myself with. So I went through my patterns and pulled a pattern and fabric I thought my work and cut it out.

I'm not exactly sure what the content of the fabric is. It's blue twill weave that was given to me. I got as far as sewing the darts tonight. Which is not accomplishing a whole heck of a lot. The darts have slightly different angle than your usual dart, so this should be interesting. I was able to mark the darts rather nicely with some weird tool I picked up somewhere. Check out these markings.

So while I had no problem seeing where I was supposed to be pinning and sewing it didn't seem to go so swell on the first dart.

My solution: I basted along those lines and pressed, then sewed the darts.

So what will these mystery pants look like when done. Hopefully nice, hopefully they'll fit and I can make em again with different fabric. Yes, I would have to go to the store for that because fabric for pants is not something I stock up in the baby bed.

Having seldom been able to find pants that fit I pretty much don't wear pants. Levi's is the extent of my pants wardrobe. And when you check out this pattern, they're not really pants either. They look like pants from the back but have a panel across the front so it looks like a skirt. And the legs are rather wide. So all this pattern really needs to do is pretty much fit like a skirt and life will be good.

And while the envelope lists lightweight fabric such as Gabardine, Wool, Crepe, Denim, (DENIM is LIGHTWEIGHT), synthetic suede and Woolens, I think they will look good with a fabric with some weight to it but drape too. Wool Gabardine would be nice, but then I'd have to line them. Who knows. We'll see if they actually fit before I get to involved in what to use next. And no, they're not vintage. The copyright is 2002.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How Many Hours

Need inspiration, think your colors don't go together?

You can kill hours at this site:

enjoy, that's where I'll be for a while.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A better Townsend Cutter carrying case

I've defeated the dogs once again--doesn't happen often.

When I got my Townsend Cutter, which I love, it came with a carry case with a webbed handle. On of the dogs promptly chewed the handle. I like this a whole lot better. You can find these all over in various conditions. This one was pristine and even had the keys that had never even been removed from the plastic.

All you need to do is make a few drawstring bags, perhaps out of quilted fabric or wool, to protect your cutters, lay em in the bottom and put your cutter on top.

I'm pretty sure the handle on this is dog proof. The case is for sure.

And there's plenty of room left over for your other bag or whatever that holds your hooks, scissors, magnets, and whatever else you drag along for hooking. PLUS, you don't have to take those black plates off to store though mine are off in this picture.

I highly recommend an old train case as a case for your cutter. I paid $10.00 plus postage for this one off Craigslist. Granted who knew if once I paypalled the guy the money if the case would ever arrive, that's the chance you take but I figured postage was cheaper than driving half way across the state to pick it up and I was in as gambling of a mood as I ever get.

I think I need batteries

I'm so disappointed. I've dyed 7 yards of wool, they are all gorgeous and I have no good pictures to show for my efforts.

This blue and the purple are much darker than they appear. Perhaps I need to reread the instructions that came with my camera? Well, I plan on delivering in the morning so I may or may not get more shots.

So until I can get better pics, I don't have much to say about this dye adventure other than I'm pleased with how they turned out.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Purple Rug

This has got to be the slowest I've ever hooked, but then there is the other rug that just needs one or two more squares finished and it would be done.

While searching for a pic of the unfinished rug I came across these. These are little coasters done in 3 cut for a donation for the State's History Museum a number of years ago. AOL kept sending me those cds in the mail and I thought to myself, I'll use em for coasters. So I did state symbols. The robin, a deer, and I think those are apple blossoms and then the state. Is it my imagination or does the deer look dazed. I don't think i knew much about hooking eyes at that point and I wouldn't say these are high contrast either. Oh well, they were cute. I don't remember what they went for, but here they are.I think if you double click on the pic it gets bigger.

It's no wonder I can't find the rug, there are 14,32o pics on my hard drive, never mind cds and thumb drives.

So here's where I am on the purple basket weave rug.

I have corrected my error, if you notice on the last full row the horizontal row is a little thin? Yep, I got off count and there were only 12 strips of wool where there should be 14. So I backed out the beige/gold and the purple vertical and put in the needed two rows of purple.

So, I started it in July, have hardly worked on it since November and am now plodding along. Who knows, maybe I'll get it done by early April in time for the hook in. At this point I am really wishing I'd gone for the smaller version. I need to do either 7 or 9 rows for it to look right now that I made it 5 blocks across.

Back to the dye pot. I have about 8 yards of wool to dye this weekend.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Well I've been knitting and hooking and it's about time to start sewing

I would hook a little table topper pad for a table if I had the right pattern. Those of you who know me know just exactly how out of character it is for me, when have you ever seen me do a small piece. And it's entirely possible I do possess one and just cant find it, but doubtful since most my stuff runs from large size to larger.

So I'm getting a little itchy to sew something. I could do more aprons, maybe a knitters apron, you know for when you're doing two color work, fair isle. A little apron with pockets to keep you yarn and cat(s) separated and a pocket to put your work in progress in and mabe on the back side of this two sides of Tyvek house wrap shaped the same as the apron with a zip that you can throw the cat in that thinks it wants to learn to knit. But I fear that were I to make this apron, that would just me back on the knitting binge again. It's time for a change.

Oh, I still have 4 more yards of wool to dye, Lavender/Purples, guess I could do that too.

And I've finished another hat. It's okay, I think I'm bothered by how grey my hair looks, but lets face it, I am old. okay older. But dang look at the skin. I lathered myslef with the stuff for cows today chalking that skin up to running around in 10-20 below temps. One time we could barely stand up and I'm thinking who scheduled this meeting, okay, maybe I need to participate in some of this scheduling I want to get away from. It's bad enough we have to walk to the building to be there in the morning and from there to our cars at night. The weather is not pleasant enough to be scheduling meetings all over downtown when its farther to your car or just about, so you may as well walk. I have wondered how much taxis are today though. We may find out tomorrow.

anyway, that hat, suppose I should link you up with the pattern too.

okay. mine.: (wrinkles/grey hair and all--SH for Hair this weekend any suggestions). Should I let her color it. I think if you double click on the pic it grows, so do my wrinkles then too.

Now check out the goofy outfit. I have fur coat under some skiwear, obermeir or something like that. People put a few layers on a cool satin lined jacket and away they go. I put on on long sleeved shirt, a heavy pendleton sweater, a fur coat, a serious ski overcoat, scarf tied to hold coat collar up to neck and my most recent hat. I'm warm, I look like something you might see in Alaska on a regular basis. Now the hat was worm because it's fair isle knit on 2s and 3s but you know that k2 m1 that leaves a little hole, well my guess is most days you'd never notice. I noticed. It was like sitting under a hair dryer with wet hair and them sending cold air through the holes. It was just so windy. Maybe I should have had the hood up or scarf over the hat but I was really winning for guffiest appearance what with the full length fur hanging below the pullover ski jacket thing, not to mention the bright orange mittens I had, oh and my lovely new warm boots. They're not as bad as the combat/construction you've seen in the past, but just as goofy and warm. I've found the brighter the mittens the longer I hang on to them. $75 pair of 7 1/2 spectacular black leather gloves: 2 weeks tops. I've had this assortment of pink leather, gold leather, green quilted, purple polar tech, bright orange polartec gloves for: this is their second winter. So after losing expensive gloves I've become more careful or people no longer covet my gloves. Anyway, now for the pattern for the above hat:
Snagged off Ravelry, designer is listed on it. You'll have to search for Selbumodern until I can defeat the blocks they have on doing this, which I could do and can maybe do. I have different equipment and programs during the day and not as good as I used to have but I figured out one work around today, so I'm sure I could update this with a copy of it. It's nice, it's warm, but for hands down warm, the wurm hat from ravelry with my modifications is the warmest so far. I think the bumps, switching between knitting and purl have some sort of insulating factor. As you can see I made three so three people have been able to survive this weather quite nicely or so I would think. I think this will be the next one I knit. For me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And Now I Hate my Jeep--or there's a first time for everything

No, I don't really hate my Jeep. I hate that after getting brakes and being very happy I stopped and got out and when I returned and put the key back in and went to turn it, nothing happened. The key won't turn. So I get home, which was a major ordeal being as it was 25 miles away, get the other set, and hey, guess what, they won't turn either. Yes I tried putting it even further into park, yes I tried turning the steering wheel.

I did control myself. Even though I went back with tools in my purse, I did not tear apart the dash board and anything else I could get apart by turning stuff counterclockwise. That is my usual method of attack, more reserved for appliances though, with the theory being it doesn't work, I can't hurt it. This, I could probably hurt. I could probably do more damage than is necessary in attempting to make the key turn. I really don't think taking my car halfway apart would have solved a thing, and I'm less inclined to do it when it's parked on the street, in a city that has declared a snow emergency and banned overnight parking on the streets--were it at home in the driveway, yes I would attempt it. I took the dash halfway apart last summer trying to figure out what the deal with the radio was, gave up, went to get a new radio put in and gave up on that when they told me my car needed rewired. I couldn't leave fast enough. Rewired. WTH is wrong with people, do I have a something special and descriptive that indicative of an extremely low IQ stamped on my forehead that's invisible to me?.

So it's been towed to a repair facility which hasn't treated me too awfully bad in the past. I actually had it towed to one place and remembered no, they took advantage of you the last timie you were here, why would you go there again. So I asked the guy, um can we take it further instead, which is actually closer to my house anyway? Sure. We'll let the professionals deal with this one. Any bets on what this first aid to my Jeep is going to cost--I bet it's more than the brakes because you need it even more to go. No brakes, just don't get in situations where you have to stop. Key won't even turn, they gotch ya and they know it. And I was feeling so good about probably not paying too much for the brakes (I still need to compare it to the receipts for the last front brake job, that one being in 2002 at 95,000 miles), because I usually get taken advantage of. I won't even go into detail here on that, suffice it to say I've learned I'm going to get taken advantage of I just try to minimize the amount.

Well it's a 1988 and has had very few problems over it's life, and I guess maybe something happened inside where the key goes. But seriously, the first time in 23 years the key hasn't turned, this car has no problems starting, (once the ubiquitous CPS was dealt with--and I diagnosed that myself--when I got it, the guy told me, sometimes it doesn't start after you've been driving, but if you just wait about a half hour--sure I'll just plan on being wherever a minimum of a half hour when I stop?), even after sitting forever, and I know it's sinful to call it a car, but if it has wheels, and when you put the key in it starts and goes, to me, that's always been a car. But hey it doesn't even do that right now, so what is it. It couldn't have picked a worse time. Well I suppose it could have waited until it was 10 below instead of just 10 above to do this.

On the bright side, the radio works so sporadically that if they have to tear apart the dash I may as well have em put a new radio/CD player in. This thing is so old it has AM/FM Cassette. I don't even have cassettes anymore and it doesn't have the jack hole (what's the word I'm searching for here?) so I can't even play my MP3 payer through it. I've so had it with this week, between the snow and the col, and the dog, the drugged dog--talk about zombie, and now this, I just want this week to be over so that maybe next week can be a little better and a little warmer and a little closer to spring.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Well the blizzard wasn't that much of a big deal--a foot or so of snow. The problem was cleaning up after it. I probably could have got to work, but since it was still snowing, then there might be the issue of getting back home. On the other hand, when I leashed up the dogs to take to the vet, since hey, he wasn't busy, when I got to the main street it was a bizarre sight. Little tractors with blades clearing the center lane? I'm thinking where are the snow plows. It was a little startling to see the thing you might see on the sidewalk or in a driveway attempting to clear a major two lane. Whatever though, as long as they get the roads clear.

There was no way I would attempt to drive in this mess in the Caliber, even with new tires so I had to wait til at least 9 so I could put full coverage back on the Jeep. Even though we knew this was coming, some how yesterday came and went without me having the time to call the insurance guy--I was busy working at work. Every time we have bad weather it's a choice. If you get in an accident which vehicle do you want to be in? Probably the Caliber because it has air bags. But have you ever seen a smashed up Caliber. Doesn't take much to do serious damage to my car -- at least that's my theory based on my insurance bill. My theory is I might not get in an accident at all if I'm driving the Jeep. In the Jeep I actually feel like I have a grip on the road. The Caliber I feel like any second it will take off and go wherever it wants. Regardless, the problem is you have to watch out for some moron losing it because they're driving too fast for conditions--which the police seam loath to enforce for some reason. And I just really don't want to be involved in head on in either vehicle. The Jeep handles much better in snow than the Caliber. In fact, it's rather fun to bomb around in, especially in deep snow. I've never got stuck yet, but seriously wondered if I wasn't stuck today as I was uncovering it, but once I got it uncovered and put it in gear, it went. Actually, other than being stuck in the drive way a year or so ago because my brilliant neighbor snow blew his driveway and blew it all, literally on top of both the Jeep and the Caliber, I haven't been stuck since about 1978 when we had a huge blizzard storm and I attempted to go thru the drive through of a fast food restaurant, that it turned out was closed, and I think the snow was deeper than space between the floor boards and the ground. Yippee, looks like the neighbors snow blower is out of commission, they're out there shoveling. I was worried since I moved the Jeep out of the driveway, backed the Caliber in and parked the Jeep basically in the front yard, yep, they'd think I made this space for them to blow their snow, when actually I just want a clear shot out of the driveway, regardless of what vehicle I use without clipping one or the other if I do have a directional issue. Getting stuck isn't what I normally worry about (if you blow the snow from a driveway twice as wide and longer than mine onto my cars, yes, I'm stuck), it's that other person losing control that I worry about. At least this snow I don't have to worry about being buried by my intelligent, kind, considerate neighbors.