All my best efforts at posting more often have obviously not worked at all! I give up worrying about it. It is what it is. I seem to do a little better with Instagram. Sorry, not sorry. Though I do ramble on more than most on that platform. Which is why I don’t give up entirely on blogging. Words matter as much to me as images. Each reflects and expands on the other.
Anyway, here I am. Another month and it’s already cooled down outside and it’s starting to have that “back-to-school” smell in the mornings. So nostalgic. This was a generally cooler and wetter summer than usual. I can tell because the grass is still mostly green. We don’t water it and it’s usually pretty browned by August. Plus I don’t feel that I’ve been enslaved to the hoses and watering can trying to keep my veggies and flowers alive like I usually am in summer! A couple of soakings a week and they’re good. With this weather, some things survived much longer than they usually do (peas, cabbages and last year’s kale, for instance) and some things didn’t do as well (tomatoes, bush beans). Though every year is somewhat different I guess. I didn’t have a chance to donate some of my produce to my kids so I’m struggling to use up stuff before it goes squishy. It’s a yummy challenge: winners get eaten and losers get composted! Win-win. Heh.
As everyone keeps saying, it’s been a very strange last 6 months! Our lives are being impacted in ways that we’re only just starting to get a handle on. It’s possibly more subtle for me as a senior who owns her own home with a yard to get outside in, kids who are grown up and living their own lives with their families, and no job or lost income to worry about. But I can still feel others’ frustrations. I keep hoping for some systemic changes in how society works now that people have had time to stop and reflect, to give up old unsustainable ways and learn new better habits. But I keep being disappointed. So many people want things to improve but they can’t seem to make sane choices. And we won’t even discuss the political scene. Ugh. Okay, I’ll quit now. Before I get into a rant about insane people having way too much power and how nobody seems to be able to stop them! Isn’t that how Hitler and Mussolini and Lenin and Idi Amin and Mugabe and Pol Pot and so many other evil dictators got loose? Quitting now…
Let’s talk about what I’ve been up to in the past month, shall we? I showed you the next project I was planning, the Lac Button-Up Dress. It turned out just the way I wanted.
If you recall the fabric is a viscose/linen blend that I dyed in July. It’s a bit blotchy but in a good way. Plus I conveniently had 10 perfectly matching buttons in the stash. What are the odds? I quite like this slightly longer length, just below the knee. I think I added about 5″ to the original pattern and I’m only 5’3-1/2″ tall so the original is pretty short. I cut self-bias binding for all the edges which lies much flatter and nicer than the dreaded facings. I also re-drafted my inseam pockets (there’s no pockets in the pattern) to be wide enough to tack to the front princess seams so they don’t flop around. That worked really well! The bodice fits just a little too loose to be comfortable without a t-shirt underneath but that makes it better as a layering piece. Here I’m wearing it with a vintage undershirt dyed in my Japanese indigo.
Next I got stuck into making the new Muna and Broad Banksia Bralette pattern. I used scraps of leftover knits and raided my bra-making supplies for fold-over elastics and powernet lining. This pattern is unique in that it includes optional “slings” from powernet that keep the girls separated and cooler. The first two efforts were a little frustrating because I felt as if I was too compressed.
I decided to cut the third version with a size larger for the front and no slings. That one fits very nicely and gave me more coverage under the arms. However, in an effort to rescue the first two bralettes I decided to do some surgery on the slings.
Yes, I crossed the slings the opposite way on these two! And the brown version has no powernet lining because it was a very firm knit all by itself. You might hopefully be able to see how I reduced the coverage of the slings in the brown one. I just kept snipping a sliver at a time as symmetrically as possible along the top and bottom of each sling and trying it on until the girls sighed in relief! Now they are comfortable bralettes with a surprising amount of support. If you’ve seen the Banksia pattern you might also note that my underbust band is narrower than the pattern since I only had 1″ elastic, not 1-1/4″ or 1-1/2″. I think this is quite wide enough for me because I’m on the smaller end (!) of this pattern I don’t have a lot of room on my torso for a wide band. I angle right out from my narrow underbust (aka “the shelf”) and wide bands just tend to curl up. So I have enough bralettes for now but I think this is going to be a handy pattern in future, especially if I expand it to a tank with a built-in bra. Muna and Broad already have released an expansion pattern like this but I’m not going to bother purchasing since I’d have to do some re-drafting anyway and I don’t need the included swim bottoms. Not hard to just work with what I’ve already got.
Next, I went with another Muna and Broad pattern, the Glebe Pants. I’ve wanted wide-legged pants for awhile now but I didn’t think I quite fit into this one’s size range. Just. Barely. On the smallest end! I love that. I printed out size iii and it fit perfectly. No changes at all except that I shortened the cuffs by an inch and narrowed the waistband because again, I only have 1″ wide non-roll elastic.
Notice how nicely they pair with my cropped Kalle?
The fabric is a brown stretch linen in a fairly heavy weight. I lined the pockets with batik quilting cotton scraps because I also managed to get another garment out of these 3 yards of 52″ wide fabric. I’m very good at Pattern Tetris!
I wear this type of pinny all the time. I couldn’t quite fit a York so I went with my own pattern that I usually make in a knit but it works fine in a woven too. The inseam pockets are only one layer topstitched in place. You can barely see the topstitching and the pockets can’t move around at all. Also takes less fabric! I used a cotton quilting fabric as bias binding on all the edges. The V-back was a little tricky but I managed to get it to fold under smoothly.
I realised later that everything I’m wearing here was self-drafted. The brown linen pants and the black lightweight linen top were made a couple of years ago. This outfit is very Me!
For the next project I’m attempting some casual pants for Thom. I’m having some fitting issues. Which may be all in my mind. Hmmm… These are more slim-fitting than his usual style but I want him to actually wear them. So I’m dithering. Just cut out the damn pants already, Damselfly! It’s only fabric.
Stay well, my dears! Wear your mask, wash your hands, keep your safe distance. Everyone is counting on you! And it’s the absolute least you can do to help the world get over this obviously extremely lethal pandemic.