Yesterday, the chiropractor told me to walk to the end of the block before getting into the car at the end of our session. What he didn’t know is there’s a wonderful small fabric/DIY shop at the end of his street – Patch. Chris Pasquet, the owner, saw a need for a DIY sewing studio in Halifax that also provided instruction, stocked unusual garment (and quilting) fabrics, along with interesting indy patterns and a few notions. She opened five years ago and the shop has been a going concern since.
Deb and I stopped in. Chris had a couple of interesting sample linen garments in the shop window which caught our eye. The three of us chatted for a while, Chris pointed us at some of her recent acquisitions – Japanese double-gauze prints, some nice linen and linen/cotton blends.
I have a single summer dress to my name. I could use a couple more loose, light garments for the warm days to come in July/August. In the end I chose a turquoise print Japanese double-gauze, a copper/beige ombre linen/cotton blend, and a pattern for a simple summer dress.
I won’t be making the dress as shown on the pattern cover – I plan on making it longer, much more A-line by inserting a wedge at the centre front/back on the centre fold line. The dress also has a tie at the back neck, I will just make a loop and button closure.
Now to get the fabric prepped and then I can commandeer help for the cutting!
My Cast For Wrist Fracture
Fractured my right wrist and injured my left hip in a freak accident Thursday (you really don’t want to know what idiot decision I made that resulted in this unplanned outcome). Had x-rays of my wrist and lower spine done at emergency and came home with a humongous cast. Very uncomfortable all weekend sitting on ice. (The wrist break BTW is the result of a FOOSH – falling on outstretched hand – what’s referred to as a Colles’ fracture of the distal radius).
Spent yesterday getting my left hip X-rayed, then getting my cast changed. No hip fractures! No increased slippage of L5/S1. Yeah. And while it’s still a plaster cast until next week, it’s a lot smaller and it frees my thumb and fingers so I can use my right hand a bit. Can’t lift anything with weight but I can use a knife to cut food on my plate. Big improvement.
Saw the chiropractor this morning and the left hip injury is much less serious than he and I expected. He did a bit of adjusting and I’m moving a little more easily. So day by day….
Can’t drive (probably not till I get a fibreglass cast next week) but friends are being wonderful at helping out and getting me where I need to be.
While inconvenienced, I expect to recover reasonably quickly.
Thursday, before the accident I’d cut out a pair of pale green summer wool pants and was just getting ready to cut out another in red linen:
Two Projects In Waiting
Now that I have an opposable thumb (and you can’t believe how important that actually is) I may even be able to knit a bit and sew some soon.
There’s no way I can go six weeks (that’s how long I expect to be in a cast) without making stuff. No way!
I’ve been trying to track down another seam ripper clipper to have at my embroidery machine and they’re hard as hen’s teeth to locate and get to Halifax. I bought my original online at Nancy’s Notions in Wisconsin – the tool isn’t expensive but the cost of getting one here is prohibitive! It got me thinking about what are my essential quilting tools.
Essential Quilting Tools
Here they are:
- a seam ripper clipper – it has a small but sturdy/strong point that easily slips under a 2.5mm stitch and fits nicely in my hand. Insert it under a stitch and when you continue pushing, it cuts the stitch on the sharpened interior edge below the point. I needed it yesterday when I had to take out 1000+ quilting stitches to redo the quilting. It’s a must have tool – way better than a conventional seam ripper because there’s less likelihood of cutting the fabric
- a self threading needle – I like to leave tails when I start and end embroideries/quilting which I then embed in the sandwich. A self threading needle with an open back end is easy to thread – place it in the fabric, push the threads into the open eye, pull thread through and trim
- very sharp small scissors – useful for lots of tasks including trimming threads close to the fabric; definitely essential when I’m doing appliqué work
- fine pointed 3.5″ tweezers – I can’t manage without these – they’re perfect for grabbing the pulled up bobbin thread when I’m starting a seam – I always have a pair right at hand at each of my machines. Perfect for pulling out loose threads when I’ve taken out a quilted seam.
- Frixion heat erase pens – I just finished the internal panel of the double convergence quilt I’m currently working on. I was doing an edge-to-edge quilting with three different embroideries adjusted to fit the quilt – I had to do a lot of marking to position the starts and ends of the embroideries/quilting elements. Press the panel and the markings disappear (I’m guessing they would reappear were I to take the quilt out into below zero weather or put it in the freezer….)
These are my five essential quilting/sewing tools; can’t function without them. I highly recommend having one of each at each machine in your sewing space.
Finally got the remaining two tunics done. My friend Janet suggested I add a cowl neck and it would have worked nicely but for the fact that I’d already cut these tunics out and didn’t have enough fabric to make a cowl neck scarf to wear with either. So crew necks I’ve got.
“Feathers” Flared Tunic #3
This is the same printed pattern as the second one I did, just in shades of black/grey/white. It’ll look good with a black turtleneck and pants.
“Grey” Flared Tunic #4
That’s it for garment sewing right now. I still have corduroy for a couple pairs of pants and I need to make another bedspread jacket for a friend but it’s back to quilting right now.
Fabricville was having a sale a couple of days ago for “elite club” members (I’ve been one for years since I often drop into the shop for fabric, notions,…). The poly/viscose fabric was half-price so I looked at the other bolts they had. I chose three more lengths to make tops – here is the second one completed. I liked the bright colours.
Second Flared Tunic
I have the other two lengths cut and ready to stitch up. I am aiming to do one today and probably the second tomorrow.
Two Flared Tunics Cut Out And Ready To Sew
These will replace the tunic tops I made last fall – the fabric pills badly (I have to shave it after every wearing) and they are just a tad snug in the bum. So they will go to Hand in Hand – the St. Vincent De Paul thrift shop in the area. These days my rule is: something new in the wardrobe means something out! My wardrobe is still embarrassingly large I’m just trying to keep it under control.
Came across a pretty poly/viscose knit the other day at Fabricville. Thought it would make up into an attractive flared tunic top.
Flared Knit Tunic
Very simple garment to make – a front, a back, sleeves and a band to finish the neck edge. It’s based on a Marsha McClintock pattern – “T-Shirt Trifecta”
Marsha’s patterns are all about hidden pockets everywhere for travelling. I made up View 2 originally but subsequently attached the diagonal top piece to the bottom and made a single front piece which I later flared a bit more than the pattern since the couple of tunics I made up were just a bit snug through the bum. I sewed the flared single piece front tunic in a black sweater knit last year. It fit well over a pair of jeans.
I’m happy with this latest tunic top which is comfortable and colourful. No pockets, though. To put them in the side seams will drag down the sides once anything is put in them. Same with pockets on the front because the fabric is soft and stretchy. So I have to wear this garment with pants that have pockets so I can carry all the stuff I carry in my pockets!
PS – I bought three more lengths of this poly/viscose fabric (different prints) today ( a half-price sale). Just finished cutting them out. Intending to replace the solid tunic tops I made last year with a fabric that pills like crazy – it needs to be shaved after every wearing. This fabric didn’t pill when I wore the tunic yesterday.
You might think I’ve not been doing much sewing/knitting but I’ve been busy with additions to my wardrobe.
First, a boiled wool jacket using Marcie Tilton’s V8430 jacket:
Marcie Tilton V8430
The boiled wool came from Blackbird Fabrics in Vancouver. I bought the aubergine which I thought would make a warm addition to my wardrobe.
A simple pattern with just two fronts, a back and sleeves which went together easily and because it’s boiled wool I didn’t need to finish edges! In fact there’s a dart at the bottom of the sleeve which is stitched by abutting the two edges and zigzagging it closed – doesn’t show but gives shape to the lower sleeve. I’m still debating whether to do something similar in the middle of the back at the neckline – I’ve a slight rounding of my back at the neck and I think the jacket would fall better in the back were I to make that tweak.
I chose the pattern because I thought the soft folds for the lapels wasn’t something I usually wear and would look “new”.
New Jacket/Sweater and Corduroy Pants – Front
With a new jacket/sweater I thought dark purple cords a good choice – I whipped those up two days ago.
New Jacket/Sweater and Corduroy Pants – Back
Taking pictures myself is extremely difficult – to position the camera involves twisting which causes the pants to show a bit of pull. I had to take the side seams in after I’d finished them – I didn’t take them in as much as I possibly could because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sit. I’ll see how they are after I’ve washed them – the fabric was washed before I used it but it will shrink a bit more, I’m sure, with further washing.
I have three more lengths of corduroy to make pants – I’m intending to get to at least one of those this weekend.