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Dressing During the Virus

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Turkey Tracks: October 11, 2020

Dressing During the Virus

Many months ago now I stopped wearing my beloved Ka Ora bracelets, made by a local friend here in Maine.

And I stopped wearing pierced earrings every day.

Why would I wear these things if I don’t really see anyone or go anywhere to mix with other people?

My answer NOW is because they make ME feel as if I am doing something nice for myself every day. And also, I was born to a mother who grew up after the depression when “things” in the market were scarce, so “saving“ a piece of clothing to be pristine “for a good event” was part of my childhood. Over the years, I have “saved” way too many clothing items for “good” and had them just go out of style without really being worn. I’m changing that right now.

The retrieved earrings made my ears sore—who knew after 50 years of wearing pierced earrings that taking a months-long break would make ears tender again?

The bracelets had to be polished—which does not happen when I wear them all the time.

And there is more to this story of rethinking how one lives during the pandemic.

At least two springs ago I went into Mainely Sewing in Nobleboro, Maine, and saw a beautiful dress of rayon batik that would be just perfect to wear over a summer t-shirt. I walked out of the store with the pattern and some rayon batik fabric. The dress sample was for a shorter length version than this one on the cover.

This pattern has TONS of options for making this dress—options that vary the bodice and the skirt—to include a tunic version that is on the back cover.

The pattern and fabric sat untouched that spring—and the next spring as we were now socially distancing. Where would I wear such a dress? And I was preoccupied with keeping my head above water with all the summer tasks outside.

Sometime over this past summer, I cut out the dress, but didn’t get any further. The sewing task fell into “to do” sewing projects. But, with the realization that I wanted to spend the next amount of pandemic time differently, I started sewing the dress.

This dress has a number of learning curves—to include making two buttonholes in the waistband where the tie would exit the enclosed waistband. I have not made a sewing machine buttonhole in probably 50 years!! But, I have to say that part of the learning curve went well.

Here’s the dress—I just put it over a winter t-shirt for this picture as I’ve put away all the short-sleeve t’s now.

The bodice has these sweet little pleats—another learning curve:

I’ve put the dress away with my summer clothes now, but it will be waiting for me next spring. And I will be wearing it.

Written by louisaenright

October 11, 2020 at 10:39 am

Turkey Tracks: Social Distancing: Ongoing Sewing Projects

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Turkey Tracks:  March 20, 2020

Social Distancing:  Ongoing Sewing Projects

I’m ok.

I hope you all are all ok too.

I am social distancing.  AC and I go every possible day to the woods, to the beach, and to the grocery store as needed.  I am connected to friends and family a good chunk of each day via technology.  Except for worrying about getting the virus in a serious way, about family or friends getting it and not faring well, and about my seriously diminishing stock portfolio, I am peaceful.  I am enjoying all my sewing projects.  It’s good to see ongoing planned projects getting finished.  And working with my hands is, as always, soothing.

I am reminded that life is what it is, that we have to take it as it comes, and we can do that with joy and purpose and some laughter, or we can just let it all overwhelm us.  That’s a spectrum, of course.  I’m sure I hit the highs and lows of it every day, but mostly I’m…ok.

Here are some of my ongoing sewing projects:

The Galactic wall hanging top is finished, layered, pinned, and waiting for obtaining some Wonderfil GlaMour thread—a rayon with a metallic strand—that designer Tara Faughnan used and loved.  Marge Hallowell at Mainely Sewing is going to carry this thread.  I am hoping she can mail me some.  I LOVE this quilt and this pattern.  Tara Faughnan designed it and curated the fabrics in THE COLOR COLLECTIVE online class by Amy Newbold’s Sewtopia.

I am also playing with a two-round smaller version with the extra fabrics I have.  I have no idea where this project is going.  Play without a goal is important too.

Here is Gumdrops—another Tara Faughnan project from The Color Collective.  The blocks are English Paper Pieced, and we learned how to use a cardstock that one’s printer would take to make the six different patterns.  I’m making a wall hanging with this one too—probably about 30 wide by 30-40 long, with three staggered rows.  I will, of course, move blocks around a whole lot more as each combo gets finished.  I hand sew at night while watching tv.

I’ll be layering and pinning the solid scrappy trip/granny quilt from Then Came June (Checkered Garden) today.  I want to diagonal grid quilt it on a domestic, but will pin it on the longarm.  I loved Then Came June’s version and thought it would be a good use for the solid scraps I have.  It’s bright and wild.  And maybe that’s it’s name?

I cleaned and oiled my serger over the holidays—and replaced the knives.  There’s a blog post on that project.  It’s running like a dream.  But I’ve been having so much fun with quilty projects that I have not circled back to making garments.  There is a pile of knits to be used.  I cut out two tops this week.  Here is the Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline.  I made this top a while back and wear it a lot, so will enjoy this one as well.  This top can be hacked to make other interesting tops.  There is a short-sleeved version as well.  I wear it both layered with a high-neck t-shirt and all by itself when the weather is a bit warmer.  This particular jersey knit is so, so, so soft on the skin.

Be well!

Take care of yourselves!

 

 

 

Turkey Tracks: I DID IT!!!

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Turkey Tracks:  December 26, 2019

I DID IT!!!

On Christmas Day I met a friend with a dog for a super pleasant hour of exercise for all involved.  It was cold enough that the dog park mud was frozen.  Others came, the thrown balls bounced high and traveled far, and the dogs and people were all happy to spend this time together.

I came home, had a nice lunch, and…started my planned Christmas Day project.  In between I talked with various family members via Facetime.

With the help of a terrific video, I took apart my Brother 1034D serger, cleaned it, greased it, CHANGED THE KNIVES, changed the needles, and rethreaded it.

I had some trouble at the end with getting the thread on one of the loopers right, but this morning…

PERFECTION!

And now I understand EXACTLY how that looper threading works.

That serger is running like a dream!  The new knives made all the difference—and the lubrication and cleaning, well, the thing is running super smooth.  Now to make the knit garments I have stockpiled for winter sewing.  PLUS, I’ve realized I don’t have to take EVERYTHING apart just to change the knives.  But, cleaning this machine thoroughly may become a Christmas project yearly.

Here’s the very helpful video, and I had a lot of fun assembling the products this generous woman uses for this project.

Look what’s on the longarm today—Bonnie Hunter’s Wild and Goosey block is now in a quilt.  This one has been a LONG project—two or three years all told, off and on.  Many, many, many hours have been used in getting all these blocks done and into a quilt.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

And all my best to everyone for 2020 and beyond.

Turkey Tracks: Summer Family Visits

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Turkey Tracks:  July 28, 2019

Summer Family Visits

I see I have not posted here since late June.

I’ve been busy!  Summer brings lots of outdoor chores and lovely family visits.

Bryan, Corinne, and their three girlies were here for a glorious two-plus weeks.  I had such a good time with them.

The first stop is always the LLBean Boot.  This year is was getting painted, so no opportunity to get a picture of the girls up on the toe, flanked by parents.

This trip, the youngest was 4, and so the family could hike to all the high places all around us.  They went on a big hike about every other day—many of them 4+ miles up and down.

This little girl below will remember these days all her life.

As will these…

They traveled to see many of our local lighthouses—this one (Marshall Point down in Port Clyde) in pea soup fog.  They love to hear the lighthouse fog horns.

They bravely swam in the Duck Trap River estuary and at the Laite Beach off Camden harbor.

We made “Lazy Day” summer skirts—each helped and chose their ribbons for the bottom hem—a free pattern on the Oliver+S web site).

July 4th at the harbor.

Here’s my very favorite picture of this trip.  Well, maybe, as there are lots of favorite pictures.  But I do love this one as it kind of shows what kind of young women they will become.

My boyfriend, AC Slater, ADORED them.  So I will do a separate post on their pictures with him.

Written by louisaenright

July 28, 2019 at 9:28 am

Turkey Tracks: Out and About Dress

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Turkey Tracks:  November 24, 2018

Out and About Dress

I finished this dress a few weeks back.

And it was a learning curve.  I have some very expensive knit fabric that I want to use for this dress, but I want to get the pattern right on my body first.

This first time, the bodice was way too long.  I was able to cut it away from the skirt, but now it’s too short by a few inches.  But I know what to do next.  I think the bodice shoulders could come in a smidge.

The other issue is that as first made, the pockets are way, way, way too far down the skirt.  I can fix that too.  And there may be just too much material in the skirt as well.  I kind of fall between two sizes.  Here the bust and arms are good, so I will tinker with the rest.  And I’ll shorten the skirt a bit as well.

The pattern calls for a fusible tape for the hem and sleeves—and that is brilliant.  I really like that method.  BUT, I don’t like the 1-inch hem with the tape I used.  Will try 1/2-inch on the next try.  As is, the hem needs to be ironed after washing—which I have done.

But, despite it all, I do like the dress.  The lined jersey is as soft as can be.  The dress layers well and will be nice when spring returns with a sleeveless under top.  Or, not.  It’s super comfy.

I got some sale fabric yesterday—an Art Gallery print.  So, on to the next try soon.

https://indiesew.com/products/sew-caroline-out-and-about-dress

Written by louisaenright

November 24, 2018 at 10:36 am

Turkey Tracks: Another Knit Top

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Turkey Tracks:  October 28, 2018

Another Knit Top

I am really loving the three knit tops I’ve made from Simplicity 8529.  I finished this last one the other day.  It and one other are Cortton+Steel knits.  The third is a fleece top, pictured below.

I like that there are side slits and that the back is longer than the front.  The collar has a self-facing.  It’s easy to put a  t-shirt underneath it for more warmth.

I cut out this navy one last summer, but only just slowed down to sew it.  I have three other garments cut out, but have gotten a bit side-tracked with quilty projects.

 

 

Here’s the fleece top.  I put it on two days ago and stil have not changed it out for some other clothing.  One reason is the totally yummy pants I got from LLBean.  They are so soft—a cotton/stretch mixture.  They are kind of like a sweatshirt fabric, but are plain on the inside.

 

Written by louisaenright

October 28, 2018 at 10:30 am

Turkey Tracks: Another Lark Knit Shirt

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Turkey Tracks:  October 11, 2018

Another Lark Knit Shirt

Sue Kandziolka gave me this knit fabric last spring.  It will go with so many of my clothes, including the soft red knit jacket I made last spring.  I used the Grainline Lark Knit shirt pattern and cut out the shirt last June.  I then got “summer busy” and didn’t get back to actually making the shirt until last weekend.

I did remember how to use the serger, and it didn’t take long to sew up the shirt.  I have set up my Janome 6600 next to the serger and put in a ball point knit needle, so I can just go back and forth without having to change eveything on my big Janome 8900.  (The Janome 6600 is an excellent workhorse of a machine.  I’ve had mine for 15 years now and still love it.). I have a sweat shop organized for winter sewing!

 

 

The Lark is very long, so tucks in beautifully.  Or, hangs out beautifully.

I put on the shirt right away—it’s so soft.

Thanks Sue K. For this gift.

On to the next!

Written by louisaenright

October 11, 2018 at 10:57 am

Turkey Tracks: Me-Made-May

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Turkey Tracks:  May 9, 2018

Me-Made-May

I am well on my way with garment making this year.

I probably can’t wear something I’ve made every day for the whole month of May yet, but I am not far off.  I can probably do it if I wear things multiple times.  I LOVE sewing clothing.

Looky, looky at new additions to my wardrobe:

Grainline Studio:  The Morris Blazer:  The coral knit is not very stretchy.  I’m still figuring out where I fit between a 12 and a 14, especially with tops.  And I’ve learned I do better with a 12 in a top if the knit is stretchy.  This garment fits, but only just.  So I wanted a sleeveless layering piece to go with.  I will make this adorable jacket again for the fall in a 14.

Grainline Studio:  Willow Tank top.  Pattern also extends to a dress.  I used double gauze and LOVE this top.  Will wear both pieces with either a jean or natural skirt.  Or, stretch jeans.  AND, I will be making this one again and again for this summer.  Overlaying it with a garment shirt would also be lovely.

100 Acts of Sewing Dress No. 3:

This is my second dress from this pattern.  This pattern is very…big.  Cheryl Rodriguez (my sewing teacher) and Becca Babb-Brott (see her Etsy store Sew Me A Song) have helped me to tighten it in the right places and to redraw the neckline and shorten the sleeves.  I just finished this one last night.  Our Maine spring runs cool to warm, so I can wear various types of white t-shirts beneath it.  Or throw on a pair of leggings.  The fabric is Essex Linen.

Here is a close-up of this gorgeous steel grey and cobalt blue fabric:

And you can see how pretty white sets off the fabric.  I will get a lot of summer wear out of this one for sure.  So pretty too with my Ka Ora silver bracelets–see earlier post.

I am cutting out accumulated fabrics now and will have a sewing marathon when I get home from my quilty retreat to the Franciscan Guest House for Mother’s Day weekend.

 

 

Turkey Tracks: I Am Officially In Love

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Turkey Tracks:  April 8, 2018

I Am Officially In Love…

…with my little Brother serger.

Once cut out, knit garments sew up very quickly on the serger.

Look what I made Easter weekend—after a marathon pattern making and cutting out on Friday.

The knit skirt only has two seams, a waistband with elastic, and a hem.  I’m learning that different weights of knits can make a larger or smaller garment.  Thin makes larger; thick makes smaller.  I’ve just made a thicker black version of this skirt that came out beautifully. I went up a size for it, which worked perfectly.

All the tops are Cotton+Steel knits bought on sale 30% off from Pink Castle.  (PinkCastle.com)  These knits feel like butter on the skin.  They are so soft.

The big top, longer in back than in front, is flattering and easy. It works well with both skirts and tops.  I want to make it with the scooped neckline variation.  It’s Simplicity 8529.

Paper Cuts makes the Rise and Fall turtle necks.  Fall is meant to wear outside and has the larger turtleneck.  Rise is more fitted, longer, and meant to be tucked in.  Love both of these shirts.

I am having so much fun!

 

 

Written by louisaenright

April 8, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Turkey Tracks: Taxes and Sons’ Visit

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Turkey Tracks:  February 22, 2018

Taxes and Sons’ Visit

The taxes are done!  The taxes are done!

Whoo Hoo!

I’ll drop off the package tomorrow to the tax preparer.

And I’ve had a lovely visit from my TWO sons, up from Charleston, SC, for a long weekend visit.  Do you know how rare it is for a mother to have visits TOGETHER from sons, both of whom have intense lives at home and work.  I so enjoyed this rare gift–facilitated by my wonderful DILs and my seven grand kiddos.

Both sons love lamb, so I cooked lamb shanks one night for them, with smashed Yukon Gold potatoes, roasted beets. and roasted Brussel Sprouts.  Yummo!  My secret for tender braised meat is my covered Creuset pot.  The cooking liquid included defrosted Hope’s Edge CSA tomatoes from last summer–smashed through a sieve–and local leeks and onions and my garlic.

It was a delicious meal!  And a delicious visit with those special, special people.

Written by louisaenright

February 22, 2018 at 5:11 pm