a stitch in time

Double Houndstooth Shirt

Shirt, on my “new” (early-80s model) Pfaff. I used two yardages of very soft cotton houndstooth, both scrap pieces gifted me a little while back. The buttons were scavenged off a thrifted wool coat I used to make an upcycled newsboy cap, which was sent across the states to a client a while back.

Double Houndstooth Shirt

Below: the backside of the front placket, revealing my wee little button knots:

Double Houndstooth Shirt

The shirt’s cuffs, collar, and front plackets are interfaced using a firmly-woven cotton. I don’t know why more people do not interface using fabric, instead of commercial interfacings. There is a distinctly appealing drape to this method.

My “new” machine!

My New Baby

I know, it doesn’t look all that exciting, being two colors of 80s-Ass-Brown. However I have been enjoying getting to know it, and its little conveniences. The “Needle Down”, “Buttonhole / Tie-Off”, and the wind-from-needle function charmed me right away.

Phee:

Double Houndstooth Shirt

Yesterday in the car Phoenix was complaining about how the shape of her eyebrows, because she says she always looks “pissed”. I think her eyebrows are awesome. & yeah, they give her a semi-feral countenance, for sure. She’s just beautiful, always has been.

See what I mean?

little monster

shout-out to John P.

PIKACHU I CHOOSE YOU

I present you two custom hats for my little ones. Who are into Pokeman like you wouldn’t believe.

Pikachu & Raichu

Plotting

All Ears

Phee’s Raichu hat was made from orange minkee. Extremely messy to work with, although not the worst I’ve sewn with.
Pikachu & Raichu
I Choose You!

For a change: a super-super fast project, and a very inexpensive one (it cost about $4.50 per hat). I also drafted the patterns by hand. For sewing, I used a walking foot, although I am adroit enough at handling fleece it wasn’t needed. A stretch needle assured no skipped stitches; I also double-stitched each seam for sturdiness.

I am particularly proud of the Raichu ear squiggles. For those, I sewed a tube from a long strip of fleece, simultaneously attaching 1/4″ elastic at the seam as I stitched, and stretching the elastic while I sewed. Ralph turned the tube and the squiggles curled up on their own.

Normally I don’t dig working with cheap-ass fabrics and this time was no exception. Particularly working with inexpensive fleece, ew. The main point is, the kids are pleased.

shrinky-DON’Ts

Shrinky-DON'Ts: Hours Of Work!

I made twenty-one pincushions, out of two paired fabrics (you can flip ’em over and use either side). Every one has custom-drawn pins, a unique set of buttons (usually not matching) and their own thread scheme. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun.

Shrinky-DON'Ts: Red Skull Rising

“S” “E” “W”. Skulls and velveteen.

Shrinky-DON'Ts: Stars Abound

Lots of stars. This fabric from Britta’s shop.

Shrinky-DON'Ts: (This One Is Mine!)

Tapir. Bad-ass.Shrinky-DON'Ts: Spoonflower Mermaids

Getting to use the mermaid fabric Emily gave me. Yay!

I didn’t burn myself nor the shrinky-dinks, but you may be pleased to know I stabbed myself SO MANY TIMES handsewing on firm pincushions. I am hoping to be in the Fiber Fest again this year (although they haven’t returned my call, yikes) and making up some inventory.

3 spring dresses for Phee

For my daughter, who doesn’t like fussy dresses but complimented me many times on these.

LaVogues

Measuring Up

Organic Red Cotton Jersey, Fabric Scrap

Dress, Boots

Hand-Embroidered Bleeding Heart

Cutie-Pie!

The blue and the deep-red stripe were both from Gray’s General Store. The red organic jersey was bought on sale some time ago.

All three dresses were based on a pattern by¬†Chicken Hill, graded up for Phoenix’s tall, lanky frame. At first I thought I’d offer these to clients, but the waist tie requires a rather personalized placement, so I won’t be doing so at this time.

cuddle goblin

Today I delivered this little scrappage and my own sweet ass to a Mother’s Blessing for friend and reader Kat:

Head-On

(And yes; Ralph and Phoenix named the bunting “Cuddle Goblin”, because all my one-of-a-kind baby things need names.)

Goblin

The bunting was made from a lot of scraps – cotton canvas, silk, and linen – and the shell was made by Essex linen/cotton, a fabric sent by Karen as a Thank You for pattern testing. It was lined in a soft off-white fleece. Given the math, I figure it would be fitting the baby in late late spring so I did not underline for additional warmth.

I am beginning to really like the Essex linen/cotton and may buy some (since I’m all out, finally). It is lovely to work with, although I am still getting used to the fact it shrinks and shrinks and shrinks upon washing. It seems very rugged and stain resistant (I’ve made my son pants from it and they still look fabulous after much rotation). A bolt from Dharma would be divine; I could dye it in batches – I love dyeing fabric – any color I want! (Yeah, yeah, get in line with all the other supplies I need; my WIZARD sewing machine is still in the shop as I don’t have the funds to bail it out.)

I’m still experimenting with applique…

EXTREME CLOSEUP

And employing both my stellar machine- and hand-sewing skillz (a bit of color on a hidden snap, plus PRICK STITCH and, for the lining, slip stitch):

Hand-sewn Snap

Zipper

(You can see more detail shots and read about how I made this in the Flickr tagset.)

The Mother’s Blessing was a very lovely experience; I’ve been to a handful of them (though not for a couple years) and they suit me more than the typical baby shower content and substance. I brought a date, my friend Jasmine. It was a super lady-positive evening. Here we are all tied together, just before snipping ourselves apart.

Mother's Blessing

I’ve a length of cotton string around my right wrist and over the next few days will be holding Kat and her family adventure in my mind and heart.

I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing

So I just have to write this down. Of course.

This afternoon I receive a call and a fellow tells me he saw our fliers around town and he wants to know if there is a reward for the return of our cat. I say, uh well, I guess so, sure, kind of taken aback really. Then he claims he would go look for her and he wanted to know what I was going to offer if he found her.

I KNOW!

I’m gobsmacked. After a beat I ask him well, what do you think your time is worth. He won’t throw out an answer on this and (by now my brain is slowly cranking and I’m figuring he has my little kitty already), I offer him, with kind of amazed laughter in my voice, about half our weekly grocery money. He ups the price twenty percent and I say, Yeah, okay, thank you, and we hung up after he tells me he’s likely to find her.

Yeah, I KNOW!

An hour and a half later he calls again and says me he thinks he has my cat. I was out-of-home but Ralph was primed to make the transaction so I sent him off to do so with instructions.

And lo, it was our cat indeed.

Josie's Home (AKA

Yeah, that Josie. Looking a little off-kilter after five or so days away from home. Who knows where.

Maybe people won’t understand why today – this thing with our little creature – exhausted me, but I’m going to try to write a bit more about the episode then be done. I can think of about three ways this scenario might have gone down. The first is taking the fellow at his word: he bounty-hunts pets and charges for his time. I could spell out the reasons I think this is unlikely. But let me point out, times are fucking hard on the Harbor and that sort of thing is a possibility. There are other potential scenarios ranging from opportunistic to sinister.

What can one say when one is (potentially) scammed? My mom wrote the young man a check so we’ll be getting his name at least (I also have his phone number; adding to the potentially-sketch factor he refused to meet us at his house). Putting a stop on the check is an option but then as Ralph said, “Then who’s the bigger douchebag?” Because you know? We don’t really know what went on.

The whole scenario was bizarre, and now I’m left rather frazzled. For one thing, the anxiety I’ve felt over missing one of our critters has been like a constant tension string and in my very typical fashion, when the cat/child/chicken is safe I have a little breakdown (I’ll be back to normal soon, promise). After the first phone call, to agonize if I would see her today or if it was not her at all and I’d be left to wonder; to feel creeped out by the likelihood someone was using our vulnerability to their advantage. The little kitty is sleeping on a chair a few feet away, a couple scraps of beef in her belly and her fur smelling like strange perfume. And I’m so. SO GLAD. to have her back.

***

This evening J. and I hit Thrift City and, after an incident involving an old-school Argus Mini Palmatic 2 camera that still had film in it (and yeah, it was under $1, so we bought it and I can’t wait to develop it!) and hysterical harpy-laughter and a huge box of MINDWIZARD cards flying all over the aisle, I found the absolutely perfect writing desk. Very sturdy, solid wood, perfect shelf and drawer availability, the ideal height and width, and it amazingly matches my (favorite) overpainted and chipped green chair, and it only smells a LOT musty (ha). Wunderbar!

My Tidy World: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

My favorite things: my “new” (and really, really sturdy and awesome) desk ($15), the smartphone and One Line A Day Five Year Memory Book from Ralph (Christmas gifts), moleskine & papermate (gifts from friends), vinyl purse from Pure Clothing in HQX ($7), silver James Bond-esque cigarette lighter (gift from same friends who gave me the moleskine), and my very trusted, rugged and quickly-headed-downhill Mac named “Balls” (purchased to the dime with an inheritance sum, about five years ago).

I’m very happy about the desk which of course precipitated a reorganization and cleaning of my papers. But my night isn’t near over. I have an incredible mountain of laundry to fold. Don’t worry. I’ll fill you in on every detail.

Partaking Of Love
(Small Stone #3*)

Steaming rice-fried-in-butter
Slowcooked beans and pot roast
At the counter, midnight,
Children warm their bellies

Small stone project