Wednesday 30 October 2013

Down time, quilting clean-up

Missing my daughter especially, I took out a quilt I made for her a decade ago and put it on my bed as part of a little housecleaning and sewing room mop-up. These were all scraps from things I sewed for her when she was little, and as you can see, apart from some khaki and corduroy trousers, she loved pink at the time. The pink mohair throw at the foot of the bed is a very sentimental gift from my mother when I was in my late twenties. She confessed that she had 'accidentally' thrown out my pink mohair 'blankie' when I was a child and she had figured I should outgrow it, but she always felt guilty about pretending it got caught up in a sweep of paint-drop newspapers after my bedroom was redecorated. She carried this guilt for twenty years and finally just bought me a new one!

For over a year, there have been two bags of rags and remnants in the back of my little office. In theory these were waiting for contemplative moments when I would rip fabric into the right width for a basket weave quilt, as in here:

Yesterday while husband was out of town, I emptied out the bag and tried to assess things, sorted colors and starting attaching the long strips end to end. It was pretty meditative, and we'll see how it goes.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Burda 128a October 2011, tie-shirt, version 2, with silk from China

As I wrote a little while ago, I was keen to shove that heavyweight Burda cotton skirt off my sewing table because in addition to the Ralph Lauren vintage jacket my daughter found for me in London needing alteration, my eldest son brought back some marvelous silk from Hong Kong for a blouse for me.
He chose a real robin's egg blue. I used the Burda pattern I had used for the India paisley silk he brought me back two years ago but this time, I made some alternations to the neck design. In the Burda version, the neck ties are fixed to the collar only until the shoulder seam, then leave the fronts of the neckline to hang free, but in my opinion, though I did work hard to make the corners perfect, this left the neckline looking slightly unfinished at center front. Here's how it looked then.
Recently, I decided that although I liked the blouse, I would lurve it if I invisibly handtacked the front ties  to the neckline all the way  around to the very center corners of the slit. Now I love it.
So this time, I fitted the ties right up to the center of the front slit, which required a different assembly, working the fold-back facing around the right point in the ties' neckline section, and then seaming the ties themselves right up to the same spot as accurately as possible. 

This color picks up the faint blue thread in my pale pink Chanel boucle jacket I made some years ago, which daughter borrowed for London and has now returned. The rhinestone buttons are recycled from a silk blouse I made by hand when I first arrived in New York to work for Reuters, using a soft fern green silk I'd brought with me from Hong Kong. That was in 1976. I had no machine, so I stitched the whole blouse from a Vogue pattern, including the buttonholes by hand.

Jobs come and go, but buttons are forever.