Friday, February 01, 2013

Extra Foggy Morning Tea and a Sewing Tutorial

Morning Fog 

Fog, As Usual

I like the way the fog shrouds everything in a mist and makes it look softer.  I needed to get out of the house for awhile, so I prepared a fog tea to be taken outside.
I used all my foggy-looking tea things.


A tea-light fit perfectly inside this chippy old egg cup and added a glimmmer in the fog.
This is Irish Breakfast tea with a date bread. I used a nut-bread recipe, minus the required sugar, and put chopped dates in it. I highly recommend it. Yesterday I found primroses at a local garden center, and you can see them behind the teapot.

This is what it looked like at 8 o'clock in the morning, showing car lights on the distant highway. 


As it does not look like it is going to get any brighter outside, I'm going  to sew. You may have seen another post I wrote showing how to apply piping to a neckline. Below you see packages of piping. I've opened up one package to show what it looks like. It is a strip of bias fabric with a string in it. One side is folded, with the string in it, making it nice and rounded, like the piping on an upholstery chair. The other side is the raw edges of the bias tape.

Sometimes it might be necessary to make your own. You might not find the color you want at the fabric store, or it just might be too expensive. So here is the first step in making your own piping:


You will need a special kind of string for this, so I would suggest that the next time you are in the fabric store, that you ask one of the employees to show you the string for making your own bias tape.  Or, you could open up a bit of left over piping and pull out the string to carry with you to a fabric store, and then go over to rolls of string, ribbons, trims, etc. and match up the string from the piping, in order to purchase something the same. It is very low priced; about 35 cents a yard or even less. Most packages of piping contain about 3 yards of piping.

Lay a ruler on two layers of fabric, right sides together, and the "wrong" or pale side up.  Lay the ruler on the cross-wise direction of the fabric, which is diagonally. You can tell what the diagonal way of the fabric is because it will have a greater ability to stretch.  Draw a pencil line on each side of the ruler. If you need a lot more tape, just lay the ruler against the last line you drew, and draw along the other edge.  Repeat this for several rows of bias tape.You can also use this same method for making bias tape. Open a package of bias tape and have a look it is pressed. That way, you will be able to do it yourself.

Cut along the lines to get two strips of fabric. Join the ends together like you see, above, or cut the ends straight across and sew them together straight across, keeping right side of fabric even with right side of presser foot, as you go. 

Press the seam open.
Lay the string down the middle of the bias tape you just made. This is the inside of the fabric showing.

Fold the tape in half, pushing the string to the folded side, and pinning with straight pins close to the piping to hold it tightly inside. This is the outside of the fabric showing.



Keeping the left side of the presser-foot even with the left side of the piping, sewing a straight line. If you are using the same size string as inside store-bought piping, the needle of the machine will not sew through the string, and the stitching will land just snugly on the outside of the enclosed string. Keep the left side of the presser foot even with the left side of the fabric.  Do not worry about watching the stitching. Just keep your eye on the left side of the fabric as it runs through the machine. Keep your eye on the left side of presser foot and the left side of the tape, pulling out the pins so that they do not get too close to the needle. Pull the pins out as you progress. 

You might be able to see what this looks like if you click on for a larger view.


If you need further help, try looking for instructions on you tube sewing channels.  



Card from Dollar Tree. Click on for a closer view.

I found out today that most of the cards at the local Dollar Tree are only 25 cents each, while some are only a dollar. They are made of high quality material, 
by American Greetings, and are made in the U.S.A. Even though the back of the card indicates the price to be $1.95, it was only 50 cents.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing another pretty post. I finished a shirt yesterday, that only used 2 yards of fabric that cost $1 per yard. It is a pretty floral fabric from the discount fabric section at WalMart, and my mother said it looks like something from a boutique. I can reuse the pattern now and make several pretty shirts that look like they cost a fortune for the price of one ugly off the rack garment.

I appreciate the piping instructions as I am mostly a self-taught sewer. In the future, would you consider showing how to set in sleeves? No matter what I do, I cannnot get them to lie perfectly flat and there is always a pucker or two. Do you know any tricks to get sleeves to lie flat or do you just gather them a bit even when the pattern states not to?I think the gathers are pretty, but the pattern says to have the sleeve lie flat so there must be some way to do that, though the method the pattern suggests does not really work that well.

living from glory to glory said...

Good Morning, I really felt a quiet peace from the wonderful foggy tea time post. Also I so desire to make the time to sew this time of year. I am also going to go and have a look at the valentine cards today.
I just wanted to mention that the time of day I am going to the Health Club, I have been with almost all elderly ladies and much older grandpa age men. I almost cried for God's goodness as to my uncorfortable thoughts on exactly as you mentioned.
Blessings and His Favor Always,
Roxy

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for the primroses to come out - they are not in my area yet. Do you plant yours in the garden after you are finished with them in the house?

To the one who asked about easing sleeve caps - once I found out how to do it right, a huge problem was solved for me. I am not sure where to direct you for a tutorial right now, because I don't have time to search. I saw the solution in a Threads Magazine years ago.

You make bias tape, like Lydia showed.

Then, instead of making gathering stitches between the two "dots" marked on the sleep cap, you attach a short strip of the bias fabric to the first dot. You stretch the bias tape, just ever so slightly, as you attach it to the wrong side of the sleeve piece, between the dots, just barely outside of where the seam is going to be when you sew the sleeve to the shoulder.

You will be amazed at how perfectly - shaped the sleeve caps turns out - that can then be set in easily, with no puckers, to the sleeve hole (I think this is called the armscye). You do not have to remove the bias piece, as it will not be noticeable on the inside of the garment.

Hope this makes sense. I will look a little bit later for how to find a picture of how to do this, just don't have time now.

Once you do this many times with the bias tape, you will start to understand the shape that your sleeve cap is supposed to have when pinning the cap into the armscye, and you can begin to do it without the bias strip. That extra height at the top of the sleeve cap is meant to allow a 3-D effect from flat fabric, if applied right.

Anonymous said...

I found this tutorial and I use this method now for bias tape - I love it! It only uses a 13.5 square. The lady found discovered this method a very old quilting book at her aunt's house. http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2008/07/summer-sewing-perfectly-portable-cushion/

Gail said...

I love your blog food which this week, can also be called fog food! I was very blessed to visit Scotland a few years ago, and while in the highlands had a wonderful breakfast which included a fried egg which sat on a potato scone. The scone was round, and about a quarter to one half inch high and very delicious. Have you ever had such a thing? The town was called Newtownville, I think, and it was just the nicest place. I believe you are of Scottish heritage, aren't you and therefore I thought you might know about this type of scone. Anyways, in the evening there, my friend and I took a stroll and passed by a house in which we could see through the open drapes two elderly ladies, one of whom wad serving the tea as they were about to have a game of cards. It was just a sweet vignette that I remember fondly. Well ok, thanks for letting me ramble!

Gail said...

I love your blog food which this week, can also be called fog food! I was very blessed to visit Scotland a few years ago, and while in the highlands had a wonderful breakfast which included a fried egg which sat on a potato scone. The scone was round, and about a quarter to one half inch high and very delicious. Have you ever had such a thing? The town was called Newtownville, I think, and it was just the nicest place. I believe you are of Scottish heritage, aren't you and therefore I thought you might know about this type of scone. Anyways, in the evening there, my friend and I took a stroll and passed by a house in which we could see through the open drapes two elderly ladies, one of whom was serving the tea as they were about to have a game of cards. It was just a sweet vignette that I remember fondly. Well ok, thanks for letting me ramble!

LadyLydia said...

I plan to make potato scones tomorrow if it is still foggy. I hope they are the same thing that you describe!

Sarah said...

After seeing some dollar store finds of yours on other posts, I kept my eyes open for pretty things. We visited the city last week and I stopped in and got a pretty crystal- looking (but plastic) tray that I am going to use for a cheese and cracker plate for my friend's baby shower. I also got my husband's valentine's day card. I splurged and got the fancier cards that are actually a dollar. I had a coupon for a dollar off any olay soap and used it for a free bar of soap! Oh yeah, I also got the crackers for my plate their too. They are perfect! I love the dollar tree and wish we lived nearby one. Have a lovely weekend.

LadyLydia said...

Sarah, the plastic "crystal" vases are also very beautiful! Put some of the dollar store "marbles" that come in pink or green or blue, in the bottom to weigh it down, and add water and flowers. And the crystal in the wedding section is really nice : Plastic bowls, trays, all shapes of dishes made to look like crystal. Turn small or large "crystal" plastic bowls upside down and hot glue a little knob or handle, and use them for covers over cupcakes or cakes or even sandwiches.

Mrs. Sarah Coller said...

Thanks for all the great tips and for putting together the helpful tutorial. I hope you're enjoyimg your day so far.

I'm hosting my Homemaking Linkup Weekend and would love to have you join, if you'd like!

Have a great day!
Mrs. Sarah Coller

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. I enjoyed your beautiful pictures. Thank you for being a blessing :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Hugs,
Stephanie

LadyLydia said...

Hi Sarah, Thanks for the invitation. I'll try to get something ready and link up.

LadyLydia said...

Regarding sleeves: I've always liked a little gather at the shoulder, so I do not necessarily try to get them flat when sewing. However it is important to get them flat and smooth all around the sleeve up to that point, and I'll try to show how to do it. I have never used the bias tape method. I think the modern sleeve is much harder to manage than sleeves of the past, as they are cut differently. There was a way they used to insert them before the side seam was sewn, so that it was sewn in flat. And the sleeve used to fit better in the old way of doing them. The modern patterns are so persnickity.

Anonymous said...

There is a video on youtube called "Ease Cap of Sleeve Using Bias Tape".

I agree with you, Lady Lydia, I like patterns that are meant to have some gathering at the cap.

But when I first started sewing, I was self-conscious about trying to make a very plain dress - like a linen shift to go under other things, and not being able to set the sleeve in right without funny puckers was so defeating.

Once I conquered them, then I desired to have ruffly sleeve caps, as the plain ones I was doing seemed so...plain!

One dress with a very easy drop-sleeve, that is sewn, like you mentioned, all in one seam with the side-seam, is from a small booklet called "Everyday Dresses" by Cindy Taylor Oates. I made a lot of those at first.

I just bought my first LED candles last night, on your blog's suggestion!

Anonymous said...

I was the original poster for the sewing sleeves question. I just wanted to say thank you for the replies. They were very helpful. I understand the bias tape suggestion because the post was very well written, and I think I will try that. It seems to me that using the bias tape that way would lead to a much nicer result than the method than most patterns suggest, which involves a lot of strings and pins to keep track of. I am also going to look for the book about dresses.

LadyLydia said...

Yes I put the primroses outside when I am finished with them indoors. Since it is so close to the time when I have the ladies luncheon here, I usually buy one for each lady to take home, and what is left goes in my garden. During the luncheon they are used as centerpieces for the tables and mantels and shelves. I choose a color theme for it each year.

Mom in the Shoe said...

What a great idea about the date bread. I will definitely have to try that; replacing sugar with dates. By the way, have you used Sucanat and if so, does it work as well as sugar? I've not used it yet, but have been contemplating it.

LadyLydia said...

No I have not tried that sweetener, the reason being that I'm trying to do without sugar and get used to things not tasting sweet. I notice that the less sweet things I use in cooking (even dates and raisins and honey) the more I taste sweetness in plain food.

Mary said...

I loved your "fog" tea outdoors, I will have to try that some foggy morning. Just wanted to thank you again for your Dollar Tree tips, I had a most successful shopping trip this afternoon. I got two of those cutout felt place mats, one pink and one red. I have them on my coffee table, with two glass candlesticks holding red tapers on one, and a small glass vase of silk ivy and red roses on the other. It looks quite festive and my family is charmed! I'm looking forward to having my tea there tomorrow afternoon. I also got a red foil wreath with hearts for the front door, red tapers for the piano candlesticks, and two adorable little plaster birds that will sit on the small table on our balcony. It really is true that small touches make a home, and they need not be costly.

Oh, and I got a lovely fragrance - not the same ones you found, but Jordache brand knockoffs of more expensive scents. I got the knockoff of Estee Lauder's Beautiful, one of my favorites. It smells lovely and is certainly easier on the budget than the real thing!

LadyLydia said...

I did forget to say that the perfumes I first mentioned from Dollar Tree are in the Valentine decor section. The perfumes you name are in the regular perfume/lotion/bath section. I just love those knock=off perfumes and sometimes they are not as strong.

Lisa said...

A friend of mine always gets his cards at dollar stores - I guess they're from the previous season. Anyway, the cards from him are always the best I've ever gotten.

I read someplace that Tasha Tudor used kitchen string for her piping in the period clothing she wore!

lynn said...

Kitchen string is a fine idea, especially as Tasha Tudor used it...it is probably an authentic method too!
I'm going to the Dollar Tree to locate those fragrances...I didn't know to look in the Valentine decor section...thanks for that tip.
Also certainly appreciate the bias strip for setting in a cap sleeve..sounds great.
I loved reading everyone's comments...they are so uplifting!
LM

LadyLydia said...

Yes, you can use ordinary string, or "kitchen string" in home made piping. It has to be thicker than crochet thread and harder than yarn.

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