Thursday, January 31, 2019

Sewing Report: Raspberry Coat 1


Today I am beginning to sew my raspberry or berry colored fleece coat, because I have had this bundle of fleece for a few years when I got it on a greatly discounted price, and as you know, fleece takes up a lot of room. I want to empty one of my sewing room storage areas, and this will help.  Even 4 yards of this stuff can take up the room of an entire drawer or shelf.

I am using a New Look pattern because it was only $2.97 and has fewer pieces and takes less fabric,
Here are some of the details and a line drawing. There will not be so many pieces to sew together, as the back is very plain, however, I may put darts in the back to make it less baggy.

I am going to line the hood, since the seam will show when it is down or out like a collar, and so I'm considering one of these pieces of scrap fabric I have.  The top piece with the white background matches the color the best but I may go with the satin lining.

Hope to see you soon with the completed garment.  Thanks to the ladies who contribute a little bit in my Paypal, as I use it for some of these sewing projects.

Price so far:
Thread $2.00
Fabric 4 and 1/2 yards @ $3.87 a yard = approx. $16.00
Buttons - $2.00 package of 4
Pattern: New Look $2.97
Lining for hood--scraps from previous sewing project
The pattern will be used again

When a pattern has a long and short version, it sometimes has an separate piece for the longer version. You simply lay the hem piece on top of the other piece, overlapping  those circles and match them up before cutting. 

I use weights instead of straight pins. It is faster and doesn't put holes in the fabric.  I'm always concerned about people stepping on pins that I didn't know had dropped to the floor, or finding a pin somewhere, so I don't use them anymore. 

Show and Tell:

I was quite distracted  at Dollar Tree today, by the silk red roses and I got another bouquet for a bare corner on my bedside table.  It is perched in a planter also from Dollar Tree.

I needed a small bedside lamp that had no chord.  I'm in a room that is so old and dated, the electric outlets are  not accessible and require extension chords, and it is inconvenient and unslightly, so I devised a little chordless lamp from things at the Dollar Tree:

Plastic throw-away goblets, 4 for $1.00
Plastic dessert dishes 4/$1.00
battery votive candle package of 2/$1.00
batteries package of 4/$1.00

No glue, no special attachment; just stack it all up to make this beautiful lamp, which can be unassembled too.  I left the goblets and bases together and made the lamp using all 4 of them for height.
 The short glass you see on the left is also a dollar tree item.
It gives the lamp shade some height.
You start with the goblets, then insert the glass, the candle, and finally turn the little bowl over on to the glass.**

The little lamp is just right for a temporary light by the bed and only cost about $1.50  for one. There are materials left over to be used for other things.

I also got this Cranberry Chutney scented jar candle from Dollar Tree today and the scent is very pleasant.

I save these tiny mason jars and clean them well, put them through a dishwasher cycle and then use them to uniformly store ingredients from packages, in my cooking cabinet.  They also work well for saving buttons and bits and pieces in the sewing or craft room.

**You can make a larger lamp by using a large plastic crystal-look bowl, found in the wedding or paper plates section of Dollar Tree. Then look in the floral section for a plastic vase and  put a battery taper candle in the vase. Or look on YouTube for Dollar Tree videos that people have made showing their own lamp creations that are similar to this. Some of them are quite elaborate and look "real".

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Courtesy and Kindness

The bouquet from the Dollar Tree, which I included in the previous post, was such a nice bright spot that I got some more,  although a solid color rather than the variegated, for the dining table, above.  I used a glass salad bowl from the Dollar Tree.

I want to also share with you something I got in the wedding section at Hobby Lobby, that only cost a couple of dollars at half price:
This consisted of a card with two wired loops of faux pearls, which are wedding decor. I found them to be perfect for tie-backs on my curtains.

It is coming up on Valentines Day, which here in the US is for EVERYONE, not just sweethearts. Looking in the card section of Dollar Tree you can see the labels above the heart cards: for Daughter, Granddaughter,  Mother, Mother in Law, Sister, Brother, Dad, Son, ---did I leave anyone out? Well, not the card companies--they included everyone!  And as per usual I am  not going to be on time with the seasons food, decor, cards and such, but I do have those red flowers from Dollar Tree, which of course I have now spread EVERYWHERE in my house, including the bathroom. 


Today I was discussing with someone the attitude which some people have that is is okay to attack people who have public blogs or people who are famous, or public figures.

Maybe you saw, a few years ago, a famous person - whether a political figure or a celebrity of some sort, I am not sure-- greeting a people in a crowd. As he was shaking hands, someone from their midst threw water in his face.  

It seems fair game to attack public figures, but just because they are online or have a public presence in their town, does not make them targets for cruelty.

The Bible teaches us to be courteous. In common language, it means polite and mannerly. 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

I know there is an attitude going around that anyone on a public blog just "opens them up to cruelty" but that is not true. If someone has a social media page, and it is open to the public, is that an invitation to rudeness and cruelty? Other less enlightened people might behave boorishly to them, but we who have a different set of values should not.
 We must also teach our children and others around us that people in public are not "inviting" other people to abuse them.  We all go out, don't we? We are seen in the grocery store and the library, the post office and other places. It is not, like uncouth people will claim, "putting yourself out there" open to attack.

 We are not to be rude to the employees when we frequent businesses in town.  We are not to make their work harder than it is by being difficult and discourteous.  
Sadly this sometimes comes into the home, when sour moods disrupt others.  We must remember that of all places, home has to be a refuge from the cruelty "out there," and if it is not, where can the family turn?  If home is not kept free of insulting, accusing, blaming, punishing, jealousy, suspicion, personal attacking, and resentment, there is no where else to go for comfort and relief and acceptance. 
There was not much progress made outside of regular housework, today, in my sewing or any other interests.  I did make my own tortillas...

 ...but didn't get a picture of them loaded with all the good things. There is a video and recipe here  but there are also others with different ingredients. Lard is available at your local grocery store but I used avocado oil in these because it is what I have on hand.

You can find a recipe for mixing the dough, online. I guarantee they are not as "rubbery" as the commercial ones, which are also full of "ingredients" that might not all be good for you. These have only unbleached flour, salt, oil and water and are cooked in a small amount of avocado oil. I highly recommend making your own, as it is quick and easy and much better taste that enhances the flavor of the other foods wrapped in the tortilla. Home made tortillas are easy to chew and digest; just old fashioned good taste and good feeling all around.

There is no sewing report as no progress was made, except that I cut out another coat, and hopefully can show soon. I'm in a race to finish before the cold weather ends.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Sewing Report 5: Green Coat

There are still some things to be done before the coat is truly completed, but I started wearing it two weeks ago because I didn't want to miss out on the bad weather. Tomorrow I hope to finish the hem trim, tack the cuffs to the sleeve using a few small hand stitches, and complete the lining.

When this is completed I will make an itemized list of the total cost. It was approximately $20 for materials.

I found a cute child's umbrella containing some of the kelly green:

I wanted to show more sewing progress with other things I am doing in the sewing room, but as the day drew to an end, I realized it was not to be,  so I will show you two other things I have done here at home.

Itemized list for the completed coat:

Thin Fleece 5 yards @ $3.87 per yard-- -$19.00
Buttons 2 packages @ $1.85 Per package  - $4.00
Thread - 2 spools @ $3.00 each - $6.00---Thread has really increased in price around these parts!
Lining 3 yards @ $1.50  a yard  - $4.50
Pattern: $1.99
All supplies from Walmart: approx. $35.50

This is usually more than I would spend on a dress, and for the next coat I'm going to be getting the price down quite a bit.

Personal Labor--immeasurable and priceless

1. Today I was trying to think of a nice gift for someone, and found two orphan china pieces that just "went" together so very fine, I almost kept them:

The cup is modern; probably early 2000, and the saucer is more likely 1950's but they look great together.

I got the cup at Vinnies for  50 cents.

The pale green of the saucer really brings out the pale green leaves of the print in the cup. Unfortunately the saucer has several chips underneath it but it is the look that counts!

2.  Mr. S. felt like walking around in some place other than this house, so we went to our little town and visited the Grocery Store and the Dollar Tree.

 He visited the office section and brought home old fashioned "file folders" and a hand writing instrument called a  "pen." He likes the Dollar Tree because it provides real office supplies from the previous century. I hope they don't stop making those card stock file folders.We still use them around here, and when the children were growing up it was our source of card stock weight material for constructing houses, making paper dolls, greeting cards, paper books, and seasonal things. We still cut them up into smaller sections for sturdy covers on home made story books.

I saw some gorgeous flowers in the grocery floral department and suggested to Mr. S. that  because no one had brought him flowers during his illness, he might like some of the red roses just to brighten the place up. He declined, saying he'd rather have a big bouquet of food--tacos and all his faves, so we bought a bundle of colorful food instead. 

 Neither one of us were interested in cleaning it all up after the flowers  had seen their prime. We are very into making housework minimal these days, so that we can do other things. Mr. S. has a collection of live flowering plants in his home office which he has kept alive for years, by the proper amount of neglect.

I saw these  artificial roses at Dollar Tree,  which were a good-enough imitation of the live flowers at the grocery store, and about a fourth of the price. 

Three stems yielded 15 roses, and I saw this nice ice bucket,  great for a container of roses, also for a dollar:

Behind it is a plastic platter that looks like a mirror, and they both looked so bright and refreshing on the mantel. I needed the change, and the "look" only cost  a total of $5.00 and can be used in other decor arrangements. That bucket is nice and sturdy and to me, it seems like such a luxury to own it.

When  arranging flowers in a container, I like to leave stray petals or blossoms on the table beside the whole thing, because it looks the way real flowers do when the petals fall.

I do like the look of that faux silver (plastic) vase:*

We are having a very heavy fog season, and that will be the source of  a good blog post, because I'm quite fond of a good fog. And, in the city of Seattle, two days north of here,  there is a coffee called "Seattle Fog."

It is best not to be sour on life. Go on, start over, and live beautifully no matter how defeated you feel. In taking care of a recovering patient, I have learned that the mind is over the matter, and if you allow the emotions to sink into depression, it will slow down the healing process. 

Bright spots like these flowers are a great perk, to both the patient and the care giver. The care giver (you) of the family must also keep on the optimistic side, else she cannot give encouragement to others in her charge.  If you are the homemaker, you need to create some kind of comfort for yourself, every day.

*Earlier today I was browsing through a catalog I received in the mail and saw this, which was a hundred dollars, so I feel good having found the plastic faux silver ice bucket at Dollar Tree. It is such a spectacular looking bucket, no one would ever guess it was only a dollar.
Vase is $100 plus postage.

Functional ice bucket is $1.00 plus your gas.
These days the floral industry uses a variety of interesting containers consisting of boxes, teapots, watering cans and everything in-between. This one-dollar ice bucket is a great floral container and I like the look of luxury it gives our cottage.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Window

Hello All,

I got this lovely picture off Pinterest and I hope to grow more hollyhocks around my windows, because it looks so beautiful. Wouldn't it be nice to look out a window and see these flowers from the inside?

I will tell you now while I think of it, about a lady who lived in a very run down neighborhood where a saw mill was. These days, there are stricter zoning laws, and houses and mills are not in the same area, but this was an older neighborhood.

She made the best of things and grew hollyhocks all around her house and by the windows, to block out the views she didn't like. It was quite charming to see it in the middle of the saw dust mounds and lumber stacks. As to what she did about the smell and the noise, I do not know, but her house was something people drove by deliberately to gawk at. 

Today is Ladies Bible Class and Doctor's appointments for Mr. S., and I will not get much of anything in the home done at all, and there will not be any sewing report. After almost completing this green coat and wearing it for about a week,  I halfway think the coats I have been looking at that are worn by royals and celebs are not really coats, but coat dresses.---dresses that are designed to look like coats, or else they wear very skinny clothing with the coat. I don't think they remove the coats in any social situation.

I have recently been admiring this coat, worn by one of the British royals, but as I said, it is probably a woolen dress:

I have some aqua cotton fabric that I could use, and I have been eagerly trying to find out how to do the button closures with that rope ribbon tab across the front, which looks Victorian. Going further into history it is very much like the Caucasion traditional dress, or  Adyghe traditional costume from the Caucasus Mountains where all the castles and the knights on their handsome horses originated. 

I believe the 19th Century Victorian artist, Edmund Blair Leighton used costumes like this with the big sleeves in his paintings, and am thinking in particular of the yellow dress in "Stitching the Standard" **and other dresses he painted in blue and red.  At the time, the Victorians revered their own past very sentimentally,  reading stories of knights, ladies and castles and such, as their era became more modern. So, the traditional dress of previous eras became the theme of many artists of the 19th century.

On these Caucasian or Adyghen costumes you can see those interesting buttons across the bodice that are joined with ribbon.

Here is a coat pattern I am interested in, (because I do still not have enough coat patterns. I am sure I will be saying that when they are spilling out of the pattern drawer.)

Above is a costume pattern from Butterick that I have seen, and today I am going to open the envelope when I'm in the fabric department  and see what the technique is to make those ribbons and buttons look like that.  When the Butterick patterns go on sale for $1.99 I will purchase this. 

This is a screenshot of Lady Harriot's riding habit from Wives and Daughters. You can see that interesting ribbon and button design on the bodice.

 This is another nice coat pattern picture:

After we return from the appointments, I have to do some housekeeping, so for now, these are just in my planning notebook. I may never get that coat or coat dress made, but it keeps my mind active thinking of how to make that coat worn by Laura Lopes (top picture).

**Stitching the Standard by Edmund B. Leighton. Many of the men and women's costumes in his paintings appear to be the historic traditional dress of the Caucasions who lived in chilly northern climes in Europe and Asia.

This is Simplicity 8262 which features those button toggles:


Foot update: Mr. S. now goes to Wound Care at Riverbend every two weeks.  That is good progress from every other day and once a week. Today, they removed three tiny fragments of wood from the area, which hadn't been obvious before. His foot is much improved, and the amount of things used for packing the wound have been reduced to two items.

When asked "When do you feel pain?" Mr. S. replied "Only when I breathe."

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sewing Report 4: Green Coat

Today is much the same as the previous 3 entries about this green coat, which is getting slower to make, as the buttonholes and lining are coming up next. This is usually the stage where I set the project aside until the next year, as the weather begins to change and the urgency for a warm coat lessens. However I've been trying to keep up with everything from church to housework to foot care for Mr. S. *

I was not at all happy with the hat. The directions were too complicated and it could have been done more simply with fewer steps.

The pattern from 2005 seemed to picture this hat as coming down over the ears and being in general much bigger and fluffier than the actual finished product.
The hat was smaller than I needed, so I might attempt another version and cut it larger. As it is, it is so small, it is only going to work if a headband is attached inside so that it will stay put on my hair. 
View F looked adequate but even the largest size was too small. I must have a big head. Well that figures. Who would blog in today's politically correct climate, without a big enough head.

Below you can see I have the buttonholes marked, which are going to be stitched after the lining is inserted. They are slanted in an unusual way because of the design of the coat, and there are only 3 buttons required on the outside, that show.

  I have added more buttons so that the coat can be completely closed.
There are buttons beneath the lapels to secure the coat on the inside.

Here is the coat pattern again:

The green coat calls for a green teacup. I was surprized my collection did not yield one single green cup, so I am using this one that has no matching saucer with an orphan saucer which is the same green as the coat.
From the print at the bottom of the cup, it seems this was a Royal ALbert series of 6 called 
Traditional British Songs.
I have never seen the whole set. I found the cup at Goodwill many years ago.  I found a picture of the set, here.  There is a different flower on each one.

The saucer doesn't go with the cup but the green works well with this green-coat post.

I have a kelly green print umbrella I will pose with when I get the coat completed.
I see why models get paid such exorbitant sums:  Here I am bracing myself against the wind and desperately sheltering beneath the umbrella, trying to model the perfect pose by a pasture, while Mr. S., the great fashion photographer (who always takes only ONE photo and that has to suffice) sits all snug and dry in the car.

 * Here is the foot report for Mr. S.

 I don't like to post anything unpleasant so I'm trying not to be too graphic here. Yesterday when applying a new pack and wrapping the foot, I noticed the swelling had gone down and there was an old  cut between two toes leading directly to the place where the surgeon removed that piece of wood.

 Now the mystery is solved , at least for me. It was the entry for the piece of wood that no one could find because it was covered over  by many layers of skin growth. The last mystery to be solved is when it happened and where.

  Some of the wound care personnel say it often happens inside of a shoe or boot, where the flake of wood sits, and as the victim puts his shoe on, the wood is pushed into the skin. So be sure and empty your shoes and boots before wearing them. I think we used to do that when we were on the homestead but abandoned the habit. Your footwear sits on the floor and all kind of things can settle in your shoes. You probably each have a story for that one!  Check shoes before wearing them!  One time I bought a pair of shoes and couldn't figure out why they were so tight. I later discovered there was a wad of tissue from the manufacturer inside the shoe, designed to keep its shape in packing. Sometimes children cannot get their shoes on because the packing tissue is still in them, at the toes where you don't notice.

Although his left foot is still healing, Mr S. has a good right foot so he has gone out today to get his car repaired and do his usual errands and making his calls on various people.  I am busy trying to get a few things done around here so I can have time to finally finish that coat. I simply cannot sew with ease in a house that is not orderly; I don't know about you.