• Projects 07.01.2016 No Comments

    I took a break over the holidays and did a little sewing. I badly needed some skirts. I love my Walking Skirts, but I like a narrower silhouette in the winter. And that led me back to Christine Jonson patterns. I have a lot of her patterns. One of my favorite skirts was the Slit Skirt. I made that in stretch velvet and wore it to death.  So I ordered some stretchy medium weight stuff from Fabric.com.

    I made three skirts. Two turned out perfect. One is a ribbed cotton lycra in black. The other is in ITY. First time I’ve worked with ITY and I like it. It’s very comfortable. I thought at first it looked a bit shiny, but it’s okay. The third skirt turned out to be much too lightweight and extremely stretchy. I have to redo the waistband and am considering turning it into a slip. I’ll revisit that, once the waistband is redone. I like the fabric a lot, but just not as heavy as I’d liked.

    I bought some waffle knit, like thermal knit, in a dark navy. It doesn’t look blue at all. I made the Straight Skirt as a slip. I’ve found that a slip makes a big difference in keeping you warm. This hits at the knees and works fine with the long skirt. I ordered more of the fabric as it was about gone. Should get here tomorrow. I’d planned to make another slip and a shell to go under my tops. I may rethink that and turn it into a shirt. I really wanted to buy tops, but made myself only get stuff for skirts.

    I’ll try and post pictures, if I can get Lon to take some. But this turned out well. I used the Singer 401a and it did a nice job on the knits. I could have even done a double needle hem, but went with a zigzag. I’ve run into problems using a double needle and just am not comfortable enough with this machine to mess with it. But that leads me to my challenge to myself for this new year. I’m going to make up at least one garment from each of these patterns this year. And if I do that, I think I’ll get rid of most of my unused patterns. Mostly, I like the way I can easily alter Christine’s patterns. And I have always liked her philosophy of having a “uniform” that fits and you enjoy wearing. I will try a few more of the stretch fabrics I’m unfamiliar with, like Ponte de Roma, and will stay away from the ones that I had problems with, like Slinky. I wish I could get some of that wonderful cotton/lycra she used to sell, but it seems to be off the market. Time for a new look and comfortable clothes.

  • Projects 09.12.2015 No Comments

    Let me just put in some project pictures.


    2015-12-05 15.27.00 2015-12-05 15.27.11 2015-12-05 15.31.58 2015-12-05 15.32.19

    The green gansey sweater has been nice. We had a cold spell and I had to break out my old handspun cold weather sweater. We are back to rain. And I have got to get back into a sewing groove. I need new skirts badly.

  • We have been very busy, trying to work on the house and also work on the place at the river. Not a lot of sewing, although I have several projects I really need to do. I have another treadle. This is a Wheeler and Wilson from the late 1800s. I have been too busy to try it out, but it is a nice machine.


    Wheeler and Wilson

    I have a new dog! Jake was 10 months old when we got him. His owner was in a bad motorcycle wreck and this is a very energetic dog to say the least. I have a short video of him on the notsothoreau site.


    Haven’t been spinning much, but am reknitting some Cascade 220. The original sweater just didn’t work for me. This is the White Gansey from the Knitting Ganseys book.


    Grass Gansey

    And that will have to do for now!

  • Projects 02.06.2015 No Comments

    Thought it might be nice to post my sewing experiments from this weekend. I am doing the Gibson Girl Blouse by Folkwear. And I will be using some lightweight linen. I am also going with the pin tucks and lace insertion for the front yoke, but am not going to mess with the lace on the blouse. So this is my attempt at using the tucker and inserting lace.


    front of insert

    With the tucker attachment, I could set the tuck on the sheet showing the spacing and make the next tuck in th right place. I like tucks, and wasn’t sure if I’d want pin tucks here. They have grown on me. I did not iron this as I worked, so they meander a bit.  I tried doing the lace insert two ways. The outside ones were stitched to fabric that was cut and had a narrow hem sewn first. The middle one was sewn, then fabric cut on the back. I didn’t want to use that technique, as it calls for using a narrow zigzag to bind the edges. I am trying to do this on my treadles. I could hand stitch those raw edges but will likely zigzag them. You can see what they look like from the back in the image below.

    back of insert

    I am having some fun with this project. I’ve never sewn anything like this. I may not get as many things sewn in time for the wedding as I’d like, but the skirt just needs to be hemmed and the blouse done.

  • Projects 28.05.2015 No Comments

    Lon and I are getting married on June 20th! Now, I made my own wedding clothes when I married Jeffrey. I made the mistake of setting the wedding for December 11th, which was at the end of winter quarter. I did not think about how much finals would cut into my sewing time. I’d planned to make clothes for him, but didn’t have time.

    This time, I told Lon I will not be making anything for him. I did not make a corset, although I really want to make one some time. I bought a cheapie one from China that is actually okay. I already own the Gibson Girl Blouse, Walking Skirt and Edwardian Underthings patterns from Folkwear. I have a couple of pieces cut out that I never got around to sewing. And I’ve made the blouse and skirt, so know how to make them and how they fit. While waiting for a fabric order, I sewed up some medium weight linen that I’ve had for years. The skirt turned out just wonderful and I’m going to use it. Pictures over on the notsothoreau.com blog. Still need to hem and put on hooks and eyes. I think I may add some tucks across the bottom.

    Got blouse fabric today and it’s already washed. Will be cutting out more pieces and doing some sewing this weekend.. All knitting/spinning projects are pretty much on hold until July. Back when I was in college, and marrying the first time, I was a drama major and wanted to work in costuming. The desire to do that is still there. I think, when I get past this, I will be tackling some other historical patterns and making a few things for Lon. He loves to play dress up too!


  • Projects 30.04.2015 No Comments

    So, the Lillian Fay needs work. I am not sure what to do about the neckline but will figure something out. I have been working a bit on all my spinning projects. There is a new fiber store just down the street from me, called Urban Wolves. It’s a good shop, lots of nice yarn and fiber!

    And, I’ve posted about this over at my other site, but here’s what is taking up most of my time:


    Rosebud Rosebud, a 1891 Singer VS2

    Cleo, a 1910 Singer VS2

    The latest in cat beds! Cleo is a perfect cat bed!


  • Projects 30.03.2015 No Comments

    Still working on the same group of projects. The Eileen Mary sweater is done. I think I am going to get either horsehair braid or ribbon with wired edges for that collar. I’ve considered taking the collar off and putting in a ribbing. I’d like to see what it looks like with a stiffer collar first.

    The spinning projects just seem to go on forever. I suppose I might start finishing them, if I’d stop adding new projects! And I’m working on the Lillian Fay cardigan, so I trade off between that and spinning. I really am going to have to start sewing. I have patterns and fabric, but have not had time to cut any of it out.


  • First up, the Go To Cardigan by Churchmouse yarns. I had to redo the sleeve caps but it’s finally done. I’m happy with the fit and love Rowan Felted Tweed!
    Go To Cardigan

    Next is my second Wingspan. This is done in Knit Picks Kettle dyed yarns. It works well in this pattern.
    Second Wingspan

    Still working on this wine colored fiber from Wintry Flower by Design. I thought I’d finished it, but found another chunk of the braid.
    Midge and wine colored fiber

    This is the new Lark, with a BaaBaa Huey Pine Gradient in BFL. It’s lovely fiber.
    Lark and green gradient

    Ongoing is the Southdown/Tussah from Inglenook. I was heavily into knitting and this went on the back burner. I’m trying to pick it back up.
    Midge and Southdown/Tussah

    I am very close to finishing the Eileen Mary sweater. I had some fitting issues with it too, but that seems to be resolved. I just need to do the finish work and block the collar again.

  • Spindles 24.02.2015 No Comments

    This is a 27g/.95oz Jenkins Marblewood Lark on a walnut shaft. It’s my latest addition!

    Marblewood Lark front

    Marblewood Lark side

    Marblewood Lark back

    in the sun

    And the first project is 4oz of BaaBaa Huey BFL in Pine gradient.
    First project

  • Projects 12.02.2015 No Comments

    I’ve been working on some small stuff. Not a lot of spinning right now, so here’s what I have:

    This is the unblocked Eileen Mary (called Mary Helen in my projects). Nice pattern and nice yarn. I’m waiting for it to dry, for a final picture.
    Eileen Mary

    Wingfeathers in Dream in Color Baby. The yarn was bought by mistake. I thought it was red, not orange. I haven’t done crochet in a long time, so that was sort of fun. I may do a few more of these.

    New project, Joan Fuller (called Joy Levin in my projects). I’ve had this yarn for a long time, and got it from Joy. This seems like the right project at long last for it and it’s coming along nicely.
    Joan Fuller

    Zuzu’s Petals for Quinn’s girlfriend, Shanna. I wanted to do something for her. I like to make shawlettes, but thought this shawl/cowl might work better for her. Bought the yarn while at the office for a staff meeting.
    Zuzu's Petals

    And since I had leftover yarn, I made a beanie for Shanna to go with the shawl.
    Mistake Rib watchcap