Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ramblings and Road Trips

Wow, 6 weeks has flown by with very little sewing. People are asking what I am doing.  Here is an update. But I'll warn you, though it has sewing related info, it is a bit rambling.

The annual beach vacation has come and gone – As in years past, the girls planned a group sewing project.  But we never seemed to get around to it. Good thing patterns and fabrics age well.

Project for Beach Week 2015
My sons are back at their respective universities. One had to be moved into an apartment. Of course it poured rain that day. Horrible weather for moving boxes and furniture like couches and mattresses, especially when parking was not adjacent to the building. I wore a large green garbage bag over my t-shirt and shorts to keep dry  With my hair soaking wet and plastered to my head, it was not a good look. I found these pictures on the Internet.  Looks like I missed an opportunity to rock the look. All I need was a   kickin' pair of booties and rain scarf. Next time!

garbage bag chic _ Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott
DH has been on a weekend road trip kick.  The man love to drive. We pick a destination, a variety  of things to do and see, and go for it. The first one was to Pennsylvania. A 7 hour trip that I insisted be broken up by a visit to    the source of a huge amount of my fabric stash.  The selection is much smaller now than it was back in the 80’s, when I worked as an engineer at a glass fabrication factory (car windows) just down the road, and spent many a lunch hour digging through piles of fabric for treasures.  I purchased a couple of bottom weight wool blends. The trip included a visit to the University where DH and I met, many years ago, at a dormitory party. We walked around campus and had dinner at a favorite restaurant. A couple more hours of driving to visit DH parents’ graves and then on to his 40th high school reunion. The reunion was a very small casual affair held  around a classmate's backyard pool, in rural Pennsylvania where he grew up. How rural? There were cows in the adjacent field. It was fun for me to listen to the stories that were told as sun went down and the stars came up.  Three of the attendees, including my husband, were teachers’ kids. Imagine having your father as a teacher in High School. Mortifying!  But now that I think of it, my grandfather was a high school teacher too. So my father had the same situation. Below is my grandfather when he was coach of the championship woman's basketball team at Kingsville High School, Ashtabula County (Ohio). This photo fascinates me. They all seem to have the same  hair style, which is not flattering to any of them, and I'll bet those uniform were made of wool.

Kingsville High School, Ashtabula County, Ohio

Another weekend we visited the Fredericksburg, VA civil war battlefield where DH’s great grandfather fought for the union side. DH  descended from the offspring of the man and his 30 year younger, 2nd wife in case you did the math and were a bit puzzled.  There is a great Austrian restaurant,   Bavarian Chef in the Fredericksburg train station where we had lunch.

And we spent one weekend in the Shenandoah Valley, delivering left behind items to DS #1, who lives in a town that has a delightful independent fabric store   Ragtime Fabrics   They have a cute store tour video. If you ever traveling in I81, Harrisonburg, VA  is the exit to take to visit this store.  We also stopped at  the local farmers' market and  one of the big caverns in the area.

I made a quick top from Kwik Sew 3032 pattern.

Kwik Sew 3032
View A has a fold over hem around the neckline edge. I decided to make the back neckline a V shape like the front, rather than deal with alterations to the upper back seam for my back curves.  I cut before thinking. This meant I did not have the seam shaping for mitering the "V" in the back neck edge, like I did in the front.

center front seam

Front neckline hem

 I was browsing my Japanese pattern books and found a technique for dealing with the situation.  It is from  a book called Simple and Cute, which has a lot of tops with various forms of ruffles.

Simple and Cute

I like the instruction pictures in  Japanese sewing  books. They are easy to understand without reading any text. They remind me of the Wordless Workbench feature in the Popular Science magazines that were bathroom reading material ( along with Readers' Digest) in my childhood home. Isn’t it funny what you remember sometimes?

Wordless Workbench - Roy Doty

Here are the instructions for finishing a V neckline with a  fold over hem, when you don't have center seams with built in miters.

V neck with fold over hem

A small piece of interfaced fabric, essentially a mini facing just for the V area, is sewn along the neckline seam at the V.

Clip just to the stitching  in the center of the V. Turn mini facing  and the hem allowance on the rest of the neckline to the  inside, and topstitched in place. The technique worked very well.



What else am I doing? I am currently thinking about copying this Dior dress. The Burda pattern is traced and the material pulled from the stash. But I am afraid if I start it the momentum will die, because  I have absolutely nowhere to wear it.
Dior inspiration dress

I am weaving bands on an inkle loom, inspired by the  Oct/Nov 2014 Threads Magazine article "How to Weave Custom Trims" by blogger and weaver Daryl Lancaster. The woven bands may be used to trim a vest I am making for a local ASG group vest challenge.

And I read this book while riding in the car on the weekend trips. I am testing some of the patterns in the book.

This weekend's plans include the NAS Oceana Air Show in Virginia Beach. Nothing like sitting on the sand, the sight and sound of the  Blue Angels flying in formation overhead, and the lingering scent of jet fuel.


  1. Sounds like you have been having lots of fun! Best way to spend time :)

  2. I'll be interested to hear what you think of Bias Cut Blueprints. I've looked at it a few times but the very expensive postage has put me off buying it. I'd love to see what you make from it.

  3. Thanks for the update. It does sound like you had lots of fun, some fabric related. Welcome back!

  4. Haha, great finds those garbage bag runway photos were! And thanks for sharing that v-neck finishing technique.

  5. I grew up in Virginia Beach and the Blue Angels are pretty neat! Thanks for this post; it inspires me to blog what I've been up to lately as well.

  6. Such a useful tip in the V neck! I will have to file that one away.

  7. How nice to read your blog again-you have been busy! I love that pink top, and the fix is creative and smart.

  8. What a fun idea to take weekend trips together, it is nice to have a partner with the same idea of how to spend one's time. I like the mini-lesson on the V neck facing and I'll remember it, thanks!

  9. Its lovely to hear what you've been up to. The v neck finishing instructions are new to me, thanks for the useful lesson.

  10. I love road trips! Sounds like you have had some fun trips. I like the info on the v-neck and will have to give it a try!