Archive for June, 2008

I found my stash of old Vogart and Aunt Martha’s embroidery transfers, and I am using the designs to plan out new embroidery patterns for Mexican Peasant Blouses.  I have made a template of the yoke front out of poster board, and I trace around it onto a big sheet of paper to try out designs.  Years ago I bought a Disney light desk (an inexpensive little toy with a little nightlight bulb inside) that has turned out to be one of the most useful things I ever bought.  The kids and I have used it to trace all kinds of things.  I like to use it to trace a mirror image of the yoke onto the other side by folding the yoke in half.  I laugh when I see the nice expensive light desks in the art stores and think of my little useful toy desk now approaching its 20th birthday.

The smoke from all the fires in the state is still in the air.  They keep saying it will blow away soon, but new fires keep starting.  There is an official warning for everyone to stay inside, an impossible task, so I wear my face mask everywhere.  It is so awful out that no one laughs at my dorky appearance.  We haven’t seen the sun in days.

The overcast atmosphere does make it easier to take bright pictures of the flowers.


Yesterday I cut the first basil and made three batches of pesto for the freezer.  It looks like it will be a bumper year for pesto and caprese salad.

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They are having a sale on the Maxi-Lock thread at Atlanta Thread and Supply Co (http://store.atlantathread.com/).  I like this thread and I don’t even have a serger.  I use it for regular sewing on lightweight fabrics having tested it out on a blouse that stood up well to wear and washing.  I also use it for machine embroidery.  It comes in many lovely colors and each spool has 3000 yards, a bargain at the sale price of $1.99.  I wanted to get additional colors that aren’t available locally so I tried ordering from the website for the first time.  The orders were accurate and prompt and I was pleased with the service.  Anyhow, I needed more storage room for the additional cones of thread since I now had twice as many, so I got another big spool holder on sale at Joanns.  I  needed to hook the two spool holders together so I asked at the hardware store, and they advised two “S” hooks from the garden department.  In the next picture you can see the hook between the two spool holders.

We are having ghastly weather here because of a huge fire up in Solano County.  The smoke blew this way and it reminds me of the bad old air pollution days.  We are waiting for the wind to blow the smoke away (cough, cough).

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On the patio in the shade at 3:00 in the afternoon.

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Yesterday I crocheted the edging around the yoke and neckline, using my awl to make little holes for the crochet hook, and I think it is just easier to do blanket stitch, though the crochet does look great.  I started the assembly yesterday and finished up the hems and elastic this morning.  Now I am waiting to see how M likes it.  Here’s how it looked yesterday right before I sewed the sleeves on:

It seems to be very comfortable.  I think I will make a red one next.

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I got to thinking about the green blouse and I decided it would look better with the blanket stitching/crochet trim on it.  I had to hunt the blouse up since I had already given it to M, and I had to wait until she got back from her vacation to Texas.  When I got it back, it only took about 1 1/2 hours to stitch the trim and I think it looks much better.

Then I wanted to start the assembly on the orange blouse, but it had mysteriously disappeared somewhere.  I spent awhile looking for it before I finally found all the pieces on top of the fabric mountain in the sewing room. Now I can begin the sewing.

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Every once in awhile the library has a sale of donated books to raise money.  This time I hit the jackpot with sewing books.  I even found the Pattern Drafting book from Dressmaking Magazine (1967).  Much better to pay 50 cents than the $80 they want online at one site.

Below are a 1954 volume of The Singer Sewing Book and several books on sewing lingerie.

A book on tailoring that I have never seen before and the McCunn book on patternmaking:

The 1947 book by Harriet Pepin on Pattern Design, and another book with sewing lessons that I have never heard of:

I always wanted the Vogue sewing book.  This one is from 1970 or thereabouts and has its own slipcover:

Two books on sewing with knits:

Total bill at the booksale:  $10

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Finally finished the yoke embroidery.  The side squiggles were not that difficult and went fairly fast.  Now I have to cut out the yoke piece and start putting the blouse together.  I am trying to decide what color to make the crochet/buttonhole stitch trim at yoke bottom and neckline.  M does not want white though that would be the logical choice.  I looked up an orange MPB online and the trim was white.  I’ll have to ask M when she gets back from vacation.   While on vacation in Texas, M went to the Mercado and sent me some lovely photos of the dresses there.  I see that more and more machine embroidery is being done on the dresses.

The flowers show the improvement I made in my embroidery because the first ones I did were sort of messy, but the last one is nice and neat. 

This is the second side of the yoke, the side with the better embroidery. 

While I was busy with needle and thread, the garden has been growing.  There might even be a baby zucchini out there.

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