Archive for August, 2012

Harvest Time

The weather here has been hot in the daytime but nicely cool at night.  This means that if I can get going early enough in the morning, I can pick the beans and cucumbers before the sun moves across the yard.

Above is this morning’s harvest – lots of green beans, cucumbers, and my first peppers.  I’m growing paste tomatoes this year, but I confess that I don’t like sticking my arm into the sticky tomato bushes, so the spouse does that for me.  I just wash the tomatoes and freeze them whole, and when I need them, I can thaw them and the skins slip right off.  Then I chop them and add them to dishes.

This week I am doing some utilitarian sewing chores.  I hemmed a new tablecloth, hemmed A’s skirt, and am now hemming M’s pants:

I am a horrible procrastinator, but I think I have improved over the years.  I used to put off school papers or studying for a test until the last minute.  When I do get around to a sewing chore like this that someone has requested, it never is as lengthy a chore as I think, and I am usually done with it in record time.    It occurs to me that right now I am playing around on the computer instead of sewing the hems, so I guess I’d better go to the sewing machine.

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Sometimes the stash will contain leftover fabric, or people will give me cotton fabric that isn’t suitable for garments, so I use it to make pillowcases or aprons.  I took the measurements off of pillowcases I already had, but since I am often hunting around for my instructions, it seems like a good idea to put them on the sewing blog so I can refer to them if necessary.  In addition to regular size pillows, I also have a big body pillow that is kept at the head of the bed.  For this pillow I make two kinds of pillowcases – cotton ones for summer and long fleece ones for winter.  Since this pillow mostly serves as a backrest, the fleece cases are bright and decorative and cozy.   Here are my measurements:

The Regular Pillowcase has a fold on one side and a seam on the other.  The seam allowances are 3/8″ throughout.

My pillowcases are pretty plain with no embellishments.  I just let the fabric speak for itself.

According to the University of Utah Cooperative Extension, pillowcase measurements are as follows:

Standard – 20 1/2″  x  30″   Mine is a little narrower than this, but works fine.  It’s easy to add width if needed.

Queen –  20 ½”  x  34″

King –  20 ½”  x  40″

Lots of people add a contrast band around the top which looks great and also uses up smaller scraps.

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In the olden days, clothes were not disposable.  Items made from fabric were precious because of the work it took to make the fabric in the first place.  Lots of old lists of household property (for wills, etc.) include every garment, sheet, towel, and other fabric items in the entire house.  In those days, mending was a real, useful, and necessary skill.  There are whole chapters on different kinds of mending in my old sewing books.  Here is a lovely patch from a 1916 book:

These are done with tiny hand stitches, but we have wonderful modern sewing machines and could easily do the same much faster.

I have two hemming chores to do this week:  finishing up the denim A-line skirt for A, and hemming up some pants for M.

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Now that I have New Look 6027 altered to an attractive fit on M, I can use it as a sloper to perfect the fit on other patterns.  I noticed from a new top that M purchased that the front U-shaped neckline looks good on her, so I decided to try this Simplicity pattern.  I am using the body of NL 6027 but copying this neckline to it.



The first try will be sleeveless, but I do like the 3/4 sleeve.  The inset provides opportunities for lace or embroidery embellishments, and I like the idea of tucks and lace.

In the garden, the resurrection lilies are blooming.

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