Archive for the ‘Fashion and Wardrobe’ Category

Somehow I have never gotten around to getting the daughters to help me make a duct-tape double of myself, so I have to have Madame Merp model the clothes.  Just another thing to put on the to-do list.  The fabric for these tops also came from the craft thrift store at the same time I bought the royal blue haul.

Simplicity 4180

Simplicity 4180

This knit is very light weight and might have some wool content.  It is almost impossible to photograph, but at least I gave it a try.

DSC00618UPDATE:  Wow, this top turned out to be fantastic on the trip.  It was comfortable, and best of all, I could wash it out at night and it would be totally dry by the next morning.  I still have some of this fabric left so I may just make another one of these tops, but I think I will lower the top level of the insert about one inch.  I cut this version with a high insert because I knew I would be bending over to help my MIL in and out of the car multiple times every day, so this was comfortable and modest.

These tops actually have a much nicer shape in real life and have the same comfort as a baggy T-shirt but look much better.



Today I am working on a mundane pillowcase for a car pillow.  We went shopping for an inexpensive pillow and were shocked at how much bed pillows cost in some stores.  We finally gave up and went to Target and got a nice soft fluffy pillow for about $5 instead of $85.  I am going to make a pillowcase that is much smaller than the pillow which will squish it into a more dense shape.   This whole thing makes my questionable impulse purchase of some blue fabric with giant white letters all over it at the craft thrift store not such a waste, since I am going to use it for pillowcases and maybe a tablecloth.

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Earlier this year on a trip to the craft thrift store in Sonoma County, I found a lot of royal blue knit.  It is the kind of knit meant for athletic clothes with a smooth side and a textured side, but I just use it for garments with the smooth side showing.  It is a stable knit and easy to sew.  I don’t know why someone donated over 15 yards of it, but I bought it all for 50 cents a pound.  The main reason was that a few years ago my daughter made me some gorgeous jewelry and I wanted something royal blue that would go with it:

DSC00640First I made one of my standard tops using an old Butterick pattern, 4507.

DSC00630Then I was reading about McCall’s 6844, the much-reviewed cardigan, so decided to give it a try since I obviously had enough fabric.

Fullscreen capture 972014 94820 PMThe reviews said that the sleeves were very narrow, and they weren’t kidding.  The armholes are also very tight if you are using a firm knit.  I added one inch to the biceps and lowered the armholes by 3/4 inch.  Making the biceps measurement larger added to the length of the sleeve cap seam line and reduced the height of the cap, but somehow lowering the armhole the amount I did cancelled out these changes and the sleeve fit in beautifully.

Here's the cardigan worn over the top.

Here’s the cardigan worn over the top.

On a roll now, I cut out one of my favorite knit top patterns (Simplicity 4180 with many changes)


DSC00625The machine is still threaded with the royal blue thread, and I haven’t even used up one 5-yard length of the fabric yet (it is very very wide, too), so I am currently trying to think of even more royal blue things to make.

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I usually just see a length of fabric and decide what to sew, and usually don’t think in terms of wardrobe plans.  Having recently run across this blog,


I’m starting to think a hit and miss sewing plan isn’t as useful as a more planned approach.  With this in mind, my daughter introduced me to Polyvore, and it is fun to put together outfits and refine your fashion style.  I don’t have much of a fashion style, so maybe I should work on developing one.  Anyhow, here is my first effort:

This one was actually for my daughter, who said she would really like a navy top with white polka dots.  We both love mustard yellow and like to use it as accents.

This one is for me.  The sweater is just a color representation of a turquoise sweater I am knitting at the moment.  Let’s see, in order to put this outfit together with the sweater I am knitting, I would need to acquire the top, shoes, pants, bag, earrings, and scarf.  So not a present possibility, but just something to think about.

Right now there is a loud metallic grinding hum that is coming out of the neighbors’ backyard.  The city workers are threading new pipe lines across the neighborhood and lucky us, our yard is where they are digging up and doing the work.  So far there are only flags and markers in our side front yard, so maybe the neighbors will end up having the digging done.

This year for the first time, we did some fall planting.  Yesterday we set out some cabbages, chard, and beets.  You can never tell whether the weather will chill down and kill everything or whether we will have months of semi-warm weather , so this is a gamble.  At least the garden looks a little better with some of the old crops pulled out.  All that’s left out there are many winter squash and surprisingly, lots of tomatoes.

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