We are invited to a fancy Christmas party next weekend… Oh dear, what’s a girl to wear????? I found this past spring the pink shift dress at my favorite place (goodwill) and even more favorite price tag ($5.) It’s so simple and fits me comfortably.
Hunting in my stash (collection of fabrics) I found a remnant of the beaded piece of fabric.I could cut the front in one piece, but the back I had to patch and piece together. Since the background of the lace was sort of random it was easier than I thought…. well…. minus the beads which was tricking maneuvering around. The best way was to drop the feed dogs on the machine and free-motion zigzag random shapes and sizes together to create enough fabric to cover the back pieces. Look around the back arms-eye. If you look closely you can find the seams… BUT if anyone is looking that closely at the seams on my dress… it’s a dark evening party!
The pink dress was so easy to copy too! 2 main pieces: Front and back. I laid the dress flat on my table and traced around it. I like the shoulder seams and simple neck. This simple design works great with the fancy beaded fabric and since it have very few seams I only went through a pack of needles!
I made a full lining out of a yard of a worsted wool black. I created a 2 piece bodice lining out of a cotton sateen. I’m not a fan of separate neck and arms-eye facings. Check this out here from an earlier post I did on facings: http://thethriftyneedle.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/sleeveless-dresses-and-facings/
One tip wear safety glasses due to possible flying beads!
On a bit of a different note….
This is my beautiful God daughter who just turned 14 yesterday. She is on her beloved Horse, Skuter. Skuter died very quickly just before Thanksgiving. Add her to your prayer list. Sarah is a brave , bright young lady who will eventually love another horse entirely, but right now it’s hard for her. Love you Sarah!
Thanksgiving means Fall colors to me. In the south things really start to chill off and change this time of year. Above is what I think Thanksgiving colors should be. Here is the 2 ply yarn, all ready to knit with.I love the richness of the colors and the yellow makes it POP! My Friend Christina over at http://www.dyepot.com/ hand dyed this organic polwarth batt… OH my! Polwarth is so super soft and what a fun spin. Her work is so beautiful, and not just spinning and yarn, the hand made jewelry is beautiful! I also spun a skein of this natural alpaca. Both colors came off the same animal just different parts. I was given this alpaca about a month ago when I was volunteering at the farm. A lovely lady walked up and gave me a bag of smelly dirty animal fur and I yippeed!!! I couldn’t wait to start to work with it and see what I had… Currently on my wheel I am spinning this Fin roving, one is natural dyed (grey-ish) and the other is not natural (pink) LOL! I never heard of some of these types of sheep before I start spinning and I think that is what I have enjoyed the most this past year, learning something totally new and different.
I am so thankful for many things this past year and learning to spin would be on my list. I enjoy a challenge and something so peaceful and meditative to do with my time. I am also thankful for all the different people and opportunities spinning has brought into my life.
Thank you all for being in my life and may you have a wonderful time of Thanksgiving this week.
I bought a raw fleece at SAFF. It is a Icelandic wool in a grey-ish color. It was different and I liked it.In the bag (kept tightly closed) to keep the smell in…pee-u!Look at all the surprising colors, from black to almost white! I was excited to start to work with this to see what I would get. I started by scouring the wool, which is a fancy way to say I’ve cleaned it without felting it. I let it dry, then combed it out, sort of like combing your hair after washing it to straighten it all out…. Here are some of my results:This was a first spin, then I got to thinking about over dying to see what I would get…. I tried a green and then a purple. The purple dye split and parts of the batt came out blue and others a red. These are not spun yet, they are combed out into “batts” and ready to spin.This is my drum carder and one way I comb out the wool to get it ready to spin. Look at the more red color… This is a roll-brim hat I’m knitting now with the natural colored handspun yarn.
To knit this simple hat I cast on 80 stitches on a circular needle and knit…. when it is almost the size (length) you need to fit (go ahead and try it on!) knit one stitch, knit two together for one round. Knit a couple extra rows. Cut a long length of the yarn and thread a darning needle with the cut end. Run the darning needle through all the live stitches while taking them off the needle. Pull tight and voila … a hat!
In the picture above I just did the knit one, knit two stitches together round. That reduces the width so that when I pull the yarn through the live stitches to cinch the hat closed it isn’t so bulky.
I live a thrifty lifestyle. I’m tight, not cheap and there’s a difference but that’s a story for another day. I play this shopping game with myself….. when I go to goodwill I try to make/find an entire outfit under $20.00. Naturally sometimes that super easy like a summer sundress with a light sweater and sandals, but winter items….it gets trickier with more layers! No matter what, if it weren’t for the fact that I know I have my sewing machine at home to take in, up or tailor fit the item better this would be so much harder.
Case in point: Today I had a little outing to goodwill.
I found these great Hudson black jeans and they are too long… Then I found this perfect little j jill shell top which needs a tad taken in at the sides.To go with the pants and top I found a great cashmere red sweater by Ann Taylor and a fun scarf by Vera Bradley which I cut and hemmed in half width-wise because it added too much bulk where I don’t need it. Yes, I think I like the white ruffly edges peeking out at the hem.Then… for a change-up I found a Pierre Cardin white simple plain knitted top and this Jones of New York coat. The coat is a 12 petite, which is too big for me. It is cut and made with princess lines so it will be a small tailoring job and I will have a nice wool blend coat.Turn the coat inside out and usually in the sleeve somewhere there is an opening seam. Rip the stitching and this opens th ehole where you can turn the coast inside out to do the alteration.My focus is the princess line seam running from the arms eye to the hem and the side seam. I will split the difference to take in between the two seams. I will have to rip a portion of the sleeve to get to the seams. I’ll have to match that amount removed on body of the coat on the sleeve seam also. I only want to take the top section of the coat in so I won’t have to bother anything from the waist down. Don’t cut away any of the fabric just clip and press flat. Sew the sleeve back on and do the same to the other side. Turn back inside out and sew up the opening.
To be honest to hem the pants, hem the scarf and take in the coat (all used black thread) was faster than writing this post!! What would I do without a sewing machine????
My total was $21.00 and some change. BUT>>> I got something that wasn’t part of the ensemble. My next project:Look at the label… I found this sweater and the yarn is fabulous….a perfecting hand knitting weight…..Look at all the cashmere yarn I’m going to have once I UN-Knit this. It’s perfect and smells like cedar… I’m just in heaven dreaming of all the wonderful hours I get to enjoy using this yarn!!!
It is an easy pattern and very forgiving of any mistakes because you felt the whole clog after you knit it and it ‘hides’ any boo-boos. The part that makes it hard is the blue paper with black lettering. I solved this by going to the library and enlarging and re-printing it.It’s still dark, but I can read this much easier and use a yellow sticky notes to follow the pattern. The pattern looks harder than it really is, and it knits up quickly. This is one slipper before it’s felted.
I also have something else I have changed. I knit all four bottom/ soles at the beginning. When it comes to knitting the upper part of the clog I put two soles together then and not at the end of the project. This is faster than picking up stitches and then casting off stitches, at least for me. I also think it’s subconscious but if the soles are finished first then the upper parts go together so fast that I think I finish the project faster on the whole.
I felted the slipper by using an old washboard and using hot water and soap I ‘washed the slippers soapy. Then rinsed them in cold water to really shock the fibers. I then wrung them out and threw them in the dryer for one cycle.
These are a great project for gift giving: they knit up fairly quickly, you can use up odd balls of wool yarn and make a very colorful pairs, and the finished slipper is thick and warm which hold up terrifically during the winter. There are directions for adding a leather sole, I’ve never made a pair with the leather soles, but I’m sure that would be a nice finish.
Give them a try….
I’m not really a fan of turnip greens, and maybe it’s because I haven’t figured out how to cook them. I love collard greens, not turnip greens….ew…. but a turnip though… yummy! I make them sort of like a mashed potato with butter and Parmesan cheese!!!
My herbs even take off during the fall!
I like all sorts of lettuces….Fall decorating is also fun.DH and I saved these metal framed chairs from going to the dump. They were white and rust… and he wired brushed them and then primed them this brownish color. I left it the the primer color for now and made these slip cover cushions in a fallish fabric along some decorative pillows… my favorite is the pumpkin made from a recycled and felted cashmere sweater.I usually stuff my outside pillows with plastic grocery bags so nothing on the insides mold…. We have high humidity year round… my poor hair!
This pumpkin pillow is a cashmere turtleneck sweater I bought at Goodwill. It had a few holes so I washed and felted it. I made a rough shape of a pumpkin and seamed the sides together cutting of the the sleeves. Then basically sewed the top together and hand stitched a roll of brown felt to make the stem. I had a piece of green felt that I randomly cut a leaf shape and stitched that on the stem.Then I stuffed the pillow/pumpkin and whip-stitched it closed. Super simple and I get so many comments on that pillow. I like to keep my fall decoration up through the Thanksgiving holiday. I do not start with Christmas until Decemeber! I like fall!
I haven’t forgotten my blog… I just have be thankfully very busy with my sewing work that I have had to let my blog take a back seat for a little bit. My sewing helps to pay our bills.
Frocket/pockets have taken off and boxes upon boxes have come through my sewing studio.
The fun stuff I’ve worked on, which I always make time for, have been in the line of re purpose and updating existing garments and spinning. In fact my DH and I went to SAFF near Hendersonville, NC last weekend. SAFF is Southeastern Animal and Fiber Festival. OH MY GOODNESS…. it was awesome! I was overwhelmed at the ….. I can’t find the large enough word to describe the event.
I am learning to spin on this great invention called the spinolyn. Usually a drop whorl or spindle I get all messed up and make a mess. With this neat invention you can sit and spin and have terrific results. This is Susan from Bella Luna Fibers… She sells her lovely soft Finn (type of sheep) fleece in all sorts of lovely colors . You can also see past her booth and see all the other vendors on two levels. Oh and did I mention this is one of 5 barns!!! My dear Husband was my pack mule for the day,carrying all my purchases. I could have stayed the weekend and next year I might. I didn’t take any of the workshops… but that is a must do in the future!
It was an animal festival and they sold my heart. Do you know that Mama Alpacas hum to their babies?? It was so sweet!I was forbidden to buy an animal! There was this sweet angora rabbit that even my Husband was taken with… but we said “no!” The rest of our weekend was in apple orchards and vineyards. North Carolina in the mountains is just wonderful!
- We have as many pictures of barns as we do of anything else. One of these days you will be reading about a barn raising!!
- Thank you for checking in on me, and I’ll post more often with projects. I’m mainly working on Christmas gift which I can’t post about now, but here’s a few sneak peaks….Happy Fall Ya’ll!
I made this pillow from leftover scraps from an alteration job I do for a restaurant. I cut out basically 7″ from the sleeves to shorten the arms length on Chef coat. This is what is left over, and I can never bring myself to throw these scrap out. I am always looking for ways to repurpose them. Here’s one way…..
I cut 5″ squares and then pieced them together to make a base fabric about 15″x 30″. I re-sized and reworked a purchased embroidery design and embroidered them randomly to cover the fabric with flowers. I wanted a 12″ pillow so I cut the top and back about 13″ square. I also wanted to trim it out but, nothing matched or was the right color…….. but I have yarn!!! I found a lovely Rowan Cotton tape in this lovely sea foam green. It was one lone ball waiting in my stash for it’s day to be used!! I knitted this trim as follows:
no real gauge here so anything goes. I used size 9 needles.
cast on 3
row 1 knit 2 wrap yarn 3 time around needle (3-yarn overs) knit last stitch.
row 2 purl 1 slip off three yarn overs purl remaining 2
repeat until the length you need.
I had gardening success and failures, and now am getting ready to replant for the second late summer season.I was given a rainbow and lots of eggs in rainbow shades.and seriously one too many snakes!I worked on some great projects which I will post about soon. I haven’t forgotten you, so I will be back with a few fun projects I squeezed in this summer!