8.28.2018

Week Four: A T for All!

WOW!  What a whirlwind August has been!  Not only trying to keep up with the flurry of T-shirt projects, but life took off on a bit of a tear as well!

Since the beginning of the month  I have enjoyed an "Outstanding in the Field" dinner at a fruit farm in southwest Michigan...(you can read more about this amazing event HERE.)


...Traveled to Eastern Washington State to join my nephew's wedding celebration, which took place in the small community of Mazama, that was surrounded by wildfires!  Everything was enveloped in an eerie cloud of smoke and ash.  Quite dramatic...


...Spent a short day and a half in Seattle, which was also experiencing smokey air, so we opted for the Pike Place Market and the Chihuly Gardens rather than the Space needle...

    

...went to Chicago to pick up my sister-in--law who is visiting from Italy and took in a performance of Hamilton...


...AND...contracted pneumonia, just in case I wasn't convinced that I needed to slow it down a bit!!!!



Fortunately, because I knew I had a packed up schedule at the end of the month, I worked on my final T-shirt project before the pneumonia part of the program kicked in. (and kicked my butt!)  So I do have some things to share for our final week of the woven T challenge.

A few observations about the Woven T project before I share my final week's work... Each week I have had literally dozens of ideas rolling around in my head and scribbled on scraps of paper.  I had trouble narrowing down to just one or two.  It was great!!!!  I had been in the "idea doldrums" for most of the summer so having the challenge has been a true jump start.  A boost in creative energy is always a good thing, I'm sure it will carry me right into fall sewing projects.

Rhonda's gift box of fabric was such a treat and catalyst.  It also elicited a reaction that was a total and wonderful surprise.  Each of the gifted fabrics held emotions and memories and price tags and possible projects....but not for me!  They came to me totally unencumbered!  When I pull a fabric from my own stash it comes with all the years of baggage that it has been collecting while waiting patiently for me to decide.  Often these attachments make it difficult to actually use a piece of fabric.  "It was sooo expensive...it was going to be for a wedding in 2002...my grandma gave it to me...and on, and on...."  But, the fabrics that came to me from Rhonda had no little voices whispering to me, they came as pure potential.  I could cut and stitch with abandon!  It was incredibly freeing and fun!  It made me realize how many pieces I have that could get passed along and be freed of their emotional chains and become a catalyst for someone else.  Hmmmmmm...

Thank you Rhonda for all the amazing fabrics, the reintroduction to raglan sleeves and your generous spirit.  It has been such a fun month and seeing your creations continues to inspire new possibilities.


So, on to week four, with abandon!...a "T-for-all!"  We decided we would each do whatever took our fancy for our last week.  😳  Cue the dozens of ideas!

One of the ideas that was inspired by the raglan sleeve pattern was to 'outline' all the seams.


I love using my bias binding foot because it makes a small (3/8") tidy bound edge that can actually be used for seaming.  I also had a tea towel with black and white bikes on it that had been a contender for week 1.  I toyed with adding other colors, but in the end stuck with a black and white theme. 

   

To use the binding foot, I cut 1" bias strips of black cotton that were fed through the bias binding foot along with the "edge" getting the binding.  I put the wrong-sides of the pattern pieces together and bound them together so the black binding was on the outside of my garment.  The foot folds and stitches the binding all at one time.  It's pretty slick!

   

The tricky part is figuring out which seams to do first so that all the joins get covered in binding.

  


I extended the pattern to make a T-shirt dress (since I have 3 new shirts already this month!) and added some pockets.



It's cute, it fits...and, maybe it's because I'm recovering from pneumonia, but it feels a lot like a hospital gown!  We'll see....I think it was better in my head than on the dress form.



Number two idea was way more successful in my book!  Again, the starting point was a tea towel.  A gorgeous tea towel that Rhonda had made from one of her paintings.   It was included in my fun gift box.  I apologize for the miserable color in the pictures, it was difficult to photograph, just imagine the palest of greens and vibrant purples!

I realized that I have been lusting after a Susan Eastman style T all summer and hadn't actually made one for myself.  Rhonda's painting, Susan's style...




The towel needed to be extended and the fabric had quite a bit of body, so I decided to slice it up and add linen strips to soften the hand and create the extra yardage needed for a shirt.  The purple fabric is actually over-dyed kimono fabric (echo week 2), the hand dyed colors are just perfect with the painting on the towel.

I was worried about just chopping into the towel so I made a photo copy and cut that up to try out my idea before whacking into Rhonda's lovely towel.




   

The striped result makes me think of seeing a flower garden through a picket fence.

And finally, when my sister-in-law saw the blue cotton lawn print that was also part of the infamous gift box, she loved it!  She had asked if I would be able to make her a dress like one she has that is getting a bit worn.  She continues wearing it because it is made of very light weight cotton and is perfect for sweltering late summer days.  The blue print was just the type of fabric she had been looking for...so we whipped it up!  It will definitely be comfortable when the temperatures hit 90 this week!


I used the Chelsea Raglan pattern again with selvedge edges on the sleeves and a facing at the neckline topstitched to the outside.  It's so light and easy, I may need to have one for myself.















My final 'tea recipe' is one that I learned from a friend who practices and teaches ayruvedic yoga methodologies.  Whenever things get a little too crazy this simple warm drink soothes and calms me inside and out.  This week as I have been struggling to regain my strength and rebalance after my mega-dose of antibiotics, it has been the perfect remedy.


Juice a lemon or a lime, it ends up being about 1/4 cup of juice.  Add the juice to about 2 cups of hot water along with several slices of fresh ginger.  Let it cool slightly before adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey, finally add a very small pinch of coconut oil.  Namaste! 🙏



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