It's time for this snowbird to migrate back to the northern nest. It hardly seems like that should be true, but we have been here for 5 months and it is getting dang hot and spring is springing back in Michigan, so off we fly! Both of us have had our vaccines so traveling this time doesn't feel quite as scary.
I feel like I have accomplished quite a bit this season (what snowbirds call "winter" wherever they land.). When I arrived in November with my sewing machines and a nervous cat I wasn't sure I would actually get much sewing done at all. But with the help of the USPS, FedEx and Amazon, I managed to get myself set up quite nicely in my lofty sewing space and completed several fun projects.
I wanted to finish up a couple of things before shutting down the Southern Most sewing space. A knitting project that I started when we first arrived back in November and a 'house dress' made from a cotton beach towel that I found at the local farmers' market. Kind of on two ends of the spectrum...a fuzzy warm sweater and a loose 'touch as little as possible' dress! Both ended up being practically zero waste projects as well.
The idea of 'zero waste' has been interesting to me since I am in a brand new space. I'm not sure I want to fill it up with boxes of small scrappy bits. Being more conscious about what I am really using and what I am just stashing away is easier with a clean slate in front of me. My penchant for having 'almost enough' fabric is actually serving me well in my quest for zero waste. It does require a bit more head scratching and engineering somersaults, but that's fun too. But I digress....
If I had kept all of the stitches that I knitted on this sweater I would have about three sweaters! I kept starting and unknitting and trying again and unknitting, I just couldn't figure out the gauge or the style. To look at the finished product you wouldn't think it would have been such a trial. I think I just got worn out and needed to get it off the needles before the yarn was worn out too. I do like it at the end of the day, but it was a wandering road to the finish line! I can't even imagine putting it on right now, it is close to 90 degrees!!! But when I started it in November it seemed like just the right thing for January evenings, so next season I think it will get some wear. (I think I will be ready to see it again by then, too)
I'm on the third month of my white shirt challenge and it's April and it's getting pretty warm in Key West. It's definitely T-shirt weather!
This white shirt starts with two T-shirts. I found some really light and really soft T's at the Gap store. I got a white one and an ivory one in the largest size they had so I would have maximum jersey real estate to work with. My plan was to do a 'slow' sew' project ala Natalie Chanin. I love her embroidered garments with the all over designs, I just don't have the stamina for them and it was already mid April, I certainly wasn't going to get anything terribly elaborate finished in two weeks!
I carefully took apart the shirts thinking I might want to use the ribbings. I cut two fronts and two backs out of the white and one front and one back out of the ivory.
For one side of the shirt I layered the two colors and stitched my design through them and then cut away the interior of the shapes. On the other side I appliqued the design onto a single layer. I wasn't sure how well the concept was going to work because the two fabrics were really close in shade. Once I got it together I think the idea became apparent.
Because I was using circles, I was particularly careful about the placement of the design, especially on the fronts.😏 I cut out a bunch of paper circles and scattered them around to make sure I liked it before I started stitching.
I finally succumbed! I have been trying desperately to hold onto some semblance of publicly acceptable clothing, maybe thinking that I might suddenly need to go somewhere!? 😆 But when I saw the latest pattern introduction from Closet Core I dove straight into the "loungewear" pool. Who was I kidding anyway! I have been wearing the same yoga pants and tank top everyday and frankly, could use some newer, nicer versions. So when I saw they were available, AND in a sale bundle, I ordered them up! I had also ordered a few yards of a really nice light weight fleece from Emma One Sock a few weeks ago with nothing planned for it, and thought it would be perfect for the hoodie and joggers. (Joggers is the new name for what I wore in high school and called "sweatpants," much cuter name and allows an old lady to feel cool and with it! or 'dope'?!)
It's Easter and I made an egg basket! Well, I made an egg basket and then Easter happened. The two events only coincided accidentally.
Here's the deal...my son and his girlfriend have a flock. Of chickens! And they lay lots of eggs that need to be collected. (the chickens, not my son and his GF.) "Girlfriend's" birthday is at the end of March. I always struggle with what to do for GF's. I love them, but they are not easy to gift. I worry about being too personal, or not personal enough, or too old fashion...anyway, this year I think I nailed it!
The flock is an important aspect of their lives and I thought something to help with them would be enjoyed and useful. I have seen wire egg baskets and thought I could come up with a fabric version that would do. I did get side track by considering an egg gathering apron. I saw a little girl with an apron with a bunch of pockets across the front and that seemed like a good solution until I realized that you have to transfer the eggs out of the pockets before taking off the apron. That means you actually have to 'collect' the eggs twice! Not very efficient. So back to the basket...
I figured the pockets were a good idea to keep the eggs from bumping into each other, but what size? I got out some dish towels and eggs and started to engineer my basket... don't they look cozy?
When I decided to challenge myself at the end of February to make a white shirt once a month I thought four weeks between shirts would be plenty....Wow....I can't believe how quickly the four weeks slipped by. I'm going to have to pay attention and not waste any of my weeks. It's easy to say, "I'll do it next week." But when you only have four, you can't push it off too many times!
I did have to wait for my white fabrics to arrive, so I couldn't get too much of a jump on March. I ordered several versions of white fabric from "Gorgeous Fabrics." I had a hard time choosing, there were lots of lovely pieces, but in the end I restrained myself a bit and picked out four to get me started. The fabric came right away, it was lovingly packed in tissue and plastic to keep it white, and Ann from the store sent me a very nice thank you email which I thought was extra special. I felt a bit bad about unwrapping them and shoving them unceremoniously into the washing machine.
Here's what I got...
The bottom right hand corner is an ivory rayon twill. It has lots of body and I already have an idea for how I want to use it.
Next to that is a soft cotton batiste. It is very fine and sheer, almost a voile. It is more lofty than the rayon and has a matte finish.
Next, a silk organza. I really wasn't thinking about using it for the challenge, but I needed a new press cloth so I ordered it up to help get to the 'free shipping' level! It might find its way into one of the shirts, we'll see.
The luscious stuff next to the organza is a silk georgette heavily embellished with tropical leaf embroidery. I was afraid it might be stiff, but it is wonderfully soft and drapy...I'm going to have to think hard about what to do with this one. Maybe just look at it!
And finally a great handkerchief linen. It washed up beautifully, as did the batiste and the rayon, and has that telltale crumple that screams "I'm linen."