Too cold to sew

Winter is a season of sewing senescence at my place because my house is largely unheated and my sewing room is Siberian. I can’t face sitting at the machine in there, not to mention shedding my many layers to fit garments-in-progress.

But I do go in there and potter about, stroke the pretty things in the stash and whittle away at the junk. I found this ad in an old Sewcraft magazine last night and it tickled my fancy because I have a bunch of old Lightning zippers in their original packaging. A zip that is unfazed by strap-hanging! That’s my kind of fastener.

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I pulled some ugly things out of the stash, too. I read a very sensible sewing blogger’s declaration that she never, ever sews with fabric she doesn’t love because otherwise when things go awry, she won’t bother rectifying the project. Wise words and I’m sorry I can’t properly attribute them because I forgot who wrote them. I’ll add this to it, too – sometimes leaving things you love in the stash for too long means your tastes change and you don’t like them anymore. To wit: this quilting cotton with reels of thread. It still sorta amuses me but I can’t imagine wearing it, yet several years ago I thought it was hilarious and I had all kinds of stunt frock plans. Now I think it’s best that I eBay it. Maybe that’s what winter is for – raking and pruning and composting while everything’s dormant.

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Buuuuuut, I have actually been sewing a little bit – things that don’t need trying on, such as quilts to diminish the scraps pile. Here’s the latest in the series of quilts for babies. I’ll be delivering it to its new owner (and she’s very new, just 2 days old) as soon as her mother is up for visitors.

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Pinstriped pinny

I don’t know why the Americans call this garment a ‘jumper’. It sounds so juvenile. Besides, jumpers are woolly things you wear on top to stay warm. The Americans call those ‘sweaters’. Are they especially sweaty people? I didn’t think so. Perhaps they are just proud of the human propensity to perspire. After all, dogs can’t do it. Dogs pant to stay cool. Yet, they don’t wear ‘panties’. Which is another American word I loathe.

If you made it through all the non sequiturs, you may be interested to know that my warm and sassy pinny is is made from a stretch pinstripe wool remnant and the same mail-order pattern as the bolero. And it really could have done with a bit of an iron.

Grey bolero

I cut out this bolero within about a half-hour of this pattern arriving:

Couple of changes… narrowed the shoulders a little, changed button arrangement (look, I was going to write I that I changed it from single-breasted to double-breasted, but that implied drastic surgery to my personage, which just didn’t happen) and had to hem with bias tape to keep it decent because this sucker is short. The top picture on Headless Esme implies it reaches to waist level, but Esme is a stumpy lass. On me, it’s decidedly empire line and only just covers what it was employed to cover:

I’m liking the concept, though, and have a bunch of other wooly remnants to hack up for other (longer) versions. And I won’t be so lazy… next one I’ll line properly and adjust the darts better. I just wanted to get it done, y’know? I did, however, take the time to shrink out the sleeve cap ease and at the elbow and lordy was that a revelation. Wool is the niftiest stuff. Except for its susceptilbilty to moths.