Sunday, October 22, 2023



Jennifer — a floral lace cowl in 4 sizes, plus formula for customizing your own size, by designer Vicky Chan.

Made in size long, with a minor adaptation of initial chain. Yarn is Handmaiden Casbah in Masala color way.

I ran across this single skein of yarn while looking for something else. Thought it was too attractive to spend another moment in a cedar chest, and Boom — a pretty little accessory cowl!  Note to self: you really should look through the yarn stash more often.

Monday, October 16, 2023



It’s always a little nerve racking when you bring a new machine into the fold. You get so used to the ‘old way’ you’ve been doing things that anything slightly different can really be a challenge. 

I really wanted to upgrade my cover stitch capabilities though, and decided to get a newer machine. And then I thought some more. I really want a better cover stitch experience, but do I really want to keep it a stand alone machine? My sewing room is at maximum capacity as far as machines go — could I get rid of one and still have what I need in one combo machine? Would stitch quality be good in both serging and cover stitch operations? Would converting between operations be easy, or would frustration ensue?

It’s early days yet, so I don’t feel qualified to give any sort of in-depth review, but so far I’m quite pleased with the decision I made to get a Bernina L890 machine. I’ve used it for seam finishing garments sewn with a regular sewing machine, constructing a garment entirely with the serger/combo, and converting from serging to cover stitching for neckbands. Not a lot, and nowhere near all it claims to do, but that is a large part of what I want it to do (and do well!)

The on-board instructions/videos are good, and in instances where I’ve needed clearer (I.e. bigger) visuals I’ve been able to find YouTube videos to be a great help. It’s been a real pleasure to use so far, and as I become more familiar with it I hope things will only get better. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023


 This lacy topper was mostly finished last season, but it was put aside with final touches still needed as the weather cooled. 

Its appearance this season seemed to be an instant FO, as I spent a few minutes running in the loose ends. It felt like cheating!

The pattern is Kiana by Vicky Chan. The yarn is Euroflax Sport from LoftyFiber - 100% linen, 247m/270 yd per 100g skein, color - Teal.

The pattern is well-written and has both written instructions and also (my preference) charts. It's not a complicated pattern, but if, like me, you are more comfortable with knitting instructions rather than crochet the charts are very helpful. My only adaptations were to leave off the neckline trim (I didn't want it to hit too high on me) and to add a bit to the sleeve opening to make  it longer.

This was a new-to-me designer, and I'm glad I tried my hand at this pattern. The instructions are very good, and her designs are classic and attractive.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

And just like that...

 ...summer sewing is done. Summer heat remains though, so hopefully there will be more wearings for many items. 

I ended up doing a good bit of sewing for our family get-together beach vacation, which sadly didn't happen for DH and me due to illness. Thankfully not Covid, but a rather nasty viral infection that would not let go of us -- better now, but still with a nagging cough.  So perhaps the 2 (!) caftans I made for swanning around the pool and long walks along the water's edge won't be worn this year, but so it goes. I have been wearing the Sinclair Patterns Cleo shorts/culottes and various new tees though.

Here's one of the caftans - Closet Core Charlie, with a couple of mods. I ended up going my own way with the waist inset - and I added a little "strap" across the vee neckline to add a bit of modesty to the plunge.

Most of the reviews I've read about this pattern mention the difficulties sewers have had with the inset piece at the waist. I fully intended to make the pattern as directed, but decided why give myself extra aggravation for a holiday sew that won't be worn much. So, I totally separated the bodice from the skirt in the front - making it simpler to lengthen the bodice for added benefit, and appliqued the rectangular waist piece and ties over the resulting seam. Easy and simple, just like I prefer!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Last, then First

There are still chilly days ahead, but I think it's time to put away the wools and start thinking linen.

I've been trying to find a 100% wool boiled wool fabric comparable to that used by Eileen Fisher in various top styles. The exact fabric may well be exclusive to the company, but I would love to find something similar. So, I've been 'auditioning' some when I find it for sale online. I saw some on a German site a while back - for a really good price of 16 Euros per metre - and took a chance. The fabric I received was much too heavy for an indoor top, but it was perfect for a lighter weight jacket. I'll probably wear it mostly in autumn and early winter, but it also suits the chilly days we are having right now. The pattern is one I've made before - Butterick 6368 - and I find it works well for our climate. I added a toggle closure and pockets, but otherwise made it according to pattern. 

It's a good, neutral grey that will work well for me, and I think it's going to be a very useful addition to the wardrobe.

Looking ahead to warmer weather, I dug out a Love Notions pattern - Rhapsody - that I had made last season. I wasn't pleased with the sleeves I chose, but otherwise liked the top. 

I used a shirt-weight 100% linen from Fabric Mart and this time chose the bishop style sleeve. I also put a seam up the front instead of cutting on the fold because I wanted a vertical line there. Not too visible in the photo, but I added some decorative stitching up the front, around the neck, and around the sleeve ends. It should be a comfortable, breezy top for warmer weather.  Now, if I could just stop fretting over wrinkles!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Second Verse - Same as the First?

Here we are - well into January of the new year, and yet, it feels much like the year past. Ugh. Well, we'll just have to work towards better.

My sewing mojo is rather low these days. A combination of having enough for the current season, and not being inspired to think ahead to Spring I suspect. I do have two small completions though.

Yes, another beret . I do like the style, and I had this idea floating around in my head for a while. I had purchased some wool knit (many moons ago) but didn't get around to sewing it up before some nasty critters  made a few tiny holes in the fabric. I was determined not to lose all of the fabric, so I subjected it to some serious felting action and ended up with yardage that would be suitable for a hat. And then I put it aside. Many more moons passed, and I found it when doing some fabric reorganization and thought it had waited long enough. While a navy felted wool beret is a nice thing all on its own, I decided to give it a bit of glitz and sewed a scattering of tiny faux pearls to the outer shell. It's lined in self fabric to add a little more body and the hem is faced with some lovely silk satin ribbon from Etsy seller SewVintagely.

And lastly, a mini-project - a fat quarter's worth of lavender sachets sewn up to give with some gift alpaca scarves and to toss into my yarn containers. The fabric is a "Dick and Jane" print that  I bought for some unknown reason - nostalgia for the reading primers of my youth? Who knows? It was there in stash and handy for the project. 


Thursday, December 15, 2022

And to all a Good Night


It's that madcap month of December when everyone seems to be celebrating something -- but I'm taking it easy this year and it's refreshing and delightful. No obligations, no pressure (no stores!) just spending time with family when schedules mesh, oh, and baking cookies -- I haven't gone total Grinch! 

At any rate, I wish you all peace and contentment -- whether you celebrate anything, everything, or nothing.