Monday, November 19, 2012

99 Welts

When I started this blog, I thought of a bunch of cool names for it. But they were all taken. So I thought up a lame name instead. Then I remembered something from my childhood. 99 Welts. Wouldn't that be a great name for a blog?
To explain: my dear Aunt Kate (actually my Great Aunt) lived in a garage apartment that you had to access from the alley. The next street over was Welts Street and the neighbors across the alley lived at number 99. Whenever we'd go to Aunt Kate's we'd see the neighbors garbage cans in the alley which had their address, 99 Welts, badly spray painted on. I remember always thinking how that address seemed so enigmatic.
To explain further: I have been working on my Tribal fabric coat. Last night I made 2 sample double welt pockets out of scrap fabric and this morning I made two more for real. Unlike the last time I tried, I can get my hands inside!! While I am quite comfortable making the welts, I really have to think hard about how to attach the lining and the pocket bags. Of course Burda's directions didn't exactly clarify the process. Its one of those things I would like to have the confidence to do without thinking twice about. Maybe it will take 99 Welts!
Four down, 95 to go!

Welt #4
The pattern

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Tribe

My grandmother, Emma, raised me. She was born in the Old Country, Russia, but was really German. We are what's known as Volgadeutche. Catherine the Great offered us free land, autonomy and freedom from serving in the army in Czarist Russia. So we left Germany around 1760 for the lower Volga region of Russia. We were a nice little colony of farmers there. I wish I could travel back there. Eventually, Russia became a not so nice place for us Germans so we came here to the U.S. in 1913. What was left of the colonies was completely wiped out by a pogrom in Stalins' time. Being apart from the rest of Germany for so long, our German language was quite different from other Germans. Here in the U.S. other German-Americans didn't think of us as true Germans and, of course, we aren't Russians either.
Then, when I saw this fabric I was drawn to it like sauer to kraut!! Could it be the long lost indigenous tribal print of my people? I'm going to say yes!!   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three spools of thread later...

I finished sewing the last two inches of Simplicity 2560 last night.

I used a decorative stitch to do the topstitching. I like how it turned out, but, boy, did it eat up the thread!! I believe this may actually be the first time I have used one of the fancy stitches on my machine.

I've used this fabric quite a few times and really like it. It's Sophia double knit from I did not see it on their site the last time I ordered from them, but I did see it at Vogue in Chicago a couple of months ago. It's what I make the skirts from that I wear all the time. 

The pattern was right out of the envelope and although I originally intended to make it with sleeves I didn't have enough fabric. I'm wearing it over Kwiksew 3658.

The fancy stitching

The back. The gathering extends to the side.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I learned at the Mall

Clothes are really expensive there. I have saved myself a bundle.
I really didn't see anything that special. Maybe that was because I was crabby and had a headache.
Big low dolman sleeves don't look good on me. I already knew that, though.
There are two kind of boots. Ugly mannish boots and Hooker boots.

The one inspiration I did come away with was this: Tribal Prints.

This image is from an article and slide show called The Strange History of the Indian Trade Blanket that ran on in July, 2011.  I have not stopped thinking about it since I first saw it. I have the perfect fabric for it. It will be my next project!!

In the meantime, I ran out of thread to finish my current project yesterday. So off to JoAnn's. I got up this morning to finish it and guess what? I had two inches to go and I ran out again!!
My husband observed that when he's working on a project around the house and has to go back to Home Depot, its like going to hell for him, but when I run out of something and have to go back to JoAnn's it like going to heaven for me! I suppose it is mostly true, huh?

Monday, November 5, 2012


I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and my clothes do too. I do not like this time of year. The cold and the darkness. The long sleeves and the stockings. Every year, switching my summer and winter clothes makes me sad. So, today I am going to go shopping. At an actual retail store. I'm not really planning on buying much, but more looking for inspiration.
Things are looking up a little, I did get a couple of cute sweaters at the thrift store this weekend.  And I have been doing some sewing, mostly in the utility vein. I made two tops from one of my TNT patterns, Kwiksew 3658. This print ITY came from Field's in Grand Rapids. The other one is a solid dark brown jersey.

I also made two more skirts from Butterick 5539. One is some funky double knit from the 70s I got from the free table at one of my sewing groups. I really don't see getting a whole lot of wear from this one!!

The other one is this really interesting knit fabric I've had in my stash quite a while. It looks almost like a short pile fur. I really like this one!

I made another pair of pants from Butterick 5539, too.

I do have a new pattern I'm working on that should get me out of my current malaise!