Tuesday, November 23, 2010

That shirt

Well let's see, it's only been two months since I last blogged here. Good grief. But in the meantime, I ran an election (and lost) and learned a whole lot (and blogged over there). And I started novelizing the emails I wrote in 1995-6 when I was in London for a year (for NaNoWriMo). And yes, I finally finished that shirt:
I can't believe the rookie mistakes I made on it, which came from not being able to tell the right side from the wrong side of the fabric. Only I can tell where the errors are but I do know what I did. I used to sew the collar and cuff facings down by hand but for some years, I've been attaching the whole thing by machine. I describe the process here where I attach a collar to one of my husband's shirts. What I did with this shirt was attach the band to the right side (instead of the wrong side) and now I have to deal with the machine stitching being more visible (to me at least) that I would have liked. C'est la vie.

So, now I'm free to start a new project, and I don't know what yet. I was making this template shirt in anticipation of wearing the finished gold silk one to my charity gala, but as the date got closer, I knew I wasn't going to get it done, so I looked at some of my "old" fancy dress things to see what I might wear instead. I had made a "Chinese" dress quite a while ago (I don't think I blogged about it so it must have been before 2005) and used a new pattern to do it. When I tried the finished dress on, I was shocked that it didn't go over my butt and so I never wore it. I kept it because it looked so cute, in red faux Chinese embroidered satin, and because I had hopes that I would lose ten pounds or so. When the Oriental theme of the gala was announced, I hauled it out of the cupboard, dusted it off (literally) and tried it on, thinking I'll finally give it away to the Sally Ann. Imagine my surprise when it fit! My husband has been cooking vegan for the last few months and I have benefited by losing enough weight that the dress now fits. So that's what I wore!
I told people that I have lost ten pounds because of my husband's cooking but that never does come out right. He has lost over 25 pounds. It's cutting back calories of course, but also no saturated animal fat that makes a big difference. These two photos are a good contrast too, showing me tense in one and relaxed in the other. The camera does not love me, I know, but it is interesting how some pix are so much better than others. Plus you get to meet my hubby, although you can do that more at his blog which he kept nicely over the summer when he was biking to work and taking photos. Now that he is on the bus for the winter, he is not taking so many pix.
So there, I am mostly caught up to date. Oh yes, I had to take my sewing machine in again to be repaired, as it was breaking threads yet again. Most aggravating and disappointing, as I bought a Singer to have a better quality machine.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The perfect shirt, template

I pulled out sleeve pattern pieces, and front and back pieces from different patterns, and layered them to see how different they were from each other, and maybe try to figure out why some shirts wouldn't allow me to stretch my arms out in front of me.
I didn't find anything! The sleeves were practically identical in the shirts that didn't work, compared to the shirts that did work. Same with the fronts and backs. I went to the closet and tried on the shirts that don't work (why do I still have them hanging there, you ask? I ask that too.) The only thing I can think of is that all the shirts that work have a little Lycra in the fabric. And I think it is the width of the back that makes the difference, not the type of sleeve. In other words, my problem is that the back isn't wide enough, which means I am too big for the pattern. I can stand to lose 10 to 15 pounds and there it is - a whole pattern size. sigh.

I also looked at the sleeveless shirts I had made (and never worn) from the Vogue pattern 2634 and then I looked at the pattern and slapped myself up-side the head. It was a size 10, even smaller than the 12 with which I was having issues.
I decided to go with the McCall's 5630 "perfect fit" pattern and start to modify it. I pulled out the pattern pieces and discovered that I had already made this pattern!
Again, I used cotton with a little Lycra in it. I wasn't all that happy with how big the collar was but the shirt was a pretty good fit otherwise.
So what I did was cut the collar back at the points, so it would be a bit smaller. I've done this before with good results.
I had it in mind that I would use some plain cream coloured fabric I had, but in the process of looking for it (I have boxes and boxes of fabric), I found some nice striped cotton (no Lycra!). It is a little thicker than the silk but I think it will be okay for a template. My plan is to make the body straight, so it is more like a tunic than a shaped shirt. It won't be as long or as baggy as a tunic, but I want the stripes to be straight, all the way up and down.
When I cut out the front and back pieces, I cut as straight down the stripes in the fabric as I could, eliminating the curve in at the waist. I will still put in the bust darts but I won't put in the vertical front and back shaping darts. It will be interesting to see how boxy and bulky the shirt looks with no vertical shaping.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Perfect Shirt

I appreciate the comments on the gold silk. I really want to make some sort of shirt with it but not an entire "shirt dress". The comment about a tunic length got me to thinking about all the shirt patterns I have used of the years and those that I have bought but never used.
When I started making shirts (as opposed to blouses) for myself, I used one pattern exclusively. It wasn't a true shirt like a tailored man's shirt but it was good enough to make many (dare I say dozens) of shirts over the years. It's the McCall's 8053 on the right. It has a proper two piece collar and nice long shirt tails, for when we used to tuck our shirts into our skirt or pants. It doesn't have a separate band on the front, for both buttons and buttonholes. Instead, it does what many of the women's shirt patterns do and that is, fold over the front into a facing, which flares out at the top and has to be ironed down with each washing. It is also very wide and boxy and goes straight down, with no darts.

On the other side of the photo above is Simplicity 9210. This is what I've been using lately (and for some years) to make what I call the "camp shirt" (or I suppose you could call it a bowling shirt). It has a one piece, spread collar. I like the two piece collar because it looks more formal or dressy and can take a tie (I sometimes, used to - rarely - wear ties). The camp shirt also has the facings. It is square but it does have bust darts to give it a little shape. And the bottom is hemmed straight across with vents at the bottom for ease of movement.
The next pattern on the right is Simplicity 9877. I started making this very fitted shirt when I started leaving my shirt tails untucked. Despite the cowgirl motif in the main photo, I have used this pattern successfully for quite a few cotton/Lycra shirts and I wear them a LOT. It has a one piece collar that has the shape of a two piece. That means when undone, it sort of looks like a two piece but it doesn't do up (at the very top) square enough to wear a tie. It has separate bands on the front that are interfaced and topstitched and look more like a tailored man's shirt. It also, despite it being so fitted, allows my arms to move. (That sounds strange but I went through a couple of patterns which were sized correctly but for some reason, I couldn't stretch my arms out in front of me.) I have made a few of these shirts with vertical stripes and they work, even with the deep darts in front. But for the gold silk, I didn't want the stripes to be interrupted like that.

On the left is McCall's 5630 which I have never used. I bought it because it is billed as "perfect fit" and it has a two piece collar, front bands and a slight shirttail hem. But it has body darts and I am not convinced I want to use those for the gold silk (because of the stripes in the fabric but also, I think the finished look should be a little loose).
Next is Vogue 2634 which I had to have because those women just look so lanky and elegant. I can be elegant (given the right circumstances) but I'll never be lanky. It has a very long, tunic length option, a two piece collar but no front bands.
Finally, we have a pattern that is very 80s but which I love in spite of its shoulder pads, gathered sleeves and tucks. Of course, it is very Vogue and so the photos look so elegant. I only had one shirt made from it and it didn't have the shoulder pads and I never made the cool neck cummerbund and I really got it for the neck detail. Because I like to wear ties. Plus, it has a French cuff option and one of these days, I'm going to wear cufflinks too. [I just like the look of a tie and cufflinks and I can get away with it because I'm pretty small and fairly feminine (how's that for non-commitment and lack of superlatives?)].

What's next for me is to compare pattern pieces to determine why some patterns restrict my arms (I didn't include those patterns above because, in my opinion, they don't work). Then I want to combine the best parts of the patterns that do work, to make a shirt that will be "the perfect shirt". It will have a two piece collar, front bands, hopefully no darts (I'll allow bust darts if I have to) and be loose-ish but not boxy. For the gold silk, I would like a long body but a straight hem, so I can wear it out like a tunic but tuck it in if I want. I will make the first prototype of this perfect shirt using some piece of some fabric I have squirreled away over the years and if it works, the gold silk will be next. I've been mulling over this puzzle for ages. It's very much like the mulling I do when I try to come up with what will be for me, the perfect bicycle. But that's another story.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

New project with silk?

I came down from sewing to blog about sewing and was sitting here (at the computer at 7pm) when suddenly, I thought I was going blind, it got so dark. We have some dense red cells moving through the area and there have been funnel clouds west of here. I thought I'd better post this before I lose power.
I finally finished the red rayon camp shirt. It is such a pretty colour, I am glad I have a new one of these shirts to wear.
I made the buttonholes vertically for a change. It fits loosely so there won't be any straining at the buttonholes or fear of gaping.
Now I have ironed the other piece of silk I got in California a year ago. It is a sort of Dupioni, in that it is stiff-ish with slubs in it but it is fairly thin too. I had thought I would make a dress out of it but I think it is too thin. Then I thought I would make a camp shirt, as the pattern works so well and I could tuck it into a skirt to make it look less caasual. But then I measured it and found out it is 136 cm wide and 190 cm long - almost 2 yards! I can get the shirt out of it but then I will have quite a bit left over and don't know what to do with that. Any ideas? Shirt and something, or something other than a shirt? Or maybe a long sleeved shirt!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It turned out to be nothing

About 3 weeks ago, I felt a small lump in my right breast, right where the cancerous one had been removed 2 years ago. I got an appointment with my GP for July 13 and spent a nasty weekend prior to that, thinking dark thoughts. After she felt the lump, she referred me to the clinic at the Civic where I had my first ultrasound in July of 2008, when they found the cancer. I could only get an ultrasound appointment for this morning at 8 am.

Peter was planning to take holidays starting July 16 and he was going to bike around Lake Ontario or somewhere, while I campaigned. This lump put us both in limbo. He started his holidays anyway, so he could just hang out with me and be supportive, and we had a very quiet weekend, where we got in some nice biking and spent a lot of time on patios, thinking our own dark thoughts.

I have been thinking about the meaning of life. I have also been thinking about whether my body had betrayed me (again), what kind of surgery I would have this time and whether I would opt for chemo (again). I have been planning final trips and holidays in my head, thinking about cashing in my life insurance and RRSPs to do so, and other similarly grim thoughts.

This morning, we were up at 6 and out the door at 7, to bike over to the Civic. We got there in 35 minutes, so we were a tad early. My heart rate was up and I felt quite gloomy. When I was ushered in to the exam room, I asked if Peter could come with me, so I wouldn't have to tell him everything after it happened and so re-live a potentially negative experience. They said he couldn't come in with me. I shrugged. First a technician gave me the ultrasound and I watched the monitor while she ran the wand over me. I could see a dark lump on the screen but it looked different from the one 2 years ago. Then a very nice woman doctor (sweetly named Dr. Petal) came in and talked to me while she ran the wand over me. She pointed out the characteristics of this lump and told me that to her, it looked like it was a fat necrosis, or dead fat cells in a lump. In other words, scar tissue. It was still evolving, the scar tissue, because of the damage done by surgery and radiation and the fact that the fat lump wasn't getting any blood supply.

In fact, this is a key thing that distinguishes cancer from other tissue - it has a vigorous blood supply. And this lump had none. I let out my breath that I'd been holding for the last few weeks. She then asked the technician to go get Peter. They don't like other people in the room initially, because it is a small room and they can be distracting. But now that the work had been done, she allowed Peter in. He was relieved to hear what she had to say and she showed him what she was looking at on the monitor. She also said that she had looked at my file from 2 years ago, as well as the mammogram I had in November. She could see the lump on the mammogram (and she got out the film and showed it to me) and pointed out that it looked like scar tissue there also.

Nevertheless, to be entirely sure, I am going to have a needle biopsy, some time in the next 2 weeks. It will be one of those rare occasions when I willingly say to someone, "yes, please do stick a large needle into my chest and pull out tissue." However, I agree with her that it is probably just scar tissue and therefore, I can write this and get back to living. And running for office. And sewing. I've been a little distracted lately.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

This is what I sound lke!

My first time on the radio (ever!). Enjoy:

Part 1

Part 2

(If you prefer to copy and paste into your browser the links are:
And if you want to explore more listening options at CFRA, go here:
http://www.cfra.com/interviews/default.asp )

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Camp shirt

Steaming right along, it is a "feels like" temperature of 42C (109F) here right now. Thank my dog (even though she has been gone for five years now) that I have air conditioning! I didn't use it last week when all the ACs in the 'hood were grinding away but I am glad I have it today.

In campaign news, I will be on our local talk radio (CFRA 580 AM) this Thursday the 8th, between 3 and 4 pm EDT. You can listen to it here:
Or if you miss it, I will put up a link on my web site after, or you can go here to find the link yourself.

I dressed up to go downtown the other day, to attend an info session at city hall and on the way home, stopped at a local coffee shop to have a coffee with my husband. He has a blog too and he posted a couple of photos of me with my Britex silk shirt in action!
living room with no carpet
The weekend just past, I decided since it was supposed to not rain all weekend, I would finally get the two big area rugs out and wash them.
carpets on the lawn to be scrubbed
I do it the old fashioned way, on my hands and knees, using dishwashing soap and a brush. I now have rug burns on my knees but it was worth it. I hung them on the chain link fence to rinse them and then let them dry. It was an all day job.
Simplicity 9210
I am still resisting the purchase of new fabric and trying to use up my stash. I had a large length of this very soft, drapey rayon left over after I made a dress out of it (which is now too short to wear given my age and has gone into the Sally Ann pile) years ago and I determined that it would make a nice addition to my "camp shirt" collection. I have been using this Simplicity 9210 pattern for years, to make a loose, short sleeved shirt that I wear untucked (although I can tuck it in if I want). I call them "camp shirts" because I got the moniker from old LLBean catalogues.
camp shirts collection
These are four in my collection - I made the purple flowered one last. Yeesh! I see it was in 2007. I guess I didn't get much done in the last two years. But, we all know why. Never mind!
all my reddish thread
Since it is old, left over stash fabric, I refuse to buy new thread. I got out all my threads that were remotely reddish and I am going to use them up.
camp shirt details
Here is a close-up of the facings and loops that I sewed at the start and if you really look closely, you can see different colours of thread. I agree - who will notice!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

All new stuff!

I can't believe you guys keep coming back to check on this blog! You are amazing. And here is your reward!

First of all, let me say that I have been blogging (although not here) since about March, when I decided to run for city councillor here in Ottawa. My web site is at http://juliaringma.ca/
and the blog is at http://juliaringma.ca/?page_id=69

I need some more traffic over there! And if you live in College Ward in Ottawa, vote for me! Or tell anyone who lives there to vote for me.

Let's see... I also put up a whack of pix at Flickr, about my Florida trip. It's in two sets and often, the individual photos have captions and commentary that are sometimes amusing. They are at
and the second set is at

I've been reading and reading about urban planning and city stuff and politics but I also laid out that gorgeous piece of silk I bought at Britex on our California trip. Britex even has a Facebook site! I'll have to send them a photo for their site, where customers make stuff. Oh, speaking of Facebook, you can find me there too, at my political "fan site" at or just search for Julia Ringma. I have always said I'm the only one on the planet with that name combo and now that I have decided to become a public person by running for office, I guess I can tell everyone who I am! Not that I ever really hid it.
Okay! Back to the silk. There are different weights and textures of silk and this stuff is the kind that makes you think you could eat it, it is so scrumptious. I only had 1 and 5/8 yards so I determined I would make that little pullover top with no buttons and no seam down the back.
And a few hours later, here it is:
I picture it under a jacket, while I am sitting at council meetings. And yes, I need to iron the hand stitched hem!

So thanks again for hanging in there. For the blogs I follow that have infrequent posts, I have learned to love Google Reader, as it will tell me when there is finally a blog entry to read.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Florida pix

Just a tidbit for while I am away... if you are so inclined, you can check out my growing collection of holiday snaps at:
There are 90 there now but every now and then, I add a few more.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Just before I go

I have decided NOT to bring the new linen outfit I just made. Not because I haven't decided on the buttons (although, I am pretty sure I want to do covered buttons). But because I am leaving tomorrow and I want to take a minimum of fuss outfits with me and you can't say that linen is no-fuss. So I will go through my tried and true clothes, like the kind I took to California with me in August. Only I will bring more layers and long sleeves to Florida! If it gets hot, great. But even in California in August, on the coast I was wishing I had more things with sleeves.
I finished the robe and now it is packed. If I blog on this trip it will be to juliaringma.blogspot.com as that is the default I set my EeePC to just now. I'd better go finish packing! Thanks everyone for your comments!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PJs and robe

Almost there!
I finished the top first.
Here's how I finished the seams. The one on the left is "wrong sides together" and sewn in about a 1/4 inch seam. The one on the right has been trimmed down to about 1/8 of an inch.
After I iron the seam to one side, then I iron it "right sides together" and stick a few pins in to hold it in place, with the stitching running along the fold. Then I sew another 1/4 inch (or maybe 3/8) seam, with the right sides together, encasing the raw, trimmed edges.
I couldn't do a French finish on the crotch seam of the pants because it bends sharply. Here is a french seam (the lower one) compared with the seam that I sewed a double line of stitching on. I am pulling away the threads that fray madly. I will trim those but they will continue to fray whenever I wash the pants, until they reach a kind of stasis. C'est la vie.
Speaking of the pants, here they are before I have installed the elestic/drawstring combo through the waist casing. They look huge! And they look like those silly basketball shorts. Sorry if anyone reading this admires basketball shorts but I think they look silly.
Here I have completed the drawstring waist and tied the strings in a bow. They'll sort of look like culottes when I wear them, I am thinking.
See how madly the cut edges of this fabric fray, even when I've hardly handled them.
I haven't finished the robe yet but I thought I'd bundle all three pieces up to see how small they will pack. That was the point of this exercise after all - to make something that packs up pretty small. I am happy with the size of this bundle.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sewing the robe and PJs

So I cut out the robe and PJs and now I am doing the preliminary work - making bias binding, turning drawstring tubes. I have decided to finish all the seams by making French seams, except for the centre front and back of the PJ shorts. This fabric is quite ravelly and there are really fine threads that appear everywhere on cut edges. I wouldn't like the look of the insides of the garments if I zigzagged the raw edges to keep them from ravelling, so I am going for the encased French seam. I am also putting the shiny and smooth side inside, next to my skin. While it looks like the nicest side, since hardly anyone is going to see these things, I am choosing the feel-nice over the look-nice.

Interestingly, even the robe bands don't call for interfacing so there is zero interfacing in this outfit. I guess that will allow it to pack even smaller. Which addresses Heather's suggestion about what fabric to use - I am going with this thin stuff because it packs light. Your suggestion would definitely be warmer but I am hoping Florida won't be too cold in a week! Dog forbid we should have a hotel fire.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The linen outfit and then PJs and a robe

What a klutz! I accidentally deleted a set of photos at Flickr (I still don't know how I did that) and they all disappeared from my blog. So I had to edit the last entry and stick them all back in there.

I would like to thank all those who have already commented on my last entry - you guys are great! I can't believe you are still lurking after all those months. And I have to say, I felt guilty for not blogging.

Rose, it is interesting that you used the word "neighbour" because I AM going to be in Florida in about a week and a half! Since my parents are at the wheel (literally), I probably won't be dropping in, but I'll think of you as I drive past DeLand! I am hoping the parental units want to spend some time on an Atlantic beach but really, anywhere is great. I also bought the Lonely Planet guide to Florida and am already making notes in it. DeLand is on page 387. :) I think I want to get further south and am still voting for the Keys.
Back to the linen: So the jacket calls for a bow in the back and while I don't think it is twee (I do love the girls over at Go Fug Yourself), I also don't think I am going to put one on this jacket. Maybe if the fabric was plain and draped a little more.
I put the collar on opposite to the instructions, so that the hand sewing of the facing would be underneath the collar, as it lay on the jacket when worn. Look at those tiny stitches! I've still got it.
This is the jacket inside-out and if you click on the photo and make it as large as possible, you can see that I have flat felled the seams. I didn't do what I often do, which is the modified flat fell, because then you would see strips of the right side of the fabric. I thought the inside of the jacket would look better if it all looked like the wrong side of the fabric, instead of with little patterned strips running all over it.
I also decided against using seam binding of any kind on the hems. Instead, I folded over the raw edge of the hem and then folded up the hem and hand sewed it in place.
Again, you'll have to make this photo larger, but I topstitched around the neck and armholes on the dress, to keep the facings in place.
It's just a plain, sheath dress but that style works on me.
Here's the little jacket. You can't see all the fabric that is in the body of it but the hem is practically a half circle. Now I just have to decide on buttons. The pattern calls for four and I am okay with that but I am wondering if I should make covered buttons in this same fabric?
Next: PJs! And a robe. My last bathrobe was a long corduroy thing that I made to wear at university in -- wait for it -- 1975! Yeowsers. Since I will be travelling with my folks, I thought I should have at the ready, a robe, because you know there is going to be at least one time where I am going to have to wander around in the night. At home, I don't even bother with PJs, never mind a robe but this isn't home. What if there was a hotel fire or something? Anyway, I wanted fabric that was light weight and yet patterned so that you couldn't see through it. I got this polyester that folds up into a small bundle so I can keep the packing light. I am going to put the shiny, soft side in and the less attractive dull side out.
Here is my robe pattern - the very one I used in 1975! It cost $1.35. I'm thinking I won't even put pockets on it to make it as small as possible when folded up.
I used this PJ pattern a couple of years ago and made shorts and the B view top for a summer bike holiday. I am going to use just the pants (shorts) in the same "leopard" print as the robe.
And I am going to use my trusty, tried-and-true Vogue tank top pattern for the PJ top. It doesn't have facings - just bias strips around the neck and armholes. My goal here is to have something I can wear to bed at night that will cover me up and yet not be restrictive or too hot (I am hoping Florida will be warm!) and the matching robe in case it is a bit cool. All of which should pack up into as small a bundle as possible.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm back sewing linen

I would like to thank all my die-hard fans who keep checking this moribund blog and wishing me well in the comments. Not only am I not dead, I am doing great! But I have not been sewing since July and so I haven't blogged since then.
In July, I sewed up a cotton jacket and skirt outfit for my trip to California.
You can read all about the trip here if you like.
There is even a photo of me wearing that jacket (I paired it with a dark blue denim jean skirt that day) in this entry, meeting with a fellow dog blogger (not a sewing blogger, sorry!) that day.

Of course, I trailed off the end of that travel blog too, and have not written about our last three days in San Francisco, where I bought a couple of remnants at Britex Fabrics, a very cool store. I even became a fan of the store on Facebook, even though I may never get back to SF. But they have a fun "button du jour" on FB and as you may know, on FB, you can ignore whatever you like!
I was thinking I would make nice tops to go under jackets, with these silks. The gold on the left is a stiffer dupioni type silk and the print on the right is a soft, charmeuse silk.

In the meantime, I never finished that "gala dress" I was making. It just failed to inspire me in any way. But since I have my "rule" about not making a new thing until the current thing is finished, I stared at the unfinished bodice hanging on my dummy, week after week. I only went into my sewing room to iron shirts and darn socks. I tried my hand at writing some stories (I am still working on those). I decided I was not willing to go back and teach only 6 hours a week.

In November, one of my neighbours fell while running and broke both ankles, so I volunteered to walk her dog for her every night. Then another neighbour went in for a total knee replacement and I volunteered to walk her dog every morning. So I've been doing that. The one with the broken ankles has healed up nicely and she has taken over walking her dog again. The other has a younger dog and I am still walking him for exercise around the park. It gets me up in the morning, I get a little exercise and then Kathleen and I sit and have coffee and solve the world's problems.

Then, at Christmas, my parents announced that they were going to drive to Florida this year and stay for the month of February. They were going to just drive down and see where they would stay, once they got there. They are really good travellers but Dad is 81 this year and so I piped up, "What would you think if I went with you and shared the driving?" In fact, they seemed to brighten right up and said they thought that was a great idea. So I am going to Florida for a month!

When am I ever going to have this opportunity again? Maybe never, so I jumped at the chance. Some people might think I am a little crazy for wanting to spend an entire month with my folks but we get along great when they come to visit here and we are all pretty low maintenance. I told a girlfriend about it and she told me that she had gone to Spain some years ago, with her parents when they were in their 80s and she never regretted the memories that she made, especially now that they are gone.
So I decided I needed to make a travel dressing gown but first, I fished some linen out of my stash and I am making a dress and jacket. Not sure if I will take them to Florida, as linen wrinkles but I am halfway through them now, so there you go.
I am using Vogue 8146 for the first time. The jacket is similar to the other swing-back jacket I made out of linen here. It is also unlined. And the dress is virtually the same as a McCall's pattern (8017) that I used for years and years - just a shift with some darts.
I have this big hunk of very pale green linen and I had thought the print and it might go together but not really. They don't clash, but it's not a brilliant match.
Back here I also made a dark navy linen skirt and short, unlined jacket and I think I had in mind that all the pieces would mix and match. The embroidered linen is quite different in texture from the other three, lighter weight linens but I think I may be able to to some switching of skirts.
There is something about that swing, pleated back that I really like!
I decided to sew quite quickly, in spite of it being a new pattern. I am finishing some edges with a simple zigzag fold.
But I should have used pinking shears on the long edges of the dress. I am not going to flat fell those seams (so I can let them out or more hopefully, take them in, if my weight changes) so I have had to zigzag all down the edges to prevent raveling. I also decided not to line the dress, as it sort of defeats the purpose of linen being cool. I will probably wear a short half slip if I feel there is any possibility of seeing through the fabric.

So there! I am sort of caught up to date with you, my readers. I am sorry I haven't blogged in SO long and there'll be another dearth of blogging while I am away in February. And in case you are wondering, yes, my long--suffering husband has to stay home and earn a living. But I will email him and Skype when I get internet access so the time will pass pretty quickly I think. All the best to you-all!