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!


Rose said...

I am sooo glad to hear from you and assume that you are well. Sometimes, there are projects that just don't inspire like the "gala dress". Maybe, one day it will. I really like your cotton jacket and look forward to seeing the V8146 jacket and dress. You are a good neighbor!

Gregory said...

www.sew-op.net people there know how to sew linen

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

It is so nice to see you back blogging and making such great pieces.

It sounds like a wonderful trip with your parents.Spending time like this will be memorable :)

Marty said...

I thought of you the other day, so I left a comment on your last post. I'm so glad you're doing well. Have a blast in Florida. A former pastor always says, "As long as you can fog a mirror, do it." He was talking about serving God, but you can apply it to any adventure.

Bethany said...

Hi Julia! I'm glad you're back and doing well. I've missed your blogging.

Anne LO said...

Good to hear!

DawnRose said...

OMG, I check so often and you're back! I am glad:)

Chicago Sarah said...

I think the trip sounds awesome. And instead of a dress, you are making a traveling suit...how totally awesome are you!?
ps good to see you back sewing :)

gwensews said...

I'm glad to know you are well and happy. Enjoy spending time with your parents. You will always have wonderful times to remember.

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

Ditto, on all of the above! I love the swing jacket also, very good choice for the fabric. Do have fun with your mom and dad, yes you will never regret or forget this trip, once in a lifetime and we know how important a lifetime can be... take good care, good to see you back, I look forward to keeping up with your sewing adventures once again!

Anonymous said...

I just love your blog and that you sew. It gives me some ideas, thank you. Keep doing what you are doing and have a great weekend.