Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back in the Land of the Living

I may finally be seeing that nasty virus in the rear-view mirror. I don't want to be cocky about it though, as it has toyed with me before, letting me think that I may have escaped its clutches only to grasp me even tighter for the next go round. But here's hoping. I have enriched the coffers of  Kleenex and Fisherman's Friend far beyond what should be expected of the average bear.

Here's the big news: the red tuxedo is finished! And delivered! I inexplicably went through several hours of worry even after I had delivered the suit, but that feeling dissipated and I started to feel lighter and freer than I had in weeks.
As it turned out, the suit was almost impossible to photograph, so powerful was its redness.
But here's a score! I found a wooden ironing board at the local Free Store. It was made in Burnaby, BC, by the Western Crown Manufacturing Company, which is no longer in existence. In fact I couldn't find any record of it ever existing, at least in a Google search. It is perversely nice to know that there are still a few things in the universe that can't be found by Google. I am somewhat curious about Western Crown though, since they seem to have made such lovely woodenwares as clothes dryers, ladders, brooms, wheelbarrows and washboards, all of locally harvested lumber, I assume.
The ironing board is a little low for me to comfortably use, but I think it could make a great display shelf or side table for my new sewing room. I might make a nice padded cover for it out of some vintage fabric.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"This Sucks!"

The Cold That Will Not End has reduced my vocabulary to that of an eleven-year-old. Rather than go on about how BORED I am lying around doing nothing, I thought I should do a blog posting in the brief gap between coughing fits.

While the amount of phlegm I have been producing makes me wonder if there is any room for a brain in my stuffed-up cranium, I have been thinking the odd thought. Like how everyone I tell about this awful cold seems to know someone who has had it, "and then it turned into pneumonia". I am not being afflicted by a unique situation. If this bug is so prevalent, and nasty, why isn't there some kind of alert in the media? Perhaps face masks should be issued?

And there must be some kind of economic impact. As I enter the thirty-fourth day of coughing up a lung, I wonder what a person who had an actual job would do. I mean, I can barely sit up for half an hour. Who can afford to take that much time off work? Surely this has affected the GNP. I would alert a CBC reporter, if they had any.
All this time spent lying around in bed has given me an opportunity to contemplate the ceiling, the wallpaper, my hands... Hmmn, my hands, my favourite body part, those digital miracles that can perform the most amazing tasks. Fairly unassuming looking, given their talents. But what's with the first knuckle of my right pinkie? It's twice the size of the one on the left hand. And when I do things, like knit, or stitch, or even write, it hurts. 

It can't be the first sign of the dread arthritis. Can it? All my other fingers are fine. How much work does a pinkie do anyway? This must be some sort of anomaly. See how it bends funny? Unlike the one on the left that is straight?

Maybe this knuckle thing has occurred to other fibre people. I would love to know if you have any tips for keeping the hands limber and fit.
There is some news on the sewing front. The red tuxedo had its first fitting on Sunday. I discovered that the lad was about 6 inches taller than when I last saw him. Luckily I had added length to the pants and sleeves. Everything else fit surprisingly well, considering I wasn't able to confirm his measurements before cutting. It won't take long to tweak things here and there and insert the lining - the due date is Saturday. My big concern is that he seemed to expect the suit to fit like his everyday t-shirts and baggy jeans, but I'm sure that between his mother and his date that will get sorted out. He'll look so snazzy even Daniel Craig will get put on notice.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

World Oceans Day

Last week, I took a series of photos of the amazing rock formations of the beach around Timson Point on Gabriola Island. I planned to show a whole slew of them in honour of World Oceans Day, but I have been slowed down by The Chest Cold That Will Not Go Away. Almost four weeks now and it's worse than ever.

I still plan to show you the photos. We need to care about the health of our oceans every day, not just today.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Found Object

I found this little nest on the driveway. The centre part is lined with the softest bits of hair and fluff. I'm sorry the picture doesn't give an idea of scale, but it's about as big as my palm. All my years of rural living and walking in the forest and this is the first nest I've found. It must have been blown out of the big maple in front of the house. I didn't see any little birdie bodies, so I hope the nest wasn't being used any more.

I thank the Goddess for allowing it to fall at my feet. It is a work of simple beauty, so soft and ephemeral. Maybe in my next life I will be a mama bird and make nests. It is working with fibre after all.
However, as far as this life goes, I am happy to report progress on the red tuxedo. Thank you all for your suggestions. I ended up having to mark on the right side of the fabric in chalk - nothing else worked. Even the thread tracing was a bust - it left black marks on the front of the fabric where fuzz from the interfacing got pulled through.

It was amazing to experience the amount of trepidation about how to proceed on the jacket. I was so worried about making a hash of it, never mind that I have made suits before. It really is true that the older one gets, the more one knows how much they don't know. If I was in my blithe 20's I would have just sewn it up, no worries.

But sewing this fabric is like working with Teflon. It has no drape, and can't be shaped and molded with pad-stitching and steam like wool. It is supremely unforgiving. After slavishly beginning to follow the instruction sheet, which starts with the welt pockets on the front of the jacket, I had a bit of a panic attack. I took a time out with a cup of tea, and a brainwave came: Why not make the pants first? That would give me a chance to practice the welt pockets where they wouldn't be quite so noticeable!

This idea proved to work remarkably well, and I now have a nice looking pair of pants with only the waistband still to do. I actually really like the process of making a fly front on men's pants, it just goes together so smoothly, unlike the mock fly front one finds on women's pants.

But I'm all with Damselfly on pattern instruction sheets! I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, and an experienced seamstress. So if I can't figure out what they mean, pity the poor beginner! (The pattern I'm making, by the way, is Vogue 2383.)