Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday tidbits

Riding around on the bus this afternoon, realised what a very First World whinge it was to be upset at not being able to get my YouTube fix... maybe it was also a bit of the universe telling me to stop watching cartoons, step away from the computer, and actually get something done... and when I get home and fire up the computer, no more black screen messages and after three days without, it is working again! WTF indeed??
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Cucurbits are the CanJam food for July, as announced this afternoon by Gloria over at laundry etc. She also points out that that includes the entire fam-damily of cucurbitae... Soooo, shall I try the obvious and do some kind of pickled cucumber, even though I do not eat that sort of pickle? Maybe something like a zucchini relish? or perhaps go all exotic and do a melon conserve of some kind?
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Yesterday at the Neighborly Roundtable Misty sent over a whole bag of green tart apples, some of which came home to Acorn Cottage, and are destined to become pectin stock for future canning adventures. There are apparently blackberries in a nearby alley for picking later this year. There are this years green (unripe) walnuts in the trees NOW. Green walnuts have the most wonderful spicy scent when crushed, as well as the walnut hulls creating that renowned indelible dye result; maybe this is the year to try making nocino. Several recipes say that it is not necessary to buy spendy vodka to do the extraction, (and also read somewhere that you can run cheap vodka through a Britta filter with good results).
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The amazingly kind Adalaide traced out the pattern for this cape-coat, xeroxed all the instructions, and sent them to me. This quirky pattern seems like it would make a great rain-cape. but rather uncertain what to use for a mock up. Some kind of muslin would give a more realistic idea than the idealised pattern front drawings. So far friends opinions seem to be equally enchanted or appalled at my desire to make this to actually wear...
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About that naniIRO dress... several potential options were offered:
~ to make a detachable "dickie" so that the neckline could vary with the intended use. Thought about buttons (too many buttonholes needed), or velcro (there is still quite a bit of extra soft narrow dolly velcro in the notions drawers), or snaps (also lots and lots of hand sewing)... This gave me the idea of using snaps as a kind of steampunk embellishment, maybe not on this dress, but on one that they would actually be more visible
~ to use the fabric in an interesting way, by using both sides to get a subtle but lively contrast going on
dress yoke... This gave me the idea to use an assortment of woven ribbon and trim to extend the neckline yoke inward, but unfortunately was not able to find suitable trim in useful colors
~ to create an overlapping shawl collar neckline, inset into the overlarge opening... This is a great idea, but when I sketched it with the current dress, it seemed a bit dissonant, This is a definite GOOD idea though, and will certainly be added to a different one of the jumper yet to be made...

So through the collective brain, there are new ideas which will be incorporated into future garments. Thank you all for such good suggestions.

My most current thought is to do the very simplest thing, and use a rectangle slightly larger than the current neckline, and create either a faced or bound-edge new neckline that is a better size, then simply stitch it in place to "smallify" the opening. That would use what is currently in stash, without requiring any new notion, trim, or fabric purchases and allow the neckline to remain rectangular, which is one of the more appealing features of the design.

Should any further experiments with Japanese patterns happen here, these steps will be necessary before completing any pattern drafting and fabric cutting - check neckline size against currently wearable garments. Double-check any adjustments to said neckline. Check diameter of armscye and of wrist, and check width of garment as drafted, then adjust to desired measurement. Really these are pretty simple garments, very reminiscent of simple historical rectangular construction. I have seen other Japanese patterns, in books, that are far more complicated. Perhaps the general level or sewing expertise in Japan is higher than here; I'd much prefer to have patterns come in this form, as it would be both less expensive a format to distribute, and would make it easier to alter only the parts of the pattern that needed changed


  1. Having tried the britta filter thing with cheap vodka and then doing a taste test against decent vodka, I would not recommend bothering. If you need walnuts, I'd love for someone other than the squirrels to enjoy the ones in my yard.

  2. Oh that is good to know about the vodka; several of the recipes I've read online mention that it isn't necessary to get anything but the cheapest, or even just get grain alcohol if that is available. I'll certainly give you a call right soon about the walnuts. I'm not heading south to the War, so if you're around maybe this weekend we could have a bit of a visit...