Wednesday, January 3, 2018

well begun, if not quite half done...

in which our plucky heroine makes a few revisions...

So yesterday I spent part of the day visiting with my pal Marya. She is also a bit interested in SWAP sewing, so we bounced some ideas off each other, which brought back some of my lagging enthusiasm after the black corduroy debacle. I have an idea to use some of my familiar rectangular construction techniques to create a blouse analog. I use this style of construction for my SCA Viking Age clothing, and my popover dress, design originally inspired by Naomi Ito for Nani Iro, is also made from rectangle and triangles... I am going to take some measurements from an undergown, and see if I can transmogrify it into a blouse...

but in the meantime, progress is happening on the AC cardigan project:
It is about a quarter of the way done with the surface design/reverse applique. No idea why the color balance is so off, the brown is actually a nice cool chocolatey color, and the blue is not quite so dark. I still have the two fronts, and the two sleeves to do before I can start on actually putting the cardigan together, but I have great hopes that I will get it finished before the end of April!!

January SMART goals (x=extra)
1 - -bad corduroy
2 - --
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 -- -
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Today I am grateful for my burn test birdy! This clever gadget, circa sometime in the early 70's, works really well when burn testing fabric to figure out fiber content. It is a vintage fork bent into the body and legs of a bird, welded to a large heavy washer, and with an alligator clip for a head and beak. I can set this down on the shelf above the bathroom sink, and any ashes etc fall safely into the sink, and the exhaust fan removes any nasty fumes.

I recently had some fabric behave very badly, and I realised I had not actually tested it prior to stitching it up, and so I grabbed a scrap from the wastebasket, and sure enough, there was something in there that was not a natural fiber, it burned very differently, smelled bad, and left a stiff chunky area on the remaining fabric. I then tested the other pinwale corduroy for my other, as yet unsewn, SWAP pinafore, and it was thankfully all cotton. I have a printed out chart of how to interpret burn test results for fabrics, this one is pretty inclusive:


  1. The motfis on the cardigan are looking wonderful. I love the spacing and rythmn.
    The burn test birdie is very clever, cute and useful. Glad it told you something about your naughty fabric.

  2. I often read but don't comment on your blog, as I have very little to add. I wanted to say "thank you" for your blog though, I find it inspirational and aspirational, not so much about what you do (though it is interesting and educational to hear about them!!) but thinking about your process (if that's the right word) and what I would like or not like to incorporate in my own life.

    Again, thank you, and wishing you a wonderful 2018.

    1. Aw thank you... glad that you enjoy reading about my life and thoughts. Have an excellent year as well!