Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Orange Chairs & Purple Purses

We had a long - Family Day - and sunny weekend which was quite delightful after a very grey and somewhat depressing winter. It's my third winter here and while I did okay with the first two, this one has been wearing. I'm sure it is a combination of not so wonderful things along with piles of snow and sheets of ice. Thankfully I have such an engaging project to work on and Spring is - supposedly - on the way.

I spent Saturday and Sunday knitting on the couch in the living room with my back to the window because I absolutely was not going to close the blinds and block all that amazing light. It was warm, cozy, and bright. Perfect.

This "new" chair was delivered last Friday. It's the same shape and fabric - different colour - as the blue couch that Howard has in his office and is in perfect condition. I found it at the thrift store which will make my children happy.  Apparently, I don't have enough comfortable seats in the living room - VBG. It's not a colour I'd have chosen given a choice but for $15.00, it goes just fine and is very similar in tone to the other orange chair I picked up several years ago. I love the thrift stores here. I find the most amazing things for not much money... which is very good for someone like myself who is addicted to potential.

I finished knitting the Take Me To Spain vest and now it's blocking. Because of the shape, I had to overlap the back and fronts to get all the edges straight but you can see how it is basically a rectangle with a bodice attached. That gives me ideas for creating one from fabric using scraps and surface design. I used three rows of seed stitch at the hemline to help prevent it from turning but not at the front or armhole so once I sew the shoulders together, I will most likely add an edge of some kind.

As comfortable as it is, this rendition of Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1297 dress is not at all flattering - partly because it shows all my lumps and bumps which could be dealt with with appropriate lingerie but also because it shows the stretching along the seam lines. I won't wear it like this and I won't go around in squeeze-me-smooth-under-garments on a casual day so I plan to take out the pucker seams, stitch them smooth, and then cut it off to top length. It looks fabulous with a vest that I already have so I'm looking forward to wearing it. I'll post it again when and if and as soon as the alteration is done which won't be any time soon because I'm still finishing up The Outfit Project.

I'm hoping to get some really good photos some time soon. I set up the light stands this past weekend only unfortunately the bulbs were both broken when I unpacked them so I've had to order some new ones. When they come, I'll start playing with the light and seeing how to make it work for me rather than against me. I have NO experience. I can learn... lights, photography, and Lightroom. That sounds like a HUGE curve - LOL.

Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8499 is one of my favourite skirts. I've made it a good half dozen times but not the pants. After researching the pattern at, I opted to go down several sizes and even then, I ended up taking the pants apart on the back french seam, taking the side back panel in 1 1/2" each side or 3" in total, and sewing the parts back together. There's a lot of ease in this pattern and too much is not flattering on me. I love them now although they are in the wash getting de-threading from pulling out the seams and top stitching. I had them all done and had to down the hems and off the waistband along with the back seams. It was worth it.

Trying to get pants on a mannequin is hilarious especially when "she" has wide hips and a small waist. Millicent can't shimmy like I can so she kept flopping and flipping until finally I reduced her hip size to get the pants on and avoid broken hips. The denim is a dark blue and the top stitching is a pink-ish-orange. The pictures are overexposed. That's not what I intended but it's part of my learning curve. Also, you can see the check curtains behind the burn out knit so that's not going to work as a backdrop BUT... it gives you an idea of how the pants look and I did promise to post them and it gives me an idea of what to work on with the photo booth. 

I'm taking a short break from garment sewing and to work on completing the outfits that are the closest to finished. The outfit with the tied cardigan only needed the purse. I purchased this black one at the thrift store for $18 which is the most expensive one I've picked up. Three were a dollar each and another was five dollars so divided by six that's $4.33 each which I think is fine. I'm looking at participating in a gallery this summer and once my trip is done, the "need" for these purses will be over so I may put them up for sale there. HOWEVER...

... first I have to finish making them. For this one, I removed the two sides and then created a quilted panel for the front and back by recycling the dress I made months ago that I didn't like enough to fix. There is still LOTS of dress left so I'll do more with it but this is a fun start.

I cut a piece of batting the size of the side panel and spray basted it to the back and then stitched vertical rows of straight stitching every 3/8" up and down the panel in a dark purple thread. Then I added free motion quilting with a dark navy thread between the flowers and then outlined them with black stitching. The centers are thread scribbled with a metallic purple and the points have hand stitches with a black pearl cotton. The center flower is a bead. The purse is almost done. I'm waiting for glue to dry to go on to the next stage.

Talk soon -  Myrna

- grey ends, sun starts


  1. I have made Marcy Tilton's 8499 pants pattern too, and they were HUGE, as you too discovered. I took them in so many times! And haven't worn them yet. They're out of linen, and maybe when it finally feels like spring I'll give them a whirl. I just don't know what top to wear with them though.

    1. I'd measured before to figure out what size to go down too and then I found the distribution of ease heavy on the side back panel which is why I only took it in. I know what you mean about a top. Next time, I would lower the pocket so the opening is not at hem length and there are more options. Right now, I'm finding a simple blouse/t-shirt the best although I'm still answering that question.

  2. I made the same pants out of a light weight blue linen, early last fall - I found the waistline annoyingly fiddly to make and ended up just having elastic in the back, which made the front better but created a bubble butt effect that I don't really NEED, having plenty of my own. However I think there is potential, so I will try again once spring looks to be on the way. Your top stitching is really lovely.


    1. I just have elastic in the back as well. I didn't read the instructions so I'm not sure how she did it. Taking out the extra ease on the side panel eliminated any extra pouff. I think the design is worth fine tuning. I can see myself wearing it a lot and making it with or without the pockets. THANK YOU - I love top stitching.

  3. It seems as if this winter has been depressing for many. We have had many grey dismal wet days. I know our daughter has been complaining about the snow, ice, and cold in her part of BC. We are hoping for spring to come soon as we want to see more sunshine also.

    1. Ice... oh yes... we definitely have ice. I can hardly wait until it melts and the roads are safe for walking again.


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