Are your eyes rolling around in your skull right now, too? Yep. That's exactly how I feel. I don't believe this is the issue, but I have to try it so they'll get on to the next step. This guy will call me at 5:30 pm on Thursday to see how the week has gone, Wayne Newton-wise. Until then, I'm going to pretend all is well and do multi-tasking and fast-switching and video-watching and everything I've been avoiding, lest it upset him, just to see what happens. So please wish us luck over here.
Here are the last couple things I finished and the thing I'm starting next. I'm still working on the blue-and-white-ticking Jumpron, the one made from the worn-out quilt, but it's at the easy stitching stage, so I save it for when I'm chilling or tired at the end of the day or need a project to take somewhere, one that doesn't involve pins. Omigod: pins. I've really got to pay attention to the whole pins thing because they drop out and, I'm afraid, will get stepped on or sat on by some unsuspecting person. We here at The Voodoo Cafe pretty much know to always check before we plop down in a chair (guess how we learned this), but other people don't live that way, and I wouldn't want someone in public to impale themselves on one of my pins. Yikes.
So! Here's what I finished this week, amid multiple re-bootings. Last Saturday my friend Miss Julia brought me a bag of linen "rags/scraps," she called them: a two-piece Flax and two linen aprons. I wish I had scraps like that lying around my house, don't you? One of the aprons had a tear near the hem, and at first I thought, "Oh, boy! I can mend it!" I was thinking funky, patched, random stitching. But after I tried it on, I realized it needed to be shorter. I love layers, and this is the kind of thing—an apron—that needs to be a top layer. So it would need to be shorter than ankle length. And—bonus!—if I cut it off, I would have fabric to make pockets. Yay, pockets! Sorry I didn't get "before" photos; I jumped in and started working on it immediately. Just imagine it plain brown, no pockets, symmetrically ankle length. Here it is now:
I love this part, above. Well, I love the whole thing: I love wearing clothes that have been worn by people I like, and wearing clothes Miss Julia has given me always makes me happy. When she comes to see me, she comes with instructions from her husband NOT to bring home ANYTHING. So we try to put stuff into small, easily hidden bags. I'm afraid I've kind of flooded their house with some stuff over the years, like about a bazillion rubber stamps that I think took over the dining room. Sometimes I think maybe I should go into hiding in a Witness Protection Program, lest her husband sneak over to our house in the middle of the night and dump everything on the front porch, all the things that Miss Julia has so kindly given a new home.
Here's one of the pockets I made from the part I cut off the bottom. I suck at making pockets, but I love having them even though I loathe making them:
Then here's a top I got in San Angelo. I love it, for some reason, never mind that the colors are dusty, and I actually got "before" photos of this one—yay, me:
I haven't worn it yet; I just finished it this morning. If I love it, eventually I may do more stitching. I'm trying to learn to wear things for a while first, though. I do love that hanging pocket and may go in and do something to those appliqués, but not yet.
Then this is what I just started. I've had the parts in a big bag since last winter. The scarf was a chambray Lucky Brand scarf I got on clearance somewhere—maybe at NorthPark Mall in Dallas? I can't remember. I had several in different fabrics, and I think I took the others to Lana in San Angelo. Or maybe I gave them away. This one, though, has some fading on it, which I love. I do not love the floral embroidery—I pretty much loathe machine embroidery of all kinds. I'm thinking that I may, in the end, cut that off and add some chambray fabric and fringe it. I don't know yet, though, so I'm leaving it alone for now. The pieces of flannel are legs from pajamas I wore until they were threadbare and soft as tissue. (And then I started making my own flannel pj pants.) Right now I'm stitching the edges so I can take out the pins, and then I'll relax into the long rows of stitching. I don't know how close I'll space them; I'll start out kind of wide, in case I get tired of working on it. If I love the process, I can add rows between the rows for a really heavily stitched scarf. I saw one on Pinterest that I loved, but it was a little too neat and tidy (and didn't have a lining). I hope to overcome that tendency in my own stitching.
This, above, is the scarf with the dark blue floral embroidery on the ends. It looks kind of like velvet in the photo above, but it's a soft faded chambray.
Above is the inside of one end, and below is the other end. The green and blue flannel in each photo is the same fabric; the colors just show up differently because of something about the light. I have no idea: I took them one right after the other without changing anything. That's OK—I don't need to take great photos, just ones that are good enough for you to see what's going on.
So that's what I'm working on here. I've made another couple Jumprons; now I've got 17 of those. Yes, 17. Thirteen are from scratch, from a pattern I made. The other four were re-made from dresses. I've got two more cut out, and then I think that's it. I'm thinking I may go back and embellish them later, adding stuff. I think I've finally gotten the shape out of my system, though. And, frankly, I can't think of any other color combinations I want. I've been working through the clothes on the rack in the sewing studio, and I've made real progress, both in finishing stuff and in realizing there's some of it that I just don't care enough about to keep. I figure another couple months and I'll be all caught up there and can start on what I hope is The Next Big Adventure: creating a series of embellished boleros, the Alabama Chanin ones. I've got some ideas that are going to take some working out—things that, to realize, will require multiple layers of appliqué. I've got to figure out the maximum number of layers I can comfortably stitch through by hand. A lot of that is dependent on the specific cotton knit I use: some is more tightly woven that others, and it's harder to penetrate with a needle that's large enough to carry 6 strands of floss. It also matters whether or not I use fusible webbing, of course, and I'm trying to get away from relying on that. But it's so much easier to fuse than to use pins! Anyway, so those are the kinds of things that roll around in my head when I'm doing mindless stitching: how to create teeth from cotton jersey, or how to make a realistic eyeball from fabric.
Thanks for stopping by, and please wish good juju for Wayne Newton—and, really, for *me* because he's making me more than a little gritchy over here.