Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Getting there!

So I have five more rows of the hip increase section on Labyrinth. The pattern says to knit until the body is 25 inches long, but that will be way too long for me. It currently measures 21 inches. I will do the five rows then try it on. If the length is okay, then I will put it on waste yarn and do some dye painting on the lighter section before adding the cream colored ribbing. I don't want the dye to bleed onto the cream colored yarn. I'm not sure that I have enough yarn in the current ball to do both sleeves, so I will go ahead and wind the third skein and use that so that both sleeves match. Because the design has the cream colored yarn in zig zap design on the sleeves, I can't dye paint them. I don't think the mismatch yarn will be that noticeable on the sleeves but I want them to match each other! Stay tuned to see the progress!

Yesterday was a day for errands. I had to go to the mall for one thing. I hadn't been there since Christmas! I was shocked at the new stores! I got a nice pair of longer dark denim shorts at Eddie Bauer then I went to Sephora which was my main reason for going. I was very disciplined and only got mascara which was what I needed. After that, I went to the MAC store. I used to get my MAC stuff at Nordstrom but I really like the MAC store much better. I got a new summer lipstick which is a vivid electric orange along with a lacquer after the makeup artist informed me that the lacquers were being discontinued. It never fails! Whenever there is something I really like, it gets discontinued!

I didn't get any knitting done yesterday. Ems called on Sunday to ask if we could have a cookout for KC's birthday. She then decided to make it a surprise party and invited about 7 or 8 friends from work. She and her friend Sarah came over during the day and made an ice cream cake. It turned out to be quite delicious! They used ice cream sandwiches and placed six of them side to side on some foil to form a rectangle. They then mixed Cool Whip with strawberry topping and spread a layer of that. Then another layer of sandwiches and a layer of Cool Whip with crushed Oreos. Then there was one more layer of sandwiches after which the entire cake was frosted with the remaining Cool Whip/ Strawberry mixture. They put chocolate Magic Shell on top. It was wrapped and placed in the freezer to firm up. I found other variations of this online. One used crushed Reese's Pieces with Chocolate ice cream sandwiches! What a nice, easy way to make an ice cream cake!

I made turkey burgers and got beef dogs. I also made baked beans, cucumber salad and ramen noodle salad. Em's friend Sarah came over early and rounded up any visitors to the deck then Ems and KC arrived around 7:15. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. They completely cleaned up after themselves. It's nice when your kids become responsible adults! It's not at all labor intensive when they bring their friends over!

That's about it for today. I have to make my kitchen curtain and do some cleaning!

A bit of nostalgia

Today's dress has always been a favorite of mine. I can no longer wear it as I no longer have a 25 inch waist! It is made from a pattern by an independent company called Patience and Purity. This company designed a lot of old fashioned garments with tremendous attention to detail! This dress is made from Irish handkerchief linen in a muted teal blue with a peach colored tie and topstitching in peach silk thread. I'm sorry that I didn't dry clean this dress. I washed it instead. Dry cleaning seems to preserve the nice sheen that Irish linen has when new whereas washing does not. Here is the dress:

Now let's look at the details. First, the pattern had this dress trimmed with contrasting soutache braid. I chose to make pin tucks instead--three rows of parallel pin tucks trim the collar, bodice insert and hem. I also used French seams in this dress.

The sleeves have decorative tucks into the shaped cuff which was also topstitched with pin tucks.

The dress is constructed with an inset waistband. The bodice is gathered to the waistband and the skirt is pleated into the waistband. Last of all, the closure is a hidden button placket on the side.

But wait! There's more! My favorite part is what you don't see! There is a gorgeous petticoat hiding under there!! I was the lucky recipient of a hefty trash bag full of antique Swiss embroidered laces and French laces much of which was still on the original bolts--courtesy of my brother, the antiques dealer. I restored all the lace and have it nicely packed away. I used a piece of the Swiss embroidery for the ruffle on this slip. The Embroidered lace is stitched to a French insertion lace with entredeux on each side of it. For those who are not familiar with Heirloom sewing, entredeux is about 1/8 inch wide and it looks like mini faggotting. It is stitched between all pieces of lace and garment sections. I have a close up photo showing this. The slip is also trimmed with rows of pin tucks stitched in a buttery color rayon thread and rows of hem stitching which makes little holes. This is done with a wing needle. There are also two rows of machine feather stitching which form large scallops. My machine has little holes on the surface that enable you to anchor the fabric with a pin and sew circles. I've shown that in a photo as well.

I hope you can see the details on the slip. It is truly stunning! I still wear it quite frequently under some of my vintage dresses and under peasant type skirts. Of course I need to include a photo. This is my family on Easter Sunday 1989 as taken by my mother-in-law. I will profile Ems' dress in another post. It is one of my favorites!

Bushism of the day:
"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006

Kitty Cam: Mikey is relieved to be home after visiting his girlfriend, the vet, yesterday!


  1. I am in awe of your sewing skills! The details on the dress and the petticoat are beautiful.

  2. 25" would be wayyy too long for me also (on Labyrinth!)

    I can't believe how tiny the waist is on that dress - the smallest my waist ever was (at age 15) was 26" and that required basically subsisting on lettuce. You have tiny bones!

  3. I'm loving that every one of your throwback pictures is from Nannie's house!

    I remember every single one of the pieces you've shared and I never realized you made all of them! How awesome!

    ps - Our car was towed from a townhouse development in b'more which Jas alleged was marina overflow parking...

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