Month: January 2017

Getting There

While the sewing has been really very easy on this coat, I still managed to first put the under collar where the upper collar belonged, and then put the upper collar on the wrong side of the lining before I got it right. The good news…the collar fit beautifully, with no easing or tuck issues, and the same was true for the sleeves.

While the ripping slowed my progress considerably, I kept at some of the small things throughout the bits of free time over the weekend, and hope to finish early this week.

This pattern was a little different, in that it had you attach the under collar to the coat and the upper collar to the lining. The collar was stitched as a separate seam, then the facings. A little different, but it worked pretty well, and you didn’t have quite as many layers to sew through. I did stitch the collar seams together on the inside after pressing, so they stay where they belong.

I did get the under cimg_1002ollar applied the jacket the first time around, rolling-eyes and then pulled out my quilting scraps to build the shoulder pads. For this one I used a fairly light pad consisting of four layers. The bottom was horse canvas, followed by two layers of quilt batting, with interlining in between them. Girl #1 doesn’t like large shoulder pads, but the coat required some structure, and I think this will do the trick! I love my shoulder pad pattern, it has 6 different types, and you can adjust to suit your project and your preference. One of the best patterns I ever bought! (Simplicity 7021)

I also did the pockets this weekend, they were patch, but I wanted to put lining on the inside, so used some old black cotton/poly to line the back side. I’m hoping that will make the edges just a little less vulnerable to constant wear. I also did the coat’s sleeve and bottom hemline, since they were short jobs too.

That left me with the actual finishing seams, attaching the lining and collars together and doing the top stitching. I finished the seams, and then basted the collar edge before pressing and top stitching. I’m afraid that I still got a little bit of roll. The plaid under collar doesn’t quite show, but I wish now that I have pulled the upper collar over a full quarter of an inch, because the edge looks lighter in some places, due to the plaid, even though the navy goes past the edge.  For the front facing, I decided not to press first, because the seam is so bulky and required so many pins to set, that I was concerned I’d have those annoying pin marks all up and down the front. So I did a really good pin job and left the facing overnight, then top stitched it this morning followed by a press sans pins. That worked really well, so will finish the other after work.

After that, I’m down to the lining hems, buttons, and opening the button facings. Shipping on Tuesday might just happen!


Congrats Ingrid!!

It will be in the papers tomorrow and all over Facebook, so I can share. Yesterday afternoon a hardworking young lady won the right to be the soloist with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra on March 4. I knew we had laid down a really good run, but when someone told me she just took control  and another said you could feel the electricity in the room, I thought she might have done it!

She won the junior division two years ago, and this photo is from that weekend. Imagine two more years of maturity, and a much more difficult piece….I can’t wait for March! Saint-Saens at the symphony…definitely music to my ears!

SAL Update January 29

I finished my project in time for Christmas and shared it in the last update. I have selected a new small project for this winter, and here it is!

Here’s where I was:  🙂


And here’s where I am now!


Do check out what the other members of this group are doing, some of the projects are quick and simple, some are epic. The variety is amazing! If you’d like to join the group, we work on our own piece at our own pace, but share our progress every three weeks. Contact Avis if you would like to join.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusan, Kathy MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine

  Winter Gardening

In western South Dakota, December and January are the dark months. The photo at left looking out my front window at  6:20 on a fairly clear morning! The sun rises about 7 am and is setting by 4:30. I am thankful for the Christmas lights in December because they dispel some of that dark feeling. January brings the new year and new things, which helps too, but it’s just dark! Weirdly, the evening lengthens first, yesterday we had light until 5:15.

When I spent my time in Norway, it was darker…sunrise around 10:00 and sunset around 2:30, but the houses in Norway seemed to compensate with a brightness that we don’t seem to have in our house designs here, at least in the 50+ year old house we live in. Sewing is a great way to pass the dark hours, but that’s not what this post is about….:)

The real question we have been pondering this winter, is what to do for the lemon trees? They are tropical, and while we can certainly keep them warm, the sunlight situation has been troublesome, especially with the snowstorms and cloudy days that really added up in December. My DH is always moving the lemon trees to the sunlight, and on cloudy weeks he has put them under a regular light to at least add warmth to the meager sun that comes through our picture windows. Our goal at this point….that they survive the winter, and I am now guardedly optimistic that they will. Assuming we keep them going, next year they will get a grow light to help them. We just weren’t ready to invest in the size we think we’ll really need if they died off within the first year!

We have added a new member to the tropical family this past month. We now have two grapefruit babies sprouted!! The mandarin orange is still in hibernation, with no sign of life, so that may be a bust.

The older lemon trees looking at the snow!
This little guy is compact but growing lots of leaves.
Tulips…hope they decide to pop up soon.
The new additions: Grapefruit trees!

I’m loving all the pictures of sprouting snowdrops and crocus, but I admit I’m a little jealous too! From the look of it, we are in for at least another month of snow. ⛸

Book Review–Wool

This book…I didn’t like the beginning at all, but thought I’d give it a few more pages…then I was hooked. Hugh Howey writes about a dystopian society where things are just not quite right…it eventually untangles itself, and there is another book or two in the series if you want more. I found the ending much more satisfying than the beginning, and have put the second book in my queue so it will check out when it becomes available.

I don’t want to give the story away, but will provide a little bit of background. Everyone lives in a giant silo, and you can’t go outside. There are no elevators, so the stairs and levels are integral to the story. Though I can’t say I was 100% invested, I really wanted to know what was going on, and how things would end. A little bit of mystery, a little bit of thriller, (but not too scary)and the age old struggle of mankind to make choices that are not selfish. This is not my usual genre, but a good winter read. I’ll decide if I really like this author once I pick up the second one. The suspense is good, the characters could be better developed, but it was a nice change of pace, an adventure!

Peace Sweater #1

I have wanted this sweater for years. I loved the shaping, the trim, the fancy sleeves, it is everything my stranded knitting heart desired. Unfortunately, Dale of Norway didn’t publish the pattern like they usually do with their ski team sweaters. (This was the Olympic team sweater.) I kept looking, and hoping, and last year I learned that they had released it, free to download!

Armed with the pattern, I was ready to hunt some wool. At first I was thinking a celery green and white, then my normal fall back of some sort of purple or blue. I kept watching the yarn sites, hoping to pick up the superwash baby wool for a reasonable price. There were sales, but not enough of the color I liked, or not enough sale. Last August, I hit the right combination, and picked up the necessary yarn during a KnitPicks sale…the colors….white and Aqua! I chose their Stroll sock yarn, which is 75% superwash merino wool, and 25% nylon. Sometimes wool gives me a rash, or feels scratchy, so I make my own rash, but this feels amazing! Not quite as soft as a rabbit, but getting really close. And if you haven’t experienced the softness of a rabbit, you must before you die! Girl #2 says it’s like petting a cloud…😊 (toddler wisdom you know.)

The wool arrived, but I had no room for a new cast on or project. It was not until the latest three day weekend that I felt I could actually begin. Oh. My. Goodness! I think I maybe knitting a cloud! Good thing, because this sweater is complicated. I’ll be happy as I inch my way along, literally. I am knitting a small, and I have 242 stitches on the needles. The needles are 3 mm, and they feel like sewing needles after using size 8 clunkers to do those quickie dish cloths!dscn05481

I expect I will have to insert a pair of socks and a dish cloth or two in the mix just to break it up, but I am hoping to have this completed for September and the wool contest. For now, I am attempting to get 3-4 rows each evening and not worry about how fast I finish. The pattern is already getting easier to work, so I may be able to double my output eventually.

Do you have an epic project that you want to finish this year? If you do, let’s link up and keep each other motivated!


Interfacing Blues


Indeed I HAD the blues, I finally solved them by ordering an entire bolt of Pellon Hair canvas from Walmart. I picked it up on Friday, and I have no idea how long it will take me to use the entire 10 yards, but at this point I don’t care! 

During my wait, I sewed most of the lining together and pieced a nice little flat piping trim (thanks Karen at Fifty Dresses) to go between the lining and facing. I also completed the coat back. Now that I have the interfacing I can sew in order instead of jumping around trying to make things work while waiting for a package to arrive.


I am doing what we used to call machine tailoring in 4-H. I will do everything that makes sense, with pins and machine, to get this coat out the door ASAP, but do hand stitching on the most important parts. I pin basted the interlining, much like you would do a quilt, removing a few pins as the actual seams were sewn. The interfacing is machine basted in, then trimmed out once the seams are in place. I will pad stitch the under collar by hand, and after doing a test, decided on bound buttonholes, instead of machine ones.

The heft of this Melton is one reason for the contrasting under collar that you see above, (along with my beloved hair canvas.) In RTW, it is not uncommon to put a lighter weight fabric underneath, and in many cases you will see something that looks like a light weight felt. I elected to pull this scrap from my stash and use it. It looks nice with the both the main fabric and the lining, though it will never show. It is a wool flannel, so will form beautifully when I add the padding stitches. I lost most of my sewing time on Sunday afternoon, so the bound buttonholes are only half finished, but I was able to work on the collar this evening and got quite a bit of it finished.

Hopefully, by the end of the week I will be close to finished. Good thing, because there’s more snow on the way!