Sunday, July 5, 2015

Normal life returns, almost!



Peace and tranquility have returned to the North Country. One good thing about all the Escapepeepalooza is that it did bring attention to our area. I bring this up because it has a direct effect on my sewing. It is beautiful wilderness up here, peopled with many many Amish and English dairy farmers, and a hunter's paradise. Hunting is a HUGE part of the culture, not so much personally, but it is the way of the North. Families save to buy those forty acres and put up hunting cabins way before they buy a boat, camper or put on a new porch. Its just the way it is. Life is laid back and dressing for success or to impress just really doesn't happen here. That's a trade off for living in such a beautiful wildlife paradise. What's needed up here are good functional casual clothing,  a la LL Bean, a great pair of winter boots, not dress, and an ever present bottle of bug repellant, although this year has not been too bad. I save my more fashionable moments for visits to my daughters near Boston.

I am glad you got to see where I live as it motivates much of my sewing often in a sort of opposite way. You can see how I so enjoy "milestone" sewing, for weddings, christenings, baby showers, all sorts of special events, as that gives the opportunity for my skills to shine. But I am also always challenged for the every day type of wear needed here which is motivating my next project. Over the past year or so I made a jacket for the Fall Jacket Challenge by Threads (won), and made my Ikat jacket. I wear these jackets constantly. Nights are cool here, all summer,  and nearly every morning one of those jackets is on my back on the way to work.  I have learned I can't have enough lightweight jackets. This brings me to my next project,---another jacket!


And since I need everyday wearable jackets (and I love to sew them) the next one won't be couture so much as artistic in its look. What's that mess above? It's five pair of white jeans I got at the thrift shop, St. Vinnie's, for 2 dollars a bag and I didn't fill my bag. But not being 100 % sure of what I will do artistically to this pile of flotsam, other than bleach it to kill cooties, I also bought this jacket last week. It is H U G E.
It's a man's XL and has way more than enough fabric to convert to a jacket for moi. It is in "never worn" condition. OK, who wants an out of date washed out denim look? Well this and/or the white jeans will be the base only. The plan is to cut up the pieces, rearrange them, and paint them beyond recognition but emphasizing the detail. Fessing up, my inspiration is this fabulous jacket by Katherine Tilton.   I will use the same anorak pattern that I did on the Threads and Ikat jackets but with some simplification. It fits.  I know I will get tons of wear from such a garment up here and can't wait to start!

In the meantime I am starting today on window cushions for DD#1's bay window in the family room. I am on a deadline for those so they shouldn't take long.


This debacle is what used to a lovely stone walkway and lush part of the shade garden. Believe me when I tell you it was far worse looking than this and is cleaned up a lot. I will do more yard cleaning, moving of stones and lumber, repositioning plants today. The decks are looking really good and it will be worth all the aggravation and missed sewing time..........Bunny

16 comments:

  1. I cannot wait to see the new jacket. As I have, ahem, changed sizes over the years and updated with the times, the only things that never made it to the donate bag were jeans. I have a huge tub of them stored in the cedar closet. I laugh whenever I see the clear tub, as there sits a microcosm of the last fifty years in various denim weights and shades from pure white to the darkest blue.

    You are such an inspiration - your sewing, your gardens, and now your reaction to a horrific and stressful situation. May you get to sit on those decks and enjoy the peace of your beautiful setting shortly.

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    1. Thanks, Charade.
      Denims do mark our times, don't they. For me it goes from hung low bell bottoms a la Cher through my basic Lee Riders with a stop or two along the way for pleats and waistbands. I bet your box could tell a lot!

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  2. I also had a huge stash of jeans but I ended up bringing them to Goodwill during a mad bout of decluttering. Never again will I do that. I can't wait to see what you do with all that denim, especially the painting. Please please please take lots of pics so we can see the process. (I know you'll do that anyway). You are so inspiring! Now you can enjoy your regained peace and quiet. Yard work can be quite satisfying, especially afterwards while you sit in a hot bath.

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    1. Hubby and I just spent two hours pulling out three prize giant hostas that have roots to China. I manned the hatchet and he connected the come along to the car. You just wouldn't believe! That hot bath and a cold beer are sounding awful good right about now. We have lots of plants to move. Gardeners never throw away plants. They move them.

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  3. I look forward to seeing pics of your latest project (art jeans jacket) as I know it will be fabulous. Did you finish your rust stained top? I used that pattern after you mentioned it on your blog sewn in a soft rayon challis and love it. Karen

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    1. Yes, I did, Karen. I wore it and decided it needed some changing which I will go into on the post. I love it and all its linen-y wrinkliness, perfect for summer. More to come, if I can clean myself up from all the mud under my nails!

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  4. Glad to hear everything is calming down for you. Intrigueing projects ahead!

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  5. What a fantastic idea, I love the original painted jacket on the link and I can see you in that kid of look for sure. All the best and enjoy that hot tub :)

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    1. I didn't pick up on it the first time I read the article but Tilton took a digital photo of an old jean jacket she had and then had it printed into fabric. I'm guessing probably on Spoonflower. So her "jacket" is not really a jacket, but more of a shirt weight with the print of the denim jacket on it. In other words, no felled seams or any other jean details, just a picture of it all on flat fabric. I found that rather fascinating and quite clever. But I am going for the real thing here and we'll see how it goes.

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  6. Bunny, It certainly is a small world. The THREADS article you refer to in your post about your crinkle jacket was written (with help from one of the editors) by me. It was published in Aug./Sept.1992, issue #42 and later reprinted in THREADS' book "Beyond the Pattern". I was overjoyed when one of the editors called me about the technique, which I mentioned in a reader's tip about using a bias strip made from the lining fabric as a hem tape. Your jacket is wonderful!

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    1. I have to tell you, Patsijean, I am eternally grateful for you teaching me this technique. It has served me very well over the years and it looks like I owe it all to you. Thank you so much! Who knew?

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  7. I can't wait to see what you create with all that denim! I know you'll be painting something fabulous with it.

    Great job on the yard as well. I know you're so thrilled to be past the escapee situation. Enjoy your beer!!!

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  8. Well Bunny, you and Ern deserve the beer after all that hard work..............it will all be worth it in the end.
    Building work has started here today, and so I am planning to spend time up in the sewing room/study and get some sewing time in. I have had a bit of a break lately and am missing it.
    Currently working on the Butterick top and am itching to see yours and find out about the drafting issues you have mentioned. Waiting for my interfacing to arrive before I can complete it. Mine is all white linen to go with black and white trousers; really hope it works as I was so disappointed with tops I saw in shops.....................

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  9. I can't wait to see what you do with the white jeans and jacket. Also glad to hear life has returned back to normal ( somewhat) and you have a lovely landscaping project to look forward to after your decks are done.

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  10. So happy you have some normality in the future and I now what you mean about just moving plants around...we have been doing that for 14 years...some things have been moved over 3 times, like the bamboo, and never complain...ha ha You clever girl buying used denim and making it over into something great!

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  11. It is nice when things are back to normal....makes you appreciate those ole boring times!!!

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