Eyeballing a Pattern

I found a mind running wild.
I fed it chocolate and ideas,
and send it on its way.
I found a heart running wild.
I fed it strawberries and love,
and send it on its way.
I found a soul running wild,
I fed it light and rain, fire, earth, and wind,
and send it on its way.
You wonder why?
Because that’s what my garden grows.
My garden grows, earth, light, rain and wind,
and trees full of chocolate and strawberries.

From my poetry blog

When sitting in the kitchen we can see out of the glass-front into the garden. Watching ‘garden TV’; the trees changing, camellia blooming, leaves growing and going, the birds, the creepy crawlies and occasionally neighbour’s tabby, a fox, or the odd deer nudging her nose at the kitchen window. Now when I saw the fabric below, I wanted to make a dress, which was like wearing our garden. 

There are kingfishers on the canal around the corner from home. And most of the plants on the fabric can be found in our garden.

Now I decided to experiment and take a pattern off one of my favourite dresses. The outcome was so bad I never even took a photo. At this point there was no chance of making or using another pattern so I literally eye-balled the pattern, pinned the dress around myself, stay-stitched the seams, cut bits and pieces off and added a zipper. After I had tailored the dress directly onto myself, it kind of sort of worked. 

This was the original idea. The teal coloured top, was supposed to be a double layer above the floral part. It didn’t work out well at all. So I took this section completely apart and rejiggled. Results below. 

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Barbara Branches

Every year on 4th of December, Feast Day, devoted to St Barbara, mum would cut branches off apple or cherry trees and place them in a vase. If the branches are in full bloom on Christmas eve the year ahead will be prosperous and happy.

A while ago I read one should hit the branches with a hammer (the bottom of the branches) and put them in warm water, this will enable them to bloom for Christmas. I am not keen on the hammer method and our branches usually bloom anyway – not always on Christmas though.

Thinking about walking barefoot through rows and rows of blooming apple trees as a child. Cold morning dew numbing my toes. I want to wear that feeling. The magic of a spring morning. Maybe it’s time to try out one of these ‘design your own fabric’ companies?

Getting Rid of Smell in Vintage Fabric

Last year my mom send me a huge pile of vintage fabrics, after the first excitement I noticed two problems. One was that they came in varied and non-standard lengths, and the other problem was a very musty old smell that still hung in the cloth even after two washing cycles with disinfectant.

Tips against smelly vintage fabric

The internet of things had various suggestions for treating the musty old smell of vintage garments. Two seem to be the most effective.

Vodka and Vinegar.

Vinegar

I soaked the fabric for two nights in my bathtub. Fill the tub with cold (or warm) water and then pour 1 liter of clear vinegar into it (like pickling vinegar or simple white vinegar). Avoid any dark vinegar to prevent discoloration. Depending on how bleach safe the colour of the fabric is you can make the solution much stronger (e.i. add more vinegar).

It is usually recommended to test on a small piece of fabric if the fabric can handle the vinegar treatment and doesn’t bleach.

Vodka

Vodka or for that matter any form of clear alcohol (Schnaps). Pour the alcohol into a spray bottle and spray the fabric with it. Then let it air out. Repeat as necessary.

After the Vinegar or Vodka treatment you still might want to wash the garment or fabric with disinfectant. The smell entirely left my fabrics and I could enjoy sewing with it and more importantly wearing it.