Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fall Sewing

I had a great summer and early fall, busy traveling and sewing.  We have had a beautiful fall here on the Central Coast of California and now we are experiencing the smoke from the very tragic fire up north.  My heart goes out to the people who have lost their community.  I can't imagine such a loss.  My community is so dear to me and losing almost the whole thing is just unimaginable.  But it occurred to me that it could happen almost anywhere now.

October is always a busy month, retreat-wise.  First it's my annual sewing retreat in San Juan Bautista with about 20 of my sewing pals.

Fabric flies, there may be some wine consumed, machines whir.

It really gets going towards the end of the week.  Here's the dynamic sister-duo Mary and Patty.

One night we watched the Dries Van Noten documentary.   Here's Sass doing her imitation of the way he mixes pattern and color.  She grabbed a few pieces from the scrap pile!  

The following week I attended my umpteenth million DOL in Ashland.  I love Ashland more every time I visit.  Fall is my favorite time of year there.

Diane Ericson, the DOL lionhearted leader, wowing everyone with her morning lectures.

Guest teacher, Gwen Spencer, teaching buttonhole techniques.  Super teacher!

More fall in Ashland.

Sometimes I avoid serious sewing for a while.  I don't know why but I just don't want to sew a garment.  Could it possibly be that I already HAVE too many garments? That's where I've been the last two weeks.  I just couldn't bring myself to start a new garment.  Does that happen to you?

So I mended, fixed hems, put new elastic in waistbands, did everything and anything NOT to sew a garment. I actually like that kind of sewing, contrary to what I hear from my sewing friends.   It worked, I'm ready to sew again.  But I'm glad I got all of my small-stuff work out of the way. 

This is the start of a quilt square.  A group I sew with is making a quilt for a local non profit.

Then I made two Kleenex box covers....see what I mean?  Major avoidance going on here.  The lengths we will go....
I'm not terribly happy with them.  Next time I'll use heavier fusible interfacing to make them stiffer.  

I did manage to do some sewing by the end of last weekend.  I sat on my deck and hand sewed all day Sunday.  This is a Faultlines Vest in recycled cashmere.  All hand stitched, using 3 reds.

This will be useful.  It's just the weight I like these days.

Hand stitching details.  I think I'm hitting my stride with hand stitching.  Finding what I like to work on.  Cashmere never fails to excite me.  The drape and feel are comforting.

People ask me if I felt cashmere.  I haven't ever tried since it would ruin the drape and feel I love so much.  And I've heard that most cashmere can't be felted the way wool can.  Cashmere is the underbelly hair of a particular goat and so does not have the same fiber quality as wool. 

I wash my thrift store cashmeres in my front loading washer on cold with the gentle cycle, no special detergent just my regular.  Then I lay them flat to dry and they come out soft and fluffy.  I don't think dry cleaning does them any good at all!

And BTW, I have found a new detergent I love, thanks to my friend, Sharon.  It's called Zum.  I get the Frankincense and Myrrh.  I love the smell and love how my clothes feel afterwards.

I saw the Contemporary Muslim Fashion show at the DeYoung Museum.  I came away with a better understanding of what it means to wear "modest" clothing.  As I understand it, each woman who chooses this type of clothing has her own set of values about what that means to her, her family and community.

Therefore, the degree to which she feels comfortable in covering herself varies widely.  I am so glad the museum chose this exhibit.  There were a lot of people there the day I visited.  All of them learning more about a culture and religion we all need to learn more about.  Good on you, DeYoung!