Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Scrap Heap

I think anyone who works with fiber in one form or another has one. Thrums left over from weaving, or sample lengths of woven goods, bits and bobs.  I always have left over scraps of fabric and sometimes a yard or a bit more. There are very few zero waste patterns but some patterns are better than others. Some just seem to have been dreamed up by fabric companies wanting you to buy scads of yard goods. At some point in time, I at least, need to clear out some of those fabric pieces I've saved. If it is too small for a good sized pocket I toss it right away, otherwise I fold it or roll it up and save for little embellishments here and there. I especially love it when a pattern is made to use smaller lengths of fabrics. It helps use up some of that stash heap or allows for you to use just a little of something expensive or dear to showcase. A pattern by Anna Maria Horner was brought to my attention.

 The Painted Portrait Dress is one such pattern. I never would have looked twice at this pattern because I wasn't wild about the top used for the front picture. Patterns, like books, should not be judged by their cover! This pattern has a lot of opportunities to use some creativity. I muslined it in all leftover fabrics and I love the result.

 I made a fair amount of changes. I drafted out a bit more room overall, as the ease on this pattern is pretty skimpy. I did not do the lined bodice. It is fussy, fiddly and uses more fabric. Just as easy to do one layer and a neck binding.

 The sleeves have a lot of ease and they want a little puff in them. I don't. I struggled with them this time but will redraft the head for next time, remove the back gathers on the lower skirt, raise the pockets, add an inch to the length of the front bodice and probably cut the front neckline a little lower. Seems like a lot of changes but really all of them with the exception of the sleeve are quite easy to do.

I have been doing a little weaving, not as much as I wanted. We have left blue towels and gone onto green.

 I like the green. I'm going to do two of these and then I think I'm going to call it quits on this warp.

I want to change out the back beam to the plain one, add the treadle risers and get some nice white cottolin or linen on Big Sal. There have also been some major changes in the weaving studio. I did what I thought I would never do. I sold the Louet Delta.

 As much as I loved the loom, I wasn't utilizing it. I am not a production weaver by any stretch of the imagination. I just don't need 3 big looms all in the 42-48" range. And I really love the AVL.  What I do need and want is a small portable loom. I've always needed that and this year especially I would love to have a loom I can wheel out and use on the deck. Maybe someday catch a workshop or go and weave with a friend. I want options. To that end I'm looking at both Gilmore and Macomber looms, the Gem II and the Baby Mac. I would love to find a used one of either of these but my chances are slim, so it will probably have to be a new purchase. If anyone has woven on one of these looms (or both!), I would LOVE to have some feedback on them. Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me directly.

In farm news life goes on. Rodger is sorely missed. I want to thank each of you for all the love, sympathy and support you have offered. It truly does help. Someday we will have another house cat, the universe will no doubt provide when the time is right. The two barn kitties supply a quick purr fix when one can catch up with them. The horses are pretty fat (and yes, I have gotten out for a couple of rides), and the goats supply a lot of entertainment. Especially when they try to "sneak" into the garden (bells on the collar) and get sprayed by the scarecrow.

 The deer have not pestered the garden at all at this point. Fingers crossed for continued success there. The garden is looking quite wonderful and mature.

I think that's all I have right now... : )

Parting shot: Who dat?



  1. That pattern is certainly interesting. It took me a bit before I saw all the different pieces. LOVE those big pockets!!!! It just makes your mind race with all the possibilities.

  2. For small, portable looms, see if you can find a Dorset. They're a 4-shaft, direct tie-up, and I love, love, love mine. Sharon has one too. It has a 25-26" weaving width, and I can fit it in my car. They're not common, but a better small loom you couldn't find.

  3. Is that a motion sensor on the scarecrow? Wow! Cute top. I keep telling myself I'll do something like this with leftovers, so far I just have a pattern and leftovers. I just left a note on Rodger's post, somehow I missed reading it until tonight. Feeling very sad for you, such a sweet boy.

    I like the idea of weaving on that big deck looking over the garden.

  4. As for the towels, my favorite so far is the white on pink. Don't fight the pink!

  5. You are so creative and artistic in your sewing! Is that Spike under the blanket?

  6. Oh, that pattern looks like fun. I lurve the pockets.