My dilemma, most often, is picking a single work in progress to write about.
What would you like to hear about, Dear Readers? A little pink fluffy a-line dress (not for me)? The ongoing Farmers’ Wife Quilt-Along(s)? The Jasmine blouse I’ve had the pieces cut out for for two months, but can’t bring myself to sew because it’s too cold out to wear it? The blackwork sampler? The marigold-yellow sweater I’m trying to crochet, largely by doing gauge swatches and ripping them out? The dragonfly embroidery that’s been sitting in a frame for six months? The wool sweater, now benched awaiting more yarn (yes, really)?
I’m not much for finishing one thing before I begin another, but somehow or other they all do get done eventually. My poor living room, however, is a mess. Stacks of fabric, pattern pieces, crochet magazines and books, hooks, scissors, needles and mats all over the flat surfaces, and draped over the arms of chairs and sofas carefully wound skeins of wool yarns (to keep them from felting as I work), piles of assembled quilt blocks on the shelves, and dining room chairs covered with bags of scraps. And that’s not counting Frances’s creative messes, including pencil crayons and a pad of sketch paper on the floor and her clay carving tools on the dining room table, along with the paints she’s using on her latest dragon.
If you ever drop in for tea, expect me to spend an hour tidying up first, is what I’m saying. (Don’t drop in for coffee. I don’t have any.)
The skirt, from Colette’s book of patterns, is a short skirt with a lovely scalloped hem, and it seemed like the perfect thing for this gorgeous wool-silk plaid I picked up for $20 at the Creativ Festival (that missing e is like a toothache, isn’t it?). The pattern construction is simple enough–two pieces, one in front and one in back, with a side-zipper and no waistband–but the scalloped hem requires a fair bit of careful cutting and tracing to get the seams right; and being me, I had to add my own complications with the fabric.
It’s a little sheer, isn’t it?
It’s as soft as pure silk, has a wonderful woolly texture, the plaid is woven in with fabulous warm colours … and the weave is quite loose and it would be scandalous at the office.
It needs a lining, clearly, but the skirt pattern doesn’t have a lining (it’s a beginner pattern). So I’m improvising. There are self-fabric facings at the top and bottom of the skirt to keep the hems stable (including that lovely scallop), so I cut a lining fabric to match the front and back pieces minus the bottom scallop portion. My thought is that I can catch-stitch the lining to the top of the bottom facing when it’s done, and it (and my underwear) will be completely invisible. It’s a bemberg rayon lining fabric, so it will be lovely to wear and won’t catch or rub on tights, if I were ever so foolish as to wear a skirt in the kind of winter we’ve been having. Not so. But at least it should be ready for those first few days when the temperatures creep over freezing and it feels like summer in comparison to how it’s been. If you’re Canadian, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve reached the point of the winter where I look out the window and remind myself that spring is a real thing that will eventually get here, even if it feels like the same grey skies have been looking at the same grey snow foreverandever. And when it does, I will have a lovely new handmade skirt to celebrate with.