Monday, August 12, 2013

Cool Weather Sewing in August

This beautifully textured wool knit has been in my resource center for several years, back from when Fabric Mart would sell designer samples (short 1-2 yard rough cuts) on hangers on the store side walls.  Now their store is overflowing and has tall shelves along those walls and back rooms filled in the same manner.  Thank you, sewing friends, for making their business grow when so many others have struggled.  
It's a medium grey with green undertones and I wanted a simple pattern that would highlight the fabric's uniqueness.  I turned to my classic and well-loved Pamela's Patterns Draped Front Cardigan. Pamela's Patterns Yes, I could have perhaps tried a new, more stylish pattern but I love this fabric and know that this will be a well-loved and well-worn new garment in my wardrobe.  It's very lightweight but also very, very warm and is probably 100% wool.  (Fabric aside:  I think Polarfleece is the best new fabric of the last century but there's nothing like a wool sweater knit for warmth.) I stitched it up last Monday when the weather was clear and cool, so surprising for Baltimore and early August.  I was still on my "high" from the ASG conference and this cardigan was already cut out and waiting for me in my precut project pile.     
Fabric Mart Fabrics wool knit sample piece

Pamela's Patterns Draped Front Cardigan.....I hesitate to think what number this might be in my wardrobe.
Hmmmm, my precut project pile, let me explain.  I would like to be one of those people who start one project, stay focused on that project and then complete....or maybe even abandon that project.  I am not wired that way but I do learn a tremendous amount from those of you who create like that.  When I have a challenging project, I like to walk away from it and take a break to mull over my next steps.  But I also still like to keep myself in the sewing room and that's where my TNT patterns and precut project pile comes in handy.  I have perhaps a half dozen simple sewing projects already precut waiting for me to pull them out and sew them up, somehwhat mindlessly, while the back of my head is stewing with that next project.  Whatever your work/sewing/living style is I hope it brings yo the same joy and satisfaction....and allows you to stretch and try new things as well.  

Later in the past week our August  days returned to more typical ones...steamy, sultry, lots of rain.  Good for many of my flowers and shrubs although this year the home tomato crop is dismal since we haven't had a lot of hot temps or dry days.  When it's this sticky I'd rather read than handle fabric or tissue paper patterns so here are a few more books that I've been enjoying:
My book group read and enjoyed this one tremendously and it might be one of my top two or three of the year.  
From Goodreads:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.

Someone recommended this English novel from the 1930's after I raved about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry earlier this year.  This was an absolute charmer and a hoot.  
From Amazon:
Who Knew One Book Could Cause So Much Chaos?
Barbara Bunde is in a bind. Times are harsh, and Barbara's bank account has seen better days. Maybe she could sell a novel ... if she knew any stories. Stumped for ideas, Barbara draws inspiration from her fellow residents of Silverstream, the little English village she knows inside and out.
To her surprise, the novel is a smash. It's a good thing she wrote under a pseudonym, because the folks of Silverstream are in an uproar. But what really turns Miss Bunde's world around is this: what happens to the characters in her book starts happening to their real-life counterparts. Does life really imitate art?
A beloved author who has sold more than seven million books, D. E. Stevenson is at her best with Miss Buncle's Book, crafting a highly original and charming tale about what happens when people see themselves through someone else's eyes.
I've mentioned my strong Anglophile streak before and this book seemed to be the "backstory" to my beloved Miss Read books of 20 years ago.  Oh my gosh, what happens when people recognize themselves in those little village novels.....and some of them are affronted by the perspective.  Delightful and I look forward to reading the sequel.
The British Royal Family are in the news this summer with a happy blessed new baby in the family.  (Isn't every new baby boy a prince in his own right?)  This next charming novel takes on the Royal Family in a slightly less obsequious manner.
From Amazon:
An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn—author of Reading Jackie:  Her Autobiography in BooksMrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain’s Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town—and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England’s monarchy.
Enough on the books,  my latest sewing project is a gift for a family member so I'll keep it under wraps for a few more weeks.  Now it's time to get off the computer and walk to the library to pick up a book on reserve.  


  1. I love the jacket you made. It's really nice. I am sewing for the fall too. Although I love the weather right now. And thanks for the book suggestions, I am always looking for a good read.

  2. A beautiful cardigan and what a fabulous fabric! I seem to be finding less at FM these days.

  3. "Resource Center"--I like it (I like the jacket as well)! Well-stocked resource center sounds so much better than out-of-control stash. :)

  4. LOL, I was also amused with the term "Resource Center".
    We all know what that means!! That is a gorgeous fabric and I love the jacket you made.

  5. That's a lovely cardi and it will be needed sooner than we think!

  6. I am going to use that one on the hubby. "It's for the resource center honey, it has to be well stocked!" Love it.

  7. Love your cardigan -- Pamela's patterns are my favorite, as well as Fabric Mart. They have great fabric, prices, and customer service, and they send your fabric right out. I tried some other online sources and sometimes they took forever to mail, and if you called, you had to wait -- etc. I wasn't a customer when they offered pieces like yours.

  8. I've just been catching up on all the wonderful items that you've sewn. This cardigan is wonderful! I, too, have a number of these in my closet, probably because I keep sewing these up as samples for classes using this pattern. It's a wonderful style. Put it on, and it gives some style to a t-shirt and pants (or skirt) combo.
    Also - thank-you for all the book suggestions.

  9. Love your blog - I've been sewing since I was 10...currently sewing for the owner of StoneMountain in Berkeley and having a ball making a wardrobe for her - going to start following your delightful musings!


  10. I can't even think about cool weather sewing at the moment. Love your jacket though, the fabric is really lovely and I think a simple, favourite pattern is the right choice for it.

  11. That is really weird. We just did Harold fry for our book group and after burial rites by Hannah Kent we will be reading the light between oceans. Thanks for the other suggestions. They sound great. I have never read miss read books but would like to.


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