Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Place, Old Patterns

Last month Mr. Lucky and I had the most marvelous month back in Florida renting a new-to-us condo via VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner.)  There were on-line pictures, of course, and we got to see the unit's exterior the previous year but just like that mail order fabric, there's always some anxiety about what shows up in real life.  Well, we were absolutely thrilled with everything about our place and have already reserved it for next year.  That good luck was followed by the most marvelous March weather we had experienced in fifteen years of visiting Naples and so my sewing was replaced with numerous kayak and bike rides, long visits with old local friends and plenty of happy hours and beach sunsets.  
Packing for the 1300 mile drive south in mid-February is a challenge, especially this past February when we had record-setting cold days in Baltimore and pipes were bursting in neighborhood homes due to the sub-artic temps.  I wondered whether or not to bring sewing projects and my machines.  I say machines, plural, because as a garment sewer I also want my serger along even if it's just for seam finishing.  Of course it worked as I expected....if I pack up all the gear and plenty of already cut out projects, then the weather will be glorious and I will hardly find time to sew....but if I don't, then there will be cloudy cool days that would probably have me wishing for my "stuff."

Serger packed for car transport
I brought seven cut out projects but only stitched up these three, all TNT patterns.  They did come in handy while we were in Naples and for the drive north.  It's kind of funny to non-sewers that you have new clothes at the end of the month but didn't do any shopping.
I had this ITY knit from Fabric Mart with two parts to its personality, the loud rainbow stripes and the quieter gray tones.  I think of it as my bright Florida color and suburban Baltimore hybrid.  I used this year's favorite new knit pattern, the Tabula Rasa Tunic Knit Tee and Tunic

Tabula Rasa Knit Tunic

The next pattern was a breeze to sew but I spent many hours unraveling the fabric to make the fringe. It's McCalls 6444 6444  It is designed for a knit but this loosely woven fabric had a lot of natural "give" after being washed so I gave it about 1/8 or 1/4 more on its four vertical seams and it fits just perfectly.  I fringed the horizontal bottom hem and sleeve hem without any incident, and the pretty turquoise threads mixed with white and navy looked quite nice.  But the collar and vertical front edges only unraveled with the black base threads.  I had to come up with another solution, which I did, but which involved a lot more unraveling.  I cut 1 1/2 inch strips and unraveled both sides, leaving about 3/8 intact in the middle.  I then basted those strips to enclose the outside edges of the collar and front opening before doing a light zig zag to hold them in place.  I love the lightweight jacket look with the fringe and have gotten many compliments including one from my very stylish younger cousin.  

McCalls 6444

Hem fringe before final "haircut"

Testing the double sided fringe idea
The third project was once that I have had cut out since last summer.  It's an extremely soft cotton shirting from Fabric Mart that is perfect for those hot humid summer days.  Not my most flattering top, Vogue 7281 7281, but one I will appreciate in August.  
Vogue 7281
It was a relaxing, refreshing month away and I enjoyed every moment in the beautiful outdoors and with beautiful friends.  I'll leave you with some of the pretty sunsets we got to experience and hope that your travels, local or afar, bring you as much joy.


  1. Your new garments look great!! I love Florida and hope to one day move back there and retire. Great photos of the sunsets. Naples is a nice place.

  2. Love your fringed jacket and the photos of the ocean are beautiful!

  3. That fringe jacket will be so wearable with so many things! and well grey is one of my favorite clothing colors so I of course love the color!

  4. It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. When the weather is wonderful, my sewing takes a back seat to being outside. The items you did sew are fun. I love how you used that dual personality knit. And the fringe jacket is fabulous, though I can imagine the work it took to make the fringe.

  5. I'm just catching up with your post! What a nice trip to daughter lives in ft. Myers, but living there is not the same as visiting...the latter is more fun, always :-) That ITY knit fabric, oh, boy, I've always loved it and loved seeing it made up. Great top! And your M6444 is outstanding in the boucle, what a good idea and perfect for Florida winters.


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."