infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-01-03 03:37 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: Pinned Post

Everything prior to 2010 has been dumped into private. If you're looking for a particular entry from back then, drop me an email.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-21 10:31 am

Because when you try to unfold it, the creases crimp together

Yesterday I sewed up a pair of the hipster undies from the Lucky pattern
collection. I used fold-over elastic for the legs and waist. They fit! And
the elastic isn't terrible! I used a twin needle and the two-step method
for a cleaner finish on the waist and it works great. My largest zigzag on
the legs, trimming off the excess so the fold can lie a bit neater. For the
next pair I'm going to widen the crotch a bit at the rear for less
creepitude but I think I'm ready to start pulling out nicer fabrics and
churning these out.

We went to the market and got peaches, nectarines, green beans, eggplant,
carrots, sweet onions, tomatoes, and a lemon cucumber. I did the wash and
hung it on the line, including the denim and silk yardage I ordered from
Dharma.

P canned the tomato sauce and peach jam he made last week, and I made a
six-symmetry hole pattern for the big eclipse projector box (it's the AC
box, about three feet tall). I might see if I can make another one before
the event, as punching holes in tinfoil involved more learning curve than I
anticipated.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-20 10:26 am

There is word of board games today but I'll probably recover instead

Yesterday was busy! I tidied the sewing room a bit, and packed the wool
melton and some other stash fabric into a comforter bag with lavender, so
the moths should leave it alone but it can still breathe. Cleaners Supply
is great.

I ironed flat and sewed major seams on version 4 of my underwear pattern,
and tried a fold over elastic on the waist this time. I had a little
trouble with the feed but I got the hang of it eventually.

I made a potato salad: the boiled potatoes, plus a bunch of minced parsley,
thyme, fennel fronds, and sage; a honey mustard vinaigrette, celery, and
some halved grapes. The Yukon Golds were a bit grainy but the NY Strawberry
Paws (from my own garden!) were perfect.

I made a thick dal soup from mung dal, carrots, cranberries, and a chunk of
summer squash, plus coriander, cumin, ancho chile powder, and a touch of
turmeric.

We went to the Olin summer party at N's house, including several navigation
adventures with a wrong exit and a long unmarked gravel driveway flocked
with No Trespassing signs in Trump country. It worked out fine though, and
we met N's wife who has the knack of being genuinely interested in
everything which is always a fun personality to be around. Mostly familiar
faces, no incoming or prospective students, very comfortable, lots of
stories.

I didn't realize how much it had wore me out until we were driving home, so
maybe it was a little much but I still had a good time.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-19 11:06 am

Carrot seedlings are up!

Yesterday I drew version 4 of the underwear pattern, cut it out in fabric
and soaked in gelatin.

The flu shot really threw me this time around. Felt increasingly bad
throughout the morning, peaked around 1:30 and had mostly recovered by 4.
Body aches, fuzzy head, painful skin, disinterest in food. It's worth it to
not get the actual flu, but ugh.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-18 09:39 am

The AC is back on because 87 is excessive

Yesterday I sewed up underwear version three. These are wearable, though I
mean to lower the front rise and narrow the front crotch for the next pair.

I had a Squirrel Hill adventure after work, dropping off some mint with B
at the library, getting a flu shot, and waiting 20 minutes for the 58
before giving up and taking a 61 and a walk. Missed most of the rain,
thankfully, and collected some very nice compliments on my skirt.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-17 10:42 am

And the new canning lids arrived, so jam and tomato sauce soon

Yesterday I sewed up the new pair of undies (that's version 2 of the So Zo
pattern if you're following along) and they fit pretty well, though they're
a bit high along the back waist. I drew a new curve for that, expanded the
back crotch a touch, and cut and stabilized a new set of pattern pieces for
version 3.

Picked up more bread on the way in to work, which was fun, plus bonus
super-fresh bread at lunch. P went to the garden in the evening so I did
the trash and the dishes and had just about turned in for the night when he
got home. Tomatoes, figs, beans. Pretty good crossword gimmick.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-16 10:25 am

Pseudodawn is bright but we're getting used to it

Yesterday I cut out trial fabric for the new undies pattern and soaked them
in gelatin. Made some notes in my sketchbook about what techniques seem to
help, and ordered more picot elastic. Inventoried the new fabric I've
acquired. Boxed up the cyanotype papers, which look pretty good modulo some
learning curve on the first couple pieces before I figured out how to
spread fluid evenly with a rod.

Some nausea at dinner but I was good and took a zofran.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-15 10:48 am

Definitely growing Fortex beans again next year

Yesterday I was up way too early in the morning because jury duty. Missed
the bus, so P drove me. Lost my pocket knife because morning Katie wasn't
smart enough to think of asking security if I could check or mail it to
myself and tried to literally stash it in a flower pot instead. I was more
or less on time in spite of the traffic and construction on 2nd ave, the
10th st bridge, and Grant st. Judge was personable and talkative which was
cool. Nobody opted for a jury trial so we all got sent home at lunch time.
That was nice.

I took the rest of the day off for purposes of recombobulation. Sunday I
had made cyanotype paper using two locations: the basement, which is dim
but does get natural light from the north side, and the third floor
bathroom, whose window I'd blocked with a towel. I did some exposure tests
on a couple of scraps in the late afternoon and determined a second coat of
solution would give the best depth of color, but I didn't mix up fresh and
the results were alarmingly dark green instead of the chartreuse they ought
to be. I've stashed those in a flyer box and made more yesterday afternoon,
this time being sure to do the second coat within two hours of mixing up
the solution. It seemed better but I'll know for sure once they're dry.

I finished the pair of underwear I'd used the gelatin solution on, and I'm
satisfied with the elastic! I'm getting some skipped stitches but I think
that's my needle. I was even able to get some proper cupping around the
back leg. I've tried them on and it's good I made this as a trial pair
because the rear crotch is far too narrow and the curves of the back leg
don't sit anywhere near the right spot. I've re-drawn the pattern based on
a favorite extant pair of underwear (using one of my lace blocking mats to
pin out the elastic so I didn't have to cut it up, which I think is genius)
and will try that next.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-13 10:33 am

Hopefully it will be clear around five today

Yesterday we went to the Strip and got cheese (Brenta). We played a little
Scopa at La Prima, and made the day of a nice young couple visiting from
Italy.

I mixed up stock solutions for cyanotypes, and painted the inside of a
couple of oatmeal canisters black to use as small pinhole cameras. For a
larger one, I've co-opted the shipping box for the big air conditioning
unit on the third floor. It's about three feet tall and maybe 18x20 inches
across, with one open end. I cut the bottom off an empty metal-bottomed
cardboard canister (of potato starch) and put a hole in it with a needle
and a hammer, then sanded down the burr with 80 and 120 grit sandpaper to
use for the lens. I haven't taken a loupe to it yet but it should be
alright. I then cut apart two Cheerios boxes and made a tight-fitting lid
for the open end of the AC box, with a hole for the lens. I've painted the
inside of the lid black, and plan to line the rest of the box with black
paper to save paint.

One trick is that there are no rooms in our house that have no windows --
it was built in 1895. The closest thing I have to "subdued lighting" is a
room in the basement with glass block on the noth side of the house. I
mixed the stock solutions there in a dim corner away from the light, and am
hoping it will be enough. That's what prototyping is for, anyhow. I'm not
sure however how I'm going to coat and dry papers there, though -- it's
pretty humid and stagnant in the basement (in spite of the dehumidifier) to
begin with and I kinda think if I cover up the drying area to reduce light
they'll just moulder. I may try a batch in the basement and a batch
somewhere else with the windows covered.

We found the light box and it works, but the timer plug has gone missing so
I wasn't able to try it out this morning. It's... really bright, anyway.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-12 10:16 am

Because equinox is in like a month

Yesterday I determined that the new fabric also does not feed properly :(

But, I cut and sewed most of a pair from the gelatin-stabilized fabric, and
it seems to be working! I have to help it a bunch with the elastic, but it
does get at least a little stitch length response so I'll take it. I
stabilized the cut pieces from the new fabric with a more dilute solution
and will try those once it's dry.

I do indeed have jury duty on Monday. 8:30am call time. That's.... really
early for me. Practicing an advanced morning schedule this weekend, and
it's probably time to set up the light box anyhow.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-11 10:28 am

Picked the first summer squash from the garden

Yesterday a fabric package arrived! Including a knit I bought on sale for
muslins that's actually the right fiber content and stretch, unlike the
lightweight knit I've been struggling with from stash. Hopefully this will
work a lot better on my machine.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-10 10:42 am

I don't think I'll see eggplant melton at <$16/yd in the first half of 2018, so I bought it.

Yesterday involved cutting about a dozen little 7" samples of fabric and elastic and experimenting. Results:
  • Knit on bottom: better!
  • Completely letting go of the knit and stretching the elastic independently: Better!
  • Longer zigzag stitch: Ineffective! The fabric failed to feed properly so the stitches just bunched up the same.
  • Narrower zigzag: Ineffective! This just made the elastic curve funny.
  • Wider zigzag: Better! Doesn't look as nice though.
  • Decreased presser foot height: Better! The feed dogs get better purchase.
  • Receipt paper under the knit: SO MUCH better! Like, perfect levels of better. The zigzags were all their correct length no matter how much I stretched the elastic. Downside: Picking paper out of the finished zigzag stitches is difficult to begin with. I was intending to fold the elastic over and topstitch, which I wouldn't be able to do with the paper in place, and if I remove it first it just goes back to bunching up stitches and lettuce.

So I think my conclusion is, the combination of the lightness of the knit + my very simple sewing machine + my inexperience with knits/elastic means that stabilizing the fabric somehow is going to be my best bet. Lea included a rec for a gelatin solution (or a commercial soluble stabilizer, but I already have gelatin in my house) which I will try sewing on tomorrow once it's dry.

I also received advice on fb to let the elastic relax at the point of contact with the presser foot, which I kind of understand in analogy to woolen spinning, but not in the context of actual physics/calculus (if the elastic is relaxed, then it's its normal length, and if every stitch on the elastic is sewn at its relaxed length then how do I make it fit a longer seamline?). I might try that anyhow for kicks.

I'm not enjoying unpicking zigzag stitch on knits and elastics, regardless.

In other news, I did the Correct Adult Thing and re-ordered protein powder and supplements *before* everything ran out. Small victories!
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-09 11:09 am

I picked another bean!

Yesterday I sewed elastic to the waistband, got a wavy edge, ripped it out,
tried again, no luck. I might just decide to live with it? I mean I know in
theory it's because I'm somehow stretching the fabric and not just the
elastic but if I let it go any looser the presser foot pushes the fabric
out of the way and I get folds, even though I've got my finger right under
the toe of the foot. Knits are hard, yo.

Food wise: I tried a new protein powder and it went okay! Some nausea but
nothing greater than what I've been getting anyway recently, so I think
it's unrelated. Will duplicate the experiment today. The new stuff is
called "unjury" and is a whey protein isolate with some soy lecithin to
help it dissolve.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-08 11:26 am

The network drive at work filled up

Yesterday I was meant to see the nutritionist again but she had an
emergency and we rescheduled to next week, tentatively since I might have
jury duty then.

I traced, graded down, cut, and sewed the gusset on a new underwear
pattern, this time from So, Zo, What Do You Know?
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-07 10:21 am

I'm using a triple-stitch zigzag and crossing my fingers

Yesterday was a particularly miserable first day of menses, and I spent the
morning napping to get through the worst of it. P went to the market and
got blueberries, peaches, beans, Chinese eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, a
cucumber, and radish sprouts. In the afternoon I printed, traced, cut, and
sewed major seams on a pair of underwear (Lucky by Rad Patterns), made a
bunch of binding/bands, and sewed one leg hole. It looks good! I attempted
to try them on before binding the edges, but that was a bad idea -- I'd
forgotten that stretching the edge of a knit makes it roll terribly. So, no
trying on until the edges are finished.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-06 10:30 am

It wasn't supposed to rain until late!

Yesterday was busy! We went to the Strip in the morning and got olive oil,
cheese, olives, and a new cheese slicer. I popped in to Loom to look at
their new assortment of pinup patterned cottons, and they were nice (one
with bicycles! Pinup cyclists!) but not as nice as the sea creatures home
dec fabric. If that pattern had been slightly smaller I would probably own
some of it right now for an awesome dress.

We stopped at Allegro on the way back for sourdough.

Made and ate lunch, then started really churning out tasks. Laundry,
changed the sheets on the bed and flipped the mattress, lyed the tub and
the washcloths, dug up one of the potato pots (a totally respectable number
of potatoes but lots of babies so I left the rest of the varieties alone),
ripped out the remaining failed rutabagas, planted carrots and flowers in
their stead, trimmed back the munchener radishes to give the baby beans
some more light, tied up some of the corn that got knocked down in
yesterday's rain, had a snack, hung out the laundry and put in some towels,
pulled and bundled the flax, did another load of towels, scrubbed out the
tub and the non-slip mat and the shower curtain, another snack, folded
laundry and hung out the sheets, put the washcloths through the washing
machine. It unfortunately started to rain during dinner prep so I had to
pull in the sheets and dry them in the dryer, which means they're still in
there because I always forget the last load in the dryer since there's
nothing coming out of the washer to replace them.

I got reeeeally cranky around dinner time and didn't want to eat or do much
of anything so I vented on facebook and read a bunch of sewing group stuff
and went to sleep early.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-05 10:27 am

Managed to dodge the rain again, though the corn took a beating

Yesterday I played with the side seams on the Rhapsody top, but I'm
stumped. I'm getting drag lines radiating from the center of the yoke seam
(where the pleat is!) down to the side seam at the waist, and tons of extra
fabric at the small of the back. The waist guideline is level, so it seems
weird to fuss with it, but as is I don't know how I'm going to fasten the
side seams without screwing something up. Might be time for a time out.

I did find a great online retailer for spandex blends though, KoshTex.
Their prices are great, but not suspiciously low, and they even have
hard-to-find stuff like modal, bamboo, and tencel. I ordered a selection of
fibers so I can try them out and see what I like best.

I went to a virtual happy hour for the sewing facebook group I've been
getting into, and it was fun! I like the virtual format since whenever I
need a break I can switch to another window and it's not conspicuously rude.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-04 10:24 am

And flu shots are already available?

Yesterday I finished fitting the bustline of the Rhapsody top, and started
on the waist. I think I need to actually add width in the back, which is
odd but we'll roll with it.

I also started working through theSelf Sewn Wardrobe -along booklet for
underwear-making month, though I'm doing it in my projects sketchbook
instead of printing it out as a standalone. This week was inventory and
reflection, so I catalogued all the kinds of underwear I have by fiber
content, elastic, construction, and design, in order from most to least
favorite. Then I was able to make a list of likes and dislikes that will
help me pick patterns and finishes for making my own pairs. My list of
dislikes is a lot shorter than likes, which is nice since it gives me a lot
of options. I need a style where, when laid flat, the narrowest part of the
crotch is at or near the bottom, and the fabric for the rear panel does not
extend beyond the leg holes (/no front-facing leg holes). No nylon/spandex,
no 100% cotton. That's it! So now I'm scouting patterns.

I ordered cyanotype supplies from Dharma, since neither the art store in
SqHill nor the one on Craig St had the bulk chemicals, and I want to be
able to (1) try it more than once so I get some practice before eclipse
day, and (2) store the extra supplies, possibly in excess of 2-3 years.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-03 10:31 am

P brought me beans from the garden

Yesterday I sewed the first muslin for the Rhapsody top, and started
fitting. I had to take in 3/4" at center front and 1" at the shoulder seams
to fix a gape and raise the bustline (it's a drop shoulder pattern and the
top shoulder mark wasn't labeled, so I added height in front when I didn't
need it). Then I started on the back. I've slashed across the shoulders and
added 3/4" there, but it's still tight at the rear underarm. I might need
to add some width at the cross back, or maybe raise the yoke seam so the
pleat will take care of it.

I also took some scantily-clad photos and converted them into outlines so I
can make personalized croquis for sketches. I have some body image issues I
wasn't aware of, which is good to know. Seeing them as sewing challenges
seems to help, but I'll have to continue to work on them.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-02 10:16 am

Note to self: remember to staystitch the armholes

Yesterday I finished the first round of pattern adjustments for the
Rhapsody top, and cut out a muslin. I'm not super sure about the sleeve,
but that should shake out in the muslin adjustments.
infryq: Kitchen scene at dawn, post-processed to appear as if painted (Default)
2017-08-01 09:58 am

There's a nice interview about farming in this week's Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium podcast

Yesterday I drafted the waistband, yoke, and pocket opening for this year's
skirt. I printed the Rhapsody top pattern at work, and when I got home I
taped it all together, traced it onto exam table paper and started
adjustments. I got through the back before it was time for bed.