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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, October 9, 2020

Hyyge collection: depression era sewing

 It's been a bit of a busy week but ended well.

Last Friday Daisy had a cancer removed from on her belly. Yesterday the vet called to say the results came back from the biopsy. It looks like it was low grade and they got it all with margins. This was much better news than we expected. I wonder if this whole covid thing has put it us all in an expect the worst mentality?

It's funny what behaviours are coming to the surface these days.

For myself one thing I have felt drawn to is making the most of what I have. Maybe being more homebound (Nova Scotia has been more or less covid free all summer, expect for a few quarantined travellers) in the sense I can't leave the "Atlantic bubble" and go see family, has me looking harder at what I have hoarded just where I am.

For what am I saving so much fabric? If I don't use it now, then when?

I have also been aware that I am short of warmer spending-the-winter-in-the-house type clothes. So I have decided to go on a little tear on tops.

I am again using Jalie's Romy, sort of an almost bat wing sleeve raglan, because the sizes of the individual raglan components are smaller than a regular top with a large front and back. I thought this would make it easier for me to fit in some actual garments from odd shaped left over fabric.

There is a shorter and a tunic version for this top but I decided not to do the longer view, what I would usually do being tall. It looked pretty fitted to me and my stomach and backside are not areas I tend to like really fitted.

So here is what I did, randomly, with whatever fell off my shelves. First off is some stripe from Joann's I bought for some reason. It was this garment and the process of trying to wiggle out some stripe matching that produced my no stripes need to be matched during the pandemic policy. Included is an action shot because on me action involves talking.

Next up is what I made with some random ribbed knit and less than a meter of boiled wool. My warm dog walking sweater:

And finally some leftover cotton velour, another cozy top:

I feel pretty good with these tops. Definitely I like having made something out of nothing, which in some ways is what all sewing is.

Before I go though I would like to dedicate this post to my grandmother, a prairie Depression era housewife. She was a woman who would wrap up and save a quarter of a leftover pancake, and once nearly had a heart attack when she saw me unwind the wrong colour old thread from a bobbin and throw it out. 

"That's good thread you are wasting!" she scolded me.

I think she would have approved of these tops. But it is a good thing she can't see what's still on my shelves.


JustGail said...

You'll be nice and cozy in those tops this winter.

I used to toss the last bits of bobbin thread, until one day I was pulling thread off a spool to baste something. Yes, basting by hand. It dawned on me that the bits of thread from bobbins and pulling through the machine when re-threading would work for basting. Or sewing on buttons. I think I have enough bits to baste every seam on every item I make for years to come.

Katrina Blanchalle said...

I love these sweaters. Right now this is my favorite type of project - quick to sew, comfortable to wear.

I think a lot of people are responding to the inexplicable shortages we experienced at the beginning of the pandemic by using more conservative and less wasteful methods. Several bloggers have vowed to only sew their stash. Others are only using no-waste patterns. I don't see any downside to this trend!

Ellen's Sewing Passion said...

Fabulous sweaters! I love every one of them :)

bbarna said...

The tops look fantastic. I have the Yoko pattern so rather than buy a new one right now, I will try some winter tops with it. At the moment I am pressure canning the summers catch of trout and kokanee. I need room in the freezer to finish up my tomatoes and apples. As for the bobbins, I use random colours when quilt piecing, so I can free up bobbins for clothing sewing. I remember my maternal grandmother keeping us in mittens and toques, clothing of all sorts and a special winter coat for me that was made from an old coat of hers. I spent time with her at the sewing machine whenever I could.

SilverMom said...

As always, you made me laugh out loud. My mom ALWAYS used the last little bit of the thread on the bobbin. And the au courant rule about changing needles often???? She would be horrified. Needles got changed when they got a discernible burr or broke!

However, I will say that her fabric and pattern stashes were right up there with mine.

M-C said...

I am sure your grandmother is proud of you. And being able to clear up remnants and make a warm cozy stash for the winter is a perfect combination

Louise said...

All those tops look really nice like you bought the fabric specially for them. I'm impressed! You look comfy and warm. Good news about Daisy!

Karen Hine said...

My grandmother saved and re-used her basting threads. She made lovely wool coats, sometime with fur trim, for her young daughters out of used adult coats, turning the fabric to the wrong side where it still looked new. My mother, as an adult, reacted to all this saving by often taking pleasure in throwing things out. I’ve gone back to my grandmother’s ways.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Your grandmother wouldn't have understood all that excess on your shelves because they didn't live like that. As a teenager I had a stash and when my grandmother would visit, she would always relieve me of a few pieces! Sadly when she died, I found them on her shelves and took them home as treasures.

I love your tops! And I'm rethinking my winter wardrobe too since I won't be leaving my house much this winter either.