Sep 26, 2010

notes on relining a coat

Relining a coat seemed daunting. Then I took the old coat lining off the coat, divided it into its constituent pieces, traced and cut out the new pieces and it seemed, if not easy, doable. Then I sat down at the sewing machine and had my ass handed to me. It was not my best idea ever to try such a hard project, without a real pattern, when so out of practice sewing clothes.


1. It is very confusing to think about wrong sides and right sides, especially if the lining fabric (raw silk) looks the same from both sides. Sorting out how to sew the lining to the coat so that the insides would all be inside took some mind-bending.

2. Raw silk is a pain in the ass. It has a very loose weave and so the edges (where one sews) shred easily. It'd be a good idea to do a zig-zag stitch around the edge of every piece individually.

3. I found sewing the lining sleeve-ends to the coat sleeve-ends completely unvisualizable. After sewing them together wrong, in two different ways, I finally pinned them together how they would logically have to be in the end and somehow led the way. I thought they should be sewn together one inside the other. Not so: they come together like they're shaking hands, and at the last inch the end of the lining sleeve is flipped back on itself. Would have been nice to have taken a picture of this before taking the coat apart. The sleeves turned out okay though.

4. Pockets. Also confusing. Another good subject for a picture pre-deconstruction. These turned out ok--the lower pockets (not pictured) had some problems, but are invisible and functional. They were the first things I sewed onto the coat. Turns out it is best to have the leather on the bottom and the lining on top because the leather stretched out under the sewing machine foot when it was on top. However, sewing w/ the leather on the bottom makes it impossible to see the holes where the old sewing lines went, which may have been a source of some of my other problems (e.g. lining pieces too small). Maybe the solution is a walking foot? The upper pockets were very very confusing, but I eventually sorted them out. Happily--they are also functional and largely invisible. I think more practice w/ pockets would have solved most of my problems here. I tried to do some internet research on pockets, but found the explanations all useless (e.g. "insert the pockets and sew") or incomprehensible.

5. Darts. Making darts where the edges of the coat still need to line up is weird. I guess it produces a curve? Which is a strange thing to sew. It, too, was impossible for me to visualize. In the end, it is a matter of forcing and fussing. My two boob-darts turned out fine. The third dart, where the two bottom flaps come together, was not a curvy dart, just a regular straight dart, which turned out fine until it was attached to the coat. This leads me to #6.

6. I'm pretty sure I did the bottom of the coat wrong. I have no idea how to fix it. There was too much fabric in some places and not enough in others. Since the end of the dart (already a weak point) was one end of the gap in the seam through which I turned the coat inside-out and back several times (due mainly to the sleeves), it is already starting to tear.

7. For some reason, maybe because I (unintentionally) used different seam allowances than the coatmakers did, I ended up with not enough fabric at the top. I fudged it, b/c fixing it would entail starting from scratch. However (especially given the loose weave of the fabric), I fear this will tear, especially given tension from the screwed up bottom. This was one of the last sections I sewed (not counting pockets and sleeves). I think it would have been better to start with the top, since it is so finicky.

8. I chose thread that matched the color of my lining. This was a mistake. A. It made it harder to see the stitches for ripping out wrong seams. B. On the few places where the stitching shows through on the coat, well, it definitely shows through. I think that's a bad idea unless you're going to have contrast stitching everywhere AND you're good enough w/ your machine that the stitches look beautiful. Neither true for me. Happily, those places are few.

9. Good job, me, for remembering to switch to a heavy-weight needle when I started sewing the lining to the coat.

10. In the end, it is good enough, at least until it starts tearing. The color definitely excitens up the coat and the silk will make it warmer. The weird bits are all on the inside, in the back, and not visible when worn. Now, I want to start sewing more clothes from patterns. Ideally, the next time I have to replace this lining, I'll be a whiz at pockets, sleeves, raw silk, leather, and weird coat-flap darts. (Since I probably will have to replace the lining at some point, I wanted detailed notes, which is the main purpose of this blog post.)

. . .

Candy Pickle?

I think that might be what my nephew named this squeezy amigo, I can't quite remember. Anyway, s/he was a birthday gift for my niece:

Pattern; yarn = Paton's classic wool, in aran, and, I think Shepherd's Wool worsted (in some white or other) which I dyed w/ Kool-Aid (a proud Nebraska product). Size 5 or 6 needles, I think.

I like the swirly feet:

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Sep 13, 2010

Blog Post

For my community-college Spanish class I had to write a blog post that used a lot of past tense verbs. Since I want to use Spanish in my practice, I opted to write about bankruptcy. Whee! Then, for good times only, I put my terrible spanish blog into Google Translator and asked it to translate it back into English for me. Evidently I got a few words mixed up. And Google Translator also sucks.

"I am a bankruptcy attorney. Study Spanish to help me in my work. Then, I write about my work. Sorry, you're probably bored.

Forum Bankruptcy Legally

"When I was a law student in 2007, not ever thought of studying the law of bankruptcy. I hated math. I do not know anything about financial. I knew no one who studied bankruptcy. And yet, I filed bankruptcy about forty last year. After graduating, I brought a job with Legal Aid of Nebraska. The position was one that was open in North Platte. North Platte I never knew, but, however, was the one. A Legal Aid office in North Platte, had only two lawyers, and lawyers practicing all the gals of the law. For example, practiced family law (divorce and custody cases of children) and housing law (evictions).Work also introduced me to the bankruptcies.

"Ten months later, I moved to the Legal Aid office in Omaha. In Omaha, I was given the choice of gals to practice law. I did not like the family law because it is too exciting. But, I learned in North Platte that the law of bankruptcy is not exciting. Additionally, this chick practicing law is like a puzzle, you need to figure out how to protect my clients' assets from bankruptcy court. And finally, the computer program was all mathematical computations. In the end, I chose bankruptcies. Do you think most have no prior work?"

I could explain, but I think it is funnier as is.

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Jul 13, 2010

Rocky's Sombrero

Happy birthday, dear Rocky, happy birthday to you.

Robin's Egg Blue hat, knit w/ Malabrigo (continental blue, left over from DMC's birthday scarf), on size 7s. I think the only alteration was using a pin instead of a button.

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Jun 22, 2010

interruption: chapeau

Bounce pattern requested by the recipient.

Kool-aid dyed wool yarn, can't remember what brand exactly.

Size 10 needles, I think.

Mods: I didn't like the square stockinette decrease, so I did a brioche decrease (more or less): 3 stitches before marked stitch, knit together 2 stitches & a YO. Move stitch back to left needle, and pass marked stitch & its YO over the worked stitch. Move back to right stitch. I did this 4 times per round, every other round, until it got down to around 8-10 stitches, then I fed the yarn through.

If I were to knit this again, I would find a way to knit it in the round. I would also make it smaller. It's pretty big.

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Jun 20, 2010

postcard project

AW, 4/5/2003:


JC, 1/3/2007: "Destruction of card due to my dog, Scout. Makes it more valuable, n'est pas?"

MEB: "E especially enjoys the hair designing!"

. . .

postcard project

Group postcard, 2004: "Bobcats rule! You are a bobcat!"--PMcCMcS "Beam." --DCF "Who cares?!! Oh, wait a sec..." --Chef H. "You're so juris-prudent." --SWT

SJP, 2006: "This bird's head belongs in your apartment! Though not in a violent way."

PMcCMcS, 01/20/01 [this date does not seem accurate] [the picture on the card is made out of cloth glued onto it]: "Please keep an eye out for a thermometer that goes above 120 degrees. If I'm going to bitch, I'm going to bitch accurately. ... I've told everyone, 'Mam kiema baoda tumde be Ghana ... a na n waka yesa!' ... To which the typical response is 'Yaa Soma!' ... Laafi bala. So, what's new here? Well, I have some swollen, hot, and extraordinarily itchy bug bites: a mystery roommate. ... Guess who was weirdly staring into my screen door, just now? Mazoo! ... When I first got back, he was peering all over the place, and I figured out that he was looking for you. 'Mam kiema-paga kulame,' I told him. 'My older sibling-woman went home.' To which, in typical Mazoo fashion, Mazoo nodded, blank-faced."

EDD, 02/16/2005: [Charmingly, mostly illegible.]

CMcS, 2/2006: "The Cranes are already here. We can go see!"

AAF, 12/05:

JC, 12/2004:

CMcS, 2/10/2006:

EEB, 1/17/2006:


. . .

postcard project


SWT: "I'm excited to see you and your pink pants in a month."

PMcCMcS 10/15/200: [Hot pink on the other side, with silver writing] "Now you can expect all sorts of headache-inducing, chromatically mismatched mail ... can you read this in the dark? Can you read it in a shark? Can you read it with Plutarch?"

MEB & EEB, 2006?:

KJB, 10/30/04:

MH, 12/20/2002. This card was hard to scan because it has a hard plastic pink stuck to the top with adhesive. It came that way. At the bottom, it says, "Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families. Charles Dickens (1812-1870)." : "(It's the one I wanted to get you in the summer, but I don't recall if you got one, anyhow, it's smelly juniper.)"

SWT, 3-5-2002: "Also! Don't forget to pack the silk long johns! ... You're finito! Capisco? ... Till Scandinavia!"

HMF, 12/10/02: "I'm taking a vacation from my vacationfor a few weeks, then I'm afraid it will really be time to stop goofing around and go to work."

JC, QOP, 1/2003:

HMF, 2/22/2003: "We got two feet of snow and now it's warm and raining and we have flood warnings."

. . .

Jun 18, 2010

postcard project

I would like to take this opportunity to say that I take full responsibility for any typos that appear to be attributed to other people in these postcards.

Also: the post office's new way of stamping mail sucks. The date and place of mailing is not legible. What's the point? Sheesh.


HMF, 2004 [this is purple in real life]:

EEB, 4/16/05:

A law firm ad, pre-market crash: "The [law firm] Summer Associate Program: Glamorous work, lavish meals, theatre tickets. Your basic deal with the devil."

HMF: "I bought my first 21g of glitter today."

LT, 2/2/05:

LT, 3/17/05:

DF: "Last night was B's bachelor party. I won poker money from drunk people. ... This skimboard was constructed from wood taken off the hands of the folk at the Seattle ReStore, which is of course the awesome ancillary project of Habitat for Humanity. It has excellent lightweight and compact size for getting to the beach, with the smoothest, most frictionless skim of any board yet constructed by Eladrin Constructs!"

PAK: "!, P"

AAF, 12/17/04: The best thing about this card is that A crossed out the "season's greetings" that came prewritten on it and wrote "Merry Christmas!" underneath. The second best thing is that she says she's "sorry that grad school is flying past."

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Jun 13, 2010

postcard project

One binder done.

. . .

postcard project

HMF, 11/1/06: "I hope this gets to you in time for election day. I voted absentee here in South Dakota and they had the stickers available when I picked up my ballot at the courthouse. I always know more about the issues here than in DC. I'm roasting pumpkin seeds and waiting for bread to rise."

AAF, 3/6/97: "Just wait to see my hair - ultra perky."

RLY, 9/23/99: "Dearest Anne, This is a precursor for things to come. Are the Annapolis Bars open on Monday?!?"

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