Archive | May 2014

The Little Red Hen Sews Again

It’s been awhile since I have sewn anything. It’s hard to get material here. The prices are steep and if by any chance I already know what I want, I can pretty well forget it or wait a long time. I have been looking for something to go with a pair of red trousers for about two years now. I saw a blouse on sale in a store, 100€. Why is this so expensive, I asked the storekeeper, thinking it might be made of silk. She said it was the brand. So I waited. A couple of weeks ago, I hit up a fabric store, about an hour and a half’s drive from here, and spied just the colours I had been wanting in a lightweight crinkly fabric, under 10€ a meter. Chouette! A no-iron garment! But when I got it home and started to lay out the pattern, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. How would I ever get this to come out to size? If I stretch it, it will snap back into something clinging. If I leave it, it’s not wide enough and will make an extra large bag. Finally I taped it to the table very slightly stretching. Some research via google told me I should stay the shoulders and neck edges. I was happy to find some twill tape in my drawer. Maybe it had been there 30 years. They also warned about ironing and not to topstitch.

Maybe that twill tape was for a light blue suit I was planning to make for my husband. Perish the thought, styles have changed.

I have had to accept a lot of imprecision with this fabric, not my usual way of sewing. Makes me think of wet-in-wet watercolour. Let the gathers fall where they may.

I was happy to find I remember how to do side-seam pockets. They are something I often have to add to suit me. One needs pockets. My grandfather was always astonished if we didn’t have any pockets into which to slip the candy he wanted to give us.

As I was setting in the first sleeve, I thought, oh, boy, and there’s another one of these to do. I’m glad I don’t have four arms. Forearms, yes, I appreciate.

If you don’t sew, you may not realize what a wonderful invention we have with the zig-zag sewing machine and a semi-automatic buttonholer. One used to have to do the buttonholes by hand using, of course, the buttonhole stitch.


The finished garment

The finished garment




A good layer, but I have never seen her sew.

A good layer, but I have never seen her sew.



May Day 2014


muguet 2014


The lilies of the valley are in full bloom on this year’s May Day,

exhaling their appreciated perfume.


A bonus photo, near the door:

doorstep may 2014