22 December, 2015

Invisible sewing

We all do it:  sewing that isn't  "pour moi" - isn't "couture" - and typically, isn't (and isn't supposed to be) visible to the world at large.  Stuff that's too pedestrian - quotidien - even yawn-worthy to some - to blog about.  And yet, it's basic and needful sewing that improves our daily existence and grounds us into the world we live in.

For example:  during the last six months I created: 

- a Canadian winter-worthy king-sized duvet.  I started with the shell of a former double-sized duvet, and added 7" wide channels of new ticking on three sides of the original.  Four (yes, FOUR!!!!) pounds of duck down from an Ontario supplier later.... and....  I now have a super-warm king sized down duvet that one simply cannot buy anywhere, no matter the price.....   It's unique... and amazing to snuggle under..........

- four king-sized pillows.  Starting with new pillow ticking from my local Fabricland, I made four king size (20" x 30") cases, and then filled them with a pillow-appropriate down/feather mix from the same supplier.  About 1.5 lbs per pillow:  perfect!!!

New duvet and pillows, and several fleece and cotton pillow cases

- fleece cases for above pillows:  during the last couple of years when I was temporarily bald, I couldn't bear to sleep on a plain cotton pillow:  just too c-c-c-cold!!!  My bald head needed the warmth and softness of fleece.  This year, though I now have hair again, I made a gazillion fleece pillow cases for me and mine.  They make yummy winter bedding..... and perfect little Christmas gifts.

- cotton pillow cases for the above pillows, from a re-purposed cotton sheet:  when a high quality, high thread count fitted sheet unexpectedly developed a rip in one tiny spot, I cut it up into five king-sized pillow cases, instead of throwing it out.  How thrifty of me!

- an instrument case:  if you looked at my quickie blog bio, you might have noticed the word "musician".  Woodwinds are my thing:  flutes, recorders, clarinets.  In this instance, I created a soft travel case for four of my larger (tenor and alto) recorders.  I pieced it from cotton velvet remnants, and lined it with the softest fleece in my stash.  With its multiple jewel tones, the case has a nice renaissance-baroque vibe to it.  Very musically appropriate!

- several simple fleece shells for my small external hard drives, and one for my hard flute case.  A double-padded fleece case for my little point and shoot camera so it's protected from the other denizens of my purse; as an added bonus, it's a nice bright rosy red, which makes it easy to spot anywhere.  Basic black has its place, but a little colour makes for a fantastic exclamation point in one's life.

- re-fitted clothing:  I'm doing this a lot these days.  As an example, my darling mom, who lives not very far away, recently gave me a pair of slacks and two yummy wool sweaters.  We're nearly the same height, but I'm the skinny-minny of the family, so all of her hand-me-overs have to be sized down a lot to fit me.  She pin-fitted the slacks on me, and then basted the new sides and  new (much lowered) waistband placement.  In the case of the sweaters, I reduced the shoulder width by removing the sleeves and moving them in towards the shoulder and then narrowed the seam lines of both sleeves and sides.

- a warm fleece interlining to my coral cashmere coat.  For some inexplicable reason, I left my brain on the bedside table on the day I was creating the lining for this garment, and made it without appropriate winter insulation.  What was I thinking???  nay, I clearly wasn't thinking at all. As a result, though stylish and a favourite to wear, it was never quite warm enough.  So, with winter almost here and the need to wear the coat again fast approaching, I pulled out the pattern, and created an interlining out of a thick poly fleece, using the back, side panel, side front, and top of the sleeve pattern pieces. I then flipped the lining inside out and hand stitched the warm interlining to the sewing allowances of the back neckline, front facings, and sleeves.  In the next few days, I'll also move the snaps over a couple of inches to snug it up a bit.

In other news, I'm already working on my new pendleton check wool coat.  I'll post on that in a few days.

And, since it's almost here, let me wish a very Merry Christmas to everyone!  Most unusually, it'll be a green one here in the capital of the Great White North. 


  1. I don't think these are pedestrian at all! Your duvet and pillows look truly luxurious. And that recorder case is just beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the new coat. Happy holidays!

  2. Very, very productive! Your duvet looks amazing! And - pray tell - where did you find the supplier for down? Have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Feather Industries, http://www.featherind.com
      Their shipping minimum is 2 lbs, and they'll create any mix that you ask for, of down/feathers, in duck, goose, or even ( for a price!) eider.

  3. That duvet cover is very cool. I just made my dad ship me my old twin size feather duvet cover from middle school. We bought them in Germany and I also think they are irreplaceable.

  4. Even though it is warm here this holiday, I remember last winter too well and am inspired to make some fleece pillowcases myself this year. It may not be the most gorgeous photography but utilitarian sewing is sometimes the best return on a dollar since it is perfectly customized for our tastes. I even like the red camera case idea to make finding the darn thing a little easier.