Birds and Worms and Jackets

Taking a break from all our Spring storms and rain the weather has turned nice for a while and this is a new visitor to one of my bird feeders this week.P1160166P1160168 Isn’t he gorgeous? It’s a grosbeak that loves sunflower seeds and he and Mrs. Grosbeak have been very active so there must be babies somewhere nearby.

Getting more into nature and the organic way of improving our dirt for growing veggies and flowers is a new addition to our garden. When I lived in England I owned a Wormery which was a glorified plastic trash can what had a spigot at the bottom for extracting the liquid “tea” that came form the worms and trays at the top for tossing in veggie scraps and fruit peels that they happily turned into compost. Worms like cooler temps and our summers can go way into the 100′s F so raising worms was always out of the question. But after reading an article in the local paper about a woman who does this full time for master gardeners and farmer’s markets, I took a ride out to her facility yesterday and bought a pound of adults and 4 bags of castings and eggs and a quart of “tea”.P1160192 Here is where the adults are going to live…3 compost bins with kitchen scraps and yard cuttings:

P1160196P1160193P1160197  Welcome to your new home!

For the third section of this post I have some photos of a jacket a client brought in that she fell in love with but was bought before her weight loss and it was a size 20 and she is now a size 16. Unlike normally I have the task of making clothes bigger, I had to reduce this down using every single seam inside and out. Let’s start with sleeves, pin out 2 seams for each sleeve, lay them side by side to be identical, pin out the lining as well:narrowing-sleeves-one-inchsleeve-and-liningsleeve-liningssleeve-side-by-side Then the rest of the seams are taken in at least one inch or more:basting-princess-front-seam But before I removed the sleeves I marked where each junction was with green thread…some jackets as you know make no attempt to match seams…why is this? It all goes back to the fact that pattern makers take the easy way out some times…in this jacket only one seam has a matching companion…lucky me!marking-junctions and the finished result…P1160186P1160187 It has been transformed from a boxy wool jacket (my pet hate) to a fitted garment that shows off my client’s new curves. The center back seam was taken in 4 inches from neck to hem along with all the facings and linings, all other seams were taken in 2 inches…whew! Love the center front zipper!

Do you ever wonder how flight attendants look so cool in their uniform jackets? The secret is inside:flight-jacketflight-jacket-2 There is a specially made mesh netting insert to keep them cool and is also allows for more movement in the armhole…sneaky isn’t it?

So next time more impossible bridal alterations and the new fabric for the altered jacket pattern (minus the gingham wedges) from last week. I took a head count of the gowns I have to finish before Sept 8th (my last so far) and the total was 20. Thankfully, I have completed 4 for the earliest weddings but the rest are here and hanging around calling my name…”over here Mrs. Mole.” 

Tomorrow is June already…the beans are up, the eggplants have blossoms and the birds are singing…what else do I need? Mr. Mole has been missing for a while…where did he go? Without him I have gone without my rum and diet Pepsi at 5 pm so it will be nice when he returns to the tunnels and we can resume our nice routines. Enjoy the weekend!

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15 Responses to Birds and Worms and Jackets

  1. Bunny says:

    Gee, that sounds kind of like the gin and diet tonic that finds me come five o’clock. No wonder I don’t sew at night!

  2. mrsmole says:

    That sounds like Mr Mole’s favorite tipple…vodka and diet tonic… a small reward for putting up with cranky customers. Guess it can be stressful at your work too!

  3. fabulous transformation of that jacket – and I still have worm envy, and now bird envy – don’t get quite so exotic birds in the UK best I can rustle up is the greater spotted woodpecker.

    • mrsmole says:

      I miss seeing and hearing the wood pigeons that came to our feeders in Liverpool…like flying turkeys.

  4. prttynpnk says:

    MMMM….castings…..They even have ‘UNited’ on the lining- is that so no one steals it and wears it about cuz it’s so stylish and lovely?

    • mrsmole says:

      They are all made by the same company Cintas in China for the Star Alliance group of airlines. It probably helps them keep orders straight for which airline if they all order black. It does look nice on my client and they have added 2 stripes of braid around the sleeve cuff area with buttons like the pilots so for a 100% poly jacket, they look good from a distance and are very washable.

  5. Valerie says:

    Great job on the jacket. Mesh at the armpit is a great idea. I do not have a back yard but I do have regular visitors to my balcony, a pair of pigeons that drink water from my plant stand. They don’t mind me to the point that they think they own the place.

    • mrsmole says:

      Are pigeons like doves that build really crappy nests in really bad places and expect Mrs Dove to drop some eggs and raise a brood?

  6. sewbussted says:

    Fun with worms, I love it!! You just might inspire me to get a worm farm going! I am preparing for bees next summer. I’m really excited about it. A neighbor of ours had bees for a while and I don’t know what kind of radio active flower they were eating along the river, but it was the best honey I ever had.
    The jacket really turned out beautifully. Your client must be so happy.

    • mrsmole says:

      Mr Mole would like to have bees as we live in a very orchard filled valley. Is there anything nicer than honey and with different flavors? My client has given me the fabric for her new jacket so I am excited to get started and show all of you.

  7. Andrea says:

    Beautiful bird, so exotic looking. Good luck with your worms. They remind me of going looking for nightcrawlers with my grandad for fishing. I did not realize your summers get so hot out there. Sounds like Mrs. Mole will be a busy lady all summer!

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Andrea, I’m hoping to NOT have to monitor those worms or do much more than throw kitchen scraps to them…those guys are on their own now! How lucky you were to have a fishing grandad!!!

  8. I have worms too! I started a colony last summer and they have spent the winter in the garage to prevent them from freezing. They seem very happy and are eating lots of kitchen waste and producing lots of ‘worm tea’ now. They are about to be moved back outside not the frost danger is gone. I also have outdoor composters (daleks) which also collect worms. Such useful creatures.
    I love your birds – I am currently feeding an assorted bunch including a lesser spotted woodpecker who gets through fat balls at an amazing rate.
    With all of these distractions how do we ever find time to sew?

  9. mrsmole says:

    While Mr Mole is away for a while I sew all night so I can do the garden chores in the daytime. Today I planted loads of pansies and portulaca plants and washed all the patio furniture and hosed down everything. Tomorrow one of my June brides is flying in for the day to try on her dress, make some changes, add sleeves etc and expect to drive north to the wedding on Monday…ooh wee, a quick turnaround but it is the only way to get another one out the door. Can’t birds be greedy! Do yours bring their offspring to the feeders while they flap their little wings and shout “feed me, feed me”?

  10. BeaJay says:

    Great pics of the bird – how gorgeous. Love the outcome with the jacket.

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