Vacation Over

I have squirreled myself away for the month to re-charge and make a few things before the onslaught of brides for the 2016 season.

You have asked to see photo of my projects…none are earth shaking or trendy or artistic, just functional for working on the floor. If you are expecting to see useless angled pockets or off center collars and flared hems…ah no.

Before we arrived at our destination, I was rummaging through my overnight bag and my finger caught the edge of a new disposable razor that had lost its cover. It sheared off a layer of skin and there was blood all over the place. Now one week later you can see the length and width of the slash:P1040762

To start with I am sewing in a rented house with my Janome Jem and a bag of fabrics and patterns and an iron I found in the closet:iron-2 Can you see the bottom edge? Yes, this puppy has seen some rough treatment…I’m guessing it has been dropped unto the tile floor more than once. If you pour water into it for steam, it just drips out the bottom…nice.

But what can you sew on vacation while sharing opposite ends of a narrow dining table with your husband? You can see my “station” in the background…machine and ironing board and after cutting my TNT tunic on the kitchen counter, it is pinned and ready to stitch in the round. The crummy part was…this fabric has the circles wandering off at about a 30% angle so there is no hope of matching anything so using it on a baggy tunic seemed the best way to use it without folks thinking I have cut everything lop-sided.


When sewing in the round, each section is fed into the machine right after you back stitch the last section, then cut the short connecting threads after you get to the last section. Yes, I know lots of you want to sew “directional”…I have seen all the shows that say side seams are sewn from top to bottom and shoulders are sewn inwards towards the neck…lovely for home sewing and if you think this matters when sewing on quilting cotton. I learned this way in college and in the factory so I am stuck doing it this way.

sewing-in-the-round-2  sewing-on-the-round-3

I ended up adding vertical front and back darts to eliminate the bagginess and added the sleeves. The red thread tracing will be where I topstitch the inside facings to add a little pizzazz to this plain tunic…I may use the blue thread so it shows up instead of black.tunictunic-2

You can see all the angles now and how your eye is doing flips just following the circles…what a mess, but it is my work uniform for sitting on the floor and it will look fine with black shorts.

What else was sewn you ask? Remember that other co-ordinated cotton with the blue dots? I had just enough to make some shorts and some other blue quilting cotton to make a longer version of cropped pants…all with elastic waistbands for sitting and pinning all day. Can the new blue shorts be worn with the new tunic…sure, but the white striped pair will have to be worn with a plain white blouse.P1200221

Now I have a question for you…yoga pants…the type with at least 6 inches of fold-over at the waist…WHY? I ordered some online and then tried them on…who needs all that extra fabric around your waist if you don’t do Yoga? I decided to fold the top over and thread trace the top edge with a fold back to insert some 1 inch wide elastic. This seems way more practical for my life style. You can see I cut off 2.5 inches, serged the top edge and will fold it down.


I used a 3-step zigzag to sew over the serged edge and use navy thread just in case I ever have to unpick that to put in new elastic…you would never see the black thread…ever!


OK, with the pants sorted out…what did I find when I got home from the desert? How about some fresh snow on my raised covered veggie planter…can you guess what has been growing inside since Mr. Mole planted seeds in Oct?


How about this….happy and healthy rainbow Swiss chard…yummy and bug free and the more you pick, the more you get and they can produce for 2 years if you keep the hungry birds off them.


Next time some not so happy sewing and maybe a peak at some of the new brides finding their way to my doorstep…so far there are 17 signed up starting this week…a couple have grown out of their dresses already due to over-eating and pregnancy…I feel some corset backs coming….

So glad to be back home in the sewing room with carpets and heating and my grown up sewing machines! Wishing you all a great week of sewing and maybe for the US gals…some special time to get away from the Super Bowl football watching husbands and sons…one can only hope!

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35 Responses to Vacation Over

  1. accordion3 says:

    Totally get the yoga pant waistband confusion. And yet, the ones I have are super stretchy and very comfy for those days when I’m a tad bloated or sore.

    Nasty gash! Can’t imagine the trauma caused by bleeding on bridal fabric..

    • mrsmole says:

      Thankfully, I was halfway to the desert in a hotel when I cut my finger…ran down to the front desk to get some band aids! The yoga pants will certainly get a workout during all the pinning this season. I had to laugh at your last pants photo showing what your pants looked like at the end of a day:…it made me think that is exactly how I feel after pinning wedding dresses from morning till night…ha ha

  2. fabrickated says:

    The circle top is actually really nice, as are the shorts. Now I can really picture you at work (when the weather improves). The yoga pants are flattering if your tummy is fairly flat – you fold it over and the bulk creates an optical illusion of your waist line being smaller than it actually is. That’s the aim, anyway, as far as I can see. But your alteration is good too. The chard looks so shiny and fresh – how do you cook it? Like spinach?

    • mrsmole says:

      Chard is just like spinach so it gets washed, put in the microwave for a minute to wilt and then onto the plate…so simple and fast. While we eat raw spinach under a chicken breast, the chard can be a bit thicker with stronger stems so it needs a little heat. Love your sweet pea collection and how it is shaping up:

  3. jay says:

    I bet you enjoyed a bit of simple sewing after the complicated unpicking and restitching bridal projects, despite the primitive conditions. Swiss Chard now on my planting list.

  4. mrsmole says:

    Yes, Jay it was a real change and I felt akin to those sewers who claim, “I made this top in 2 hours”…ha ha We had some chard plants last 3 years uncovered. The birds came and would chomp away if I didn’t remember to harvest the leaves regularly. Your latest blog post in Dhoti pants is fascinating!!!

  5. Oh boy, you have hit the ground running already! Hopefully you are well rested after your break so you can deal with the brides and their entourages. Whisper it but I think my cut backs are starting to take effect!

  6. mrsmole says:

    Good for you, Kim! Everyone should go and see what you are working on next with felted wool: I do feel rested and ready to dig right into the white brigade!

  7. Great sewing tips. And I love the chard. I’ll have to show my husband how you did it for growing in the winter. Although we were 6 degrees overnight a few nights ago. In the 50s today. Can’t beat Colorado weather. Go Broncos! I’ll be watching.

    • mrsmole says:

      Actually the seeds do all the work…they know when to germinate and pop up…we just know that Oct is the last month to toss them in the ground and cover them up…the rest is up to them and the worms. I’m guessing you have made some delicious food to sample too for the game if you are watching!

  8. Kathy says:

    Super Bowl Sunday has always been my biggest sewing day.

    • mrsmole says:

      Hooray! Some private quilt shops here are open on Sunday to keep the wives sewing and happy to leave the hubbies in front of the TV. Grown men being paid a fortune to play at little boy’s games…billions of dollars being spent on advertising, halftime shows etc and for what? My first husband could and would watch sports 12 hours a day non-stop…thank God, Mr. Mole has better things to do.

  9. S says:

    The chard looks amazing!! I need to invest time in learning how to garden…lovely. I also quite like the jaunty circle tunic. The blue thread idea for the waistband is very useful. Will store that away for future reference. And ha ha…thank goodness I don’t live in a Superbowl obsessesed place (some do watch it but it’s not a huge thing, at least in comparison to the Stanley Cup playoffs).

  10. erniek3 says:

    I have practised yoga for years, and all that foldover fabric is useless unless you’re rolling it up your midsection. Super high waisters!

  11. MIchaelC says:

    Hope you had some rest in the desert. I love PS when it’s really hot. Sad to hear about primitive conditions. Love the tunic. This year I hope every bride buys quality gown with minimal alterations and no zilla moments….but that might spoil the fun!!! Best

  12. mrsmole says:

    Oh No, Michael….all reasonable brides with easy alterations? Wash you mouth out!!!! It would ruin my fun and yours!!!! I did rest in Palm Springs and get to read lots on my Kindle…so it was good…and had lots of breakfasts in the IHop pancake house…German crepes with lemon and butter…and now the dieting starts too!

  13. Kathy says:

    Could you please put your razor in a ziploc next time, or make yourself a little zipped fabric travel kit, so you don’t have any more close calls with sharp objects? You finger makes me think “Ouch”

  14. prttynpnk says:

    I did the same ‘reach into the bag, come out bleeding’ thing on the way to Disney this year- but it was my embroidery hoop. When bags attack….
    Sometimes that simple sewing is kind of cathartic……even for those of us that keep it simple!

  15. mrsmole says:

    Simple is good, Anne, you got that right. It allows our minds to wander into other territory. Sorry you had the same painful experience!

  16. Sharon says:

    To all those Super Bowl fans, have at it and enjoy. For those of us that are blessed to be married to guys that are non-sport enthusiasts, enjoy a day sewing. And if you want a real treat, I’ll share our Super Bowl secret. Plan to go out for dinner. You will be able to get a table in just about any restaurant of your choosing. No one is there. They are all watching the game at home or at Super Bowl parties. Happy Sunday!

  17. maryfunt says:

    Enjoy your Sunday of sewing. I hope your finger is better; just in time to get going on those white dresses!

  18. miss fitz says:

    wait, you grew stuff all winter? can you tell me how?!

    • mrsmole says:

      In October, you plants seeds for Swiss chard or fennel or spinach…whatever the seed packets says will over winter in your area. Water the seeds and place a plastic cover over the top and go away. Watch the snow fall Dec and Jan and then unzip the cover in Feb to find Swiss chard and fennel living together…it is magic. It depends on where you live but I believe even the White House was able to do this. The ground stays warm under the plastic, no evaporation but weeds will grow too.

    • helenkosings says:

      There’s a few different ways to do this. Winter sowing is one I enjoy – read about it here-

  19. Karen Lyon says:

    Mrs. Mole, I hope you feel refreshed and ready to deal with what may come. I (from the wilds of the northern shore of Lake Ontario with the fish huts due to come off the ice next week) envy you your Swiss Chard. If you like the snow, I am glad, if not, sorry. Karen

    Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2016 00:38:12 +0000 To:

  20. Whether it’s the Stanley Cup or the Super Bowl, I would rather sew! I like your top and shorts. I can’t wait until some nice weather to get into mine!

  21. helenkosings says:

    Mrs. Mole, I somehow missed this pattern when it was in print (B5390). Thank goodness for eBay! I love this style; looks good, easy to wear, better than a t shirt. Thanks!

  22. mrsmole says:

    Good for you, Helen…you may find it becomes your TNT pattern too!

  23. Valentina says:

    You mentioned about corset backs in a post, do you make your own corset back or buy a kit and sew it in?

  24. mrsmole says:

    I make my own loops using satin cord and attach them to a strip of grosgrain ribbon which is sewn to the edges where the zipper used to be. There are people who make corset kits to be sold online but I have never bought one.

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