Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Taking My Time and Taking Breaks

There are eleven groups of lessons in Kenneth King's Jean-ius class and so far I have completed lesson one, the jeans thread tracing.  Slow sewing for sure.  
Marking the jeans you love with thread tracing

Who knew I would make every rookie mistake which meant it took me twice as long to do this step.  
Front thread traced
Back thread traced
What mistakes?  Well, I used a strong milliners needle to do my thread tracing.  Nice sharp point....and a little too late discovered that randomly I had picked up one single thread on the inside of the jeans....which meant clipping and redoing the tracing when I moved the jeans.  

I really struggled understanding and seeing how to make the crosswise grain markings and missed a little phrase of Kenneth's...."lay the pants flat" which meant don't do this with the side and inside seams pinned together as in the previous illustration.  I was quite uncertain about my back crosswise line and kept going back and forth with the class video and my jeans in order to figure it out.  But persistence has paid off and I am ready to move to the next step of transferring these markings.

Meanwhile I am loving Craftsy's decision to create an ipad app that lets me download the class and watch it offline.  Hooray for that convenience.  My sewing room is the unhappiest place in the house to get our wireless connection so this makes my collection of classes so very convenient for me.  I've only downloaded the Jean-ius class and it does use up memory but I think once I've done this process there's no reason to keep it on my pad.
I did do a little retail therapy while prepping for this class.  I needed to buy pins, of all things.  I use Susan Khalje's very fine Japanese pins in my sewing room but they would be too thin and bendable for all the denim pinning that would go on during class.  So of course while I was at Joann's I had to pick up some of the new Vogues on sale this week.
New pins on the left
On the left, the pants are what I really love in that pattern and on the right, I love what Sharon and Margy did with this pattern.  Communing with fabric  Fool4fabric
Add caption
A few more.....

Then an Amazon order showed up with a few items that I had ordered while making my pink flower extravaganza.  These are single needle felting molds for making flower shapes our of wool roving.  Since I am heading out to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival late this Saturday afternoon, I'll pick up some more wool roving for these and future projects.
Last bit of retail news is from a neighbor.  Mr. Lucky and I took Lucky the rescue dog for a walk on Saturday so we could peruse the next neighborhood's community yard sale.  As always lots of children's clothing and my only interest was to look for a souffle dish.  But a lovely woman was selling off items from her parents' home which was being sold.  We picked up a small saucepan, small bowl and these lovely hand crocheted laces.  

Two of them were designed to be pillow edging and the other had been made for the top of a chemise nightgown.  The nightgown fabric is long gone and one of the straps was replaced over the years with similarly colored twill tape.  These were lovingly tucked away in the crochet box, maybe the box that held that crochet thread in the beginning, probably from the 1920's.  I love the lace but I also love the care and re-use effort.  
Speaking of lovely and re-using items, don't you just love the pin cushion that my sister-in-law made for me some years back.  It is too fragile to hold my every day pins at the machine but I am keeping my less regularly used pins in it and put it on the shelf afterwards to keep it safe and admire its design.
Last thing I have enjoyed in the last few days is reading this:
It's the selection for my book group discussion next week and I am glad it was selected.  Not a demanding read but engaging.  Those of you with an interest in historic quilts will enjoy the discussion of English and American quilts....pieced via templates versus applique.  
From Booklist: Honor Bright sailed from England to America in 1850 with her sister, Grace, who is betrothed to a fellow Quaker in Ohio. After Grace’s death, Honor is left in the awkward position of an outsider, searching for her place in an unsettled land of restless change where even the Quakers are different from those she had known at home. She finds solace in writing letters to friends and family in England and in the exquisite quilting skills that tie her to her old life and offer some hope of ties to a new one. Honor’s only true American friend is Belle, the unorthodox milliner who clandestinely aids runaway slaves, even as her rough and charismatic brother, Donovan, hunts them down. Horrified by the realities of slavery, Honor faces the new complexities of the Fugitive Slave Law and the challenges it poses for the Quakers and for her personally.
Nothing but coincidence that I had just read Sue Monk Kidd's novel about the abolitionist sisters from South Carolina and their challenges in opposing slavery and in becoming Quakers.
Now, onward to lesson two.....


  1. What dedication to your class! In the first photo I saw the pin cushion and thought, oh my that is gorgeous! What a lovely gift to be given from your sister-in-law! I can see why you would keep that up on the shelf!

  2. Hi Jane, I'm doing the Jean-ius class, too. Finished my first as a wearable muslin and was pleased. I need a few tweaks, which I've incorporated into my second and am so happy. I'll have to post pictures in my project. Can't wait to see yours!


  3. HI Jane. I'm taking the Jean-ius class, too! I've finished my first as a wearable muslin and love them. I tweaked the pattern and am making a second pair. I'll post project pictures soon. Can't wait to see yours!


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