04 November 2012

Tailor's Chalk Tea

Tea and my design notebook; yarn bowl and soan papdi in background

 When one has no car, while living in a city designed around cars as a primary means of transport, one becomes accustomed to public transit, occasional rides from friends, and long walks. Today was a long walk. The florescent lights in our kitchen all decided to go at once--all three of them--so we walked to Home Depot in the pouring rain carrying one 2-foot and two 4-foot glass tubes, to match sizes and to recycle the old ones. We stopped in at Canadian Tire on the way, reasoning that they might have lightbulb recycling. They don't. Not for another couple of months. We got to Home Depot to discover that they'd discontinued their lightbulb recycling and we'd have to go to London Drugs. Fortunately, another person with the same dilemma offered to take ours over, since they were driving, and we were drenched.

After procuring more lightbulbs, since after wandering around town feeling like Jedi warriors, we couldn't possibly stop now (not to mention I'm tired of cooking in the dark), we wandered into the liquor store, where I finally found kirsch liqueur. I've been looking for it all over the place. Now we can do Black Forest cake properly.

In line at the register, the man in front of us took one look at me, and accused me of being seventeen. While handing the cashier my ID, I informed him that I was on the wrong side of twenty-five for that. I know I'm short, and I have a round-ish face. But do I really look like a teenager? Last time I checked, I had to look at least 20. Oh, well. Maybe if I develop grey hair at some point people will stop accusing me of being a teenager.

J. and I got pretty close to completely soaked from the rain on the rest of the walk home. While he put the lightbulbs in (he's the designated tall person in the marriage), I dried off and put the kettle on. Steaming hot tea always makes me feel warmer and happier after a long chilly walk.

I finally got around to drafting a pattern based on one of my skirts this evening. I found some really fabulous wool fabric at the thrift store, enough for a skirt, and I've based the pattern off of my favourite pleated skirt. I've changed things, of course. It has this weird appliqued side pocket, which I appreciate it because it is a pocket, but I'm just doing side-seam pockets. And the buttoned straps on the hips are gone, too.

Fabric, newspaper pattern, rotary wheel
I traced the yoke portion of the skirt onto newspaper, and then drew the skirt piece based on measurements from the skirt. You cut the yoke on the fold and one half of the skirt on the fold and the other half as two pieces, for the zipper. A back zipper lets me do pockets more easily. Plus that's what the original skirt has. The original has knife pleats which I've made a bit shallower here (not enough material), and a box pleat beneath the zipper which I haven't figured out how to replicate yet without essentially adding a gusset.

I'm not a professional at this by any means. In tightening up this version so I could fit the pieces onto the fabric, I managed to cut the skirt pieces short a bit in width (whoops!). I'm adding a couple strips along the zipper to fix it. There's enough in the scraps for that. It's not going to be super noticeable--it'll blend in with the pleats and the zipper line--but it is a bit silly of me to think that would work. I have a blue-and-white houndstooth that I'll probably do in this pattern too, and I won't have to worry about having enough there. I probably have enough for a dress and a skirt out of that one.

The fabric is a plain weave wool plaid, but the colours are subtle, and have almost a dark rainbow feel to them. I'm lining the skirt, of course, since this is the sort of wool fabric that has a scratchy feel to it. Gorgeous stuff, but not against my skin.

While marking the pattern onto the fabric, I managed to toss my tailor's chalk into my cup of tea. That's right. So, there went that last of that tea, and that piece of chalk. Whoops.

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