In with the new… The Portside Travel Set

IMG_0009

Somewhere along the line, I developed an aversion to checking my luggage when I fly.  This was after 9-11, but before all the tacked-on fees.  I just hate waiting forever at the luggage carousel at the end of a trip. I ditched my nice luggage in favor of a Nike gym bag.  That gym bag is sturdy and has traveled to three continents over 20 years. It is still serviceable if unattractive.  An upcoming vacation pushed me to upgrade. The Portside Travel Set had been on my to do list since seeing Lladybird’s version and Rhonda Buss’s Sew-Along for Sew News.

Grainline Studio’s Portside Travel Set has been around a while, so I won’t go into too many details on construction.  It comes as a paper or a pdf pattern.

Fabric: A sturdy fabric is necessary, unless you want your unmentionables on the jetway.  I finally settled on three fabrics.  The black cotton canvas duck and the Hudson 43 postscript cotton blend home decor fabric are from JoAnns.  I originally purchased solar outdoor fabric in black – but you can’t press it without melting it, so I went with the duck. I lined all three pieces with some cream cotton broadcloth in my stash from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Notions:  This is where you’ll spend your money.  I used a denim needle, size 18, plus heavy duty thread from Coats and Clark (and a longer stitch).  The metal zippers and nylon webbing came from JoAnn, while the D-rings and swivel hooks are from Pacific Trimming.  I used a lightweight interfacing (pro-sheer elegance medium) from Fashion Sewing Supply.  I chose a light webbing for the strap from JoAnns after ordering a very heavy one from Pacific Trimming.  I wouldn’t be able to sew the heavy one with my machine, but the one from JoAnn is too light.  If I can find a better webbing, I’ll replace the shoulder strap.

What I did differently and cautions:  I didn’t do that many things differently.  I mostly followed the Sew Along and adopted the changes there.  I did underline the pouch, so it would be lined like the dopp and duffel. I also edge stitched everywhere – to add extra strength to the seam lines, though my edge stitching leaves much to be desired.   I did as Rhonda did in the Sew Along – I fused the interfacing to my lining pieces rather than my shell fabric.  The shell fabric was rather firm, so I wanted to give the lining some body to hold up.

Cautions:  when choosing fabric, keep in mind thickness.  This is important so that you can machine-stitch through the layers (think jeans).  It’s also important for turn of the cloth.  The directions (which are very good) clearly note the zipper openings should be 1/2 inch wide. If you don’t pay attention, you won’t get things to line up properly. (Also remember to use 1/2 inch seams.)

Looking forward to traveling with my new stylish bag.  It’s bigger than my old one, but should still fit in the overhead.  BTW, the front pocket won’t hold an iPad – at least not a newer generation.


IMG_0012

Repeat: Paco Peralta’s 8-gore skirt

BLUE_DOGWOOD_LINEN

I love the fit and flattery of the ivory wool skirt that I made last January from Paco Peralta’s 8 gore-skirt pattern so much, I made another one in linen.  This skirt is so easy, and I always receive so many compliments.  I wore this version yesterday to a ladies’ luncheon and it was a hit.  I took the selfies after the luncheon, so please excuse my wrinkled self.

The fabric is from Marcy Tilton – the dogwood linen.  This a beautiful and easy to work with fabric.  I lined it with white cotton batiste.  The only difference from the previous version is that I moved the zip to the left side, and used a hand-applied lapped zipper.

The very wrinkled top is Vogue 9187, blogged here.

PS: Marcy Tilton is having a sale, that ends tomorrow night (5/11/2018), and of this moment, this fabric is still available!

IMG_3406
Just realized I took this in front of the dogwood.
IMG_3405
Dogwood linen, in front of the dogwood tree.

Life sometimes takes a difficult turn.

1965_wedding_c

I haven’t posted in some time, but I wanted to say that I’m okay, or I will be.  In the last few months I’ve buried my father and institutionalized my mother.  It was unexpected.  It started with a phone call last January from my sister – who never calls – to say they had been in a car accident, but were okay.  But they weren’t.  The trauma pushed my (unharmed) mother into late-stage Alzheimer’s.  My dad cracked his sternum, but was okay and recovering.

But then, March 4, my dad called to say he wasn’t doing so well, and was headed back to the ER.  I flew up to visit, pay bills for him, clean house etc. While he seemed well, I froze.  Everything stopped.  My dad seemed so fragile.  My mom was so happy in her new situation – chatting away about all the old days (I got lucky and saw her on good days).  She talked about her husband, and how proud she was of her children (even though she didn’t know who I was).  But I froze.  Every day – phone calls.  Then my dad got better, though he still hadn’t gone home.  Then last month, he contracted pneumonia in the nursing facility, and died three days later.  None of us expected it.

I told my sister-in-law, who lost her father nineteen years ago,  that I finally understood her pain.  I told my students that you cannot understand and that no one prepares you for the loss of a parent.

It’s been almost a month now, and I’m not nearly as frozen anymore.  I’m partaking in things I enjoy again for the first time since my dad called March 4.  I’m still writing letters to my parent’s friends, and that helps work through the grief.

My mom was the artistic one, the one who taught me to sew.  My dad was the introvert, and he was the parent I was closest too, the parent I am most like.  He was the one I called and emailed.  He encouraged me to learn, study hard and pursue my degree.  He is with me always.  I’m reminded of him everywhere.

parade_favorite