I think all of us who are female have had this experience: You see a dress or a top in a shop and fall in love with it (oh, ok, so you don’t fall in love with it, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, clothing-wise) and the price is right and you try it on and it fits.
Except for one thing. The opening in the front, is, shall we say, a bit too far ‘south’ for your comfort. Now, part of the issue is that the pattern drafting software that seemingly all designers and manufacturers use has some bit of code in it that says (more…)
Once upon a time, your Aunt Toby did a little thing on replacing zippers in blue jeans. This is an entirely different kettle of halupkis (as we say here at Chez Siberia): A separating zipper in a jacket. (cue the scary music)
What makes this zipper different than a jeans zipper? (more…)
I don’t know where I read this but someone wrote that only the rich can afford to buy cheap shoes. This makes perfect sense to me, since a good, well-made pair of shoes is something that can be repaired, resoled, shined up and used for a very long time, whereas cheaply made shoes can’t be repaired and end up in the trash. The corollary to this homey rule is that women’s shoes, because they are all (I repeat: A double hockey sticks) made cheaply with glue, spit, and goodness knows what else, can only be cosmetically repaired and end up in the trash anyway. The day I can find a pair of women’s dress shoes with sewn on leather soles with a welt so that I can take them to the shoemaker to have them repaired is the day I buy them in brown, blue, black and tan or cream and get rid of everything else in the closet. That will also be the day that I personally win the Kentucky Derby, the big lottery, and magically lose 50 pounds off my hips. (more…)
I know a lot of people out there LOVE to go to thrift and consignment shops. Sometimes it’s for the bargain hunting and sometimes, it’s for vintage. But sometimes, what they’ve got is…just…not….perfect. And yes, Aunt Toby knows I covered this sort of thing before, but I think it bears repeating and re-demonstrating, which is when things are not perfect, (more…)
It’s time to ‘fess’ up, as they say. Aunt Toby has never..ever…met HRH Charles Philip Arthur George, the Prince of Wales.
We just don’t move in the same, as we might say, circles.
But on the other hand, if we did meet, we’d have a lot to talk about.
He’s a organic gardener. Aunt Toby’s an organic gardener.
He believes in good solid architecture. I’m into barns, too.
He’s been a fierce advocate of protecting the ecology for years; moi aussi.
And he believes that the world would be a healthier, happier, warmer place if people wore more wool. (more…)
One of the great annoyances of life is not having an umbrella when you really need it. Another one is to open it up and find out that, damn, one of the attachments at the edge has broken off, or is missing, or has rotten out or something else. We’re not talking about damage like the picture at the top. that’s a total blow out and although with some manipulation, you might be able to get all the ribs back down, I’m not sure that anyone can turn it back into a usable umbrella. (more…)
The sheets supposedly chosen as being the finest (whatever that means – ‘best quality? Most comfy? Hardest wearing? No clue) in the world are supposedly made by Thomas Lee. They are 500 threat count pima cotton. best sheets They cost $239 regular/ $179 on special. That’s one fitted, one flat, and two pillowcases.
Now, it’s not that Aunt Toby and the DH are willing to sleep on burlap sacks. A good closely woven cotton (ok, perhaps with a bit of poly in it) sheet set is a joy to sleep on (more…)
There are places in sewing an article of clothing that I like to call “drop dead points”. These are places where if you make a mistake, you might as well pitch the entire deal as trying to fix the item becomes truly onerous. The first one is at the cutting out stage; if you don’t measure your important bits on the paper pattern, you could end up cutting out the wrong size. Even if it’s too large, it’s a pain in the neck to fix. One of my favs is putting on a waistband. There have been a number of times when I’ve made slacks or a skirt which ‘seemed’ to fit me perfectly and then after I put on the waistband, the item looked hideous. (more…)
So, let’s say that you are holed up in an abandoned farm house and the zombies are attacking and the zipper on your fly breaks. Now, Aunt Toby realizes that perhaps at this moment you are not worrying about your pants falling down while a zombie eats your brains, but you never know. Here’s a way to repair that fly, keep your pants up so that you can pay proper attention to the zombies and perhaps get a few damaging licks in before they overwhelm you. I mean, Shaun would have made sure his fly was all fastened up..Right? (more…)