Thursday, May 7, 2020

Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

One thing about participating in MeMadeMay2020 is that the process of analyzing my wardrobe reminds me that I forgot to post about the sewing process of some of my clothing.

Lost in my closet (and on this blog) has been my yellow gingham embroidered jacket. I've yet to actually wear it. Hopefully I can soon, when things warm up a bit. It's a cool single layer summery jacket.

This is actually a stashbusting project from the summer of 2018. I had already sewn my yellow gingham embroidered dress, and with the remnants I decided to sew a jacket using an old pattern, McCalls 8222. I actually love to wear classic jackets and vests, exactly like the ones in the McCalls 8222 pattern, but up to now the only ones I've owned have been either store bought or yard sale purchased.

I didn't exactly have the right size pieces of remnants for the jacket, so I did as the 18th century...I pieced this jacket.

1-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Below you can see the piecing. It is very even across the front and even in reference to the back...

2-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Inside construction-I zigzagged all the raw edges on my Pfaff. Clipped the curves and pressed seams open. I used a creamy soft cotton for the facings...

3-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Love the back with ties. The ties practically hide the piecing...

4-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

The piecing is revealed as the ties are pulled down a bit.

5-Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket
Yellow Gingham Embroidered Jacket

Hope to model this soon, once the weather warms up! I'm looking forward to using this pattern for more garments. There is so much variety possible. The only change I plan to make, is to make the armscye smaller, since the sleeve cuts into my arm when I raise my arm. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Blue Jean Capri Pants

I sewed my first, and so far only, pair of blue jeans in January 2016. Before cutting into the fabric, I pre-washed the fabric. Nevertheless, the fabric shrunk is subsequent washings after wearing my finished jeans.

So in July 2018 I cut them below the knee to make capris pants. I tapered the leg, although it doesn't seem noticeable.

1-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue Jeans cut down to capris pants and tapered

I created a little slit.
2-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue jeans capris tapered legs with slit

Here you can see the fashion fabric I used for the pockets.
3-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue jeans capris with fashion fabric for pocket

And I like the results!
4-Blue Jean Capri Pants
Blue jeans capris

This photo was taken for MeMadeMay2020. Follow my diary and social media accounts. All the news here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

On the matter of Cinco de Mayo...and TexMex!

Cinco de Mayo Trivia...

Sept 1821-Mexican independence from Spain

July 1861-Long story short, Mexican President Benito Juarez announced a pause in debt payment to other countries for 2 years. Britain, France, and Spain sent their ships to demand payment. After negotiations Britain and Spain withdrew but France, under the rule of Napoleon III, engaged.

May 5, 1862-Battle of Puebla (one battle of many between France and Mexico) was a decisive win for Mexico, which became a moral boost of patriotism and unity.

1863-France, with 30,000 newly arrived troops, took Mexico City and Maximillian I became emperor.

1865-The United States sent aid to Mexico.

1866-Napoleon III, beleaguered on all sides (and with threat of war looming with Prussia) had his troops retreat. The Mexicans regained Mexico City and executed Maximilian I.
(Paraphrased from History Channel)

Cinco de Mayo is reportedly celebrated more in America than Mexico.

And I like to celebrate by cooking my own TexMex!

Beef Enchiladas2
Beef Enchiladas
Cheese Enchiladas
Cheese Enchiladas
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chili and Quesadilla
Chili and Quesadilla
Crispy Beef Tacos with Nachos
Crispy Beef Tacos with Nachos
Sour Cream Enchiladas
Sour Cream Enchiladas

Monday, May 4, 2020

Me Made May 2020

In this life of great concerns, it is so nice to have a bit of normalcy.

In this life of great concerns, I still need clothes.

In this life of great concerns, I still want to sew.

I have a great stockpile of fabric, supplies, and patterns. This May I'm going to participate in the annual seamstress event, Me Made May, hosted by So, Zo: What do you know? A Sewing Blog.

I like this event as a time to reach out and connect with other seamstresses, as we share the garments that we have sewn and actually wear.

When I'm out and about others are often amazed that I was able to actually sew, alter, or elaborate a particular garment for myself.

Store bought skirt which I shortened, using cut off fabric for ruffles.

And one of my favorite stories is of a young girl in Canada who was inspired by my sewing projects, so she decided to try, herself. Her mom sent me a picture of the "toy" sewing machine her daughter used to whip up a dress to wear to church. She looked great! And she did this on a simple machine! And this was her first project that she excitedly wore! Congratulations!

Zo encourages us to evaluate our wardrobe and not push ourselves too hard in the challenge, but to simply enjoy the process. Wise words!

My goals, which will be posted randomly throughout the month of May, are:
  • I want to connect with other seamstresses. I have much to learn from them.
  • I want to improve my sewing skills, so that I wear more fashions that I enjoy.
  • I'd like to therefore talk about that process.
  • I'd like to share images of myself wearing clothing on instagram (lahbluebonnet) and flickr (lahbluebonnet). And blog about it here. 
May 1
Day one is a chilly day. None of the clothing I have sewn would keep me warm enough, today. However I do wear my robe every morning. Sewing details can be found here.

May 1-Robe
May 2
Another chilly day. I need more blue jeans. Since store bought ones fit me poorly, I want to sew some more for me.

May 4
It was warm enough for me to wear my blue jeans capris pants. The construction details are here.

4-Blue Jean Capri Pants

Sunny Yellow Gingham Embroidered Seersucker Robe edged in Eyelet

From 7-22-2018

While stashbusting a couple of years ago, I found my yellow gingham embroidered seersucker. I decided to make a robe, which I desperately needed. However I didn't have enough for the facing trims, so I pulled out some remnant pieces of eyelet from the 19th century petticoat that is another work-in-progress.

silk robe fabric pattern

For inside ties I found some yellow gingham ribbon in my stash. Instead of following pattern markings, I pinned the ribbons in place while wearing the robe. I turned under the edges and machine stitched one ribbon to the inside front facing at my waistline.

1-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

The other ribbon was likewise stitched to the other side at the side seam at my waistline.

2-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

When they tie together they help ensure the fit.

3-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

I forgot to take pictures when this was first sewn. Nearly 2 years later and this is the condition. It looks like the eyelet shrunk quicker than the seersucker.

4-Yellow Seersucker Robe edge in eyelet

The back...

5-Yellow Seersucker Robe edged in eyelet

Since I wear this every morning, it is one of my MeMadeMay2020 components.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Facemask Tutorial

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to sew a facemask for him so he could enter his office. He's an essential worker, but not medical or food related. He sent me the CDC pattern and instructions which were highly problematic. They only offered one size which was far too small for his face.

So I did some research and made a couple more prototypes until we settled on one he really likes. I like this version too, because I find it the easiest to sew and fit. Also he definitely wanted elastic loops for around the ears.

I suggested I sew the masks out of an old dress shirt of his, and he happily donated a couple. I thought that way he would have a more manly look than my quilting fabric. More importantly, it has a tighter weave than quilting fabric.

We found the best fit for my friend was to start with rectangles that measured 12"x7".  I was able to cut 8 of those squares from each dress shirt, there happen to be three sets of two here.


Because I want to create pockets, inside of which disposable non-fusible interfacing can be inserted and later removed, I stitched a zig-zag stitch on one long side of each fabric piece. This will reduce any fraying when the facemask is tossed into the washing machine. (As you can see in the photo, I didn't actually sew end to end, because the edges will be caught in seams, but it doesn't matter whether this is done or the entire length is zigzag stitched.)


Then I laid them on top of each other, zigzag side at the top.


Then I secured with pins.


Although it is possible to sew one long seam around, I prefer the following method, which I think better strengthens the corners. I sewed a seam on the long side opposite the zigzag stitching. I made 1/4" seams and backstitched at the beginning and the end of this seam, and each of the following seams.


Then I stitched a seam on one short side.


And then the other.


Then I sewed a seam in the left corner.


Finally I sewed a seam in the right corner.


Here is a close up of the backstitching. If this is your first time using a sewing machine, backstitching is where you sew in reverse a few stitches, and then forward secure the stitches.


Then I carefully clipped those corners, without cutting into the seam itself.


Here you can see each of the clipped corners. This will allow the corners to be neater when this is turned inside out. And so that is the next step, to turn inside out. (That is why the one side was zigzag stitched.)


Press. The zigzagged edge should be turned under, which will be easy to do since the fabric will pretty much do that naturally as a result of the seams inside the pocket.


Here you can see the pocket. That is the zigzagged edge near the tip of the scissors. I will not sew this closed. This is to allow the insertion of a non-fusible woven interfacing (I've read this can be a paper towel, kleenex, coffee filter...) because the microbes are so tiny that they can still get through woven cotton. Many medical professionals have advised making this pocket to allow for a third layer to be inserted. The value of a non-woven interfacing is that hopefully microbes can't sneak in through that non-woven. (We're still learning a lot about this as we go, aren't we?)


Next I pleated the fabric into 3 parts. This was difficult, because odd numbers are more difficult to divide than even. So I just kept fiddling with it until it seemed functional. I secured the layers with pins.


Now both sides are secured with pins and ready for the sewing machine.


I sewed each edge down, just to secure the pleats. Lots of directions refer to this as topstitching, which often uses a longer stitch. I didn't worry about that with this project. I just kept the same stitch size throughout. It doesn't hurt anything.


Then I used 1/4" elastic which is so much easier to sew under a sewing machine, than 1/8". My friend has no problem with this behind his ears. And with a more secure stitch he doesn't have to worry about the 1/8" popping. The 6" length recommendation by the CDC was way too small for my friend, as was the teeny tiny fabric recommendation the CDC had. For him we found that 9" long was perfect.


I rolled the edges of the mask over the elastic and pinned in place. (Most often in garment sewing, we sew the seam first then insert the elastic, which is how the CDC recommended, but I found this so much easier.) It also allows for fine tuning the fit to the person who will be wearing the mask.


Because I have a Pfaff sewing machine, sewing this thickness is simple. Pfaffs have an integrated dual feed, which easily handles thickness while keeping everything secure without slippage. I just took my time and it sewed easily.


Now this part gets really fiddly. I just took my time. I overlapped the ends of the elastic, about an inch. Then I carefully placed underneath the foot and dropped the foot. When I had everything lined up, I sewed down the length of the two layers of elastic.


Then I trimmed the threads.


Then I pulled the stitched ends into the newly formed casing. And I finished trimming the threads.


Front Finis!


Back Finis!


And it's a perfect fit for my friend!

For myself I'm using a bandana and hair elastics which I keep stored in a baggie in my tote bag. I've been able to practice social distancing, and my son does all the food shopping. So I haven't used mine yet. My son uses a bandana, tied snugly like he was a cowboy.

Well I never thought in a million years I'd ever sew a facemask. I have a friend in Oregon whose hospital supplied kits with special n95 rated fabrics and such for seamstresses to sew, which I thought was great, since medical staff need the really good stuff!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Lintons of Bristow-17th, 18th and 19th century history in my neighborhood

When I moved to Bristow in 2009, I was hoping to connect the history of my neighborhood to the 18th century, but the information was elusive...even when I asked employees at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation if they knew anything. Although CWF employees are highly steeped in 18th century Virginia history, the tale of Bristow was simply too elusive.

Meanwhile I've kept looking for historical details, which in themselves are contradictory. Even after 11 years of research, firm facts on the history continue to be mind boggling. I've linked all of them below, under resources. All of them generally support one another, but all of them generally contradict each other at the same time. For example, all dates for birth and death are approximate, because most resources vary by a few years.

Even so, some details remain consistent. I've long been wanting to tell this story, so finally I shall. I've taken all the various components from the Resource list (below) to weave this tale. Please feel free to fact check. It might mind boggle you, too! ;)

Since no one agrees on dates, I "settled" on dates from this genealogy site, Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties. They look quite thorough and a work in progress. I appreciate that they admit to approximate dates. I love the inventories at the bottom of many of the genealogical pages.

Thus I shall attempt to weave the tale of Lintonsford from various narratives and genealogy. This page, too, shall be a work in progress. Although my original intent was to tell the interesting story, the conflicting details turned this into an analysis.

And even though my photography is sadly dark, perhaps that continues the theme of the obscurity of details of this fascinating story.

Simply a list of links with conflicting details was too confusing to me, so I finally decided to organize them the best I could here. With continued research I will update this page and hopefully come to clarity.

So I shall tell this journey of discovery in two separate parts: the historical details of my neighborhood, and the discovery of the hidden Linton family cemetery in my neighborhood, on the banks of Broad Run.

And if so interested, you are welcome to join  me on this journey along Broad Run in Bristow, Virginia.


17th Century

This is the tale of the Lintons of Bristow. No, not of Heathcliff and Catherine, but that of  Lintonsford, the property of which I, myself, lived for 10 years.

Apparently my neighborhood of Braemar, itself Scottish in name, began during the English Civil War had a huge impact on all of 17th century Virginia, as I reported here, on the history of Bristow.

When King Charles I of England was beheaded in 1649, the nobles who supported him (called Cavaliers) fled first for Scotland. However wanting to replicate their English court life, they journeyed to America. Because Virginia was the most British of the colonies, this is where many of the nobles headed. After loading their ships with brick for mansions and furniture for their homes, they sailed across the Atlantic, to the Chesepeake, up the Potomac, to settle on land that would in another 100 years would become Dumfries, Virginia, an important tobacco port for Britain.

It is said that one of these Cavaliers was Sir Walter de Lynton. (I find this in the narratives, but not the genealogy charts.) 

His great-great-great-grandsons were Moses Linton (c.1675-c. 1729)  and William Linton (c. 1650- c. 1734) both born in Westmoreland County.

This includes lots of fascinating details to dig through about Moses Linton, and mentions Col. George Mason 3 times.

Lots of details here of William Linton (1650-1734), including his will.

In 1726 Moses Linton patented (or obtained a land grant) 740 acres of land north of Broad Run (which is today located along Linton Hall Road in Bristow, Virginia in western Prince William County.) The Broad Run Land Grant is mentioned here, 3 times.

Meanwhile Moses built his own home 24 miles to the east on Marumsco Creek, located in today's town of Woodbridge between I-95 and the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

18th Century

Some narratives say that Moses' brother William married Susanna Monroe (1695-1752)...but the genealogy chart says that brother William had a son named William (c. 1690-c. 1736, born in Westmoreland County) who married Susanna Monroe (c. 1695-c. 1752, born in Westmoreland County) in Stafford County in 1730.

This includes the will and other details of William Linton (1690-1736).

Their son John Linton (c. 1732-c. 1791, born in Dettingen Parish in Dumfries, Virginia) married Elizabeth Elliott (c. 1736-c. 1791, Washington Parish in Westmoreland County, Virginia) in Prince William County in 1752. Lots of details on his history, including with the regiments in which he served in the American Revolution.

19th Century

Their son, John Augustine Elliott Linton (c. 1769-1822, born in Prince William County) married Sarah Tyler (1763-1835, born in Prince William County) in Prince William County in 1752...and inherited the parcel of land north of Broad Run from his Uncle Moses. J.A.E. Linton built a mansion on Broad Run.

(At least that is what all the narratives say. But Great-Great-Uncle Moses passed c. 1729, before JAE Linton's birth. Perhaps JAE Linton inherited the land from his father. JAE Linton is certainly famous for having developed the property, building the family home there. He is the first generation to be buried there.)


JAE Linton called his home Lintonsford. (var. Linton's Ford), which is today found on Linton Hall Road which runs through Braemar subdivision, Bristow, Virginia, less than 3 miles from the site of the Battle of Bristoe Station, which I wrote about here.

To that 740 acres JAE Linton added another 1000 acres that he purchased from Lord Arlington (the man after whom Arlington County is named).

Meanwhile J.A.E. Linton served in Prince William County as sheriff and Justice of the Peace in Dumfries.

He was also appointed Inspector of the Tobacco by the governor. This was most likely before the American Revolution, back when Mercantilism involved Virginia sending tobacco to Britain in return for goods. Learn all about mercantilism in Virginia in this blog post.

Apparently JAE Linton also bought a home in Dumfries in 1798.

In 1796 J.A.E. Linton's wife, Sarah, gave birth to John Tyler Linton (1796-1821).

John Tyler Linton married Cecilia Ann Graham (1804-1878, born in Prince William County) in Prince William County in 1820. She came from an important family in Dumfries, Virginia. In 1821 John Tyler Linton died of consumption, months after his marriage and two months before the birth of his daughter, Sarah Elliott Graham Linton (1822-1901).

In 1822 Cecilia married the son of the groundskeeper and had another daughter, Anne Cecilia Phillips in 1823, but was very soon widowed again. Overcome she asked her brother, Campbell Graham, to become guardian to the girls. For a proper education, he sent Sarah to a Catholic boarding school in Georgetown.

In 1835, Sarah Tyler Linton, widow of John Augustine Elliott Linton, passed away at Lintonsford Plantation.

In 1838, Sarah graduated at the age of 16, and announced she was becoming a Catholic.

Ignoring her family's wishes for her to remain Protestant (most likely Episcopalean), she became a nun in 1842, at the age of 20.

Sometime before the Civil War the family mansion at Lintonsford burned down. Cecilia and Anne built a new home called Strawberry Hill, which also burned down.

In 1878, Cecilia Anne Graham Linton passed away.

To provide for her sister, Anne, Sarah gave Lintonsford to the Benedictines in 1893 in return for a $1500 per year annuity for Anne's sustenance.


Meanwhile we were looking high and low for the cemetery. Initially about all the information we had was that it was located somewhere in the Braemar sub-divsion across from the monastery. And we certainly could have asked the nuns, but we were busy with homeschooling, and I found a bit of charm and thrill in self-discovery.

On June 17, 2012, my son discovered it while on a bike ride through the neighborhood, before we knew any of the details of the history.

Near the banks of Broad Run, past the Mimosa Tree...

1-Lintons of Bristow106_0443

...nestled between a Grace Life Community Church and Braemar sub-division...

2-Lintons of Bristow

is quietly hidden a wrought iron gate from the early 20th century...

3-Lintons of Bristow a 19th century cemetery of the Linton Family.

4-Lintons of Bristow

5-Lintons of Bristow

Sacred to the memory of
John Augustine Elliott Linton
original proprietor of
Linton's Ford.
Born Jan. 5 1769,
Died Dec. 2, 1822

6-Lintons of Bristow

It is thought the wrought iron fencing was placed around the cemetery when Anne Cecilia Philips was buried there in 1917. Sarah, who became Sister Mary Baptista, was buried where she was educated, lived, and died: Georgetown Visitation Convent.


The one definitive error I have found is that John Augustine Elliott Linton (1769-1822) married Sarah Tyler (1763-1835), the daughter of President John Tyler. President John Tyler was born in 1790.  (Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine, June 2012, p10) says that Sarah is the daughter of William Tyler of Woodlawn plantation, located in nearby Haymarket. This article says she is the daughter of John Tyler. Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine, April 2012, p17 says that John and Margaret Gray Tyler are the parents of William Tyler, the first to live at Woodlawn. This cemetery site has John and Margaret Gray Tyler listed as Sarah's parents. p10