Friday, 31 January 2014

January in Review

RTW Fast

It is hard to believe that we're saying good-bye to January. This month I successfully participated in Sarah's RTW fast. Thirty-one days down, Three hundred thirty-four more days to go! The fast went well since for the most part I spent the month home on the mend. We'll have to wait and see if it gets more challenging as the year progresses.  

I'm happy to report that I did return three ready-to-wear items that I picked up late last year. One was a cardigan sweater. The plan is to replace it with a me-made version using McCalls 6844. I have read some wonderful reviews about this pattern. I also returned a double knit peplum top and a sleeveless turtleneck sweater. I don't know why I picked them up in the first place since I could easily have sewn them up on my own. This RTW fast is proving to be a real eye-opener so far.  


I didn't have a great deal of energy to devote to sewing but the desire was certainly there. I did manage to give sewing while standing up a try. Oh my, I now see why some people swear by this method.  Not only was I able to keep my leg straight when I needed to, it was also easy on my back.  Of course, I wasn't sewing on a Singer Treadle. Thank goodness for modern sewing machines with on/off buttons.  

The sewing that I did manage to finish and blog about were simple projects, a flannel nightshirt and skirt. I didn't think I was going to have the time or energy to complete my Jungle January 2 garment but I did and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. THANK YOU to Anne for pushing me out of my comfort zone.  

Mending & Alterations

If it weren't for mending and alterations and sitting by the sun-filled window I might have gone bananas this month. It was a great way to pass the time. Most of my time spent mending happened after I did my physio exercises and was icing my knee. It was a great distraction. And I managed to mend/alter a total of thirteen items. THIRTEEN!  

Stash busting

Not only did I not buy any RTW, I didn't even purchase any fabric. It is amazing what happens when you're not mobile and your car is sitting in the driveway buried under snow and you can't shovel it out. I did, however, do some damage when BMV had their online sale. In my defence, one of my goals is to make a pair of well-fitting knickers and Gertie's underthings pattern was on sale for $2.99--wouldn't you? I have no excuse for the other three patterns that I picked up.

Added to Stash
7.2 metres
1 metre
Sewing Patterns
Spools of Thread
Sewing Needles
Pant Hooks
0.40 metres
Bias Tape
Hook and Eye or other Closures

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

My Month On the Mend (excuse the pun)

The past month, for the most part, has been spend mending. I was quite forthcoming about my lack of enthusasm about doing mending and alterations but I have to tell you quite honestly it was quite the relaxing activity this month. And at times challenging. Being homebound this month, the various mending projects kept me occupied and gave me something to do while icing my knee. I needed that. I couldn't have asked for a better distraction.


Mending had always been part of my life. I grew up in a household, pre-fast-fashion, where if something could be fixed, you fixed it. I remember Mama R darning our socks when we were kids. Do many people do that anymore now that clothing has become so cheap and easily replaceable?

I'll admit my own mending pile got out of control as time passed and I neglected the work that needed to be done. Until now.

I am one of those people who prefers to sew something from scratch before wanting to mend what I already have on hand. Crazy, I know. Since some of the items in my mending pile were things that I actually made. As the mending pile became smaller, it just seemed so silly that I let it get out of hand. And as the mending pile became smaller a sense of pride filled its place. Could it now be that I used to be one of those people? I think it might be so.

Changing buttons on that shirt and changing that dress into a tunic was just as satisfying as making something from scratch. It felt good knowing that I played a teeny environmental part when I was darning those holes in an unblogged tee-shirt instead of throwing it away or tossing it into the donate box. It is now perfect for sleepwear.

Now, I will admit that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to doing alterations, refashioning and mending. There is an upcoming post about a purple silk shirt to illustrate that point. And that is fine with me because learning is fun, as long as I'm learning on my own stuff. I will admit I did have a good laugh at some of my goofs and silliness along the way. Did you know that a hard boiled egg works just as well as a darning mushroom? Silliness, but it worked. It is like a whole new world of sewing techniques to learn and explore.

I might be hooked. Who knew that could happen?

Happy Mending!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Merrily Mending Away: Cut, Pin, Baste and Sew!

This boiled wool jacket was once a knee length coat before I took a pair of scissors to it and cut away.

The plan was to take the section that I cut off and use it to add a section on the front. You see this size small coat became too small to wear.

I guess I must have lost a few pounds from the time that I cut this up. Oh, did I mention that I started this alteration project quite some time ago? We're talking years. Yes, I do believe I can easily capture the title for ultimate procrastinator when it comes to mending and alterations. But I digress...

Today, I was able to shift the buttons over an inch and a half without adding any width to the jacket. That leaves me with a piece of boiled wool that I could use for pockets.

All I had to do was reinforce the bottom seams that were cut and then pin, baste and sew. Gawd, I love sewing this fabric, no need to finish seams or turn things under. Easy Peasy! Now, it is a perfect (for this weather) jacket with pockets.

Happy Mending!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Jungle January 2: Return of the GRRRR!

It is that festive time of year, Jungle January. I have a great time checking out everyone's creative interpretation of the animal print.

Now, I have to admit sewing and wearing animal print is certainly out of my comfort zone but hey we're talking about Anne's tribute to the wild side. And I can get out of my comfort zone for this lady. My goodness I owe this woman for the countless number of Wearable Wednesdays that she has made me laugh. Thanks Anne! In the process, I made a skirt that I absolutely love. Allelluia! I've been converted.

Stash busting 2014: Va-Va-Vavoom!

Fabric:     I purchased 2 metres of this fabric but I only used 1.3 metres.

Zipper:    8" invisible zipper.

Thread:   I used a spool of grey thread I found in my thread stash for the sewing machine and black overlock thread for the overlock machine.

Hook & Eye:  I stash busted a large hook and eye.

Basting tape:   16" length of basting tape.


I found this fabric at Marshall Fabrics late last year. It didn't last very long in my stash, I actually picked it up with Jungle January in mind. I just was undecided what I would tame this beast into. It is a cotton fabric with some stretch.

The pattern was a fairly recent etsy find, McCall's 7870. It is from the NY Collection of patterns from the 1990s. Can you believe that the 1990s are considered vintage? I kid you not!

This pattern is a real gem. Oh my goodness, you don't find details like these too often now-a-days! Do you notice that drape found on the skirt front? It is created with a tuck detail (there are two from each side seam) and it is top stitched.

The front waist has a facing and sits higher than the back of the skirt which has a waistband. It makes for a very comfortable fit. The two darts in the back are also topstitched.

My absolute favourite detail in this skirt is the double pleated kick pleat!

This photo shows the closest match of the actual colour.  
I don't think I ever felt this great in a skirt. I will certainly get some wear out of this and I think another version might make it to my sewing table soon. I love the fact that this is a long skirt because I haven't shaved my legs since my knee surgery last month. Yes, I'm a real beast in this skirt. But I digress...

I should mention that I made this in a size 14 and there did not appear to be a great deal of ease. There is a four inch difference in the hip measurement from the finished width compared to the body measurement listed on the pattern envelope. I added a little extra to the pattern side seams. If the next skirt is a non-stretch fabric I think I would like to make a muslin. Considering my generous hips, I would opt for a longer length on the zipper.

Little issues considering how much I do like this walk on the wild side.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Nothing Like a Cozy Pair of Pajamas

Stash-busting 2014: Pajamas

Fabric:     3.90 metres flannel (it was very narrow) plus 1 metre of interfacing.   

Trim:       0.40 metre.  

Buttons:  9 clear coloured buttons.  

Thread:   Yellow thread from the thread stash, used in the overlook. Light green thread from the stash used for the sewing machine. I managed to finish off one spool.     

Sewing Goals Achieved with this project:   None, but I did learn a lesson from the first one I made a year ago: interface the front facing. The first one that I made currently has a tear around one of the buttons located near the bottom. If I interfaced it, I think it would be able to handle some of the stress. We'll see if it works on this one.  


This project was pretty much uneventful. No mistakes to re-count, no challenges, quite simple to sew up. It is a great project to a beginner. It did take some time to sew up only because I was unable to sew uninterrupted--I did need to take a lot of breaks. (The first pair I made last year, I remember being a much quicker make.) And therefore sewing was broken into small chunks of time with lots of rest breaks in between.

The Pattern:

I found this pattern in a second hand store over a year ago. It is McCall's 8525, an out-of-print pattern.  

The Fabric:

Oh my goodness, this fabric has been in my stash for more years than I care to remember. And there are areas on the fabric that hint at its age. It is nice to finally stash bust this one. As a matter of fact, if you think you have seen this fabric before you are correct. I cut this project out many months ago and it has been sitting in my project drawer waiting to be stitched up.

It is a flannel fabric which is perfect for the chilly evenings we're having in this corner of the world. And it has cows printed on it--what's not to love. 

There was not enough trim in the stash to finish the front and neckline edge like I did in the first one I made but I did have enough to trim the pocket edge. All in all, it worked out to be a pretty good stash busting project. I have officially stash busted all the flannel from my stash.

Happy Sewing!  

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Easy Peasy!

Stash-busting 2014: The Tablecloth

Fabric:     2 metres of 100% cotton sateen. 

Thread:   A bit of green thread that has been lingering in the thread stash for many moons. There is still some left on the spool.   

Sewing Goals Achieved with this project:   None, I guess I'm starting the year off slow.   

Equipment used for this project:  Janome sewing machine, scissors, iron, ironing board, and an universal sewing machine needle. 


At my local fabric store there is a whole section of "table cloth" fabrics. They are usually plasticly polyester type fabrics. Yup, they tend to be on the yucky side.  

Not this one, I made this tablecloth using 100% cotton sateen that I found at Mitchell Fabrics. It has been in my stash for almost a year. I actually picked this fabric up with the intention of making a shirt. It is super wide and labelled as sheet/bedding fabric. I thought the fabric and soft green colour was gorgeous. And that changed when a request came in for a tablecloth. I didn't have anything wide and long enough for a tablecloth without piecing it together so there went my gorgeous sateen fabric. It worked perfectly for the tablecloth.  

Super easy to whip up.  I clipped the selvage and ripped to create a straight cross length grain. The sewing machine was set up so that I wouldn't be sitting the whole time. Then I pressed and sewed up a narrow hem.  The other edges were selvage edges that I left alone.

Easy peasy! Somedays you gotta love easy projects.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Merrily Mending Away: Favourite Vintage Sweater

Do you ever hold on to a favourite item even when it is out of commission? Out of commission for years that is...

I do. That would be this item.

It is a vintage cashmere turtleneck tie-dyed sweater that has strategic overlock stitching to cover up miscellaneous imperfections. I picked this sweater up at Courage My Love, a favourite vintage haunt in Toronto--way back-in-the-day. This sweater is decades old.

I never once considered giving it away. I thought, one of these years when I finally sit down and tackle this mending pile, I will have this sweater back in my wardrobe rotation. And can you believe it, the day finally came. There was a big gapping hole at the underarm seam and a little hole developing on the sleeve seam on the other arm.

Icing my knee after doing my exercises is the perfect opportunity to do some hand stitched mending. Yes, I could have easily whipped this through the sewing machine. But let's get serious, I haven't done that in all this time so why would I do that now?

I don't know, there is something quite relaxing about sitting by the window with the sun shining as the needle glides from your finger into the fabric. And now I have another previous absent favourite back in my wardrobe.

Happy Sewing Mending!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Merrily Mending Away: Sleeves

It is a good thing that I have joined Sarah's RTW Fast because I'm not fond of mending sleeves. That is one of the benefits of making your own clothes, you can adjust the pattern before it is cut and sewn to avoid all the hassle of altering a RTW item (which happens to be a real big pain in my opinion). 

You can tell by the wrinkles in this first item that this wool jacket has been in the mending pile for quite some time.  

I cut two and a half inches off the length, used the same technique that I use for hemming pants, and then hand stitched the remaining length up one and a quarter inches.   

That was easy. The others were not.

Did you notice the bad hem job?

Oh yeah I did [holding head in shame]. In my defence I've always been forthcoming with my intense dislike of alteration and mending projects.

But the guilt has been too much to bear. I basted and seam ripped. And then scratched my head trying to figure out how I would work around that mitered corner. Luckily, I have short arms and was able to cut if off and move on from there.

And now what to do with this?

When in doubt, cut it off! Now it is read to hem it up.

Have you noticed that ready-to-wear lined garments rarely have finished inner seams? What's up with that? Another good reason to join Sarah's RTW Fast--quality control. All that is left to do is take some length off the lining turn up the sleeve and slipstitch this baby up!

Next one is a real challenge. How do you shorten a sleeve with functioning buttonholes? That is what I have here.

This was the best advice on this design feature,
[w]hat is a [wo]man to do when [s]he needs the sleeves altered on a jacket that has functioning sleeve buttonholes? I suggest targeting the root of the problem. For ready-to-wear jackets; don't buy them if they have functioning buttonholes and the sleeves are not the right length. 
That doesn't help me out now. And I don't want to get rid of the jacket, I adore the colours in the fabric and other than the sleeve length it does fit well. What would you do? Tack it up onto the lining? Or leave it down and wear it rolled up?


But that advice above did help a little, come to think about it. What is a gal to do if their heart desires functioning buttonholes on a tailored jacket other than sew it herself. Mending previously purchased ready-to-wear while on a ready-to-wear fast is a real eye opener on the benefits of sewing from scratch. Come to think about it Vogue 1325 has a nice jacket with functioning buttonholes. Allowing myself to day dream a bit, I will have to shorten the pattern before I cut it out and I'm sure it will be more fun than mending these sleeves.

Happy Mending Sewing Day-dreaming!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

In Sewing News Today...

Right now! All Butterick and McCall's patterns are $2.99 and Vogue patterns are on sale for $4.99. I've been waiting for a sale like this to get my hands on one of Gertie's new patterns, Butterick 6031. Could this be the knickers pattern that finally works?

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

You'll Never Believe It!

There has been progress on the quilt project. Yeah, that quilt.

I was itching to do some sewing, any sewing, other than mending. Even though it is nice to see the mending pile slowly disappear.

Being able to move the sewing machine to a higher surface, allowing me to sew while standing up, I was able to chip away at the pile of squares that I had accumulated. And the nature of the sewing allowed for breaks whenever the leg or knee became sore or swelled. Before I knew it this happened.

Recently completed.
Apologies for the blurry picture.   
Previously completed. 
It is amazing what can come together when you're limiting in the type of sewing you're able to do! But I'm going to take a break from it now as I decide how I want to finish it. Do I just join the edges or do I make a border? Should I purchase stuffing/padding or use an old blanket for the middle section?

I'll admit, I'm not a "quilter" and in this project I took short-cuts whenever possible. And I'm sure I will take a few more short-cuts. Heck, the ladies in my sewing class made fun of me because I was ignorant as to which direction the seams were to be finger pressed.

Sew, why did I undertake this project?

The shear volume of the fabric scraps that were either too big to throw out or the that did end up on route to the landfill were making me feel guilty about my sewing hobby. I had to do something.

I was holding onto to fabric scraps used to make baby overalls for my now seventeen year old nephew and little lass dresses my nineteen year old niece once wore. That's insane. I even have scraps from the very first shirt I made in a Home Economics class from when I was in high school. I had a lot of scraps to chose from and work through.

I was inspired by a woman who was making a quilt that she donates to a local charity. Can you believe that was over two years ago that I started this project?

What happened in those two years was something pretty incredible. That pile of scraps became a memory quilt. Mama R became quite smitten over the the stitched pieces. It became something priceless as memories flooded over the small squares that laid on the floor. Over the years, she helped with cutting squares and pressing as I stitched the pieces together. It became a joint project with more memories stitched into the little squares. This became a project of love that saved me from cabin fever settling in these past few weeks.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Merrily Mending Away: Old Sweatshirt, New Cardigan

This was actually headed to the donate pile when I thought of slicing it up the centre front. It was a wee bit tight in the mid-section as a pullover sweatshirt type top.

Now, it is perfect for those physio therapy appointments and hanging around the house.

Happy Sewing Mending!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Happy National Hat Day!

According to Sydney Tumshek, National Hat Day started in the 1920s as a way to get men to start planning their spring hats. Whenever and however, this unofficial holiday came into being, it was likely a welcome boast to the local milliner peddling their creations.

Today, in my corner of the world, the toque rules the day. Although, I will admit that I do like wearing a good-looking beanie (anything to keep the ears warm in this weather). And I wouldn't mind sewing up a vintage style hat from Simplicity 1736 for when the weather warms up. How about you, have you made hats or want to?

Happy Sewing Hat Day!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Spring Patterns are Popping Up Everywhere!

The next label to release their Spring 2014 patterns is Butterick. Is it me or is this earlier than previous years? Not that I'm complaining, it is nice to think that spring is around the corner.

One of the sewing goals that I have this year is to make some wearable under-things. Yup, a pair of knickers. And Gertie released a under-things pattern in this line. It is Butterick 6031.

I'm mainly interested in finding a pattern for the knickers and I thought these were cute. They look like a boy cut style, don't they? There is no description on the pattern items besides the visual description of the photograph and line drawings.

The line drawings have me confused because they don't look like a boy-cut style, do they? I'm on the fence with this pattern. I think I'm going to wait and see what the reviews are over at Pattern Review. And of course, while I am waiting I can re-size that pattern I already have in my pattern stash.

What do you think? Do you have a favourite knickers pattern that you would recommend?

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Merrily Mending Away: Unhooked

Calvin Klein Soft Cup Contour Bra
Also available at Nordstrom
My days have been spent doing the physio therapy exercises, eating, napping, reading The Best Laid Plans, and icing my knee while working on that enormous mending pile.

Today's item wasn't even in the mending pile because it has been part of my wardrobe rotation. Yes, my bras were in need of some alterations. Well, since my recent days have been lounging around in my pajamas it was the perfect time to mend these bras.

One of the most comfortable bras that I have found are Calvin Klein soft cup wireless bras. I have five of them in my wardrobe, that is how comfortable I find them.

They are almost perfect. The only thing that drives me absolutely bananas about these bras is the little hook in the back that allows you to change it to a criss-cross racerback style bra.

I never use this feature. My shoulders which hold my chicken wing arms are not exactly my most appealing feature. But I digress...

It drives me crazy because it hooks onto some of my favourite knits and I fear that one day I'm going to damage a favourite sweater beyond repair. My thought was to purchase bra hoops to replace these hooks but I found a even more economic solution.

The hook was slipped into the upper elastic strap. It was a snug fit and took some maneuvering but it fit.

And then I stitched! It is not the most perfect job that I could have achieved. There is that little bumpy thing (the hook) hiding under that strap. Ideally, I should have dug out the seam ripper removed the hook from the strap and replaced it with a ring without the hook feature and then re-stitch the strap.

But I didn't and this is a perfect example as to why I don't do mending and alterations for others. Too much trouble when you can easily take a passable short-cut. Today, I'm all about passable short-cuts and just getting my own mending and alterations done.  

Happy Sewing Mending!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Did You Notice?

Vogue Patterns are on sale right now for $5.99 from January 11th to 14th!

And the Spring 2014 patterns are out!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Merrily Mending Away: New Tunic Sweater

This knit dress has been stashed away for many years. It was the dress I wore when I fell and tore my knee cartlidge (the other knee). I guess it just had that bad memory associated with it and I didn't want to be reminded of it through a piece of clothing. Of course, prior to that accident I didn't have the curvy hips that I have today and that in its self makes this dress style obsolete for my current body shape.

I put it aside thinking that it would be cut up into scraps and used for another sweater blanket one of these days.

I changed my mind recently and cut it short making it into a tunic. I love that I have another sweater to take the chill off this winter. I don't know why I didn't think about doing this earlier? Possibly, it was my aversion to mending and alterations in general. I'm just glad I didn't cut it up for scraps.

Happy Sewing Mending!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Pattern Give-away Winner...

Drum roll please...

Butterick 5891 is on its way to

Mrs. Smith! Congratulations! I hope you enjoy the pattern as much as I enjoyed sewing it up.

Mrs. Smith blogs over at Sew Crafty Chemist. Not only does this talented lady sew, she knits too! And her favourite pattern of 2013: McCall's 6844. She is currently sewing her forth version.

Mrs. Smith, you can email me at grrracar(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll pop it in the mail.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

In Sewing News Today... (restless in the sewing room)

Not much sewing...

I'm still in post-op recovery mode and following instructions to keep my leg straight and do the straight leg physio exercises. Let's say that I'm more than restless and starting to suffer from cabin fever. Yup, I'm restless in the sewing room.

Later this morning I have my second post-op appointment, fingers are crossed that the bandages will come off and replaced with some good news.

On the up side it has made my first week on the Ready-To-Wear fast quite easy. I have not purchased a single item and to top it off I haven't even step into a mall. Check me out!

Joking aside, I'm thrilled to be part of this challenge. There is a facebook page for all the fasters and it is quite interesting to read what has motivated them to fast and what everyone is working on. Sarah said that there are over 200 peeps who signed up and it appears that each continent is represented. How cool is that? A real global movement.

I'm also going to fast from the permitted items too. I don't need any shoes, socks or tights. And underwear--well, I would really like to make my own. I'll see how that goes.

I will admit that I do have three ready-to-wear items that I purchased over a month ago. All three items still have the price tags on them and it just doesn't seem right to hold onto them. Sew, I've decided to return them when I'm able to get out-and-about. One is a Rachel Roy peplum top that I absolutely adore, I'm going to try and copy it before I take it back. It is made out of a double knit and has no front darts or princess seams. It should be an easy item to reproduce. The other item is a cardigan sweater with much-too-long sleeves. I'm going to replace it with a me-made cardigan using McCall's 6844 which I've been reading rave review about. And the third item is a sleeveless turtleneck sweater that I don't need to replace with a sewn item. I only picked it up because it was on sale. My bad. I'll feel better when I return these items.

Since I haven't been able to do much sewing I've been able to get my sewing fix by tackling that mountain of a mending pile. I've been mostly replacing buttons and hand-stitching holes but at least it is helping to pass the time.

I've also been organizing. I've tidied up the sewing drawers where I store my cut projects and put the pattern envelopes in protective plastic sleeves.

I can't wait to get back to work and sewing these up (hopefully soon).

And in other sewing news, there are just two days before the Pattern Give-away winner is announced. Did you enter?

Well, that is all in sewing news today.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Stand up and Sew!

Have you ever sewn anything while standing up? I never thought that I would write about sewing while standing up but here I go.

It happened out of necessity. You see my recovery did not go as well as I planned--ten days came and went. My physio exercises were delayed until my first post-op appointment five days later. And I was told to keep my leg straight and only do the straight leg stretches and exercises until my next post-op appointment another two weeks plus and into new year. Not something that I was thrilled to hear when I was expecting a full recovery by the weekend prior to New Years Eve.  Even more so when I realized that I would not be able to sit down and sew during this time. Okay, I'm going to stop whining because this story has a [spoiler alert]  happy ending.

It then dawned on me that I have a really cool feature on my sewing machine, a start/stop button. Stay with me as I explain, it really is cooler than it sounds.

I didn't think that this little feature was all that cool when I first picked out this machine. I was rather stoked that it had a cutting feature instead. But this start/stop button is the cat's meow. You see, I don't have to use a foot pedal to operate my sewing machine.

Thankfully, someone was able to help me out and moved my sewing machine to the edge of my cutting table which sits at a higher height than a regular table.

It was perfect and I was able to sew standing up and able to keep my leg straight. It certainly took some getting used to, but it filled the need to sew.

I do believe that I did spend too much time standing there that first time because I did spend quite some time icing the knee back to a less freakish size. But it did feel good to listen to the hum of the machine as the needle pierced and connect the fabric.

I didn't do anything anything elaborate just machine hemming and was able to chip away at the over-the-top mending pile. But it felt great to feel productive.

Anyway, moral of the story: if you shopping for a new machine and see this feature and think that it is no big deal. Trust me, it is! Come to think about it if my cord or foot pedal were [heaven forbid] to become in a state of damage, I would still be able to sew. I fell in love with my sewing machine just a little bit more than the day I brought it home.

Happy Sewing!

Back to School Face Masks

These polka-dot cotton face masks are to be gifted as part of require back-to-school gear. Not much to say except, of course, I revisisted t...