BUT, next week you will, for sure, being hearing from Theresa LaQuey ... stay turned.
It looks like I'm not going to be able to do any work today. My studio's transformed!
At least for a couple days ...
I'm off to walk along the C & O tow path with my family.
BUT, next week you will, for sure, being hearing from Theresa LaQuey ... stay turned.
Yesterday was the six month anniversary of this blog and being Thanksgiving it is the perfect time to say THANK YOU all for supporting me in this, by reading and your kind and helpful comments here and on Facebook.
I want to share with you a wonderful story that helps me put my life into perspective. I hadn't read it for a while, but found it on my computer a couple days ago and thought it would be the perfect thing for today.
THE MAYONNAISE JAR
When things in your life seem almost too much to
handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough,
remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of tea.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a bowl of pebbles and
poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up
everything else. He asked once more if the jar was
full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
The professor then produced two cups of tea from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
"The golf balls are the important things: your family,
your children, your health, your friends and your
passions, the things that give your life meaning and purpose -- things that if everything else was
lost and only they remained, your life would still be
full. The pebbles are the other things that matter, but not as important as the golf balls, like your job, your home, your car, saving for retirement, etc. The sand is everything else; the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first," he
continued,"there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If your first priority each day is to take care of the small stuff and you spend all your time and energy on that, you will never have room in your life for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Devote time to taking care of your health, your spiritual well-being. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. Do one more run down the ski slope. Take that yoga class. Meditate. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the tea represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of tea with a friend."
Best wishes for a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving ... Andrea
Dotty Jacket and Multi-tasking ...
As the holidays approach there is so much to do! And yesterday I had another "do a little of this and a little of that day"
I bought the pattern I'm going to use to make my jacket and played around with the layout. I will have to buy some white wool for the collar and in addition to the other changes I plan to make, I need to move the sleeve seam up 2". I just don't like where it is and the pieces will fit better on the fabric with this change.
The lower portion of the sleeve is supposed to be a contrast fabric (kind of weird, actually) and I want it to be all the same fabric. I experimented with getting rid of that seam all together, but then the pattern pieces were way to large and weird to fit efficiently on the fabric.
So, I drew that sleeve seam up 2 inches and taped on tissue and added 2 inches to the sleeve. And, as I always do when altering a pattern, I measured in 5/8" of an inch and marked the stitching lines. That way I can check that the two pieces will fit when sewn together. I think this pattern was designed for fabric that is stretchier than mine so I'm going to add on extra width to the sides of the sleeve pattern and probably to the sides of the front and back pieces as well. This is what my mother taught me ... you can always trim it off!
So, no cutting yet. I have to buy white wool for the collar. I still plan to add a bottom band, but will do it with the dotty fabric. See previous blog. After thinking about it for a while, I didn't think a white band around my bottom would be too flattering.
For now, pattern is bundled up until I get the rest of the materials I need.
Also, yesterday, I worked more on the new Halloween patterns for next year. I'm to the point, for my first pattern, of tracing out my working patterns ready to submit them to the Simplicity pattern making department.
AND my sister, Theresa LaQuey, will, I hope, be guest blogging here.
I introduced her in a blog last September.
She is starting to work on a beaded evening gown for herself. She will share some progress here. You can also follow her on Facebook. She is listed as Theresa LaQuey Couture.
My dotted fabric and your suggestions
Thank you for writing in with suggestions of what I can do with my cool grey and white dotted Korean fabric.
Every once and a while something will make me so happy to look at ... and this fabric is one of those things. Plus, it's wool and should be really warm. So, I want to make something I can wear every day at home. I keep my home rather cool in the winter. We have tall ceilings and I'm trying to save money and the environment. If I don't watch out I can end up looking really schlumpy all winter in sweats and old sweaters, which is bad for my morale and my husband's, who has to look at me.
Quiana suggested a set of accessories, including an infinity scarf. And if I have some left over fabric, maybe I can make one of her suggestions. I love MoHub's idea of a sheath with a big collar, but I wear dresses so infrequently. I really want an everyday garment. So, Jonatha's shrug with a snazzy dress of a different fabric won't work either. Actually the shrug isn't a bad idea, but I have more fabric than that. Celestine and Christina both suggested a cardigan/simple loose jacket ala Vogue. And that's what I'm going for.
Here's my sketch. It has a little bit of everyone's suggestions. Jacket for Jonatha, Celestine and Christina. Big collar for MoHub, which is kind of an infinity scarf for Quiana. SEE, you can please all the people all the time!
And while I could make the pattern from scratch, I don't have time really. And why should I when there are so many great patterns out there. Ever since I learned how to make patterns of my own, I'm more willing to pay for a good commercial pattern. Making a pattern takes so much time!
This Vogue pattern # 8778 should get me started. The envelope says it takes 2 1/4 yards of 60" fabric and my piece is only 2 yards, but we all know patterns usually ask for more fabric than is actually needed. I don't want the collar quite that large and I want to reshape it a bit. I want the sleeves all one fabric and I want buttons and loops instead of a zipper. Also, I have added band at the bottom. If I don't have enough fabric, and maybe even if I do, I can get some winter white wool for the collar and bottom band. I would love to find some really fun buttons, or maybe I can make some.
Let's hear it for stylish "at home" clothes.
Pillows are done!
Well, I put my nose to the grindstone and made made my pillows over the weekend.
And the upholsterers came and took away the two Queen Ann's chair for recovering and refurbishing. They are 20 years old and need new springs and new foam. I am so looking forward to when they come back. They will be better than they were when new.
So, let me show you how I made these pillows. I started with the one in the middle.
I only bought a half yard of this fabric. I knew I wanted a rectangular pillow. When I started to make it, I looked at the pattern on the fabric and let that determine the size the pillow would be. I made is as large as possible while still keeping the diamonds and dots centered. The measurement ended up being 18 1/2" x 12 1/8". Good thing I am making my own pillow forms with muslin and loose stuffing. That is most definitely NOT a standard size. I added 1" in each direction for a 1/2" seam allowance all around and cut 2 pieces of muslin and 2 pieces of my pillow fabric 19 1/2" x 13 1/8".
Then other two pillows will be a little more work, because they have fringe in the seams and the two pillows need to look the same.
Read last Thursday's blog for the explanation of how I decided on the size for these two pillows.
A day of preparation
I got a lot done yesterday, but nothing really to show. It was a day of preparing ... for many things.
And, things have gotten busy again for me, so I'm having to stretch out this pillow sewing. I really want to get them done over the weekend ... company coming!
But, Simplicity's got me going on next year's Halloween a little earlier than usual. So, I'm doing a lot of sketching and shopping I can't talk about right now. I will show you the contents of one box that came yesterday to get your imagination going.
And, I starting planning for another thing ...
It will be fun feeding everyone this year. Both my boys will be home and I get to feed a marathon runner (my very impressive daughter-in-law)! I can cook LOTS of food.
I was so wiped out last night though, I didn't want to cook. So, I heated up this package of stuff (it wasn't very good ... sigh). But, it had a word I never saw before which made me smile.
If things go well this weekend, I should have my finished pillows to show you on Monday.
Pillows for ME!
My new couch needs accent pillows!
Well, actually, things are still in a very unfinished state, we need new lamps, new pictures, the new table coming from Bali and my two old chairs will be taken away for recovering on Saturday.
But, pillows are something I can do!
First I have to determine how big I want these pillows and what style do I want.
I found a neat page with line drawings of a bunch of pillow styles.
So, I could make a square with cording around the edge like this middle one. This is what all the other pillows on the couch are like. Or, I could put a button in the center, or purchase some interesting fringe to put around the outside. OR, I could make a pillow with gathered corners like the first illustration.
And what size do I want? Well, I need something to look at to decide. And I will use the pillows from my old couch to try out different sizes.
The pillow I like is 17" x 17", which is not a standard pillow form size, they are all made in even inch sizes (14" x 14", 16" x 16", 18" x 18", etc). I almost always make my own pillow forms anyway, it's cheaper and I can stuff them just as hard or soft as I like.
I squeeze it down to be able to sew the opening closed with my machine.
I want to look for an interesting cord or fringe, but if I can't find anything I will cover cord with the same fabric.
Buying in bulk
You don't have to be a professional to buy supplies in bulk. For somethings it make so much sense. Buying 12 or 50 yards of something at a sewing suppler can be the roughly the same price as buying 2 of those 3 yard cardboard backed packs and then you have the extra for future use. It can even be worth is to pay a little more for a large amount of something you know you use a lot.
I get most of my supplies from WAWAK. I used to use Atlanta Thread Co, but WAWAK bought them a couple years ago, plus Wawak is fun to say. You can buy really large things from them like 144 yard rolls of elastics and tape, down to the small packages of snaps and bias tape you would find at your neighborhood fabric store, but discounted.
Here are some supplies I've been living off of for a while.
I realize not everyone needs as much as I do, but consider buying smaller reels of things. This is a way to keep down the price of sewing for yourself.
Here is my baggy of steel corset boning. It is so much cheaper to buy a dozen of any one size than single pieces. I just label and store my extras for the next time. Or, you may even think about going in with a friend or two to get the bulk price.
This is where I buy corset supplies ... Corset Making Suppies.com, but if you just search for corset making supplies there are many others. Farthingales is very good, too. They have a lot of corset making knowledge available, if you are new to corset making.
I am ever in search of a bargain ... well trained by my mother!
But, I have had to un-learn a little of that training, because sometimes it doesn't make sense to buy things in bulk as any of us who have shopped at Costco or Sam's Club knows. But, with some careful thinking we can save a lot of money.
I am a commercial pattern maker who is now "sewing over 50"!
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