Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twas the day before New Year's and......

Twas the day before New Year's, when all through the house
Machines were not humming or making a blouse.
The velvets were hung by the leathers with care
In hope that free time soon would be there.

Hubbie was nestled all snug in our bed
while visions of garments danced in my head.
I in my Jammies and Dad in his sweats decided
No party on New Years was as good as it gets.

When down in the basement their came such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to my bunker I flew like a flash
Tore open the closet and eyed my great stash.

The glow of my Ott lite on cleaned closet shelves
showed amazing order put forth by the elves.
And what to my wandering eyes would appear?
Visions of fabric so vast and so dear.

There were fleeces all rolled and labeled with care
in hopes that my fingers would make things I'd share.
There were boucles all begging for Chanel's nimble skills
and 100% linen was giving me thrills. 

When up on my shelves my eyes did alight
to find glass jars of fibers reflecting the light.
There were laces and ribons and sequins galore
and sewing such beauties was surely in store. 

I found angelina and rovings
 all folded with care,
 and splendiferous threads with no room to spare. 

Drawers were all perfect with scissors at rest
and tools made for marking ones marks at their best.
Buttonhole chisels, silk ribbons too, glass headed pins
asking "what do we do?"

 Polies and silk take up space by the knits. 
Their sparkly gleam gives me shivering fits.
Then there were doilies and gingham so square.
With so much to sew there is no  time to spare.
Bottomweights share a really tight space, 
A perfect pants pattern will they ever grace?


 Why, here are my fingers on hands that are eager
to stitch and create, even projects quite meager. 
They'l move on the fabric with speed so unknown
Productivity will blossom with items I've sewn. 

It's time to get dreaming of what I will do 
with all I've been blessed with. How about you? 
Here's hoping your New Year will be one that's bright
 and loaded with sewing far into the night.
Happy New Year to all with more sewing in sight.....Bunny Pepin
    

      

  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sewing Forward!



This is the time of year when most sewing bloggers, all sewn out from fancy party dress making or gift making, tell the world what they have accomplished over the past year. While I think I have accomplished a fair amount my holiday happiness included very little sewing due to circumstances beyond my control. But, this weekend I managed to get everything back in order in the visible parts of my sewing haven. Today we have help coming to move furniture back in the family room and this weekend is looking good for completing the whole project. We still need a staircase rebuilt. That is coming from the Amish and one must wait for their skills around these parts. Waiting is OK when it literally saves you a thousand or two. We also have a finish carpenter to come in and build our transition millwork. Seems our transitions are rather unusual and need to be built by a craftsman. I don't want to think what that will cost but we will make up for it with the staircase. All that remains on my part is reorganizing all the mess in my fabric room where so much has just been shoved. A long weekend should help that happen.

I did get my small bakers rack painted white and filled up and I so love it all. The doors still need to be hung on the closet but since I am in and out so much it will probably be the last thing to happen.

So I am looking forward to sewing, not looking back. I have great plans, not quite prioritized, but all excite me nonetheless. There will be my pants draft from Sure Fit Designs. I am really excited about that. There will be  mucho dolly clothes making for new American Girl additions to the family. Then there will be attempt number two at a classic winter coat out of a yummy black wool/cashmere mix.Throw in a couple of Koos bags, a slipcover for an ugly old wing chair that really is a quality piece of furniture, just ugly, and some of whatever I can do for some instant creative gratification. I may even squeeze in another Chanel Jacket before all is said and done and 2014 rings in. Oh, and I forgot the window treatments for my great room that have seemed to been thrown to the back of the queue. Of course, next year, you bloggers will inspire me to new heights and new creative endeavors with all the cool things you make and I will stop everything just to try one of your amazing efforts in my own style.

So I am looking forward to some serious sewing in my lovely little space and some much appreciated serious inspiration from all of you, dear sewing friends. You never fail me and are so appreciated and cared for....


I'll leave you with a shot of my bird bath which I think may be  2 1/2 feet tall. The snow line here is about 3 inches below the full height of the bird bath in this picture. It was all the way to the top a few hours later. We have had 2 1/2 feet of snow in the past week and are sitting her waiting for the next 2-5 inches tomorrow. Winter is here and we are hunkered down.........Bunny

Sunday, December 9, 2012

An Introduction...

Let me introduce you to Mrs. Mole. The name will be self explanatory shortly. Mrs. Mole writes one of the best sewing related blogs I have seen in a while . She is a career alteration expert, has a degree in fashion design, a highly entertaining sense of humor and has been sewing for over forty years, not a bad resume! Her blog,  "Fit For a Queen" , tells the tales of her many clients for whom she alters clothing. Her stories are hilarious and her skills impressive. But what Mrs. Mole has more of than anything and anybody is Patience with a capital P!

Mrs. Mole's posts are mostly text except when it comes to showing her often very complicated alterations. She does do wedding gowns and formals by the score but has her share of clients that she would prefer to throw under the bus, or should I say kick under the sewing machine"?  I have just recently found her blog through links on Pinterest and am so glad I did. Check her out. The entertainment value will have you smiling, laughing and wondering where she gets all that patience. I think she could be a diplomat to the Middle East. Just thought I would share this wonderful find with you all. If you have ever thought of going into the alteration business, you really need the reality check that this blog brings to that type of work.Through it all, Mrs.Mole still passionately loves altering clothing. I think she is a saint.

When telling her tales she changes names and occupations and never reveals her true identity, therefore the name, "Mrs. Mole."  I don't blame her. She is brutally honest in her assessments of her clients. Her honestly is coated with the best humor which makes it all a good read. Highly recommend.
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Halleluiah!  The floors are all installed and we are so glad we waited for what we wanted. They are gorgeous hickory with a yummy red undertone. They look great. Now we have to fill in all the nailholes in the millwork and give a quick second coat to the white trim. We are really happy. Some of the new furniture needed has been ordered and we are still shopping for the rest. The worst is behind us. We have guests arriving the week after Christmas so the hustle is on. When  all is said and done you will all be invited to the Grand Tour, big sigh of satisfaction here. I can't wait to get back to some serious stitching.

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Can you tell I attended a website building seminar for work this week? I came home and started playing with the blog as a result. I would like to publicly thank Shams, of Communing with Fabric,   who graciously answered a question for me and was a big help in my final decision about the "look".  I am thinking it will be fun to change my header photo about once a month to keep things interesting. What you see in the header today is a piece of silk brocade my daughter brought me back from Singapore. It is one of those fabrics I just like to admire and it reminds me of my daughter's thoughtfulness while on the other side of the planet on business. Happy Sewing!.....Bunny

Friday, December 7, 2012

I drank the Kool-Aid......



Recently, through threads on the Artisan's Square Stitcher's Guild forum and the Pattern Review forum I have become aware of Sure Fit Designs. I have drunk the Kool Aid. The very numerous results I am seeing from all shapes and sizes of women have me eager and encouraged. Their results are phenomenal. Add to that the legendary customer service of Glenda Sparling, the owner, and it is a win/win situation. Glenda makes a sale. I make fabulous, I hope, pants. Lots more to come on this but in the meantime check out the links. This is one, a biggy, from the Stitcher's Guild that shows some wonderful pictures and accomplishment.  I am so excited about this venture. Hang in there and I will take you along for the ride!

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Not much sewing is happening here and won't be for a bit. Tomorrow our floors get installed and we can finally get life back to an organized normal. That will take some time. Then there are all the traditional happenings having to do with celebrating Christmas  in our family. We will be gone the week before as well. I will try to blog as much as possible, posting my opinions on various things and bringing attention to others but actual sewing will be a bit sparse for the next couple of weeks. Did I say that was killing me? It is my sanity keeper. My queue is getting quite long and I am not sure what to start first.  Working out my new Sure Fit Designs pants blueprint is way up there. So is making my winter coat. I am still all over the place when it comes to Pattern Choice. I love the coat recently completed by Robin at A Little Sewing. It has the roominess and warm collar that I am looking for. But swing coats are my siren. I think I may have to just make one up in a muslin and get it out of my system. I also considering Amy Barickman's Chinois Coat.


More sewing talk to come, actual sewing, not for a couple of weeks.Stay tuned!...Bunny

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CAPTCHA !!!



Sounds sort of like "GOTCHA" which would probably a more appropriate title. In case you don't know Captcha is WORD VERIFICATION.  WV is that aggravating window that pops up after you make a comment on someone's blog. Because automated spammers can't read, by requiring you to read and write the barely legible letters and fuzzy numbers you prove you aren't spam to Blogger and your comment gets through. 

I hate this stuff. I don't use it on this blog. In the years I've been blogging, I think since 2008, I think I have plucked and deleted 3 spammers from my comments. I can handle that. Don't make my visitors go through this misery, Mr. Blogger, Please!!!

When I go to a blog, make pithy responses, and then am asked to read the Captcha to make my comment go through lots happens. First I stare at the damn thing and shrivel as I think, "here we go again". Once my fury subsides I squint. Is that a c or an e? Is it upper case or lower? Is it totally foggy at the home with that address number being hijacked for verification? I type it in. BUZZER buzzzzzz as in wrong answer! I don't like those buzzes in my brain. What I said is really important, at least to me so let's try again. Click the little  twirly for a new Captcha. This one is worse than the last. I swear this is getting very aggravating. Try again, fail again. I don't know about you but three times you out in my world. One more try, often on the third try the dummy's Captcha seems to come up, a little clearer, less letters, no spaces. I might make it this time. Damn! This sucks, I flunked the test. I got it wrong again. I quit, leave your blog and begin cursing. You did want to know what I had to say, right? I mean you are asking for comments so please let me comment and not leave your blog in frustration. Is anyone else with me on this? 

If you would like to disengage word verification, AKA, Captcha, go to your blogger page and click on the little clipboard drop down next to your blog, next to the one you use to start a post. Click on  overview. On Overview on the left, click on Settings. On Settings click on  Posts and Comments. Where it says "Show Word Verifications" click no and shut that sucker down. I guarantee you there will be a lot more commenting on your blog! If you see a spam commentor, just delete them. It won't hurt. 

There has been much written in blogland about Captcha. From what I've read most don't like it and disengage it once they know how. I hope you are one of those. I so want to comment on  all  the wonderful things you are sewing, give advice when asked, and sometimes just tell you that you brought a smile to my face. Pretty please........Bunny

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Overdressed............................."




OK, what do we have here? I see gray cashmere. There's a flannel interlining. Seams are catch stitched down to the interlining. Peeking out in the upper left corner is a bit of the silk charmeuse lining. Hair canvas with some tricot fused to it to build out the back. My narrow shoulders need that double interfacing with the weight of this coat. All in all, a pretty well made jacket that will last me years.

I had this out today to open out the lining and take in the sides. I always felt the original pattern was a bit boxy, something fellow PR-ers seemed to also find. So today I opened the coat up and built in some shape by taking the side seams in at the waist. About 1 3/4 inches total was removed. It looks much better. I should get lots of years wear out of this classic princess seamed jacket. It's well made and of quality fabric.

This is not a brag. This  is all to make a point about the "high cost of cheap fashion" as the rest of the title of Elizabeth Cline's book "Overdressed" says. If this were cheap fashion the following would apply:

  • It would be made of some poly blend or all poly or even "faux wool" which I mentioned in yesterday's post, something using up our petroleum resources and causing pollution in the process. 
  • No interlining
  • No catchstitching
  • No custom fit
  • No silk lining
  • and certainly no retro fitting the garment because number one, it was cheap to begin with and the seams are near non-existent.  Number two, most people don't know what good fit standards are anyway today. But you do dear sewists. 
  • It would more than likely be  donated to a good charity who really doesn't want it either because of it's crap nature and it would eventually end up in landfill. Or, it could go to the back of the closet with mound of other cheap, easily replaceable forgotten fashion.
  • The coat would have been constructed using  labor practices that would make you cringe.Our economic competitors evidently don't know or care about the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire.
You know what quality garments are and what it takes to make them. Your clothes, should you choose to go the well sewn, good fabric route will last far longer than the trash put out by the subscribers to Fast Fashion, the Targets, H&Ms, Walmarts, and truthfully, nearly every clothing retailer  dotting our landscape.  You won't be contributing to the massive carbon footprint taken up by tens of thousands of cheap fashion factories. You won't be contributing to horrific labor practices either. You sew.

I know you can tell I just finished reading Cline's book. EVERYONE should read this, not just sewists. You will be so proud you sew. I am proud you sew. This is not new stuff. I've been hitting resale shops since I was a teenager. I've also been making nearly all my clothes and doing serious recycling since then as well, way before the word even existed. It's fun. I enjoy it and its very satisfying. Cline just seems to put this all so well into words. She uses loads of interviews, facts, figures, and trips around the world she personally took to make her point.

So I will get off my high horse now but you are totally welcome to join me. Make your clothing. Use the best fabrics you can afford. Take every class you can. You are impacting your world when you do.....Bunny