Saturday, February 6, 2016

Unit Construction




This week is our semi annual book sale at the library. The public donates books all year for the sale. The day of the sale is one of excitement and long lines. Books go for a quarter and fifty cents and the tables are quickly emptied. The books are read, and we believe often redonated, and the cycle repeats itself.

One of the perks of working in our library is getting first grab at the donations, before the sale. We stroll the tables in our down time. There are several thousand books to peruse. I always manage to find a gem or two, read them and usually donate back to  the sale. This sale I found this  great sewing book written by Coats and Clark of thread fame, back in 1967. The writing is clear and straightforward. The technical drawings are as good as they get and what make the book valuable. There are photos to enhance the technical drawings. both of which are just as relevant in 2016 as they were in ' 67.  There is nothing "fashion" related in the book so it easily applies to today's sewing with its excellent illustrations and no dated garments glaring back at you. The only drawback to this book is it's lack of organization. There is none.  It is an alphabetical compendium of techniques covering everything from altering RTW to bound buttonholes, all in no particular order. One of the things that immediately gets mentioned is Unit Construction. A recent comment in a post questioned the order of construction to which I responded that I like to use Unit Construction. I've found the explanation in this book spot on.


From the book:

"This is, however, the simplest and most streamlined way of  assembling a garment."

"The principle of unit construction is to do as much work as possible on one garment unit (garment part) before attaching it to another unit - in fact, to complete it when possible  and to complete all the small units (sleeves, collar, belt, patch pockets) first, so that work on the large ones (bodice, jacket, or other) can proceed without interruption. "

"Do all you can to one garment part(unit) before attaching it to another."

I find I like to sew this way. I get to make the fiddly parts first. This more detailed sewing is what I enjoy the most. I also find this does streamline the process and it seems the garment is completed more quickly.

This sort of construction does not work for garments that are not cut traditionally, such as the Marcy Tilton or Issey Miyake designs. But, for the basic bodice, sleeve, skirt type of garment, it works really well.

I hope this sheds a bit of light on the process. I recommend this book if you come across it. It would be an awesome beginner reference as it is so clear , both visually and verbally.
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I've been missing for a bit, as well as last week's Wednesday Words. My hubby's mom passed away and we have spent the past week travelling to the Cape and attending her funeral and celebration of life. She taught me so much about running a home and was a positively amazing homemaker. Are there any real "home makers" today? The women who did not work outside of the home yet worked very hard at managing their budgets, caring for their children and make the home a place of pride, cleanliness and love?  My MIL could make Martha Stewart look  like a kindergartener. She ran her home like a well tuned machine, socks perfectly folded in every drawer at all times, sheets perfectly ironed. window treatments changed religiously every spring and fall, shelves and shelves of beautiful canned goods in her basement. She taught me how to iron a shirt perfectly and how to fold a fitted sheet so it made a mathematically correct rectangle that would fit a drawer to its edges. I have always been in awe of her skills. I will miss her much  as will my grieving husband. 

We came home and yesterday hubby went for a bone marrow biopsy. Yes, he has been having some health issues for the last year. We finally have the proper diagnosis, quality doctors and treatment. To say my sewing has been on the sidelines a bit is an understatement. I do hope to get in a bit this weekend. So if posts are a bit less regular please understand. I know you will. Here is a pic of my MIL, my hubby and myself at my daughter's graduation from dental school a few years back. I just had to share...........Bunny



38 comments:

  1. So Sorry for your loss. As we proceed in life it seems that we are facing one major obstacle after another, doesn't it? My best wishes for your Husband. This I understand as well. Finding our inner strength often takes so much of our energy, physical and emotional, there is little time for creative endeavors. That is OK. Your book is wonderful. My quilt guild has a similar sale each year at our show and it is always amazing. Best to you and yours.

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  2. Bunny I'm so sorry to hear this. That is a wonderful picture of the three of you. I'll be on the lookout for that book.

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  3. Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother-in-law. Great book find!

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  4. Some friends and I were just talking last night about the below-the-surface, intangible losses that occur when these elders pass away. Their character and personality traits, quiet strength, non-demonstrative love of family were just a few losses we talked about. Bunny, you've done such a beautiful job of bringing those things to the surface in just a few words for all of us to learn about your mother-in-law. It sounds like she was a great role model. Best to your family.

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  5. Sorry about your loss. Your mother-in-law’s life was well-lived and inspiring.

    Sending Light for the Highest Good of all concerned.

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  6. I am so sorry to hear of your husband's illness. He has been added to my prayer list. Your mother-in-law sounds like an amazing woman. I am so glad that she was so admired and respected by you. I am sure she felt appreciated and enjoyed your love and friendship. Blessings for heart's ease.


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  7. I am so sorry to hear of your husband's illness. He has been added to my prayer list. Your mother-in-law sounds like an amazing woman. I am so glad that she was so admired and respected by you. I am sure she felt appreciated and enjoyed your love and friendship. Blessings for heart's ease.


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  8. What a lovely tribute to your mother-in-law. My thoughts are with you and your husband. I am sorry he has to face a health crisis while grieving. You will be a great source of comfort to him.

    Our library has an ongoing book sale with its own little shop within the library. We have fun browsing it regularly. I'm not sure I could stand a bunch of bargain shoppers all at once - too much stimulation for my nervous system! The book does look like a good one. I found a different coats and Clark book as a PDF a while back, and it was very informative.

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  9. Bunny ~ even though loss is a part of life, it's still painful when it happens to someone so dear to us. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  10. My condolences and prayers for you and your family.

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  11. Your mother in law sounds awesome. Folding a fitted sheet is medal worthy, not to mention all the canned goods. I have never heard of changing curtains twice a year? Is that a cold climate thing? My deepest sympathies on your loss.
    Sounds like your family is embarking on a treatment journey. My best wishes for a speedy treatment and recovery.
    Hang in there and be gentle to yourself. It's an exhausting time. Best wishes.

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  12. PS lovely photo of you all. And getting first shot at the library booksale... Cool!

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  13. I'm sorry for your loss. Strength and good health to your husband.

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  14. I'm so sorry for your loss and your DH's health problems. Your MIL sounds as though she was a wonderful person. I hope his biopsy turns out well. Good luck!

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  15. Oh Bunny. I'm so sorry to hear of your MIL's passing. You, hubby, daughter - the whole family - are in my thoughts.

    I hope your husband's health improves with the diagnosis and treatment plan. Such difficult times.

    Thanks for sharing the book. I love book sales and haunt the Friends of the Library shelves at my library every couple months. Fifty cents to a dollar, and I just load up and, as you do, redonate anything I don't want to keep. I recently found a book of legal terms, Spanish/English, that I gifted to my son for his birthday. It was published in Peru. He loves it.


    Hugs - Coco

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  16. I'll keep you in my heart as you go through this process with your husband. xo

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  17. Bunny, what a wonderful tribute to a life well-lived and a delightful photo you've shared with us. We're so fortunate when we have a wonderful woman like your mother-in-law in our lives--and what a big hole when they're gone. My condolences to you and your husband. I hope that his health improves with treatment.

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  18. My sympathy and prayers to all the family and friends of your dear mother in law. What a wonder lady she must have been! Thanks you for sharing such a lovely bit about her life with us. Also prayers for your husband and his health issues.

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  19. What a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law!!! I love the description of her homemaking skills - definitely a lost art. This could easily describe my mom as well. I know she will be missed. I'm so sorry for your loss and pray that the Lord will comfort you.

    Continued prayers for both you and Ern. I'm so thrilled that you finally have a diagnosis and will be praying that this will resolve some of the problems he's been having.

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  20. My deepest sympathy to you & the family on the loss of Ern's Mom. She sounds like a really special lady. We never really get over the loss of such loved ones...we just learn to cope. Today is the 1 yr. anniversary of my Ern's passing. I'm going to the cemetery later today.
    I'm very sorry to hear about your hubby's health issues & am sending up immediate *knee-mails* for a diagnosis & a complete cure of whatever is causing him problems.
    I love that photo of you guys!!!

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  21. I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Bunny, and am wishing your husband the best in his treatment process. You gave your MIL a beautiful tribute.

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  22. Sorry to hear about your family issues. Your MIL must have been a great lady. I hope doctors will find a cure for your husband.

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  23. While I was sorry to hear of the passing of your MIL, your tribute to her was inspiring and a great reflection of times past. Sending positive thoughts for your husband's health. Karen

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  24. She sounds like a fabulous lady who will be missed but fondly remembered. I hope your husband's treatments are successful. Sometimes life takes precedence over sewing.

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  25. Bunny, I'm so sorry for your loss and will keep you and your dear husband in my prayers, asking the good Lord to hold you both close in the days to come. Please don't worry about this blog. We will all be here waiting, whenever you have time to share : ) Big hugs, dear sewing friend. Linda S.

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  26. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. What a beautiful tribute to have made to your mother in law and all she stood for. I too was at home with my children, a proud homemaker, & I did take that as my profession. I loved reading your words on the subject. Hugs to you.

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  27. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and your husband's health challenges. You and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  28. Sorry for your loss. A lovely tribute. I'm thinking of your husband and hoping he improves soon.

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  29. Sorry for your loss. A lovely tribute. I'm thinking of your husband and hoping he improves soon.

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  30. Oh Bunny, I am thinking of you and please know I understand how great a loss, losing a special person can be. I will be praying for you and for your wonderful husband(he is very handsome!:)) Take good care, Darby Logan

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  31. Pulling for you during this rough patch. Willing you strength, endurance and a smooth path ahead.

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  32. I know this is probably redundant, but our hearts are touched by your very sad loss. All the best to you and your husband.

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  33. You were very lucky in your MiL, which makes her loss all the more painful. Wishing your DH a very healthy recovery.

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  34. What a difficult time. I'm so sorry and wish your husband a return to health and a respite from grief.

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  35. Thank you, all of you, for your kind thoughts, prayers and condolences. It warms my heart knowing you are out there thinking of us at this time. So appreciated.

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  36. To lose a woman so talented and so loving is truly a tragedy for all who knew her. I missed this posting so I am so sorry to hear about your loss and will say prayers for the road ahead for all of the family especially your husband.

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  37. Somehow I missed this post. So very sorry to hear about all you have been ad are going through. Please know that I will keep you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers.

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  38. Prayers for you and your husband. So sorry to hear about this challenge. Take care.

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