Saturday, January 6, 2018

Life is good!

Dear readers: Oh, how I remember you all! We will connect regularly soon. So much has happened since our last time together and I thought it would be fun to update you on our transition and bring you into the excitement.

It's been 9 months since we last spoke. Much has changed. Much is looking good as my husband and I move forward to this next phase of our life. Do homes determine our phases? I think they do, starting with newlywed apartments and ending with downsized living and all in between. In a nutshell over the past months we have:

* Had a major, successful yard sale thanks to networking on the internet. It was Huge work but my heavens, we purged. We have no regrets. We made some awesome cash, enough to pay for a houseful of new appliances when we move.
*We sold our home in five days. Shockwaves ensued but we got out of there on time and are now living in a teensy, cute apartment which at this point has lost it's glow for me.
*Our plan to build the carriage house on our daughter's property was snob zoned to hell. There were so many roadblocks by her town that it was just impossible in the end. Their  town is adamant about not having any properties that could possibly be used as apartment rentals by the next owner. We gave up and went to plan B, which was fine and best in the end.
*After months of looking, pain in the ass, we found our new home. It is a dated mid century ranch in a lovely neighborhood and is a lakefront property. We are on the water once again and will have the wildlife reports returning! Bears and herons reside there and we have lovely views of the lake from large windows, but very private feeling.
*We hope to move by April but are doing major remodeling, all new doors, trim, floors, kitchen, painting, etc. It's been a fun challenge and DH and I have all the choices made and construction is proceeding. All this is being done while we still live in NY in our teeny apartment, yuk, states away. Our children are a tremendous help here and we have a property manager to oversee things.

So life is moving along. We are both still working here and going back and forth on weekends. It is a full schedule.

I HAVE HAD NO TIME TO SEW ONE SINGLE THING! I originally thought of how I could make sewing work in this apartment but have frankly, given up. Just too frustrating. Being in such a tiny space has made us get into field trip mode. We have no current house responsibilities like plowing, mowing, etc and no space to do anything else so we take field trips every weekend. That, dealing with our new home, and working at making decent food in a teeny kitchen have been how all spare time is spent. We so look forward to moving and getting back to what we love to do, both of us. My husband and I are homebodies, have always been. We are not partiers, golfers, skiers or travelers. We love to fix up our homes. We garden. We decorate. We plan projects. We work together with our ideas and separately with our individual skill sets. It is what we enjoy and figure around April we will be back in the saddle. Can't wait!

My decision to not write about moving details and angst continues. You do not come here for that sort of experience. So until this process is complete there won't be posts on how to lay out cabinets, budget with a GC or set back splash tiles. If something is nice I'll try to share photos later on up the road.  While we haven't knocked down walls this is a gut job in every other way, new floors, ceilings, walls, trim, lights, kitchen, doors, etc. The list goes expensively on. This is a smaller home in many ways but one with attributes our last home did not have. It is the right home for us.

In the meantime I am planning on updating the blog, freshening things up and getting back to communicating with like minded lovers of sewing, fashion, and  other creative passions. More to come on that. I am shooting for a clean, easy to read look. We will see what happens and any suggestions are appreciated. The blogroll will be updated as well.

I can't tell you how it warmed my heart to get emails from some of you asking about how things were going. You shared the excitement of your latest projects. You asked for sewing advice. We have had some great convos and I have seen some amazing work through the emails you've sent. Thank you for searching me out, for your caring, and sincere interest. Please be patient as we work through the last phase of our adventure. I am excited about getting back to blogging, sewing and a creative mindset. Life is good and we move on.........................Bunny

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I'm going to be straight up here. I had this muslin half done about 4 weeks ago. It has been a long time. I haven't touched it since. Then the life changing phone call came, a really good one. Long story short....we will be moving, at least as soon as we sell the house and have the next one constructed.  We now have a definite future home and are beyond excited as are our children. In the meantime it is full bore on purging, painting and constant cleaning. The big yard sale will happen in two weeks. We hope to take as little with us as possible when we move. It will have us leaving very upstate New York on the Canadian border and moving to one of the loveliest Boston suburbs on the North Shore. This decision was as sudden as a phone call from our oldest daughter and husband asking us  to consider building a carriage house on their property and making it our permanent home. Two totally separate residences barely connected by a ghost space. Our home will be brand new. It will be almost the same square footage as we have now  minus the big storage we have here but will not need in the future. It will have a large loft that will be for my sewing. DSIL took his architectural studies and designed a really gorgeous small property that will be in line with the classic New England neighborhood we will be living in.  We are thrilled.

That muslin is getting so ignored. If things settle down here, I will get back to sewing and blogging but for now it is full bore on our future. I am not sure when that will be. I just know I look forward to doing both again, the sooner the better. Property up here is really  slow to move. It is a beautiful beautiful area of the country as you all know from the many pictures I've shown over the years but there is little industry and people are not rushing to move up here other than for retirement and second homes, lots of second homes.  It is quiet, laid back, and a gift from Mother Nature. Culture and the arts are close by as we have six  universitities within 35 miles and Montreal and Ottawa are an hour away.

My husband will be the first to tell you that when I focus on something, I FOCUS and nothing else gets in the way. That's where I am with this move. It is consuming me but I know it will be temporary.

I so look forward to warmer weather.

I so look forward to returning to the Cape Cod/New Hampshire/ greater Boston area, our old stomping grounds. I know there are many sewists there, none at all here.

I so look forward to being so close to our children and grandchildren and their wonderful husbands.

I look so forward to really good food and really good restaurants.

I so look forward to diversity and all that it contributes to a wonderful life.

I so look forward to meeting sewing friends.

I so look forward to not having boots in piles at the back door all winter.

I so look forward to designing an interior with my SIL and husband and starting all new.

I will miss the laid back life that is offered here.

I will miss the amazing friends we have made.

I will miss the best job ever. Maybe I'll really retire this time??/

I will miss our wildlife and the beauty we live in.

Right now I miss talking with you all. I miss sewing. I miss planning wardrobe excitement and learning and trying new sewing techniques. I miss sharing them with you, too. I continue to help out newbies through Facebook groups and an occasional post on PR. At least I hope I am helping!

I am not going to write this post like it is the last ever, but I am writing to let you share in what is happening. I value all of you so very much and so many have become such a great part of my life.  I look forward to staying in touch  with you all as I can and will in the future. I look forward to sewing in a new space, one that we will share and hopefully enjoy together. Love you all,,,,,,,,,,,Bunny

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Vogue 1515, Sandra Betzina Skirt, meh

I am not crazy about this skirt. I started out liking it but now that it's done it just varies too much from what I saw and expected.

I also think some of the issues were the pattern itself. Here's the down and dirty.


This is Vogue 1515, a Sandra Betzina Today's Fit pattern. Today's fit was just fine but there were other issues. I started out with thinking it was all my fault but now really think it's the pattern.  The description is "below waist skirts have wide yoke, piping, cargo pocket, hidden pocket on front yoke facing, and shaped hem." Choosing not to emphasize my already wide hips I did not do the cargo pocket. The interior facing pocket was just too much futz and I was just not in the mood for piping. I wanted a simple skirt with an interesting cut. The pattern photo is a busy print so really hard to see drape and volume. Check out this line drawing:

I really expected a lot more fabric in the bottom layer of the skirt. It looked like the classic circle cut to me and this shape was why I bought the pattern. Alas, you can see that there really is not that much shape and the bottom tier is really just more fabric added to make it more A line. I also thought where the bottom tier met the middle tier the fabric would sort of "stick out", Marcy Tilton style. It didn't. It really just had a rather ugly little puff at the intersection. It looked bad, IMO, so I stitched again to make a smoother transition.

Then there was the pattern layout. Look at this skirt well.

No, that's not two different fabrics. I SWEAR each piece was marked on the wrong side with masking tape. Each piece was laid out with a nap layout, nothing turned, that is nothing unless it was indicated.

But I think the issue can be possibly found above. The red serrated line on piece #9 indicates the straight of grain and that is how these pieces were laid out.  The green lines show which sides connect to which. You can see that this is really pretty much a sort of odd A-line. The purple arrow/line shows how other than the higher side seam this pretty much is a flat piece, therefore no volume like the tech drawing. Given all that, is my piece off grain enough to look like a different fabric? At the least it is contributing. Moving around the fabric at this point shows it matches but I think having it cut and turned this way makes it appear "off" As is true to all sewing dilemmas, this was discovered near the end of construction, when hems were interfaced, topstitched,etc. Boo hoo.


The fabric is a black rayon/poly/lycra ponte, mostly rayon but I'm not sure of the ratio at this point other than it is mostly rayon.It's nice looking up close and drapes nicely. It is not super heavy. It didn't call for it but I fused the yoke and the  facing with fusible tricot to help stabilize it. That definitely worked.


There are two different "skirts" described in the pattern. One has a zipper, one is pull on so each has it's own yoke. I used an invisible zipper and it came out pretty decent. It had been a while. I really think they are easier than the lapped versions.

I changed the sequence a bit. The pattern has you attach the yoke at the end. I put the yoke on first with the top tier of fabric. It was then very easy to put the zip in with the facing. I used this tutorial from Tessuti as a reminder on how to do a faced invisible zip. At first sight it looks like a Rubik's Cube, but it really is quite easy.

This is the hem I prefer on all the knits I sew now. It is backed with tricot fusible interfacing. It is first stitched on the fold of the hem and then an inch and a  quarter away. The edge stitching really helps the hem drape nicely. Give it a try.

I think, given my work and the folks I hang with, I can wear this skirt with a tunic or long sweater. Hopefully, like most sewists, I will be the only one who sees the shading difference. In the meantime I am just movin' on!


My next project will be with one of my very favorite fabrics. I used it often. It is Kauffman Essex linen blend, a linen cotton yarn dye. This one is the denim blue. I haven't solidified on a pattern yet, but soon!


This has been our focus lately so the sewing has to fight for my time. This is primed and ready for wall paint. Plumbers are called for the changeout. Walls will be painted, shelves put up, and cabinets painted as well. Bye Bye "golden oak" that I have detested since day one. ..............Bunny