Sunday, February 7, 2016

after the party...

....of the Pattern Stash contest on PR, I am settling in for some leisurely sewing.  Sewing with a plan and sewing slowly and carefully.  Here is what I am making at present-
This is Sewing Workshop's Quincy top/jacket (and pants).  I cut out the jacket as a medium, using a nice blue and white linen.  The only alteration I have made so far is to shorten the sleeves.  I'm considering adding a cuff.  I will most likely reduce the length after the first fitting, but I want to see what happens to the shape of the jacket when sewn.  

This will be a light barn jacket for "cool" mornings and sun protection.  My real plan is this-

Add length to the jacket, do not use a closure at all, make 3/4 sleeves and no pleating.  This will be a spring coat and I am considering using a nani IRO fabric (herringbone pencil in denim).  Or, a strong idealized floral.  

Doesn't this sound pretty?  I can't take credit as I bought a year of the Sew Confident course from Sewing Workshop.  This project using the Quincy jacket is one of the monthly lessons.  I am really enjoying the lessons, and will be a repeat customer, I'm sure.  Each lesson has clear, straighforward directions, extremely good photographs and illustrations, and result in well made garments with a high end look.  What could be better?  Here is the link to the class info if you are interested- Sew Confident

Today's blog title comes from my current read.  I am reading The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian, and having lots of fun following the characters.  It centers around the aftermath of a bachelor party in which 2 Russian prostitutes make a break for it...after killing their handlers at the party.  The novel examines what happens to the brother who hosted the party, and to the wife and daughter, as well as the Russian women.  Fun, and engaging.

Other books taking up space on my cyber night table are:
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton-circuitous and forbidding murder mystery
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante-Book 2 in the Neapolitan series
These is my words by Nancy Turner-a diary of an Arizona settler
All three are highly recommended and I know surely one will be your pick.

Happy Super Bowl,

Mary


Sunday, January 31, 2016

What do you do with your time?

I have been retired for 6 1/2 years, and I can say with the utmost certainty that I am happier than I have ever been.   I am not lazing by the pool, or watching hours of Netflix.  

I am actually doing exactly what I have done my entire adult life, except going to work.

I am sewing (more), I am riding (more), I am meeting friends for dinner (more), I am taking classes or attending workshops (more), I am volunteering (more)...

What is clear to me is that retirement needs to have a focus, and those people who are internally motivated are probably happier in retirement.  

I've been busier than usual this month with horse training, dressage lessons, trail rides, pattern stash contest and HOA business.  Here is a photo essay of my month-enjoy!

Riding down into Catalina State Park (Nick's ears )

As Landscape and Erosion Committee
chair, I helped organize erosion mitigation efforts in our development.








Tried some new patterns-this is V9130 which I like but tossed this because the fabric showed lots of bumps and lumps.









Top right is a blouse from B5997 (love) and bottom left are pants from M6361 (hate).  The pants are wadders and you can read my PR review if interested.  In a nutshell, they are just too wide through the legs.  Hey look, my hair is clean!





Vest below using B5789-like it I think.  Pants above are Marcy pants and I will try again as these are a muslin.



Whew, time for some loungewear.  Here is KS3155:

Happy Sunday everyone...time for a nap:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 ->2016

Being in the midst of change, and moving toward a more dedicated approach to my art and sewing, I have been keeping a journal.  There is no rhyme or reason to the organization of the pages-they move from a pattern I love to a list of notions to buy to a favorite silhouette for an outfit.

To try to keep my art separate from my sewing from my outdoor enthusiasms from my personal growth from my reading...does not work for me.  These artificial divisions only keep me from exploring how what I love informs other parts of my life.

I have long kept notebooks or records of what to sew-these have proved to be good reminders of what appeals to me as similar style details show up over and over.

This is my time to push myself and to play with color and line in various forms.  I am not sure where the play will be, whether on a quilt or a blouse or a canvas.  I do know there will be fabric somewhere in it.
My shift toward exploring more art forms has been growing in concert with the political and economic upheavals throughout the US and the world.  I am saddened, anxious, and angry.  I am also convinced that life is still valuable, good and worth celebrating.  I am not convinced that my attempts to live a peaceful and artful life will affect the political landscape, but it will give me some peace.

Unlike my attempts in the 60s/70s to affect political change by going back to the land, this is a conscious effort to support the art in life and give my interest in politics a back seat for a time.  I will still read political commentary, I will vote, I will talk to others about current events, I will help those who need it, I will contribute financially and emotionally to social justice.  But art is first in my emotional involvement in 2016.



Buffalo Springfield "For What It's Worth"; Vietnam footage 


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays to all of you

         

             ~Merry Christmas~


Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

controversy and censorship

PatternReview has closed down the 3rd topic in a row which had politics as a theme.  In each of these threads, a few members jumped into the conversation and used inflammatory language, ridiculed the President, made blanket statements about Muslims...in general, acted like trolls.  I watched, read, kept my typing fingers still and waited for others to respond.  One of the threads was my own (the Politics and Religion thread), and I was more active there.  

It pisses me off completely to see a thread closed because people cannot disagree in a civil manner.  I can see the steps of this unfold like clockwork: controversial topic raised--> measured response-->others chime in--> someone posts a highly accusatory and mean spirited rant-->another reacts with equal emotional vigor but opposite beliefs-->then the conversation disintegrates into an argument about feelings and who is being mean.  And then...someone flounces offstage with the exclamation "This is the last you will see of me."  

To which most of us think "Don't let the door hit you on the way out".  

Good Lord, can we act any more like high school girls?  


and now there is a new rule at PR: no topics in Misc about politics, religion or legislation which will engender strong opinions and hurt feelings.   

I will maintain my PR membership because, well, it's the place I go to for a sewing fix.  It's familiar, easy, all my patterns are there, & my reviews.  It's really a great spot to get info on patterns.   I LIKE PR.  I guess my readers here are going to get a little politics now and then. 

So, what is your reaction to this?  Do you think sewing sites should avoid controversy?