Monday, May 20, 2013
I do have some small amount of this stuff, like the tiny ceramic mouse which my mom gave me, and a small picture of an eggplant framed by my mother-in-law. I really want to get rid of them...
I want my house to reflect a spare beauty.
I want to walk through the rooms and breathe deeply, and not see something teeny which must be dusted. I want my home to be a reflection of me, a place where quiet and creativity can exist together.
I wrote some of the above a year ago, and have made it come true. Last week Mr. Biblioblog and I decided to go to the furniture store and "just look around". Two hours later I was writing a check. The business owner took our old (actually pieces from childhood) bedroom furniture for a local charity, and we now have a new bedroom! And, a small company from Oregon makes these pieces so we have supported two local businesses.
This is a platform bed and has 10 (ten!) drawers for storage. The dresser in the corner is just a standard dresser with 5 drawers. We also have a built in cabinet tucked into the attic, which we had added in our first remodel years ago.
There is room for Bandit's pillow bed and a plant (Nick likes to sleep downstairs by himself). Maybe a little chair will end up here too. The headboard has shelves for books and a place to pile pillows so we can get comfy. I see in this picture though, that someone has taken pillows to another room for a nap (Mr. Biblioblog has bronchitis). We also have some furniture coming for the spare room-which used to be my sewing room but will now be my dressing area and a spare room.
I am thrilled with these changes. It is a testament to the power of claiming what you need and want. I love my bedroom and it will only get prettier as I find ways to add my own touches to this new room. So far, I laid out my handmade and dyed runner, and made some pillowcases to add a touch of green to all the wood. My comforter is a bit worn, and looked much better with the old brass headboard so that project is next. DIY or buy one...thoughts on color and any other decorating tips for this small space?
Monday, May 13, 2013
I have just reviewed V 8876 and posted it on PatternReview. Besides directing you to my review (so you can read and enjoy), I also want to let you know that what I write here is NOT the same as a pattern review. I want to talk about the process of making this dress, and some of my disappointments and successes. PR has become such a busy spot in the digital universe that I have decided to be a bit more businesslike there. Lucky you, dear reader, as that means you benefit from my innermost thoughts here.
Vogue website link
When I first saw this design, I knew I would make the dress. I loved the shape and the collar, which can be worn up or down.
Constructing the dress was not overly difficult, but it did take concentration to keep track of 12 pattern pieces, and 25 fabric pieces for the dress and lining/facings. All the pieces line up well, and the markings are good. I did lose a marking somewhere-I cannot even remember what piece it was. Didn't matter as everything fit together like a well made jigsaw puzzle!
I sewed this dress during a very emotional time, and while depression was knocking on my back door. I would work on it, and then worry a bit about the style. Was it right for me? Did I choose good fabric? What will others think? Gah!!!!! I am well acquainted with depression, being one of those people who have had it since childhood. It is almost a friend to me, leading me into behaviors that are helpful. Like labeling all those pattern pieces, and laying out the front and the back to be sure I had every piece needed. Depression also helped me by making me sloooowww down and take my time. I'd love to be the first PR member to review a new design...but that is unlikely and this was no exception. I think I'm #5. Good enough.
Depression, and some of the antidepressants available, make people spacy. That's me at my worst now. In the past, I was very "off" but now I usually skate through those times and engage with life later on. As I sewed V 8876, I got confused at times. Like how the hell do I attach this zipper? I know how to do it on a casual jacket...how do you do it on a dress? The directions STILL seem odd to me. Basically, fold on fold line and then turn raw edge 1/4" under. HERE you are asked to baste, and then flip it over and stitch close to basting. Then, you attach one side of the zipper. This means there will be three lines of stitching. Remove basting, and now you have two. Isn't there a nicer way to do this? Vogue, could you have added a separate facing for the zipper so the stitching would be hidden?
The yoke and its lining was a similar mental problem. I could see how it was to be constructed but it would leave areas that needed slip stitching. Come on Vogue!! You can do better. I used the "burrito method" and was as happy as I could be while swimming through depression.
The band at the bottom of the dress is really cool. The wider part is attached to the dress and the more narrow angles inward at the hem. Very interesting...and very hard to hand sew. I didn't even try to read their directions but just sewed away with my needle and thread.
Sizing-a whole 'nother story. This is a wide dress. I cut a size smaller than normal and still have room for another of me in there. The bodice fits loosely, and the rest is just a cute little tent of a dress. In fact, this dress is very similar to an orange pink paisley tent dress I had in 1969.
I love this summer dress and will wear it happily. I don't think it is a style that will take off, but will appeal to a group of women who want comfort and some quirky style on a hot day. What could be better than that?
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Other background buzz has been a persistent reminder that I love making art on paper and today I said yes to this voice. I participated in a handmade book workshop at Klamath County Library with Roxanne Evans Stout of River Garden Studio based in Keno, OR.
Roxanne supplied most of the materials, and guided us through putting the small art book together. We then added mini books within and embellished the pages. Ideally, it was in that sequence, but really we all went our own way and either sewed, or pasted, or glued, or colored...Through all of this, Roxanne was the calm in this storm of creativity.
Remember. this was in the downtown library, and we had a few children asking if they could make one (No, sorry).
This is the cover of my little book.
Diane Erickson. The bead is sewn on, and I also included a lot of fabric scraps layered over one another. The book is darker than I had envisioned, and the words "hope", "direction", "dream" and "accomplish" showed up. I am apparently a driven individual! :-)
I look forward to finishing it, and making a stitching art book while taking my Craftsy class. That class does have a journal suggestion and so I am looking forward to letting both sides of my brain play together.
In other news, my husband is recovering from bronchitis and my brother Pete is home from the hospital (heart and COPD). I have been trying to complete V 8876 and I am almost, oh so close, done. I was hemming last night and took out my work twice! A caution to those who want to make this dress-the hem is faced and it helps to use the same fabric. I did not and my facing is limp and puddley. The dress also angles inward vertically and is lower in the back than the front. Pin carefully and check as you hand sew. I matched it to the band seamline rather than the suggested length. This is not an easy dress even though Vogue says it is. Pshaw-what do they know about home sewing? I promise you all a picture in a day or two. Really.
Have a wonderful Sunday and if you are a mom, Happy Mother's Day. If you have a mom still with you, give her a hug.
Monday, May 6, 2013
This morning there was only enough coffee for one cup.
Perhaps that is one explanantion for my dreamy day.
I did organize some sewing ideas and plans, and signed up for two classes on Craftsy. One is Beginning Serging: Machine Basics and Techniques (Amy Alan) and the other is Decorative Seams: Techniques and Finishes (Katrina Walker). I am looking forward to working through both of these classes. The Decorative Seams class is going to be fun and I have bought a few new presser feet to incorporate into what Katrina teaches. The serger class is something I just need. I have never operated a serger and don't have a sewing buddy close by for help. Theresa, of Camp Runamuck, would be happy to help me but she is visiting her folks right now.
Gardening took up the majority of my time today and I was able to clean up one side of the front yard. Perfect timing-I was sweeping the driveway when the thunder started. These two photos show most of that part of the front yard, with a small middle piece missing. My driveway is on the left and my neighbor uses the driveway on the right. The bare area near their driveway used to be be shaded by three ponderosa pines. I am still adjusting to their loss. The plant that looks dead on the upper left is Russian sage, and the other on the bottom right is chocolate or brown fennel. I'll photograph them when they bloom so you can see them.
I ended my day with a trip to the vet so little Nick could get his anal glands expressed. yuck. Did you know that dogs who don't clean themselves in that area are prone to build-up?
This is what I wore:
V8859 pants in a rayon blend
I haven't reviewed these and probably won't until I make some alterations. Both pieces are too big and I am not thrilled with the fit. I love the comfy feel however!
This is the front of V8876 and I am planning to work on the yoke and connecting front and back tonight. I think I am going to enjoy wearing the dress, and I am learning a lot through this pattern. I wish I had had the foresight to balance the blue flowers but it will be okay. It's just a dress, not rocket surgery.
I hope you all have had a good Monday, Mary