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Thursday, January 29, 2009

WOW - What a Sewing Studio!

I still feel green with envy over this sewing studio of my new friend/hostess from my trip to Port Charlotte last weekend.... Evelyn's sewing studion off her garage was amazing, and this photo doesn't do it justice, at all! However, she gave me permission to share some photos with you. The working area was a large U configuration of 6 long office tables she said they'd picked up at a good price at an Office Depot. Very nice looking as well! Sure would give one plenty of room to spread out!

Behind her, in that U was this great cutting table with collapsible ends that he handy hubby had made of 4 kitchen cabinet units with a topper and drop down sides on EACH side, hinged with piano hinges, and a swing out white shelf to support underneath. On top,of course, was a large cutting mat. Evelyn said she had very carefully selected the 4 kitchencabinet units thinking of needed storage. All around the perimeter of the studio, which was well lighted with outside lighting and nice fan/light units, there was wonderful ORGNAIZED storage.

Look at her stash storage! Behind shower curtains, NOT in plastic bags, but rather rolled (to eliminate fold lines) with Hugo's Amazing Tape, was her organized stash...and what a stash it is!

The important thing to learn here is that these wonderful fabrics can BREATHE - not choke in plastic as I know so many people store their fabric stash.

Here's a closeup look of the rolls labelled with a piece of informative paper tucked underneath the Hugo Tape .....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Basic Black Pant and Top Sewing

Ahhh, since it has become apparent that my travel 'suit' is black tank top and pants - enabling easy and decent-looking modeling of my Creative Sweatshirt Jackets, I dug into my stash and pulled out this GREAT black cotton/rayon/Lycra double knit. You can see my cutting layout here on my nice long kitchen counter. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lyla Messinger's Margarita Top. It ha princess seams in front and a one piece back. The front 2 pieces are shown closest to the foreground, but you can see how this all fits along just the back pant leg on 60" fabric. Just way too cool! The 2nd photo shows the ruffly seam allowance to this fabric - and I cut 1 1/4" strips of it - thinking of inserting it under the hem of the top - just for a little something extra, a feminine touch. I used a ruffle out of this on a skirt a well. Hmmm - together that might be just pretty cute. I can always liven it up with a scarfed belt or something. Anyway - figure I need to 'ease' my way back into some regular sewing since I have that wedding gown facing me. Though still need to get - hunt the lace and fabrics. It appears a jaunt to Chicago Vogue and Fishman's is in order. Also was a very good girl this morning and pulled out the King sized Sheets that I bought at Linens n' Things when they were closing out. Since our bed is a Queen, I need to size them down. That took some thinking for the fitted sheet. What I cut off - such nice high count cotton, I decided to cut into rag size pieces, and I'll serge those and wrap them up as a wedding shower gift for Dear Daughter. I'm sure she'll roll her eyes about that one, but grab them frequently. At least I hope so - rather than paper towels all the time!
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wedding Gown in the works...

Goodie, goodie, goodie! Daughter is getting married June 6 - and of Course, I get to make the gown! Like all brides, she wants to wait til the last minute (so she can lose weight, which she doesn't have to!), but I convinced her last night that it just isn't smart to wait until May for a June 6 wedding! I spent most of Monday night looking through all the pattern sites for a good pattern to 'start from'. Will venture out today to pick a few of them up for real. Here is a picture of 'THE' gown...

Thankfully, I was able to point out the model's emaciated arms, and convince her she would NEVER look that tiny in the middle! This is a far, far simpler project than the last gown I made, so I'm looking forward to it. Sourcing that beaded fabric now using sources my neighbor and wedding gown etalier' Tina Colombo was kind enough to share. Plan to get this in the works so that I have a pattern all ready to determine exactly how much of the $$$ fabric to purchase. I think I also convinced her that a princess cut to the skirt, or a bias cut that would create some soft vertical coning would create vertical lines that would be slimming too.

Stay tuned.....

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Reading Recommendations

Never have had a TV in our bedroom - we both read every night to go to sleep - and whenever I've 'had it' with either the computer (usually) or sewing (though rarely!), I just escape into my 'other world' reading.

Just finished Neta Jackson's first book in her new House of Hope series - Where Do I Go? This is a sequel to her YaDa YaDa series of books... It was just wonderful - and very convicting to me personally of how I look at homeless people, and what God is calling me to do with the time I have to be 'the feet of Jesus'...especially when family demands on my time lessen later this year. I can not recommend Neta Jackson's books highly enough. Along with Karen Kingsbury, I have never been more influenced regarding my role in our current world than by these 2 authors.
Neta's website is here:

I think I recommended The Shack earlier this year - if not, I sure do. I use it - and thinking carefully about the theologically correct (my pastor says so too) ideas presented in it about how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit 'see' things. It also has a website you'd find interesting... I used this book as 6 gifts at Christmas time. Say enough?

The other novel I finished recently is totally different - about a group of women pioneers going west - by Jane kirkpatrick, it is All Together in One Place. I've never read many western type things, but this one really gave me a new appreciation for all of my creature comforts - that's for sure! Would be a good read for any spoiled teenager of Gen-X'er!

AND - last but not least, Do The Right Thing by Mike Huckabee. The true picture this is giving me of our 'leadeers' in Washington D.C. makes me sick to my stomach and madder than a jack rabbit. The stories of his campaign, intermingled with his life and political philosophies help me go to sleep at night in these troubling times. That - and feeling secure in God's love for us all who believe in Him. I'm praying that this outstanding man of God continues to persist, and perhaps becomes the next Republican Presidential candidate. Regardless of your political leanings, just read it - or watch Huckabee on Fox News at 10 on Sunday nights, and see if you don't agree.
A breath of fresh, honest, upright air - and believe me, here in Illinois, that is sorely needed!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Buried with new website development

Yeeks - I feel buried - with the computer! I'm either in front of my new MAC in my office, in my basement Studio with the ancient PC, or in the family room with my laptop on my lap ... I feel like I have an apendage.

Why or why am I doing this??? I'd sure rather be designing and developing my new pattern for jackets from sweatshirts with face-framing collars - it already has a name: CHOSEN.....
So why??? Because the 'path' of the development of my online business has taken a long winding road, and ultimately - to make things easier via maintenance, new products, news, marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and adding valuable educational content to my site - ONE site will be far, far easier.

Like with anything - it is a process, and I already am well aware of how much I've learned by having to deal with 3 different 'platforms' as they are called in my current sites. That is making this a bit easier, and perhaps even a benefit for the developers at my new platform as I bring new features to them from my other sites.

I AM having fun, though, digging through the treasure chest of books, patterns and notions available at my main supplier - who recently joined with another long-standing business. A benefit of all this work will be MANY more products available on my site.

Thought I had found ALL those Christmas decorations - but, my Mom was right...she said "You'll surely find something tucked somewhere you forgot. Yep - sure have: the cookie cutters hanging from ribbons over my kitchen sink and then a SANTA was winking at me hanging from the curtain rod over the sliding patio doors. How about you?

Recently have signed up on and Anyone out there familiar with these?

Also - re-discovered, in checking my website links - This appears to be the new community of a gal I used to talk to all the time. It looks great - try it out!