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Monday, May 25, 2009

What I'm Up To

12 Days to the Wedding and Counting............

See the bathroom project - designing floating flowers and candles in clear vases for table centerpieces. All done and packed carefully for transport 2 hours away to wedding location. The crib is almost empty of wedding paraphenalia. Gowns are all done - though waiting for final fitting/bridal approval. (Though I've told her it is TOO late to make any changes - she still wants to try it on again!). Cotton (PURCHASED!) bridesmaids gowns are at drycleaner for a wet starch/press to 'perk them up' - with my fingers crossed this will work as well as we think it will. AND, I have my prayer warriors all praying for NO RAIN IN INDIANAPOLIS area on June 6! Daughter lived through the bachelorette party safely - so at least at this point, she won't be on crutches coming up the aisle from the planned mechanical bull ride...or so she reports.

The dining room is back to a dining room, but before I made that transformation,I got myself into a much bigger project than I could have imagined creating some baby shower gifts for my niece.

5 Bibs and a Growth Chart. I was proud of myself for realizing that a bath towel would be an quick and EZ backing for the bibs. That worked well. I hadn't appliqued in so long - I'm not thrilled with my 'technique' - but then it's the love that counts sewn in, eh? It seems my machine needs a trip to the service shop as I fought breaking thread and tension the entire time. However, look at the neat effect upset tension gave the antennae on the butterfly....

I've now moved all my creative mess back to my basement studio/shop area where it belongs - convinced forever that as messy as I am when I sew - it MUST stay hidden. It drove me crazy on the first floor where I like to keep things reasonably neat and clean and presentable!

This holiday weekend found me cleaning, organizing, hubby assembling some bady needed shelving for shipping boxes, show supplies,and my stash of fabric that is organized in paper boxes by color. What a treat that organization will be!

AND - I'm about ready for the filming session tomorrow for my newest DVD -
Londa's Refined Embellishments for Creative Clothing
that I hope to have available for my next show in Cincinnati the end of June.

Meanwhile - enjoying #1 Grandson as always....planting the garden, flowers, etc. I introduced him to worms, and he loves hunting and playing with them. What a joy to be a boy when 'nature calls' and your cothes are all dirty and wet...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

American ONLY June 4-July 1

Just read this email and whole-heartedly agree!!!!!!! I"m supporting the BUY American for June 4 to July 1 - and hope you will heartedly and patriotically join me and many others...
pass it on.......

For my part - I'm reducing the price of the USA Comfort Color Sweatshirts - MADE IN THE USA $5 for the month of June 4-July 4. AND INCREASING the cost of the Authentic Pigment Sweatshirts made in CHINA $5. AND stating my reason both in my customer email AND on my website.

The additional $5 I make from any of the Authentic Pigment Sweatshirts will be added donated to a family that I've been involved with through my church through a local Christian benevolent organization, the Empty Tomb. I've been helping out at the house - organizing, teaching organization, and painting - and have told the lady of the house I"ll teach she and her daughter how to sew a bit as a help them 'decorate' the new kitchen with some curtains.

"I WAS BUYING FOOD THE OTHER DAY AT THE COUNTRY MARKET. ON THE LABEL OF SOME PRODUCTS IT SAID FROM CHINA.FOR EXAMPLE THE "OUR FAMILY" BRAND OF THE MANDARIN ORANGES SAYS RIGHT ON THE CAN FROM CHINA I WAS SHOCKED!! SO FOR A FEW MORE CENTS I BOUGHT THE LIBERTY GOLD BRAND OR THE DOLE IS FROM CAL. TAKES FOREVER JUST TO BUY FOOD AND DO LABEL READING ! ! Are we Americans as dumb as we appear --- or --- is it that we just do not think? While the Chinese, knowingly and intentionally, export inferior and even toxic products and dangerous toys and goods to be sold in American markets , the media wrings its hands and criticizes the Bush Administration for perceived errors. Yet 70% of Americans believe that the trading privileges afforded to the Chinese should be suspended. Well, duh..why do you need the government to suspend trading privileges? SIMPLY DO IT YOURSELF, AMERICA!! Simply look on the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says ' Made in China ' or 'PRC' (and that now includes Hong Kong ), simply choose another prod uct, or none at all. You will be amazed at how dependent you are on Chinese products, and you will be equally amazed at what you can do without. Who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter ? If you must have eggs, use real ones and benefit some American farmer. Easter is just an example, the point is do not wait for the government to act. Just go ahead and assume control on your own. THINK ABOUT THIS If 200 million Americans refuse to buy just $20 each of Chinese goods, that's a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our!! The downside? Some American businesses will feel a temporary pinch from having foreign stockpiles of inventory. Wahhhhhhhhhhhh The solution? Let's give them fair warning and send our own message. Most of the people who have been reading about this matter are planning on implementing this on June 4, and continue it until July 4. That is only one month of trading losses, but it will hit the Chinese for 1/12th of the total, or 8%, of their American exports. Then they will at least have to ask themselves if the benefits of their arrogance and lawlessness were worth it. ! Remember, June 4 to July 4. EVEN BETTER. . . START NOW.

Send this to everybody you know. Let's show them that we are Americans and NOBODY can take us for granted. If we can't live without cheap Chinese goods for one month out of our lives, WE DESERVE WHAT WE GET! Pass it on, America"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dancing with the Stars Designer interview

As ballroom dancers ourselves, my hubby and I LOVE Dancing with the Stars.
Did you notice ALL those gored skirts last week for slim at the top and full at the bottom?
I love, love, love the costuming - and when logging onto the Threads Magazine site to check out the sleeve finish on the latest Threads magazine cover (workign onmy new Embellishments DVD) - I saw this on their Blog - VERY interesting!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Political Gripe - Why isn't having representation enough?

Just got one more email - and I'm sure the mail box will have at least 2 more appeals for money for whoever to fight more crazy government control and takeovers and pro choice stuff.
THEN - picked up the phone and called my congressman, and zapped off some emails to representatives to share my opinion.

WHAT I THINK is that if everyone would just voice their opinions - first at the ballot box, AND THEN CONTINUALLY to combat the effect of the lobbyists on their representatives in government, that this Democracy of ours would work just fine. If they don't represent my feelings, I just have to wait and vote them out next time.

If I sent $25 or whatever off to every appeal - it is just like another tax! I can't afford that - and they money they spend in the mailings - ughhh! Then you're made to feel guilt when you don't send off money. The ONLY money I will spend is a bit to support a candidate I believe in. Period.

That's the way our government works. The only change I'd make is TERM LIMITS!!! Perhaps 2 terms for any and all positions. Period.

Off my soap box.....and to listen to fair, balanced, and reasonable on FOX NEWS!!!

Finishing up Wedding Attire & Spray Can Hint

YeA!!!! Every stitch is done on my dress! I must say - it looks better on the body than on this hanger - butat least it is done. Friend/expert Tina convinced me NOT to change the top - so I didn't. She said a friend in movie sewing uses panty liners as dress shields! So - think I'll try that to asuage my worries about perspiration. Did a regular double fold as you go fine hem on the chiffon layer AFTER I had shaped and pinned the under layer of satin back crepe. To hem that, Tina suggested the rolled hem foot - so that's what I used. Worked beautifully - but just didn't work on the chiffon. What she did was pin a row of pins 10" from the floor with the dress on and my heels on - that gave me a design referenc point. I kept it longer in back, and then it cuves up tothe dress' left side front interest. Especially for having lost an entire back chiffon skirt piece, I think it turned out pretty well. Cross that one off my list!

I've also finished the white polka dot dress (see last post for pics) for her Rehearsal Dinner dress. We both like it. Now to just take a slightly wet sponge to make SURE all the cat hair is off it so she doesn't sneeze all night! What a terrible mother I am to have 2 cats I love to keep me company during the day!!! The inside of this one is lined in silk. I'm putting up the remaining 5 yards of silk lining on my website soon...don't need that around.
Just a bustle loop to put on the back of that Bridal Gown....and I even stitched the 3-D flowers on the veil the other night. Yes, I said STITCHed. Every one of them...
Now have some baby bibs to make - for my sisters' daughters' first baby due in July. That will be fun and a change of pace!
AND - to clean up the dining room. I'm a bit tired of seeing it as a workroom - all messy as I seem to have to be to get anything done!
Also sprayed some white hydrangeas with a bit of pink spray paint this morning...and reminds me of something to share about keeping spray cans from clogging up. Years ago, I managed a craft store - and the owner was vehement about every time we used a spray of any type, that we tip it upside down, and spray til nothing came out - thus clearing that little tube. I've done that ever since,and it really does help cans not get 'clogged'. Try it...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wedding Excitement & Sewing Boo-Boos

Here's my smilin', gorgeous bride-daughter at her wedding shower last Sunday. Many told her she looked like 'Barbie'! Such fun...
The 2nd picture is an extra special gift - a Bridal Basket glassware antique from my parents. At 86 this year, it is very special that they are both still alive and hopefully will get to the wedding with my brother's help.
Here is my project of yesterday - and I was reminded what therapy sewing is. ALAS - good thing those 4 pie-shaped skirt pieces were symmetrical, as when I went to sew them together, I realized I hadn't flipped the pattern pieces when cutting them out! I was obsessed with matching the border-effect of the polka dots, and plum forgot.
I must say, too, that this dress 'put me in my place' - oft times sewing just isn't that easy, and directions do NOT make sense. I had even fitted a muslin top before I cut out the dress itself - then used that 'muslin' - actually silk tafetta left over from the wedding gown - as the underlining for this fabric. Sew...should have fit perfectly - eh? I thought the stable tafetta would have more than acted as 'stay' along the diagonal front neckline lines. NOT! I had to take it up - 2 times at the shoulders to get rid of the majority of the neckline gap AND slide the overlapping tops down into the midriff piece about 1.5" TOO.
The invisible zipper on the left side seam goes from arm pit through midriff, into the skirt, and I lined the bodice and midriff with silk batiste - and it was amazing to me the sewing that doing that entailed. I've left the skirt unlined, as she's 'borrowing' one of the bridesmaids' full crinoline type slips to wear underneath. Besides - I wonder if this dress will ever be worn more than at the Rehearsal Dinner. She absolutely loves polka dots - so we were thrilled to find this at Hancock's. It is actually a satin, but I convinced her that sheen = larger, so we've used the backside tafetta side as the 'outside' for the dress.
Just have the hem left - and also hems and a few nips and tucks on the bridesmaids' dresses. The finish I did on the tie back sash will work great on these dresses' hems as well as this full hem...Here are the steps:
1. Stitch 5/8" or so from the hem - single layer, regular length.
2. Roll the stitching just a hair to the wrong side. Stitch again, right on top of that stitching.
3. Trim CAREFULLY the excess hem allowance right up close to this stitching. I use an Applique Scissors for this task!
4. Roll one more time to the wrong side - stitching on top of the stitching once again.
So - you have actually 3 rows of stitching to accomplish this hem, but it works like a dream. Not a new technique - just one in my arsenal of tricks - and it should be in yours too.
Though I made some boo-boos, I got a new supply of 'Conquer Mentality' - an 'upper' I definitely needed. On top of that, watched some uplifting DVD's as I sewed. Beautiful day outside - so I'd gone on a walk to clear my head to start the day - and snatched some lilacs that I had at my sewing table enfusing the air with God's magic. If I could carbon copy a day like that and give it to every woman, that would be a wonderful thing...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Wedding duds MOST done...

YES - almost there! You can see my gown finally basted together, top to bottom. I had a fitting on it with my bride,and I WAS able to get it on and off - without extending the zip into the skirt. YEA!! I think I feel svelte in it - but I'm afraid of perspiration under the arms...may change that yet...and need my hem pinned. Tina - here I come!

Here's my bride - after a trying day as a preschool teacher,and then going through all the plans for the wedding once again. She was so cute - 'enjoying 'being a bride' - taking it all in. The veil made me cry. She's going to wear the blusher down - and so that means the little flowers will have to be sewn on both sides on that portion of the veil - and we'll need to take care where they go around her face. REally only have left then the veil, the buttons up the back, the bustling loop, and some beads replaced on the bodice and straps. Fell asleep re-doing some of the lace border work last night in front of the TV...then was time to quit! I do feel I have it all under control now though...
Such fun!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Wedding Gown progress

Don't let a bride tell you she is going to exercise and lose weight! Weight - maybe - but if she's doing 'planks' and 'core' exercises, she may well GAIN girth in her back - with MUSCLE! Ask me how I know......

Well - 2 NEW center back pieces created, and integrated into the top bodice of the gown - I think I'm ready to continue... and now, having convinced the darlin' that she won't be losing anywhere it will matter in the fit of this gown - I can go ahead and FINISH and get on to MY dress! Then...of course, we went shopping yesterday for something for the rehearsal dinner - and the entire town scoured, found NOTHING. Sew...guess who is making yet another dress? Love it - love it. More on that another day.

I'm now an expert lace clipper...last week being spent clipping and shaping the lace at the hem. See below on the left what a straight lace edge 'does' on a curved skirt piece. Sew...the border of the lace was clipped apart from the lace skirt, and hand stitched up into place - just so, so that it just peeks over the edge of the gown skirt. I had to work this - first pinning into place with it hanging from the doorframe, THEN on her body - where, of course, it changed some - over top of the crinoline. Tonight will be the final fitting on that - on her body, and so today I need to pin it again exactly at the hem, and then work it up on the skirt, so I know exactly where to hook the lace skirt to the skirt at the bodice line. THEN, I can clip away the excess netting to the lace below the border. I've been tempted to do that already - but kept resisting the temptation, just in CASE I had it to short somewhere - heaven forbid it would be too short! We do want it to drag in the grass of course...just kidding!

The Bodice is gorgeous too, if I do say so myself... see the picture below that shows the lace edging attached the same around the top of the bodice...
It yet gets straps - which I have done now and attached. I created them out of some of the sides of the lace - without embroidery. Stuck sheer stay tape inside, and then hand stitched on one of the scallop borders. I'm glad she wants straps on this 'old-fashioned' looking dress.

What you sticking out below is the inner corset part - which will actually ride between the outer dress and the lining - which I also have in the bodice already too. At the side back seams, the waistline grossgrain ribbon stay exits to fasten tightly around her waist. All this technique is in Susan Khalje's book - Bridal Couture. I understand it is not out of print - but you can probably find it on Amazon.

Neighbor bridal seamstress extraordinaire Tina loaned me her covered button making machine - the "Happy Button Machine" to create the covered buttons for up the back of the invisible zipper. Experimentation proved that the tafetta needed to be underlined with the pink for the buttons as well - so I fused the layers together with Misty Fuse. Worked great. You can see grandson Cole 'helping' with this chore here...

He claims is is one of the mice helping with his Mom's 'Cinderella Princess Dress' ! I'm obviously limiting that 'help', but this was one chore that he could assist. He is excited about it - and since I read him Cinderella - he 'gets' the picture...I think. He, of course, will be the Ring Bearer.

These buttons are the really nice ones with the cloth backing for stitching on - so they lay closer to the fabric. Source for them is: Burgess Manufacturing Corporation. 3600 Windsor Park Drive, Suwanee, GA 30174 770-932-1111.

Though there was a chance my special pearls could be the something old and borrowed, we couldn't find any earrings to match in hue, so yesterday we selected pink-y pearls for a siple one-strand necklace and drop earrings. My girl has definite, specific taste, that's for sure! Hmmmm wonder where she picked that up???????

Though I'm sewing love into every stitch, I'm afraid the tears will start soon - as my girl and my little guy will be moving 3 hours away. I cry just writing that! While I know it is right, ordained, and just life - AND that many grannies would give their right arm to have the little ones that close, it will be far away for me! Also - a number of my close family will not be attending - and that is a very sad thing for Carmen and me that we're trying to deal with. Feelings! Yea - I make own my feelings, but darned, they hurt sometimes! I'm sure this is a common thing of weddings - and perhaps particularly 2nd weddings, but nonetheless - part of our experience.

Heard an appropriate sermon last week on anger management at an appropriate time... 1. Admit your anger. 2. Restrain your response 3. Locate focus of anger 4. Analyze options - releasing distgorted anger to God. 5. Take constructive action. confronting or forgetting. Trying to figure out where in this process I'm even at!

Actually, I'm determining to just pray, pray, pray - and to ask for continued restraint...I think! This week should find the dress pretty well done...I think I hope so anyway...