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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Update & Ramblins'...Death of Rich & Famous

Back from Cincinnati Show with my A#1 helper, Cyndi - what adventures we have!!!
Conclusion: Shows are HARD WORK!!! Packing - unloading - setting up booth - unpacking, setting product - selling - teaching - sleeping/eating in strange places -un-setting booth - packing - packing car - travelling - unloading - re-setting merchandise so I can fill orders.....only to do a repeat of all of the above at end of next week.

Sew...tell me WHY I EVER thought we could jump into taping the new DVD about creating 2 jackets the day after we get back???? Craziness!!!

Sometimes, God stops us in our tracks for a reason! Wow - am I ever reason to give you all the 'exciting' details - but suffice to say that the message was clear - NOT NOW! Let's just say that safety is #1 - and putting family first is what it's all about.

SEW...the DVD about creating 2 jackets - from beginning to end is on HOLD until the time seems right - and REASONABLE!

Meanwhile....just found out that the just-delivered 1000 professionaly-done DVD's Ultimate Edition Version 2 on Creative Sweatshirt Jacket that we just got in in time to sell in Cincinnati are faulty - the pdf portion is missing! That mystery will be solved today and of course - a correction made. Everyone who purchased from me in Cincinnati - PLEASE get in touch with me so that I can get you a new, correct copy! Again - God at work to discover this before I sold too many......

I hate the bathroom facilities in public places! How lazy are we anyway???? I mean really - I can't use my little fingers to:
1. Flush when I'm good and ready...if I wanted to sit on a bidet - I'd like to select it myself...really!
2. Push the soap lever so I get the soap for washing hands...that automatic thing just dribbles soap onto the counter - what a waste!
3. Turn on the faucet to use it as long as I need: no more, no less
4. And this one REALLY gets me - feeling like an utter FOOL waving my dripping wet hands in front of the paper towel dispenser to get out a towel to dry...

Anyone out there agree???

And - sorry, but I'm just not 'torn up' regarding the death of Michael Jackson. Yea - I liked some of his music, and I certainly think he was a talented dancer. However, the lesson I wish would be being made clear regarding his death - and that of the other rich & famous lately is that no matter how much money you make - no matter how famous you become - in the end, the only thing that really matters is if you have a personal relationship with God through his son, Jesus. It's not my place to judge whether Michael, Farrah, Ed...are in heaven or hell, but it all just makes me that much more happy that I know that I DO know that my faith in Jesus will lead me to an everlasting life that knows a joy far, far greater than anything I can ever attain in this world. THAT gives me peace beyond measure...and I pray it does for you as well.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Still Wearin' It Contest Entries

From Debbie:

I made the white chenille jacket either 11 or 12 years ago and it remains one of my favorite things I've ever sewn. I still love lots of things I sew, but this jacket is just an ongoing favorite even more than 10 years later. I had to get rid of a lot of things I made 10+ years ago because I'm happy to say that I lost a lot of weight and they don't fit anymore - in a good way! I've kept the weight off for about 6 years now. But this jacket is loose fitting and can be worn still. I used four layers (if I remember correctly) of white inexpensive muslin and sewed bias lines every 1/2 inch or so. I chevroned some areas as well. Before sewing I layered colored cotton cutouts for the flowers, stems and leaves on the front and back, stitching through them with the muslin. I then cut through every layer between the stitching lines except the bottom-most layer, leaving that as the anchor base. All seams and edges are covered with bias tape for a finished look. I then washed and dried the jacket and it fluffed up to create the pretty texture and watercolor look of the flowers. I added an unusual button a friend bought me on a trip she took and some twisted rattail cording for the closure. It is warm without being too heavy and gets comments most of the time I wear it. I have since made many other chenilled items, but I just love this jacket the most. I recently (last week) made a new chenille jacket, this time from rayon, and used 3 layers, cutting through two of them. It is drapier and lighter weight. I also left the seams exposed and trimmed them so they fluffed and blend in nicely with the rest of the jacket. The edges of the new jacket are sewn with contrasting bias strips - one on the wrong side and two on the top side, rather than finished with folded bias tape. This way the edges have the fluff as well. It was much easier! I will continue to make bias chenille items but will probably not do so much channel stitching and cutting as in the past, but rather play with the bias strips of fabric instead. It's just faster and easier and has more room for flexiblity and creativity.


4:18 PM

Thursday, June 18, 2009

STILL Wearin' It Contest-Win $50 Gift Certificate

Do you have some garments you've sewn that just STAY in your wardrobe??? Well...I have!
Left Photo: July 1979 with my newborn son
Right Photo: June 2009 with my #1 Grandson

Not exactly the same top - but made at the same time, from the same fabric - I KNOW the Striped T-Shirt I'm wearing today when we snapped that right photo was worn - has been worn every season since 1979! My hubby won't let me forget it every time I wear it, actually!

Construction Techniques
At the time I made these 2 knit tops - it was a beginning venture into sewing with knits - quite a different experience from the silky long sleeve, cuffed, bow-tied collar blouses and lined wool jackets and skirts I was making clients in my dressmaking business. I also KNOW the knit is a nice cotton/poly interlock from Leiter's Designer Fabrics. Leiter's was top quality fabric that was sold by independent delaers like myself in 'showings' from samples of the fabric that traveled around between us reps.
The seams are constructed WAY pre-serger! (Didn't acquire a serger until 1987 or so!) A very narrow (.5) width zig zag of about 2.0 long stitched the seams, and then I zig zagged the seam allowances together with a zig zag of about 1/5 wide and 2.0 long. 100% metrosene polyester thread - I remember that as well. Not one of the seams has popped either!
The neckline was finished by cutting a cross grain strip of the stripe about 2" wide and stitching it onto the right side of the top - binding the edge towards the inside, then stitching in the ditch - and OH MY GOSH - leaving the raw edge on the inside! THAT was monumental to me at the time - a RAW edge!
It doesn't really appear - nor do I remember, cutting the ribbing any smaller than the neckline - but then the neckline was a pretty deep scoop anyway. Those techniques came later.
Hems are not stabilized in any way - and just turned up and stitched with straight stitching.
For techniques I'd use today, click HERE - a FREE INFO page at my website.
Find more valuable FREE INFO HERE.

Sew it occurred to me this would be a fun sharing/contest topic! If YOU made something long ago - say even 10 years ago - that still resides in your wardrobe and that you occassionally wear, please share about that as an entry!

Here is how the contest will work...

1. Comment on this post below with YOUR story! Include what you made, and why it is still in your wardrobe. Include techniques you used to stitch it, and what you'd change technique-wise if you made it again today of the same type of fabric. Be sure to sign your post with your first name. Please know that I have this Blog set up for me to approve all posts before they show up - so don't expect your comment/entry to show immediately.

2. Send me YOUR photo - to my email at I will copy your comment and add your photo to the CONTEST Blog Post so that all can see/enjoy/learn from your post. I don't expect you to have a photo of when you first made it - but for sure take a photo now - even if it is only of the garment - and not on you.

3. I need a minimum of 10 entries in order for this 'contest' to be operative, so tell your friends!

4. Winner will be decided by vote of my 'Customer Advisory Board' - of 5 people (which includes me!)

PRIZE is $50 Gift Certificate for the winner.
ALL participants will will win some type of prize!

Enjoy the memories!


Been enjoying watching the #1 4 year old Grandson while his Mommy and new hubby are on their honeymoon. Tomorrow is the last day - Boo Hoo!!! Actually, haven't had quite as much time as I'd thought to 'do the parks', swim, etc., as with us both at Vacation Bible School every morning this week, then he's super tired in the afternoon - then I have business to tend to while he sleeps...

Disturbing to me - our local "Tea Party" group has to come up with $450 to cover meeting in a public park on July 5. Insurance, and a permit. Doesn't seem 'American' to me! Grrrr.......

Grating on my ears... "You Guys" every other word out of the mouths of SO many! Waitresses...teachers...young and old! Gheesh - if you're talking to children, call them respectfully 'Boys and Girls' or 'Children'!!! Honestly, when I am served in a restaurant and NOT addressed 'you guys', I compliment the waitress/waiter and tip them MORE! Anything repetitive in speech just says 'un-educated' to me, though I know that is not really the case. Just is a supreme example of 'lapsing' into the common, the fad, and total lack of propriety and respect. That, along with super casual clothing - come on, jeans at a wedding??? - it just is indicative of where our society is going. It makes me sad, just sad. For more 'coverage' - posting this on my FaceBook ...

If you agree - Comment!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Glorious Wedding Report

Time to report and reflect on the Wedding of our dear daughter last Saturday, June 6.
Prayers for no rain were gloriously answered with the most beautiful, sunny, no humidity and warm evening day that I could possibly have imagined! Thank you to the Lord above for this answered prayer!
The only thing prettier than the weather was my daughter -

Couldn't have done it without the help of our friends from our Sunday night Small Bible Study Group each of whom we are SEW thankful for! Kevin, Joanne, Eddie, Cindy, and Mike - love you to pieces! Little Eric helped keep Cole busy...and our son, Jeff came to the rescue when Cole (ringbearer) had to go potty during the ceremony...and what a smart pastor to extend his words of wisdom until Cole returned so that they could go on with the Sand Ceremony which symbolized Carmen, Cole, and Chris - each a different color sand - becoming one family.

My talented son, Jeff, also did the graphics for wonderful programs quickly a few days before...what talent he has!

Ahhh - and Eddie and Mike crawling hurriedly into the woods where Cole had tossed the 'large metal 'ring' that he was to carry. Surely glad that wise pastor had said to put FAKE rings on it! I must say - I always thought it looked much like a Frisbee - though certainly refrained from calling it that...

No zipper on any dress I made broke! However, the snapshot above my brother caught shows me hand stitching up the zipper that had pulled away from the fabric on Chris' sister's dress. Ready-to-wear quality!!!

My 86 year old parents got there successfully with help of my brother and sister-in-law. I worked the lace from Mom's baby carriage as the cloth for the Sand Ceremony Table, the hanky that was my Grandma's that I'd carried at my wedding into the handle of Carmen's Bouquet, and Carmen also wore a blue heirloom ring that my Mom had given her...

Many little panics/emergencies that God aptly solved along the way of the preceeding week - but the most scarey one (next to having to replace the zipper in the wedding gown) was that when Carmen started off in Barney(my big purple Club ford Van) with all the food we'd prepared on Thursday for the 2 hour trip to Indi - the speedometer wasn't working - then it started lurching. I convinnced her she had to bring it to our trusty mechanic DJ's - and he figured out she had just turned the starter too far. Shewswwwwwww....... Another God siting in my book.

Friends from far away joined for the day, along with family that we were so honored to have with us...thanks for your efforts!

It occurs to me in reflection that as one prepares, "wedding' is more a noun. As it happens - and afterwards, "wedding" is more the verb it is meant to be. Wow - I ask forgiveness for all the trivia that so many weddings - including this one - can easily become. Though we had our share of all that 'stuff' - I honor my daughter that among all of it - she often said that the main thing was that she was marrying her best friend - and that, at the end of the day, that is all that counted.

God has blessed us with a wise one, indeed. And, now - a wonderful new son in the family. Thank you, Lord for your many, many blessings...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wedding Gown Zipper Trauma

This is almost embarrassing - though I'm SEW THANKFUL that during the final fitting of daughters' wedding gown - just to make sure everything was OK...I had trouble getting that invisible zipper to go up. Now...all along it had been 'testy' - but this time, the zipper slide tore away from the zipper coil!

Thank the Lord, it didn't rip the fabric OR the lace...
Sew...guess what I did last night???

Very, very gratefully re-inserted - BY HAND, that invisible zipper! No way was I going to get back into it on the machine. However, true to the previous insertion experience - and, I ask myself, HOW MANY Invisible Zippers have I put in over the years...let along taught others how - I really fought this one. I DID do the first step of pressing the coil roll out flat. But, I just couldn't get it to not show -

Now realize, I have the 18 or so covered buttons still stitched onto the left side of the 'ivisible' seam...darned if I want to take all those off and sew them back on!

Anyway - I finally decided to stitch it in - NOT trying to go all that close to the coil with a very small back stitch - and THEN, I pretended it was a hand-picked zipper, and once the 'roll' of it all perfectly covered the zip - and those buttons actually rested right on the seam nicer - THEN, I pinned and stitched with a prick stitch through ALL the layers!

Worked like a charm. I know I took up a bit - teensy bit more width in doing it this way - and she'll (obviously) try it on again today... but it looks fine, and it goes up and down without any problem.

Thinking back on the challenges of getting that zip up and down in previous fittings, I think this challenge was 'brewing' for awhile.

Lesson: ALWAYS do a final 'for sure' fitting on important garments!

Again - thank the Lord for it breaking NOW and giving me a non-stressed evening to fix it!