Thursday, July 31, 2008
Here in Missouri there are two chapters of the Smocking Arts Guild of America. One of those chapters was instrumental in getting a smocking category reinstated at our state fair. The category has grown and grown in the five years since it has been reinstated. That is wonderful. Another way to make sure that an art that I love is continued. I was even blessed 3 years ago to win Best of Show in the smocking division. It was very exciting. And even more exciting for me, it was for my favorite type of project, a christening gown. Not sure how I think this year's entries will do, but I am anxious to find out.
My love affair with a seam ripper continues, but I was able to fix the back armhole curve on my dress. I think this one will work better don't you? It is hanging to dry now. I will have pictures of it tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Notice anything missing in this picture? I tried several times to pin the sides but for some reason I couldn't quite figure out how or where to start pinning to do the French seams for the sides. It was later in the evening and I will admit I was not in peak form. After trying and looking at it for several minutes I realized what was missing...
One reminder that maybe you haven't thought of, notice too that the fabric has frayed, this poly cotton twill has done that a good bit. When I get ready to sew my seam, I will use the edge of the fray as my raw edge. In the past I didn't like those frayed edges and would trim it off, only then to wonder why did the pieces did not fit together properly or the garment not fit. That edge is your original cut edge. If both of the pieces I sew together had frayed that way and I trimmed them, that could possibly be 1/8" off both pieces resulting in 1/4" off that seam and a total of 1/2" across the width, in this case, of the bodice. It all adds up. On this garment it might not be that detrimental, but if you were talking about a straight sleeve that was a slimmer fit, you would have a sleeve that was too tight and a garment that was not at all comfortable. So to avoid that, handle your cut pieces as little as possible, trim your threads but not the cut edge and match up the original cut edges.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I just finished a book by Paul Coutinho, SJ. "How Big Is Your God?" Fr. Paul Coutinho seems to almost have a cult following, he certainly has a fan club. :) He is a wonderful speaker and excerpts from one his talks that are included in this book can be seen on YouTube. Is there anything you can't see on YouTube anymore? I really enjoyed this book, it is an easy read. If you have ever seen or heard Paul Countinho in person you can certainly "hear" him in his book. I can hear the distinct way he says the word "Jesuit" every time I read it. He challenges you but in a gentle way to look outside of your traditional ways of looking at God and your relationship with Him. If you get a chance to attend one of his talks, do. If not read this quick book which also has a short DVD enclosed. A short excerpt from his chapter titled "Do you React or Respond to Life?"
Next on the night stand is:
...Situations in themselves do not produce feelings. It is our perception of the situation that makes us feel good or bad. Just as situations cannot make us happy or sad, another person cannot make us feel happy or sad. We choose to be happy or sad. If we seek greater freedom in our lives, we need to be objective and rational about the power of our beliefs versus the power of situations. We control our emotions. When we live in freedom, we choose the way we respond rather than let our automatic destructive reactions get the better of us.
Now you might ask, "Okay, but how do I do this? How do I choose to respond when I am under pressure, when I have been taught to fear or fight, when the situation seems 'bad' to me?" The "PQR formula" can help us live freely in stressful, anxious, or depressing situations. We pause to question how we would like to respond rather than react and live to regret our negative reaction. Let me try to explain what I mean by react: You push; I shove. Without thinking, I shove. This is my reaction. It is immediate and disconnected from my higher Self, the constant "I," and the meaning of my life. My reaction is an imprisoned effect. This is not freedom. By applying the PQR formula, however, I can respond. I pause (find myself in the situation), question (How does this situation relate to the meaning of my life? How do I wish to respond given a world of infinite possibilities?), and then respond (a freely chosen action -- not a reaction). Responding rather than reacting helps us live freely and in greater harmony with our true identity in every situation. It helps us grab hold of the freedom we seek in order to enter into the river of divine life.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Where would I like to go? Europe tops my list. Australia is next, then Japan. I will go just about anywhere really, just to say I have been. We all have regrets in life and one of mine is that while our best friends were stationed in Germany that we didn't go to Europe while they were there. I didn't want to go without the kids and we couldn't afford for all of us to go. We had 2 in college and 2 in high school at the time. That is 4 tuitions to pay, so I was stubborn and wouldn't go without them. In retrospect now seems silly. Both of those older girls went abroad for their honeymoons and had no regret over not taking their mother! I know, you're not supposed to go with them on their honeymoon, but still.
FYI, if you need a passport in a hurry this must be the time of year to do it. Ours came within a week without paying the extra rush fee. Imagine our surprise. At first I thought when my husband's came that it was because he had an expired passport. Well shabamm! Mine was in the mailbox the next day. So unless you need a guarantee of having it asap, don't pay the extra fee.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
When I get to the collar I will post pictures. Gail Doane, from Utah, teaches a great way to do peter pan collars. No stretching or pulling and you get great collars every time. I am home by myself today to I can stitch in my pajamas again if I want to. My husband nor the cat really care if I stitch in my pajamas, but sometimes you feel like you ought to get dressed if he is. So today I will be in my sewing room. And since it is supposed to HOT today, I am quite happy to be inside.
Smartbargains.com. (Great place for high end sheets and extra thick towels.) I don't mind the occasional estate sale but am not a big garage sale person. I have friends who have made delightful sewing, heirloom and antique finds at garage sales and I have often thought, "I should do that!" But just can't work up to much enthusiasm for it. But then I am not a very good closeout store person either. I want my store displays small, coordinated, visually spectacular and not mind boggling. I am not a "digger." Went to Filene's Basement in Boston one time with my best friend. That was enough for me. So to all of you true American bargain hunters, hunt for me!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Are you ready? Season 5 of Project Runway starts tomorrow. I am anxious to see what the newest crop of designers have in store for us this year. I also in my humble opinion hope the winner this year isn't quite so "annoying." I know Christian had lots of fans last year, I just wasn't one of them. Jillian was my favorite last year, but my favorite look at the final runway show was one that was made from what else? Vintage Lace.
It will be fun to see what this season has in store. See you on the runway.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
After the daygown, I wanted something quick to work on. So I am smocking a basic yoke in a simple design. Perhaps an entry for the state fair. We will see. I have never smocked on winter twill before. It has great body, the pleats stand up nice and hold their shape. I got this kit from Country Bumpkin while they were having a sale. I didn't want to do any prep work. It is summer time after all, I just wanted to pick up the needle and stitch. So that is what I am doing today.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Here are a couple of pics. I am almost finished. I was so glad to have the embroidery finished while I was on retreat, that I just had to wash it. The only thing I had to wash it with was shampoo. I wish I had taken a picture of it before. It is amazing what a bath and an iron can do for a piece.
Note that the dark spot in the lower right hand corner must be from the camera, all of the pictures I took had it on there. That is something I am finding to amazing, the number of pictures you have to take in order to get some that work for you. A friend had told me that and I didn't have the experience that it was true. If you takes lots and lots of shots you will get some that work.