Friday, April 25, 2014

♫ Getting to know you ♪

Heather the Featherweight has been feeling tense lately and can't bring herself to form the nice stitches that I know she is capable of producing so I had to take her to her doctor, aka sewing machine repair.

I was leaving the shop, having a glance at the used machines, like I always do, when we made eye contact. My heart skipped a beat, a Bernina! I have never seen a  used Bernina there before. I had a talk with the owner of the shop and after heming and hawing and sniveling and whining and I don't knowing, she lowered the price to one I could live with. I called The Husband and begged and told him he never had to buy me another gift (something I assume he will forget before Christmas, hi honey!) he immediately said to buy it (which reminded me why I married him).

this is Princess

and this is Princess's wardrobe

Princess is her name and she is a Bernina 1080 Special and she was born in 1992 and I love her. She came with all original everything, and 12 feet, almost everything that I use on a regular basis, thank goodness, cause those suckers cost $$$$.  I will probably buy one of those clever adapters for short shank feet for the feet that weren't included. I will keep and continue to use my old machine as it does a few things that Princess doesn't.

I was able to justify the adoption of Princess as I haven't been thrilled with the stitch quality of the old Kenmore. The tension has been a problem lately as well, sometimes it is okay, sometimes not so much at all. Servicing didn't really help. And strangely, I only noticed now that I never named her, hmm, that says something, doesn't it?

It is so much fun learning how to use a new sewing machine. I am going to have a blast for the next few weeks. I will post again once I have a whole day off to play with her.

Don't you just love new toys?

So now this song is playing in my head, and yes, I know it isn't Julie Andrews singing.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"do you sew"

Mini Rant On

Three times this week people have volunteered me to sew for them. Two of them I just met for the first time. Where do they get the nerve? I want to buy some. 

The conversation usually starts like this:

"you sew, right?"


I know what's coming next, and I'm sure you do too. At this point my emotional response varies from suppressed rage to disbelief, depending on my blood sugar level.

"I should get you to make me a _______."
"I should get some material and get you to make me a ________."

When someone uses the word material, it irritates the hell out of me. I have always managed to resist the urge to get them to elaborate on what kind of material they are referring to, reading material, insulation material, plastic material, absorbent material, roofing material etc. I refer you to the Merriam Webster Dictionary for details. The term is FABRIC or CLOTH. Let's all say it together, FABRIC OR CLOTH. 

Depending on how well I know the person, and how much I like them, my response varies. But one thing remains constant, I never ever ever say sorry or make any kind of apology. I don`t have to, it is my time and I own it.

"I don't have enough time to sew all the things I want to sew for myself"


"I don't sew for other people unless I am married to them or we have some shared DNA."

This one can take some time for some people to understand. Seriously. Sometimes you can actually smell smoke.


"I don't sew for other people, it makes me suffer from anxiety."


I pretend I didn't hear them and ignore them, this is the easiest, but least satisfying.

or,  combined with one of the other responses 

"I will teach you to sew and you can make it yourself."


"sure, would love to, that will take me around 4 hours, I charge $20 per hour, the pattern will cost $15, and the fabric will cost anywhere from $10-$20 per meter and it will take 2 meters, for a total of over a $135 and it could be more depending on the pattern. When do you want to go shopping for the fabric?"

So far no one has taken me up on the two responses. Thank god.

Why do people always always assume sewing ability is something they should get for free? You wouldn't say to a carpenter, I should get some building material and get you to build me a house, or to a plumber, I should get some copper material and get you to upgrade my master bathroom, or to a mechanic, I should get you to fix my car, it's been making a funny sound. And assume that they would be happy to do it for nothing. Why is sewing so undervalued?

So far this year I have been asked four times to sew for other people. Actually that isn't accurate, it has been assumed by four people this year that I would sew for them. Assumed. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. 

How often are you asked to sew for someone else? 

How do you respond when people ask/demand/beg you to sew for them? I would love to know how other people deal with this issue. Tell me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Phase 6 of a project

Gratitude and relief that it is done. Along with a little bit of regret that it is finished. Which is not a feeling that I expected. Anyway, without further ado, here it is. The Project. The very very warm robe for S.

Lined to just below the waist with fleece and the hood lined with minkee, which is lovely
and soft but a PITA to sew.

Yes, it is oversized, very large and blanket like was
the way S wanted it.

Hood up.

Hood down.
The colours of fleece are black, steel gray/blue, oliveish gray, cream, navy blue, medium brown and lime green.

I am pleased with it. I will post in a day or two more about the details. 

Edited-Happy Thanksgiving to my American Friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Phases of a project

First Phase Inspiration and Enthusiasm. The idea comes to you. You have no idea how you will begin or complete the project. It is all very exciting, you spend every waking moment thinking about it.

Suggested DVD to play while working: Something happy, like The Gilmore Girls    

Second Phase Conception. You begin to plan and visualize. You are still excited and enthusiastic. You draw, you doodle. Fun fun fun. It's all rainbows and sunbeams now.

Suggested DVD to play while working: something amusing and fun, like Eureka

Third Phase Execution. The idea begins to take form, still fun, still exciting. You celebrate, it is finally coming together. WOO HOO. If you blog, this is when you blog about it.

Suggested DVD to play while working: Something adventurous, like Lost or Heroes

Fourth Phase Reality. A little less fun. You are discovering the contingencies that you didn't plan for. You are entering the "it isn't perfect after all", stage. But you soldier on.

Suggested DVD to play while working: a drama, something like, Nip/Tuck, Medium, Sopranos

Fifth Phase.  I hate this effing thing and how fast can I get this effing thing done and out of my sight stage. This is when you unintentionally hurt yourself by staying hunched over the sewing machine or serger far longer than you should because you just want to be done with it. You have made some boo boos and it is no longer "art". Your sewing dungeon looks like it is home to human sized gerbils who use fleece as nesting material. Pieces of fleece are everywhere, as are serger tails and pins. You have run out of black serger thread and you finally have to stop sewing until the next day, which of course is Sunday and the useless excuse for a fabric store doesn't open until noon on Sunday, which is probably a good thing after all, because you have come to think of Advil as being it's own food group.

Suggested DVD to play while working: something where people die and there is blood and gore, something like Dexter, Dead Like Me, Six Feet Under

Sixth stage. Madness. You are so close to being finished, you start to get a little giddy and giggly, you stay up too late sewing and you begin talking to yourself in (what you think are) funny accents and voices. You finally complete the project, lapse into a coma and stay unconscious for 12 hours.

Suggested DVD to play while working: something a little crazy, the less sense the show makes the better, Little Britain, Fawlty Towers, Monty Python      

Does anyone else experience this? Or is it just me?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A project I am on the fence about

The husband and I share our home with 5 dogs and another human. She is commonly known as rubber duck PJ friend, S. Sometime ago I promised I would make her a warm robe from fleece. Problem, neither of us felt like putting out $ for fabric for it. I have a fairly large bunch of fleece fabric in various colours, in smaller bits and pieces. I decided I would piece the fabric, but it took a while for me to visualize the completed robe.

Last Friday, it sort of came together in my mind (while being forced to be in a meeting on my day off and feeling very annoyed and passive aggressive about it) I doodled, what I thought was a great idea. It would be Art. Everyone would gasp in wonder at the beauty of it. Of course now that I have started it, I have been having doubts about it. Of course. Don`t you hate that?

Fortunately for me, S has lower standards than I do for clothing (she would agree), and she says she will wear it no matter what it looks like anyway. She is very easy to sew for, far easier than I am actually. I wonder why I don't sew more for her? Hmm.

So anyway, back to the robe. It is Burda 2653, I made one already in July for myself, it really was a muslin for this one. I wear it every day, I love having a robe that is actually full length. So, here are some photos of what I am doing. I basically am assembling bits and pieces of fabric and when I have pieces large enough I will cut out the fabric. We decided on the serged edges being on the right side, so as not to potentially have ridges poking into the fibromyaglia riddled body of S.

 This is the fabric cut into strips.

This is smaller pieces of fabric, serged together. The serged side is the right side.
 A panel of the fabric.
With the lens cap, so you get an idea of scale.

I don't usually ask for opinions, but I want yours this time. Is this going to be the fugliest thing ever made, suitable only for washing floors with. Or will it be Art? Or something in between,  I am convinced it is all three, my cycle of confusion runs about minutes for each opinion.  Be gentle with me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

captcha rant

For those of you who read Jilly Be's blog, this post will look familiar. It is an exact repost from her blog. Reposted with her permission, of course. This is part of a campaign to get rid of word verification. Thanks Jilly!

Warning:  uncharacteristic bitchy rant follows:  (sometimes a girl's gotta say what a girl's gotta say....)

If you're still using the  impossible-to-read-and-copy captcha images on your comments, I respectfully BEG you to consider the alternatives.  Even moderating all of your comments, if you're that concerned with spam, is (somewhat) more tolerable (to me, anyway) than forcing these old eyes to focus THAT closely, still knowing that I can only guess at some of the illegible letters....
Oh I dunno....15 easyscratches?

How about sucksur number?  No?
sisters 17?

I exaggerate only a tiny bit - I hope you get my point...

Some people are simply refusing to bother with comments on your captcha'd blogs...I quit after two failed attempts, and I'm beginning to wonder if even trying it once is worth it.

If you are on blogger, here is a previous post I did with detailed instructions on how to get rid of the dreaded Word Verification.   You may even have it set, and not know it - you might want to double check and make sure.... (just because YOU can comment w/o a captcha on your own blog does not mean that others're already cleared to comment on your blog, so you won't need to jump through the hoops like the rest of us)

I'll just toss another little mini-rant in here.  I get that you like your privacy, and you dislike spam.  I really do.  But when I enter a captcha code and then I find out that you are moderating my comment on top of it, it makes me feel...wellllll..... I won't go through all the silly Freudian flashes that zip through my feeble brain....let's just say I don't feel like my comment is very much wanted or welcomed, so I often pass at that point.

I find that blogger catches nearly every spam post I get - I still have to delete it from both my email and from the blogger comment spam list, but it takes a couple of seconds to do that.  Just not an issue.  Also, maybe I've just been really, really lucky in that I've never had a published comment that upset me (lordy, I hope I'm not opening myself up with that comment lol!), but I've certainly experienced my share of upsetting experiences in 3D life.  My tendency is to treat them like what they are - a FOG (F*ing Opportunity for Growth) and I move through it as gracefully as I can (which is often the clumsiest vision of non-grace ever, but hey....that's life.)

It's OK with me if you don't respect my attitude, but I know I'm not alone.  I think that most of us blog both for our own, personal reasons, AND we're putting our words out for public readership.   It just seems right to me to have some thoughtful consideration for our readers.

...Putting a smile back on my face, and going back to my regularly scheduling blogging.....  :)

P.S.  - per a request, you have my permission to re-post all or part of this post on your blog :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tablecloth skirt completed

I finished my version of Sham's tablecloth skirt. Sham's instructions are excellent and it went together very easily. Unfortunately as I suspected it isn't as flattering on me as I would like, oh hell it isn't flattering at all.

I look as big as a dining table in it. That seats twelve. 8-)

My choice of fabric could be better as well. The fabric feels very light, but this skirt uses a lot of fabric and even light fabrics can feel kind of heavy when there is this much of it. The fabric looks far more interesting close up, from a distance it has the look of homeless bag lady. Not surprisingly this is not the look I was going for. I made a drawstring waist (with 18 inches or so of elastic sewn to the ties), as I intended this to be a casual skirt for hot summer days. This has the added benefit of getting smaller with me as I lose weight ( okay I am dreaming here).

I have also learned that as much as I like funky clothes on other people, on me I prefer a slightly more conservative look. I don't consider this a failure, I will wear it this summer, probably mostly at home. Where no one will see me.

close up of fabric, it is 55% linen and 45% cotton

drawstring waist