Friday, November 25, 2011

Pattern Placement is Critical

Okay,...I'm putting this out there as a work-in-progress because I need an excuse to post Thanksgiving Greetings to everyone reading a blog on this holiday.  Perhaps you're up early, have had a cuppa coffee and let the dog me.  Special greetings to you.  Make sure you hug someone today...make it a good long hug where you are the last one to let go.  And, think of a good family memory.   

This also has a therapeutic purpose also.  If you've been following along for a while, you would have read how I am packing up my mother's home and preparing it for sale.  I will then collect my belongings from storage in the suburbs of Atlanta, and begin another phase of my life.  At this particular time, my creative time for sewing is extremely limited.  This blog is about one project that needs about two 4-hour blocks of time to bring to completion.   

Vogue 2960  (back)
Please ignore the floor...I know it clashes badly!

The dress is Vogue 2960 one of my absolute favorite vintage pattern reproductions.  The picture on the right is of the back of the dress.  I love the cabbage rose fabric I bought from Repo Depot a few years ago.  They offered the fabric with dark green, blue and (my selection) beige backgrounds.  I gravitated toward this fabric because I have memories of my paternal grandmother's living room drapes that had the dark green background.  She was the grandmother whose sewing machine (a Singer 401) I use to this day.  The construction process included serging all the inside seams, and (just prior to) completing the grosgrain ribbon waistline stay, I decided to include a petticoat.  The only steps remaining are completing and attaching the petticoat and creating the buttonholes.  The pattern instructs you to make bound buttonholes on the bodice front.  I didn't think the dress requires them.  Now, I understand why they selected this design feature.  One buttonhole is positioned so that the opening sits in the waistline seam.  I'm contemplating opening the seam instead of trying to work a machine buttonhole at that position.  It may be easier to make the bound buttonholes!  lol   I also could forget the button at that place and add a hook and eye.  I plan to wear the dress with a self-fabric 2" covered belt and buckle.  I also think I want to add one pocket large enough for keys or hankerchief.  There will be red heels, that I know...And dark green suede heels in the winter...! 

Vogue 2960 front 
shows importance of pattern placement
  Only after taking these pictures did I realize the importance of stepping back from your work,  I don't know if I will be able to get over the terrible pattern placement on the bodice.  If I had more fabric, I would certainly re-do it.  Repot Depot no longer does retail business, and I've nothing but scraps after making the petticoat bias binding.  

I had not yet discovered the great tutorial from Gigi Sews (miss you, Gigi)!  I wonder how much more fabric should be bought to accomodate possible fabric pattern matching?  Aha!...perhaps the answer is in the fabric and how often that particular pattern repeats.  Anywhere, there is noneof this fabric left in the universe, and I am torn between finishing it and investing in a shawl or calling it an official UFO.

So, the picture that follows is the last of the gathered notions and fabric required to complete this project.  The red grosgrain will be used between the petticoat tiers. 

Skirt and lower ruffle of petticoat plus notions
Depending on how long it takes to sell the old homestead may leave more time than I think.  You will see it finished, I just can't tell you exactly when.  There are quite a few of these project bags sitting around me right now.  Makes me really anxious to work like this....I'm more of a one-project-a-time sewist. Are you?  

I am invited out to dinner with old family friends and neighbors.  They moved into their house in 1957 on thiss block and have lived here every since.  Our family drove moved from Nebraska to California a couple of years later.  I grew up with their children, and their gatherings are legendary.  Real neighborhood celebrities and a great couple (see the June 2011 issue of Jet Magazine, wedding/anniversary section).  The food should be gooood!

I'll talk to you again, soon...
Remember, take it one stitch at a time....
And you'll be just fine...
I love comments and if you feel so inclined....please do! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hidden Treasures

I listed the ad locally with the headline "Estate Sale of Hoarder 7am-2pm" and had moved tabled items and boxes around the driveway the day before.  It rained overnight--hard.  A very good friend was driving about 150 miles early that morning to help me.  She was late.  The first customers arrived at 4:30am....yes, that's right...four thirty in the morning.  They hovered at the end of the driveway like zombies, their black profiles moving closer to the garage in misty shadows.  I was a little un-nerved.  Finally, I yelled out the door and asked them to please sit in their cars until the opening time.  Seven o'clock came....I had no posterboard signs had been scattered in the surrounding neighborhood hotspots.  The sun was barely up before the swarm started digging through the soggy cardboard boxes for treasures. 

One man bought all the costume jewelry in bulk.  A bunch of women started digging in the numerous hat boxes (my mother was a church-lady with far too many outlandish hats).  One women took all the tablecloths, napkins, and doilies.  Shoes, bags, unopened Fingerhut boxes, QVC boxes, HSN boxes and knicknacks (hate them...endless dustcatchers) were assaulted.  A set of leather luggage including the ladies' train case sat waiting their turn to be chosen among...pots....dishes...cut glass...handkerchiefs, gloves.....sigh.  It was endless.  And, I haven't mentioned the vintage lingerie she don't wanna know.

I will never do this again (if I can help it, I pray...).  My shoulders ache and my back is stiff.  It was three days of dust and standing for hours on cement.  Not enjoyable...But, many dealers are very happy...and $o am I.  I am packing up the homestead and readying it for sale.  My mother was a hoarder,...need I say more?  I had to sleep in the living room for the first 9 months after I arrived while I cleared out two bedrooms of 'stuff.'  This has been a true test...(required if you have a testimony, right?)

What was interesting from the sewing standpoint was to discover five trunks filled with my mothers sewing projects, finished and unfinished.  These are the type of trunks college students drag from home to house their belongings in dorm rooms during their college stay.  The trunks hadn't been opened in a long time, but the contents of all were in perfect condition.  The paper bags protecting all this polyester fabric (remember, the 70s ushered in the leisure suit era) reminded me of the many fine fabric stores that were part of my young sewing experience.  Their names and logos I had long forgotten, and I quickly realized we had access to multiple fine fabric stores--not like our meager selection today.  I'm thankful for the Internet.  My mother had a lot of vintage patterns...not the 40s and 50s I love, but quite a few in the 70s.  I cringed as the best diggers pulled out some thread, trim or pattern I had missed.  None of the remaining patterns are my size, but I plan to use them as giveaways after I confirm their condition, so stay tuned!

Needless to say, not much sewing is being done here.  I had hoped to complete more projects before I must pack my machines and projects away.  What you may see is more of my handwork or travelling projects.  Who knows, I may have more time than I think.  After all, the economy being what it is, the house may be on the market for a while.

They come in multiple colors, too!
 I don't want you to leave until I pass along one of my sewing favorite things.   Take a hard look at the picture.  What are they?  If you've ever purchased a balloon at a party store, these are the optional weights that can be attached to the balloons to prevent them from floating away.  I use them as pattern weights.  I just love the colorsplash they bring as I cut out my patterns. 

The conical weight (see the grey unwrapped weight lying on its side) can be removed from the Mylar and wrapped in ribbon or embellished with anything that makes you smile.  Let the hot glue gun be your friend.  Be sure to glue felt to the bottom to prevent the rough stone from snagging your fabric, and cover sides of the weight with anything your heart desires.  The set I use fits neatly in a custom decorated box or at times, have been lined them up a shelf like well-dressed sewing room soldiers.  The pouf on the top has its advantages, and makes it easy to grab and re-position them.  I've been collecting them from miscellaneous birthday parties or anniversary celebrations for a few years.  If you must purchase them, they are approximately $1 each.   

As part of my garage sale preparation, I opened a box containing a pattern system I had never heard of.  Has anyone heard of this company or used this system?  The back of the book in the picture below says it was The Perfect Fit Publishing Company 1971 (revised 1975 - 530 5th Avenue, New York, NY  10038). 

Front Cover of book, touting the "Exclusive Over Lay and Trans-Dart Method

Like the Lutterloh system, this has a special ruler and miniature patterns to follow.
 It seems to be no longer in business, but if anyone can provide more information on this company or system, I would be interested in hearing about it.

Domino asks little from long as I am continually touching him.
In this case, my feet will do just fine.
 Like CBSs "Sunday Morning,"  I'd like to leave you with a funny, nature moment.  My dog wore himself out imagining all our garage sale visitors came specifically to see him.  He performed his " Ain't I adorable" antics for each and every one who visited.  They allowed him to jump up on them (muddy, wet paws and all) and encouraged him to lick them in the mouth and he took advantage of stepping beyond the hours and hours of training he has endured to break these horrible habits.  lol 

At the end of the day he was so exhausted he didn't think about eating dinner!  Neither did I!....It has taken us both a couple of days to recover, and my excuse is my age. He's only three so I don't know what his issue'll have to ask him..:)

I’ll talk to you again, soon….
Thank you for visiting! 

                  Stitch on…
you’ll get there…just make progress taking each
One at a time….