Sunday, August 28, 2011

Food For Thought

I really enjoy Grandma's Sewing Cabinet, a podcast and blog. I've been listening to the podcast since it's beginning. Dr. Julie-Ann Fann, the owner, has an educational background, and started out just talking about her sewing. However, like many podcasts, it has evolved over time. Recently Dr. Julie-Ann returned to school to study sewing; not design, but rather custom clothing. She has regaled us with stories of her classes and has generously shared lots of great information. (Grandma's Sewing Cabinet gets its name from the cabinet that Dr. Julie-Ann uses as her sewing headquarters. The cabinet was made by her grandfather for her grandmother. Dr. Julie-Ann is lucky enough to have inherited it.)

Her most recent blog post and podcast is titled Plan Your Sewing Like A Designer. Looking at the blogpost I saw all these really fancy pictures of her "look book" for a wardrobe class project. My initial thoughts were about how much time it took to make these illustrated pages. "I'd rather spend that time actually sewing" was another arrogant thought that crossed my mind. And then I listened to the podcast. In her charming manner, Dr. Julie-Ann explained the process she went through to create this "look book". And I humbly admit it is a very worthwhile process.

I am not one of those sewers that buys fabric willy-nilly, paying no attention to color or pattern. I try very hard to sew items that go together and blend in and work with other items in my wardrobe. But recently I've been thinking alot about my lifestyle and how my clothes don't really reflect how I actually live. And the steps Dr. Julie-Ann talks about can really help me out in this area. Thinking of myself as a customer will help me identify what items I need to sew and add to my wardrobe.

For instance, I love wool slacks and tailored jackets. Unfortunately, I work from home and have very little need for a tailored outfit. I think I need to embrace the fact that my lifestyle is casual, not formal or tailored, not business casual, but just plain casual. I could get away with shorts & t-shirts for most of the summer. But I don't really like to dress that way. The challenge is to define what I like to wear in the realm of casual.

I really see the value in Dr. Julie-Ann's process. I don't have the expertise to create beautifully illustrated pages like Dr. Julie-Ann, but I definitely will create my own "look book" and use it on an ongoing basis.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

No Sewing Today

No sewing today but I did make it to my Thursday evening knitting group. I love that time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mindless Sewing For a Good Cause

This is one of those "friend of a friend of a friend of a friend" stories. The daughter of the sister of our ASG Chapter President is in charge of a fund raising event for a local charity. The event involves participants and their dogs. Each participant gets a goody bag filled with stuff for their dog. Neither the daughter nor the sister sew, so the sister asked the Chapter President if any of her sewing buddies would help make dog collar covers/sleeves. Of course we will help! So I've been sewing these very simple dog collar thingys. Basically it is just sewing a 4" x 30" piece of cotton into a tube. Pretty mindless—serge each end and then serge the wrong sides together. The seam stays on the outside. I've made about 100 so far with another 100 to go.

I'm also working on some pillowcase dresses to send to my friend in West Virginia. She is putting together a box of these dresses to go to little girls in Haiti. My goal is 24, but I don't know if I'll make that by the deadline.

I keep working at cleaning & organizing the sewing studio. I'm looking forward to the stash bash our ASG chapter will have in 2012. I really want to clean out the fabric and pattern stash. I feel weighed down by all the fabric I have that I know I will not ever use. Ever since my time with Nancy Nix-Rice last spring I realize how much fabric I have that is the wrong colors for me. So in addition to taking up way too much physical space it infringes on my creativity. I'll be glad to move it out. I've thought about opening an Etsy shop but that's too much work, taking pictures, setting it up, listing everything, promoting the shop. I'll just put up with it till the stash bash and move it out then. What I don't sell I'll donate somewhere.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lost in the Sewing Studio

Help! I went to my sewing studio last April to sew for The Son's August wedding and I just found my way out. Yep, that's right. The sewing studio swallowed me and only recently did it spit me back out.

I made 2 junior bridesmaid dresses, 2 flower girl dresses, the ring bearer pillow, 2 head bands, my rehearsal dinner dress, and, of course, Mother-of-the-Groom dress. I am so glad the wedding sewing is over. Here are some pictures of what I made.

Ring bearer pillow and flower girl headbands

My beautiful granddaughters "patiently" waiting for the the ceremony to start. I made 2 of each of these dresses.

The Love, The Princess & me.
I don't have a picture from the rehearsal dinner. I made Vogue 1250 in a dark grey-blue knot from Christine Jonson. It was pretty awesome looking. I've worn that dress several times since the wedding.

So in addition to the wedding sewing I also made a few other random items of clothing over the summer, a pair of navy pants, a pink sleeveless Margarita top. I'm working on the fall wardrobe now. More of that in my next post.