Saturday, September 30, 2006

I think I have the answer!!!

On blog after sewing blog, it is being discussed. And have you noticed, days go by on some blogs where there are no entries at all ~ we are simply not sewing. At first, I thought it was just me and the computer problems that I am still having! But no, it is affecting quite a few people. I have noticed that even on Patternreview, there are just not as many reviews being written.

So what is it? What has caused a slow down in sewing production? Why is everyone out doing just about anything else but sewing? I mean the fabric sites are doing their best to tempt us ~ I am receiving email after email of great fabric sales. Even my beloved
Fabric Mart is having a 20% off the entire website sale and I haven't ordered one yard of fabric! Can you believe?! Brother sewing machines is offering a rebate on some of their newest sewing machines and still no sewing!

So what is happening? I have heard and read a number of factors but it hit me when I was reading yet another entry about getting your sewing mojo back on Sharon's blog - Sharon Sews. It is something that hasn't been discussed or even whispered about...and I think this is truly the answer. Yes, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that this is the answer....

ssshhhhh ~ I don't want them to know that I am telling you because it might cause an even bigger revolt ~ but I think, yes, I am pretty sure that.........

Our sewing machines are on strike! Yep I bet that's it. And I think they (the sewing machines) are emitting some kind of cloudless, vaporless odor that is affecting our ability to sew! C'mon think about it...all of us, all of a sudden being unable to sew? C'mon how common is that? How often does that happen? And now with the advent of blogs, digital cameras and great internet sewing boards, we are all actually compelled and inspired to create! Thus spending way more quality time with our sewing machines! I betcha they called a secret strike and as soon as they all get a good rest ~ suddenly we will all get the urge to sew again!

Think about it...don't just sit there laughing your hindparts off at me...again another trick of the sewing machine's machinations...why aren't we sewing? Before we were all making some pretty awesome garments! Have we stopped buying fabric, or patterns, or talking about sewing? Nooooo! We have just stopped using our machines! I am telling you they are on strike! And in a few weeks when they are all well rested...the urge to use them will come back! Watch! I will be proven right.

And until then, I think I am going into my sewing area and speaking nicely to my sewing machine. I think I am going to make a peace offering to it and remind it of how important it is to me. Even come up with some kind of offering, maybe a new foot that it needs to do its job better! Something, anything to let it know how important it is in my life! And then I am going to sit back and wait...

I bet if you do the same, the sewing machine strike will be over in no time! And we will all be back to creating those wonderful garments that inspire and encourage each other to create. Think about it! And if you believe there could be just an iota of truth to what I have said, go and hug your sewing machine today. Remind it of what an important function it plays in your life and watch...soon the sewing will start again!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

We plan, God laughs

or something like that! Interesting way to start an entry right? But I am having a week! I don't know about anyone else but I seem to be incapable of sewing under pressure!!! This week I needed a garment immediately and made quickly in a very short time frame and I was just unable to produce it! Has that happened to anyone else?

I am okay if I have time to plan something out. I am even okay if I have time to take a day off and get something completed. But working full time and caring for my family does not leave alot of time for "emergency" sewing. And I faltered this week. So what did I need ~ a "real" business suit...a matchy matchy jacket and skirt combo that is worn for really important meetings or interview type situations. I started out well, I mean I had two evenings. I even left work early on the second day to get some quality sewing time in...but as the title states, we plan and God laughs.

Not only did I not leave the city at the time I planned (2 hours later which greatly affected my ability to get home quickly) but then traffic was bad. I was tired from a particularly emotionally draining week and my feet had started to swell. Yeah, I wasn't in the right frame of mind to be working near a sewing machine. But see, I needed the suit. I had to have that particular type of garment and I just don't know how to find this in a retail store anymore after years of creating what I need.

Plus I already had it cut out. It just needed to be sewn together. But have you ever noticed that when you are sewing under pressure the steps needed to complete something seem infinite as compared to when you are sewing for pleasure and you seem to just fly through the steps! Yeah, that's how my sewing was Thursday evening ~ like walking through heavy duty mud in too big combat boots. And you know what happened right? At 12:45 a.m. I admitted defeat and then I cried as I combed through my wardrobe trying to come up with an appropriate solution! How can a woman with as many pieces of clothing as I own have this problem? How did I never think to make a "matchy-matchy" suit and have it waiting in the back of my closet?

Well, I ended up wearing the brown suit featured in the post, "Snapshots from a Journey" and it worked out okay. I attended the meeting, was actually very professionally dressed and didn't see too many of the "matchy-matchy" suits that are just not in my lifestyle anymore. But it got me to thinking about sewing under pressure and why I can't do it?

Can you? Are you able to turn out a "quality" garment sewn in one or two evenings under pressure? Are you able to complete all of the steps necessary to have a wearable, finished garment or do you take shortcuts? And in taking shortcuts does some of the quality go missing in your garment?

My jacket is still hanging in my bedroom waiting for the necessary pieces to finish it. Which I will do this weekend...because besides learning that God laughs at our plans...I also learned that I have a hole in my closet that needs to be filled. So not only will I finish this outfit but I see a new black "matchy-matchy" suit in my future. And I also learned something new about myself, actually re-learned it...I don't sew well under pressure!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My sewing teacher

Today I watched an episode of Dateline NBC. It was called the "Education of Miss Graves." I don't know if they will repeat it but I do know that it touched me deeply and made me reflect on teachers that had influenced me.

Of course, you know it was my sewing teacher. I had the same sewing teacher all through high school ~ Mrs. Kenealy. I could already sew by the time I reached high school. I had been sewing since I was 11. But Mrs. Kenealy made me feel that my sewing talent was special ~ not just something that everyone else could do. And Mrs. Kenealy taught me that I could make anything ~ absolutely anything!

First, let me tell you a few things about Mrs. Kenealy...she was an older lady and had been teaching for over 30 years. She had bright white hair, a kindly smile and a real enthusiasm for sewing. She understood those who really wanted to sew and be in her class and those who were just using it as a way to get an "easy" grade to buff their GPA. But mostly she enjoyed sewing...when we were just working at the sewing machines on our garments and not learning a new technique, she sewed right along with us! I remember her making her grandchildren garments. I remember her making skirts and blouses that she would wear to school the very next day! But what I remember the most was that she thought I was special and had talent!

High school can be difficult for a lanky girl with long, nappy hair and no breasts....well not really developed ones...and a really strict mother who wouldn't let you date or go to parties. Add into that someone who is really intelligent and who doesn't have to work too hard at schoolwork and you get the picture. So to be told that you have a talent by someone who wasn't teaching a "smart" class meant the world to me!

So I just want to take this opportunity to thank my high school sewing teacher ~ Mrs. Kenealy ~ who let me skip gym in her class to sew...who encouraged me to try new things and looked the other way when my insecurities got the better of me...and who every day told me what a wonderful seamstress I was!

I had two wonderful women encourage my sewing - my grandmother who taught me and Mrs. Kenealy who encouraged me to keep it as a lifelong hobby! So do you have a favorite sewing teacher? And who was it? Your grandmother, your mother, your sister, your friend? Tell me, I would love to know and pay tribute to these wonderful people who brought such a wonderful gift into your life!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Fall Fever

Yeap, I have fall fever! But its not what you think...I mean I want to go outside and play. I don't want to be inside. I have no desire to hear the quiet hum of my sewing machine as it sews through an awesome piece of fabric. Instead I want to hear the wind rustling through the leaves as they gently fall to the ground. I want to be inspired by the beauty of nature in the changing colors of the leaves. I want to experience the first brisk breeze which makes me dream of turtlenecks. I have fall fever!

So since all I want to do is run outside and play, I am going to detail my sewing list here as a living testament to what I should be doing! Maybe it will encourage me to sew...or then again maybe not! *smile*

Here goes...these are the next four projects that I would like to construct:

1. "A Brown & Green Affair"

Brown lace from Lucy's with green/brown squiggle silk print from Fabric Mart

*TNT 4 gore skirt from brown lace with green silk as the lining
*Vogue 8118 blouse from green silk print
*Burda blouse pattern used as a cardigan from the brown lace

2. "The Lady in Red Dress"

Red Sueded Silk from Trebor Couture (which use to be a huge fabric store on 40th Street and has been out of business for about 5 or 6 years now) This is definitely stash fabric.

*Vogue 8118 blouse
*TNT straight skirt lined

3. "The Well Dressed Professional Woman"

Tan lightweight tropical wool from Fabric Mart & beige/black lace print in rayon/lycra knit from Ebad Fabrics in NYC

*Lined pants
*Burda Cardigan with black lace trim in front band and black satin ribbon ties
*V-neck Simplicity top
*Sleeveless lined dress from TNT pattern

4. "Advant garde in NYC"

Cotton scenic print from Wal-Mart with chocolate moleskin accents and brown sueded silk from Fabric Mart

*Calf length elastic waist straight skirt with moleskin hem and back bands.
*Sueded silk blouse and matching SW Mission Top ~ haven't decided on the blouse pattern yet.

Now if I can get motivated enough to spend some time at my sewing machine, I could turn out a couple of great outfits...true testiments to my sewing abilities. Okay, that last comment was written to encourage just me! Every once in a while you have to pat yourself on the back ~ y'know.

So that's my list. That's the direction that I am headed in. I don't really think I am moving in a very fashion forward direction. Just using the colors of the season but, and this is a very important but, these garments definitely fit into my lifestyle which makes them very wearable.

But truly, I just want to go out and play, y'know!

Friday, September 08, 2006

I am soooo frustrated!

Back in cave man days when we just sewed in isolated bliss, I didn't care whether or not I used or had a home computer. I didn't own a digital camera and I sewed for my own personal pleasure and for the oooohhhhs and aaaaahhhs of my significant other and the people who I came in contact with me daily!

So why am I so frustrated....because I can't show you the new top that I just made from the rayon scarf border print! And it is really, really, cute, and I did such a good job using the border print in the design of the shirt! I know this because I got quite a few compliments on it when I wore it!

Because I can't share with you the new fabric combination that is making my heart sing! The fabric combination that I found in my fabric closet! It was just sitting there waiting for me to add one piece plus another piece and get *wonza wonderful!* Because I have such great pictures on my digital camera that I can't get off the said computer! *wahhahahha!*

Now see this is just crazy?! I sewed just fine before I had a digital camera and went on the sewing boards. I was very happy with the oooohhhs and aaaahhhs of my fellow co-workers. I was happy when a stranger complimented me in the street. Now, *hanging head in shame* now I need the adoration of the masses to feel special! What is wrong with me!?! See I have now become a member of that "computer generation." I like sharing my creations with people from different countries and continents. I like hearing what others have to say about my ideas. I like the fact that you (the peoples) can appreciate my obsession and my possessions. I love the idea that you like the things that I saw in a flat piece of fabric and made into a three dimensional garment. I like that I really, really do! *said in my best Sally Field voice*

So what is the problem! H*ll if I know. Something about the software that is loaded is not talking to the ethernet card and so it in turn is making the internet connection falter! All I know is that I have a home computer that the operating system has been wiped clean because my wonderful teenage daughters managed to infect it with 404 - do you hear that - 404 viruses! Which reproduced, configurated and generally killed my computer. So I am coming to you via my work laptop which of course, I can not load my digital camera software to! So I got pictures and no way to share. Can we say F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-E-D!!!!!!!

I think I should make a date with each and every one of you. You can meet me in front of the Project Runway window at Macy's and I can change clothes for you and model my newest creations. Then you could rush home and write heartwarming and complimentary things on my blog. Making the people who weren't able to meet us in NYC, pea green with envy. OR.....

I could get a grip. Realize that my computer woes are coming to an end shortly. And that I can post the pictures and tell my stories then....

In the meantime, I am just so FRUSTRATED!!!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

I'm a fabric girl

On one of the sewing sites, Stitchers Guild, my avatar is a shot of several pieces of fabric that I used for a SWAP. I think this picture depicts the essence of my creative nature.

Since my computer was and still is ill, I spent one day last weekend reorganizing my fabric closet. Well let a true fabricaholic spend time with her fabric collection and a couple of emotions will emerge:
  • happiness - because the collection brings you such joy and some pieces are treasured "old" friends.
  • astonishment - because no matter how much you think you know what's in your collection, there is always more there than you remember!
  • inspiration - just being amongst such a wide variety of color, print, texture and fabrications definitely inspires you to want to create something really special.
  • and finally resolve - to stop adding new friends and to make some wonderful creations with the friends that are presently in your collection.

However, fabric can inspire me to create all on its own. Fabric triggers something in my creative psyche that catapults me into another creative dimension that a design idea alone doesn't quite do!

So I have pulled a few pieces from my fabric closet that I hadn't thought of recently. Then I mixed them with some other pieces in ways that I hadn't thought of before. Finally, I let them visit with each other for a few days. Occasionally, I would walk by and touch them. Sometimes I would just nod to them in passing but slowly and surely the fabric combinations were telling me what they wanted to become. And I came to the realization that as much as I study design and silhouttes, when I "play" with fabric combinations...when I really "listen" to what my fabric is saying, that is when I end up with my most spectacular garments!

Because.....I'm a fabric girl!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sewing Interrruptus!

Sorry for the interruption but my home computer has come down with a bad case of the "computer virus!" *Gawd* save me from teenagers! Anyway, the computer doctor is coming this weekend so my computer should be cured soon! And I will be back talking about and sharing my sewing adventures!


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