Saturday, May 20, 2023

I'm Reading More Lately

As I've stated in several posts, I'm sewing less. And I'm okay with that because I create as I need now and it's enough.  So I've filled the sewing time with reading. If you're only here for the sewing tap out now. Cause I have lots of thoughts about the books I'm reading and how it's different now.

I believe the biggest difference is social media. Between BookTok and Bookstagram, I'm finding authors I never knew about. I've also changed the genre I'm reading. I was primarily a true crime, mystery/thriller, lifestyle, best seller novels reader. I've totally gone in the opposite direction.  Where before I maligned romance novels, now I'm chest deep in them.

I need the escapism they provide.  The world has been through so much in the last 3 years that escapism fare provides the perfect backdrop to the sh*tty things that we humans continue to inflict upon each other...without adding a global pandemic into the mix.

When I was younger romance novels were those little Harlequin Romance books with some bodice ripping, unbelievable characters and situations. Well things have changed in that genre. Not only are there a ton of new authors but the niches have changed too.  Fantasy Romance (vampires & werewolves & fairy lands), Magical Romance, Mafia Romance, LGBTQIA romance, Interracial Romance tales, Plus size Romance's enough to make your head spin.

There's also a ton of new authors with a myriad of writing styles, choosing to write about sex in a variety of ways. It's inspired a lot of conversations with my daughters. LOL!

Anyway, my reading has exploded.  I've read 63 books since January. I read when I commute, waiting for the doctor and dentist, and instead of spending evenings in front of the TV I'm curled up on the couch on weekends...pretty much all the dayum time.  One of my daughters said, I always have a book in hand now and that's true.

Who am I reading?  After 6 months of serious reading I've developed some favorites, Kennedy Ryan, Lucy Score, Talia Hibbert, TL Swan, Lauren Asher, Beverly Jackson, Brenda Jenkins and Taylor Jackson Reid. Though I have a few other new faves too. 

I follow quite a few bookstagrammers on IG as well as Oprah's book club, the Good Morning America book club, Amerie's book club and Reese Witherspoon's book club. I'm also on GoodReads with a small circle of friends. I like variety and it's nice to see so many books available and what my friends and others choose to read. 

Lastly, I purchase most of my books from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, because there is nothing like walking into a bookstore and perusing what's there! Sort of like fabric shopping in a bricks & mortar store! I'm also reading off my Kindle App on my iPad which offers even more books!

That's what I'm doing instead of sewing. How about you?  Do you read?  If so, what genre do you like?  Any fave authors or books you'd like to share?

I promise more sewing content is coming because I've paired some patterns with fabric for a few new pieces to be sewn when I'm not reading! LOL! always more later!

Saturday, May 06, 2023

A Blue & White Hope

Last year I was on a real tear to purchase blue & white toile type prints. I ended up buying a blue & white print that was similar to a toile and an actual blue & white toile. I was really proud that I only bought two pieces! I'm even prouder that I'm using one for my next Hope.

Of course this is the Hope Dress using the extension pack and it's exactly the same as the funeral dress.  As with all remakes, I improve something with the next version.  For this one, I shortened the length of the elastic I used in the sleeve hems.  I also left the pockets off this one too.

Materials ~

The fabric is a 100% digital linen shirting from StyleMaker Fabrics purchased last year and it's still available to purchase.  

The four 3/4" white buttons are from my button collection purchased so long ago I have no idea where I bought them. 

I used 26" of 5/8" elastic for the sleeve hem casings.  The pattern recommends 1/4" but that would get lost on my body so I changed it.

That's it.  A nice, easy, relaxing sew where I just took the journey.

A Few Pictures ~

(feeling like a matron on an English cliffside with the wind blowing!)

I have fabric set aside for one more version of the Hope Dress using the bias bound, tie front bodice and the original sleeves.  That will be enough for awhile since I will have three different Hopes in my spring/summer wardrobe (not including the funeral dress).  If you don't have this pattern yet, I highly recommend it! always more later!

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

I'm a Fabric Snob

Seriously a snob and if you don't know that you don't know me! LOL! I love fabric and all of it's different fabrications. Now I won't sew it all but I do love it! I also don't like basic fabric or buying fabric that a lot of other sewists use cause who knows when you will see yourself coming or going.

I know I have the luxury of snobbiness because I work in NYC and can visit the fabric shops there anytime. While the garment center has changed, it's still a treasure trove of amazing fabrics that can be touched, purchased and even shipped home from some merchants. I know I'm not limited to "The Craft Store" commonly known as JoAnns.

However, that's one of the things I want to discuss...The Craft Store. It's obviously been upping it's fabric game. Lately I've been seeing fabrics that sewists I admire are using purchased from The Craft Store. Color me impressed! Not impressed enough to give them my fabric dollars but impressed just the same.  

Especially since I understand that not all sewists want to shop for fabric online. Though as an aside, I don't get that since online fabric merchants do a fabulous job of photographing and describing fabrics. They also offer things that The Craft Store doesn't carry. But, if you need fabric, The Craft Store is offering better choices now so bravo to them.

Now back to my snobbery...I'm an old school fabric aficionado. I love natural fabrics. I love types that aren't so commonly sold any more - wool crepes, linen and linen blends like linen & silk, silks of various weights, beautiful challis, jersey knits and rayon pontes. I like a fabric with a beautiful hand that pretreats well and resembles the original fabric after the pretreatment process. 

I love a good print.  A print woven in is always superior to a printed one. However, I will buy a printed fabric if the colors are vibrant and the borders clear. I love, love, love a good panel or border print because the flights of fancy you can take while using them is unlimited.

I'm such a fabric snob that I have a list of online fabric stores that I will always shop. I use to experiment more and try out online fabric stores mentioned by sewists I admire.  Now though I stick to what I know because my list of retailers haven't let me down.

Now my love of fabric is well documented.  But what about you?  Do you love fabric as much as you do patterns? Are you a keeper of many different types of fabric or do you buy as needed? Shop online? At The Craft Store or another local fabric store near you?

Talk back to me because this is "The Question of the Day" always more later!


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