Monday, September 26, 2011

Hair Update

I figured I should follow up on the hair post from the other day.  This is what my hair does after its been up in the headband for over a day.  This is after I brushed it into softer curls and then got wet on the way from the house to the car.

I sprayed my hair really well with dry shampoo before taking it down as my hair gets fairly oily fast.
So seriously, for a total of 30 minutes of effort I get two fairly awesome hair days.  I LOVE this method.

I don't think I'll be getting much sewing done over my weekend.  I'm gonna help Dad get materials and build my new cutting table.  And trace out some more patterns and other prep work for streamlined sewing.  And cleaning and rearranging .  Here's hoping the new room is painted and carpeted this weekend.  YAY!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hair Tips and Other Randomness

Have you heard of Pinterest?  If you haven't you should go check it out. All the cool kids are doing it!  And if you aren't the kind of person to lemming your way over the cliff,  I also found this awesome hair tutorial just poking around.  I've tried it, its AWESOME.  I put my hair up after washing it and wear it out that way.  I always  get "That's so pretty! How did you do that?".  And then I sleep on it and the next day my straight hair has this wonderful old-Hollywood curl. It lasted two days.  I might try doing rag roll curls for up-dos too.

 I think it will be awesome with some of the looks I'm going for in my planned wardrobe sewing. Which so far is mostly just pattern tracing, modifications, and a bit of fabric shopping.  After tracing patterns I've been putting them and the fabric into a gallon size ziplock bag.  I've also made some modifications to my sewing plan from what I posted, but I always seem to do that.  The awesome news being I finally decided what to do with my Liberty of London fabric.

I also decided to try doing rag curls on my daughter.  Her normally somewhat wavy hair turned into a massive head of curls. It was phenomenally easier than trying to use those stupid little foam things. Do you know what I'm talking about? Anywho, pictures!

Before Hair
After Rag Roll Curls.

I mentioned we're in the midst of renovations.  The garage is becoming a bedroom* instead of a storage unit for junk.  We have a shed outback that will hold most everything after we rearrange and get a dumpster to to haul all the other crap off.   And a few modifications to the under-house storage I can have all my garden tools easily accessible.   In the mean time my yard looks like this:

Blerg, but the carpets been hauled off at least.
The garage door is now a wall.  The ceiling is up, most of the insulation put in and its now wired to the breaker box. WOO!  My brother-in-law has done the bulk of the work and mostly I've been keeping him hydrated and fed. The kids are excited they get their own rooms again.  So that's what I've been doing in a nutshell. That and hiding from the world a bit.   Tomorrow night its back to work.  

*As a side note, if you ever wondered how I have time for as much sewing as I do with kids and a job the answer is my roommate.  Since he was never able to find a decent job and we needed a babysitter we worked out a deal.  Free room and board for being the Nanny.  I often get funny looks when I mention that my nanny is a 6'3" hairy Scottish looking man.  But hey, no one messes with my kids.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vintage Sewing Treasure - Part 1

Back of dress.  I just happened to have a fashion mannequin and petticoat on hand. 

When family was here in town for Mom's memorial, they also brought me a bunch of goodies.  The majority of it was found in the back of closets or old chests.  Forgotten bits of family history, and even the history of home sewing.   The first of which I'm sharing is what looks to be the under slip of an early 20th century wedding dress.  I place it somewhere around mid to late 20's.  Its a very light chiffon, I'm going to say its probably silk given the way the underarms have been eaten away from sweat stains.  Its also very wrinkled because I'm afraid to iron it, or even have it dry cleaned. 

The hem is hand rolled,  as is a lot of the finishing work by hand.  In fact, I think the only seams that were sewn by machine were the long strait seems. And they were all french seams at that.  I uploaded the full 10MP pics so if you click on the picture you can see the details. 

I love the sleeve button details here.
There is no doubt in my mind this was lovingly made. Possibly  by the Bride-to-Be,  maybe by her mother.  Or maybe it was a collaborative effort.

Tomorrow I will try to post about some of the other treasures I have received.  I wish I could say I've been sewing but we're renovating and that's been taking up most of my time. Its a mess now but boy will I be happy when its done!  I've also drawn up some plans for a new cutting table that I'm hoping Dad will help me make.  Oh, and I want to redo my closet too.  LOTS TO DO!  I did get two Burda Magazine patterns traced out, does that count? 

Front Details. Its kinda sad and limp without the petticoat.

Hand Sewn Hem

Almost all the button detailing was done by hand, Click to see!
back button details
shoulder pad detail

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh Yeah, I made curtains.

So in a fit of cleaning last week, in which I did 12 loads of laundry,  I had this overwhelming need to make new curtains for my bedroom.  I may have alluded to this, but I also work at night.  Said curtains also include blackout lining.


The main part of the curtains is a lovely plum color and the valence is black with a half circle with trim. The  plum fabric was part of the 7.5 yards of raw silk my Aunt sent me (And I have enough left to make a blouse. Just call me Scarlet). Obviously, I dyed the silk.  BTW, iDYE is way better than RIT. And it occurs to me that I didn't take close ups of the finished product.  DERP.

All in all, they have been a hit. My only issue is the amount of light that leaks in through the top. I'm fairly certain some egg-crate type foam stuffed in the cracks will take care of that.  Right now I'm using a feather boa I just had laying around.

Why are you looking at me funny? Doesn't everyone have feather boas laying around their house? Well of course it matches my pink wig.  It also matches the purple one.  I thought everyone dressed up as anime characters for fun, don't you. No? You people are weird. 

On a different note, did I also mention that my wonderful friend Beth Ann sent me some sewing books she got from a library free-cycle?  



My two favorites and the late 60's McCall's book and the Better Homes pattern adjustment one.  Also from the 60's, I think.  They have a lot of overlap with the "Fit for Real People" and the Reader's Digest " Complete Guide to Sewing" but also help explain some of the more esoteric directions in vintage patterns.

The "Innovative Serging" one is great for some ideas on how to do design with sergers that I had not thought of, though my brain keeps screeching to a halt at the OMG 80's! examples.  I think with a few more glasses of wine and my trusty idea pad I'll get over that.  Oh, I haven't talked about my idea pad?  OH.  HEY.  Here's some more pics!

Design ideas for the six yards of silk crepe in peach I got from Mom.  You might be able to see it in the center, my drawing.

This was me playing with swatches in my stash and a color pallet for  Fall/Winter.  I change my mind a lot.

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Photography

Taking the advice of Patty the Snug Bug I checked out the free actions from The Pioneer Woman. I love her "seventies" action which is what I used on this photo.  I loved what it did with this photo.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And it Comes Full Circle


Mom's memorial service is in about 14 hours and I've spent the last three days cleaning.  Cleaning that involved 12 loads of laundry and I don't know how many bags of trash.   And lots and lots of scrubbing with lysol and a sponge because its the only good way to get the corners.  And I've felt the need to write in my private old school journals.  And create artistic photos.

And I've done a lot of crying, too.  What is it about grief that makes us do these things?  And how did my house and the people living here get so insanely out of order? Have I really been so preoccupied?  I can answer that and the answer is yes.  I can even see it in my attempts to sew.  I think I've made three successful garments since February when all this started.

Which brings me to the Colette Fall Palette Challenge.   Mom went on hospice when I had signed up for the Spring Challenge.  When I threw my hat in the ring for the Fall one I just had this uncanny feeling that this would be when Mom died.  And I was right, and its weird.  Now I feel like I _have_ to do this. In some weird way it will be another part of the closure.  Just like going to Dragon*Con, it would be something she'd want me to do.  So without further ado, My Fall Palette/Wardrobe plan!


So here is my Plan, and also my Palette for this Fall.  I've decided to go with six separates (two pants, three shirts, and a cropped jacket), one dress, and a house coat.  Yes, a house coat.  Every woman deserves to have something lovely and feminine to languish around the house in. There's more to the inspiration for a housecoat, enough I'll probably give it an entire post.

I have a vacation coming up. A real one. Not one that involves funeral plans, grief cleaning, and crying. This one will involve sewing and remodeling the garage into another room.  And hopefully more blogging for your reading pleasure.  Now I should get some sleep before tomorrow.  Its going to be emotional.

Monday, September 5, 2011


You know my friends are a bunch of enablers, right?  That would be half the reason for the above photo*.  The other half being I'm not hard to enable when it comes to costuming.  It started out with me wanting to go see my niece at Dragon*Con even though I had decided to pass it up this year.  For those of you that may not know it is the LARGEST multi-genre sci-fi fantasy convention in the country and the largest convention in the Southeast, period.

Last year was my niece's first and this year she came back again.  That's her up above as cat woman.  Below is Iron Man.  I literally went SQUEEEE.  Seriously,  these costumes played music and clanked as they walked.  THEY WERE SEVEN FEET TALL. No matter how many years I go there's always that one that just makes my jaw drop.  Last year was the 8 foot tall Bumble Bee costume.

So what started out as just going to hang out for dinner ended up with a friend giving me two badges and an invitation to a private party.   There's perks to knowing most of the geeks in this city, really.  And I couldn't walk 10 feet without seeing someone I knew and I got so many hugs.  SO MANY.  It was cathartic.  And I broke down into tears in the art gallery because Mom was an artist and it just kinda hit me like that.

But then an alien came to cheer me up.   GREETINGS.  But in all serious, thank you for everyone's kind words.

*Expect to see that pink wig again.  And also, all these pictures were from my camera phone because I really didn't want to keep up with my camera.  And for anyone curious, my shirt says "I beat the Kama Sutra. The end guy was hard".

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rest In Peace


I wish I had the words to express what I feel right now, but I don't.  Mom passed away yesterday (9/1/2011) quite suddenly.  I had seen her that morning and she was sleeping but seemed stable.  She went between the time they called my husband and my husband woke me up.  Its hard to believe she is actually gone, but on the other hand I'm so glad she's not in pain any more.

My Mom, Claudia, was one of those truly good and wonderful people.  She was talented, quick witted, funny, thoughtful, and loving.  I can't think of any friend I had that didn't call her mom.  Even some of my exes stayed in touch with her.  She taught me how to sew, can, play music,garden, cook, clean, use my imagination and so many more little things its hard to tell them all.  She loved Edgar Allen Poe and Simon and Garfunkel.  She loved poetry and books and movies.   She loved to sew and embroider.  She taught me you are never too old for stuffed animals, playgrounds, playing dress-up, and new adventures.

I love you so much, Momma.  Dad and I are going to miss you. I don't think we'll ever stop missing you.  I hope you are on some other newer,  greater adventure.