Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: fashion and sewing, Home and hearth, Projects, Spouse
But you would too.
So, I had this problem. The only half-decent place I had for cutting out clothes and such was the dining table. Now, it’s a lovely table, and it’s very wide and long so there’s all kinds of room, I mean this table is like North and South Dakota put together in one spot…huge! What I like about it is the width, wide enough to lay out…well anyway, you get the point. It’s a nice big table. However…
It’s a tad low. Just right for pulling up a chair and eating, or playing cards, or whatever. Notsomuch for standing at and cutting stuff out. That bend-over thing necessary to do the work was…painful. Nearly debilitating if a lot had to be done. I’d cut something out, and it it involved more than about 45 minutes of work, I’d have to spend the next couple of hours in the chair with a heating pad on my lower back, a soothing cup of tea by my side and an episode of Ballykissangel on the tube. (I recommend that show…look it up. Netflix and Amazon both have it). And tylenol.
Anyway, Terry, observant and generous man that he is, noticed the problem. He has also been uncommonly cheerful due to an assortment of MASSIVE changes at work- those mysterious ones I’ve barely eluded to, but will explain hopefully after the first of the year. His good cheer and a blastingly thorough cleanup and organization of his woodshop resulted in a dramatic upswing in creativity, and he wanted to make something that he could do quickly, for encouragement to get his woodworking mojo back.
Well, I’d say it worked because O people, he fixed my problem in a fantastically effective way, that has me positively giggly and as soon as I am mentally 100% it will get used most enthusiastically, as the fabric and patterns have arrived from the designer and people, I’ve got a wedding dress to make.
Behold, my new Folding Cutting Table, Feast your eyes on it’s wonderfulness and stuff.
The legs swing out to hold up the top, and swing back in, with the leaves folding down to make this neat package that fits nicely in the closet, or a corner of the room (currently occupied by a small Christmas tree.) It is entirely his own design, not something from a magazine.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: fashion and sewing, Home and hearth, Projects, Spouse
The new sewing room is almost done! We spent Sunday moving the furniture in, and hanging pictures, and loading the shelves, and throwing away stuff that was on the shelves because I didn’t want to throw it away but would likely never use it for anything. That was cathartic.
Now that everything is in place, I see that there’s room for a cutting table. Currently I use the dining table, but it is a bit low and causes back pain, so I can’t take the time to cut out a whole bunch of stuff at a time-which is my preferred method. SO! I thought some kind of drop-leaf thing, but was not satisfied because even that would be taking up a lot of space. When this issue was brought before the resident woodworker/creative idea guy (Terry), he said “AHA…I know Just The Thing.” Only he’ll make it pretty, to match the furniture in there, with drop leaves instead of a removable top. How cool is that?!
I’ll get some pictures up soon, once all the stuff is in place.
Ok,so #1 Son is all moved out, and the room is EMPTY. We are taking (ok that is a figurative “WE”…let’s say *I*, and add Terry as a good man who understands my desire for a pretty room and is indulging me with the whole “let’s refinish the floor, since the room is empty!” excitement.) our (my) time and doing this whole thing RIGHT.
We have reached a stage in life where there is No More Compromising. Call me a snob, say I have turned in to a Picky Precious Princess. Say what you like, but it’s true. No more throwing a handy rug over the worn spot on the floor. We’re going to REFINISH that rascal and make the floor pretty. I don’t like rugs anyway. They’re fine on other people’s floors and can be quite lovely, but I really love the way wood looks, and a big ol’ stretch of clean finished oak is very pleasing to my eye. Rugs make me feel claustrophobic and cluttery.
Also, pretty curtains. Not something from Kmart,either. I have some antique lace tablecloths that are far too small for our ridiculously large dining table. They will make lovely valances, because just like rugs, I’m not fond of curtains. I want light. Sunshine. Lace will soften the light without blocking it. And will look good with the Shaker style furniture Terry built, and the antique Edwardian rocking chair.
This is FUN! I am actually decorating a room the way I want it, without any regard to the masculine sensibilities of anyone else in the house! Pink (very pale and rosy, the color is called “Quartz Pink) walls, a few burgundy accents (my desk top, and an afghan that stays folded over the back of the rocking chair), and lots of pictures- photographs, Victorian prints, cigar box labels, embroidered things- all with roses in them. I love roses.
After this…the tiny room that currently serves as my sewing room will be turned into the guest room. It is just big enough for a bed, dresser, and chair. It will get a healthy dose of spackle, a fresh coat of paint in a pale blue, and I am on the lookout for the perfect bedspread in a cream or white. The dresser is antique, and I want to hang a quilt rod above the bed, and put an old (I have several) quilt on it to hang down kind of like a headboard. An old chair with a slipcover…and maybe a few Instant Ancestors on the wall. Who knows, there’s time to think about it.
Change like this makes me happy. I can control it.
Oh and Phleud the Wandering Cat…the one we see only very occasionally…when I staggered downstairs for the morning cup of coffee…he was in the laundry basket in the kitchen (my laundry is in the kitchen…it’s not pretty but it’s darned convenient), looking like he owned the place. “Mow.” said he. “Well hello thar!” said I. “Murf” he replied. Then he went back to sleep. Ok then. He’s looking mighty healthy, which is nice. A little later, after the dogs got up, I heard him push out the pet door and leave. No telling when we’ll see him again.
Terry got ahold of some spare money the other day (which in itself is awesome- who doesn’t love a bit of spare money?) and spent it on Woodworking Supplies…mainly, LUMBER.
Lumber to him is as fabric to me. So I know how he feels. I love being able to walk into the sewing room, with a mind to make something, and being able to look on the shelf and go “hm…skirt or blouse? Red or white?” and having the option.
Now he can do that! He can look in his storage shed and go “hm…box or cabinet? hickory or walnut? dovetails or mortise-and-tenon?” He can look at the weather map and see that the weekend will be clear and sunny and not too hot, and sit down with the morning coffee and draw up plans for a cabinet.
He found this great place in Pooler (near Savannah) that carries fancy wood in both boards and plywood. He talked to the owner about what he likes to make, and the owner said “Great! Most people don’t like shorts (that’s shorter boards and smaller pieces) or highly figured stuff, so I’ll set it aside for you!” and then he brought home this AMAZING piece of walnut (a dark brown wood) that looks every bit like a piece of agate. Gorgeous. He’s going to set it aside and come up with Just The Right Thing for it. Also a bunch of hickory and a big piece of hickory plywood that looks like a work of art. Seriously, I think you could brush on some varnish and hang it on the wall just as it is.
Do I sound silly for getting excited about wood? Probably, but it won’t be the first time.
You see, I am a Form Follows Function type. I like pretty things,but not for the sake of pretty things. If there is a tchotchke on the shelf, it has to have more purpose than just being a thing on the shelf. It needs to be a vase that’s interesting. Or a candleholder. Or something that was a gift from a child, or a memory from long ago.
So yes, I like pretty things and to me, wood is a very pretty thing. It’s natural, and it’s beauty is inherent, not contrived. Terry feels the same way,and looks for pieces that are interesting. They may be harder to work with than the smooth grained boring old white-bread stuff, but he has the patience and sense of artistry to make the most of it. I am anxious to see what will come of this stack of lumber. Oak for a Mission chair, hickory and knotty pine for cabinets and tables, and that amazing piece of walnut, for who-know-what-but-it-will-be-spectacular.
Filed under: childhood, Dream a little dream, family, I feel so smart!, oh you self indulgent hussy! | Tags: fashion and sewing, perspective, Projects, responsible adult, Spouse
I got another skirt put together yesterday. I have now made so many of these skirts I can do it in my sleep, which is kind of nice.
You see, clothes and I have always had something of a…well, not a very good relationship. I was raised with the philosophy of “less is more”. Growing up, I had a small dresser, and was only allowed enough clothes that could fit into it, plus 2 or 3 dresses to hang in the closet. Since my closet was the default Storage Closet, there wasn’t much room in it. I also had 2 or 3 pair of shoes. Mom tried to let me have more, but Dad would veto that, by asking “doesn’t she already have a skirt (or church shoes, or a white shirt).
That philosophy stuck with me all through adulthood. why would I need more than one pair of jeans, or one white shirt, or one skirt?
Then one day, not that long ago, it occurred to me that…maybe…it would be ok if…I had…(REALLY?!) more than one skirt. Or one pair of jeans, or one white shirt. And, it’s ok to have…y’know…NICE ones.
Not only that, I don’t have to SHARE my CLOSET with ANYONE and not only that if I need a bigger dresser TERRY WILL BUILD ONE.
So all Summer long I’ve been making skirts. All sorts of skirts out of a pattern I love that fits well and looks good. It’s an 8 panel skirt that buttons up the front and I can make it long out of something lightweight or short out of something sturdier or mid-length out of a classic seersucker. I can use pretty sunflower shaped metal buttons or plain wooden buttons or navy blue buttons the same color as the cloth or WHATEVER I WANT and there’s no Dad there to say “are you sure that’s practical? Why do you want more than one? Those buttons are a little unusual,why do you want to attract attention to yourself like that?”
AND…I bought lovely soft lawn fabric (a very thin and fine cotton that is amazing in this Southern heat) in a variety of ladylike prints (I never wear prints. They scare me.) to make blouses go with the various colors of skirts. I HAVE OUTFITS. WITH PRINTS. Prints really are pretty, aren’t they…
I never have outfits. Normally I buy the most neutral things possible, mix-and-matchable, because when you only have 1 or 2 skirts and 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of khakis, you have to make sure everything goes with everything else. And if all you wear is demin and a white shirt, no one ever accuses you of always wearing the same thing because they don’t even notice what you’re wearing.
But now I have OUTFITS. The blue skirt with the sunflower shaped metal buttons had a lovely print lawn blouse with small flowers in it the same shape as the buttons on the skirt. The navy blue skirt has another lawn blouse (I love that stuff! It’s like wearing nothing only you’re not wearing nothing!) with a bit of navy in the print. On the sewing table is still another lawn print, totally different from the other 2, with several colors that will not only go with the 2 aformentioned skirts, but also 2 more in the plans, including a RED one. I never wear red! It’s scary! I hear my father’s voice when he said “Why are you wearing that color? You’ll attract attention to yourself. Why do you want to do that?” He said that the first time I wore a hot pink shirt I’d bought with babysitting money.(I was 13) It was a plain styled button up shirt, very conservative, only VERY bright pink. I loved it until he said that. When I told Terry that story (he has asked why I don’t wear more bright colors), he was appalled and immediately went out and bought the brightest turquoise dress I’d ever seen…which I loved and wore for years. Since then he has always encouraged me to wear strong colors, and every now and then I will, when I’m feeling very brave.
So, now there are 8 skirts (WOT!? EIGHT?!) hanging in the closet, and 2 of them are WHITE! 4 of them are BLUE! And a SEERSUCKER one! There is fabric for a RED ONE and a GREEN ONE and a KHAKI ONE, and before you know it there will be options all over the place!
So self indulgent.
Edwardian skirt and vest- fine charcoal grey wool flannel (a very soft and tropical weight wool, perfect for our mild winters), black jet buttons, line with superfine black twill
Feminine Edwardian blouse, full sleeves with deep cuffs- ivory cotton jaquard (to go with the wool suit above), mother-of-pearl buttons
Edwardian style coat, full a-line with princess seams and gathered sleeves, dark red twill with an ivory slubbed cotton lining.
I sense a style theme going on…and I was born a solid 100 years late. I LOVE Edwardian style stuff, and these will be modified enough that I don’t have to wear a corset or remove a rib.
OK let’s see…
4 pieces of yardage for Fall shirts-
a cream and dark red toile voile (say that 3 times fast ) pronounced (twall voil)…
A cream, blue,red,um….green…probably a couple of other colors…Liberty of London print cotton…
ok I have to say this because it’s one of the charms of Gail K Fabrics…they carry Liberty of London prints, the out of date ones…which, at the LoL website and in stores run upwards of $45 a yard. Gail K has last year’s models for…$15 a yard. I feel smug every time I buy a piece.
also a white with royal blue window-pane checks linen
and a dark red and white pinstripe cotton.
Also, buttons for everything. Fancy pants black jet and gold buttons, very Edwardian, for the red coat, and regular old shirt buttons for all the shirts.
I will also be making a bunch of skirts- dark red, khaki, navy blue, dark denim, light denim…black…whatever…
Probably first to be made will be the shirts, because I need them and it won’t get cold enough for the suit or coat until November.
Pictures forthcoming, I promise.