Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stop the presses!!!........

Hold your horses!!!

or the other famous cliché

"It's always best to make a sample before you start a time consuming project"

If you've been following along, a while ago I began a project where I decided to re-make a well loved dress of mine.

I also decided to stitch it up a la Alabama/Chanin style....

using her beautiful organic cotton jersey 
 hand cutting the stencil called Anna's Garden with the intention to use a 
 negative reverse appliqué technique found in her beautiful book
Alabama Studio Sewing + Design.

Not to mention I will sew the garment by hand,

which goes without saying if you are familiar with Natalie Chanin's trademark techniques.

To proceed with caution seemed to be a good thing.

I have been reluctant to begin stitching, so I decided to make two samples.  

This is where it gets a little 'odd'.   I 'thought' I was making a sample to see if I'd like to use off white or gray thread.  And while I was stitching up the pattern sample with the off white thread....

The way it said to in the book....

I then decided that I liked the off white thread well enough,

but what I wasn't sure about were the instructions to stitch 1/8" within the design

and cut away 1/8" outside the design.  

So I made my next sample

stitching 'on' the design lines......

and cutting away 1/8" from that.

The detail is slightly different.....

But OH what a difference in the end.

The A/C way with the 1/4" reveal became a little too 'floppy' and less 'sturdy' looking after I rinsed it.

And I liked the second way better.  It felt more substantial and finished....less casual looking.

Now I can proceed with confidence.  

My way.

The bad news is that the new technique is even more tedious to cut away.  

What else is new.

"It's always something."

or as my Mom used to say....

"It hurts to be beautiful."

*BTW: I used a gray marking spray that quickly disolves in cool water. That part worked great.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Where the Antelope......


On Monday I made another drive back to my little casita in Mountainair, NM from Albuquerque.

Time after time, I make this journey and I am always left breathless by it's wonder....

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I am participating in an on line course with Joanna Powell Colbert....naturalist, priestess and creator of the Gaian Tarot

To Celebrate the Vernal Equinox...Ostara

On Sunday she asked us to notice 'edges' this week, and to reflect on what they mean to us in this season's change 
winter to spring

My attention always goes to the bird bath.....sensing the joy of returning migrating birds

and I noticed this 





Perhaps 'Clarity' is what Spring



Saturday, March 9, 2013

Progress Report.....

This project is continued from here...,

Please excuse the dark photos.

I was up into the night working on this.

I elected, 
after making some samples,

to mark Anna's Garden Stencil onto

I can hear Gaia scream......

in my defense, it is a chalk product and will wash out once the stitching is done.

I also (ahem) used a light fabric spray adhesive, which was a 'bit tricky' to work with....
to adhere two layers of fabric for the negative reverse appliqué that I plan to execute
all this to avoid tedious basting and marking.....

this will also wash out.....or so they say
I hope it won't come back to haunt me as I cut away the excess fabric. 

next I basted the neck and arm holes to avoid stretching while I stitch the appliqué 

and the stitching begins.....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trying a new thing....

While I was busy having a pity party I was also working on this project.

I have been thinking a lot about sewing these past few months.....
and decided long ago that I want to recreate some of my favorite pieces of clothing. 
Now, none of these garments are out of service, 
so this is the technique I am using to start copying the patterns......

First I made a double bed of cardboard to top my table using two used medium sized packing boxes from Home Depot...

then I decided to reuse the crumpled packing paper within for the pattern....

next I placed my very simple dress on top of the paper and cardboard...

and decided to iron that too....

I started with the center panel and marked that....

pushing pins through the fabric and paper into the cardboard at strategic locations....

You can use as many or as few pins as you like....

then I marked the pin holes with a marking pen...

and connected the dots with a marker....

 I added a 1/4" seam allowance in some areas using this tool

Note: I am taking into consideration that the armholes and neck will be bound using Natalie Chanin's I will not add the seam allowance in those areas.

After I cut it out along the added seam allowance lines, I folded the pattern in half to determine how well I'd done with the tracing.  As you can see I needed to add quite a bit to one side for balance.
There is a center fold line if I decide to use that in my layout.

I will now move on to the sides and back.....

and since I plan to hand sew and appliqué this dress, 
I'll make a muslin to check my work.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.....

Friday, March 1, 2013

What is 'Parkour'......?

Prompted by Indi's comment from my last got me wondering

Although I won't be doing this...

 I have been doing a lot of thinking...
as I have been in this position before,
 moving to a new place and trying to find what I had 'before'....
(that which was 'working' for me....)

and ran into wall after wall before I opened my sad and angry eyes 

 then I accepted an invitation to experience something new...
that was more genuine to that place

and that was 


end of struggle

and after a lifetime of experience with this I do know my friends are right...

that something better is in the offing....

It is still difficult to comprehend what the future holds 

and I must rekindle my Faith

that is being tested for sure.

and a quote to end

"I knew it wasn't too important, but it made me sad anyway" 

~ J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

via prettypeachpeonies ~and here