Sadly, summer, my favorite season, is winding down! This is the time I clean out the closets getting rid of clothes that no longer fit. It’s so much easier and faster to give away or discard my sons clothes. My clothes, not so much! I have sentimental attachment, especially to garments I’ve made! Yeah, I’ve tried to rationalize that someone else in need will get to appreciate them, but truth is, I’m still appreciating them! Don’t get me wrong, I donate lots of clothes each year but it’s not easy! How do you decide what to give away?
I have been obsessed with all things leather! The look, the smell and more importantly, the construction of leather bags, purses and accessories! There are some wickedly talented folks out there who’s creations are uber stunning! I can’t tell you the countless hours spent on watching how-to videos trying to de-mystify the process! With each video, I came away thinking that I needed every tool used in the video to accomplish similar results! So far, I’ve only purchased a few tools and have an extensive wish list of other tools that will undoubtedly make “the experience” easier and more enjoyable! I would even accept the items on my wish list as a Christmas or birthday gift from my hubby!
So what I’ve accomplished thus far by watching Arthur Porter of Dallas Designing Dreams videos is this tote bag.
Not too bad for my first time but it definitely has its’ flaws! I sewed it on my old commercial Singer machine that sews race-horse fast which is very intimidating! Needless-to-say, my seaming suffered because of it! And as we all know, there are no do-overs with leather! After ringing my hands over some irreparable damage, my inner Tim Gunn kicked in and the front panel which was originally planned to be a single color, became two-tone! In hind-sight, I like it better now!
So, not all foul-ups are a bad thing!
The hardest part was figuring out what kind of straps to make and how to construct them properly!
For months, this project lay dormant just needing straps! How intimidated was I by theses freakin straps! I finally said to heck with it and threw some straps on just to get it done! They are awful! But I still had a sense of accomplishment knowing that I finished it! And because I live by the mantra of “If I make it, I wear/use it”, I now use it for my work tote! As I’ll-constructed as it is, I actually have people wanting me to make them one!
Go figure! I even have a name (jokingly) for my collection..my Ugly Baby line! Even with the flaws, I love the functionality and roominess! No need to carry a purse with my Ugly Baby! Hopefully, with more practice, the UB line will disappear only to be replaced by beautiful babies!
I purchased this beautiful lightweight silky, almost sheer knit goodness a last year from my local fabric store ( aka enabler). I had no idea (as usual) what I was going to do with it, but knew I just had to have it! It screams summer to me with all the pretty colors! I would take it out of my stash every so often to fondle it. Then yesterday, while I was doing just that, it finally spoke to me, no demanded that I allow it to flow like the breeze, be one with nature! In other words, it wanted to become a kimono! I love when my fabric makes demands! A kimono was the perfect choice! It showcases the print of the fabric beautifully and dresses up anything underneath because truly, who’s looking at the undergarments (not literally) when your wearing something so pretty??
I wore it belted today for a different look which I liked because the fabric is so silky that I find myself constantly pulling it up on my shoulders so the belt saved me some serious aggravation!
Sooo much has happened since my last post! Last August, we suffered the worst flood ever (for me anyway!) in our region! I arrived home from work to find my entire basement underwater! The same basement where my sewing studio resided! My first instinct was to run downstairs in calf deep water to try to salvage what I could, that was until my husband who was out of town and on the phone with my son, screamed for me to get out of the water which could have been electrically charged! For once, I followed his instructions! All I could do was stand at the top of the stairs and watch some of our belongings float by! Days later, we went downstairs to assess the damage and begin the clean up! In addition to losing furniture, clothing, stored purses and shoes (oh, the pain), I lost my back up sewing machine, fabric (because my storage container was cracked), lots of supplies and ALL of my sewing books! And for anyone thinking that I must be the worst housekeeper, no I don’t generally keep everything on the floor; however, I had packed up a lot of stuff because we had recently bought a house and were preparing to move. Everything had to go because the water was coming up thru the drains! Yuck!!
The silver lining in all this was that we had insurance and we were moving into a new home soon which is what helped to maintain my sanity!
I welcomed a new baby into the fold about 2 months ago! This new baby is not really new, just new to me! Actually, it’s decades older than me! A few months ago, I had a conversation with my sewing machine guy, Mr. Bill (aka the genie). I told him I wanted a walking foot machine for sewing leather. This was an idea I concocted after watching every You Tube video of Arthur Porter who is a master leather craftsman (IMO)! http://youtu.be/xjbgkaCA8Cc A walking foot! Poor delusional me! My budget did not and does not allow for this type of machinery! Mr. Bill, with his infinite wisdom, knew of a cheaper but just as reliable alternative for this home sewist and being the Genie that he is, set out to find me a Singer industrial straight stitch machine that would do exactly what I needed at a fraction of the cost!
Isn’t she purty? She was owned by some company (probably several companies) and was well taken care of! Mr. Bill cleaned her up, dropped her (gently) in a newer table and put in a new motor! She even has a knee lever to raise the presser foot allowing me to keep my hands free!
Inquiring minds need to know so I took to the Internet to learn what I could about the model. Some other savvy researcher made my search so much easier by posting a link to the operations manual. Not so newsworthy I know, but what is fascinating is that the link is to the Smithsonian Institute! My new baby actually has been referenced in the Smithsonian! In the words of Maximus from the Gladiator, “Are you not amused?” Love that movie!
I don’t know if you can see the date in the upper left hand corner, but this model is circa 1916!
Just for S&G, I thought it would be cool to look up events from that time period and here are just a few: the first football game was played at the Rose Bowl; the PGA was formed; women were allowed to attend a boxing match; Mary Pickford became the first female film star to get a million dollar contract; and lastly, Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity was presented! So cool!
Mr. Bill said it would last another 50 years easily! Who knows what other world events she’ll see along the way!
I admire sewists who formulate a wardrobe plan, assemble all their patterns and sew according to that plan! I on the other hand, haven’t been able to stick to my plan! There’s always a new pattern sale to derail my plan! For instance, this Burda pattern I picked up and had to sew immediately! I really love the silhoullette! It has the illusion of separates but it’s actually a dress!
I used a black and cream rayon for the skirt from my favorite local fabric store, Habermans. I used a peachskin from Joanns for the top.
The first one turned out so nicely, I decided to make it again!
For the next version, I had a yard of waxed cotton I bought a few years ago at a sewing expo. I had no idea what to do with it and thought it would be worth the experimentation! I paired it with an orange linen blend for the top. A very unexpected color combo, but I like it!
I forgot to alter the skirt making it straight instead of a-line as I did with the first version. I may redo it later.
This is a nice, easy straightforward pattern. The only mild dislike would be the 2 pleats at the rear hip line area. They seem to call too much attention to that area! All in all, I really like the outcome!
I’m literally sick to my stomach this evening! I just found out that the beautiful and talented Tamisha Ridge aka Tamisha Glashen, was killed in a domestic violence situation! Although I didn’t start sewing by watching her videos, I did learn a lot of techniques and developed a lot of confidence in drafting my own patterns! She was the reason I really started using Facebook because her’s was the first Facebook sewing group I joined which led to other sewing and purse making groups!
Sewing sounds so trivial to the real story! Domestic violence! She was allegedly killed by someone who used to love her! And killed in front of her 3 beautiful children! How is that love? Although I didn’t know her personally, my heart aches for her, her children, family and every other woman suffering at the hands of their abuser! There’s a FB campaign to wear purple on Friday to honor Meesha! I hope she feels the love and support that she gave so freely to the sewing community! May she rest in peace!