Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wading Through My Stash

I've been nursing a cold that is just lingering. It just refuses to leave. And no, I haven't been to Mexico recently. I guess it is just the really warm and then suddenly cold weather fluctuations that we are currently experiencing. This past Saturday was the wedding I mentioned on an earlier post and it was very touching and beautiful. The ceremony was conducted in Greek/Italian / English by one priest. Wow! I have never seen that before. Truly unique.
Unfortunately half my family members were sick so it was only me my brother and his wife. We still had a blast though. Lots of dancing, food and special memories with family and friends. Unfortunately, I relapsed the next day and was in bed with fever. So now, I am slowly finding my way back. I am flipping through my magazines and doing a lot of pattern buying since the New Looks, McCall's and Buttericks have been on sale. I am just recently wading through my stash and trying to decide what I want to sew for summer. My tatting project is doing quite well. I finally figured out the motif and I am repeating it to make a baby blanket. I also bought a baby blue printed cotton flannel material which I will back the tatted blanket with. Never made a baby blanket before so this is very new to me. I will post at a later date when I have more of the blanket to show. It is a very slow process. I am basically repeating the pattern over and over and we all know how much fun that is. Like watching paint dry!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Altered State

Last night I had some alterations to do for my mother's jacket. She recently bought a new suit because we are invited to a wedding which is taking place next week. Everything is fine with the fit except that the jacket hangs strangely in the back underneath the armpits. I realised that the jacket needs extra shoulder pads. The ones that were stitched into the jacket are almost non-existant so I thought why don't I go to the fabric store and purchase a pair and just stitch them in. Well, last night I was watching the last episode of Project Runway Canada and felt pretty courageous to unstitch the sleeve lining and slip in the extra pads. I was so afraid because the wedding is next week and I thought that I would ruin her jacket if I tinkered with it. Never done anything like this before but thankfully everything turned out well. She kept complaining that she would not find anything that fits her in time for the wedding. I am so glad she did.

I spoke with my sister on the phone telling her of my accomplishment and she told me that she bought a dress for the wedding also and if I could take a look at it because there is a spot at the shoulder area which needs adjusting. I just about dropped the phone in mid-conversation. I think that I should start charging. I am sure that will deter the clients from accumulating.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Little Blessings

Recently, my favourite pastime has been reading other people's blogs (usually one after another) and in the process learning about new painting and sewing techniques. I love to read about how each person got started sewing whether it was a grandmother or mother who started them off to sewing their own clothes or that of their dolls.

My mother was a very experienced seamstress and could manipulate any piece of material into a beautiful garment even without the use of patterns. I would have loved to have learned everything she knew but unfortunately never got the chance as she passed away when I was four years old. My mother's sister quickly stepped in and became the mother figure that me and my siblings look up to, to this day.

It was during the spring of 1987 with my (grad reception looming) that I was taught a valuable lesson and developed a driving need to learn about sewing I never thought I had in me. I was approached by a friend and told that she could have my grad dress sewn for me. I was very excited throughout the months of planning until the day of or the day before the grad reception when I was informed that the dress would not be finished due to time constraints and that I would have to make do with whatever was in my closet. I guess that things are not always what they seem. That night at the reception I vowed to myself that I would never again rely on someone to do something for me that I could learn to do for myself. Somehow that negative experience was a true blessing in "heavy" disguise because without ever having experienced that I would have never been propelled into learning how to sew. I am still trying to squeeze out some lemonade from those sour lemons by trying to learn everything there is through books, mags, and tutorials.

After graduation I took private lessons from a seamstress who had worked in some couture ateliers in Europe and proceeded to go home and duplicate everything I had learned in a second garment so I would not forget the techniques. I was taught the basics at first then jacket tailoring, hemming, finishing seams, handsewn buttonholes (which I still can not master perfectly), etc......I am by no means an experienced seamstress. Just a couple of months ago I learned what a Full Bust Adjustment was and I'm looking forward to trying it out on a shirt or blouse. I probably will not get it right away. Maybe on my fourth attempt but I am dead set on learning everything there is to know.

My biggest supporter to this day has been my mom (mom's sister) because she would always tell me to go ahead and purchase material I loved regardless of the cost and to believe in my abilities. She would tell me and still does that even if I ruin a piece I will get some experience (knowledge) out of it for the next one. I had seen a blue wool material once which I swooned over and she bought it for me on the sly and lugged it on the bus and metro (we live an hour from downtown) to surprise me when I got home. Just keep in mind that she is only 5'2 and this material which was 5 meters of heavy wool weighed about 1/3 of her weight. She huffed and puffed but managed to get it home. She is my little firecracker and I love her.

I guess that true blessings come in many forms we do not recognize but only in hindsight do we seriously realise the magnitude of their existence.