Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Beginnings

So, I haven't shut down Mom's blog yet as you can see.  And since I have not, I decided to give an update on what's been going on around here since September.

We've been making slow but steady progress on the updates to the home Mom and Dad bought in May.  Dad's decided that the big room will become a train/car/truck/play room for him and my boys.  I think Mom would be good with that.  It's been painted and we just got the floor down last weekend.  New windows are ordered - wow they are expensive for an entire glass wall.





Here's a question for the sewers out there...  Do people buy used sewing machines?  I have probably 6 that need a home.  Should I try to sell them, or just give them away?  They were all very expensive when new, and they have been well cared for.

My mom had been studying Zentangle art for a while and I've found some of her books.  I'm finding them very interesting and may be something that I can do - even though I don't have a creative hair on my body.  It's calming, which I really need being that I'm a super type A person.  Anybody have a book/blog/website suggestion for a beginning Zentangler?

Happy New Year to all of Mom's cyber-friends.  I hope everyone had great Holidays and wish everyone great days ahead.

God Bless,
Colette

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Signing Off.

Hello Blogger Friends, this is Gwen's daughter, Colette.  I am broken hearted to say that I am posting the final thread for AllMySeams.  Our Lord called my mom home last night after a long and grueling battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis.

If you've read her posts in the past you know that she and my dad bought a new home earlier this year and had been remodeling it.  She had a beautiful vision for that home and I intend to finish it.  I do not have her talent, but she made clear what she had in mind and I will find a way to get it done.

As you know, my mom was very creative with a great eye for color and accessories so I imagine that at this very moment His angels are getting some new garb with bling included.

I will leave her blog open for a week or so before shutting it down.  Thank you to everyone who cyber-supported her through all her tough times the last few years.  She truely appreciated everything you had to say.

Be in peace mom, and have fun!  Bling it up!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Moving On

Moving has been an experience and one that keeps on giving!  We sold our home, bought another and moved within a week.  Not only that, but the home we bought began being renovated the day after we moved in.

We're living with boxes and have to transfer one pile to work on an area. Repeat and repeat.  Despite the present living conditions, we are glad we made the move.  We both knew the time had come.  Life changes.  The good things to come are a new sewing room, a new kitchen, new appliances, paint, flooring.  All good things.

Our 60s California ranch home has a huge Florida room, which we are turning into a workshop for my husband, a sewing room for me, and a family room.  There is plenty of space for all of it.  Here's some "before" photos of that room.

Here, my husband is painting the insides of the cabinets in what will be my sewing room.  Those cabinets were here when we bought the house. Just for me.



This picture shows the view out the windows on the back of the room.

 
 
This is the other side of the room, where my husband's workshop will be.

 
 

There's a fireplace, too.  Nice for winter days to curl up with a good sewing book and think.



My sewing gear is packed away, waiting.  Meanwhile, I count my blessings, and know that I have a roof over my head, a nice bed to sleep in.  The rest will come all in good time.  And I have my computer, and can keep up with your creations.  Patience.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ch-ch-ch Changes

Life is filled with changes, challenges.  Some good, some not so much.  During the winter, my mojo went missing.  I felt tired, sluggish.  A nasty virus attacked me, and then I was diagnosed with a lung disease, that causes me to be winded.  I can't go like a house on fire anymore.  But, I can still GO, and I'm learning my limitations and how to live with chronic illness. 

The end of February, my husband and I decided it is time to sell our home of 28 years and move from the island where we live to the mainland.  Although we both think of ourselves as young as the day we married, we are not.  Health issues are ever present.  Our interests have changed through the years, and our life is not here anymore. We want to be closer to our little family, not so remote and isolated.  We want to make the move together, while we're both able to enjoy making a new home for ourselves.  Some people wait too long, get too old.


Our home sold fast-caught us off guard.  Then the hunt for another house.  We found a sweet ranch in a great location.  Things are moving quickly now.  We have closed on our current home, and closing on the new one next week.  Packing.  One thing on our priority  was a place for my sewing room and husband's workshop.  There is a large family room/Florida room on the back of the house--about 15x40 which will become our play rooms.  Windows ceiling to floor all the way around.  Love.

I've been scouring Pinterest for sewing room ideas.  I'm taking my cutting table/cabinet and pattern cabinet with me.  I'll have another counter-top/cabinets built.  Lots of decisions to make.  Someday, I'll be in the sewing room again, happy and content.  Until then, I'll be reading your stories.

I'll be back.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Favorite New Thing

A few webcasts ago, Peggy Sagers had a cute little pincushion--a Project Runway collectible.  When I saw it, I just coveted it so.  I started searching online, to no avail.  And then, one day--there it was on Ebay.  I couldn't believe it!  I bid on it, and was the only bidder.  I suppose that speaks volumes about my taste in pincushions!  I don't care.  It is wonderful and I love it.



This little pincushion holds a red tape measure on the side, and opens up to store notions.

IT IS MINE !!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Episode 2, British Sewing Bee

It's up on YouTube.  Doncha' just love this show?  Real people handling real sewing problems. Plus,  you just have to love Ann Rowley, an 81 year old lady, who is so vibrant, and competing among younger people.

GO ANNIE, GO !!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wait For Me!!


I'm going with the rest of you to Bloglovin'!


Follow">http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/1480921/?claim=t2mxtr6vapv">Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Monday, March 11, 2013

Back Up the Slide

Days go by where a lot of crummy things are going on.  Like mice in a maze, trying to find a way out.  And then, there it is--a way out and cheese waiting for you.  Yay.

The stolen credit card problem is over.  My laptop, with it's broken hard-drive has been replaced with a red Dell, which is great except that I've had to take time to learn Windows 8.  I spent the weekend with a Dummies book and reloading programs.  Win 8 isn't so difficult.  You just have to think!  We decided it is a good time to buy a new vehicle, and that's another good thing on my happy list.

The move.  Really, if you've ever entertained the idea of moving, rethink that.  It's an enormous undertaking for people who have hobbies.  Not only do I have an enormous amount of sewing related things, but my husband has model planes.  Not little planes, either, but with 8 foot wingspans.  And not just one.  The garage is loaded with them.  Plus the stuff he uses to build the things.  What are we going to do with all this stuff? 

But do I stop bringing more into the house?  Nope.  Instead, I found a couple of patterns to add to the crap I have to move.  But, at least at the moment, I get some pleasure from them.  I like this Vogue top.  It could easily be a jacket, and if I make it, it will be.  Except for the ties at the underarm.  I would be dragging them into food and drinks and getting tangled up. 


My Designer group's next challenge is to make a vest from B5772, view A.  We're supposed to use any technique we want to embellish it, whether it be paint, or a machine or hand embellishment.


I haven't a clue what to do with it.  While I'm thinking on it, I'll whip up a quick muslin.  Maybe an idea will come to me while I'm tracing/cutting/sewing the test garment. 

"And so it goes" (Linda Ellerbee)

Monday, March 4, 2013

On The Slide

There has been some bad juju around here lately.  I've learned that when one thing goes wrong to hang on  because there is usually more coming.

I made pants for our Designer group challenge.  I must have had my head up my keester when I made them because when I put them on to wear to the meeting, I found they were way too big.  Now, I did not lose weight, which can only mean I obviously wasn't paying attention when I fitted them.

My credit card was hijacked.  I got a notice from the bank that the card was used suspiciously and they blocked it.  I'm in Michigan, and someone in Delaware was having a good old time with my card.  Thank goodness for fraud protection.  A few years ago, after losing my wallet, I signed up for loss, theft, fraud protection at my bank.  So, that is being taken care of, but it still aggravates me.

Someone managed to get into my blog and send me some lovely porn.  I wasn't the only one to receive such beautiful gifts, either.  Another blogger posted about getting the same thing.  I changed my password and that should take care of it until another idiot hacks my blog again.

My computer's hard drive bit the dust.  My daughter is a  computer tech and she told me she could install a new hard drive but I would probably be having issues with that computer in another year or so.
I just ordered a new RED Dell laptop.  Rest in peace, Toshiba.

Meanwhile, I'm using my Netbook, which I'm so glad to have right now.  But, I don't have it loaded up with things like camera software, or my phone software so I  can't post photos unless I take the time to install those things.  I don't normally use this little Netbook at home, so I probably won't bother.  I do like it to take with me when I'm going somewhere because it's so small and portable.  I don't really need an IPad since I have this.  It goes with me to sewing meetings, because we're usually looking up patterns and fabrics, and I take it with me to babysit, or to Drs offices when I know there will be  a wait.

So that's where things stand.  I've been purging closets in anticipation of a move one of these days.  Our big walk-in is finished.  It's difficult trying to sort out what to keep and what to give up.  Especially since I don't know where we're ending up.  I keep telling myself it's better to do this now instead of 10 years from now.  Get it over with while we're both healthy enough to do something.  Hey, you will all be there one day--quicker than you think!

I did sign up for 3 Crafty classes while they were having a sale.  Craftsy junkie, I am.  I hadn't even watched S.Betzina's pant fitting class yet, but I bought PerfectFit, Plus-SizeSewing, and AlabamaChanin.  Lots of information when I'm ready for it.

Hopefully my new computer will get here quickly and even better if I have some photos of something, like sewing!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Look Around, I'll Be Gone

I want to thank each and every one of you who sent me such wonderful birthday wishes.  I do so appreciate your dropping by my little blog to say "hi".

As life changes, we must learn to go with the flow.  Some of you may know I live on an island.  We take a car ferry to and from the mainland.  In the last couple of years, the ferry rates have increased at an alarming rate, and now we will have 2 more rate hikes this year.  My husband and I have been talking about moving from here for some time.  It would be more convenient for us to be on the other side of the river, closer to our daughter.  My husband is not in the best of health either, and we're far from a  hospital.  It takes an enormous amount of time to ferry back and forth, not to mention the ridiculous rates they are now charging.  This last episode was just enough to give us the push we need to get our behinds in action.

So.  Our home is for sale and we are looking for another.  This has been a very hard decision for us to make after living here 28 years and loving this home that we built.  But, it is time. We want to make this move while we still have each other.  Certainly, we don't want to wait until one of us is alone and have to tackle this enormous task by ourselves.   I've started the agonizing process of cleaning out closets and tossing and taking things to the Salvation Army.  Any of you who have done this knows what a PITA it is.  I won't be sewing much for a while, although I hope to keep up with my Designer group challenges.  But until I get things in the house sorted out and more manageable, I can't spend much time at the machine.

But--I will still be reading and commenting on your blogs.  I will sew vicariously through you until I get things in order.  I may even pop in my blog now and then and put up some photos of our mess,  if only for my own diary.  I will be back.  Someday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My New Sewing Cool Thing

Today, when I woke, I woke up with a different age number.  It happened while I was asleep.  Today, my medical insurance became old age insurance--Medicare.  I noticed wrinkles.  And aches in creaky bones. Fortunately I got my hair done yesterday, so it's still red!  Hooray for the little things in life.

Since there isn't really a good alternative to getting older, I decided I  may as well have a nice present to cheer myself up.  A couple of weeks ago, I told my husband that I would like an extension table for my sewing machine for this anticipated event.  It arrived today.  Just in time.


I'm enjoying sewing on this Plexiglass table.  No more squiggling around of cloth.  It makes me happy.  Actually, I had something similar years ago for another machine.  One that my husband made for me from wood and covered with Formica.  It worked beautifully too, but--it weighed around 100 pounds.  This is a guy who thinks nothing is good unless it's so heavy you can't pick it up, or screwed in so tight as to never be able to take a thing apart again.  His heart is in the right place.  His head is not.

This table I can move without the aid of a crane.  We will spend many happy hours together.  Getting older.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tape It

Sometimes, I get excited by the simplest of things.  Like tape, for example.  When I'm altering patterns, or doing a bit of designing, I use a lot of tape.  And you know what tape does to pattern tissue or tracing paper when you try to remove it.  Rip. Tear.  I recently heard Sandra Betzina, in her pant fitting Craftsy class, mention removable tape.  I found some at Staples.  It has a light adhesive, like a sticky note.  Wonderful stuff for a temporary bond.  I tested it on pattern paper, and it will peel off without making a mess.  Good stuff.



On these cold Michigan winter nights, I enjoy curling up in my chair and do some type of handwork.  Watching Downton.  Or Scandal.  This is my current project--a black/white/gray ripple afghan.  Mostly because I had a lot of black/white/gray yarn and am trying to empty some of my yarn stash.  The nice thing about this is--it's covering my legs while I work on it.  When it's done, it's going in my car.  In these cold climates, one never knows when a blanket will be needed.  Just in case.



When I venture out into the frigid, snowy, frozen tundra, I buy patterns.  Like these.



I'm still working on pants.  There has been a lot of foul language in my sewing room while I attempt to fit them.  I have a pretty good muslin, but had a mental block when trying to transfer a couple of the alterations to the flat pattern.  It really shouldn't have been so difficult, but I couldn't get my head around it.  When I finally wised up, I made the changes and am ready to cut a pant. At last!  I will have those pants ready for the Designer challenge this month.  Do you hear me, Katherine?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cell Phone Bag, Patterns and Fabric- Oh My!

Last weekend, I had a sew-in with a friend.  We had a good time, chatting and sewing, and she made an awesome Vegan soup for dinner.  A while ago, she made her own pattern for a cell phone bag that I admired.  For our sew-in, we both made that little bag.  It holds not only a phone, but has a pocket for license and cards and a clip to hang keys.  There's a D-ring attached to the top of the bag and a Carabiner to clip it to a belt loop,  or attach the long strap to wear cross-body.



The fabric is a crazy upholstery sample that has little tufts of thread that reminds me of eyelashes.  I love this little bag, and will make more.  There are many times I don't want to carry a big purse but need my license, a card or two and some money.  This will be perfect.

Jos has McCall and Butterick patterns on sale this weekend.  I'm working on pants for my Designer group challenge, and through a blog (I don't remember whose), read that ConnieCrawford's pant draft was good.  So, I picked up her pants and jeans patterns, and a couple of other patterns, as well.


It was my lucky day, because I found some decent fabric in their RedTag section.  Usually I find crap, but I came home with a really nice black/white/metallic stripe knit.  This knit is beefy-not the thin, wimpy stuff.  I also found a red knit, that's a nice weight for a drapey something.  The gray knit is thick, textured with a metallic in it.


My brown pants are still not sewn, and are waiting on a hanger.  I have nothing brown to wear with them, so I have to find a pattern and fabric to go with them once they're done.  Meanwhile, I decided I want to make jeans.  I'm using McCall 5894.  I worked on that pattern today, and have the jeans cut, machines threaded.  I'm using a yucky Jos denim for the trial pair, and have some denim on order from Fabric.com.  Or course, that's always a surprise too.

Sewing jeans tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Alabama Chanin--Deconstruct Beautifully

I first saw this book, Alabama Studio Sewing  Design at a luncheon, where Katherine, of Room For Sewing was showing her copy.  She had used one of the techniques in the book as inspiration for a ruffle on a skirt.  After browsing through that book, I knew I had to have it.

Alabama Chanin is the brand of a very expensive clothing line sold at upscale boutiques.  The owner, Natalie Chanin, wrote this book of techniques and projects that the company uses for their garments.  The clothes are primarily organic cotton jersey and have a deconstructed, rough quality--raw edges, exposed seams, etc.  Garments are embellished with applique, reverse applique, fabric tubes, embroidery and beads.


This deconstructed way of sewing is something that I would struggle with, yet I find in fascinating.  I've seen the unfinished look a lot in the last few years, but probably to to the extent of the Alabama garments.  Since I seem to be drawn to it, I may try something on a small scale.

There are two other books by Natalie Chanin--Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Style Studio.  I may have to give those a look, too.

My pants are cut and ready to sew.  But instead, I'm sitting here, doing this!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sure Fit Pants Alteration

When I last worked on my SureFitPants,  the back leg was wider than I wanted.  I had pinned a 3/8" tuck down the center of the back legs from the ankle to the hip, which took out 3/4" of fabric.  The pant hung much nicer, so I want to take that out of the pattern.  Here's what I've done.

The grain-line on the pattern ran right down the center of the back leg.  I drew a 3/8" line on either side of that grain-line  which is same as the tuck I made on the trial pants.  I split the pattern on the grain-line from the ankle to the waist.


Next, I overlapped the pattern, matching the 3/8" lines, beginning a the ankle.  The overlap begins to taper  as it nears the waist.


I've taken out 3/4" in the back leg.  Doing this also removes a smidge in the hip and waist.  But, I have 1" seam allowances all around the pattern.  If needed, I have plenty of seam allowance to let out.

Palmer/Pletsch pant patterns have a 1" seam allowance all the way around the pattern--except for the crotch.  That makes it easier to drape the pant on yourself.  That method has always worked well for me, so I continue to put those wide seam allowances on most patterns.

Now that's done and brown fabric is ironed, ready to cut.  Tomorrow.