Tuesday, November 14, 2017

RIP Nancy Z....

I know, there are memorials all over the blogsphere today, but what kind of a sewing blogger would I be if I didn't acknowledge the huge influence Nancy Zieman was?

In the days before internet, her Saturday afternoon PBS show inspired me and taught me shortcuts.

Pivot and slide rocks.  I may not always agree with exactly how it was taught (dividing the necessary addition by the number of edges...um, if I need more in front, that doesn't quite work.) but the strategy of sliding and swinging those pattern pieces made so much more sense to me than cutting things apart.

That one-piece collar that Louise Cutting has made famous in her patterns?  I saw it on Sewing with Nancy years ago.  Not to say who was doing it first...but, before internet, Nancy showed it to me. 

A couple of the oldest books in my sewing library were authored by Nancy.  I have her pants pattern and pants fitting book; I made, I think, two wonderful pairs of pants that fit from it but have not done the start-from-scratch that would be necessary to refit the pattern since the big M  gave me a big Middle.  But I know I *could* do it.

I recorded-as-I watched most of the shows back in the late 80's and early 90's, until she moved more into quilting and such, which wasn't my area of interest.  Of course, I still have those in a box somewhere but they're unwatchable as our ancient VHS player can't be trusted not to eat video tape anymore.

Nancy's Notions was a go-to source for things I couldn't buy locally.  Again, before the internet, that was amazing.

I still use the exam room table paper to trace patterns.  I think I'm on the last roll I purchased some time ago.  I wish I had started tracing patterns earlier.  Not because the patterns were expensive, but because...they went away.  The Big 4 retire patterns before they hit their stride, I think.  Even a pattern that I paid $1 is priceless if I can't replace it.  Thank you, Nancy, for teaching me how to trace patterns so I can fit them without spoiling them.

Nancy was a steady, dependable source of information and encouragement, as well as an amazing example of courage.  Her messages to the public during her illness were ever positive, even the last one that related the fact that the cancer could not be treated and she was stepping out of the public to spend her last days with her family was not sad in tone.

She was an amazing woman and the sewing community will miss her.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 11.12.17

In Which She Actually Wears Nothing that She Made.

Really.  It does happen on occasion.

Colors for November are brown, tan, burgundy and olive green.  The vest is probably not brown enough for tan, but it is a kind of ecru in real life so I fudged it.

Brown jeggings from Wal-Mart and a burgundy T-shirt/tunic from the Women's Ministry Merch Shop. 

See, November happens to be Adoption Awareness month and the women's ministry offered a set of T shirts, tunics and dresses w/ various names of God in Hebrew script, with all proceeds benefiting the ministries that we partner with to care for widows, orphans and foster kids.

The name on my top, El Emeth (Strong's 571), means 'God of Truth'.  We were supposed to take a photo of ourselves wearing the shirt of our choice and explain why we chose that name.

I first picked the top because, well, to be honest, it was the style that most suited me.  And the color is more-or-less right for choir this month.  But if I were choosing according to the graphics, I still would have chosen this top.

I had a epiphany during a lunch-time prayer-and-journal session back in January in which I realized my core value is truth.

Once I realized that about myself, a lot of things fell into place...from why I want to make sure our stage costumes are correct to why I teach Bible classes.

Which is kinda odd, considering that, as a kid, I would tell the most outrageous stories (one I remember...'I walked in my sleep last night and woke up curled up under the high boy cedar chest.').  Probably for attention, I think.   It quit when I was in about the 5th grade and got called out on my fancy by someone whose opinion I valued. 

Perhaps the value of truth took root at that point.  The concept that there is truth and there is...not truth.  And I learned that it didn't matter how much I wanted something to be true, if it wasn't true, it. wasn't. true.  Opinion did not sway the needle from 'not true' to 'true'.

Which pretty much flies in the face of the current trend to consider all truth relative to point of view.

But a core value of mine, nonetheless.
(oh, yes, the top has pockets...lol...)

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 11.05.17

November colors are Burgundy, Olive Green, Tan and Brown.

I suppose, if you want to get technical, the slinky Textile Patterns Monaco Shell is closer to Garnet than Burgundy, but it's in the right family.  Brown wool jersey Pamela's Patterns Cool Draped Cardi, and wool/lycra blend black-on-brown stripe Loes Hinse Oxford Pants.

The newest thing is the cardigan...and that's from, like, three years ago?  Four years ago? (Checks date on review.  4 years ago.)

I have fabric in all four colors.  Must find time. LOL.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

It's been Twelve Years...

Hard to believe that twelve years ago today I launched Sew Random, to blog my way through costuming a production of 'The Gospel According to Scrooge'.

I looked, and, so far as I can tell, the first photos posted to the blog (it took me a bit to figure that out) were these, on 11/10/05:





The 'Google Archives' don't go back that far; I had to search through the early posts  to find the first photos  (and I had to upload them again).   Angel 1 and a Townsperson...work in progress.  The white lace on the pink dress came from the wedding dress sleeves...removed to be replaced with the green trim.  And it just fit; I think I had three little lace motifs left.

Since that time...Easter costumes galore, baptism robes, school productions, mother of the bride, SWAP collections, both finished and not finished...not to mention items made in the 'choir wardrobe colors' and the occasional pillow cover or table cloth.

Normally, I'd do some kind of giveaway to celebrate the blogiversary, but this year I'm bailing on that, mostly because the next 6 weeks are going to be absolutely crazy and I'm not going to commit to any more than is necessary for survival at this point (writes and deletes long detailed boring explanation.  Maybe later.).

But I didn't want to let the day get by without a mention; as always, I really appreciate everyone who stops by and takes time to follow along with my ramblings...especially when there's not much sewing happening.   Or blogging, either...I wrote more posts in 2005 (and that was just November and December) than I've done so far in all of 2017.  Sigh.


Thanks so much to all of you!!  Big hugs all around. :-)

Friday, November 03, 2017

The Last GF Purchase...



You will possibly remember the stern talking-to I gave myself regarding a going-out-of-business sale.  With way more fabric in than I've been sewing...I couldn't really justify adding more, just because it was a good buy.

But then I happened to click on the page with the laces and specialty fabrics, instead of my normal jersey knits.

Y'all.  You know you can't just walk into Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's and find stuff like this.

I'm, by an large, a sewer of practical garments.  It's really outside of the box for me to get something like this, and I'll be stretching my creative boundaries to actually come up with garments for it.  I don't really have a good track record of knowing what to do with lace yardage.

But I'm not going to rush this.  The blue lace might even become a Mother Of The ______ garment; and none of the three eligibles are even dating.

But it's nice to know I've got it...and when I do sew it it will be with fond memories of a friend who supplied me with wonderful stuff for a few years.

Godspeed, Ann!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 10.22.17

So, I asked My Sweet Babboo if everything was straight.
He had me adjust the sweater just a bit and pronounced it good.

I'll have to remind him to check the hems of my pants in the future.

I managed to switch out the closet for fall/winter...and then it was 75 degrees today.  and I had my heart set on wearing this fabulous vest from Coldwater Creek's brick-and-mortar store, back in the day.  Burnt orange?  Brown?  Yeah.  Something like that (it looks red in the monitor...it isn't).  LOL.  It was purchased to wear in choir in October, and it's October, so I have to justify it being in the wardrobe...lol.

Anyway, I didn't have anything to wear under it but a baby cable sweater.  And it was too warm today for a sweater.

Then I thought about that gold linen knit t shirt mail ordered from...New York and Co?  I think?  It was expensive and it's not well fitted or well made but it's a killer wardrobe piece. And it's basically...tan. :-).  I lose the sleeves under the dropped shoulders on the vest, but it's ok.  Better than roasting in a sweater.

Worn with a brown Jalie 965 cami/tank top and brown doubleknit Loes Hinse Oxfords.

It may not look faboo, but it sure is comfy. ;-)

Not gonna be in choir next week; but with another month of tan and olive green I may see if I can get a bit of sewing in before the end of November.

And, I'll be honest, I'm kinda agonizing over something.

I have purchased way more yardage than I've sewn this year.  Again.  I've talked Very Sternly to myself about more fabric purchases.  I've nearly got a small personal haberdashery, y'all, and it's getting out of control.  So I told myself...no more.

And then one of my favorite online vendors announced that she's had fun but she's done and she's doing a clearance sale prior to closing up shop next month.

I. Don't. Need. More. Now.  I really don't.

I am bummed.  She had nice stuff and it was always well packed and shipped; the gorgeous rayon/lycra jersey fabric used in the brown tank top I'm wearing in the photo came from her webstore.  I'll miss that spot on my bookmarks list...

Friday, October 20, 2017

How'd it get to be Friday already?

My Sweet Babboo did actually take a photo on Sunday...and I even managed to get it off the camera and cropped.

But then I got busy doing something and it's been go-go-go since.

So I'm just now posting what I wore last Sunday...lol...
October colors are burnt orange, tan, brown, and, a new addition, olive green.  But I only have one olive green top...and it fit way better 15 pounds ago.  So, we stick to the stuff that kinda works when the scales are not nice.

I pulled my brown wool jersey Pamela's Patterns Cool Cardigan out of the Fall/Winter storage...I still have not switched the closet over, and that needs to happen really bad 'cos it's gonna be getting chilly up in here next week.  But, ya'll, I haven't had time to post a picture...when am I going to get my closet switched? 

Anyway. 

An orange stretch lace Jalie 2566 and RTW brown jeans that claim to be a size 12 but lie.

The November colors have been posted and we're just going to swap burgundy for burnt orange and keep the others.  I've pulled the one piece of olive green knit from the stash...I've got more than I thought; almost 3 yards.  I may do something Tilton-esque with it.  If I can get to the sewing machine...

And the SWAP 2018 discussions have started over on Stitcher's Guild.  I really need a closet purge and revamp.  I only  managed to get one top done that I wanted to do for SWAP 2017...and I haven't had the occasion to wear it.  But I pull  it out and look at it from time to time...it's very pretty..lol.