Sunday, November 26, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 11.26.17

Of all the choir wardrobe posts I've done, this one seems to me to be the most inane. 

But there's a lesson in it, I think.

We did not have a normal service today.  In light of the loss the church staff sustained Friday morning, there just was no way for business to continue as usual.  Today's service was a reflection on the life and ministry of our children's pastor, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly early Friday at the tender age of 50.

Pastor Dave was a huge Captain America fan, so word went out Friday night that the choir was going to wear either Captain America shirts or, if that wasn't possible, royal blue and red today.

Well, I didn't have a Captain America T shirt.  My kids had had trouble finding them at retail...they were selling fast as folks who knew Pastor Dave all bought them to wear in his honor.  My hubby is still convalescing; I hate Black Friday weekend shopping.  I really just didn't have the oomph to go on a t-shirt hunt.

So I had the brilliant idea to go to Hobby Lobby and pick up some transfer paper and a T shirt and download an image from the internet and create my own.

I even found a really cool Captain America shield that looked battle worn, so that if the transfer wasn't perfect it wouldn't really show up.

But I didn't click through to the source and just as I closed the window after downloading a copy, I saw the phrase 'deviant art'.

Suddenly I had the sinking feeling that I hadn't downloaded an open source image but someone's personal artwork.  I went back to the search page and hunted it down and, sure enough, it was an image created by an individual and shared on his site.

Using his image on a shirt w/o his ok, not to say compensation, would be patently against everything Captain America...and Pastor Dave...would stand for.

I couldn't do it.

So, today, I was in royal blue and red.

Old Coldwater Creek knit jeans;  an old Coldwater Creek sweater shell.  And a modified Jalie 2919 Pleated Cardigan..  Also old.

And a clear conscience, if a bit of regret that we did't brave the crowds to track down retail shirts.

I will say that this mornings services were hard but amazing.  Pastor Dave's son spoke briefly on behalf of his family, and made the following statement, 'I know two things.  One, that this is unfair and I will never understand.  Two, that I will trust my God and not lean on my own understanding, but I will acknowledge Him in all my ways and I know that He will direct my path.'

As I said, hard...and amazing.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Godspeed, Pastor Dave...

I debated which blog should host this.  It deals with church and faith; so perhaps it should go on the faith blog.  But I recently posted a memorial to someone I'd only watched on TV;  this is much, much closer and dearer.  If I could write about one, I should definitely write about the other.

And I have posted about working with our children's pastors many times over the years; sewing costumes and set pieces.  You might remember the costuming ....the  gold dress with the white oversleeves and both of the boys' tunics in the above flyer, for instance.  Pastor Dave added the studs to the tunics, making them more ruggedly squire-looking.

That was just a bit of the awesome eye for detail that Pastor Dave would exhibit. I never failed to be amazed and inspired by his vision and genius, all with the goal of using that creativity to share the gospel in a way that even little kids could understand that they are loved.

Today, I woke up to a text message that our beloved Pastor Dave had had a massive heart attack in the early morning hours.  Of course, being a person of faith, I believe he's currently walking around heaven enthusiastically reacting to the beauty and the creativity in abundance.    But also being a person who loved him and his family,  enjoyed working and creating with him and just plain liking him as a warm, kind-hearted, caring person....well, I had to read the text three times before I comprehended that it said what it looked like it said.  I can't fathom the effect on his wife and three kids (all pictured in that flyer, but the kids are now grown). They have been in my heart and prayers all day.

He was a colleague on church staff; that meant that, as the DBA,  I was involved with the Kids Quest team for registration for the big summer theme events as well as volunteer costuming. But above and beyond that, he was a pastor to my kids.  He pastored them when they were young, educated them in ministry as teens and mentored them as young adults.  My two youngest are now lay adult staff members of the children's ministry team.  We've seen the ministry up close and personal, from the backstage, and I can tell you that it is authentic.  The pastors lived what they taught.  They set high standards and challenged the kids to...for those in leadership, insisted that the kids... meet those standards.

He created all the puppets himself;  designed the stage for our children's sanctuary, designed the sets for the children's theme every summer...ranging from medieval castles to steampunk labs to dinosaur enclosures, pirate ships and more.  He even did some sets for local high school productions and community theater groups.

But, also, in times of crisis, both national (think 9/11) or local, it was Pastor Dave that the church turned to for guidance in helping our kids process and deal with the harsher side of life.  He had the ability to break something down to a kids' level and help them understand.    He truly loved the kids...and they loved him.

He was also a huge Captain America fan; his office is FILLED with figurines, posters, and other memorabilia.  Facebook profile pictures have been converting to Captain America references all day long in honor of Pastor Dave;  my older son actually stopped at Target to pick up a Captain America t-shirt and found a nearly empty display.  The clerk commented that she'd filled that to absolute capacity just yesterday.   I expect to see a sea of Captain America T-shirts at church Sunday.

There's no way to estimate the number of lives he has impacted.  He will be sorely and deeply missed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Late night thoughts...

Doing the mom thing and waiting up on a kid to get home...might as well dust off the 'new post' page, eh?

I actually finished a top over the weekend;  I wasn't in choir this week since I was home playing post-op nurse for My Sweet Babboo.   He had a cyst removed...the CT scan showed it on his bronchial tube, but the surgeon said it appeared to be more connected to the pericardium (sac around the heart).  It also was lymphatic in nature, but the pathology all came back benign.

He looks like he had a tussle with a shark.  Pain meds are keeping him tolerably comfortable, but come with their own set of we'll be glad when the soreness abates and he can back off of them.  But he's on the mend, and I really  have not noticed the persistent cough that started this whole line of investigation.  So hopefully that was the culprit and he can remember what  it's like to feel good.  Sometime around Christmas.

Anyway.  Sewing.

I had an olive green jersey knit in the stash waiting for that to roll around in choir; almost missed it this go round but I will be able to wear it this Sunday, if all goes well and I can leave MSB at home for a few hours unattended.  I used Vogue 9057, the asymmetric long sleeved view that I have loved so much in the dark brown version I made a couple of years ago.

I had a time.   The presser foot on my sewing machine doesn't allow variable pressure adjustment (which probably would have been a deal breaker had I thought to ask about it when I was test sewing); it ate the first mitered corner I tried and I had to fudge it a bit in the end to cover the resulting holes.

On top of that, my serger wasn't trimming the seams cleanly; it was just kinda chewing them. By the time I sewed my last seam on the serger I was so frustrated I was ready to throw it in the car and haul it to the dealer for some maintenance. The chewing was dragging on the seam and making it waver; I couldn't stitch straight.  I got through it and pressed it and thought, well, I'll keep moving.

Then I happened to HAD been a while since I gave the serger a good cleaning.

Found the oil, found my lint brush and went at it.  And found a sizeable chunk of lint in the spring that holds the moveable blade, which was probably pushing it just a hair away from the fixed blade.

Once I got it cleaned out, I ran a test seam on some scraps.  No problems.

Which just goes to show...everything needs a little TLC* from time to time. :-)

I'm going to be cooking tomorrow; turkey and apple salad and pie, in preparation for the feast of Thanksgiving.  My favorite holiday; probably more of what Christmas was like before it became such a consumer-fest.  Family and food and thanksgiving.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you joys as you reflect on your blessings; if you live elsewhere and it's business as usual on Thursday, I still wish you a day of joy and maybe a little TLC somewhere along the way.

*if you're not up on the acronym, that 's Tender Loving Care  :-)

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, 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

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 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...Bible 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!