Monday, July 15, 2013

The Resting Track

Before I left for the Design Outside The Lines workshop, I was experiencing all kinds of synchronicity... that disappeared... about the time I started picking up the idea of creativity as a career again. Oh how I wish I could put that one down and leave it down BUT... it's the thing that tickles so I'm just going to learn to live with the tickles because now that I'm back on the resting track, synchronicity is happening again. This seems a positive sign.

After visiting me, Barb planned to take the bus and meet up with a friend in Penticton. Since there was a store nearby that I wanted to visit, I offered to drive her. It's a three and a half hour trip one way so I asked my friend Sharon to come along. We planned to drop Barb off and meander our way back to celebrate Sharon's birthday. When I told Barb the name of the shop I wanted to go to, she laughed. It turned out that she'd rented the loft upstairs.

Along with other RTW garments, the store sells linen clothing that is designed and sewn by the owner and her assistant. I'm not giving the name of the store because she's not set up to sell yardage but did allow me into the workroom... where I wanted to stay... and talk longer. She - Diane - has developed a fascinating business and seemed to really enjoy both the technical sewing and the creative design work. When I suggested coming back for a play date, she seemed open to the idea. I hope so. I bought two yards of the embroidered Italian linen above and a remnant of white Italian linen for $25.00 total and she gave me - how nice is that - a skirt prototype made from stressed linen and a rayon remnant. 

Sharon forgot the charger for her phone which was completely out of power and since she'd promised work that she'd be available, we stopped at a phone store to get one and right next door was Esteem Lingerie - an amazing store full of beautiful lingerie. The owner - Florenda - started her business by sewing custom bras and was thrilled to talk to two women who knew how to sew bras. We traded links, information, and business cards and she encouraged us to keep in touch. I definitely will. She was a wealth of information and someone I could ask for advice in my own bra sewing journey. Sharon bought the Panache 6951 bra above and has already pin pricked a pattern. It fits her wonderfully.

We were celebrating Sharon's birthday only she'd given me some money for my birthday in June that I hadn't spent on anything specific yet. We stopped at Opus - an art supply store - to pick up some textile medium and next door was a garden shop - supposedly - only it was chock full of gorgeous jewelry. This piece was seven cents more than the money Sharon had given me. Perfect. I wore it all day yesterday and got lots of compliments.

The dress I'm working on is Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8876 - slowly - to enjoy the motions. I am having SO MUCH FUN. Right from the beginning I decided to not worry about fit and trust the process I'd used to make alterations - except - I was going to allow myself to pin fit the side seams and check the hem only when I got to that stage, Barb was still here so I had her check it for me away from the mirror. She said, it's really cute and very flattering. I'm good with that. I'll try it on next when it's finished.

The fabrics are a black faux seersucker and a black/grey/purple rayon plaid. The black I bought for $2.00 a meter in the bargain center late last year and the plaid was a remnant picked up while down at Sew Expo in Puyallup earlier this year.

The seams are detailed with a flange of the plaid cut on the bias and top stitching using Sulky Ultra Twist thread in a purple black combination. I was worried I'd run out but it seems like I'll have enough for the hem bands and sleeves. That's the stage I'm at now.

I've finished the collar. Instead of following the instructions, I created a casing from a bias strip of plaid and a tie cord from another. The collar is sewn in...

... three layers - two of the black and one of the plaid. On the black layers, I serged the edges and then zigzagged over them with the Sulky thread. The plaid is really soft and somewhat stretchy and all the edges didn't line up as well as I'd like so I measured the casing from the collar seam instead of from the collar curve which gives me options for folding down the collar or ruffling it up.

Howard and I went on a picnic yesterday to a provincial campground about forty-five minutes away. We'd like to start camping again and are discussing our options - not a tent - so we walked around to see what was in use only there weren't that many people camping. In the first 25 campsites, only six were full which is a 24% occupancy rate. That's EXTREMELY low for this time of year and especially for three o'clock in the afternoon. Normally, it'd be full to overflowing which seems another economic indicator. All very interesting. Our drive on Saturday was not busy either and we should have had difficulty making it through one of the cities.

Sunday morning, I had breakfast with a friend. We talked about a possible career change for her and about options for me. She laughed when I said I was working really hard at resting which does seem ridiculous and even so, I am.

I didn't do any sewing on the weekend. This morning, I have two appointments and need to finish getting Kyle's room cleaned up ready for him to come home. I imagine he's going to enjoy a clean and private space after ten days living with other people and doing street missions. I'm hoping to finish the dress by tomorrow. There's not a lot left to do but I'm not rushing so we'll see. Early Wednesday, I'm leaving to visit my daughter and her family in Calgary - back the following Monday. I have plans for Friday night, Saturday day, and Sunday morning but may be available for coffee if you're in the area. Email and let me know along with your phone number. 

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a fun weekend. I've been having a lot of conversations with couples and individuals in my age range and fun seems to be a missing - and critical - factor in many lives, the lack of which is causing a lot of stress for a lot of people. That seems something to pay attention to.


  1. M: Forgot to tell you (and this will be the subject of a post sometime in the near future) but I heard a fantastic saying when I was away, which really resonates. The English translation is: "When you are easy, life is never hard." I've decided to make this my motto for the foreseeable future.

    1. That is a fantastic saying. LOL - easy is hard. I'm working on it.

  2. Sounds like a fun and impactful weekend. Love the fabric and the direction you are going on your dress. I have family visiting this week but am hoping to do some fun/different sewing before I finish up the bridesmaid's project THIS WEEK. A little tired of it - glad the deadline is next Friday because I want to do some playing on projects for me!
    Looking forward to seeing you in Calgary - travel safely!

    1. Sounds like you're ready to be done with those dresses. Good luck finishing up... soon. I'll hear about it when we get together... and pick some of those fun fabrics.

  3. The dress looks wonderful! I'm itching to see it finished, as I've been eyeing that pattern and your makes are often so inspiring that you might just push me over the edge into making it.

    So much interesting inner work you are doing. You are amazingly conscious of all the streams of thought and intention flowing through you right now.

    I so agree with you about the importance of finding fun. One thing I notice in myself is that sewing and design is amazingly fun, but I also need to look for my fun outside of that sphere. Otherwise it's too easy for me to stay locked up in my head and my hands, which is rewarding but not always refreshing.

    1. It's just after two in the afternoon and I am - finally - getting to sewing time. YEAH. I can't decide what to do with the sleeves so I'm going to do the hem band next.

      Thank you for phrasing that 'streams of thought" so nicely. It's just a part of who I am. Telling myself not to think would be like saying don't breathe.

      I'm attempting to broaden my fun horizons also. LOVE the studio but realize it can't be my only space.

  4. oh Myrna how fun to see what you're doing with this dress!!! I just made this design in Marcy's "Fit to Print" linen (birthday splurge) and i loved the way it turned out so much that as soon as it was finished i wore it three days straight! really it's a fun design - you can make it 'out of the envelope' and have a stunning wonderful dress while at the same time there's so many small and large opportunities to take things in your own direction. i'm really enjoying the peeks you've given us of your touches on this piece - really wonderful and with an effortless, unforced feel that's just right :)

    I think Marcy's floral cotton print version of this dress in her recent post is just gorgeous - such a different effect with the same design. and this dress is perfection to wear. Seriously, i never was that sold on the 'wear just one dress' idea but i would be happy with this one.

    as an aside, i can never remember all these pattern numbers - so i call this the 'beatrice' dress. I made an oop vest of Marcy's that's the 'Deadwood' vest in my mind (after the felicitously foul-mouthed teevee show). Fortunately for Marcy she's come up with her own 'nicknames' for most of her other designs ;) i'm making up the housedress francais in a ltwt light violet linen, so fun and impatient to finish it in this heat :)

    good grief, i'm babbling.....just wanted to say 'hi', not much of wisdom to add but glad to see you are having fun and things are bubbling!!! & it's fun to talk sewing with fellow obsessives ;) take care, steph

    1. That's a gorgeous fabric you chose. Are you going to post pictures on your blog?

      LOL - with make it out of the envelope meaning you're usual adjustments? When I read the reviews, there were a lot of comments about the amount of ease so I paid careful attention to the finished measurements and went down two sizes in the bodice and cut that size right through to the hem because there was ample room for my hips. That's a lot of ease.

      I saw that floral version in real life and it is beautiful. She spent a lot of time playing with the pattern placement.

      Why do you call it the Beatrice dress? If I remember correctly, Marcy didn't have a name for this one yet. I don't think the French Housedress has enough waist shape for me. I'll be interested in what you think since we have similar shapes.

      Babble away. I enjoy it.

    2. ah, Myrna, you are too kind :)

      i'll definitely blog this - just need to take some great pictures first. Frankly i made very few, very subtle adjustments to this pattern. I think i'll go into this in more detail on my blog, but 1) i knew that this design would work very easily with my bod due to the basic shape 2) i researched ladies who were happy with the fit and determined they all had fit the shoulder/bust areas so as to be well defined 3) the design included seams in the places where i like to make some subtle changes to 'break up' all the shoulder/bust volume.

      re: the vast amount of ease - that's the design of the dress! it's your basic trapeze dress, fitted in the shoulders/high bust and from there on down it's all about luxurious amounts of fabric :)

      the "Beatrice" name just happened. But pondering this after the fact, i think it reminds me of those early 20th century ladies like in "Women In Love", who have those *to us* 'old fashioned' names & looks but they were actually very modern and really busting thru some centuries old stereotypes. This dress is very feminine and has some more antique feeling deets (high collar, fuller sleeve caps over a slim arm, very voluminous skirt) but at the same time it's quite modern (lantern skirt, complete freedom of motion) and practical (appropriate for many occasions, can make it up for fancy/casual or warm/cool weather, pockets!).

      i have some tricks up my sleeve planned for the french housedress, i'll let you know how they work out ;) Have a wonderful day, steph

    3. I'll look forward to the posting.

      I'm not sure I agree that the vast amount of ease is the design of the dress - I mean it is BUT... is it always necessary to get the look? I think the deciding factor is both how much ease you personally prefer on your body and the fabric factor. The fabric that I'm working with is not super soft. Nine inches of ease at my waist and twenty-six at my hips is more than enough and that's cutting down 3-4 sizes. If I was using a much thinner fabric with more drape - like a gauze - I would try more volume.

      My dressform's name is Millicent for similar reasons.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.