Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Final Chair

Saturday night, the time changed. It sprung ahead which meant that on Sunday morning the clock said 9:00 and it felt like the 8:00 it had been the day before. We all lost an hour of sleep. I didn't notice it until yesterday morning. When I was supposed to be having my hour in the studio, I'd crawled back into bed hoping to catch up.

Later, I worked on the new studio painting the interior of the closet semi-gloss white to catch and reflect the light and to work well with the colored jewelry I'll be creating there. I moved the check love seat from my main studio and bought the final chair. An orange one. From the Re-Store. After auditioning so many different options and either returning or passing them along, this one is staying. It's big, wide, firm but very comfortable, needs cleaning but not painting, and looks fabulous with the warm yellow of the room and the blue of the check couch and the armoire. I've hired someone to clean it tomorrow. LOL - now I just need something to replace the couch in my main studio.

In my last coaching session, Diane and I talked about the success of my morning hour and she suggested I think of two or three more things that I could approach from that perspective. After the morning hour, I journal for an hour and then I walk the dog for an hour and then I spend however long it takes to write the next day's post. It didn't seem to me that I had another hour if I still hoped to do chores and errands, socialize somewhat, and get back to the studio at some point. HOWEVER... the morning hour is successful and that meant I should at least think about it.

There are three things I'd like to explore. One is painting with acrylics. Another is cooking. And the third is creating accessories. Reality is that with sewing the cruise collection, attending the Design Outside the Lines retreat, going on the cruise, and family commitments later in the summer I don't have time to delve too deeply into a new interest BUT... as I was painting the trim in my son's emptied bedroom - which I did not want to do - the thought occurred that if I spent an hour a day doing the things I'd like done but don't want to do then by the fall they would all be done and no longer weighing me down.

This includes tasks like cleaning hall closets, the kitchen cupboards, blinds and light fixtures, tiling the back-splash in the bathroom, hanging up the mirror and towel bars, painting all the doors and trim in the basement, dealing with the railing around the stairs which someone so "nicely" painted latex over oil on and which requires sanding, priming, and two coats of paint, decorating some blank spaces that could use a little decor, figuring out noise deafening and room darkening solutions for our bedroom, sorting out the boxes in the large storage closet, even more painting, and a few other things like going through twenty years of photographs.

The plan is to complete each space one by one so I don't have to go back through it again. When I'm done that room, I'm done that room. The more I think about it, the more this feels like a path to fall freedom and new fun.

I'll show a picture of the finished top in tomorrow's posting. Today's talks about the neckband. I used a remnant for the top and there was barely enough to cut out the main pattern pieces never mind bias for the neckband. The pattern calls for purchased bias turned to the inside. I dislike purchased bias immensely. IMHO its broadcloth-y presence wrecks a lot of otherwise quite nice garments.

I started by fusing a 1/4" strip of stable interfacing around the neckband using the pattern pieces to make sure I maintained the original shape.

Then, I serged a strip of black, bias cut shantung to the neckband. You don't have to have a serger to do this , you can create the same look with a seam. I just like the consistency of the serged seam allowance and the firm edge that it gives.

I pressed the bias strip up and over the serged edge so a narrow black binding would be visible on the right side and then used a double needle to stitch it in place the same as you would with a knit binding.

Using a double needle created a wider row of stitching on the back that I think helps to prevent fraying or other issues even though the strip is bias and therefore not prone to fraying. I trimmed as close to the stitches as possible and used the same process to finish the armholes.

I've been giving the pattern alteration idea a lot of thought and I will do it but not until the fall. Between now and then, I will talk about the alterations I make in greater detail and provide additional photos and then when I've finished all the things that need to be done and have a bit more breathing room, I'll put together some tutorials with lots of pictures and hopefully some videos. How's that?

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - an orange chair - fun

Avoid falling in love with ideas. I’ve seen people fall in love with a certain approach, and then become unable to see the merits of alternative approaches. Indeed, I think that one of life’s great pleasures is falling out of love with a previously cherished idea. When that happens you’re free to look at new ones.

– Roger von Oech, A Whack on the Side of the Head


  1. That 1-hour approach is very freeing, I think. Similar to Flylady's "I can do anything for 15 minutes!" Which I've used for completion of annoying tasks.

    I love the idea of lots of pix and tutorials, and the timing of "later" works well for me!

    Joyce Plunkett, Wisconsin

    1. It would be similar to FlyLady. I'd forgotten about her. Anything that gets it done will be wonderful. I noticed since making that decision that when I see one of those tasks, I'm aware that it's on the list and I'm working my way toward it and that is way less heavy.

  2. You have been my inspiration for changing some of my less useful habits for ones that push me forward in a direction I hope to move... I've started using my "first awake" hours for journal writing, walking before breakfast, and either studio or sewing time, and have really noticed a difference in the flow of my day. I also want to thank you for posting your information about using bias edge binding... it never occurred to me that it would be possible to simply stitch down the edge after folding it to the wrong side and trim it away... I have always then folded it over again and stitched it down to avoid any raw edges. If it works for you and doesn't come apart in wear or washing, I will give it a try.

    I am eager to see your "more pictures and tutorials" and think that your plan to get the tasks that feel like they are hanging over you completed first is most intelligent. Good luck and keep on growing!
    ~ Alison of Acorn Cottage

    1. OH... I'm so glad I inspired you. I noticed the same thing - a definite improvement in the flow of the day.

      LOL - well... I haven't washed the garment yet and I haven't done this before on a woven but it definitely works on a knit and knit and bias are similar so I'm giving it a go.


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