Saturday, May 31, 2008

Home Decorating Energy is Running High!!

I have nekked windows. My desire to clothe my nekked windows is intense.
Here is the living room with French doors and bamboo shades. My plan is to install a traverse rod just below the molding. The draperies will have pinch pleats at the top and they will open in the center. Most of the time, the draperies will hang all the way open on each side of the door /windows, leaving them completely free for normal use.

But when we want to watch a movie in the living room, we can close the draperies and eliminate glare on the TV screen. Plus, I just want to lighten up this space a bit.

Now here are swatches of my choices. The multi-colored piece is a gorgeous silk plaid (you can't see the entire plaid on this swatch). This fabric would have be unbelievably perfect and designer-like. And it cost a whopping $45.95/yard. Yes. Still, I coveted it and went back to G Street during their Memorial Day sale (coupon clutched in my sweaty hand). Thank God it was gone! I really cannot spend that kind of money on draperies! I mean, I can, but I shouldn't!
All of the solid swatches came from Michael's Fabrics, where they are currently having a blowout sale. Can you believe how perfect all of these colors are?? Seriously, each one would work beautifully. They have been thumb-tacked in the living room and each one looks nice.

I have chosen the 2nd from the left- it has a lovely drape to it. And since they work so well together, I think I will grab a few yards of the one on the far left.

Our cats have destroyed the sofa I lovingly selected when we bought this house. Errgh. So there are slipcovers in the future. Washable neutral slipcovers. Oh well. That's why they have sewing machines, eh?

Look at that!! When did these cats do that damage? I guess they jump up there as soon as we leave the house and go wild.

OK, it is SATURDAY, one of the better days in the week, IMHO. The kids are coming over to eat fish caught by DH. Oh yeah, he da man.... he da fishing man! (The tall handsome one is my DH)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cutting /Work Table Progress

I love craigslist! I met a really nice young woman, working on her PhD at Hopkins, who sold me most of her worldly possessions. She is leaving the States tonight for a month in Germany, then on to her homeland, Greece.
Here is the twin mattress added to the bed- and if you look closely, you can see the cutting mat that arrived from Atlantic Thread and Supply. They rock! That was a fast delivery.
After lugging this up to the condo, DH and I celebrated with amay-zing ice cream at Sylvan Beach.
And - The Great Coat Sew-Along: I found my fabric last weekend at G Street's Memorial Day sale. It is at the dry cleaner now, to be pre-steamed and I'll post pics soon. I am off to A Fabric Place to see the Zegnas on sale. Do you get emails from Michael's Fabrics? They are selling it off cheap, so I must stock up!
I looked at Home Dec fabrics at G Street last weekend and they were still just too expensive. Then it hit me- use Michael's fabrics!!! The price is right and I am sure I can find neutrals that will work!!
I am not affiliated with any of these vendors, just a familiar face to them!!!
Happy Friday Everybody!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Two Hour Pants

Here are the pants I made one night after work. I had pre-washed the fabric (twice, in warm water AND through the dryer!) to prevent unpleasant future laundering experiences. This particular navy blue cotton came from EmmaOneSock, so it is luxuriously stable, soft and strong. Michael's is a good source for these sorts of fabrics, too.
There are two pattern pieces and they go together in a snap. First I sew the center seams on the front and on the back. I always serge them down to about 3/8". I do this to make sure the right side of the fabric has been established. On basic solid colors, it is so easy to mix it up. No- it it not generally noticeable, but, it will always bother me if I get it wrong. The downside of being a perfectionist!
Then I serge all the edges, then insert the invisible zipper to the side seam. It's only another few minutes to stitch up the rest of the seams. Then, I just try them on to determine the size and placement of darts. It's nice to get something of a close fit, from a vanity perspective.
And finally, I stitch 3/4" non-roll elastic to the waist seam, pulling just a little as I go. I pre-wash the elastic when I buy it to avoid future laundering surprises there, too.

On these pants, I turned the waist band (such as it is) over and did the ole stitch-n-the-ditch on the darts and seams.

Turn up the hem, machine stitch and wear 'em!

Now, these pants will not earn you any awards for fine sewing. In fact, my dear stepson asked me one day, "How come you never put pockets on your pants?" and the answer was, well.... that would take 20 minutes I don't have!!

But I will. I truly intend to sew pockets and other neat features. As soon as I have just a little more time!

When I say I do "a little sewing on the side", I kinda mean it!


HAPPY SEWING, friends!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Let there be light!

I was up early this morning, so I tidied up and snapped photos of my new sewing nook. It is really pleasant!I love the built-ins. They are circa 1953 and still function well. There were some nasty brass drawer pulls which I replaced yesterday with a more mid-century brushed aluminum style.

Now for window treatments...
IKEA has some really cute fabrics that I have my eye on. And lighting. I need better lighting for evening sewing. All in all, things are working!

Thanks everyone for your lovely posts about Laura's graduation. It has been a wonderful time for our family!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Free Fabric if you are local to Rockville MD

I cleaned out my fabric closet and filled THREE bags of fabric.
If you are local to Rockville and you want it, email me.
Many pieces are small leftovers from projects, some are several yards and suitable for garment sewing. Some stuff is from old Home Dec projects.
Almost everything is fine wool, silk, cotton, rayon, etc. I buy good stuff!
You come pick up.
Thanks and Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Enough about me!!

What you do think about my daughter? I raised her. I read books to her and gave her money.
Now she is a college graduate!! Yay!
Laura's housemates and BFF's are in these shots. Just in case you are curious (and who isn't?!) I included a pic of my former husband, with me and Laura. He has been a great support to her. Laura and I really appreciate him and his wife (yes, we are all on friendly terms). It has been a great ride- congratulations to my dear, dear daughter! I am so proud of you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Womens LIberation, Good Idea /Bad Idea?

Yes, I think it was a good idea.

I am now living in the new condo during the week. I am navigating a neighborhood that was my home for many years, yet it feels a bit unfamiliar. Old muscles of independence are getting some exercise. I like taking care of myself!!

But really, how is it?

Um, a little lonely!!
Yeah, I miss the companionship of the hubster in the evening.

BUT- I can work a 12 hour day (like I needed to do on Monday) and have a little time at night for some small act of self-pampering. My new commute is anywhere from 5-8 minutes. :O

And, you know what? I get satisfaction from my job. I really do. Sure, if I could afford it, I would stop working. I would be a home-maker and I'd love it.
But we are educating a few kids and we need the income & benefits from my job.
And I am not sorry. It is hard to measure job satisfaction, but I can tell you it does nourish me.

Next week, I will have my sewing machines with me and you know what that means!
Fortunately, DH is coming up to B-more for a date tonight. Best of both worlds.

Feeling pretty blessed at the moment.
Happy Sewing to those who HAVE a sewing machine.

Womens Liberation- YES, a good idea.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Satellite Home/Office Success

We did it! We closed on the new condo on Friday, May 2. We brought along the bare necessities (including a coffee press) and we camped out there over the weekend. Wow, I feel as refreshed as if I took a vacation. Since I grew up in Baltimore, I know the area well. But my, things have changed! We enjoyed exploring our new neighborhood.

Now I am really psyched for some nesting activity, in both homes. I really feel blessed. Granted I work my butt off, to pay for all this wonderfulness, but I can't help but feel very, very blessed.

My next sewing projects are likely to be home decorating. Thank goodness for the Juki industrial- it will be such a pleasure to tackle draperies, slipcovers, etc.

My favorite website lately is Apartment Therapy. Check it out if you like to see good examples of interior design for small spaces.
I have also discovered CraigsList. What a great way to acquire necessary items and dispose of those that aren't working any more.

Does your cat snore? Both of our cats do! Puppy is really sawing the logs at the moment.
And Pepper will be our Baltimore cat. She needs to go on a diet and it's not happening til she stops stealing Puppy's food!

Happy Sewing!