Saturday, December 25, 2010

here's one for those of you surfing the internet on Christmas day :)

Consider this my little Christmas gift to those of you bored out of your minds and thinking, please, can we get back to sewing already?  You know who you are!
It has a loose weave so I am wondering how to stabilize.  I think I'd like to block fuse the whole thing with a supple interfacing that won't change the hand.  But where can I have that done in the DC metropolitan area?  It's an awful lot of fusing to be done with an iron.  What do you think?
Click here for link to my post on vintage coat Butterick 4627

Every year Christmas is different for me (and you too, right?).  The worst one for me, of course, was in 1968 when the state trooper knocked on the door with bad news.  My father had died in a car accident.  What started as a fun happy Christmas ended in despair and devastation.  I was 3 months shy of my 12th birthday and I literally grew up that night.  I am the oldest and my youngest brother was born the following August, right after the moon landing.  He was a ray of sunshine, that baby was.  

Some years, I remember my father, with much love, and the holidays are wonderful.  Other years, the dread sets in around Halloween.  No matter what I do, it is like walking through wet cement to "get through" the holidays.  This can happen even in a good year (like this one).  I had a fantastic Christmas celebration with my daughter just last weekend.  Last night - a wonderful time with my DH, DSD and DSS at my mother's house.  My siblings and nieces were there and we all had a blast.  Today is a more intimate afternoon with the immediate family.  My daughter is not here, but like I said, she is in my heart and I am grateful for her love.  

Having said all that, this year was a trudging-through-the-cement year for me, emotionally speaking. I know there are many of you coping right now with much worse.  It can be lonely and isolating when everyone else seems to be having a wonderful time.  I know the feeling.
Just remember, the feeling is temporary, and it will get better.  Everyone will get back to living everyday life very soon!

Thank you for being here - you enrich my life and I appreciate your companionship more than I can express.

Heartfelt Love and Peace to All


  1. AH, another Christmas Day Surfer! Our grandchildren live with us now, and they have gone off with mommy and daddy for the day, so I am sitting back and looking at the internet, which I haven't been able to peruse for the past few days. Peace and quiet for Christmas Day! (Until about 7:00 p.m. anyway).

    I noted that coat pattern as well. I really like it. I take a plus size, but I thought I could scale it up easily enough. I have a pale mint green wool I got from Fabric Mart quite a while ago that might work.

    So sorry that you have a bad connection to the holiday. It is sad no matter when family tragedy happens. But we continue on, on the wheel of our lives.As you say, it does get better.

    Have a wonderful rest of the day. Plans for New Years?

    Love, Sally

  2. The worst part for me is that it can just hit you out of the blue. I'll be having a wonderful time one minute and turn melancholy the next. Every year I try harder hoping to somehow get past it. Sometimes I'm a little ashamed of myself because I do have so many things to be thankful for. I think I'll go and do some sewing - that always cheers me up. :-)

    Your coating is spectacular! I can't wait to go on this vintage coat journey with you.

    Hugs to you, my sewing sister!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for a SEWING post! The loss of loved ones and the memories and feelings it brings doesn't ever pass. It may get easier to bear, but I haven't found it so. Looking foward to seeing some beautiful things from you this year!

  4. A very merry Christmas to you!

  5. Merry Christmas, Robin! Oh how I sympathize with the continuing, unpredictable mental anguish of a Christmas past that has gone irrevocably wrong and colours all future ones. Hugs.

    As for your gorgeous boucle - I wouldn't fuse it. I'd underline it instead with something nice and stable, and baste the underlining to the FF at 1-2" intervals on all the large panels. Probably won't save any time that way, but IMO the result will be more predictable in the long term.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  6. Thanks for something to read today. I have to agree about not fusing the boucle. I'd probably use cotton flannel to underline a coating like this, well washed of course. I don't think my usual silk organza would do here. Oh, and it probably will take less time to attach it by hand than fusing the whole yardage.

  7. Yep. Me too. I'm actually pretty melancholy at the holidays and try to kind of stay our of people's way. Thanks for saying it out loud.

    I've been wondering about this fusing thing myself. There must still be people doing manufacturing somewhere around here, right?

  8. virtual hugs and kindly thoughts to you... and wishes for a happy sewing year to come

  9. Robin you are wonderful **hugs**! I can't imagine how tough it's been for you throughout the years. Thanks for sharing---you are so brave. Your story I'm sure is an inspiration to many people who've experienced similar losses. I lost my Dad last year and although the pain doesn't go completely away (and is off and on) I'm happy that like you I can keep on moving. There's such hope in that. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas!!!

  10. Thanks for a sewing post! Lovely as Christmas is, I am all worn out! Your coating is eye catching and would look good with that new Burda pattern.

    Your personal story is very moving. I'm sorry for your loss, and at such a tender age too. You are so generous and interesting in your blog, as your loyal reader, who appreciates all the tips, thoughts and inspirations you send out, I can only wish life was more fair and that painful things didn't happen to good people. Hang in there, you are right, life will be back to normal soon. I can't wait to see what you sew next.

  11. Holy Canolli, not only am I not alone on my Christmas day sewing withdrawal blog surfing, but I even see some familiar faces.


  12. Hi, Robin. What a terrible thing to happen to an 11 year old. I nearly lost my father at 13 and thought how unfair it was...fortunately he pulled through. I'm another one sewing today as my son has gone to his wife's parents. Fortunately I've had such a busy pre-season I'm grateful for a day of peace and rest!

  13. Beautiful post, Robin. I'm so sorry about your father.

    Holidays are a mixed bag, for sure. The various pressures and longings are relentless.

    Your coating is beautiful. Block fusing is do-able at home if you have a press -- any of your local sewing buddies have one? Come to California and we'll laugh and fuse.

  14. Thank you Robin for sharing a part of your life with us. It helps me to remember to be sensitive to others and to see where I can help/serve them.
    Look forward to seeing the progress on the Burda coat!

  15. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself- I feel both your calm and the depth of emotion. Powerful combination.

    I'm mostly a "slogger" myself, though this year was easier.

  16. Thanks for the post. I've just come back from a week at the beach and couldn't wait to get back to the machine and catch up with the 'sisterhood'. Sometimes I feel more connection to my cyber buddies than to people I socialise with on a regular basis. It seems to me to be a purposeful relationship, and we can disclose stuff in relative safety. Sadly we can't always do that with friends and family.

  17. I've never met anyone for whom Christmas is an unadulterated good time.. So you know you're not alone, Christmas surfers :-).

    Fusing that much fabric makes me want to curl up -under- the couch. But while some comments say boucle, I don't see it as such? If you get it fused, get it done at a cooperative dry cleaner, don't spend 3 days at it. Is there something else that could be done with it rather than a coat that requires structure? I always worry about trying to force fabric into doing something that's not its nature. Maybe just a loose shirt-jacket for spring would show off the drape without requiring major changes?

  18. Merry Christmas Robin, you have done a great job of making the most of the last few Christmases since Laura went off on her Korean adventure and I am so glad you were able to see her this month.

    Coat will be beautiful, we all look forward to seeing it develop.

  19. Robn, sorry to hear about your sad associations with this time of year. I'm glad you had a nice time with your daughter and family.

    Thanks for your generosity in helping me with my fitting issues. Let me know when the jet/holiday lag is over so I can update you on my progress (or lack thereof!).

  20. Hello, hello and happy December 26th to all!
    Hey thanks for all the sentiments of friendship and support.
    And thanks for your thoughts on the coating fabric.
    After I've completed pattern alterations, I will turn my attention back to the fabric. My main concern in a long coat is weight. I appreciate the ideas you've offered!
    I love my sewing friends on the internet :)

  21. And Harriet (aka dear reader H), when you are ready, I am ready. I enjoy getting your emails with pictures of your fitting questions. I find it so interesting that I tend to drop what I am doing so I can study the photos and think about solutions.
    Same thing for the rest of you who are emailing me.
    We will conquer those fit issues!

  22. Robin,
    The longer one lives, the more we go though, and we see that we survive. Life is delicate. Then we have the wonderful opportunity of helping others get through their struggles.
    I would only fuse pocket areas, buttonhole areas with featherweight fusible interfacing. I would underline the whole jacket with a light weight cotton. Just my opinion for what its worth.

  23. I had one of those cement years in 2006, when my mom died on New Year's. They're awful. How terrible it must have been for you with your dad. You were so young.

    I wish there was an easy way I could help fellow sewists out when they need to get fabric fused. I mean, I can practically see the fusing place from my office window! The tough part is how the fabric increases in weight after it's fused--ask Renee what I mean.

  24. Hello! I just found your blog - how could I have missed it all this time? Thanks!

  25. I love the Burda coat pattern! I am excited to find your blog. I am in the Vintage Sew Along too. Can't wait to see your coat. I need to pick a pattern! The fun part!

  26. You have my sympathies. I certainly know that the loss is always there, the pain lessens, but the loss is always.

    For the boucle, I invested $250 in a home press. I fuses an area about 2' by 8 inches and is lots faster than the iron. You also have the option of going to your local dry cleaner. Most of them can fuse quickly for you. Quickly, but not cheaply. That's why after years and years of fusing with an iron, I bought the press.

  27. Robin, I hear you... I had a lot of trouble "feeling joy" this year. It's the 10 yr anniversary of losing both my parents (my dad went into a coma in December and died in January, Mother followed 5 months later). In the process of losing my parents, I also lost a sister and 1/2 the family with her. Long sad, ugly story, but your cement analogy is right on. Having this happen to me in my 40's in no way compares to what it must have been like for you at 12, I can't even begin to imagine. It's hard to feel like you aren't alone, but you aren't. Keep moving forward, head up, heart open.

    On to 2011! As for fusing, I wonder about that with boucle myself. I've tried it at home but it seems to flatten the weave out so much that the fabric loses it's character. I like the idea of channel quilting to an underlining. But I don't know as I've never taken on such a challenge myself!


  28. again, thanks to all of you for your thoughful comments. It is great to know we are not alone! I have decided not to use this particular fabric for the long coat. It is actually not boucle, but a novelty wool coating. The Burda coat was shown made up in the magazine in a boucle and I have no idea of their construction techniques. And you know they don't tell you much in the instructions:)


Thanks for visiting my blog and Happy Sewing, xo

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