Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wedding dress

side view of bodice

waist to bust dart trimmed

Returning to the wedding dress construction. It might be a little hard to see the actual progression here but I will try to explain it. In the first photo I have draped the lace onto the dress form over the foundation of the bodice which has been sewn from three layers of fabric--the silk cotton lawn over a sturdy base of cotton acetate, which gives the same appearance as the lawn over the bemberg skirt. The bodice is lined with bemberg with a seam along the neck edge. Shaping of the bodice foundation is from side bust and waist to bust darts. You can see where the shaping of the lace comes into play at the side bust dart and waist to bust darts. Following the design of the lace, I trimmed around the motifs and overlapped them, lots of pinning, then free motion stitching along the edges of the lace motifs  to hold it all into place. This way there are no obvious straight line darts on the lace layer. This a technique I saw in a Threads magazine (my favorite sewing mag) article written by Susan Khalje several years ago. Hope I have spelled her name correctly.  
 If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bizzy weekend

This past weekend we had a wonderful surprise--Vincent came for a short visit. Oh I miss that child!! He has lost his first tooth and seems to be doing well in the 1st grade at his new school. We rode bikes and played at the park, then we had to take that long drive back to where he's living waayyy out in the country. Maybe he can stay longer on the next break from school.
  His big sister, Olivia, has completed her first week as a college freshman. YAY! We have survived for the most part. YAY!
  Here are photos from Thursday's outing to the country.
the cows are coming home

  Today, I am judging quilts at the regional fair, and that should be fun since I am such a judgmental person (according to a certain other person) hahaha.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


pork chops on the left

After today, I will not have to eat another bite the rest of this week. Bailey's Truck Stop has the yummiest buffet around those parts. Meats and veggies. The pork chops were so good I ate three!! They were dipped in a peppery coating then fried in hot something (probably grease) making them crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. No knife and fork for this little pig, I picked them up and chowed down. Mashed potatoes, green beans, black eyed peas, squash cooked with onion, cole slaw, tasty yeast rolls and fluffy corn bread. Then I went back for seconds!!
  After lunch, when we decided we could actually move, we ventured to the farmer's market in town. There I purchased, tomatoes, green beans, cantaloupe (which smells like heaven) and a watermelon. All in all a lovely day, especially since I had such wonderful companions to eat and shop with me.

A Day in the Country

Today, I'm off to the far eastern lands of Lexington TN to visit a friend there and have lunch at the truck stop near Parker's Crossroads. Yummy. My able traveling companion is the ever stalwart Marion, who has recently moved back to town. This will be a welcome break from my routine. Photos soon if I remember to take some.
  Last night I attended a Memphis Association of Craft Artists member meeting and had a busy time showing how to photograph a quilt. Not really all that busy, but I do hope I was able to impart some helpful information.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Interwebs

This evening I looked at the stats for this measly blog, and am so surprised at what I found. The Russians are looking at my blog!! How strange!?! Why would a Russian person want to look at this crap?

  But I did discover the most looked at posts were those of the dress constructions. So I need to get bizzy and finish up the postings of the graduation dresses and the wedding dress, huh? I took plenty of pictures and have no other excuse but that I am a lazy slug. And I really have other things to do besides sit at this laptop everyday.
So here are some photos of the lace draped on Mabel (my skinny dress form) to determine placement of the lace on the bodice of the recently completed wedding dress--the one I miss so much!! It was such a pretty thing and I loved every minute of making it.
  Gee, my sewing room is a wreck.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fan photos

the shy & retiring Mrs. Smith


Hey kids, here are the pictures of the sewing guild workshop from last Thursday. They all started out as plain white cotton fans from Dharma Trading and were transformed before our very eyes into wonderful works of art that also serve a useful function in these parts. No menopausal woman in her right mind goes out of the house without a personal cooling device!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bizzy week

These past few days have been packed full of activity. After hours spent waiting on delivery people the week before it was a most welcome change. Monday was mental health day with sewing girlz, Wednesday evening board meeting with MACA folks (a great member meeting planned for later this month), more fun with sewing friends on Thursday at guild, and on Tuesday and Friday I got some work done on a dress for a fitting Saturday morning. Today, I cleared out some of the jungle in my backyard with the help of my son and the electric chain saw--my new favorite power tool. We went out for BBQ and beer afterwards since we didn't have a proper birthday celebration for him last week. There's still a ton of work to do out there, but fingers crossed the weather will continue to be as pleasant as it is today.  
  On Thursday at the Memphis Sewing guild, we decorated fans for our program "Beat the Heat" and had lots of fun. Photos later as I haven't gotten around to downloading the pics yet.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


The delivery/installers FINALLY showed up and now I have cool and quiet air in my sewing space. I did not realize how noisy the old AC was until today. Besides the mold spewing disease from that old appliance, I'm surprised I have not experienced profound hearing loss. OMG I'm lucky to be alive!!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha
While waiting for the guys to put in the AC I played around with my body double. I had to cut it apart again, but decided to put it over one of the three dress forms I have collected ( I can smell an episode of "Hoarders" now) and I am very happy that I made such an executive decision.
I have a nice blouse from two summers ago (cue "Hoarders) that is WAAAYY too big, but I did love wearing that blouse, and I used the improved dress form setup to fit and alter it. Now when I get my sewing room back to an operational place (Monday afternoon), I can sew said shirt and continue to love wearing it. It is white seersucker, the perfect fabric for Memphis summers and once it is smaller and has been through a soaking in Oxyclean--my new favorite cleaning agent--and a wash cycle, I will feel like a million dollars in that shirt.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Photo ops

Finally got around to getting these pics off my camera and into computer. Yesterday, the AC in my sewing room finally gave it up after thirty years and I had to find a replacement. My fingers are crossed for a timely delivery of said new appliance, as the predicted temperature today is 104 degrees F. Yikes!

close up of foiling detail
  Working in the sewing room is tolerable, especially in the morning, but far from comfortable once the afternoon arrives. Fortunately I have nothing pressing on my schedule, so I may turn my attention to sketching in another part of the house. Or maybe--just maybe--a little housework. NAH!!!
   Here's the latest little quilt in the series I've been working on. It's called NOTHING-STOPS-LOVE which can be interpreted in so many ways. Take your pick.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The bride and her mother picked up the wedding dress today and I teared up a tiny bit. That beautiful garment has been a constant companion all summer and now she's gone and I miss her.
  In the meantime I finished one of the art quilts that was banging around in my head and need to hang it in a place where I can see it daily. I am trying to use this series of wall hangings as visual reminders in an effort to balance myself. (ooo that sounds a little too self aware.) 
 Of course I have taken plenty of photos of the things I've been doing lately and when I get them ALL downloaded and organized, I'll post them. I still haven't completed the series on the graduation dresses, so please do not hold your breath.