Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Congress Declares Sewing Machines People

Button, button...

A sewing machine is a person. It has a personality. It works for a living. It has heirs. It's family mourns it's illnesses, and grieves it's loss. It very often has a second and third life, if it has had a first life of love and proper nourishment... and doesn't get stolen...

Ms. SpoolTeacher's mother made all of their clothes while she and her two sisters were growing up. They didn't know store bought until they worked jobs of their own; and even then, Ms. SpoolTeacher spent her dollars on yardage to make whatever she wanted. Those were the days when fabric and sewing actually could save a buck or two over factory made, maybe a little before Made in China?


When they were growing up and their mother was making their clothes, Ms. SpoolTeacher and her younger sister could often be found laying on the bed behind their mother who was almost always sitting at the sewing machine working madly on a project.

They lived in a tiny house, about 30 X 30. "A cracker box", her mother called it. Her mother's room was wall to wall, floor to ceiling furniture and just inside the door was the sewing machine that sat in a nice cabinet with a folding panel that opened to become a side extension, but covered the machine (which dropped down into a cavity) when not in use. Pretty much, the panel was open.

Ms. SpoolTeacher learned to sew on that machine and would go on to use it until the Christmas her mother bought two new machines for her older sister and herself.
The older sister seldom if ever used hers. The mother thought it was an appropriate gift as she was about to go out on her own. Only after Ms. SpoolTeacher begged and begged and was willing to cry, did their mother take out extra credit and get them each one.

It was several years after Ms. SpoolTeacher had left home, her machine in tow, that her mother would have a break in and their good old Kenmore was lifted, all of it's memories gone. It would eventually be replaced with a new, used one, but a life of memories and the comfort of knowing how something worked were evaporated.

The mourning began.

Now all of these years later, Ms. SpoolTeacher has been given a gift of a sewing machine in a cabinet such as the one she grew up knowing.

Another mother who sewed all of her children's clothes as they grew up, was wanting to find a loving home for her beloved machine. Ms. SpoolTeacher is lucky to be friends with the child of the mother who wanted to find a new home for this machine and even if it is possibly a temporary home, it will be loved. (She has told the mother who gave it away that she can have it back any time she wants it...just in case she has remorse.) 

Ms. SpoolTeacher has been reinventing her living spaces over and over to accommodate stages in her business development and has been working on getting the "extra" room evolved to be Sew Central.

The new, old machine put match to flame and she got busy doing the work of a carpenter.... in the mean time, she told her friends to plop the machine right where they came in with it and she would get it to Sew Central as soon as it was ready, just the hall's length away.

"Everything is up off the floor", Jackie (of all trades) SpoolTeacher said to her sister.

Sister said, "Now that you have loaded the shelves, will you ever get those planks sanded and painted?"

"Of course I will, of course I will",  she said with hope in her voice.

In the mean time, New Old Sewing Machine got a room of her own at the other side of the house. It was the perfect place after all.

Now Ms. SpoolTeacher's whole house is Sew Central!
Her latest project: Pinafore/apron for friend's granddaughter....(who is a grown girl just finishing beauty school and they are all wearing "aprons" like these to work instead of smocks).

Now all that is left is a yellow polka dot bow for the back...

Thank you Old Old Sewing Machine, with so many memories attached. She will use you New Old Sewing Machine, as soon as she has the time to get to know you.
Someday soon, maybe she really can start sewing classes? Hope, hope, and more hope...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Due to the Lack of Due Diligence

Sew,  2nd Time Around always has a large collection of patterns for             50 cents each that she feels compelled to finger through each time she goes there!

This one, printed in the 70's got her attention. It looked like something that was basic and could be converted into a "Haute Handbag"...

When Ms. SpoolTeacher opened her "Accessory to Design" business way back before she had done her due diligence and market research, she ordered several 1 1/2 yard pieces of her favorite custom drapery fabrics thinking that people like to see big swaths they can finger and drape....
and that that might get them excited about ordering a custom window covering...
She also knew that she could convert these nice fabrics into sofa drapes and sell them that way...

Sew, she got nice pieces of fabrics that were light weight and could work as linings as well....

One particular fabric has been peeking at her at every turn, begging her (as fabrics can do) to do something, anything with it...

Ah, ha! The 1970's Haute Handbag idea! 
It has a modern, wavy pattern that is tactile, the raised pattern feels like velvet.
The fabric itself is lightweight and somewhat transparent. 
She had also purchased a bolt of drapery weight flannel interlining. 
Interlining is used when a fabric is especially light weight and needs some body. 

It also makes the color richer and intercepts the lining fabric from "bleeding" through. White lining is the best to accomplish these goals as ivory will actually result in "yellowing" the face fabric and can even turn blue to green, etc... (which isn't always a bad is design, you decide)

Ms. SpoolTeacher is never happy not to gingerbread things up so she started  adding embellishments...
On the first one, she added a string of satin roses by hand-spooling cross stitches in the same color as the trim. The second one she used the rose thread over purple ribbon.
Originally, she was planning to use the two pieces as front and back but has since decided to make separate Haute Handbags out of each of them.

She ran across some little pearl strands and anchored a line to each by hand-spooling between each bead... It's a labor of love.

Much to think about for linings and construction. She's trying to figure a way to make them functional as well as Haute by adding pockets inside etc....but she hasn't finished visual-spooling yet so will have to do a follow-up.

In the meantime, while she was hand-spooling a Haute Handbag, the sunflowers were starting to go to seed....

These two were planted later and were being considered for bird food....

Little Red-Haired Girl is adamant that she not mow down the weed grass because it is so cool to lay on and grasshoppers are jumping and she can catch them in a snap and likes to do it.

Snap, snap

Ms. SpoolTeacher loves to see her new collection of remnants drying in the breeze on her makeshift clothesline...
There is just something about making use of things that might have been thrown away.
All by herself, with a little help from the birds, the bees, the bugs and rain and sun!
A little too much rain, the tomatoes say...
No less tasty though! 

Black Krim Tomatoes are apparently prone to cracking, "heirloom types", he says in the video below, "aren't bred to be perfect".