Archive | March 2009

How much lace?

The next question on the gown is how much lace to put on it.   I know you haven’t see the gown nor do you know much about the design.   We are going to keep some things secret.

Generally speaking, how much lace do you like to see on a wedding gown for a summer wedding?


My sewing story

Life is returning to a pattern since Dad’s passing.   I have thought about blogging a couple of times over the last month, but I just didn’t have it in me.    I started back on the dress yesterday.  I made some progress on refining the muslin.

I decided to take a side trip on this blog and tell you about my sewing history.

I don’t really remember learning to sew.   When I was young, my mother sewed all the time.  She would tell the story of how, when I was 2 or 3, she was sewing and I needed to entertain myself.   Apparently, I quietly sat and put straight pins in all of the oiling holes on her singer sewing maching.   She was able to get it serviced, but I think she learned that I needed a little more guidance then she had given me.

My first memory of making something was when I was about 8 when I made an elastic waist skirt.  I don’t remember making anything before it, but I do remember that it was not the first thing I made.  It was the first piece of clothing.  At that age, I knew how to lay out a pattern, cut it and basic construction.   My mother held a sewing class for women in our home when I was 9-ish and I remember helping her teach the ladies how to do the layout.  I remember because one of the ladies was not too happy that I knew more than she did and she was rather snippy about it.

When I was about 15, I remember spending a hot spring sewing cushion covers for the White Van with my mother.   And again a few years later for the Open Road!

I started sewing regularly in my early 20’s.  I was fed up with trying to find clothing in fashion stores.  At that time, I sore a size 14 or 16.  The plus size stores only carried things my grandmother would wear.  And the regular stores had very little merchandise over a size 10.   I decided it was just as easy to make a skirt or blouse as it was to spend most of a day combing through stores to find one that fit and was a decent color.

I started with skirts, simple blouses, a few knit tops and pajamas.  Pajamas were good because I could try new types of things without having to go out in public.    And it grew from there to a point where I made much of my own clothing.   I also found that the things I made for myself, I wore often and for years.   Whereas the things I bought, I would throw out after a year to two.

Then, I got really fed up with trying to buy a bathing suit.  How hard could it be, really; the fabric is so stretchy.  I made my first Tankini in 1985 – long before they were a new fashion design.   I did it because I didn’t want to get entirely undress to go to the bathroom.  We lived in Arizona and had a pool.  Some days I put on a suit when I got up and didn’t take it off until I went to bed.   All that dressing & undressing was exhausting.   I cut a pattern for a mallot at the waist line.  Added an inch or so to the top of the brief and the bottom of the tank – and I had a suit.   23 years later and I still use that pattern to make myself bathing suits!

Over the years, sometimes I make a lot of my clothing and sometimes I do not.  Right now I have 4 or 5 blouses in my closet that I made at least 7 years ago.  I have 2 fleece jackets.  One was made 10 years ago and one about 6.  I wear them often.   Pants don’t seem to last as long as tops.  I tend to wear out certain areas in a couple of years.

I learned new techniques to make things by watching Sewing with Nancy on PBS.  I subscribed to Threads and have kept every issue.  I attended sewing shows in Arizona and Massachusetts.   Every one of these taught me something new in either a technique or a design.

How did you learn to sew?  What are your earliest memories of sewing?

Sew…..enough about me.  Next post will be about the dress.