Posts Tagged ‘patterns’

dilemmas of spring

 So, I planted a boatload of bulbs both in my little boat and throughout the garden ( a loose term ) and so far they’re doing pretty well. It would be soooo much better if the wind took a break. 
Just as the beautiful tulips were beginning to open, we were hammered with a storm. The next day, there were several of them snapped off. So, this is what I got:       They opened up so pretty, but, fooey. I’m amazed that the daffodils are standing. Now, we need to batten down the hatches as there is a super windstorm headed our way tonight. 

I spent yesterday finishing up my squirrley blouse (picture later), and cutting out another one out of some pretty lawn that I got at Fabric Depot last week. The best / worst thing about having a huge pattern stash is that I feel compelled to look through most all of them when I want to make something. And invariably something completely different catches my eye. I want to make a blouse, and vaguely know what style I have in mind; when I start looking for the pattern I’m sure I have, the trouble starts. This blouse or that one? Oh! Look at that dress – did Mom make that one?  But this one, is calling me:  But it’s cool here and I need to think about what works with a cardigan; so maybe I want a jumper like this: that I could wear a t-shirt with. Then there are the jackets, and the ‘fancy dresses’ that I have no where to wear them to. Doesn’t stop me from wanting though.

And, I need pants, and it’s nearly impossible to find something that I like. I did manage to find a cheap pair of jeans at Old Navy, and altered them from boot cut to straight leg, and they’re super long so I can roll them up. But, I want non-jeans. Pants. Not capris ( well maybe a pair or two ), but pants. It’s been a long time since I made slacks, which is different than a pair of more casual fly front pants. Then the pattern search begins again.  So, it seems that at any given time I have a bin on the cutting table with a dozen or so patterns that are on my ‘thinker list’, that I endlessly ponder.
And the list changes and grows daily.
Ah, spring.

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Big Parade

In our little town there is a Fourth of July Parade, which we attended for the first time this year. Richard and I rode our bicycles to town to watch it, and meet up with friends there. Sunny ran alongside there and back – it seemed like she did great, but was exhausted for the next couple of days šŸ˜¦
  From the crowds you’d think it was a really big event:   but the whole route is about a half mile and the parade lasted about 45 minutes, tops. There were a lot of the usual things – decorated cars :   and  my goal is to have the Jeep painted and participate in it next year. I did get Richard on board with letting me lead the painting / dedorating? of it but it wasn’t in the cards for this year.  There aren’t a lot of floats, but there are plenty of classic cars, bicycles, strollers, dogs & their walkers, local politicians( riding in any sort of convertibles that someone they know owns), flatbed trucks carrying a group or organization. The parade began with the firetrucks  both antique and the current ones, I assume so that they can go do their job if need be. The biggest float was from the Army Corps of Engineers ( they are the builders and maintainers of the jettys at the mouth of the Columbia River )  and an interesting local flavor float  – is it a honor to be chosen to be the big razor clam?? Several cute little ‘floats’ like this with the kids tossing candy to the crowd  There was a group of basset hounds from the Northwest Basset Rescue, which got the requisite awwww’s from the crowd.

But the highlight is the clerks from the local grocery store doing their Shopping Cart Drill Team  – I was able to take a little video:

After that finale there are a couple of horses and that’s it. Good times.
We went to a friends house for a potluck ‘chicken cookoff’ dinner, then came back and went with the Richards and the dogs to the beach to watch the fireworks. It was an incredible show. The beach was soooo busy with people, fireworks and an incoming tide – there were a couple cars that looked as though they may have gotten stranded. The Richards attempted to go for a beach ride, but the rapidly incoming tide and fog bank sort of put the kabosh on that. As for me, the busy days caught up and I just plain crashed, watching a few more fireworks from the bedroom window as I fell asleep.
Beach cleanup the next morning was good, and I was suprised at how well folks had picked up in the dark the night before. My friend and I each got just a partial bag full of firework debris.
Sunday afternoon all of the Richards and one of the dogs ( Souxie ) left to go camping on the Olympic Peninsula for a few days.Sunny and I are relaxing and enjoying the quiet. Tomorrow Mom is riding down on the train – I’ll drive to Longview to pick her up. The two of us are going to the Sisters, Oregon quilt show on Saturday.

The weather took a turn on Sunday, so I’m working in the sewing room on the pattern project. I plan to finish organizing the vintage patterns today.

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If you sew or do any sort of craft you know what that means. Soooo much stuff and it’s getting the better of me, so again I’m going through boxes and clearing out fabric, beads, craft supplies and patterns. If I had a hundred boxes of fabric a year ago, ( and I did  ) I never mentioned the pattern stash. Yipes. Working at a fabric store does things to you. You can’t help but collect. Like several others, when remnants came along you almost couldn’t pass up the great deal. And our boss allowed employees to purchase ends of bolts at absurd prices.
But the pattern discards were like the holy grail. Every month, each of the four major pattern companies revise the selection – new ones are added monthly ( with new catalogs to reflect the changes ) and every three months they need to pull out the ‘slow sellers’ ( or if it’s a good seller but they need to update the envelope the old one goes away and the new one gets a new number ) to make room for the ever changing stock. The companies don’t want the old patterns back, only a count of what you pulled out of the drawers ( which they credit the store for ). The store agrees to not sell them. Which means that they’re free to the employees. Free. Take what you want.  At the time I was doing a fair amount of dressmaking on the side, and just sewing a lot in general. Ultimately when the store closed, I bought two large pattern files, and they are 3/4 full with patterns, and I’ve whittled them down some, but now it’s time to get serious. I don’t need a bazillion wedding gown or children’s patterns anymore. Or suits.  In addition to all of those patterns from the 90s, I’ve collected vintage patterns for a long time. I’m guessing I have a few hundred of them ranging from the thirties to the sixties. But,  its time to weed those out too. Lots of them came to me in various ways – a friend would find a bunch at a flea market, or I would buy a ‘lot’ cheap on ebay just to get one or two that I wanted.
So, yesterday I listed a bunch of possibly ‘collectible’ fabric on ebay ( and have to finish up today ). Then through the week a bunch of cottons will be cut up into ‘fat quarters’ (18 x 22" pieces ) and bundled up to be sold on etsy  and artfire  –  I’ll list the patterns and beads and misc. supplies in those two places as well. And a box of fabric to go to my niece keeps growing.
All this purging is mentally exhausting. Trying to decide again and again and again to keep or toss – bleh. Then I have to take the pics and describe each piece the best I can.  The weather has been drizzly over the weekend – so it’s good work to do. 

As far as the fence project goes, Richard gave me some time off. He’ll work along on it and I’ll help when he needs it.  The weather has cleared up and we will again get into the 65-70 degree range. We have nearly reached the equinox – but have over 15 and a 1/2 hours of official daylight and it’s light until nearly 10:00 pm.

Here’s to good weather, longer days, and wish me well in this big de-stash effort!

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outside, inside

Like everyone else, we’ve been busy outside the past week. There were several days of beautiful weather, with one being really hot – 96 degrees! That ended quickly, thank goodness; I moved from the southern Ca. area to get away from heat like that.  We did get a fair amount accomplished; namely a 30 foot long raised planter across part of the west side of the garage. A few plants are in, as well as a bunch of lilly bulbs and some sweet pea seeds. I may be too late for the seeds, but now its done, and we can move on to other things. The bulbs look like they’ll take off though. I think it should look really good in another couple months. Here is a shot of the slightly more disguised garage:
       And one of the area that I call ‘the triangle’ – just off my sewing room and alongside the driveway. Before, it was a big tangle of underbrush and semi-buried stumps and generally a mess. In addition to the rhodedendrons, there is a little coral bark maple, forsythia, honeysuckle, a small red twig dogwood, a wigelia, and a few other plants; I also scattered lots of wildflower seed and a bunch of columbine seed ( thanks, Gretchen! )in there. I’m hoping it will all grow as nice as I envision it will.    We’ve also scattered a lot of grass seed in some of the sandy area between the house and the garage- in the hopes that we can mitigate some of the sand that travels into the house. 

I’m waiting for the new iron to arrive today. The gravity feed one that I have here is so different than what I’m used to – and really right-hand oriented. So, I haven’t done any sewing for the past week and now that the weather has turned, I’m itching to get busy in there. I still have those curtains to do for the sliding doors in the living room, and that overdue wool coat ( you will have it before it gets cold out, I promise, Justin 
But, of course some new thing is calling my name. Yesterday a pattern arrived that I’ve been looking for for nearly a year:    Mom made this very dress about 50 years ago, and it’s so pretty that I had to have it. Last time it came up on eBay it went for over $150, and even though I’m kind of nutty about old patterns, I couldn’t even think of  paying that much. So, after putting it into a ‘notify me if this item comes up’ slot on eBay, they did, and I bid, and now it is here and mine. For about the same as what a new pattern costs nowadays. It’s not my size, but I can grade it up to fit. The other challenging thing is that it’s an un-printed pattern. Just blank tissue with little holes for marking – I’ve sewn a couple of patterns like that, and once you get used to working with them, it’s not too weird. The printed pattern was a real milestone in home sewing but that change happened so long ago  ( 1930′ for McCalls, then the late 50’s and early 60’s for the rest of the companies ) that no one who sews even thinks about it anymore. But, I now need to figure out what to make it out of.  I would love a cotton – because I don’t really need any more ‘fancy’ dresses, and I don’t like dry-cleaning ( and it is already pretty fancy on its own ), but I can’t imagine ironing all of those little pleated insets in the skirt, and godets ( the triangles inset around the hem). The other issue is that it will take ten yards of fabric. Yipes. Oh, and hem is 39 feet around!  It will take a day just to hem it. Seems like a solid color would be the right thing, but what?  We have two weddings to go to in San Diego in August, so my goal is to be able to wear this to them.

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and not much of it.  
Over the weekend there was an open house both on Saturday and Sunday for 3 hours each day. We had four parties come on Sat. and five on Sun – one of them being a repeat of the day before.  The love the house, but I think they need to sell theirs, or something. Hmm. Anyway, that’s it until weekend after this, unless the realtor decides to have a weeknight open house.  
It’s already getting old, having to keep everything ‘just so’. No making messes in the kitchen that can’t be quickly cleaned up. No lingering smell of food.  And I keep going to get something or another that is no longer here, it is in Washington. 
Two weeks ago I had a good sized, painful lump in my right breast; saw the doctor, and by the time I got in for a mammogram and an ultrasound last week, it had all but dissapeared. Everything came out normal, thank god – but I think it is really stress related. Add to that stress the thought of it being the big C and as much as I tried to ‘let it go’, I was just a mess. I think I’m better now, but just tired of it all. 

Yesterday was Justin’s birthday – hard to believe that he’s 33. Yipes. That makes me………..even older, aghhhh!

My favorite blog, http://www.dressaday.com/dressaday.html  has put in one of the patterns that I sent to her ( though she credited the wrong one with being my grandmother’s ) and it generated a lot of discussion regarding the wearing of dresses to do ‘chores’ in. I am a skirt and dress wearer – especially in the heat they are so much cooler.  There are frequent posts dealing with vintage patterns there, and its amusing to see that an awful lot of them are ones in my collection ( including the one today ).  If you have some time, there are some great short stories that she’s written there, off to the right , titled “The Secret Lives of Dresses’.  

Sarah and her sister are at the beach house, and it looks like they are having wonderful weather.  It has cooled off here by a good 10 degrees, and I am relishing in it.

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