Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sewing is sewing right?

Happy September!!

Can you believe it's September 4th already?? I swear each year goes faster and faster!

I wish I could say I've been so busy sewing things for the shop I haven't had time to post, but the truth is that while I spent several days sewing last week, most of it was a special order..For my son.

I don't generally do clothing. It's not that I can't, in fact I learned to sew by sewing clothing, it's just that I don't enjoy it. I mean I love the satisfaction that comes from having made something that can be worn. but the process? Not so much. I think it has something to do with that whole rules of following a pattern, I don't do rules well. I think it's a tie in with my Bi-polar disorder, or maybe it's just because I have some oppositional defiance thrown in there. Either way, I just generally avoid it.

But this time I couldn't. ok I could have I guess, but I will do just about anything for my boys.
Even sew a shirt.
A period shirt.
As in Renaissance.
From a pattern.

Simple right? Not so much. See, He liked the pattern we found, but he wanted less billowy sleeves, and instead of it gathering at the cuffs, he wanted the sleeves to lace up at the wrist. oh and he didn't want the collar to fold over and have points, he wanted more of a mandarin collar, just not so close together in the front..and the shirt needed to be longer.

All in all, It turned out good, he was happy with it, and he went to the opening weekend of the Ohio Renaissance Faire dressed appropriately!


Oh..and I made this just before his shirt (So, no picture of that, I am respectful of his wish to not have it posted. Sorry!)





Saturday, August 16, 2014

Getting dressed for All Hallows Eve!




Well, it's that time of year again! I am gearing up to decorate for Halloween, and will be creating lots of goodies for the etsy shop as well.

I'll be sharing tutorials, recipes and vintage finds leading up to the Halloween week.

Just a few of my past creations:









Sunday, July 27, 2014

A walk down memory lane..

Yesterday I reconnected with some family on my father's side. It was a good visit, and I probably stayed far too late into the evening,  but it was long overdue.




Whilst there, my Aunt Terri gave me this afghan Mom had crocheted for her mom over 40 years ago. This would have been when she first began crocheting, she'd started learning while pregnant with me.

I'm told it was always on the back of my Grandma's couch..even after Mom and Dad's divorce and subsequent family rift, and the knowledge that Grandma liked it that much, would have tickled Mom pink.

I wish I were able to tell her about it.

I am so very grateful to have this piece of family history, and the fact that Mom never kept any of the afghans she made makes this even more special. Mom loved to crochet, I can't ever remember a time when she wasn't a crocheter, and she always had several projects on the go.

Thank you Grandma for preserving this piece of art from my mom, and thank you Aunt Terri who saved it for me from Grandma's estate.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Behind the scenes..


I am often asked what pattern I use for my various creations, so I thought I'd share with you all my dirty little secret..

I don't.

Like, Never.

OK, more like hardly ever.

Still...

I think the last time I used a pattern was at least a year ago..and honestly, I haven't even finished it.

When I am getting ready to make something that I am planning to make more than one of, I make one, taking notes as I go.


When it's finished I notate what I feel needs to be changed or adjusted, or not, depending on how the project went.

If a pattern piece is needed, I make a rough sketch and play with it until I get the result I'm looking for.

Once all adjustments have been made, a final draft is put into my master sketchbook, signed and dated for copyright reasons. The added bonus to doing this is that I can then trace each pattern piece onto plastic (Shelf lining plastic for wire shelves is perfect for this)


Take, for example, the shoppers I have been working on this weekend.

This first one had some issues, mainly pertaining to the interfacing choice, that made the finishing problematic.
Note the upper edge..
Due to the stiffness of the pellon 70 I used and the smaller seam allowance, turning the edges under for top stitching the opening closed was a bit of an issue. So, for the next round I have switched to Pellon 926, along with Pellon Decor Bond and increased the seam allowance to 1/2" which will fix that issue.

The other change that needed to be made was on the pen channel. This pen fits just fine, but I felt it needed to be wide enough to fit a marker or highlighter so I made a note to adjust my sewing lines to allow for a wider channel.


So, now that I know what did and didn't work, I cut a small run.

I limited the run to 6 in all, nixed the ric rack for expediency's sake, and changed out the original magnetic snap for velcro (due to availability..I've only 4 more sets of snaps!)

Here are my cut pieces prepped and lined up..


And the finished products..



Now that this run is finished, I am mentally kicking myself because I'm still not 100% satisfied. I think I want to make it more narrow, it feels too wide..but that is for another time, as right now I have a living room full of hungry guys waiting patiently for their dinner ;)

In Stitches,
Michelle


Monday, June 23, 2014

Making a comeback!

The past 7 months have been rough..but I feel as though I am finally getting a grip.

Therapy Helps..a lot.

So does challenging myself creatively, branching out and trying new things, making the time for writing, my art and building my online presence.

In short...I'm back with a vengeance!!


Let's start this new "me" with a bit of a sneak of what is on the cutting table..
 


Some other creations I'm working on...




And my last creative finish..A birthday gift for my Mother-in-law,





Today I'm in Weekend recovery and laundry mode, but I'm hopeful that I will manage some studio time!


In stitches,
Michelle











Sunday, April 13, 2014

A new normal

Losing a loved one is a major, life changing, experience.

It has been almost 6 months since Mom's passing, and life has started settling into a new normal.

I've been re-evaluating many aspects of my life, and my love of writing and sharing my projects, thrifty finds and thoughts have been being neglected.

There are many reasons, but it all boils down to allowing my tendency to be an all or nothing personality type keep me from doing what I can when I can..and writing about it either way.

It's time to put a stop to it!

So watch out blogosphere...I'm BAAaack!






Friday, January 17, 2014

Changes...

So we are well into the new year, and things are starting to feel more settled, but there has been a major change in my family's life, one that I wish hadn't come to pass.

On November 1, 2013 one of my boys and I discovered that my Mother had passed. It was unexpected..and in fact, worry after no one having been able to get her on the phone spurred us to go to her home.

It is strange. I find myself thinking I need to ask Mom about this, or I need to remember to tell Mom about that..I've even told one of the boys to text Grandma when seeing an unadvertised sale, or finding some yarn or vintage crochet books at the thrift and then the sinking feeling of oh..wait..she isn't there.

Thanksgiving was hard, Christmas was hard..Jan 3rd was even harder. It took me a while to realize what was wrong with me on that day.  It was Mom's birthday. She would have been 61. Too young to be gone. Sometimes I still can't quite believe it.

We miss her, I think that she would be glad that my Sister and I are developing a closer relationship now, but she would be saddened, as I am, that I can't say the same for our brother, but each person has to grieve in their own way.

So, we will go on, I will continue to post, and celebrate the creative spark that she passed down to her children, and her children's children..but there is a piece of our lives missing that I just couldn't publicly put into words before now.

Rest in peace Mom, we love you!