Finally…a post and a prize!


First of all I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has stopped by or sent me an email about the events of the last week. It is comforting to know there is SO MUCH GOOD in the world when it seems like things are askew. Here’s my favorite photo from this past week:

There are so many good people out there doing tough jobs and it continues. I was thinking about all the events that have happened this week and it just made me TIRED. I can’t do anything about most of it, the continuous press coverage is mind numbing. If I could I’d unplug the tv but then I’d miss things like “Cousins on Call” and “West End Salvage” on HGTV : ) Cute guys doing fun projects, how can that be bad? Oh yeah, “The Property Brothers”, let’s throw them in there as well!

So I am finally getting to my update. Let’s start off with the wonderful photo montages that Ms. Tempest Devyne put together for the End of Bowie Sewalong:

STUNNING!! You can see her entire post about it here.

And then my OTHER favorite thing she did, all our animal assistants:

She even gave my Ashton kitty the “prize” for his assistance with my jacket painting! He was NOT happy when we wiped his kitty paws: ( And for the record – this is certainly NOT the first time a cat has “helped” with a painting project and I’m guessing it’s not the last. Most memorable are the tiny prints Stuart left behind when, as a young kitten, he ran across the floor in my sewing room, ran through the paint tray and then kept going. I left some of the prints and put a couple coats of polyurethane over them : )

THANK YOU Tempest for hosting this!!

Now for some nitty-gritty sewing.

The Facts
: Skull cotton outer fabric and red cotton lining from stash
Pattern: Butterick 5189
Notions: None!
Year: Modern
Time to complete: 5  hours
First worn: April 2013
Wear again? Every single day!
Cost – Free

Last time I made a bathrobe I had adorable cherry fabric that I have now worn holes in, it was almost embarassing to be seen outside the house. No, I don’t normally go out in public in my robe but I do have a large backyard that I sometimes take a ramble in first thing in the morning. Due to a lack of water and aging plantings the neighbors have better visual access (oh…can you tell I’m at work while writing this?!) so I need to be more circumspect. That, and I just want a new robe.

I cut this out in January. For months I’ve moved it from the dining room table aka my cutting surface, to a chair, to the top of the cat food bin, back to a chair, back to cat food bin…it was just silly. I finally worked on it last weekend, got it all together on Sunday night and sighed a sigh of relief.  It needs a few more washings before the inherent softness of cotton emerges but I FEEL better knowing I have the coolest robe around. Cross another thing off the list of Stuff To Do This Year!

 Most importantly, the cats like it. It was covered in orange Ashton fur yesterday. I also finished the new blanket/spread for my bed but as soon as I put it on the cats staked out their territory. I’d like to have just ONE picture of it so will try this weekend. That was another project I had cut out a while back that was left at the bottom of the heap on a chair.

Now if I can only figure out whether I have time to do a Mad Men dress by Monday, make a vintage-style swimsuit or two for Leimomi’s sewalong and work on my Vicki dress. I’m very excited about my Vicki dress since it will take care of TWO sewalongs at once : )


 Thank you Taracat!!

The rules do seem to vary but I’m going to do what she did and answer 10 questions and then nominate 10 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers and ask them 10 questions. Here goes:

1. How did you get into sewing in the first place? My dad’s mom taught me. My dad was going to Cal Tech getting his Phd. and my mom was teaching so my grandmother watched me. She was a sewing teacher. (Among the MANY things she taught tailoring so I grew up with wool jumpers and silk shirts made from the scraps of her students.) The first project I remember was sewing sequins on a blue/green floral dress. She would thread the needle, I think I was 3 or 4, and then I would poke the needle through the fabric where there was a “dot”, put on a sequin, then a bead and put the needle back through the sequin and the fabric and go on the to next “dot” where the next sequin went. We would sit in her sewing room and watch people make movies outside. Her house was across the street from a very popular church that studios used for a lot of outside shots (she lived in Burbank at the time). When we were working on the sequined dress the crew was sitting on her lawn in their director’s chairs with the thick electrical cables criss-crossing all over everything. They reminded me of snakes. When someone shouted “action” a guy on a motorcycle came down the street and wiped out in front of the house. He got up quick, they put red stuff on him, and then he’d lay back down in the street. Then they all laughed and stood around while he wiped off the red stuff and the dirt. Hey, I was little, I thought it was cool. Maybe that’s why I wanted to work in movies.

2. What is your favourite make/most proud of? Hmmmm….that’s a toughie. It might be the swimsuit I did for the Olympic challenge last year. Not only did I make something that most of us dread but I photographed ME in it WITHOUT doing any photoshopping AND got back into a swimming pool. HUGE step for me. Actually, I’m also proud of the fact that I got over my silly, yet common, fear of seeing myself in photographs. That almost did me in at the beginning of the Sew Weekly year but I sucked it up and evolved. Now, when I look at what people have made, if they’re not wearing it it makes me sad. Clothing on a mannequin is nice and all but there is no life to it, no personality. I like the oufits on bodies : )

3. ..and your least favourite make? I think I’d have to go with the first one that hit the swap bag – the pink dress from last year. Good news is that it went to someone quickly at the swap who ooh’d and aah’d over it. Next to go will be the dress I did for the yellow challenge. I wore it once and meh. Almost everyhing else I’ve worn and like.

4. What has been your favourite moment since starting your blog?  When people I DON’T know commment! I knew I had a few who followed me on Sew Weekly but you never realize how many people are out there until someone pokes their head up and makes a comment! It is just AMAZING how many people are out there doing cool projects and living their lives and making wildly creative stuff. For years I felt like what I did wasn’t cool or fun or appreciated. One of these days I’ll post some stuff about the theatrical stuff I’ve done. Just being recognized form something you love to do is wonderful. The two who surprised me the most are Mary Jane Butters of Mary Janes Farm and Oona from Oonaballoona. There was squealing.

5. What proportion of your garments actually get worn in real life? About 90%. I try not to make things I won’t like and am constantly surprised by what I do like : )

6. What do you do with your sewing fails? Bin? Recycle? Refashion? Some have gone to the Swap we go to every few months, a couple have been passed on to someone who will love them and there are a couple in the “re-fashion” pile. Depending on the fabric they may go into the quilting box if they’re cotton, or the crazy quilt pile if they’re silk.

7. What would you be doing in your spare time if you weren’t sewing? Animal rescue and/or advocacy, along with gardening and house stuff. Pretty much what I do around the sewing : ) I didn’t sew for a few years, after I left costuming I didn’t have any motivation and then when I started to feel like getting back to it my husband got cancer and there was literally no time. I would do an occasional project-for-pay since cancer ain’t cheap but that gave me little satisfaction. Then Matthew Zachary gave me some great advice “Get busy living, even if it’s just for you” so I did.

8. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for something you’ve made? “You MADE that??? HOW???” Art jacket at My daughter’s Senior Art Show. And by someone I know that hasn’t seen me in a while : ) None of what I do is rocket science but it’s nice to see the effort appreciated.

9. Do you have any aspirations for taking your sewing further, such as starting up a pattern label, opening a shop? A friend and I have played around with the shop thing for a while. We have a website, Elizabeth Rose Corsets, but I keep making things for ME. We had plans to do photoshoots that never quite materialized and then she got sick for quite a while. In that time I started, and finished, my tablesetting blog (new tablesetting a day for a year with all my own stuff, you can still find it at and halfway through that I threw my hat into the Sew Weekly ring. Now we may get back to the corset idea but even that has metamorphized. I’m drifting more towards piratey steampunk but using recycled clothing. It’s all very vague. I think I need to just sit and play but there are so many fun sewalongs that come up that it’s easy to be sidelined : ) Then an idea hits me when I’m digging through the sweater racks at Salvation Army, like doing a peacock coat with trousers, vest and shirt, that haunts me in my sleep.

10. Are you a perfectionist or a ‘get it done’ sewist? Both. I’m the one with the motto “Done is Beautiful” and it can be. But if you look in almost all my outfits the seams are overlocked, the zippers are in pretty well. I have a LOT of experience! While watching the first episode of “The Great British Sewing Bee” I had to keep reminding myself that these weren’t professionals in the sense that they had tons of education or experience like most of the Project Runway contestants. (They also don’t whine like the PR people so that was a lovely difference!). Yes, Angie and I could each make a shirt and skirt in 4 hours and between the two of us turn out 4 completed outfits a day when we had to because we HAD to. It wasn’t fun but it was useful, like the time we sewed in the dirt for an outdoor Shakespeare festival. Whenever we get together to sew, like we did for the Gatsby picnic last September, when we start to flag she’ll say “hey, at least we’re not sewing in dirt!” and we laugh and carry on.

So here are MY Liebster awardees:
Vicki at Another Sewing Scientist – when you find weird/icky looking worms in your pond its nice to have a parasitologist to ask questions, and she sews some really cool stuff : )
Lee at The Slow Steady – she’s done a couple sewalongs with me, was a Sew Weekly contributor and puts together AMAZING menus every week! I drool evertime I go to her page!
Tempest at Fanbloomingstastic. If you haven’t met her just go. You won’t be sorry.
Anne at Pretty Grievances. “When I’m not complaing, I sew…” She’s very funny and gives us a weekly update on runway fashions as well as her own travails in sewingland. And us pale skinned red heads need to stick together!
Barbara at Zibergirl Sews. Everything she makes is beautiful and classy.
Adri at Adri Make a Thing or Two. She sews, she knits, she crochets…and she makes it all look fun and easy : )
That’s it for now, I’ve got to get this post up so I can do my Mad Men post! I’ll post others later when time permits. Thank you again Tara!

 And one more thing…

Rochelle from Lucky Lucille has a nifty end-of-sewalong video! Check it out here. As an added bonus I found this article on the Doolittle raiders. If you don’t know who they are then THIS is a must-read : )

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