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Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic
I honestly did not mean to take such a long break (a full year!) from blogging – where did 2015 go??
For the first few months of the year, I was finishing up the second half of the season at The Dallas Opera and the long commute across town eats about 3 hours each day. So, needless to say, blogging at the end of a day didn’t hold much appeal.
When the opera season wrapped up at the end of April, I unexpectedly found the motivation to do a bunch of sewing for myself – I was whipping up a lot of things I had been wanting to make myself and didn’t want to risk losing enthusiasm by stopping to blog. (I did Instagram most of it though so I have a few crummy selfies & construction shots.)
My husband and I were also slowly working our way through a home office makeover on the weekends from the middle of February to the end of May. So the computer wasn’t properly set up at times during the DIY mess.
And then the phone rang with a job offer and I was driving over to Louisiana on Memorial Day to work on a TV series filming in Baton Rouge.
I was promised a week of work. I packed for a month.
Television shooting schedules are a bit insane. I worked at least 12 hours a day and even worked one 18-hour day in the costume shop at the production office. (So glad I wasn’t working on set in the humid Louisiana summer heat!)
It was the middle of week 5 before I found myself driving home. I’ve worked in the film world long enough to know that once someone puts you to work and you don’t fail spectacularly, they will try to keep you as long as possible.
The day after I got home, a collarless pug showed up at my door. Luckily, I was able to track down the owner by the next afternoon thanks to DFW Pug Rescue. (If she had been chipped, it would have been easier – please have your pets micro-chipped!)
I think I spent about a week just staring at the wall after everything got back to normal.
And a couple weeks later, I found myself going back to Baton Rouge. Good thing I hadn’t bothered to unpack my sewing machine from the first trip!
I only let them have me 2 weeks, and then I came home again.
I had about a month before the new opera season started, so I tried to finish up a bedroom makeover I had started between Louisiana trips.
I recently made myself a new wool coat during daily breaks at the opera. And I even managed to get photos! I’ve been working on a blog post about the coat, but I decided to briefly put it aside because I found a TV promo of the show I worked on in Louisiana.
So here’s the first tiny (and I mean tiny) peek at a ball gown I miraculously cranked out in only 6 days, at about the 0:27 mark. You mostly just see the petticoat someone else made.
UPDATE 6/4/16: The original teaser I linked to disappeared, but I found a full length trailer instead. The ball gown is now at about the 1:48 mark:
Underground premieres March 9, 2016 on WGN for those of you who are interested in watching it.
Aside from a couple other projects that I’ll be able to talk more about in the coming months, that pretty much sums up my 2015.
I promise my next blog post will not be a year away!
Happy New Year, everyone!
Did I leave you hanging in suspense about which was the lie in the list from my previous post? From the people who decided to guess, the results were pretty evenly distributed across the three choices.
The logic some of you used to make your choice was really quite good! I had fun reading your guesses.
So without further ado (and in no particular order), here are the rest of the stories:
I once won a three-legged race – without falling down!
Yes, I did in fact win a three-legged race. And yes, my partner and I did it without falling down… while running!
I was in 4th grade and we had a school track & field day, Olympic-type games & events, and competed as classes. We knew ahead of time which events we would be competing in, so my friend and I decided we would practice for the race during recess. I remember classmates being amused as they watched us casually walk around the schoolyard with our legs tied together.
The training really paid off because we could move together without thinking about it by the time we had to race. We got so good at it, the day of the race, we sprinted to the finish line only to turn around and realize everyone else was still at least half the field behind – and most of them were stumbling or already lying in awkward 3-legged heaps along the way.
I have no photographic evidence of that day (I can’t remember if we were even awarded actual ribbons) so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Batgirl is my cousin.
I’ve never actually met her, but there have been a few emails back and forth between my mom/mom’s sister and some of the family on the other branches of the tree. I remember watching reruns of the Batman TV show as a kid and thinking she was so cool. Now when I watch the show, I wish I had all of Barbara Gordon’s clothes in my closet!
I love country music.
When asked what kind of music I would like to listen to, I always answer “anything but country or rap.”
I have very eclectic taste in music. I grew up listening mostly to classical and ‘50s & ‘60s Oldies. My music collection contains a little of everything – Big Band, The Beatles, The Monkees, ABBA, The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, techno, synthpop, and mp3s of miscellaneous songs from almost every decade up to the current year just because I like them or have memories associated with them. (Some of the songs in my collection aren’t even in English.)
I can listen to pretty much anything, however, if you make me listen to more than a couple of country songs in a row, I will become more and more irritated. The general whiny sound of modern country music and the style of singing that accompanies it just plain annoys me. There are exceptions, but very few of them.
The one artist I never, EVER get tired of listening to is Owl City. I can go for weeks playing those CDs and nothing else without tiring of them – Adam’s songs just sound happy and have such clever, poetic lyrics full of puns and double entendres that I’m surprised I can sometimes still hear something “new” when I’ve practically worn those discs out.
There’s even an Owl City song that mentions a sewing machine and sewing “miles and miles of thread… in navy and red” :
Hope you enjoyed this bit of blogging fun & games!
“It’s been fun, but now I’ve got to go”:
For many days I have been pondering my Two Truths & A Lie. (Gillian of Crafting A Rainbow started it at the end of this post and MaLora of Bird and Bicycle dared me to join the fun.) I find it hard enough to choose random facts about myself and then trying to come up with a convincing lie made it even more difficult!
So here you go. Can you spot the lie?
I’ll let you know if you guessed correctly in the next post. And now…
I’ve been nominated to join in another blogging “game” or blog hop by Karen of Fifty Dresses about sewing and why we blog about it.
What am I working on?
I’m currently trying to find the motivation to leisure sew (as opposed to hired sewing). I made the mistake of actually starting a written To-Sew list, and it has become a little overwhelming because it’s so long! I’ve been slowly trying to produce practical garments to put in my closet so I’ll have more than just church clothes from my portfolio to wear.
Why do I write?
I guess I write because I feel like more people listen to what I have to say when it’s in print. That way, they have the option of ignoring/skimming a text without feeling like they have to be polite to my face, and those who really want to absorb my meaning can. I find small talk awkward, and when I do join group conversations, I’m often ignored or drowned out by those who are louder and more charismatic.
I started my blog mainly because I was tired of answering the same questions about sewing/costuming over and over in real life. I feel like I’ve been able to write a handful of posts with really useful information that couldn’t easily be found elsewhere online. Google often seems to think so too. =)
Now I find my own blog useful because it’s a bit like a portfolio/diary that I can refer back to when I need to remember when or how I did something.
How does my blog differ from others of its genre?
Well, I suppose my blog is different because I am one of the few sewing bloggers who actually sews professionally during the day. It’s the actual blogging part of the sewing that is my hobby.
How does my writing process work?
I usually start with the photos.
I take a lot of photos during and after a build. (Many teasers end up on Instagram.) I weed through the overabundance of pictures and choose the best ones to edit. Then I try to connect the photos with words.
Once I have my thoughts down in a somewhat logical order, my wonderful editor (aka ever-patient, non-sewing-husband) plods through my droning about things he’s mostly not interested in reading, and makes me sound so much better than I normally would. My readers have no idea how much to thank him! He is also the best blog post title composer – you know all those clever titles? Yeah, all him. My blog would read like a dry history book without him. (I’m actually really worried when he doesn’t fix more than a couple of commas in a post.)
Most of my posts end up being longer than I plan for them to be, but I think because I’m not posting daily, it sort of balances out. At least I hope it does!
I always feel a little guilty about passing these things on, but I would like to know what Catja of Gjeometry and Melanie of The Seeds of 3 would have to say about their process (including a lie!) if they are inclined to play along. I don’t think either of you have been asked, have you? =)
And Karen of Fifty Dresses, do you have Two Truths & A Lie? Thanks for giving me the push to crank out a blog post – I’ve been trying to find the incentive to write for days!
So who wants to guess my lie? Leave your guesses in the comments of this post! (And no, Dad, you can’t play.)
While I’m not exactly participating in the bathing suit “sewing along” (I don’t think I’ve been swimming in about 10 years), I am contributing with a Preliminary Procedure post.
So swim on over to Three Dresses to read about how I start every project, both personally and professionally (illustrated with photos by Lelia!) – here’s the direct link.
And don’t forget to check out all the other SwimAlong posts between the two host blogs – they have everything scheduled from historical research to supply sources to tutorials.
You might even want to join in the summer sewing fun!
Just two days after posting about my Liebster Award, I was honored with another blogging award – the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!
Life has kept me rather busy (as soon as I’m able to get some better photos, I will post about my Easter dress!) so I am more than a month overdue for an “acceptance speech”.
Thank you so much for the nomination, Karen! I can’t tell you how honored I am to be on your list of inspiring bloggers! You were the first follower of my blog who I didn’t know in real life, and I am constantly inspired by your blog. You have amazing style, wonderful taste in fabric and patterns, and you teach me so many interesting details about fashion history with your posts! Thank you for the inspiration – I’m delighted that the inspiration is mutual! =)
The rules seem pretty universal for this award:
Okay so more facts about me. Umm…
(Okay, just two more! Come on randomness…I can do this! *pep talk*)
6. My favorite color is green (especially shades of lime and grass) but orange is a very close second.
7. I finally joined the 21st century and got a smartphone. So now when I’m not at home, I can take emails (the limited access to email was getting to be a career problem) and Twitter with me. And now that my phone has a decent camera, I got an Instagram account.
And now for the easy list – my blogroll (in no particular order)! Many of the blogs that inspire me already have the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, but if any of the following bloggers don’t have it and would like to claim one for themselves, consider your blog nominated and do with it what you will. =)
Blogs I’ve followed for a year or more because they inspire, make me think, and/or teach me things I did not know:
Fifty Dresses by Karen (My nominator who also inspires me.)
Three Dresses Project by Leila (Sewcialist extraordinaire who introduced me to the Twitterverse)
Cation Designs by Cindy (Queen of the geeky bedsheet dress!)
The Vintage Traveler by Lizzie (If you love vintage clothing and fashion history, this is a blog not to be missed!)
EPBOT by Jen (DIY craft geek who is also the first blogger I ever followed regularly when a friend sent me the link to her hilarious Cake Wrecks blog just a couple months after she started it. EPBOT quickly became my favorite when she started it as her second blog.)
A Girl in Winter by a self-taught seamstress (who’s an amazingly FAST learner!)
Drawing Saudade by Saudi (I’ve followed her for almost a year now)
Blogs of some of my inspiring friends that I actually know in person (and many of which I helped setup):
Down by the Ash Tree by Ashley (my sister’s food & various domestic pursuits blog)
Purple Powder Puff by Marlene (my professional makeup artist friend)
art-T-dolls by Traci (friend and fellow professional costumer)
The Life and Times of Athene by Athene (who I’ve known since 8th grade and always writes stuff that amuses me)
Barbara Knits by Barbara (my amazingly talented knitting friend, who I have more to write about in a future post)
Blogs of some of my inspiring new Sewcialist Twitter friends:
Love-Teach-Sew by Stephanie
Bird and Bicycle by MaLora Ann
Thimble & Cork by Kacie, a fellow Texan
Disparate Disciplines by Mari
Gjeometry by Catja
Sew Exhausted by Laurie (and her cousin Kerrielee)
A Make It Yourself Mom’s Diary by Laura
Sparkly Super Nova by Nova, who “lives on a cloud with her unicorn” (best location description ever!)
Kadiddlehopper by Katie
Sew and So by Becky
Musings of a Seamstress by Sarah
Crafting a Rainbow by Gillian
Sew Little Time by Joanne
I know I’m leaving out blogs that just haven’t made it into my reader yet. (I have so many wonderful conversations with those of you on Twitter, I sometimes forget to read your blogs if I don’t catch a link when it’s tweeted.)
Just look at the profiles of people I follow on Twitter if you want to find more blogs! Or look at the blogs of those who regularly comment here – I often spend time reading theirs. =)
The online sewing, crafting, diy-ing community is always inspiring! May we continue to inspire and encourage each other!
I’ve recently been bestowed a blogging award… twice!
And before I had a chance to “accept” it, my new blogging friend (via Twitter) Stephanie of Love-Teach-Sew also awarded me the Liebster!
I am doubly honored. =)
I do have to say that a lot of these blogging awards confuse me. I think I’m just too logical to completely understand them, and the rules always seem to change as they get passed around from blog to blog.
Case in point, the rules from both my nominators were completely different when it came to passing it on. I’m so bad about passing awards on (sorry!) because a) it seems that half of the blogs I would nominate already have the award and b) the rules usually disqualify the other half.
Anyway, to show my appreciation to my sweet nominators, I will combine their questions into a list of 11 and share 11 random facts about myself. (The number 11 is inexplicably the one consistent thing about all the versions of the Liebster Award rules.)
I hope everyone enjoys the randomness… with pics! =)
Okay, your turn! Share something random/funny/interesting in the comments. =)
November is a month of birthdays for my household. Our puppy Wensley started the month when he turned one on the First.
Then I got old…er.
Then my husband had his birthday.
And now my blog ends the month with a birthday. So with the 60th post, happy second birthday, little blog!
In some ways, I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started this blog. In other ways, I can because it seems like I’ve been actively a part of the blogosphere forever.
Thank you so much to all my regular readers and commenters – you all make me smile every time you take a minute to share your thoughts! I really enjoy the interaction, and I enjoy reading so many of your blogs as well!
I have a list of ideas for upcoming posts. There will be some stories about childhood sewing and excitingly successful research about my vintage Wizard brand sewing machine to share. I’m currently in the middle of making Gandalf the Green his own table (so there will be another sewing room IKEA hack coming up) and I have a bunch of mock-ups ready to fit after I clean up my sewing room a little.
I hope you have enjoyed how my blog has evolved over the past two years and will continue to come back.
And if there’s anything specific you would be interesting in reading about, please let me know in the comments!