Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sewing with Tim Gunn

Hooray! It's Thursday evening. My night to sew with Tim Gunn. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a mentor like Mr. Gunn? He is respectful and helpful. His suggestions and comments are usually right on. Such a dicotomy - so stiff on the outside yet so warm on the inside.He is the poster child for goos manners. I'd love to see him walk into my workroom to talk ideas with.
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia give this reality show an honesty without overblown theatrics which is refreshing given the horrid trend in scripted reality shows that dwell on the mean, rude and lewd.
Thursday night with Project Runway - my favorite TV night of the week!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Favorite Child

Have you seen or heard any of the chit chat on TV or in blogs about the new study saying that parents often favor one child over the others? I've heard over and over that many parents don't love their children equally. Well, such talk provokes me to divulge my favorite child.

I birthed and raised 3 children, 1 girl (the oldest) and 2 boys. Did I love them equally? I'm not sure how to answer that question. Is love a static emotion? Is the love I feel for my husband, children, siblings and friends the same, equal emotion? I think not. Since my children were and are not the same, how can I love them the same? But do I have a deep, firm love for all of them? YES. I love each one for their individuality. I celebrate their unique strengths - and they have many! Would I give one away? Well, there have been moments, particularly as teens, but I wouldn't want to eliminate one of them from my life.

How do you quantify love? Remember the childhood gambit of flinging your arms wide and saying, "I love you this much!" Well, that's how much I love my kids. But I'm not sure that is equal or the same. J, my oldest, I love your smile, your physical carriage, your strive for perfection, your sense of fun, your honesty. J, first son, I love your sensitivity, your warmth, your caring, your inquiring mind. T, my youngest, I love your serene core, your talent, your thoughtful and thought provoking advice, your sense of the silly. I could go on and on, but you get the gist. I love them differently but equally. That's not the same but it's the best that I can do.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday by the Numbers

365 - days since central Texas has had a significant rain
127 - days of temperatures in the 90s and above
87 - days 100 or over
12 - days until downtown Georgetown's October Market Days. You can find Mama D and me there. (Hoping it will not be 100 or over!!!)
5 - onesies I hope to get made this week
3 - jumpers I hope to make this week
1 - colonial dress finished!!!! (My project which went wrong every way it could is now over.)

What does your week look like?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Dream

Woke up this morning with a smile. My house was clean! Opened my eyes. Drat, dream ended. Where are those shoemaker's elves when you need them?

Happy Monday morning!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Speeding Along

Halfway through September. Where did it go? Will I be able to get everything done that I need to in the next month? Why did I waste all that time in July and August? (I ask that question every Sept=Oct. Will I ever learn to take advantage of the slow times?)

Working on a special order. The client gave me carte blanche. In some ways that is harder than if a client gives me very specific instructions. But once I got over my insecurities and dove in, I've enjoyed this project. Picked one of my favorite palettes - pinks and browns - a good mix of summer and fall. Finished this morning. I hope the client likes it. I'm pretty secure in the knowledge that the little girls will look great!!!

Still working on the colonial dress for my daughter. Had a second fitting last Sat. Boo hoo, the bodice is still all wrong. I'm trashing it and starting anew. Why is it, when something starts wrong, it almost always is a disaster the entire way? This has been a lesson in humility. I thought I knew how to sew. Now I know with certainty I have much to learn. (I think it's a life lesson for me. Back up one step, listen and watch, Learning never stops.)

The pictures are a couple of the long sleeve onesies I'm working on to include in my Oct. shows. They look really cute with leggings. (Ignore the color of 2nd pic. Consider me technically challenged.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer, Again

So soon - the 100's are back. Can't stand it. The mid 90's were feeling so good. I think we've had 85 days in the 100's this summer. And no rain. Lawns, bushes, trees are so sad. Fire is a real threat. Had friends who lost everything in the Bastrop fire which is still not entirely extimguished. Devastating.

Still working on the colonial dress. It's one of those projects filled with little glitches. Hope the next fitting goes better than last. Please, please, please.

Working on products for my fall shows. This is going well. (At last, something that is positive!) Of course, I'll never have as many dresses, jumpers or onesies that I would like. But I'm excited about showing new jumpers. Can you see the lovely embroidered black corduroy below. My camera doesn't like black. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Ten years. In so many ways it seems like it cannot be that long ago. In many ways it seems like it was ages ago. I was reminded how our memories can fade when one of my grandchildren asked "9/11. what does that mean?" He was an infant on 9/11. He has no real memory of this event as I have no memory of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Now he is at an age where he will begin to gather others memories of this America changing event. It will become a part of his impression of notable events, a aprt of his history.

For those of us who have very vivid recollections of where we were on that day and what we were doing, I suggest you view an amazing documentary, "102 Minutes That Changed America." A filmaker has recreated the timeline of the attack on the Twin Towers using raw footage from many different sources and angles - much of it is private citizens - with scenes of feet while hearing off camera spontaneous comments. Some of it is hot from nearby apartments, some on the street, some from helicopters and across the river in Hoboken., NJ. It is gritty, unscripted, riveting and gut wrenching.

The greatest power for me was that it encouraged me wander through my own personal memories. There was no talking head to tell me what I should remember. The film and I were alone to recall the the unfolding of the incredulous. The family in the nearby apartment shared my wonder at the plane attack, the second plane, the black smoke and red flames as offices burned and people jumped, firefighters and police trying to make sense of the chaos, one tower down in a huge roiling cloud of dust and debris...and finally the second tower collapse along with hope for a miracle ending. Despite knowing the story I was on pins and needles as each step unfolded just as I was on 9/11/01 thinking it couldn't get worse as it did.

If you have never seen this documentary, please do. Share it with your family and friends. We shouldn't forget, not out of hate or fear, but with knowledge of how a life changing event unfolds and how we struggle to comprehend it. It is a psalm to everyday courage under the seige of the unepected. It is a breath taking look at our history.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why I Make Clothes for Little Girls

I'm working on a colonial style dress for my daughter, the teacher. As her fifth grade classes study colonial times this fall, they will have a colonial day celebration. So I'm sewing her a dress. And it reminds me of all the sewing tasks that I avoid by working on my Annarella Girl clothes. At this stage of my life I can indulge my passion with AG without the tiresome, boring (for me) details.

Yeah, no inset sleeves. Thats right so far all my designs have ties or straps because I dislike the picky steps to doing set in sleeves. I am thinking of doing a dress with raglan sleeves which I find to be so much easier, but so far no design for one. It often takes me years of "thinking" before my light bulb goes off.

Loads of fabric. The tables in my sewing room are set up for short pieces of fabrics. The largest things I have to cut out are 18 inches long. Adult clothes take up so much more room. Just to cut out the pattern pieces for the skirt I had to move to the dining room and extend that table to its fullest. Not a huge deal for one project, but a pain if I was doing this constantly. And the amount of fabric in the skirt is astounding. Normally that much material would last me 2 years and 30 dresses. For this garment I'm running it through the machine all at one time.

Zippers. I avoid them when possible. I'm not sure why. It's just a step I don't want to do on a regular basis. Sounds like I'm lazy. You betcha!!!

Fittings. Now, I'm glad fo an excuse to visit my daughter, but I'm not a fan of fittings. When dealing with a commercial pattern, not something I usually use, I know that I need to do a fitting of the bodice before I attach skirt. Keep your fingers crossed as I strongly dislike taking apart and redoing. There are seamstresses out there who are terrific at alterations. Bless them! I'm not one of them. It's a nightmare for me. This is the biggest reason I don't create custom clothing for adults - fit is so crucial.

Designing and making clothes for little girls is definitely in my comfort zone. I can avoid a lot of the unpleasant details and enjoy the creative process. Bring on the colors. Revel in the soft cottons and corduroys. I'm a happy sewer.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Thoughts

Hello, autumn. Not usually my favorite season, but this year cool weather is welcome. For 2 mornings in a row, the dog and I have walked with a spring in our step because the humidity was so much lower. Loving it!!!

Labor Day marks the end of summer and beginning of school. All of my grandchildren are happy to return to see old friends, meet new teachers and enter into a new routine. For Drew going into 5th grade not all his teachers are new. He will have his mom for several subjects. Both Drew and mom are excited.

I'm so proud of my daughter, the teacher. Her school has a classical curriculum. All subjects are interconnected so that while the history lesson is about colonial times, the math word problems are framed in the same time period as is the music, reading etc. It makes sense. I've seen my 3 Houston grandkids blossom, love going to school and relish learning.

This year the 3 Georgetown grands are entering a new charter school which is an IB program. I can't wait to see how they like it. Two of my children were exposed to an IB (International Baccalaureate) program. We found that the studies encouraged real thought and creativity. And I loved that in the high school years they picked areas of interest in which they concentrated, dug deep and ended with a huge project. Yet they still took some regular classes, too.

So back to school for all. Long drop off and pick up lines. Uniforms. Homework. For me I'm working on a colonial dress for my daughter to wear to school. Maybe a bunch of mop caps for all her girls. Loving it!

Begin and finish with autumn's palette. Imagine dresses over a long sleeve shirt and leggings. Warm and comfy. Cute for playground or church.