Getting back upstairs

Mr H has indicated that he wants to move our bed back upstairs.  (We’ve been sleeping in the dining room since March.)  Before the big move I’m taking the opportunity to spruce things up up there.

I even have a plan!

The July issue of Southern Living gave me inspiration, and I had been salivating over their Home Special Section photos ever since it arrived.  Fortunately they have the photos online, so I can show them to you easily.  Have a look here.  Just in case that’s not there anymore, here’s one of the photos:

Inspiration photo from Southern Living, July 2009

I started back in July by taking down the c.1995 wallpaper border in the room.  I don’t have any “before” photos, but take it from me, it needed to go.  Since then, I’ve been trying to decide on a paint color.  I did not like the aqua color in the magazine entirely, so I’ve settled on a color called Nordic Blue from Lowe’s with Dove Wing trim.

The painter is here today and so far, I’m loving it.

The rest of my plan includes new nightstands, arriving Thursday, new bedding,  plus an upholstered headboard and new window treatments that I’m making myself. I hope there will also be a new television and possibly an upholstered chair.  We’ll see.

Rather than going over it all now, I’ll stop here and give you a play-by-play as it happens.

Simplicity 2615

Simplicity 2615 finished Ta-da!

The photo, I’m afraid, doesn’t show you how great it is.  I think it’s pretty anti-fashion, but that doesn’t stop me from liking it a lot.  It’s floaty, loose, easy, breezy–covers everything, touches nothing.

Not only that, it has pockets!


This is a size 14, with no changes except for moving the waistline tie up 1/2 inch.  I had already sewn it in the spot indicated by the pattern, but it was clearly too low.  When I tied it, the bodice bloused over the waistband in a most unflattering manner.

No really surprises there.

The tie is only stitched down in front, so it wasn’t difficult to remove and attach a little higher up.   I’m past the age for bows, so I’m really glad the ties are short.  I’ve been simply tying a square knot in back.

I like it, but it did not garner any compliments at church. That’s a pretty good sign that it is either unflattering or boring–or perhaps I wasn’t in the presence of anyone who appreciates the unusual.

At any rate, there were no “Mama” comments, so I’m not throwing it out.

I may even make another.

Dressing it up

The front of my new Simplicity 2615 dress wanted some lace applied, and it needed it. Since the view I chose pulls over the head without any slit, it’s far too plain with some decoration.  Not only that, but the eye needed a place to rest from all those small flowers.  The embellishment had to be wide and solid enough that the flowers didn’t show through much–otherwise it would just be one more element of confusion on the bodice of this dress.

I decided on some 1.5″ black lace and satin ribbon of varying widths.  I played around with the positioning for a little while and decided to place a row of lace 1″ from the center front seam, and another along the center front seam for opacity sake.  The ribbon would go on top of that, and should give the eye a definite resting place.

At first I thought I’d pin the layers in place and stitch them down.  Fortunately I considered the unlikelihood of my getting it all straight before I actually proceeded with that plan.  There was a package of Clover 5mm Fusible Web on the table that came to my rescue.  I’ve used a similar product in the past with good results, although this Clover stuff was more precisely cut and has yet to separate from the backing even in our Georgia humidity.

First I placed the two outer strips 1 inch from the center seam, then three more strips:  1 on the seam for the widest ribbon and 1 to each side for the edge of the inner lace strips.  I fused and stitched the outer lace strips, then the inner, and finally the ribbon.  The tape was nice because I could position everything, then remove the outer strips, fuse and stitch the lace, then remove the next ones.

Positioning the web Multiple strips were needed Ready for stitching

After stitching the 1/4″ ribbon, I added a 1/8″ satin ribbon on each side of the wider piece, but there’s no photo for some reason.

I’ve already finished and worn the dress, and I like it a lot.  It has kind of an early 20th century feel with it’s dolman sleeves and loose fit.  Tomorrow I’ll try to have a photo to show you.

Not too long, not too short, but just right!

Simplicity 2615 My sewy world has changed a lot this year.  Sewing is still my primary creative outlet, but Mr H is Job 1.

As you might imagine (and some of you know first hand), critical illness radically changes a relationship.  The Mr doesn’t have a whole lot to be happy about, and I’ll do most anything to help him be happier even if it means my own creativity is a bit shriveled.  He used to have creative outlets of his own that afforded us more independence, but now… not so much.

I don’t like to leave him alone downstairs while I spend time upstairs tracing patterns and cutting fabric.  I can sew downstairs while keeping him company, but like it or not, we have to cut before we can sew.  And you have to dream/plan/trace/fit/alter before you can cut.   Most of that happens upstairs…

Fortunately some of you do manage to eek out sewing and blogging time and share with me.  Thank you!

Last week I was catching up on my blog reading and spotted this entry about Simplicity 2615.  Let’s see, that was, oh, Tuesday.  I’d been trying to plan a new project for nearly a week at that point–even when I have time to blog, I’m days behind what I’ve actually sewn.  I need some transitional church dresses, but the patterns I’ve been looking at were just wrong.

Everything that had appealed to me during the summer, and thus all the patterns I had bought, was slim fitting and knee length.  I wanted something longer, with a full-ish skirt.  And I wanted to make a test run of it out of some stashed polyester crepe.  For reasons that I’ve already mentioned, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time upstairs fitting and altering, either.

And like Goldilocks, I had found what was just right!

Hobby Lobby has 99¢ patterns this week, and like I said it was Tuesday, so the Mr had his men’s group. The stars were all aligned.  You know I drove over there and got it right then!

At this point, Saturday morning, I’ve got it cut and have started sewing.  I used a size 14 with no alterations and only a quick tissue fit.  This is the kind of easy dress that covers everything but doesn’t really have to fit anything in particular.

As long as it pulls over my head and will go around my waist.


Every-woman’s “teal” pants

Ottobre pants Ottobre pants Ottobre pants

This week has been wild and crazy busy, but I did manage to finish these pants.  Thursday evening I pounded on two snaps and sewed on a trouser hook at the waistline so that I could wear them to the office today with my black work shirt.

These were supposed to be cropped pants.  I had to shorten the pattern two inches to avoid the “the dryer shrank my pants” look.

As far as the pattern goes, it needs some work.  I started with the size 40, which convinced me that 38 is definitely my Ottobre pants size.  I had to go back and sew out an inch at the side seams.  I added an inch crotch depth to the front and back of the pants and slid the back piece outward a bit to add some body space.  I also scooped out the lower back a tiny bit.

I haven’t had any time to think about sewing this week, so I’m not sure what I’d like to start this weekend.  Our ASG group is doing chemotherapy cap sewing tomorrow, and my brain is so fried tonight that I can’t think past that.

Y’all have a good weekend.  I’ll catch up with you next week.