Oh! The dishes that I got at the Goodwill the other day that are featured in my first post are Harkerware, for all you curious types. This company no longer exists, but it was an Ohio-based china company that manufactured form the 1840s until the early 1970s. My pattern was produced in the late 50s-early 60s. I will be returning to the shop today to get the rest of the cake plates and cups and saucers.
On to crafty-type things:
I have been head over heels for Sew What! Skirts, a fabulous book all about sewing, well, skirts. The nice thing about it is that it tells you how to draft your own patterns for two basic skirt styles that are tailored to your specific measurements. From those patterns you can create a lot of different looks.
It is very well-written; sometimes I suffer from Mom Brain (MB) and can't wrap my head around certain pattern instructions. This book is so simple that even I could figure it out the first time! All of you crafty sewing ladies have probably already bought this book, but for those of you who haven't I can't recommend it enough. I only wish the authors had continued the series to include shirts, pants, and so on. It was published last year, so maybe they will notice how much all of us love it and make some more.
So far I have created two variations of the A-line skirt: one for myself, and one for Sophie. For mine I used a funky retro-ish print from my beloved Hancock Fabrics (may you RIP) and a side zip; for Sophie's I used a really soft flannel and an elastic waist. The pockets on Sophie's skirt look really tiny, but actually it's just the goofy perspective I used when taking the picture. Lesson learned.
I also have a short straight skirt with a side slit in the works, but due to MB I farked it up and have been taking my time getting up the willpower to fix it properly. Being the curvy person I am, I should have recognized that a back zipper would work better than a side one for a straight skirt. There is so much discrepancy between my waist and hip measurement (ahem, we shall not give numbers), that the curve from waist to hip on the side seam turned out to be huge. It caused a lovely bunchy, popped out zipper instead of a flat-lying zipper. Durr. Yet another lesson learned. Sigh. Any suggestions on how to remedy this?
All of my lessons learned reminds me of something that Any Karol says in her new book, Bend the Rules Sewing. She asks the reader in the first chapter what kind of sewer she is, and lists some sewing "character types." I am definitely the perfectionist. Everything she said was so dead on; I know I was blushing in the Craft aisle at Barnes and Noble while reading it. Sewing takes me forever because I am so dang cautious. I measure a million times, cut sooooo slowly, etc. And yet I still make mistakes, of course. Just the other day I was making a placemat (hello, easiest thing in the world, right?) and sewed the side with the interfacing on backwards so that it showed...
Anyway, she suggests for the perfectionist sewer to make something as a gift and give it anyway, even if it isn't perfect. Talk about taking cajones. I don't know if I am there yet. I preface every sewn gift I give with, "The seams aren't perfect, and I forgot to finish the seam allowance, blah blah blah..." She gave me lots to think about, though.
Check out the awesome Amy at her inspirational, envy-inducing blog, Angry Chicken. http://angrychicken.typepad.com/