Saturday, October 1, 2011

Friday Ramblings - incl. Vogue Website Anomaly

Table of Contents:

Where is Shams? (and Sewing Room news)

Just a quick update. When I've been quiet people start to email me and ask me what's up. ;)

  • Work is keeping me pretty busy. The usual. Next week is some team-building bocce ball. That should be fun. ;)
  • DD1 has moved out! Yes, she is embarking on the next phase of her life. She is attending a local university part time (she's not sure what she wants to ultimately study, but is considering fashion merchandising) and she has secured a retail job at the gigantic Westfield Mall in downtown SF. That place has been her mother ship for many a year, so she's enjoying her new, deeper, mall relationship. Along with these developments, she decided she wanted her own place and she has moved into a tiny studio apartment. She and I now schedule lunches and time to see each other. It's all new.
  • DD2, a high school junior, is primarily living with her dad, who is closer to her school. We also schedule time to get together, such as the movie night we have planned for next weekend - this kid has a special love for old movies and we are seeing some movie her British grandmother loved as a girl - I've never heard of it.
  • That means I have my house to myself! Just me and the unsociable, but demanding, cat. After much cogitating, I decided to reclaim DD1's bedroom (the former master bedroom) as my sewing room! WOOT! And every closet in the house is now MINE! WOOT! WOOT! (Twenty years ago, before having kids, I used DD2's smaller room as my sewing room.)
  • When DD1 phoned to say she was on her way, a week ago, to come get her mattress and her most needed items to start sleeping in the new place, it wasn't 10 minutes before I was moving my sewing machine and ironing board into her room. When she showed up an hour or so later, she just stood, staring and blinking. I don't think she expected me to move so fast.
  • Building a sewing room will take time. I plan to do this in phases.
    • Phase 1 is to get DirecTv in the room. I have an appointment for next week.
    • Phase 2 is to get rid of the bed frame.
    • Phase 3 is to get a cutting table.
    • Phase 4 is to replace her crystal chandelier with some cool tract lighting. (Wow, I was a nice mom to get her a crystal chandelier - and how weird is it for an 11-year-old to desperately want a crystal chandelier?)
    • Phase 5 is to get some sort of seating that converts to a bed. The research has begun.
    • Later phases include getting new work tables so I can have all my machines up and to get more storage. This will take time.
So, what to do this weekend? There are a lot of sewing activities this weekend, such as PenWAG, and I may participate in one or two, but mostly I plan to work at home. Do I sew? Or do I dismantle a bed and get rid of it?

You see my dilemma.

Also, I've been walking. I am so inspired by my walking friends, like Margy and Peggy. I've always loved to walk but haven't done much lately. Then, on Monday evening, I walked 4.5 miles, towards the ocean, returning in the dark, with blisters on my feet. Today (Friday) I had an appointment in downtown SF, and I decided, very impromptu, to save the $2 bus fare and walk home. Six uphill miles later, I returned home with blisters under my blisters.

I need some better shoes. :)

Vogue Winter Patterns

Did you hear about (or notice) the weirdness on the Vogue website on Thursday? They were having a 4-day BMV sale that ended Thursday night, central time. On Thursday, they released their new winter patterns. After a short while (during which many people blogged and talked about the new patterns on various forums) they were yanked from the website. Evidently, they didn't intend to post the new patterns until after the sale.

Then, at 9:15pm Pacific time, they re-appeared. (Thanks to Marlene who alerted me!) There was a 45-minute window that they were on the site and the sale was active. I swooped in and bought a dozen patterns, half of them new. I love the new Koos coat, the Tilton patterns, the Mizono top. There is some good stuff in the winter offerings! Then, at 10pm Pacific time, the sale was over. Phew! I got in just under the wire and my 12 patterns were less than $40 (plus shipping).

And Sewing!

I am very close to finishing a coat. In fact, I accidentally published the post before the coat, or the post, were finished. I took it down immediately, but the partially completed post (I write my blog entries as I sew), still appeared on Google Reader. Several eagle-eyed people asked to me about that.

Progress has been slow because I have been too tired, or too hot, to sew most evenings. (We had a little heat spell, which is not conducive to sewing a wool coat.) But it's coming!

Artistry in Fashion 2012

Oh, by the way, did you notice that Ronda Chaney commented on my Artistry in Fashion review post? The date for next year's AIF is Sept 29th. Just so you know!

Happy weekend!


  1. I realize it isn't practical, but it would be nice to have a chandelier in the sewing room! I'm sure it'll turn out great.

  2. I would LOVE a chandelier in my SR. I have track lighting over my machine area which I find casts a downward shadow. I supplement by using an adjustable desk lamp which I can lower and focus perfectly on my machine bed.

    What to do? Get that bed taken down and then you will be ready to go in your new room. It does take time. I really like, and I know many others do as well, my cheapo Joanns cutting table. I love how it can fold down out of the way or be extended to 72 inches. Have fun with the room redo.

  3. The Vogue Patterns snafu had me sputtering with anger! That was one of those oops that they should have just left up and written off. I know I ended up purchasing nuthin from the sale after they removed the new patterns.

    I write my posts as I sew too! And have accidentally published one or two - can't wait to see the new coat! Gawd, you are the Queen of Coats and Pants!

  4. You were clever to get that Vogue order in. I missed that moment so will have to wait til the next good sale. Your sewing room project sounds exciting. My older son was barely out of the driveway on his way to college when I took over his room. I can't remember now what he did when he came home at vacations but he didn't get his room back. And your walking.... maybe not quite so much distance along with better shoes. And then, what about the Au Bonheur website?

  5. Yes, what IS wrong with the Au Bonheur website? I was so taken by Dorothy K's review of the asymmetric T and now I can't get the pattern. I, too scored during the Great Vogue Oops...gotta be quick on the keyboard! We are having the same heat wave, so my studio cleanup is progressing in fits and starts as I withdraw occasionally to a cooler location. I will send you a picture TODAY of my chair/bed solution...

  6. Ohh, you will miss your daughter's company, but having a sewing room to yourself will go some way to easing the pain, I am sure :) I'm looking forward to seeing your new coat, and I am currently nearly finished some shams inspired goodness of my own ;)

  7. Whoopeee on the sewing room!!! And props to you, a totally nice mom to 1) raise an 11 year old who wants a crystal chandelier and 2) get her one! I was raised by a feral mom, who sent us out to the woods to practice making our own dens, lighting not included.

    For fine and serious walking shoes I recommend Lowa. Generally there is a place or two or three on the internet that has various styles at reduced prices (including their own US website), from walking shoes to major hiking and climbing boots. A few years ago they had fabulous leopard print walking shoes and now that mine need to be replaced, they don't have them any more!

  8. You are going to have so much fun creating that perfect sewing room - I just know it!

  9. I have the biggest cutting mat I could find (36" x 76") to fit the top the work desk and love, love it. Although the desk is against the wall, the top can slide out, which is handy when cutting fabrics. One wall of heavy shelves is filled with color-grouped rolled fabrics (fabric content, length, width etc. tucked into the end); it looks like a wall of roses when it's tidy. I don't like track lighting because of the shadows it casts. I like lots of indirect lighting plus some color-correcting goose-neck lamps by the machines. I don't own an ironing board; an 18" x 48" chrome wire shelving unit is topped with plywood & padding for ironing. I hope you enjoy your sewing room as much as I do mine!

  10. Have fun creating your new sewing room!

    One of the best features of my windowless sewing room is a (homemade) light table. It's about 4ft x 3ft and is amazing for tracing patterns. When I'm not tracing, I slide a sturdy wooden cover over the plexi...highly recommend a light table if you have space for it.

  11. Thanks for the catch up. I have been one of the mystified Google Reader people and since that coat is on my to do list I have been interested in how it's going. Good work to get proactive with the sewing room. I can report that I myself am the world's biggest failure at successful empty nesting - read somewhere that it's the loss of what may have been the best job you ever had that hurts most. There is a lot of peace to be regained in sewing though, I know that for a fact. Take care.

  12. Shams, you have such an exciting life. I've been loving the Keen shoes. I actually have had them for a few years but haven't had a chance to wear them. Am toying with the idea of starting starting a walking program myself. Another great shoe is the Danco. They even have a sneaker-like shoe out now. I couldn't resist and bought a red pair. My sewing life really opened up when I got a large cutting table. My dream table is because it combines it with storage. Someday! I can't wait to see your sewing room as it comes along. I love reading your posts and sharing your joy of life.

  13. Congratulations on the walking!!!! The SF Bay area has great places to walk as well as the wonderful sewing groups and resources.

  14. Just for inspiration, you should check out Patty's ( blog as she just set up a new sewing room with lots of good ideas. Best of luck!