Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Umm...Has It Really Been Four Months?!

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been 4 months since my last post!  I’ve been pretty busy in that time period, although you’d never know it by my blogging activity.  You may recall in an earlier post that I reflected on how bloggers whom I follow are able to dedicate themselves to publishing daily posts and updates and still live a full life.  I find this to be a challenge at times, but I want to make a commitment to myself to be better.  More on that later…

So, allow me to bring you up to date on my activities.

All American Girl

When last I left you, I performed a bust dart test on my version of the All American Girl dress worn by The Nanny.  To resolve my bust dart dilemma, I used a combination of easing and tucking in the dart area so the fabric stripes would not be distorted.

As it turns out, I cannot stand how the eased tucks look, so I will re-do the bust darts...no doubt, just in time to wear next Independence Day!  I think I'll probably use a traditional dart.  Yes, it distorts the stripe, but that looks a lot better than the puffiness I have now near the armhole.

Anyway, I also made a matching bandanna for Max, my American Bulldog.  Doesn’t he look cute?  Oops...I meant "strikingly handsome"?

Sewing Table Top Refinish

I then decided I wanted to spruce up my Sewing Room and furniture and began with my sewing table top.  I inherited my grandmother’s sewing machine and cabinet, but I found the cabinet didn’t provide enough tabletop surface to hold the machine and garments without them falling over the edge.  So, I built a larger surface which rests on the cabinet’s table top.  The overlay is also convertible, so I can collapse the extensions whenever floor space is needed.

However, over the years of use, the surface had become somewhat unsightly.

The iron-on melamine sheets were not large enough to cover the tabletop surface without being "pieced" together.

The screws on top of the surface often got in the way of moving my machines around...not to mention they look awful!

And, there were stains on the melamine surface which would not go away.  What is that?!!

The finish on the original sewing cabinet left a lot to be desired, as well.

After removing the melamine surface with a chemical stripping agent, I sanded and painted each section a soft white color.  My intention was to decoupage the entire table top surface, but I ran into issues matching my paper sections.  Instead, I decoupaged sketched images of French landmarks and phrases to the table top.  My mom was French, so it felt especially fitting to honor her since she was my first sewing teaching.

I painted and applied wood trim to soften the desk edges.  Afterwards, I protected the table top and trim by applying several coats of polyurethane finish to both.

 I also painted the sewing cabinet black, and the decorative plate silver.

After painting the PVC legs black, I reassembled and attached the table top to the sewing cabinet.  I think it looks beautiful and really helps inspire my creativity.  What do you think? 

Video Cabinet and Desk

I then moved on to refinish the video cabinet in my sewing room.  As you can see, it originally had a faux wood laminate finish.  I sanded down the “wood” surfaces, painted the cabinet black and sealed with polyurethane.  I also added the same wood trim I used on my sewing table top.

(Before pictures)

Same wood trim used on sewing table top edges.

I think it looks much better – more “polished”.  All I need now is to convert all of my VHS tapes to DVD format so I can save space.  That’s on the “To Do” list for some time next year.

I also added a fresh coat of paint and sealer to my desk.

The next item on my agenda is to paint and protect my sewing room dresser, which I’ll document on a future post.

I have on my agenda to paint my sewing room next spring and add decorative items.  I really want to create a space that sparks creativity and is a delight to occupy.

Baby Baptismal Blanket

A co-worker asked me to make a beaded baptismal blanket for her godson, using two different wedding gowns – one white and the other off-white – which she purchased from a local Goodwill store...for a song, I might add!!  Both dresses were beautiful, and I almost hated cutting into them.

Back view of white dress.

Front view of off-white dress.

  The white dress included a beaded stole which I used as the blanket base...

White beaded satin stole.

... the ivory dress was used to create the cross embellishment for the blanket front...

...and I transferred some beaded appliques from the white dress's skirt to the "blanket" front and back.

Blanket front.

Blanket back.
I still have a more "hand work" to complete the blanket, and it needs a final cleaning and steaming, but I think it looks beautiful, and the best part is it's machine washable...on the gentle cycle, of course.


I’ve also had some health issues to address – nothing major or life-threatening, but nonetheless important.  I’m glad to say I’m doing much better, but I still have some decisions to make in the near future.

The Carnival

I recently joined the "Carnival of Skirt 2012" sew-along started by Faye Lewis.  By joining, I've agreed to sew at least 2 skirts by October 31st and blog about my choices.  On my initial post entry, I committed to making Butterick 5566 (with a slight design change), and Vogue 7607.  I'm looking forward to completing these projects by their due date.

Anyway, that’s been a recap of my summer and early autumn.  I’m looking forward to getting back to sewing for me, as well as remaining current with my blog entries.

Thanks for reading, and as always…

Be blessed!!


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