Home and Happy

After 2 weeks away from my sewing room to catch some sunshine and relaxation Mr. Mole and I decided to drive flat out for 12 hours over the mountain passes to get back home before a storm was predicted. It was 9 pm and the snow was coming down fast enough so that neither of us could see the white line in the highway. Sharing the road with huge trucks passing us on the right was muy muy scary as I was riding shotgun!

snow-pass This is the morning after and you can see the road now.

The next day I was looking forward/dying with pain  to meeting with an orthopedic surgeon about my knee and he suggested that I have laproscopic surgery to be done like this. While not being a fan of surgery after my foot surgery last Feb (is this getting to be a habit?) at least this one will get me up and walking and I can continue sewing for brides. Speaking of brides, I have asked a neighbor who is a wizard at woodworking if he can make me a platform about 14 inches high and 42 inches across so the brides can be elevated and I don’t have to kneel to pin hems. Stay tuned for that!

This week a woman my age dropped by with 2 projects. One was a standard silk painted kimono dropped shoulder jacket that needed the sleeves shortened without losing the cuffs and the addition of shoulder pads to give her some height. I’ll give you some photos as to what I did: 1-new-seam-line Thread baste the new seam line. 2-sleeve-removed Sleeve removed from French seam. 3-sleeve-intact The other side before deconstruction 4-measure-sleeve-seam 5-measure-armhole Measure both sleeve and armholes…we are lucky they both measure 12!!!! 7-chalk-the-new-cutting-lin8-trimmed-off-piece Chalk and cut off excess fabric…save the scrap as a template for the other side.

9-cut-other-side-with-templ Pin the scrap RST on other shoulder. Cut along side the raw edge, then sew a new French seam. 10-sleeve-finished  

Ahhhh, the right sleeve is finished and ready for pressing.

The other project was for an event she is going to attend…are you old enough to know the Moody Blues band from 1964? Well, in spite of the original founding members being retired and replaced, they are going strong and even have cruises…check it out…Moodies Cruise.

Here is what the woman wants to wear to boogie along with her fellow revelers: 1-back-view Yes, it is a silk top from 1990 but it has a little problem… a whole lot of space between the center back zipper edges. The client decides it would fit better if we turn it around: (Really?)2-front

All we need is 8 extra inches to make it fit…can you spell “impossible“?

3-full-front  4-open-front Even after removing the zipper, things don’t look much better but if I add two 2 inch wide bands of black satin-back crepe to the center it may not look too bad. It will begin the second part of it’s life as a jacket and no one will know that she bought this little honey at Goodwill for $8. It’s our little secret.

I’ll be checking back with you in a week with more finished photos but in the meantime be sure and record the new “Project Runway” series on Lifetime TV channel so you can fast forward through the commercials…who are you going to root for?



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27 Responses to Home and Happy

  1. BeaJay says:

    Wow – I have saved some lovely clothes from when I was 30 kilos (66 pounds) lighter and I MUST bring them to you for alterations! You can work miracles! I am dying to see what you do with the red top.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks BeaJay but I have my hands full, literally with my 60+ year old clients who keep buying “little girl” tops from thrift stores to save money. I have a stack of my own beaded gowns from the 80’s and 90’s and shoes to match but 25 years is a bridge too far!

      • BeaJay says:

        Sorry – that should have read blue top – not red (the red from the dressmaker’s dummy stood out). 25 years is a big bridge – as is 66 pounds – LOL – and 8 inches!!!! Good luck.

    • mrsmole says:

      Seeing as there is actually more red showing than blue, it is a logical mistake. Love your blog with real woman wearable clothes!

      • BeaJay says:

        Thanks so much – that really means a lot coming from a professional like you – sewist that is – you know what I mean 🙂

      • mrsmole says:

        Bea Jay, I admire passion and a desire to learn when people mention their hobby/interests. Making mistakes and selecting the wrong components makes us learn and revise for the next time. Making lots of different versions of the same pattern can teach us so much about fabric drape and weave.Following you and others as they make, remake and carry on gives me joy. Seeing people announce they have a wadder makes me sad because a wadder is such an invitation to innovate and create something better.

  2. Great idea about the platform! That seems like the perfect solution. I like what you’re doing with the jacket, too. Fun!

    Glad to know someone else is a Project Runway junkie! I LOVE them all…! Not sure how this whole ‘team’ thing is going to go this season. It will be interesting..!

  3. People do want the strangest things! I was a teenager in the 60s–what an era! So, yes I remember the MoodyBlues. Some bands just don’t go away, like the Beach Boys. I haven’t an opinion about the contestants on the new PR show. I wonder though, how the older ladies are going to fare. I know I couldn’t keep up the pace.

    • mrsmole says:

      It’s hard to know really how demanding the pace is when they record shows…are they really only getting 24-48 hours to create a garment? Does this happen 12 days in a row and they spin it out to 12 weeks? Did you ever think about how long they actually stay in the Atlas apartments…do you think it is 12 weeks in a row…Lordie…3 months solid? After 12 weeks camping out in those slumber party facilities…I’d kill my roommates!

  4. ellecsews says:

    I so wish we (in Canada, that is) got Project Runway the same time as you in the US. God only knows when it will show up here. A pox be upon their houses.

    I think the platform will be just the thing, you can do all the pinning while whipping around while sitting in comfort on a office chair. If you get/have one with arms, you can use them as pin cushions!

    I wonder why people think you have the capability of manufacturing whatever fabric they need? Basically that is what it comes down to, right? Oh wait do you? Are you holding back on us?

    • mrsmole says:

      I’m thinking about getting a mechanic’s seat that rolls around but instead if sliding myself under a car, I’ll be scooting around the platform…well that’s the plan anyway. There is no way I am going to do anything heroic besides slap some black bands on the front of that top/jacket…only charging 2 hours of labor and since she paid a whopping $8 for it…how can I justify it? I re-bead wedding dresses but never this poor orphan from the 90’s. You can get older Project Runway episodes on the internet can’t you? Have you checked the link I gave?

  5. Jane Urbach says:

    Remember to add stairs to one side of the platform so the brides can get up and down, Maybe some that have those wheels that lock when you stand on them, like the old library stools, so you can get it out of your way. If you could move it easily; it could also have a hand rail for the less than agile clients. Nothing like a long skirt going up stairs without a brain attached.

  6. mrsmole says:

    Ha ha…never heard that phrase before! I do plan on having handrails and a step up and have lots of things to consider with that rolling seat. One friend told me they can come with a small compartment where tools are spread out and that would hold a magnetic pin holder. Thanks for the advice, Jane!

  7. Why do people imagine we can ‘grow’ a garment so much from the tiny seam allowances – and why are they then shocked when we tell them the alterations will show and that they will be very weak! I have managed to perform some surprises with this situation but I don’t want to have to make it a habit!
    Good luck with your knee surgery and the platform to make life easier. That sounds like a great idea.

  8. theresa says:

    LOL, you know the comment exchanges are as entertaining as the post. A bargain isn’t a bargain if you don’t need it or it doesn’t fit. I learned this lesson a long time ago with shoes and have applied it to most everything else successfully. Best of luck with the knee surgery ( my Mom had knee surgery a few years ago, and they get you moving it and exercising right after you wake up and are coherent). Getting that platform made should make a lot of difference. You need a small rolling stool and less size demented clients! 😉

  9. Bunny says:

    Where do people get these ideas? It would drive me to drink. Your platform sounds like a perfect solution to the fainting bride syndrome as well as the knee injured seamstress. Good luck with your surgery.

  10. Monique says:

    All the best with your surgery! It sounds like it will do the trick and not cause you much disruption, especially when you can make pinning hems more comfortable.
    I just can’t get my head around wanting to wear what I wore when I was a teenager. Maybe, and a BIG maybe, if it were couture quality and it still fit, but otherwise?

    • mrsmole says:

      The whole idea is that everyone on the ship will be wearing blue and this woman wants to be seen I guess. She described herself as a “groupie” who attends all their concerts. Are there really 60+ year old groupies around…apparently so.

      • theresa says:

        scary, very scary. I wonder if they feel the need to toss underwear. Oh wait, that’s Tom Jones concerts, although Nights in White Satin…….;)

  11. I had this same surgery a few summers ago. My knee was a big ole hot mess before hand! I had a fabulous surgery and have never regretted it for a minute. I had several months of physical therapy, but am happy to say that I can do everything now that I could prior to my injury. Get second opinions, ask around, and above all, find yourself a good surgeon that YOU feel comfortable with. The first surgeon I talked to seemed good at what he did, and I’m sure he would have done a fine job, but I just didn’t feel all the comfortable talking with him. I had an amazing experience with the doctor who actually did my surgery and had no problems whatsoever during my recovery

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you Cisa for your encouragement. I have a nice doctor who explained everything to me today and even said he would make a video of the procedure but not to watch it for a day or so. So many people my age have had good results so i am excited about being pain-free and back to work but from now on with a raised platform for the clients so I can pin without kneeling.Thank you for dropping by.

  12. Pingback: Remake and Relax | fit for a queen

  13. Alex Carr says:

    Did you tell your neighbor that this wordworking job should be real simple? Speaking of brides, I have asked a neighbor who is a wizard at woodworking if he can make me a platform about 14 inches high and 42 inches across so the brides can be elevated and I don’t have to kneel to pin hems. Stay tuned for that.

  14. mrsmole says:

    It has been so super to have this for my brides and in fact they turn around like they are on a lazy Susan and I just stay put on my butt in one place…they do all the work. Make sure you have a small step to get them up to the 14 inches especially since they are wearing high heels that are new to them. I also use the platform with a mannequin to trim netting that hangs down and to preview bustle points without having to make them stand extra time.

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