Birthdays, Books and Brides

Every April my birthday arrives just as the Spring rains appear. So as I watch the downpour and hear the tapping on my sewing room skylights it is nice to sit with my presents and be grateful for my health and husband and good friends and family who wish me well.

This year Mr. Mole surprised me with a subscription to a magazine I saw in JoAnn’s. It seemed similar to Threads but with many more articles about recycling clothes into new creations. It is called Altered Couture:CVR_ALT0213_lg My first issue will come in May and fingers crossed I will have some time to just sit and flip through the pages and dream! The other present was something I can read and enjoy while riding my exercise bike to build up my knee muscles…nothing to do with fashion but a real treat for the eyes and brain…World Religions:51gVUjIYaUL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX225_SY300_CR,0,0,225,300_SH20_OU01_Maybe most folks would be happy just being in their own place of worship and culture but I find all other cultures and practices absolutely fascinating and this book like all DK (Dorling Kindersley) books cover the subject superbly and extensively with the most beautiful photos!

While we are checking out books I will share some recent good reads and presents from others who understand my personality. My daughter gave me this book: 51Quv9E-TLL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX225_SY300_CR,0,0,225,300_SH20_OU01_While a book on worms seems a strange topic, if you are a gardener on any level or have ever owned and maintained a wormery (I did in England), this book explains the value these absolutely fascinating little creatures have in our world.

513CL5-X3+L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX225_SY300_CR,0,0,225,300_SH20_OU01_Some of you may know that I have been a Kiva member since 2007 and when I found this book about another lender who went on a quest to visit some of his people who were given loans, I just had to read it! It gives you an insight into how we are all connected and how far a small loan of $25 can carry a struggling farmer/seamstress/fish seller in another country. Their success and dignity depends on small loans and you can read about their stories here.

Lastly, if any of you are introverts, swamped in your work or family dynamics by high energy, high volume gregarious people and wonder why you are drained at the end of the day, this book is for you! Reviews on Amazon are amazing and when readers say they cried after finding themselves in the pages…it is true!

41m0N7IIcsL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX225_SY300_CR,0,0,225,300_SH20_OU01_ Susan Cain understands the frustration with being raised in a loud chaotic world and does a great job of explaining how small strategies at home and at work can get us through the day without feeling like we are lacking in communication skills because we do not force our views on others nor have to be the life of the party or center of attention to get our point across.

Finally, my sewing room got in another bride this week and this time she wanted me to cut off her train…here are photos of the gorgeous Augusta Jones gown:

Bobbi_webAugusta Jones Bobbi_side 375x534 Yes, I know…it seems as though the train is the best feature but it has to go so nothing touches the ground…more photos later as the chopping begins! Next time close-ups of all the pick-ups…which are huge godets (triangles) attached at all levels of the skirt held in place by covered buttons and loops ala bustles.

Wishing you all sunny Spring weather in the Northern Hemisphere and happy Fall weather for those south of the Equator!

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35 Responses to Birthdays, Books and Brides

  1. BeaJay says:

    What a thoughtful hubby. I used to read a book a day (and thick ones at that – I am a bit of a speed reader). However since I started my own business I get swamped with reading text books and students assignments so I only read “sewing” books now in small doses. Do like the look of Quiet though.

    I would want to cry if I had to hack off that train.

  2. BeaJay says:

    Oh – happy birthday too.

  3. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, BeaJay…it was a good day with no clients to disturb the bridal sewing production. I told the bride she would have enough fabric leftover from that train to make a small child’s dress or a pillow!

  4. theresa says:

    Happy Birthday! Brides and those who know you rejoice for the improvements your presence brings to the world! I had not seen that new magazine. I dropped my Threads subscription this year
    because it really didn’t inspire me but this new one looks promising. My favorite fiber magazine is Selvedge from the UK, but the subscription is quite unaffordable.
    As to the bride, why buy that dress in the first place? There is nothing remarkable in the top portion that probably wasn’t available in another dress….pity.

    • mrsmole says:

      Maybe someone in the UK is reading this and has read-once copies of that magazine and would like to send them your way? I don’t see anything fascinating about that dress either, it could be from any bridal salon except it is Thai silk but the ruching is all the same and we are even going to reduce the shape on the side seams to make it more form fitting so there you go…buy the dress, change your mind, change the dress…go figure? Gracias for your kind words, Theresa!

  5. Monique says:

    Happy Birthday! Hope this coming year brings all good things. 🙂
    Fascinating reading, thanks for the tips.
    Pity about the train, the dress looks lovely as it is.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thought I should share a dress that would not look better after I worked on it, just shorter. For that price, she could have bought a bridesmaid dress and saved some money for a honeymoon trip. I’ll be watching for all the good things coming my way, thanks, Monique.

  6. ellecsews says:

    ♫ Happy Birthday to You! ♪

    What a lovely husband! Don’t you just love it when you get books for gifts? I used to buy Altered Couture regularly. It is a lovely magazine, great eye candy. I would still buy it, but it is pricey. I would love it as a gift though. (Note to self-hint to husband)

    • mrsmole says:

      It is about twice the price of Threads for a year but I thought for once…”Hey, I’m worth it” and it will be like having a sewing friend who makes cool things visit me. Husbands need hints…do it!

  7. gwensews says:

    Happy Belated BD to you. May you have many hours of Quiet, entertaining reading, and may I dare I say, uncomplicated alterations!

    • mrsmole says:

      Simple alterations? That would be a bonus! Quiet entertaining reading is the goal and sanity saver! Thanks for checking in, ElleC.

  8. Alethia says:

    Glad you enjoyed your birthday, and you received some great gifts! I love Altered Couture…I still have the first one I ever purchased…I just love seeing the transformation of other’s ideas!
    Can’t wait to see the WG without the train. You know it’s not impossible for me to imagine that. We can’t cut the trains at DB, but so many girls want them…mostly the Cotillion girls that to purchases WGs for their events.

  9. mrsmole says:

    There must be a lot of slightly used Cotillion gowns floating around Georgia just waiting for a bride to snap them up for a good price. Does that happen much? Working from home allows seamstresses to whack off anything as opposed to working for a company…good reason to go independent…but you knew that!

  10. Andrea says:

    Happy Birthday! Thoughtful gifts – I think I may buy Quiet for my introvert hubby who has an extroverted job. I was wondering what the bride would do with all that extra fabric…

    • mrsmole says:

      It is fascinating what research says about the workplace and introverts and their specific value in “brainstorming” and “open space” work venues both of which should be discouraged to increase ideas and productivity. Your husband will thank you!

  11. jillybe says:

    Many Birthday Happies to you! And what a fascinating and eclectic collection of books – I’m slowly moving back into my former book-devouring habits, and every one of those perks up my interest. May your year be filled with such blessings 🙂

  12. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, Jilly! I especially loved your blog saga of the kimono and washing the sections and putting it all back together… Making time to read is really something we all need to do to feed the brain…but if you have cranky clients, the reading tends to be put to one side…ha ha.

  13. Jane Urbach says:

    I think I should try and find a copy of Quiet. About 40 years ago I told my brother that the 40 hour week was terminal insanity. He had no idea what I was talking about, but I was also a single parent with 3 very gifted children and attempting to work 40 hours a week. My daughter who is now a “Professional Engineer,” (you have to pass a test besides the master degree, one son with a PhD in Astro-Physics and the 3rd,a Master Cabinet Maker), has a job where she does not work 40 hours unless it is a big crunch. So, after I read the book, I will pass it on.

    At least this weeks’ bride dress is a pretty one, I hope it looks good on the bride. Have a great birthday!

  14. mrsmole says:

    Introverted parents can raise their children in a quieter environment as long as they have the same temperament. If you have a wild child, sending them to their room for “time-out” is absolute torture while sending an introverted child can foster calmness and creativity. You will love the book and find yourself on the pages and shout “YES!

  15. Gjeometry says:

    I’ve never heard of that magazine, (Altered Couture) it sounds AWESOME! And, I pride myself on knowing many sewing magazines, even have a list of many of them up on my blog. I’m going to have to look into this one, for sure and see if I can get it here.

  16. prttynpnk says:

    I’ve had you inspire me in sewing, but now you’ve inspired my Amazon wishlist too! Most felicitous thoughts to you on your natals!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Anne…I never knew earthworms were so clever that Darwin in his research discovered they drag leaves into their tunnels by the pointed end only…who knew? Can’t wait for my new magazine…but how about Project Runway…shaping up to be a good finale!

  17. Bunny says:

    Glad you have some good reading for your recuperation. Peddling does get boring! Are we going tea length with the lovely gown. Formal dress seems to be getting shorter lately. I’ve seen lots of prom gowns now going the short route. Hope that knee is all better soon. Thank heavens you have your little hemming station so you don’t have to bend those knees too much to get the hems done on your gowns.

    • mrsmole says:

      Hi Bunny, no the dress will be floor length in front and all around…weird. This year prom dresses have been varied depending on the size and shape of the bodies…some are going for maximum coverage to the floor. Hemming and pinning is such a breeze now! Peddling can be boring, I agree especially when it is the room with cutting tables and clients patterns and fabrics I should be cutting but health has to come first now. If Spring ever arrives, it snowed last night, I can go out and do some gardening squats to loosen up the quads…I can’t wait!

  18. Pella says:

    Happy Birthday! And thanks for the reviews – ‘Quiet’, I may track down, if only I can get a moment of peace to google!

  19. Emily says:

    Oh happy birthday and how lucky indeed to be given such wordy loveliness.

    Enjoy the gardening as spring will spring soon. Its cooler and drabber daily here on the other side of the world so your sunshine will be arriving any ‘minute’.

    PS I’m intrigued by the worms book. Will be off to the library etc tomorrow

    • mrsmole says:

      Worms are fascinating but also fascinating is your blog about leggings…with a zipper…and darts….oh no! Thanks for sharing your highs and lows….

  20. Tee says:

    Happy Birthday, you’ve won again “Lovely Blog” Award for details.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you Tee for the award but right now I have 8 wedding gowns to finish and while I do enjoy reading and following your adventures on your blog, I have to bow out this time. Hopefully the other 9 people you have nominated will be able to follow through. It makes me smile just to be nominated again!

  21. I look forward to your posts. You seem to accept, with humor, behavior and tasks that would drive me crazy. I sew, but I don’t do alterations, not even on garments I sew. Clothes that don’t fit are donated to Hope House for battered women or ARC. I was very interested to read that you, too, are a Kiva lender. I have participated in 51 loans and at this point all I usually have to do is roll the funds over as loans are repaid. And you are correct, it is so satisfying to know that in my own small way, I have helped make someone’s life (usually women) better.

    • mrsmole says:

      It is a kick really to know you and I have helped so many women to get ahead in their daily lives providing for their children’s schooling and putting food on their table. The book “The International Bank of Bob” makes it even more real as he visits families who have the loans and the success that $25 has done. Thanks for your nice comments PatsiJean!

  22. Pauline Droy says:

    Hi I found your blog and then lost it and have now found the link to subscribe so shall look forward to reading your stories about your client sewing. I wanted to get a wormery – never got round to it but my compost bin (in England) seems to be breeding its own.

    Thanks for taking the time to write your stories very entertaining – belated happy birthday.

  23. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, Pauline. I had a real wormery when I lived near Liverpool and for 8 years it produced great earth and “tea”. When I moved back the the US I had to leave it behind. Do you watch Gardener’s World? We watch every Sunday through the internet…so many great ideas and lovely gardens!

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