Scarlett O’Nancy Vest

Remember last fall when I was hot to find patterns of a particular sort and spent entirely too much time looking all over for them? I had this fabric from my friend Nancy that I just knew would be perfect for a vest. An iridescent quilted satin, it was in a bag of upholstery and other decorating fabrics Nancy dropped off, ample sized leftovers she was sure I could do something with. (Question – do other people who sew have this happen? Where they are given all sorts of fabric because they’ll do something with it?) It screamed vest to me – and in my head, this vest was going to look exactly like one I already had, because the fabric was so similar. Continue reading

Off the needles.

I confess that most of the sewing I’ve done recently has been of the boring but useful mending sort, like hemming pants.  Knitting is far more portable and therefore conducive to traveling or just occupying my hands while watching tv. Along the way, I’ve actually managed to finish some!

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Universal Language

Mena is a 23 year old mother of four who recently fled her home with her family in Afghanistan to resettle in Charlottesville. I was introduced to her by my friend Cathy, who had been paired with the family by International Neighbors  (IN). Their family has been in this country only a few short months, having arrived here in Charlottesville thanks to the assistance of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Unfamiliar to our country, our culture, our language, Mena and her husband are also unaccustomed to running their own household, as they lived in a home with their extended family in their native land. While the IRC got them out of their native country alive, IN works to ensure they thrive in their new home. As a volunteer in the Family Friends program, Cathy was paired with the family to help in that adjustment. Continue reading

A flowery skirt.

Having successfully made myself a few A-line winter skirts with a pattern I’d drafted myself, I decided to pull out said pattern to use in in my efforts to refresh my summer wardrobe. I must have put the pattern in a very safe place though, because I couldn’t locate it. I spent two days going through all the piles and bins in my sewing nook to no avail. Realizing I was losing focus, I sucked it up and drafted a new one. Thankfully I found the notes I had made when making the first pattern, so I had those to go by.

Pattern drafted, I quickly got the skirt cut out and sewn together. I was a little too generous with wiggle room in the waist as well as the curve of the hips, as I’ve already had to take the skirt in once and mean to do so again. I need to go back and adjust the pattern as well, which  has already been labeled and placed in drawer where I keep all patterns for safe keeping.

The fabric came from a long ago tag sale – it still had the original stickers from the manufacturer. It’s completely synthetic, but lightweight – it feels like parachute silk to the hand. It has this interesting texture to it as well – I tried to capture it in a photo – be sure to click on the close up of the fabric to see it.

Now that I’ve gotten the hang of zippers (it only took close to 30 years of sewing!), I’ve started utilizing them more in things like skirts for a more tailored look. I’ve also realized how much quicker it is to whip up a skirt with a zipper and not elastic or a drawstring. I was in such a rush to finish this skirt that when I couldn’t find my interfacing to do the waistband lining, I texted a neighbor that sews. Thankfully while waiting for her reply, I found just enough to finish the skirt, as the idea of heading out to Joann’s at 4:30 on a weekday was just too much to bear.

The end result still needs a bit of adjusting on the fit, but it’s sort of the perfect Becky skirt – a little wild but incredibly comfortable.  It’s already become a go-to for throwing on in the morning with a T for early morning walks with the dog.