Tag Archives: Mr. Malevolent

Sew I thought you should know…

How grateful I am to all of you. Every single person who stops by and reads this thing. Seriously, it makes me a little dizzy sometimes when I consider how three years ago I didn’t know a thing about sewing, and now it’s this huge part of my life. It has become a form of therapy, an outlet of creativity, a way to be part of a community and a continual delight for me, so despite the long nights of hemming and the occasional (frequent) “what the hell does that instruction mean I hate facings/zippers/basting/the world” moment, I am so grateful for my little sewing addiction. Through sewing I’ve been introduced to so many amazing people and ideas, primarily digitally, and yet I feel connected with people across the world when they say, seam rippers, AM I RIGHT? And I’m like, bitch, please, I totally get you on every level.  Some of us serge and some of us hand stitch everything. Some of us love synthetics and some of us swear by naturals. Some of us love punk, some prep, some (a lot) vintage, some modern, some cutesy, some chic, but I have learned so much from so many people out there, and I can’t help but be insanely grateful for every blog, comment and query I’ve discovered along the way.

Brother Cadfael, contemplating how hard it is to measure stuff without opposible thumbs.

As a mostly self-taught sewer, I’m sometimes embarrassed by the gaps in my crafting knowledge. That’s why I’m so thrilled for each and every tutorial and tip that drifts my way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone post something about “look how I finished this seam” or “easy buttonhole tips” and I’m like, seam finishing, eh? What’s that, then? (I do know what it is now, but it’s sad how long it took me to realize that A. fabric frays and B. you should do something about that.) So I’m grateful, deeply, to everyone and their blogs, because my god have you saved my sewing ass, as it were.

I’m also so so so grateful to my mom. And my grandmothers, both of them. Not because they taught me how to sew, but because they didn’t.

So many people out there have these amazing stories of sewing at their mother’s knee or knitting along with their grandmother. I don’t have that, you know what? I got My maternal grandmother, Isolda, could barely sew a button. And honestly, she never had to, she was the daughter of wealthy Russians who emigrated to Iran, then Persia, in the 1920’s. She had maids and pet bears (true story!) and several fiances. She was, in a word, amazing. And when she met my grandfather and moved to the States, she brought a bunch of fabric with her. And, somewhere along the way, bought more. And never used it, ever ever ever. Instead she bought bags and bags of clothing from American department stores and considered herself under-dressed in less than four pieces of jewelry. She read me Pushkin and took me to get manicures and made me eat weird Russian foods (which I in turn grew to love, and to this day am bonkers for borscht).  She has a sense of style that was essentially Parisian, but with that Eastern European taste for the gaudy (what? It’s true! I lived in Moscow! I would know!). And she never ever did anything with all the fabric and thread and buttons and snaps she had bought. She was a buyer. And it all sat, unused, until my mother unearthed the box from Iran and I discovered the yards and yards of shirting and boxes and bags of notions. My grandmother never knew about my sewing hobby, she passed away before it became such a big part of my life. But something tells me she would have liked it. She liked everything else I did (what else does a grandmother do?).

My father’s mother died when I was very small. But as it turns out, she was an embroiderer. I never knew.

And then there is my mother.

My amazing unbelievable delightful mother, who suffers through kickboxing with me and puts up with my bratty bitchy abuse when I force her to take my picture and lets me know gently, but in no uncertain terms, when I’ve made something that just doesn’t look awesome one me. My mother who, unlike her own mother, hates shopping and make up and buys small batches of really good quality clothing once or twice a year, at most. Thanks to her guidance and my ever-expanding pattern collection, I’m trying to erase the Forever 21 and H and M that have long littered my closet, and instead replace the crap with a small collection of great quality highly flattering garments. She is always willing to put up with me babbling about work or life or sewing techniques or why I think standing on an escalator should be illegal (it really should).  She watches Downton Abby and she laughs at Parks and Recreation so hard she once cried. She bought a fedora because she wanted a hipster hat (her words). She loves I Am Maru almost as much as I do. And she doesn’t think it’s weird that I jumped headfirst into making my own clothing and devoting a lot of my time to grainlines and pinking sheers. So while my lovely father just says, “nice” when I model a new blouse or skirt or hand dyed shibori inspired jacket, my mother actually stops, looks, and tells me how she really feels. And I am, and will forever be, grateful.

And of course, I must thank all the cats.

Tiny Tiger and Mr. Malevolent, who live with my parents.

a

And Brother Cadfael, who lives with me.

Thank you all, everyone, I am sew grateful. And as for anyone who actually read this 1000 word post, thanks for that too. I’m sew grateful for you, too.

Don’t forget about the giveaway! Debi listed 4 rounds of links here, and you can still enter my grand giveaway here! I will be drawing a winner on Sunday, so enter by Saturday, February 11th at 11:59pm and you will get a shot!

16 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Sewing

Be Mine: Not So Plain Jane Pajamas

I have never had a date on Valentine’s Day. I’ve had dates and hook ups and hang outs and whatever completely ambiguous word the kids are using these days (can we just say date, please, so I know that’s what’s actually happening? Because otherwise I’m completely in the dark), before Valentine’s Day, and after Valentines’s Day, but never right there on Valentine’s Day. Now,  I know it’s a terrifically lame holiday made up by card companies and chocolate manufacturers and we should show people we love them all the time and blah blah blah logic. I can rationalize it all I want. I can rationalize anything, it’s an essential part of human existence and survival. But rationality always gets a rough backhanded slap to the face around February 14th when every single person in the universe appears to be coupled up and you are sitting all alone telling yourself that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat your body weight in fries and/or drink your body weight in the fermented beverage of your choice.

But I’m trying not to be bitter about this, and instead take joy in all the love around me. Or some crap like that.  I guess this is my “I choose me” moment. And in the spirit of that, I made this lingerie/pajama set, in, drumroll please, SATIN! Oh, how luxurious indeed!

So shiny!

 

I had all this black lace leftover from an embellished sweater project, and I knew I had to do something interesting with it, because I love the lace, I just hadn’t loved it all over a sweater.

 

I think it's a little Boardwalk Empire, no?

 

I used Burda Style’s Jane Pattern . I got two yards of deep rich wine colored satin from Jomar Fabrics (huge sketchy warehouse full of appliances and imitation designer clothing and tons of fabric, worth it if you have time to unearth treasures, it’s like the Forever 21 of fabric stores but far dirtier) at 2 dollars a yard (score! I love Philadelphia).

 

I added three inches to the short legs on the pattern. I'm comfortable with that decision.

 

I love this. I feel so pretty and comfortable in it, and I think it turned out fairly well. Of course, it’s completely inappropriate for February on the East Coast, but beauty is pain, right?

Mr. Malevolent loves it. There, I got a date. Isn't he handsome?

 

I still have some lace left. Crap. Any ideas?

3 Comments

Filed under Clothing, Sewing