Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My California Studio

Hello lovely readers.
For a week now I have been staring at a blank blog post editor, trying to find inspiration to blog about something you might all like. My inspiration seems to have fled - along with my camera battery charger - so a few post ideas are on the back burner pending battery power and photographs. Inspiration has been a hard thing to come by lately, as you might imagine. For those of you who are strangers to loss or depression (you, a happy minority, I would guess) there is a listlessness that can plague one's days after a great loss, and it can be hard to find your way back from it.

I am searching high and low to find my spark again (and that blasted charger) and I think it might be found in sewing. Of course my to do list is massive and that's what usually keeps me away from my sewing, but sometimes you just need to blow off the "musts" and deal with the "needs."

I have a few U.F.O.'s floating about my sewing space and I think I'll finish a much neglected silk bra today. But first, I thought I would show you my new studio. For those of you who are new to A Few Threads Loose, I moved to California about 9 months ago and finishing my new studio space has been an evolving project.

I was recently featured on the Pattern Pattern Blog (which is fantastic, by the way) and it was motivation enough to finish my studio and take some photos (using the last of my battery power, coincidentally).

So, without further ado, here is my (almost) finished studio!

My pattern drafting table also pulls triple duty as a pattern folding and shipping station.

Wee Butters (now almost 70 lbs and still growing!) keeps me company all day as I work. He and Vinny the cat play constantly and provide numerous hilarious distractions from work.

You can see Vinny the cat hiding out (and most likely cleaning the dog slobber from his fur) in his tiny cube behind my chair.

I'm excited to try out my new sewing corner - before, the machine was cramped on my drafting table and it was frustrating as all get out.

You all remember Boobs McGee, of course.

And of course, no workspace is complete without a picture of happier times, and cartoon monster post-its.

Coming soon: a giveaway, pictures of my garden (my best therapy so far) and a little sumthin' to do with vintage cars.

I'm off to sew!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Back to Blogging with a Sew Expensive... Simplicity 2229

It has been a very strange month. Recently I have been able to get back to working a bit and have found it a very welcome distraction from... everything else.
I've been trying to figure out how to ease myself back into blogging next but - this being my first experience with this kind of life-altering grief - I didn't have the foggiest idea of how to do it. When is too soon? Do I have anything worth writing? Can I even sit still at a computer that long without dissolving into a puddle of tears? Do my readers really want to be depressed to death?

As with some things, ripping the band-aid off is, I think, the only way to do it. But I am starting easy. A nice, happy Sew Expensive post should do nicely.

These posts always make me happy. Shopping for patterns is a fantastic coping mechanism and last month, as I was trying to take my mind off of other horrors, I turned to Ebay for all of the lovely distractions offered there.

This one I bookmarked because it was just too pretty not to talk about. Simplicity 2229 recently sold on Ebay for an uncomfortable, yet relatively reasonable $157.64.

Was it worth it? Well, yes and no. There's always the debate of a pattern being worth what one person is willing to pay for it. And sure, if you're more interested in say, making a reproduction of the dress, then why not? But from a pattern collector/ seller standpoint, the sad condition of the envelope has me shaking my head and mouthing a big "Nope."

Yes it's quite rare, obviously this pattern doesn't come up for sale very often, but if you just want to sew a dress, then I think The Vintage Pattern Lending Library or another pattern reproduction company would be your best bet.
I think about the value of gown patterns more in depth about once a year - usually when the date of the next Air Force ball gets announced to all and sundry.
And were I to make a gown, and not use one of my own personal collection, or one of the gown patterns from Mrs. Depew Vintage, then VPLL would be the way to go. And if I had to choose, I would choose this beauty:

McCall 7595 Pattern Reproduction by The Vintage Pattern Lending Library.

At the fantastic price of $17.50, wouldn't you agree?
And if I may ask, what is the most you've ever spent on a sewing pattern, and why?
For me, it was to get my hands on one of my much sought Simplicity S-Series patterns, and I spent $105. Shhh, don't tell my husband!