Posts Tagged ‘love


A shirt for my sweetie

I don’t remember exactly when my husband first asked me to make him this shirt, but I’m sure it was over a year ago… probably around that time that I was just LOOKING for projects to work on, any excuse to spend as much time as possible in that gorgeous sewing room he’d prepared for me.  You’d think that after he had gone to such fabulous lengths to make me happy, I could have done the same in far less time than I’ve taken.

You’d think.

In my defense, there are a NUMBER of reasons why I have procrastinated as long as I have.  Let me start by explaining just exactly what he requested: a Star Trek shirt.  But not anything too obvious, something subtle, like his “Know Your Roots” Nintendo shirt.  Something where only a fellow nerd would get it.  He wanted a polo shirt, red across the chest with black over the shoulders, in a quasi TND uniform style.  (Never mind that my beloved is an engineer… we both agreed he looks better in red than yellow).  I am less than thrilled with this project, for several reasons:

1. I am not a diehard Trekkie.  I like Star Trek.  I grew up watching The Next Generation and I’ve watched every single episode.  I always thought it was pretty when they opened up Data’s head.  Deanna Troi all but epitomised womanhood.  I liked Riker better without the beard when I was a girl (though I’m quite fond of facial hair now).  And, I’m absolutely mortified to admit, I did have a childhood crush on Wesley (although I swear, I swear, I swear it was just because he was the only male character on the show NOT old enough to be my father…. or in Picard’s case, my grandfather).  All of this said, I draw the line at WANTING TO DRESS UP like one of the characters.  And this teensy little part of me that is not *quite* as nerdy as my husband sort of has to cringe at the thought, even though his nerdiness is honestly one of the things I love most about him.  You want to wear what?  In public?  Ahem.

2. Men’s fashion bores me.  I have not yet ventured into the world of men’s fashion.  Women’s clothes have far more variety, in styles, cuts, fabrics, and just the sheer number of garments to choose from.  Men have: short pants, long pants, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, and possibly a jacket.  Within this narrow selection, there are fewer styles of tailoring and shaping the clothes, and fewer fabric selections.  Which is mostly because men don’t generally have curves they are trying to show off (or, in some cases, hide) and so it all gets to be much simpler.  But it’s also… just less interesting to me.

3. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it work.  I scoured the fabric stores and the web to find a men’s polo shirt pattern (because of course I’ve never made a polo shirt before) and then wondered how on earth I was going to get a perfectly lined up straight line where the red and black meet, when this is going to have to extend onto the sleeves?  I’ve pondered this a great deal (over my year and then some of procrastinating) and am of the firm opinion that there is no other way than to make a muslin, draw the line where red should meet black, rip the seams out, cut along said line, and add seam allowances when I cut my real fabric.  Which solves the “how to” problem, but also requires that I sew a garment I’m not thrilled about sewing in the first place, twice.

But, while I don’t particularly care to dress up like a Star Trek character myself, and while men’s clothes fail to inspire men, and while the shirt poses a few practical challenges, I remain madly in love with my husband.  And this is the only thing he has ever asked me to sew for him.  (Well, that and getting around to hemming the curtains in our bedroom…)  He set up my breathtaking sewing room for me, and he keeps Eva occupied while I sew (when she’s not “helping” me at least) and he puts up with me pausing our TV shows to run upstairs “for just a minute” countless times each evening.  And this is just his support of my sewing, not to mention everything ELSE he does for me on a daily basis.  He really does deserve his shirt.

I’ve started cutting pattern pieces.  I’ll try to whip up a muslin tonight.  I will post more on the subject soon.


Okay, here’s the first one

This is the dress I made for myself.  The single yard of fabric cost me right about $3 including shipping, and I already owned matching thread.  I used a pattern I had on hand for a little swim dress, but I made it a bit longer (can you IMAGINE if it were 3″ shorter???).  I added small darts under the boobs too to give it some shape.  I absolutely LOVE it.  It is just about the most comfortable garment I own!

I wore it to the beach for our anniversary – we went back to the beach where we were married and went for a long walk and watched the sunset.  It was ideal beach wear and I was cool and comfortable.  For the most part, I think I’ll wear it around the house, or as a swimsuit cover up on the way to the community pool.  The fabric is a bit thin, and it shows a little more arm flab than I normally like for going out and about.  It’s absolutely PERFECT though for relaxing at home!




Since Bonnie’s dress is finished now, I decided to clean my sewing room (always a substantial effort by the time I complete a project, since thread and fabric scraps and pins get littered everywhere during the creative process).  And since it is so very pretty and clean, this seems like a great time to show you where I sew.

I am very, very grateful to have such a nice space to work in.  We bought our home a year and a half ago, knowing it was larger than we absolutely needed at the time.  But, since we plan to have more children in the future, it seemed to make more sense to buy a little bigger than we needed, rather than a little smaller (we’d outgrown our apartment LONG before we were able to leave it, and wanted to avoid experiencing this again).  So, until Baby #2 comes along, I have an entire bedroom dedicated to my sewing!  And guests.  It’s the guest room too.  (Soon enough it will have just one bed instead of the two here; one of them is going to be Eva’s once we return the toddler bed she’s been borrowing from her younger cousin who is ready for it now).

The room has adequate floor space for me to cut fabric out, a bright window, and a nice large closet which gives me plenty of storage.  I also have a small dresser which I use to keep:

Assorted notions.
All my patterns – every commercial pattern I’ve bought, plus all my altered versions, stored in labelled plastic bags.
Two drawers full of fabric scraps (and there’s plenty more in the closet).

For a while, I really didn’t think I was going to have a sewing room as fabulous as this.  We were blessed to be able to build our first home and the whole time that it was under construction we planned just exactly how we were going to decorate.  And since paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to really change the feel of a space, we planned to paint pretty much everywhere.  The day we closed on the house, we dropped Eva off with my mother-in-law and we stayed there until 4:30 a.m. painting the dining room and great room, with a burgandy faux finish from the floor to where we will eventually install a chair rail (hasn’t happened yet mind you).  Then, after we moved in, I spent WEEKS painstakingly sketching and hand painting a mural on Eva’s bedroom walls.  By the time that all of this was finished, I was too!  No more paint for me.

Seriously, working on the above rooms had just taken too long.  I was tired of looking at paint, tired of taping down plastic sheets, tired of picking dried paint goobers from my fingernails and hair.  I’d planned to paint my sewing room lavender, and decorate it with chic black and white photos of Eva and Shawn, and eventually sew some sheer white curtains for the window.  But, exhausted, I decided it was too much work and a waste of time when the room will be converted to a nursery and handed over to a baby in a few short years.

So, my dear, wonderful husband, gave me this for Christmas.  He went out on his own, picked the paint, brought it home, and painted it in secret (“Don’t go in your sewing room for a few days; I’m storing your Christmas present in there”).  He picked up the 6′ folding table, given to us by his stepfather, and bought a lovely tablecloth to cover it.  He unpacked my sewing machine and set it up, unpacked my dress form, and arranged the room beautifully.  He selected, printed, and matted a whole series of photos for the walls, boxed them, and wrapped it for me to open Christmas morning.  And after I had done so, he lead me upstairs to see this beautiful finished space, all ready for me.

I was just amazed! I spent a good hour just sitting in there, basking in the beauty of it, while my Christmas guests entertained themselves downstairs.  Shawn asked me if I liked the color he’d picked.  “Oh yes,” I told him, “it’s just exactly the shade I would have chosen.”

He grinned from ear to ear, and told me one of the most fabulous things he’s ever said.  “I’m so glad.  I really wanted to use this color, because the name was Purplelicious.”

You’ve just gotta love a man who wanted to paint me a Purplelicious sewing room.


My torrid affair

This morning my wonderful, loving husband told me he misses me.  It wasn’t to make me feel guilty, or to demand that I lay off the sewing for a while, just a simple honest expression of his appreciation for quality time together.  The past couple of evenings, I’ve spent too much time sequestered in my sewing room, stitching and serging like mad.  The time I’ve spent downstairs with him has largely been while I’ve cut and pinned fabric, or written here in my blog.  This morning, I got in a quick seam before work too!  In actual fact, I miss him too.  And yet my mind continues to drift to the dress (and to many possible future projects as well).

I remember that when I was nearly finished sewing my mother in law’s second ballgown, I took a moment to thank my husband for his patience with me, his time spent caring for our daughter and just generally accepting the fact that I was spending hours I didn’t have working on the dress.  I told him “I’m almost finished, and then it will go back to normal.”  He looked at me, laughed, and said, “No it won’t.  You’ll just be obsessing about something else to sew!”

I find myself thinking about sewing while I lie in bed, trying to fall asleep.  I picture the next several steps, practice them in my mind before I have the time to act them out in reality.  I daydream about sewing when it’s slow at work, and look at photos online or read other sewer’s blogs.  I write long posts here when I’m not actually sewing.  I am, quite simply, obsessed.  It’s a little like being in love, isn’t it?

Tonight, when I get home, I look forward to spending more time with him, and taking a brief break from the dress.  I have a half-sewn zipper waiting for me, and a half-written blog post to go with it; both will have to wait.  But I think we all know exactly where my wandering mind will be!

June 2018
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