Posts Tagged ‘mother

01
Jul
09

Happy Birthday!

Bowl2Today I’d like to share a rare non-sewing-related post with you all.

For as long as I can remember, my mother has just loved beautiful glass artwork. When I was a child she only owned a few vintage pieces, heirlooms that had been passed down from my great-grandmother. As the years went by (and we rugrats grew up into more cautious individuals) she gradually started purchasing pieces of her own. When she bought her house, the home I spent all of high school and much of college in, and where she lives still, she moved into a full fledged collector.

Bowl3It’s an older home, nestled under the spreading branches of a half dozen mature oak trees. It is full of windows. In every room of the¬† house, every single exterior wall has at least one window, and in many rooms the windows stretch nearly the full length of the wall. Furniture placement has always been a challenge. My mother has never minded. She loves the natural light, and loves the beautiful views of her ancient oak trees, her hibiscus and boganvilla, the curly leaf philadendron and king sago palms, the plumbago, and the two dozen other varieties of plants growing cheerfully in her Florida garden.

And all that natural light dances off the colored glass that has found its way into every room of the house as well. There are glass vases, bowls, sculptures, and glasses everywhere – on the coffee table in the living room, on the bookshelves in the family room, above the cabinets in the kitchen, on her dresser in the master bedroom, on the shelves and filing cabinets in the home office, and perched to receive the most daylight on windowsills throughout the house.

Bowl1

Not long after I set up my shop on etsy, I met a glass artist there who is very close by to me here locally. We’ve met in person a few times to discuss our respective work. She is not only a talented artist but also a lovely person. So, of course, I asked her to custom design a piece for my mother for her upcoming birthday.

My mother’s home is decorated largely in rich jewel toned blues and greens. She is always in search of beautiful glass pieces that combine the two, but this has always proved a surprising challenge. Brilliant cobalt blues abound. Beautiful emerald greens are plentiful. Pieces that combine the two can scarcely be found. I asked Michele to create such a piece.

Bowl4What she came up with is simply stunning! The blue and green are both brilliant shades. The hand cut sections of glass form waves of color. The patterns are irregular, asymmetrical – and yet beautifully balanced. The whole thing continues to be interesting even after gazing at it for quite some time. I was delighted to be able to present such a gift to my mother for her birthday this year, as she was to receive it! This newest piece, I’m told, was granted a space in a window sill in the living room, where the light shines through it all day.

You can see more of Michele’s work in her etsy shop and her own website.

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02
Oct
08

A bust in need is a friend indeed!

I’m long overdue on my blog updates. Rest assured, it’s because I’ve been busy sewing MORE, not less. ūüôā Regarding the giveaway from my previous post, I’ve only gotten two responses so I plan to hold out a few more days before I decide. Sunday I’ll pick a winner.

And on to the sewing!

One of my good friends (we’ll call her “C”) has a BIG challenge when it comes to bras. She’s very large¬†busted on a¬†very small frame and there are¬†almost no bra options for her on the market anywhere. Add to that the fact that she’s a dedicated nursing mother, and needs¬†maternity bras, and the field is narrowed further. Prior to her current pregnancy, C tells me that she was wearing a size 30JJJ. She paid $90 for her bland ivory bra, and despite the fact that it’s the only nursing bra she’s ever find to fit her, it’s painful to wear.¬†That was before her current (fifth) pregnancy. Now the bra is too small.

In actual fact, hearing C’s story was part of what prompted me to move from just thinking about bra making to actually DOING it. I complain about the challenges of finding clothes that fit me, but the truth is that on the whole I’m happy with my bust. It’s a good size for my somewhat overweight frame, and if anything helps to compensate for my belly. I may have to drive a bit further or pay a bit more to buy a bra that meets my ample needs (or, more recently,¬†learn to make my own!), but I have always been able to find something in the end.¬†

On the other hand, C is at a point where her bust is actually impacting her quality of life. Her bras are so uncomfortable that she hates to wear them, and largely avoids leaving her house rather than have to deal with that discomfort.

So, once I’d made a few bras of my own, I offered to help C find a solution to her rather large challenge.¬†To complicate matters just a tad, C and I live about a thousand miles apart. I am relying on¬†C and her husband to provide me with good measurements and photos to even attempt a worthwhile custom fit!¬†To start, she sent me one of her current bras (which is what you saw pictured above) to copy… figuring we could alter the pattern as needed and go from there.

Cloning a bra is easier than I’d expected. I stretched out the individual pieces of the cups and pinned them down along the seamlines, and then took the resulting shape, added seam allowances and elastic allowances, and used the resulting pattern pieces to sew up a bra! (Though, in C’s case, I lengthened the now-too-short band a bit, and added some extra depth to the now-too-small cups). You can see the original bra with the resulting pattern pieces here.

The resulting bra was remarkably similar to her original. While it fit a bit better in the band (and a bit too large in the cups) C told me the new bra was uncomfortable in much the same way as her current bras “It’s almost identical to the pain¬†my¬†other bras cause, so you can rest assured that you¬†made a very close copy of¬†a $90 bra!” And for all that it’s a much prettier color, pain is pain and we’re proceeding from here.¬†

Bra #2 is half finished and waiting on my cutting table now (I got as far as I could and had to pause to wait for a supply order). I’m trying something quite a bit different for this next one, to hopefully address each of the causes of discomfort C and I have identified. I’ll update with photos and feedback once it’s completed and sent to her!

And in the meantime, I’ll post about what I’ve been up to while waiting for UPS to deliver my elastic. ūüôā




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