Back in the swivel chair

It’s been more than a year since my last blog. A lot has happened – good and bad, wonderful and awful. I made new friends. Like Cathy and Mark in Florida.Marian, Pam, Laura, 1990 And I lost a sister. I’m still shocked to say that. But she’s at peace now and I’m trying to be too. We moved back to Tennessee. So now the beach isn’t close by but so many of our friends are. And if I’ve learned anything in the last year or two, it’s the irreplaceable, priceless value of special friends in tough times. Oh and I cut my hair into a pixie after letting it get long again… It’s exhausting to be me.

Photo: My sister Marian, on the left, made me laugh then, breaks my heart now, but I’m working on it. I’m on the right. Excuse my spiral perm – it was 1990. On my lap was my niece, Pamela (her curls were natural!). She’s a 27 year old ball of fire now. And still cute.

So life goes on. We adapt and find a way to be happy – or we don’t. It’s a choice, and I choose to keep going and try to share some joy along the way!

This is still a sewing blog, so let’s catch up! There are too many dresses — and skirts and tops — that have passed through my feed dogs in the mean time to talk about in one post. I’ll show you my favorites over time … as I have a photographer handy.

But for today, here’s my latest make. The pattern is Vogue 8828, which I used before in cotton and called my Favorite Color Dress.

Vogue 8828 in a wool-silk blend
Vogue 8828 in a wool-silk blend
I know. I'm terrible at selfiess!
I know. I’m terrible at selfies!

I modified it, deepening the crew neckline and adding eight inches for a midi length, which I think is cool with the boots. This fabric has a very soft drape and plenty of body. If it weren’t so light in color and slightly see through, I wouldn’t have needed to line it.

I’m going for a sleeker, more modern style here. Hmm. Not sure it’s working. Maybe I’ll shorten it a bit. I need to redo the hem anyway, so don’t look close. There’s a wobble in the back but I’ll fix it.

Other news, sewing wise, is my Christmas present! My Bernina 350 does a nice mock overlock, which finishes seams neatly enough. But now and then it’s not enough. I remember telling my husband (complaining? whining?) about a struggle I was having with the ravelliness of a silk chiffon. I ended up doing French seams which I find a pain in slinky fabrics, and evidently I must have said a serger would have helped… Who knew he would have remembered that? Well, he did! He didn’t really know what it was, but he went out and bought me one! What a gem!






Bernina serger! Merry Christmas to me!
Merry Christmas to me




Of course it beautifully finishes and trims seams with a three or four thread overlock stitch. But it can also do rolled hems so fine they’d work for lingerie or scarves! And you can use that feature for oh so tiny pin tucks! I spent a snowy day going through a tutorial workbook and practiced two dozen stitches. I could go on and on.

Come on, Springtime







Instead, look at what’s next! It’s not spring yet, but I’m in the mood to get ready. The silhouette is a familiar fit and flair, but I made it less full than last year’s cotton day dresses. I’m not sure if I’ll hem it long (elegant, but that means heels) or short, which I could wear with flats or flip flops…

Either way, the fabric reminds me of blue and white china. So crisp and bright it makes me feel like sunshine. What makes you feel like sunshine?



10 thoughts on “Back in the swivel chair

  1. Thank you Frances! I appreciate your support. It’s been a rough year and I just kind of stopped communicating for a while, and then writing about sewing sort of seemed silly. But I’m smiling again, which she would want.

  2. Nice to hear from you. Hope writing helps you heal. Love your creations and hearing your thoughts about them. If I weren’t trying to find time to pour myself into painting I might follow you down the sewing path. Very drawn to the blue & white dress/fabric

  3. Laura, I understand your passion for sewing machines and antiques, which I share. You have certainly honed your sewing skills. Your dresses are beautiful and tastefully executed. Have you ever considered buying an embroidery machine? After I sold my sewing machine dealership, I continued to teach our 6D Software to my students. With software you can create your own embroidered fabrics. It is a great way to express artistic talents using fabric as a ca nvass and thread as you medium.. I love embellishing clothes and items for my great grand kiddos, Glad you found you way back to sewing after your sister loss. Sewing takes us away and bring joy to life! Cher

    1. Thanks Cheryl! I have seen those machines — they are amazing! I haven’t really thought about one for myself, but I might someday. I can’t figure out how to justify it financially! But I was a teen in the 70’s… so I do know about embroidery! We hand stitched flowers and rainbows and swirls and animals all over our jeans and jean jackets. I learned french knots and satin and chain stitches etc, and I loved it. The most recent hand embroidery I’ve done is on tea towels and pillows. Thanks for your interest!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s