Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday Words

Back to that Coats and Clark A-Z sewing book - the opening paragraphs say it all, IMO. Here is a re type for you to read more clearly. Remember this book was written in 1967 and the words are not mine but the substance is clear.  My own words are in parentheses.

" Dear Home-Sewer, Dear Reader,

We know a man - no sissy - ( I haven't heard that word in years and don't like it) who made a dress for his wife. He had never tangled with needle and thread before except, in his bachelor days, to sew on a button. But, sitting just a few desks from here, he got curious as to what all this sewing fuss was about. So, asking for no help, he puzzled through a pattern primer (the instruction sheets) and a sewing machine manual. We haven't seen the dress - we can't tell you about fit and finish - but we have his word for it that his wife wore it at a party. So how did he do it?

Why, as were were saying, he read the directions: the pattern layout the pattern primer (instruction sheets) the sewing machine manual
Step by step, he followed them.
He took no shortcuts. 
H didn't say: "I can't be bothered with those notches," or "....that marking" or ".....that pressing."
He followed through. 
Now, anybody can do that.
Anybody can read and follow directions. 
Anybody can work step by step.
Anybody can shun shortcuts; Professionals don't take them - why should you?
Anybody can follow through. But, alas not everybody does. We can only hope, dear reader, that you will. ......................................." 


And the most important words of the day: THANK YOU. Thank you for the compassionate responses and condolences. They are truly valued and warm my heart. The sewing community is so special and you make it so. So appreciated.............Bunny

Wednesday Words are quotes gleaned from the internet, blogs, books, newspapers and more. They are never my own words. They are not my opinions but merely comments written that made me go "hmmmmm,,,,,,,". Some may be provocative, some may not. Some may be my opinion, some may not. My goal is to start a conversation among followers of this blog and hopefully learn as we share our thoughts. I know you will do so respectfully and intelligently and  I thank you for that...Bunny

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Unit Construction

This week is our semi annual book sale at the library. The public donates books all year for the sale. The day of the sale is one of excitement and long lines. Books go for a quarter and fifty cents and the tables are quickly emptied. The books are read, and we believe often redonated, and the cycle repeats itself.

One of the perks of working in our library is getting first grab at the donations, before the sale. We stroll the tables in our down time. There are several thousand books to peruse. I always manage to find a gem or two, read them and usually donate back to  the sale. This sale I found this  great sewing book written by Coats and Clark of thread fame, back in 1967. The writing is clear and straightforward. The technical drawings are as good as they get and what make the book valuable. There are photos to enhance the technical drawings. both of which are just as relevant in 2016 as they were in ' 67.  There is nothing "fashion" related in the book so it easily applies to today's sewing with its excellent illustrations and no dated garments glaring back at you. The only drawback to this book is it's lack of organization. There is none.  It is an alphabetical compendium of techniques covering everything from altering RTW to bound buttonholes, all in no particular order. One of the things that immediately gets mentioned is Unit Construction. A recent comment in a post questioned the order of construction to which I responded that I like to use Unit Construction. I've found the explanation in this book spot on.

From the book:

"This is, however, the simplest and most streamlined way of  assembling a garment."

"The principle of unit construction is to do as much work as possible on one garment unit (garment part) before attaching it to another unit - in fact, to complete it when possible  and to complete all the small units (sleeves, collar, belt, patch pockets) first, so that work on the large ones (bodice, jacket, or other) can proceed without interruption. "

"Do all you can to one garment part(unit) before attaching it to another."

I find I like to sew this way. I get to make the fiddly parts first. This more detailed sewing is what I enjoy the most. I also find this does streamline the process and it seems the garment is completed more quickly.

This sort of construction does not work for garments that are not cut traditionally, such as the Marcy Tilton or Issey Miyake designs. But, for the basic bodice, sleeve, skirt type of garment, it works really well.

I hope this sheds a bit of light on the process. I recommend this book if you come across it. It would be an awesome beginner reference as it is so clear , both visually and verbally.

I've been missing for a bit, as well as last week's Wednesday Words. My hubby's mom passed away and we have spent the past week travelling to the Cape and attending her funeral and celebration of life. She taught me so much about running a home and was a positively amazing homemaker. Are there any real "home makers" today? The women who did not work outside of the home yet worked very hard at managing their budgets, caring for their children and make the home a place of pride, cleanliness and love?  My MIL could make Martha Stewart look  like a kindergartener. She ran her home like a well tuned machine, socks perfectly folded in every drawer at all times, sheets perfectly ironed. window treatments changed religiously every spring and fall, shelves and shelves of beautiful canned goods in her basement. She taught me how to iron a shirt perfectly and how to fold a fitted sheet so it made a mathematically correct rectangle that would fit a drawer to its edges. I have always been in awe of her skills. I will miss her much  as will my grieving husband. 

We came home and yesterday hubby went for a bone marrow biopsy. Yes, he has been having some health issues for the last year. We finally have the proper diagnosis, quality doctors and treatment. To say my sewing has been on the sidelines a bit is an understatement. I do hope to get in a bit this weekend. So if posts are a bit less regular please understand. I know you will. Here is a pic of my MIL, my hubby and myself at my daughter's graduation from dental school a few years back. I just had to share...........Bunny

Wednesday, January 27, 2016