#E0291 – Ladies Afternoon Wrap

March 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm (Sewing Projects, The 1912 Project)

Since Amanda’s wedding is over (pictures and thoughts to follow in subsequent posts – it was a beautiful day and perfect in every way), I turned my efforts to working on a muslin mockup of #0291, Ladies Afternoon Wrap.  I am working with the VPLL 1912 Project.  We are sewing through patterns released in 1912, the year the Titanic sunk.

#0291 Ladies Afternoon Wrap, February 4, 1912

I realized right off that the layout was incorrect.  This is the way it should be…

Correct layout placement

I cut the pattern pieces out of muslin.  I also cut two bias strips 55” long X 3” wide.  After cutting out the muslin the correct way, I marked all lines, darts and slash lines.  The most important lines to include are the waist lines and trim placement lines. The front of my garment pattern piece did not have a waistline marking.  I used the back waist mark to draft the front marking.   I included some squares, circles and triangles to help with the process.  I did not bother to cut out the belt and belt trim because I intend to make this out of a very cool piece of fabric I got at an auction years ago.

I then began to follow the instructions… as I am OCD, I try to follow to a “T” but I did make some notes that should make my subsequent version easier.

“Slash on indicated lines at shoulder darts… on wrong side, join darts matching and sewing on the seam allowance.” I sewed the darts first and then cut the slashes.  It made it easier to sew.

“With a small stitch length, sew a reinforcement seam…”  I followed this paragraph exactly as written, reinforcing the underarm slashes.

For Wrap Without Lining:

“Turn under one long edge of the bias trim strips 3/8 inch and hem for a finished edge. “ I turned the edge under 3/8” but did not hem, just pressed very well. 

“Place wrong side of Trim strip to right side of Wrap, matching finished edge to indicated Trim Placement line – pin into place. Cut lower raw edge of Trim Strip to match contours of lower edge of Wrap.  Unpin Trim Strip from Wrap. “  This step is unnecessary.  The next paragraph I re-wrote as follows:

Place the right side of the Trim Strip to the wrong side of the Wrap, matching finished edge to indicated Trim Placement line.  Pin.  Cut lower raw edge to match contours of lower edge of Wrap.   Iron the center of the garment so bias strip conforms to the curve of the garment.  Sew trim to Wrap along raw edge, using a 3/8 seam allowance.  Trim seam and press seam up toward Wrap.

Cutting the trim to match the curve of the garment

Steamed the bias trim to fit the edge after I cut it to fit

Turn the Trim Strip to the right side of the garment and topstitch all layers close along placement line

Pressing bias trim strip towards seam

Sewing the bias trim close to edge long trim placement line

As I moved through the instructions, everything went well until I came to “make soft tuck in wrap fronts by bringing the #2 to the #1 at the waistline and tacking in place to hold.”  I neither had a waistline on the front of my garment or a #1 or #2!  I folded the garment at the shoulder darts and matched the back and front lower edges.  I used the back waistline line and drew a front waistline.  I looked at the picture of the garment and made my #2 mark 3” from the center edge and my #1 mark 4” inches from the center edge at my new waistline mark.  I made the soft tuck based on those measurements.  I made sure to make the correct marks on the pattern piece.

“Make a soft double tuck, in Wrap backs by stacking the number twos and bringing them to the number one at the waistline and tacking in place to hold.”  At this point I realized that while I had a waistline on my back, I could not see the #2’s and #1 on the back for the double tuck.  It must have been on the “unprintable margins” from my printer.  I drafted my #1 2 ¾” from the center back edge.  The #2’s are ¾” away from #1 mark on each side at the waistline.

With Right sides together, join the center back seam of the Wrap…” I followed this paragraph but then realized that the instructions did not include sewing the center front darts.  I sewed them at this point, but realized that they were too shallow.  I increased the dart depth by ¼” on each side of the dart.  Again, I made the correct adjustments on the pattern piece.

"soft tucks" (double" on each side of the center back seam)

“With right sides together, join the collar pieces along the center back seam between numbers 19 and 20.”  I added a square at 19.  I followed the seam and added a circle at the end of the collar side seam.

“With right sides together, join the two collars along the upper edge, starting at number 19 and sewing along the wide flared end opposite.”  I sewed to the circle I added, sewing from the square to the circle. I then flipped the collar and sewed from the square to the other circle on the opposite end.  Sewing it this way keeps the collar, which is off-grain, from getting distorted.

“Trim the seams narrowly and turn the collar right side out.  Press.”

Collar stitching from center back seam to circle...

Circle I added to the lower edge of the collar to match with the garment

“Join the collar to the neck edge of the wrap, matching the center back to the number 20 on the wrap.”  I added a triangle on the collar pattern to match to the shoulder dart.  I also added a circle to the center front of the wrap to match the circle on the collar. At this point I also understitched the collar to the front seam – from circle to circle.

Collar stitched to wrap

The back of the wrap

Front (without the finished seams)

I will make the wrap out of my chosen fabric and work through these steps with the sheer, colorful fabric.  I will make choices of finishing based upon how the fabric folds and hangs.  I already have an idea to use some beads instead of tassels on the finished garment.

The very fun fabric I have chosen for the wrap

There you have it!!  My first 1912 Project garment!!


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Time Flies – The “Day” Has Arrived

March 24, 2012 at 6:45 am (All Things Wedding)

I am sitting here in the dark of the early morning, drinking my cup of coffee<3, listening to the Christian music channel on our TV, remembering the last 30 years.

Amanda was born 30 years ago tomorrow, March 25, 1982 at 9:54 in the morning.  Back then the sonograms weren’t as precise and the technician “thought” we were having a girl, but until she arrived, we weren’t positive.  We named her Amanda Joy.  She weighed 6 pounds.  For the first three months she had colic so bad that people would come to visit us and meet her.  She would cry and cry until their visit was shortened… mostly because we couldn’t talk over her cries.  Her Daddy found her “sweet spot” and by balancing her belly on his shoulder blade and gently bouncing, he was able to alleviate most of the pain.

Amanda loved to sing.  We’d bundle her up straight from her crib early in the morning and put her on the bus so we could get to a singing obligation.  Thanks to Grammy, we have a tape recording of her singing “Precious Blood” with our family when she was three.

Amanda was so joyful.  She loved school.  She loved to read.  She started piano lessons when she was eight and took them until she was about 12.  When she was 10 she started ballet.  Amanda loved to dance.  Amanda was a fierce soccer player and could throw an elbow with the best of the boys!

When Amanda was in 5th grade, she tested into the “gifted” class.  She liked to say she was the dumb one on the gifted class 🙂 .  She may have not been the brightest of the brights, but she was a hard worker and graduated with First Honors.  We worked tirelessly on music,  whether it was on voice lessons, Honors chorus, NAC… I played and pounded out notes, she sang.

All through her life, I struggled with Multiple Sclerosis.  She grew up quickly and often needed to pick up the slack here at home because I couldn’t get out of bed.  I finally made the determination that I needed to get my legs to work better so she and Brent could have a better quality of life.  She was my biggest cheerleader — I was her biggest cheerleader.  Amanda is a seeker of her higher calling.  The Lord has honored her life for her persistent pursuit of things higher than this world.

In 2000, Amanda moved to Townson, Maryland to attend Towson University.  That was the beginning of the process of breaking away and moving forward from our little nucleus here in Nanty Glo, PA.  She will tell you, though, that this is her “place of peace.”  My one regret is that we didn’t attend more of her performances at Towson.  I can go into all of the very legitimate reasons, {{shrug}} but what is done is done.  She lived with Ruby between her freshman and sophomore years and worked at a deli.  I do not know many details of those days because this indeed was her breaking away, a very necessary process for children as they mature. (I think parents hold on too long and thus delay their children’s maturing process — stepping off of soapbox 🙂  ).  She graduated from Towson University with honors in 2004.

She took a few jobs, stayed in the Towson/Bel Air, MD area for a a couple of years.  Amanda then decided to move to NoVa.  She rented a room in a house and met Sarah B.  They became great friends and when Sarah bought a house, Amanda moved with her.  She has had a few jobs since moving to VA, but is now working for The American Bible Society.  She met Hengyi at the church, Ambassador Bible Church, she and Sarah started attending.  Sarah met Tim at ABC and in October she married him.  Last May Hengyi came up to see Dan and I to ask our permission to marry Amanda.  We (of course) said yes!!   In June he asked her and then wedding plans began in earnest…

…so here we are, March 24, 2012, one day before Amanda turns 30.  My heart is full of love, both for my darling Amanda Joy, and for my soon-to-be son in law, Hengyi.  The house is quiet, my coffee is nearly finished.  Brent is in his old room, Amanda is in her old room and darling DannyO in our bed… all soundly sleeping.  In about two hours this day will begin in earnest.  I am going to try to remember all of the moments, to slow them down until I take a mental snapshot with my mind’s eye.

I wish for my daughter a lifetime of happiness with her chosen partner.  I wish for her the love that her Daddy and I have for each other.  I wish for her the daily joy of waking up with the person she loves, the morning “chats” over coffee and breakfast.  The evenings spent reading the daily news to each other.  I wish for her the security of knowing that she is part of a new team — one whose bonds will not be broken by the stresses of life and circumstances.  I pray that she and Hengyi always, always, keep the Lord as the center of their lives – “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12.

Be blessed today, my darling Amanda.

I love you muchly, Your Momma

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My Lament ~~ His Promises

March 15, 2012 at 6:28 am (Multiple Sclerosis, Scripture References, Trigeminal Neuralgia)

Those of you who know me understand that for 22 years I have struggled with MS.  About 4 years ago, I developed trigeminal neuralgia – the most painful thing I have ever dealt with in my 52 years of life. In 2010 I had MVD surgery for the TN, which was unsuccessful.  In May, 2011, one of the meds I was taking caused me (very briefly – see my post, “Seeing In Color Again“) to contemplate suicide.    In November of 2011, right before Thanksgiving, I had a mini-stroke.  I certainly understand that compared to others, my battles are minor occurrences, but quite honestly, in January of this year, the weight of it all overwhelmed me ~~ I was in my hole, deeply seated, where I felt safe.   Then… two months ago… I went off of an MS drug, Betaseron I had been taking for 8 years and I was diagnosed with (albeit) mild hypothyroidism.  For a 6 week period, I was going one of my doctor’s each week and on their scale, my weight was up 3 pounds… each week!  That was the proverbial straw…

I messaged my cousin, who is a registered dietitian, and she gave a food plan recommendation.  I started making those changes, but I saw no results.

I wore the last pair of pants that really fit me to church on Sunday and as I was talking to my sweet friend, everything crashed together.   I have struggled with anorexia and bulimia in my 20’s and 30’s and I understand that slippery slope.  I am feeling (mostly self-imposed) stress leading up to my darling Amanda’s wedding in 9 days.  I am tired of fighting.  My friend knows a lot about holistic medicine and did some research for me, as I did research on hypothyroidism.  She called me Sunday afternoon and said that she thought my adrenal glands had shut down.  (Incidentally, one of the nurse practitioners suggested I see an endocrinologist but I rejected that as I do not want to add another doctor to my list).  We – well really — she read the information she had found and the recommendations, which are mostly vitamins.  The suggested food plan for adrenal gland issues is a low-carb diet.  I have given up my Frosted Flakes for breakfast and replaced it with Greek yogurt.  I had already made some of these moves based on my cousin’s recommendation.  I have lost 8 pounds of water weight in the last week!

Another long story shortened.  Yesterday I went to The Wellness Store with my list and Wanda helped me.  After the wedding I am heading back there with my list of meds so we can work to counteract my reactions to them.  I need my medicines, but they have many adverse side-effects.

Now to the real reason for this post.  As I crawl out of another hole…   In January another of my sweet friends, Danielle, recommended a devotional, “The One Year Book of Hope.”  To be honest, I bought it within the week, but really didn’t look at it, except to read Nancy Guthrie’s bio.  Two weeks ago, my spirit sensed that this was the book I needed to study.  Today’s devotional was titled, “Bitter beyond Words.”  In the “digging deeper” section Ms. Guthrie suggested I read through Lamentations 3:1-66 and write down what I can relate to in verses 1-20 and what me gives me hope from verses 21-66.

As I always say… “New Morning, New Mercies.”  “I am moving forward with J-O-Y.”  It is a constant battle to win, but I move forward, claiming His promises.

My Lament (Based on Lamentations 3:1-20)

I am the woman who has seen affliction.  Surely against me He has turned His hand.   He has walled me in so that I cannot go out.   He has made my chain heavy.   Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer.   He has made my paths crooked and has filled me with bitterness.   My soul has been rejected from peace, I have forgotten happiness.   So I say, “My strength has perished.”

My Remembrance of His Promises (Based on Lamentations 3:21-66)

The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.   They are new every morning.   The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.   The Lord will not reject me forever.  If He caused grief, He will have compassion according to His abundant loving kindness.   You have heard my voice.   You drew near when I called on You.   You said, “Do not fear.”   You have redeemed my life.

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