Saturday, August 21, 2010


Well, I did it! I mailed off a tuition check this morning to the School of Fashion Design in Boston! I'm not enrolling full time -- just taking Clothing Construction I and Pattern Drafting I so I will be in town two mornings a week and will continue to work/teach on one other day a week.

It's a bit intimidating. If I had signed up for nights or Saturdays I may have had a shot at being with people like me. But weekdays! I will definitely be old enough to be everyone's mother -- possibly grandmother!

The anniversary of my father's death was yesterday and I did a lot of thinking about him as I wrote that check. Whenever we shared with him some wild scheme about what we wanted to do in life, he never pointed out the pitfalls. He always said that in five years we would still be five years older, whether we did the thing we wanted or not. With that sage advice, I bit the bullet and mailed the check. I am sure I'll be the only 57 year old in the class. But, I am so excited to begin learning from the beginning -- sewing, drafting , draping, sketching -- can't wait!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rainy Day Cheer

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted! I've been busy with lots of different things. I think I mentioned in my last post that a friend of mine had opened her own shop, The Victorian Cupboard, in Salem, NH. It's lovely shop with lots of fabric, notions, patterns, and talented people! I've been busy there -- we did one children's camp the week before last and another one starts tomorrow.

We're trying to hit a nerve with garment sewers in addition to quilters and other crafters. I just finished the Amy Butler Little Splashes hooded raincoat to display in the store.

Hopefully there will be enough interest to offer it as a class in the early fall. It's a darling coat. As you can tell from how shiny it is -- it is laminated! It's also lined in a very soft cotton. It's my first time working with laminate, which requires a teflon coated, plastic, or roller foot to keep the fabric from slipping. Even so, I did end up with a couple of looped stitches (I did use a microtex needle in my machine). You are also not supposed to pin it, so when you are holding your fabric together to sew you need to use clips. I've experimented with large paper clips, hair clips, etc. and haven't yet come up with a favorite. You also cannot iron it, at least not on the exterior, so it is difficult to get crisp lines. And, of course, it has absolutely no give so it does require a bit of manipulating to do curves nicely. As you can tell if you look closely at the curve on my patch pockets, they are definitely not 100%. On the positive side -- it does not fray at all.

It calls for buttonholes and covered buttons, but I haven't made up my mind yet whether to do those or snaps. It seems as if laminate buttons may be a bit slippery for tiny hands. I also haven't decided whether to make the thread loops for the belt or if I prefer it unbelted.

It has some cute features, like to loop on the inside to hang up your coat by. Definitely a sweet little coat, well drafted and the directions are good.