Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Research Underway

I had an eye-opening experience last week. Thanks to 5 months of unending problems with our cable service (TV, phone, internet...and I try to work from home), we made some changes and were expecting to be without a connection to the outside world for one evening...scary, right? As it would turn out, the sales rep we talked to was completely and utterly clueless, and our cable was turned off at 3:30pm Thursday and the technician didn't come out to re-install until 4pm Saturday. Yes kids, that's 48 hours with no TV, internet, or other words, painful. Under different circumstances, that would have been unpleasant, but tolerable. We had tornado warnings on and off and flash flood warnings constantly - needless to say, enjoying the out of doors was out of the question; we had been left under the impression that a technician could call us to come anytime Friday or Saturday, so no leaving the house until after 8pm. Needless to say, we didn't know what to do with ourselves!

The house is cleaner and we tackled some lingering projects...and I believe I plugged in my iPod and bopped around the house for a couple hours. One of my projects was creating patterns for all of my bags that I designed so I had an idea how much fabric I would need. I whipped together smaller, to-scale sketches of the pattern layouts and scooted to Hancock Thursday evening (since we weren't expecting anyone just yet and they were having their semi-annual clearance!) to grab some fabric. I can honestly say I had no idea it would be so hard to pick out fabrics (and the matching liners!!), but the task just about defeated me. At last, I had a variety picked out for a large handful of the bags (and a couple other pieces of fabric for some some tops I wanted to make - 60% the Value Fashion fabrics?!? How can you pass that up?), grabbed the zippers and thread, and headed home. I held off on buttons and handles...I think I had enough going through my head.

I still only had my mini-patterns since I hadn't decided the best path to take creating real patterns, and started contemplating how to move forward. That, of course, led me to the bookstore. Daniel and I spent an hour browsing in Barnes and Noble (he was looking at programming books, I was looking at sewing books) until it surprisingly closed on us (anyone else think that B&N closed at 11, not 10 o'clock?). At the 15 minute announcement, I still hadn't quite found what I was looking for, so I wrote down the information on all the other books I grabbed to look them up on Amazon if/when I ever got internet again.

We suffered through most of Saturday, then rejoiced in the returning of glorious cable that evening by playing with our new On Demand feature and looking up the lists of things we'd wondered about while without internet (what did people do before the internet when they had those little, unimportant, curious questions that just nag at you until you find out the answer??). I looked up the books and, after reading reviews and other suggestions, decided on two to buy:

So far I've received the High Fashion one and have only browsed the seams chapter, but I LOVE it! The illustrations are wonderful and make the instructions actually make sense! Plus, the little "Sewing Secrets" will be very useful. I'm attempting to be patient and read the books (at least the majority of them) before I start making my purses since I really want them to be quality.

Daniel and I are trying to figure out a good way to rearrange our spare room/my office into also being a functioning sewing area. We're thinking a good futon instead of a full bed, he's going to make me a convertible sewing table that I can make into whatever I need, but still fold down to just being big enough to hold the sewing machine when not in use, and some good storage! I also want to put a "project board" up somewhere so I can keep track of my plans :)

I also have the skirt for my sister's birthday present on the docket, but it should be a breeze since I'm using the same pattern I used before - just with more finished seams and hems. I prewashed the fabric today and think I'll get cutting tonight!

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