Saturday, May 22, 2010

Corded Petticoat

It's really odd, I haven't sewn anything in a long time due to time constraints, life getting in the way, and a shocking lack of inspiration. My good friend tells me she can tell when I am depressed - when I am not playing harp and not sewing. I guess I'm not depressed now, because I have been practicing up a storm, and I finally got an inspiration to sew.

My choice was not at all what I expected - a corded petticoat. This is a mid-19th century undergarment; basically a petticoat with rows and rows of cording stitched into it, then starched to an amazing level. It helps make the skirts stand out, but is less poofy than a hoop skirt.

I gleaned all I could off the internet, found some great pictures of what others have done, and I'm off. I wanted the circumference of the bottom to be less than 90", so I used a nice Kona quilter's muslin, 90" wide. That way there will only be one seam since I don't have to join widths. I cut it 52" long to allow for a waistband and a deep facing at the hem in order to encase the cording, sandwiching it inside the facing. I'm using Lily "Sugar'n Cream" as the cording. I turned up an ample hem facing to enclose the two sets of close-together cords I have planned (probably two sets of 16 cords next to each other, with an inch or so of space in between the sets), then will sew single cords going up to about knee level. All I have to do once the cording is done is sew one long seam to make the tube, make the top of the seam into a placket, and turn down a waistband. The time-consuming part is the cording, but it is simple and rather satisfying to see the rows begin to form.

The first seven rows at the hemline; only about 30 or so left to go!

New Home Improvements

We finally got back to our home improvements - working on Tyler's new room, the upper hallway and the foyer. I'm really pleased with the progress. For Tyler's room, Kristin has been refinishing the woodwork and almost has it completely done. Paul has been working on the upper hall window and Tyler's closet. I have been helping out where I can (standing around holding stuff for Paul while he attaches it or cuts it - yawn, making meals, household chores and Tyler-watching), but I also went on another paint hunt, solidify our "crellow" color for the foyer and upper hall, and choosing a nice blue for Tyler's room.

Paul working on the old upper hall window - can't wait until it's done!

Tyler's closet: we removed the falling-down plaster, insulated, and electrified it. Now we just need wallboard and paint.

Tyler's room color and "Crellow": Summer Shower blue and Old World Romance yellow

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cats and Sewing

So, I finally got motivated to do some sewing, and what do you know - Cats!

"What do you mean, you want to sew?!"

"I'll just help you hold this in place!"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


A month has passed and, surprisingly, what seemed to be a most calamitous occurrence with two family members actually ended up being positive in many respects. Without disclosing too much personal stuff, just imagine this: young people, peer pressure, lack of thinking, and immaturity. It was like walking through a nightmare; I kept begging someone to wake me up. The two weeks that followed were so stressful, my blood pressure skyrocketed and I felt so ill.

But the sky was not falling after all. It's amazing that God often requires struggle to obtain growth. I could not have imagined in those first weeks that things could actually end up better. Before, I was living in a world of illusions. I did think at the time this all was discovered, that I would prefer the illusions to the truth. I do know now the meaning of leaving things in God's hands. There is just no control! One must just trust in God's plan. This is a great load off my mind, although scary to just let go of the illusion of control.

The results:
  • The family members in question had a giant wake-up call, and now appear to be headed along the right path.
  • The changes that have occurred as a result of this have removed a great deal of stress, so that I feel emotionally free to pursue my interests, something that has been stagnating for a long time.
  • Because of the health scare I had, Paul and I are now on a sensible exercise and eating plan.
  • I guess I have more "intestinal fortitude" than I thought!