Sunday, May 23, 2010

Put on a clean dress. Or a homemade skirt!

In honor of the aforementioned seamstresses in my life, I feel as though I must share this AMAZING post I found on sewliberated:

I sent this one to my mother, who upon receiving, called me and said, "you know, that is really great advice!" Originally I had just found it hysterical, but when you think about it, it truly is great advice. How much better do we feel when our house is clean and we look our best? Then we can sit down and waste time on whatever we like! Speaking of wasting time... here is my latest project:

It is only missing the zipper in the back, which will be added tomorrow.(hence no pictures of the back). When I started working on this, my boyfriend goes, "you're going to make a skirt out of that crazy fabric?" My friends, this fabric is indeed crazy. It is not just the print that makes it so- it is the origin. Even though my mother does not seem to be able to remember giving this to me, it was once Mamie's. Mamie was my great-grandmother on Mom's side, mother to Granny. Mamie is presumably where the younger Dawes women got their insanity from, affectionately referred to in our family as the "Mamie syndrome." Luckily for me, I don't have any of that in me. (Don't ask Raph if this is a true statement. Whatever he says is a lie.) Anyway, yes I did make a skirt out of it, and yes I will wear it and refer to it as the "Mamie skirt," a constant reminder of my mentally unstable heritage! My favorite part of this little frock is the fabric flower, which I am completely obsessed with making. I have bunches.

I made the above out of the old futon cover material, and attached it to one of my new homemade pillow covers! These really are a delight to make and super easy. I am thinking that next time I lay out by the pool I can take some fabric and thread and stitch up a bunch. These are trendy for headbands, pins and jewelry. Plus, the one on my skirt has a homemade fabric button on it, which I am also obsessed with making- mostly because they are easy to create, and I have no patience for anything too complex or difficult. By the way, I am not lying about the trendiness of these things: Express, Betsey Johnson, and Neiman Marcus sell them, just to name a few.

Next project: dog bed for Maverick! Stay tuned.

By the way, for those of you who feel this blog has gone decidedly girly, you are right. For now. This is why the sections listed at the top are titled, "My Many Personalities." It's what I do. (Side note: I do believe what Mamie had was schizophrenia;) )

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pillow Covers

I have a long line of seamstresses in my blood, and so when I got the itch a few months back to purchase a new futon cover, the "I can make that!" mentality started to surface. I opted to buy a cheap cover, since the price to buy the fabric would have been close to the purchase price of the cover, but I did buy a bunch of scrap fabric from Tonic Living for $10, which turned out to be an excellent buy. I made four pillow covers for my existing pillows and I framed a piece of the fabric to hang above the futon. I also bought a yard of fabric on sale at Jo-Ann for $3. $13 for five pillow covers! (Plus my time, which is priceless.) Anyway, so I borrowed my mom's Kenmore sewing machine from the stone age, so that was fun.

I got it to my place and went to use it and realized, wow, I have no idea how to thread this thing. I guessed, and ended up with a tangled mess, which I did not de-tangle for several days. I called my mom and she attempted to explain it to me over the phone, but by the end of that conversation she said, "how did neither one of us think of this before you took it? Like, we should have thought, maybe we should have a little lesson before you borrow it..." Anyway, so I was feeling dejected about the whole thing, when I thought maybe my good pal Google could help. Sure enough, Google led me to You Tube, which had a video on "how to thread a vintage Kenmore sewing machine." So I watched it and voila! Instant seamstress. It all came back to me after that, and I ended up with these lovely pillow covers:

Sorry the photo's not the greatest. My digital camera's battery is dead, and I am still in the process of locating the charger. I learned a few things while doing this, which I will share:

1. Iron the fabric before you use it. Helps to make everything even and crisp.

2. Make the pillow cover like this. It eliminates the need for a zipper, but allows you to remove the cover if you want to wash it.

3. Use pins! It keeps the fabric from moving around without you knowing. You can end up with a poorly constructed cover if you try to wing it. (Which I did. Trust me. Because I tend to "wing" a lot of things.

4. Fabric choice makes a huge difference. The fabric I bought from Jo-Ann for $3 (pictured above) was really cute but not quite as thick as the others. So it doesn't lay as nice as a thicker canvas or upholstery type of fabric. I highly recommend Tonic Living for fabric selection, especially if you enjoy retro or edgy types of decor. Just buy some remnants if you want a surprise selection, or purchase the fabric of your choice. Either way the prices are good and the prints are fabulous.

All in all, my sewing adventure was a good one. We'll see how long it takes for Mom to get her sewing machine back. My next project is to make jewelry from fabric scraps. Or maybe embroider a funky flower print on my plain brown futon cover. We shall see...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Desha? WOW, now THAT'S an unusual name...

I probably get asked, at least once a day, where my name comes from. The answer is that it was my great-grandmother's name, on my Dad's side. My mom liked it, so that became my name. But sadly, that answer is not enough for people. They want to know what country it's from. SO, you see that lady in the picture above? Her name was Desha. Desha Delteil, a Yugoslavian model and dancer. She has kind of a big nose like I do, so maybe I really do have some Yugoslavian in the blood line. Or maybe great-grandma Desha's parents liked the model and named her after Delteil. Either way, I just want everyone to know that I have absolutely no idea where the name is from. (Relatives reading this: feel free to comment.) But, just for kicks, here are some more photos of Ms. Delteil:

Also worth mentioning is that I am in no way related to or associated with the singing sensation Ke$ha. My name does not have a dollar sign in it and I don't brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack. Just good ol' fashioned Colgate.