Skirting it! Blessings and Praise!

A blessing was received last week that I just must share.  Yaw’ll know I am feverishly working to get Skirting It! off the ground.  Well, I set up a Go Fund Me account which is a platform where you may ask friends, family, whomever to support your dream.  Well, while sitting around one day it occurred to me a couple of family members who are not on social media and whom I had not contacted with my Go Fund Me link.  My big brother came to mind and I decided to ask him for some money to help with my venture.  Then, I promptly forgot about it.

Some weeks went by and two weeks ago I sat down and wrote him a letter telling him my situation (described at the original post) and thoughts.  I made sure to tell him this was not a pity party; no, that I have plans!  Years of research has led me to know I would do well with a dressform and gravity feed iron.  Therefore, specifically, I asked him to please send me the money for them and told him the price range.

After waiting a very short period of time I remembered that I had made the request, but I had not heard anything.  Then, I got chicken so called a cousin to ask her opinion.  “When I call him, I said, do I get right to the point or beat around the bush, make small talk, before asking IF he had read and is considering my request.  Did he feel like being philanthropic?”  She felt like me, “Don’t beat around the bush get to it”.  Then, LOL, I made the comment, “If I were him I would have read the letter and immediately sent the check in the mail; or sent a declination letter.”  Sew, I got up the nerve and called him . . . NO ANSWER!  Geeesh, then I got really nervous.

What do you know about THE NEXT DAY a letter came in the mail WITH a check and his best wishes for my venture!

All praise to Jehovah God and thanks be to my big brother for his love and kindness.  Now, I want to get a photo with “Riyaaz” (the dressform) and my unnamed gravity fed iron (a boy) and send it to him.  He’s 81 so don’t know if he’s into getting photographs via his cell so I am going old skool and printing out a photo to send to him AND to place one in the Lady Lair, my sewing studio.

I am so happy, excited, and can’t wait to bring you pretty, lady-like, way cool skirts and more from Skirting It!.  And, did you check out the motto/by-line?  “Modest excess within control!”  Yeah baby.

skirting it

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

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Skirting It!

skirting it

Much to-do is going on over here.    My Precious ones I have some good news, no better than that, great news!  But first, let me tell you the how and why of it all. Me and hubby left Florida to begin anew in southern Georgia the end of last year.  He loves rural living so we went from one country town to another an even smaller kuntry town.  Cost of living, okay.  Jobs, not-so-much.

The Deal

Imagine, having played the education game, earned a masters level degree, moved to the south, can’t even get a JOB at McDonald’s. It’s been 8 months and I am underemployed, working less than part time at a local hospital for . . . ready for it? Drumroll . . . $8.50/hr. Less than PART TIME!! Yeah, I’m screaming.  No pity party here though.   I absolutely refuse!

For years various ladies have been in my ear about the inability of finding modest garments to wear.    And, for years various people have inquired about my sewing for hire.   A concept I fought vehemently, LOL.  Why even a couple of months ago my daughter asked what I would charge to make her a maxi skirt.  With all the discouragement I could muster I turned that job down.  Guess what, she went to a local to her woman and paid $80.00 for an Ankara maxi skirt!  Between that, the promptings of a friend, and my pitiful prospects of self support where we now live, I have been persuaded to sew as a means of support.  “Skirting It!” at your service.

The Beginning

I am at the beginning of this cottage industry venture.  Busy researching web hosting (that won’t charge me for a year or more up front; ain’t got it like that yet), the dot com is in place, and just purchased a dressform and gravity fed iron so my garments will look crisp and professional.  Keeping an eye out on what ladies are wearing.  A strong presence on Instagram will be developed. Etsy is looking out of the picture for now because they would own the shop, not me, and that’s not the direction I want to go.  Also researching and meditating on paid hobby vs. business status.  No money for a tax attorney (right now) before anyone brings that up.

The Vision

I am thinking of offering up to nine pieces, made in standard US sizing to ladies, teens, and little girls.  Mommy and Me lines seem big and that is definitely something I can do.  I will displaying a variety of fabric swatches from my suppliers for customers to choose along with the style garment they desire.  Each garment will be handmade individually, expressly for said customer.  Meanwhile I am building up my wardrobe of samples for daily wear so that local people can see what I offer.

The hope is that the styles I choose will be evergreen; i.e., skirts.  Skirts are my chosen IT to feature.  I will offer an accessory or top or two here and there as a little something-something extra for flavor.  Have you seen an Ankara Obi belt?  Lovely!   I found this one online and went gaa gaa.  Thought it might be a nice accessory to offer.

Obi Belt

But, seriously, I want to focus on skirts.  I will be the skirt lady!  After Skirting It! gets off the ground I will add vintage style dresses in Ankara to the mix.   That will be a special look for sure.  Oh, I forgot to tell you Skirting It! will feature Ankara/African fabrics, Indian fabrics and Middle Eastern (if I can find them) textiles.

black and white ankara
Recent acquisition. Can not decide vintage style dress or maxi skirt?

Here are two skirts I found on Pinterest.  Personally, the one on the right has got me swooning.  I must make one to show off.  In case someone did not know what Ankara is and why I am crazy about it I thought I would share these.

Peplum and Flounce Skirts

Here is an Ankara garment I made for myself last spring.  The fabric was given to me by a Christian sister of mine whom I have yet to meet face-to-face.  We somehow got together via social media.  Wasn’t that kind of her?

African Fabric Assembly

Here is my latest acquisition.  She shipped today and I can NOT WAIT to sew her up.

Ankara Spheres
Can you say “Maxelle Skirt”!

This photo does NOT do the fabric justice.  When I complete my garment I will have to do better!  Anyway, I just wanted to give you a taste of what’s to come with Skirting It! fashions.  How can you not be happy with such gorgeous, colours that pop?

I’m excited, a tad nervous, but on I forge.  Any helpful suggestions are warmly welcomed as I embark on this creative venture.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Dottie Angel Frock

When I first spyed The Dottie Angel Frock had to have it.  I thought to myself, “This is the ugliest cute dress I have ever seen”.  Finally, I made my very own first one.

Shopping my stash there was no doubt she would be a bedsheet project.  Save for the patch pockets I used sheets for the top and bottom halves.

Dottie angel employs french side seaming and a buncha bias tape.  I love working with bias tape.  The wider the better.  Get this, it is all on the inside; no one will see it, but me.

Then again, I guess you will see it because I just posted it.  I went with gold between sections and the sleeves and green for the hem.

When I read a review of this dress somewhere it seemed to be difficult or maybe fussy is a better word due to the french seams and the biased interior.  Thankfully I decided to go with the instructions because it was not hard to make at all and was quite fun.  May I label this dress whimsical even?

The one thing I did change was at the advice of a predecessor and doubled the pockets.  She said it imparted strength for carrying things; i.e., cell phones.  Will I do so for upcoming dresses, I do not know.  I am leaning toward not doing so.  Speaking of strength, I need to get into the habit of backstitching at the end of my seams for one of my pockets is coming loose where I did not do that.  I’ll have to fix it when I take it off to get dressed for worship later.Project wrap-up:

This was a fun, easy, and inexpensive project.  Every bit was shipped from my personal stash.  That is always a plus.  I highly recommend this dress to others.  I will be making more of these.

Shortly after cutting the fabric I realized I was making it too large.  Since this is a house dress of sorts I decided not to sweat it and simply make the next one a skosh smaller.  Basically the hip area is fine, the upper portion is too large in the XL size that I cut.  Also, I may lengthen it so that when I sit down my knees are covered.  When I look at the sleeve area compared to the pattern and other lovely sewists’ projects mine are way too big.

The original is this lil cute cap-like sleeve. Mine feel like elephant ears!  But, it sure is comfy!

The scoop on the front is too low also.  I expect all this will be addressed with a smaller size Large cutting.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Response to “Be Your Own Cheerleader” by Robbie of My Journey Through Eden

Just had to share this with my friends.  My comment on my girl’s blog:

  1. Robbie girl,

    I don’t even know what to say (mostly because I blog on the public library’s computers and I have only 15 minutes left, bwahhhh haaa).

    “Do I want to be skinny? No, I just want to add more productive years to my life, enjoy my grandchildren, travel without having to pay for two seats, be able to see my feet, tie my own shoes, fit comfortably in a tub, avoid knee replacements, etc. When I look in the mirror, (most of the time) I like what I see. I don’t feel abandoned or cheated because folks are having weight loss surgery. Would I get discouraged or angry if they had a breast reduction, tummy tuck, face lift, knee replacements? ”

    My mamma brought me up to love myself. I think I use this to make excuses for not exercising and eating right. As a matter of fact not two hours ago I mentioned to a girlfriend “There is a bunch of stuff which will keep us out of God’s Kingdom. High cholesterol and being fat ain’t two of ’em”. That is true. Even more reasons why I do not overly sweat my health status.

    Now, like you, I am in pre-diabetic mode, my A1C is 6.3 when last checked.  I am grossly overweight. I think they call it “obese” at 5’6″ and 202.5 lbs. I had joined Anytime Fitness last year and was working out regularly. Six months ago we moved here. These Southern women can COOK do you read me, girl!!!! I have been eating like a big ole hog. Six months ago I was 179 pounds (though that may be large) check me out now at over 200! Not cute atall. (Rolling my eyes).

    Those who get the surgery . .. . “turned in their fat/curvy/thick cards”. Girl, please. Folk need to quit hatin’. I WISH I could get the surgery. I’m too poor (the pay here is horrendous, the cost of living a tad bit lower for us though). And, I know the best way to to move, move, move. Sewing and sitting don’t help, LOL. Still, I would love gastric bypass (maybe I need to get a “Go Fund Me” account and beg for donations).

    ”When I look in the mirror, (most of the time) I like what I see.”

    My sentiments exactly. Somebody pass the peach cobbler . . . .

    Cheers,

    Lyric

Shalwar Kameez Kit

Seaform Salwar Kameez

This project was truly an interesting feat.  Long ago I fell in love with African/Indian shalwars and kameez outfits.  They were to be had economically on eBay which was a boon for me.  They are so ornate that I would only wear them on “special” occasions.  Thankfully I have grown out of that nonsense.  Now, I wear them whenever I feel like it.  Sadly, I gave about 20 outfits away some years ago.  Well, I am on the mend and working to replenish my stock.

Seeing me wear them to work a Muslim co-worker was delighted and stated she would purchase me an outfit.  Hey, who am I turn turn down a double blessing (her for the giving and me for the receiving).  Time passed, I figured she had forgotten about it, no problem, right.  Well, lo and behold, my girl Hazmat brought me this project to work one day.

Kameez Shell

So, check it out . . . I thought this was a salwar/kameez outfit, right?  Well, it was sorta, kinda.  I was all smiles as I opened the cellophane package.  The seafoam green is truly stunning.  My cell phone did no justice to this outfit.  Anyway . . . as I am taking items out of the package.  This is what I also found . . .

Salwar Fabric
Up close of the salwar fabric

Hazmat had brought me a salwar/kameez kit if-you-will.  I had to put the kameez together and make the salwars.  I had to hide the surprise from my face.  Thank gawd Mamma taught me to sew.

Seafoam green salwars

Now, I am a big girl (read that size 16 ready to wear, size like 20-22 big four pattern companies).  Sew, there was not enough fabric for the salwars.  Shopping my stash I found some ivory colored squares of fabric that I got from a house sale.  They felt divine and have the feel of linen and silk.  No clue as to their content.  I sewed two of them together with a narrow hem and used them for the yoke of the salwars.  I figured they would be under the kameez anyway.  Who would know?  Ooops, I forgot.  Yaw’ll will know ’cause I can’t keep a sewing secret.

Sleeve Fabric
Sleeve fabric

Really I should have pressed the stuff before photographing this, duh.  It looked so pretty when I pressed it before actually sewing it.  Anywho, you get an idea here of what I was working with.  Yikes, slinky, silky fabric is not my forte.  I have got to work on that I suppose.  So, above is what I used for sleeves for my kameez.

Seafoam Dupatta

The beautiful dupatta kept sliding off my shoulders last night at the Memorial Celebration event that we attended.  Note to self:  Next time you wear this discreetly pin it where you desire it to stay.

Shopping my stash again, I found a sleeve pattern piece that I thought would go well with this design.  I also already have a couple salwars patterns.  The next time I make salwars I am going to add a crotch gusset.  I saw one on another African pant pattern and I think I could use one with my big behind.

From what I understand the word “salwar” means “baggy pants”.  How cool for that is exactly what they are.  However, being made with such exquisite fabric I like the term salwar better, LOL.  Dupatta is Indian for “scarf”.  And kameez is shirt.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

 

Shorty Got Low, Low, Low, Low

20160503_145349

Here we go, “Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fir, everybody lookin’ at her.  She hit the floor; next thing you know, shorty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low”.  Don’t ya just love the movie Zookeeper?

Okay, on to my good news.  Just left weigh-in no. 4 (I think); 179.3 lbs.  YAY!!!  I do not know the last time I was one seventy anything!!!!  That’s 7.2 lbs down from when my job’s “Biggest Loser” contest began.  I know this is a vintage style sewing blog, but I am really excited about this progress and me thinks writing in public adds another level of accountability.  Plus, thankfully, I am surrounded by positive well wishers like YOU.

Now, gang, I’m going to need you all to pull together and send good vibes, strong will my way.  I go home next week.  And, ahem, at home I can get things like bean pie, peach cobbler, and fried white bass fish.  The good things is, we have Anytime Fitness at home and oh yeah, I WILL be a workin’ out.  Can I get an “amen”?

Cheers,

Lyric

 

A Biggest Loser

the biggest loser

Okay, ladies (and any really cool gents who may be readers of Sew Lyrically Vintage), they say confession does something for the soul, whatever.  My job has a “Biggest Loser” contest going on and I decided to play along.  I asked a fella to take  these this morning just after the weigh-in.

Lyric Big Skirt 4-21

Weigh-ins are every Thursday until May 26th.  The grand prize $500.00 (mamma needs a car to get to the ministry and work).   I am not even scheduled to work today but I got my butt up at 0600 and prepared to drive to the weigh-in.  This is the third weigh-in.  Last week I went up 1/2 lb.  Hey, check it, my husband treated me to an impromptu luncheon and my congregation took us Pioneers (full time ministers) to a luncheon.  The increased weight was worth it, don’t you think?

Lyric 4-21

Try for the life of me I can’t find the post when I blogged about making this skirt.  I could have sworn there was one.    I was away from my Tabitha and thus made the skirt by hand while visiting family either last year or the year before.  I tell ya, time is going so fast.  A small person could fit in there.  YAY!!!

I have decided whether I win the $500 or not I will be “a biggest loser” for ME.  In March my friend encouraged me to join a local gym with her.  We even hired Matt, the personal trainer.  When I first when to the gym I was at least 189 lbs.  In a month’s time I had gone down to under 185.  I love it and I do not want to go back to the 190s.

Now, hitting the 170s seems to be a reach.  But I AM GOING TO DO IT!  Lifting weights, behavior modification, next to no McDonald’s (I have enjoyed the snack wrap, no ranch sauce, and the small parfait).  This from a McDonald’s-a-holic.  I used to eat there daily and I am proud of myself so far for exercising restraint.  Basically instead of eating sweets with wild abandon, I am watching what I decide to put into my mouth.  I ask myself often, “Is it worth it?”  When I think of the money I spend to workout at Anytime Fitness and the fact that I am only part-time; i.e., not much money, I refuse to waste all that I am doing for a stupid pastry.

I am working toward viewing my “choices” not as deprivation, but sensical (is that a word) choices for healthier living.  I was almost 200 lbs., with body fat of over 45%, pre-diabetic and hypertensive ; i.e., a disaster in the making.  When I last visited my doctor my LDL had dropped 24 points (that is the bad one, right)?  My hope is that my next visit in August will remove me from the one medication I am taking.  At the very least go from the current 10mg down to 5 mg.

Apparently I should be drinking a gallon of water a day.

water

Still working to get to that.  It’s not that I do not enjoy water, it’s more of remembering to drink the stuff.  At work, I’m busy.  While in the ministry, I’m busy ministering, LOL.  I’ll reach it though.  By “choice”.  Hey, perhaps I should do this!

water bomb drink water

Stay with me on this successful journey to health, reduced weight, and Sew Lyrically granny styled cuteness to the max!

Yours in good health and happiness by “choice”,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Looking Back Before Moving Forward

Sankofa

Sankofa is often associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates as: “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”

As I reviewed last year’s beginning of the year blog post I am glad that beating a dead dog is not part of my personality, LOL.  I suppose for the most part I did accomplish more of what I intended than not.

For instance, I have put a small dent in adding vintage style garments to my wardrobe.  I remain encouraged and recommit to that endeavor.  Being committed to increased sewing skills including couture techniques is ongoing and sew much fun.  The Sewing & Quilt Expo is coming up shortly and I am making plans to attend at least one of the days and take a class or two (or three).  One of them is dedicated to decorative seams, apparently inside and out.  I’m real excited about that one.

As a thrift store lover I admit to having succumbed to sale priced pants wear.  Shame one me.  One of my goals was (still is) that of ridding my wardrobe of pants in favor of dresses and skirts.  In my defense I have since re-donated many of those said pants.

Several months ago my “replacement” digital camera basically died.  It was one of those Kodak auto digital cameras.  The hubby brought it trying to do a good thing.    I figured I’d simply use my cell phone camera.  Long story short, it ain’t good enough.  Better blog photography has been on my mind ever since I lost my real camera, a Canon Rebel.  Needless to say, I will try again this year to purchase a real replacement for I truly believe the photos are the best part of a blog.  No, I won’t “try”; I need to commit to purchasing a decent Canon digital camera.  As they say, “a photo is worth 1,000 words”.

As a sewcial person I found it difficult to resist sew-a-longs last year.  I joined a couple featuring garments I did not even like simply to play along with a group of wonderful gals.  I’ll need to curb that this year . . .  yeah right!  ‘Nuff said.

One bit of good news.  If you’ve been following and paying attention to my blog you’ll remember last year this time I was gleefully unemployed (as I called it to mentally cope).  You see, in this country, an educated women with a master’s degree is not supposed to be unemployed with outstanding student loans.  I am glad to report that last March I was offered a modestly paid position on as as-needed basis.  Happily since then I applied for and was offered a part-time position at the same job.  Oh, get this, I had to take a CUT IN PAY for going part-time (more hours) from prn (as needed).

An interesting anecdote about the job situation . . . I applied to be a full time minister last January which requires funds (gas for visiting people, food).  It was not until I applied to Pioneer (full time minister) that I was offered a job after looking since 2012.  I choose to believe Matthew 6:33 of the Holy Scriptures came in to play.  🙂

Consequently, one of my sewing plans for 2016 will be to sew a wardrobe of skirts (many plain ones because I have so many printed tops and full circle styles) along with complimentary comfortable tops to wear while engaging in my ministry.

Here’s to a stitching happy 2016 to you all as I continue to incorporate the words of our Yeartext, “Let your brotherly love continue“.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

All Coiffed Up!

Cut Hair
“Take it off; take it all off!”

I could take it no longer.  It’s been a long time coming.

Cut Hair 2

Edward’s boss told him he had to close the shop last Sunday after he told us he would cut our hair in about an hour.  Bless his heart, he allowed us to go to his home to fix us right up!

Cut ProCut Pro

Ain’t nothing like a fresh hair-do.

 

Mmmmwuah, thank you, Edward!

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

 

Lyrical She Shack: Sewing Room Renovation

The concept of “She Shacks” have been on my mind for some time.  Of course I didn’t know they were “she shacks” until I saw that moniker on Pinterest or some such site.

It’s decided.  I am going to have to shape up my sewing area.   A sewing room renovation is definitely in order.  To top it off I will have to do it on a serious shoestring budget. I was hoping soap, water, and paint would do the trick but that’s too good to be true.  I am working with an old 48′ x 12′ park model trailer with two pop-outs. There is a bedroom, bathroom, main area and kitchen.  For now we actually use the kitchen to eat (rolling my eyes); the bedroom area holds my stash and my clothing, a desk for study, and sewing notions.  The main area is where I sew (treadle and hand crank sewing machines), a cutting table, thread holder, and again, the kitchen with normal kitchen stuff including a stove with broken oven (another story all together).

The proper thing to do would be to show you what I am working with, right?  One day I just might get up the gumption to do that.  You see my sewing area is “tow up from the flo up”.  Do I need to translate?  Okay, my sewing area leaves much to be desired and I am embarrassed as ever to show it to my cyber friends.  Not many IRL friends have seen it either to show you how embarrassing it is.

You see, we live off grid which I have learned if you have money is cool – we don’t.  I was looking for at least one photograph to show you of my sewing area and came across this which reminded me to count my blessings.

hip hillbilly farm banner

That’s what we call our lil living place.  That is the banner I used for a blog I was writing when we first arrived on our land, 2011, here in the “kuntry”.  Listening to Mr. Lyric I was idealistic about living off the electrical grid, sigh.  Now two of the children are gone, I’m older, finally blessed with a less than part-time job, and working to be a thankful person.  Wait, I digress . . . . this post was to be about remodeling a trailer into a “She Shack”, right  :-).

These “She Shacks caught my eye – click the photographs for their story:

Ashlee She Shack

 

“A Husband Gave His Wife An Old Rusty Trailer. Wait Until You See What She Did To It”.  The story above was the straw that broke the camels back for me.  That’s it – I must do SOMEthing with my sewing area.   I figure if I write about what I want to do it will solidify my desire and increase accountability in not continuing to work in an unacceptable environment.

RMS-sheds_garden-shed-Lifestyles_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960
Way out of reach but oh so pretty!

In my thinking the pop-outs need to be torn away and destroyed.  Mr. Lyric says that would make my space very small and that I may not like it.  Here’s the thing, there is yucky mold on them and the wood is, how do you say, nasty.  I’ll have to think about that.

Trailer Sew Room Remake
Bright, bold, sassy, colours appeal to me.  Then again, when I see the fruity,  pastel,  50s “Happy Days” colours used in vintage style decorating, I like those too.  Thankfully, I don’t have to choose today.

vintage housewife

As an honorable mention, how cool is this . . . .

Shab 2 Fab

I’m not finding as many online vintage-inspired sewing room makeovers as I had imagined.  It’s okay for now because I do need to do some demolition before getting to the good parts.  In the meantime if you know if any sites I may visit please holler.  I’m looking for 40s and 50s colour themes.

My thoughts are to host a give-a-way to the one who comes up with a swanky, cool name for my She Shack in the future.  Stay tuned as I hash out this project and thanks in advance for your support.

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute