Thursday, September 30, 2010

Patron Saint of Sewing Machines

Is there a patron saint of sewing machines? I'm not sure, but if there is one, she's my kindred spirit. I always look to rescue unwanted or unloved machines.  There was Ricci, left at the recycle depot...and Kenny, whose owner did not love her anymore and wanted cash.  Today I stopped at a multi family rummage sale being held at the Oddfellows Hall next to the post office. And there she was, sitting in a corner all alone...
She's a Singer Merritt 5405.  As you can see, my trusty assistant the Chief approves. I shall call her Merry, as in "Merry is Sewfast".  She didn't have any bobbins, but that was not a problem for me. I dug in the bobbin bin and pulled out some that fit her.  She sewed a perfect seam the first push and then revealed a few tension issues, but I think I have that ironed out now.  How much did I pay for this beauty you ask?

Yep...Five bucks is all they wanted to take her home! Pretty sweet find. I believe I already have the manual downloaded, because I think another machine I gave away was a Singer Merritt 5405. Now to clean her up, give her a good oiling and come up with a maiden project for her. It's a great day in the neighborhood!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Just because I haven't posted a picture of Colt in a day or is Tom's birthday card! Just precious!
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Giveaway Alert

Go check out this great giveaway at the Long & Winding Bobbin! Tell her Sewfast Mary sent you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Reality

Wow! What a week it has been! Trying to force my body into it's home time zone has proved challenging, but I'm happy to report that I'm finally getting there! The pets all seem to be getting back to their normal routine, although the Chief seems much more loving and attentive, even to the dog, much to his dismay! My first day back to work I picked up another embroidery job which I promptly knocked out (can't let those jobs stack up on you...they don't call me "Sewfast" for nothing!) and Sunday I embroidered a bunch of FSL angels for another project I joined. The angels took flight today, so before another job flies in I hoped to finish some of the UFO's that I cut out while the machines were being serviced and begin sewing in earnest on the Hepburn/Hepburn project.  I made a stop at my favorite thrift store this morning after I visited the post office. Linda immediately pointed out some wool fabric that someone had brought in. About 10 yards worth.  I really wasn't digging it and with my fabric closet overflowing, I passed, but I did pick up a copy of Vogue Sewing (circa 1982) for 50 cents.  It has some wonderful information about pattern alteration and techniques. It is a great addition to my reference library. The weather has been in a weird transitioning pattern. Yesterday was rainy and cold, so today I put on a long sleeve T-shirt with a cute little sweater...WRONG! Should have went with something short sleeve because it's hot! Live and learn! more day of work and then it's my weekend. Tom leaves to go hunting soon, so that means the machines will be humming! More on that to come...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Homeward Bound...

Yep...the time has come for grandma and Pop to return back to reality and let the new family be.  Early in the morning we head back to Heathrow for our flight back home.  It will be sad to be so far away as our little man blossoms, but I know he has the greatest parents in the world, so no worries. After I recover from jet lag and get everything at home back on keel, I plan to start on the Hepburn/Hepburn project in earnest.  I have some core fabrics picked out and a rough idea of what I want to make.  More on that later...parting shot...a picture of me and the little prince chilling on the couch:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sale Alert

One of the nice things about being in the UK is that we are ahead in our time. Not so nice for talking to the folks back home, but fabulous for being the earlybird when it comes to sales. Shopper's Rule has a great sale on Robison Anton embroidery thread. I went through the other sales and found a great buy on some scissors which bumped me up into the free shipping category. Woot! I am not affiliated with Shopper's Rule in any way, but if you are unfamiliar with Shopper's Rule, it is a great place to buy sewing and embroidery supplies and you can also "name your price" on regularly priced items. Check them out!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Totally Gratuitous First Time Grandma Pics

We're still here in the UK and Colt and company are coming home today! Here are some more pics of our handsome lad

Regularly scheduled sewing will commence next week when I recover from the trip home, but for now it's family time!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let Me Introduce You To...

Colt Bryce McCall, born September 14th, 2010 at 8:59 p.m. London time, 22" long weighing 10.3 pounds!
The family is all doing well (and check out the awesome hospital gown Sara made for the birth)
Here is a closeup of Colt:
And a three generation photo with Grandpa Tom, Sara and Colt:

We will be returning home soon and I will have more pictures to share. I'm so proud of the kids...they did good!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Great Day to Visit a Castle

Today we went to Norwich to visit a castle. Norwich castle was built in 1067 and among other things served as a prison for 500 years.  There were amazing exhibits in the museum exhibits and to make it even sweeter admittance was free today for heritage days. We spent about 3 hours there exploring the castle and going through all the different exhibits.  The only exhibit we didn't get to see was the museum of modern art which was closed.
A suit of armor
The tower guard's toilet. Laugh for the day was hearing a Mom tell her little one not to "go" in there!
Sara using the hands on weaving loom
Tom coming out of a tower room
An amazing tapestry that is not that old. It was made in 1907.
I took pictures of clothing dating back to the 18th century, but I will save that for another post.  I will leave you with a picture of something that warmed my heart:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old...

It was a blustery day in the UK...reminiscent of the stories by A.A. Milne. You know, Winnie the Pooh? Pooh is one of my favorite childhood friends. But I digress. This is not really a story about Pooh, although his creator penned these stories not far from where we are today.  We are hanging out at the house today and I found myself discovering new blog friends over at Pattern Review. I love reading sewing blogs and I love everyone who includes a link to their blog with their review. You guys are my new bestest bloggy friends...right up there with my old bestest bloggy friends! Now I'm off to read about your sewing adventures!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Itching to be Stitching!

I didn't realize what a big part of my life sewing really is. Even if it is just a few minutes to knock out a few seams or iron on some interfacing, I guess I try to make it into the studio every day.  Sara's adorable friend Naomi helped me out by bringing over a pair of jeans to hem for her...thank you Naomi!!! We also talked about a possible costume for her rat terrier for Pet Fest! Yes!!! Dog costumes are fun! Tomorrow Kaitie is coming over to work on her Cinderella to follow!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today's entertainment courtesy of the Military Working Dogs of the USAF! Preparation for the show:

Now for the real star of the show

Let this be a lesson boys and girls...when the nice officer says STOP! It's always a good idea to comply! Otherwise his best friend might step in!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week One in the UK

Today marks one week in the UK for us.  The jet lag is a distant memory (until we head back home) and we have been visiting all kinds of fascinating places and eating at all of Sara's favorite haunts. We are taking it easy today, hanging out, going for walks and of course, eating! In a nod to Self Stitched September, the top I am wearing is a variation of the Maggy London twist top. The original pattern has a V in the back as well as the front neckline, but I changed it to have a regular crew neck back. I did do some sewing activity this morning preparing the pattern for Kaitie's Cinderella costume.  The pattern calls for a seam down the center front of the bodice, which is the same bodice as the Snow White costume that has a line of yellow piping down the front. Cinderella's dress does not...WTH??? I am not going to do it! I can't see any reason to do it that way.  The seam is straight, so it's not like it is a fitting issue! The front is going to be cut on the fold like any self respecting princess dress. I am using the same satin to line it rather than a lining fabric, so I am going to omit the interfacing because this fabric has plenty of body and I think some staystitching on the bodice lining will suffice. Other than that it looks like it will be pretty straightforward and we can knock it out in a day or less. Fun! I am getting a little twitchy not sewing anything for a week! Makes me start shopping online for fabric and heaven knows I don't need to do that! I did send a request for some patterns from Pattern Rescue, which is back in business! That will be a nice little surprise when we get home! Go take a look...lots of great patterns left to be had! More later...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Punting on the Cam...

Yesterday's adventure took us to Cambridge.  After a wonderful lunch of Peri-peri chicken at Nando's, we wandered around the city and looked for the river.  The writing on the wall gave us a hint...
Here we are watching the people punting on the Cam. The kids say that every time they go someone falls in the river, but we were not treated to a show! Here we are on the bridge:
Today is Colt's due date, but he shows no interest in coming just yet...all in good time...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

St. Edmunds Church at Bury

Today we went to market at Bury and visited the church and gardens.  And I remembered the camera! Here is a shot of the old church:
And one of the beautiful stained glass windows:
And here is Tom in front of what used to be a Fire House, but now is a business:

And laslty I leave you with a picture of Bryce and baby yet! Maybe on labor day?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tackling the Food Group at a Time

Another pictureless post friends.  I forgot my camera last night at the pub and today at Emily's Tea House it appeared it might be a major faux pas to whip out the camera so I refrained.  We had scones with clotted cream (looked like butter to me...silly American!) and tea. There was a picture of Charles Dickens with his authenticated signature...way cool!!!  At the pub most of us had fish and chips that was delicious.  I also had a delightful pear cider...mmmmm...good stuff. I fear I will bring back a few extra pounds (and not the money kind of pounds!) with me, but I need to start training again anyway, so it's all good! Tomorrow is a trip to Bury for the market...Sara says there is a magazine guy that sells magazines 3 for a couple pounds...maybe I can find some sewing magazines! More later

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Live from London...

Well, we're not really in London at the moment, but that's the title that popped into my head. This morning we woke up feeling pretty well with the jet lag fog seeming to lift.  Sara took us for a tour of Feltwell Airforce base this morning and we got to meet some of the folks she works with at the vet clinic.  Also saw some of the MWDs (military working dogs) and will get to watch a demonstration next week if we are not otherwise engaged having a baby!!! I don't have any pictures to share...haven't even busted out a camera yet, but I will get them out soon.  The countryside here is beautiful. It reminds me alot of Oregon sans all of our evergreens. Today we are going to go check out Mildenhall and then do some grocery shopping before we go pick up B from work. As for self stitched September, I am wearing things that I have made but I doubt I will take the time to photograph myself every day. There are too many other things to focus the lens on here! Rest assured though, I am at least wearing something I made every day, even if it is the sleep shorts I made for the trip (which I wouldn't show you anyway). Well, time to go start living...more later...

Project Dress a Girl

For the past couple of years, I have made dresses for Project Dress a Girl Around the World, in part thanks to the campaign launched by Mari...