Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Planning for a Weekend Trip/Conference

This weekend is the North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution State Conference in Raleigh.   There will be an evening dinner and reception Friday, meetings Saturday and a big formal banquet Saturday.    We'll come home Sunday.    I wasn't able to attend last year's but I'm looking forward to it this year.

So what to wear.    I'm feeling and thinking spring but it's going to be overcast with rain off and on and I sure don't want to be cold.   So I got out a few things to try on and evaluate.    As I always do,  I shopped my closet and tried on some things.

Since Saturday will be around 70 degrees I've decided to wear this long coral 4-ply shirt dress for the Friday night events.   The fabric says dressy but I also plan on accessorizing it with a belt and jewelry that say "evening" instead of this daytime styling.   Since I'm still not walking in heels, how about these pretty embroidered suede flats I found at a Laura Ashley outlet store over 20 years ago for $9.  At that price I bought two pair since I figured the suede was going to be hard to keep clean.   I've managed to keep the suede clean by being careful and using a non-toxic, made in the USA product called Quick N Brite to clean any dirt that a suede brush didn't remove and also clean the embroidery.   A solution of that stuff will safely clean most anything.   It removed raspberry stains from tan cotton pants I wore to pick raspberries after wearing them for 6 hours past getting many stains.   I  soaked them overnight - stains were gone.  Don't use it on silk however since it's a protein eater - great on spider poop that they leave all over the outside of your windowsills though.  On suede I use a damp washcloth to gently clean the dirty places and then go over the place with one wetted with plain water to wipe any residue away.

Photo taken March 2010

Next what to wear for the Saturday meetings?   I  don't want to dress too casual or summery for the first weekend in March.   I wear a jacket inside hotels because they are always cold, so how about this great black and white stretch cotton sateen jacket?  Don't you love the hot pink lining!   I like it with this Gunex stretch cotton skirt and a simple black top in stretch silk crepe, but that's too cool and summery looking for this time of year.  So instead,  I'm pairing it with this Shamask bias 4-ply silk dress with cap sleeves that is both comfortable and elegant looking with or without a jacket.    Next what to wear for the formal banquet on Saturday night.   Like Scarlett, I'm going to worry about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Sewing - The Blouse Perfected pattern

I haven't done much sewing other than alterations and refashioning since December.    It's looking like early spring and my daffodils are blooming on the hills.     Louise Cutting has a new pattern out that is an updated classic blouse pattern that includes a really interesting version with a curved assymetrical front - hard to describe so I refer you to the pattern description and the photos.    She named the pattern The Blouse Perfected which includes 9 pages of detailed instructions that are copyrighted so I'm not going to regurgitate them here except to say that they are fabulous and most of her techniques can also be applied to other sewing projects.     The purpose of all that detail is to get perfect results and you sure do.     What better way to begin early spring sewing than with a new and fresh look!      

So here's my A Blouse Perfected, view C, and some photos of the front and back.    It has that beautifully turned out collar and collar stand of hers.   The pattern also includes a vented sleeve with a cuff and another variation but I did my own thing on this one, cutting the sleeve off at the shorten line and finished with a cuff cut on the cross grain so the stripe is perpendicular.    I used the rest of the same blue/white stripe fabric that I made the Now Shirtdress in September and the collar is from what was left of my OOP Vogue Miyake blouse that I also blogged about.     I paired this tunic length top with some stretch cotton cropped pants.     This one is a size small and I think I'll cut the XS for my next one since I've got plenty of ease in this one.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How you can help people like me stay well

I'm slowly recovering from the neurological condition that began over 18 months ago.   I've been through some pretty radical treatments and continue to take a powerful immune suppressant drug.  Dealing with all this has taken a toll on me both physically and mentally.  Due to this and many other things, I have not sewn anything except do some alterations since I last posted.   Sadly I must avoid crowded places, especially this time of year.

I want to address the inconsiderate people who get sick,  then think it's just fine, even courageous, to suck it up to go out in public, especially to crowded venues like theaters, offices or school, and infect everybody else instead of staying home and getting over their illness.  I got a flu shot in November and also the pneumonia shot, but that doesn't protect me from everything.  So if you're sick and infectious, please be considerate.  I made the mistake of going to IKEA to look at something over the holidays, not realizing that many families with children (many sick) who were out of school, had the same idea. I even saw one small child who obviously had chickenpox. What ignorant, inconsiderate parents. My husband couldn't believe how fast I was able to walk to get OUT OF THERE, avoiding everyone I could and not touching anything.  Hand sanitizer is everywhere, in the purse and the car but I understand it's not effective for the norovirus that has broken out in several parts of NC this winter.    

I didn't get anything from that trip but since I'm much more susceptible to all kinds of germs, my family and I must stay vigilant all the time.   I will be taking that drug for some time, but I'm not the only one - There are many with compromised immune systems, including those who are being treated for cancers and auto-immune diseases, and even organ transplant patients, who must take immune suppressant drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting the organ.
Vaccinations are necessary to prevent communicable and preventable diseases like whooping cough, measles, and others, that are surfacing again due to lack of vaccination. It's scary because those diseases can kill people like us with lowered immunity. Dr. Steven Weinreb, who is being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, explains why and how this works in his December op ed in the NY times, "For the Herd's Sake, Vaccinate". 

My father was in the military and we travelled and lived all over the world. He retired when I was in high school, so I have an extensive shot record with shots for everything from the regular vaccinations to shots for yellow fever and cholera.  What's going on with me at 59 has nothing to do with those shots.

In 1715 the entire court of King Louis XIV of France died of measles. His 5 year old great grandson became Louis XIV’s sole heir (Louis XV) following the deaths of his grandfather and then of his father and mother and brother in a measles epidemic. The boy survived because his governess hid him away from the sick people, and especially the "doctors" who actually spread infection and disease and killed people with their quackery. Madame de Ventadour, his governess, is credited with saving the royal line, and can be seen in this interesting painting of her with Louis XIV and his heirs.