Friday, August 10, 2012

Refashioning and One Year Later

It's amazing how moving makes you take a new look at your wardrobe.  I bought a few pieces that were waaaay to big for me.  But big is better than small because you can always alter and refashion.   Then some things you don't wear as much because you don't have the right coordinate.    So I'm breaking in my sewing room arrangement by altering and re-styling things I like, warming up for fall sewing.

I like peplums and it's nice that the designers showed many variations for this spring/summer.   I bought this neat Babette SF peplum top made in her signature pleats to get more wear out of this charcoal/cream stretch cotton bubble skirt with shades of gray.

Then there was this Vera Wang dress in an interesting fabric that I loved.   I already owned the skirt and found the dress for less than I would have paid for the fabric.    Only problem was that it was huge, the waist was too high, it was too long and overall looked frumpy on me.   Then for two years it hung in the closet.    So I took another look at it and the lightbulb went on!    Peplum top ! waist a little high - no problem because that's the way they're styling the peplum tops.     Just figure out the best length to cut it off, hem it and take it in some in the back.   I'm going for a stylish summer top that works with different bottoms.

Before - frump city
Gathers below the cartridge pleats   

Next was this interesting summer ensemble from Doncaster.  The jacket is definitely Chanel quality and the fabrics are gorgeous but the only skirt they had at the clearance markdown was a size 14, too big and too long for me.   But you can always take bigger in so I bought it.   The skirt style is just like Loes Hinse Swing Skirt I've made a few times, so I measured and compared to those, and decided to use the same waistband technique Louise Cutting uses on her One-Seam pants and her skirt patterns.    It's a very pretty waistband technique, esp for soft fabrics, and would enable me to take the skirt up at the waist and not mess up those gorgeous flounces.   The silk georgette print and the solid lining were a bit wiggly to work with so I used a 2 1/4" template to press that made it a lot easier.

Before with waistband and darts

Removing waistband - these Kai scissors were wonderful to do this

After using Louise Cutting's signature technique

Before and detail of double flounce
After with coordinating cotton tweed jacket

This week we're dogsitting Bernie, our son's pomeranian.    He's a cutie and follows me around everywhere.    We walk down the driveway and down the road.    He likes to dig at the edge of the driveway in a certain spot.

It's hard to believe that it's been one year since I returned home from  Johns Hopkins hospital where they put that catheter into my chest and began the plasmepheresis treatments that continued until the end of October.   As I look back on those times, and the months since,  I remember all the special people who truly were my angels.    My physical therapist, Kathie who saw me when all this began and who happily discharged me on the 16th of July.    My sewing friends here in the US and around the world,  some who contacted me after following my disastrous journey prior to getting into Johns Hopkins with helpful advice and friendship.   The doctors and medical professionals at Johns Hopkins, and at Mission Hospital who attended me during my plamapheresis treatments.  I particularly want to thank Wendell and Susie, the RNs in the hemodialysis center and all the doctors at the Mountain Kidney and Hypertension Center who run that unit.    Wendell coordinated with the doctors and nurses at Johns Hopkins, assured them that their procedures mirrored those at JH, that allowed me to be treated here rather than stay in Baltimore for three months.    Those were tough times but the care they gave me enabled me to get through it.     And the good news is that the treatments worked.  Fast forward to this month when I was making reservations in Baltimore for my next check-up the end of September.      

I'm looking forward to October when I get to go to Louise Cutting and Linda Lee's workshop/sewing retreat in Florida.   For now,  I am happy to be able to do all the things I couldn't do a year ago.   I still don't have the endurance I used to and tire more easily.   I may not get that back but at least I can walk up and down my road and driveway and do anything I put my mind to.

To all those who took the time to write and comment and encourage me,  thank you.  Over the years I have met people with serious physical problems that were different and many times a lot worse than mine.   They never played the victim and inspired me with their courage and determination to live and not wallow in self pity.  Put your mind to it and create the life you want and do what you can do.  That's what I did even when I didn't see any light at the end of the tunnel.   I'm glad and fortunate to have found doctors who knew how to make me well.    


  1. Brava, Terri...I'm so happy you're feeling well and back to doing what you love.

  2. Wonderful to see a new post on your wonderful blog, Terri.

    Wish I could join you in FL - I know it will be fun and it would be lovely to see you in person, doing so well!.

    And I really like all your wardrobe tweaks. You always start with the good stuff and make it better!

  3. It's wonderful to have you well and posting again. I do like peplums. I was surprised to find that a peplum is excellent for hiding a small tummy. I know not a problem you have, but like you I'm delighted these are in style again and fascinated by your refashioning which achieves the look.

  4. Looks (and sounds) as though you have come out of the tunnel where that light was shining. So happy to hear you are doing so well. Your refashions are inspiring. As always, thanks for sharing.

  5. Looks (and sounds) as tho you have found the end and come out of that long tunnel. It's good to see you doing so well. Your refashions are so fun and very pretty!