Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Needle In My Hand

I PRAY that, risen from the dead, 
I may in glory stand— 
A crown, perhaps, upon my head, 
But a needle in my hand. 

I 've never learned to sing or play,          
So let no harp be mine; 
From birth unto my dying day, 
Plain sewing 's been my line. 

Therefore, accustomed to the end 
To plying useful stitches,   
I 'll be content if asked to mend 
The little angels' breeches.

Eugene Field. 1850–1895

 I remember seeing the first stanza of this poem about 30 years ago, and I have loved it ever since.  I intend to write about many things, however, my main focus will be on sewing and embroidery.  I especially love costuming and do many time frames depending on which group I am playing with at the moment.  As I have grown older and wider, (I wish I could have put wiser instead there!)  I have found that there is not much out there in the way of help for the large size costumer, despite the fact that such a large percentage of us are in the plus range.  So I will be exploring what are the best period and vintage looks for plus size gals.   Which patterns I have the best experiences with and which draft up in size best. 

I will post past costumes and current projects as the days go along.  I sometimes slope/drape my own patterns and have been frustrated trying to find patterns that fit, especially since I am in the 3X size range and short as well.  I find that most patterns that claim they are in plus sizes only go as far as an American fashion size 18 = pattern size 20.  Betzina and Rowley have been designing some wonderful plus patterns that actually go to a fashion size 6X for the big pattern companies and I have made some things I truly love from their patterns.

I have been sewing for decades, had a costume business for several years, studied design, tailoring and embroidery once upon a time, long, long ago. In the practical world I have worked for almost 3 decades as a registered nurse; while raising two girls as a single mom.

As I thought and thought what to call my blog, many things crossed my mind.  I had some high brow french terms, titles specific to certain time periods and places, tricky plays on words to do with stitchery and none seemed to fit.  I didn't want to be locked to time or mood, but roam all my wide interests.  At rock bottom who I am is an American Country Girl, and proud of it.  So most of all I wanted this in my blog.  Then one day I was taking down pictures to paint and redecorate and I held my framed sampler in my hand.  It was a design purchased by my mom for me when I was about 8 years old and she taught me how to stitch it.  I have kept it ever since and it was my first true embroidery.  Samplers are known to many cultures, however, this is a type of stitchery that Americans made their own.  So my blog title comes from my sampler, made so many years ago.  I will leave it to my readers to agree or not as time goes on if I really do "Know my Stitches."

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