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."