Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rare Singers and Liebsters

We're just finishing a very fun run of house guests here in Surf City. The Boy, The Man's Brother, my 12-year-old computing consultant and our friends Larry and Carole have all passed through in the last couple of weeks.

Larry and Carole were on their way home from the Alameda antique flea market, where Carole found a rare, tan Singer Featherweight. Carole has had a bunch of Featherweights pass through her maestro hands, but only a couple of the tan ones. She said this one was from the 50's, and that it was a particularly rare find because the case is in super shape.

It looks like the 50's somehow, huh? Kind of like a princess phone in sewing machine form
 This is the third selfie I've ever taken. Believe it or not, I'm getting better.

Carole and yours truly
On another note, Tracy H. of Tracy Sews Happy has very kindly nominated me for a Liebster!

As a blogger, I sometimes feel like a stand-up comic, tapping on my mic and asking, "Is this thing on?" It's really fun to see that there are a few people out there reading my meanderings. I always like seeing the Liebsters making the rounds. I've discovered some great, new-to-me blogs by clicking my way through to the nominees.

So here are the rules, as I understand them:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you, linking back to their blog (thank you Tracy!).
  2. Copy and paste the Leibster award to your blog.
  3. On your blog answer the 5 questions that have been set 
  4. Nominated 5 blogs that you think deserve to get noticed for the award
  5. Let your nominees know they have been chosen  by leaving a comment on their  blogs
  6. Set your nominees 5 questions of your own
So here goes!
1.  Do you have a current challenge you are hoping to master to improve your sewing?
My goal this year is to sew myself an everyday bra that really works. I hate shopping for bras. I have a hard time finding anything that seems to fit my more mature assets, or that gives me much of a shape (I need all the help I can get!). I've treated myself to the Bambi soft bra pattern from OhhhLulu. Now I just need to gird up my loins and make a muslin.

2.  What is your motivation for sewing?
A big part is the creative aspect. I love playing around with color and texture and shape. And how cool is it that my play sessions end up in a new shirt, or a pair of pants?

Also, I really enjoy seeing how things are made, from sofas to houses to clothes. Yep, the Discovery Channel has my number. I'm that person who stops people in the street to ask if I can see how their sleeves were inserted, or how their button band was attached.

3.  What do you like to sew best?
I actually enjoy making the everyday staples! Nice, simple tee shirts, a pair of pants, the occasional skirt... Though now that I'm getting back into my sewing groove, I find myself eyeing patterns that are a bit more challenging.

4.  Do you have a favourite pattern company?
I've been sewing a lot of Burdastyle Magazine patterns lately. I have enough of those puppies by now that I suspect I could find a passable pattern for pretty much anything I can imagine, from a tee shirt to a wedding gown, just by flipping through my back issues. Their patterns seem to fit me pretty well and I can bank on the measurements they provide without running into major ease issues.

I also treat myself to a pattern from Sewaholic or Grainline or one of the other indie pattern companies now and again. I've watched those young companies being birthed over the last few years on the internet. I feel kind of like a fond Aunt. 

5.  How many blogs do you read regularly?
Oh. My. God. Hundreds! If I spent half as much time sewing as I do reading sewing blogs, I could open my own boutique. Thank god for Bloglovin - otherwise I'd spend my days obsessively clicking to see if my sewing ladies had updated their blogs, kind of like a lab rat hoping for a food pellet.

Coming up with 5 blogs to nominate was a challenge, and not just the narrowing down of my list. Liebster's are intended for newer blogs that have fewer than 200 followers. I'm so lame that I don't know how to tell how many followers a blog has unless it's posted up top on the sidebar. I also didn't want to nominate someone who had recently received a Liebster, so I asked my friend, Mr. Google, to check that for me. If I messed up on either of those jobs, my apologies.

The blogs I love best meet the following criteria: they feature  lovely, fun, quirky items and the author has a distinctive voice (and a sense of humor).  It's a special treat if the blog has a sense of place. I love hearing little details about the weather in Toronto or how to make Brazilian coconut cake. It satisfies my arm-chair traveler bug. The following 5 sewing ladies tick all those boxes for me:

Gladys and Viv
The Sewing Princess
Sewing in Athens
Physics Girl on the Loose
Notes from High Road

I liked Tracy's questions so much that I will shamelessly copy all of them, with one small change:
  1. Do you have a current challenge you are hoping to master to improve your sewing?
  2. What is your motivation for sewing?
  3. What do you like to sew best?
  4. Do you have a favorite pattern company?
  5. Do you have a favorite sewing trick that you think everyone should know?


  1. Thanks so much for this award. I will certainly reply. Those question are so intriguing! That Singer sewing machine is so great! I think it may have accidentally ended up in my purse if I'd happened to pass by Carole's house. She's lucky I am not so close :o)

    1. I'm really interested to see your answers!

  2. Nancy, thank you so much for nominating me! I've finally gotten around to doing my post for it... and I may have bent the rules a bit; hope that's okay.

    That's a beautiful sewing machine--I'd love to have gotten to see it. I have a 1950s Singer (301A, not a Featherweight) that I really like, but it pales in comparison...