Friday, September 21, 2007

Last Day of Summer: Projects DONE! (and a rant: beware)

Whew...the summer of 2007 will be over by this time tomorrow. What a summer it was; a trip to Switzerland and Canada, loads of rain, two almost hurricanes, snakes, raccoons, parades and family visits.

I tried to get back into sewing this summer. Several projects were disasters. They were so bad that even I will never post a picture of the finished product.

Back in July I posted a blog about this fabric:
I just loved that fabric, and discovered I did not have enough to make what I had hoped to make with it. I decided to use it for just the skirt part of a duro. I got it sewed up, then realized that for me, a Duro is not so good.
But, being a good and faithful Blue Bird girl, I remembered to finish what I began, and today finished making the fabric into a skirt.

Not a sewing masterpiece; but it did utilize the bottom half of the horrible. horrible duro attempt. There are six panels in that skirt; I have just turned over the top, and sewn wide non-roll elastic onto the top and flipped it over, and sewn it again, with gathers on the sides only.
It is a cool, comfortable garment, perfect for a run to the store or to relax and read a book while sipping ice tea.
(It ain't bad for working a Saturday afternoon at the library either, with the addition of a green light weight sweater.)

I made a matching neck tie, which is dunked in ice water, then twisted into a rose at the neck, which keeps me mostly hot flash free.
Best part: The fabric matches my aqua Mary Jane Crocs.
Love my crocs.
Just love em.
You can see the neck tie here, and just for fun, I pinned a ribbon flower corsage that I had made awhile ago onto a white hat.
Not so sure it is really "proper" to wear a white hat after Labor Day, but then again I am not sure it is "proper" for it to still be over 90 degrees every day after Labor Day either.

At any rate, the hat is all set to go for next spring/summer.

It definitely was an aqua themed summer. I also sewed this sun dress (it hadn't been hemmed yet when I caught Bernie to shoot a quick picture.) The fabric is actually the reverse of the fabric's print; Bernie commented he liked the soft color of the backside, and I agreed with him.
I think I've got enough fabric left over to make a cap too...

Looking at the picture of the dress...ah, the tall girl slouch is still with me. Drop a shoulder, put out one leg and kind of sink down, try not to tower above the short folk. It doesn't really work, but it is something I subconsciously do. It's been ingrained in me since I was a school girl.
(Warning: Reaction rant comes next. Beware.)
Sometimes I put on a three inch heel and stand up straight when I am at a party and then I watch the tiny folks scurry into tighter circles away from me.
It's pretty silly having to choose between good posture or company.

I have to tell about a friend who is about 5 ft. 1 inches tall. Her son married a girl from a race that is notably tiny. The bride's family was so very difficult to deal with, that my friend declared she was going to wear three inch or taller heels to the wedding just to tower over them as a means to get even.
I'm still laughing about her considering height to be the ultimate power trip!
I never asked, but I wonder if she discovered what all us tall folk experience.
Not power. Anything but power. If anything, it makes you a target.
I'm taking water aerobic classes in the morning now. The first class I took was an evening class, the second class was a morning class. I stepped into the pool, positioning myself not dead center in the group, but more like at a 9 o'clock position. I was doing a little jogging and stretching to warm up in the water when the tiniest lady in the class raced over to me.
"You need to work deeper in the water. You won't get as much out of the exercise if you don't get down into the water. You need to move."
She tossed her head towards the other end of the pool, where the water was SIX INCHES deeper.
Like that would make so much difference. I had selected my spot because I am nearly blind without my glasses, and it was a place where I could sort of see the instructor.
Ms. Helpful stood chin deep in the water, but even with that, her body posture brooked no argument.
I headed down the pool, and was livid at myself the rest of the class.
Why didn't I just say "Thank you, but I prefer to stay right here where I can see?"
Answer: Being polite to smaller people is so fervently taught to us tall ones in elementary school that is is almost impossible to decline a request from someone who just barely comes to chest level.
Oh gee...looks like this reaction/rant is going to take awhile. I guess I'll just get it all out.
Laura told me about her first day at her new hospital. She showed up with a smile on her face, and the first words out of the mouth of the person she reported to was "Oh my gawd, you're so tall! How tall are you?"
Not "Good Morning!" or "Welcome to the staff!" or "Did you have any trouble finding the place?"
Now Laura is a bit more confident than I am. The double whammy of height and red hair has given her courage and grit like I can only dream of.
She said she smiled sweetly, and replied "I am 5 feet 11 inches tall. So, tell me, how much do you weigh?"
The woman was shocked. "How much do I weigh? You can't ask someone how much they weigh!"
"Why not? It is just a body measurement. You asked me how tall I am, and I told you, now I want to know how much you weigh."
(A very heavy lady was sitting nearby, and began to chuckle at this.)
Then Laura said, "You know, it is actually considered rude to ask people about their body measurements, but since you started it...."
She has often just signaled to people that she needs to whisper something to them when they ask her that question, then she whispers to them that what they have asked is considered a rude question, and that she thought they might want to know that.
Other times she is eye crossingly direct with people in a ways that are simply shocking. It just depends on her mood when the question comes up.
Last night I finally stopped into the new store near our house, Palis Royal, a clothing store. There was a section for "Missy" clothing "Petite" clothing and "Plus Sized" clothing.
I asked if they an area for tall clothing. I got a stare, and the information that *some* of the jeans come in taller lengths.
Other than that...out of luck. Nope, no area for talls.
I'm thinking of asking the water aerobics instructor if she could teach from the "deep" end of the pool so I can both see and have those extra six inches of water available to me. Miss Petite will just have to deal with it; doing the exercises in the six extra inches of water depth would probably drown her, but that isn't my problem now is it?
I'll bet if she tries really hard, she can find high heeled aqua shoes that will be just perfect to work out in.
(Reaction/Rant over...for now.)
And another try at the cap.

It is the third one I've made. Each time I am learning a little something; the weave of the fabric changes how much ease is in the cap, the height of the hem, and the matching of the six points at the top.
My goal is to make one a week to donate. I want to be able to make one in about an hour, and eventually also make some that are embellished with stitchery or bead work. I like the simple design.


Laura said...

Here! Here! and BRAVO!!!!! Standing applause and props to you!!! The skirt turned out very cute too!

Vicki said...

So many pretty things! Thanks for sharing them!

I laughed out loud at your Laura's remarks! My Laura is just as outspoken when she feels someone is being nosy or rude. I can come up with clever retorts like that about half an hour too late. Oh, well.

Sara said...

Ditto to Laura's comment! And thanks for another "fall off my chair from laughing so hard" moment.

How many times have I wandered through department stores looking enviously at all the gorgeous styles for petites, regulars, and womens...and wondered, WHERE OH WHERE are the TALL sizes? I've also wondered, if I went shopping in Sweden, say, or Norway, where people tend to be taller, would I have this same problem?? Aren't there enough of us tall ones in the USA to warrant a "Tall" department too? And why, if we shop by catalog, are we often charged extra for the 2 or 3 inches more in length. I don't notice that people in plain old "misses" sizes have to pay more than the ones who are "petite" for a garment....oops, I'm ranting too!

By the way, love your new fall colors on your blog, and the new fall hats too. Very nice.

Julie said...

I am laughing too... gotta love Laura! I wish I could have been there !!! Good for her!!!

It is interesting to hear a 'rant' from the point of view of 'tall'. Seeing I am on the other end as you know.... 5' 1" .... I am so used to looking up to people that when on the rare occasion I meet someone shorter than me it makes me very I am looking down on them and I really don't want them to think that I am.
Funny, how much difference a few inches can make to some people--- be it water or height!! smile

Your skirt and accessories are great!!! and I noticed immediately that they matched your crocs.

Enjoyed your post!!!!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Thank you Julie! Reading that you feel awkward around people who are shorter than you made my decade. What is it about us women that we feel like being taller, or physically looking down on someone is somehow just not quite right?
I know I always feel much more comfortable once everyone is seated, and the height issue is nullified.

Kate said...

GO Laura!! I loved her confident way of dealing with the rude remark.

Glad to hear you are sewing again. Stick with it. It takes awhile to find your perfect styles but when you do you can whip them into a wonderful custom wardrobe. Looks like you are well on your way.

On the tall rant - studies show that taller business persons are more successful tho'. I wonder? Maybe it's that confidence thing again. My tallest sister buys her pants at Lands End because they do tall. Just wanted to pass that along in case you haven't tried them yet.
K Q:-)

Lovella said...

well that was fun. I enjoyed the summer projects and the rant.
Did you feel that Canadians did the same thing about your height? Because I have a close friend almost identical to your size you didn't seem tall at all. I would think that folk in Texas are tall. That is what the rumor is anyways.
I love Laura's remark. I could use that occasionally on a few topics myself.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I have found very few tall Texas women. My fellow California transplants have all commented at how Texas seems to have a lot of tiny gals, with BIG hair to make up for it (laughing...)

Ladygrande said...

Hooray for Laura! Love her attitude about tall!

My oldest granddaughter (whom I raised) is 5'11". I am 5'3" with one-inch heels. Still I can intimidate her! I guess it's the granny stare. She had a problem with her height in junior high, but got over it playing basketball and volleyball in high school. Now she is very proud of her height and is (and has always been) gorgeous! If someone comments on her height, she just gives them a "look" and they hush up right away. That look has gotten her into a lot of trouble, but I just love it! Raised eyebrow and quirky smile and a wink!

Love the autumn hats ---- getting the itch to make another hat. I need to order some felt hoods real soon.


LBP said...

I am rolling in the floor laughing at Laura's response to the tall question! I am 5'9" and I hear it all the time, HOW TALL ARE YOU?

BTW, I love that hat you made. Do you have a pattern?