Several months ago in a guest post at Design Mom, A Passage to India, I wrote about the beautiful things my sister brought me back when she visited my parents in Bangalore. Melanie brought me back hand-sewn dolls, peacock feather fans, mahogany boxes, cinnamon wood frames and silk tapestries but my favorite thing was the eight yards of gorgeous red sari silk you see here.
Deep and luscious, it was so beautiful I thought long and hard before I decided how to best use it. I wanted a dress--curtains or pillows would fade but a dress I could wear and use the fabric to full advantage.
So I carefully combed the fabric stores for just the right pattern. This was harder than you'd think because the fabric had different designs on different sections. Some parts had borders, some had spots, some had lines and the end was a full 18 inches of brilliant gold embroidery that begged for my creativity. I needed a pattern where I could use the different sections of material for bodices, hems and cuffs in just the perfect way--easier said than done.
Anyway, I bought three patterns but ended up using one and it took me two hours to cut out the pieces--an hour and a half just to get up the courage to make that first cut--it was so difficult to place each piece so that the pattern on the fabric worked with the pattern on the dress but finally I sat down to sew and whipped it together in a couple days.
So the punch line? Among all my sewing expertise I made one gigantic error. The kind of error normally reserved for the Hubble telescope, an error so horrible, so enormous that those of you who can sew will smack your heads with the idiocy of it. The pattern I picked out was designed for stretch fabrics such as jerseys and knits, not for woven silk so even though I measured carefully and minded all my manners when I went to try on the top it didn't fit because it didn't stretch.
Yes, the neighbors heard my anguished wail.
The skirt fit fine but the top was so tight that Grace couldn't even wear it. I tried it on Lillian who complained a great deal and it fit her more than any of us but she wasn't interested in anything that wasn't pink, purple or princessy. Anyone out there wearing a 6X interested in a beautiful Indian silk blouse? Shalee? Maybe I can get Lillian to wear it if I bribe her.
I have enough of the eight yards left over to make another top, but the pretty gold embroidered spots are all taken and the best I can hope for is a solid red piece. I am in the depths of despair.
And in honor of my very, very sad sewing experience here's something to brighten things up. Laura Childs, the best-selling author of Frill Kill (a scrapbooking mystery if you recall) has another novel coming out titled The Silver Needle Murder, number nine in her Tea Shop cozy series.
There are mysteries for all tastes and interests and Laura Childs seems to have found a fun backdrop for her stories with the crafting and cooking themes. I like mysteries, I like crafts--so this sounds like the best combo to come around since peanut butter met chocolate.
This latest novel centers around Theodosia Browning and the staff of the Indigo Tea Shop who are catering the Charleston Film Festival. Unfortunately the famous director, Jordan Cole, gets shot on his way to the podium and only Theodosia can crack the case. If you're a foodie who likes caper capers (Ha! Get it?) this could be the novel for you and thanks to the kindness of Ms. Childs I have two copies to give away (actually she sent me three but I'm keeping one for myself). If you'd like to be entered in this lovely cozy giveaway then simply leave a comment on this post anytime until Friday midnight and I'll count you in. Good luck--I'll draw a winner on Saturday morning and publish the results this weekend. Happy reading!
Congratulations to Sheila of Sherman, Texas who has won the toddler books and music giveaway this week from DK and Barefoot Books.
Technorati tags: crafts, sewing, India