Friday, September 2, 2016

Sew Special 2016 and More

The last 24 hours have been like a tale of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Let's start with the good. My niece came last night for the first fitting of her gown. Other than a few tweaks, it looked amazing on her. This fitting was just a basic fitting to get the bodice just as it should be and to decide what we would like to do with the skirt. You may remember the picture I shared from our day at the bridal boutique;

Her gown will not have a train, so rather than the points that come up in the front and back, the lower skirt will have a graceful curve that dips down in the back. We're keeping the back neckline drape, but just not quite as low. I'll share pictures from our next fitting. 

Now the bad. My precious Little Bit was recently diagnosed with cancer. Of course my heart is heavy. At almost 16, we have decided that rather than surgery or chemo, we will do all we can to keep her as happy and comfortable as we can, but not allow her to be in pain. Of course, my heart has been so very heavy. Friends, as well as my husband have told me how fortunate she has been to live with me. Funny, I feel just the opposite, I feel so fortunate to have had her in my life. As difficult as it will be to let her go, I would not have missed the last 15 years for anything in the world.

Now the ugly. I don't know what today will bring, but then we really never do. I was up most of the night with Miss Little Bit. There were moments last night that were far from pretty. As I was cleaning up from an accident, Little Bit came over and nuzzled under my arm as if to say, "I'm sorry." I kissed her on the head and told her it was okay. After all, when we love, we really don't mind. So we are off to the vet in just a bit. We'll see if she will rally once more. 

Now for something fun.

A few months ago, I shared that I would be the featured speaker at the Central Illinois Peoria Chapter American Sewing Guild's annual Sew Special event. I am so very excited!!
Here's a little about the event;


The featured speaker for Sew Special ’16 is Rhonda Buss of Chicago. Rhonda is president of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago. The event will feature a hands-on handbag workshop for 12 participants on Friday. Rhonda will be designing this project that will teach participants about zipper application, pockets, hardware and other handbag construction techniques. We will end up with a finished bag created just for us. The size is appropriate for a weekend trip or a sewing bag. The cool feature is a separate zippered compartment at the bag bottom to separate contents, like shoes from clothes, or fabric from sewing supplies. Saturday will feature all things sleeves including how to change garments by restyling the sleeves. Samples will be available for different sleeve variations. Rhonda will demonstrate how to draft, cut, slash and construct each sleeve variation. You don't have to be an expert because these techniques can apply to even a simple t-shirt style garment. There will be a trunk show of some of Rhonda's fashions. The afternoon will conclude with two make-it take-it wool flowers suitable for a lapel, hat, bag or wherever. The kit fee for the fabric flower will be $10. All materials and supplies are supplied. However, attendees should bring scissors to cut out the paper pattern and the felted wool for the flowers. In addition, the Saturday Sew Special ’16 will feature a noon style show by the state Make It With Wool contestants. 
A little about Rhonda. 
Some would say that Rhonda was born with a needle in her hand. Her first project was an embroidered handkerchief that she made with the help of her grandmother at the age of five. Once in high school, she took every sewing and design class that her school offered. With nothing more to offer, she attended the local community college where she had the opportunity to study fashion illustration and costume design. While in college, she took the limited fashion design classes that were offered. She had the opportunity to truly hone her skills at Ray College of Design in Chicago where she graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. In her final year, Rhonda won numerous awards for her designs, including fur and millinery awards. After graduating, Rhonda worked as a designer for a dress manufacturer. From there she did costume design and returned to teach tailoring and design at Ray College. In recent years, Rhonda began writing for Sew News magazine. She has also been featured in Threads magazine, Sew It All, and Sew Stylish. Her design was on the Spring 2014 cover for Sew Stylish magazine. In 2012, Rhonda won The People’s Choice Award in the Passion For Fashion competition at the American Sewing Expo. In 2013, her design won third place. In her popular blog, Rhonda’s Creative Life, Rhonda features easy to make designs made from simple shapes. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and believes that everyone can sew and create. They just need the basic knowledge. 

From what I understand, the Friday workshop has been sold out, but if you would like to come to the Saturday event, here's a copy of the registration form;

8:30 Registration 9:00 am – 4:00pm 
United Presbyterian Church, 
2400 W Northmoor Road, Peoria, IL 61614 

Rhonda’s all day session (lecture/demonstration) will focus on : 
Sleeve Variations Demonstration (draft, cut, slash & construct) 
Trunk Show with Rhonda’s fashions 
Make It- Take It Wool Flower Accessory- suitable for a lapel, hat, or bag $10 kit fee. 
Chapter website: www.peoriaasg.org 
Questions? Contact Gisela Schuman (309) 245-4884 gschuman93@gmail.com 
ILINOIS MAKE IT WITH WOOL: Marilyn Donoho (815) 627-9422 black1959@aol.com 


Complete checks to Central IL/Peoria ASG and mail by Sept. 21, 2016 to Gisela Schuman 432 E. Pearl, Box 282 Farmington, IL 61531-0282 Registrations postmarked by September 9, 2016 will be entered in a special drawing to receive a free one-year membership $60 ASG Members $70 non-ASG members $35 Students NO REFUNDS AFTER SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 Join ASG now (1 year $50) and attend at the member price Contact Margaret Youssi (309) 369-9866 or mmyoussi@comcast.net Includes Continental breakfast & box lunch from McAlister’s. Beverages, cookies & chips provided Please select one Veggie on Pita ___ Roast Beef on Sourdough ___ Turkey on Croissant___ Salad with Chopped Chicken ___ Those with dietary issues, please feel free to bring your own lunch 
 Name: ___________________________________________________________________________________________ 
Address: _________________________________________________________________________________________ 
City: __________________________________________ 
State: _______________________Zip: __________________ Phone: ______________________________________________________ASG Member? Yes____ No____ 
Emergency Contact: ____________________________________________
$60 (ASG/student) ________________ $70 (non-ASG member) ______________ 
Kit fee $10__________________ 
Amt. Enclosed: __________ 
Email: ______________________________________________________

I would love it if you could attend! 
If you would like a copy of the newsletter with all the info, just email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com and I'll be happy to forward it off to you.
Have a wonderful day :)

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  1. I am thinking of you and your precious Little Bit. Fingers crossed that the next phase is as easy as possible.

  2. My heart goes out to you and Miss Little Bit. Having been through this with a precious pet I can empathize with you. They truly are family members.

  3. The Good: The dress sounds amazing1
    The Bad and the Ugly: I'm so sorry the 15 years have gone by so fast. Sending hugs!
    The Really Cool: I would love it if I could attend, too!


  4. My heart is heavy for you in your sad news about Little Bit.

  5. Oh Rhonda, I am so sorry for the news you received about Little Bit. *hugs* We are pet people too, so it is very easy to understand how upsetting this must be for you. (We have had brushes with similarly devastating news ourselves.) You are so right that, while we do the best we can for them to make them happy, they bring such immeasurable joy to our lives that it is hard to feel that we have done enough to deserve that kind of devotion. Even when things get "ugly," they remind us why we roll up our sleeves. =)

    I hope that Miss LB is feeling better today: you are both lucky to have each other. =) Thinking of you, sweet lady. <3

  6. So sorry to hear how poorly Little Bit is. I understand just what you mean when you say you are lucky to have had her rather than the other way. So difficult when animals are sick. Hug her from me.
    The wedding dress will be gorgeous - your niece chose well with that style, and the modifications make it truly hers.

  7. Rhonda, Hugs and strength. We went through the same thing with our Charlotte just about this time last year. She was close to 18. No matter how long you have them, it is never enough and it is never easy to let go If she rallies great, but if it is time, it's time and let her go wrapped in love and dignity. She's going to have some amazing friends over the bridge.

  8. My heart goes out to you and your precious Little Bit. I just parted with a fur baby last week, and the pain is still fresh.

  9. So sorry to hear of your ailing Little Bit. Whatever you do, it'll be the right thing because it is done with love.

    Your neice's wedding gown reminds me of this Vera Wang pattern from Vogue in 1997. I made it in green for a daughter's prom dress.


    Oh my, that fishtail hem gave me fits!

  10. Sending enormous hugs your way. We are indeed the lucky ones...animals give their love so freely and unconditionally.

  11. I'm so sorry, Rhonda. I know how much Little Bit meant to you and how much she loved you. She brought you so much joy and you are very lucky to have each other. I'm sure this won't be easy on Gracie either. Hugs to all.

  12. Sending positive energy to you all. Hope you have a peaceful night.

  13. I would love to attend but just a bit far to travel ;) I am so sorry to hear about Little Bit. Wishing her a peaceful passing and hugs to you.

  14. The dress is absolutely gorgeous and very similar to the one that my son's fiance selected for their upcoming wedding in January 2017. Just stunning.

    Sorry to hear about the bad. I am sure this is a painful time for you and your Little Bit.

    Congrats on the write up. I wish I was close enough to attend!

  15. Rhonda, you and Little Bit are in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Rhonda I am so sorry about the news of your Little Bit. The dress is gorgeous

  17. My heart goes out to you. It is so very difficult to watch our four-footed family members suffer. Little Bit is lucky to have you to care for her.

  18. love all of the good...understand all of the bad. we made the very same decision last spring with our (very) big boy cat. it's so hard to make that choice, but it's so good that we can keep them out of pain. i truly hope you have some more good time together!

  19. My heart goes out to you for your Little Bit. Having had dogs and cats all my life, I know how special they are, and every now and then there is one that just grabs your heart and doesn't let go. And with each and every one of them, it is difficult, very difficult to lose them as they pass on. My last dog, I laid on the floor with her in the vet's office during her last hours, and decided then and there I would never go through that again, but here we are with three cats and a dog, heading down that wonderful love path all over again. Just know and be grateful for all the years you've had with Little Bit, and eventually your heart will heal.

  20. Love is sometimes so painful, eh?
    sending you comfort and grace to handle what's ahead,
    and a big hug,

  21. So sorry to hear the bad News. I hope the time to come will not be too bad for all of you.

  22. Oh my gosh, your news truly covered every range of emotion. So, so sorry to hear about Little Bit. It's such a hard decision to make but they are fortunate to be surrounded by so much love and affection. I agree that I get more than I give. The saying about being the person my dog thinks I am is so true. Hugs from afar.

  23. I am so sorry about your sweet little dog. I know how hard this is.

  24. Poor Little Bit, I can imagine how hard this is for you :'((((