Saturday, April 8, 2017

Meet my sewing room assistants - Dolly and Emma Thea Rose!

Dear lovelies,

How nice that you could drop in and come for a cuppa tea. You are, aren't you? The subject of this post is causing you to wonder who my assistants are. But tea comes first!

Earlier, while I was adding more handcrafted jewelry to my Etsy shop (see photos at end of this post and the link), I made myself a cuppa - a London Fog latte to be exact - ah, so delicious!  It's my version of Starbucks and they make a lovely one at that! Lately, after Legion choir rehearsal on Tuesday evenings (of which I am pianist and we are getting ready for our May concerts), I stop at Starbucks to get something hot for the 20-minute drive home by myself. It keeps me company!

I came up with another name for their London Fog latte. I call it a "kitty latte." What??? Yes, you are wondering where did that come from? HA!  My niece, Audra, has a delightful little grey kitty named London Fog, don't you know? And this latte is made with Earl Grey tea - hence, the London Fog name that Starbucks gives this latte.

I brew my tea with two bags just like Starbucks, add a bit of natural sweetener, and a small drool (😋) of vanilla extract. While that's brewing, I heat up almost a cup of milk until steaming hot. And because I don't have Starbucks equipment, I use my mini battery-powered milk frother. And gently pour the foaming milk over the brewed tea! Wunderbar!

Now that you've had a tea lesson, it's on to introducing you to my two sewing room assistants. Yes, you've probably guessed they aren't real people. Here is the first one - Dolly! She's my Victorian lady-in-waiting - waiting and standing by to keep check on me while I work my magic with my second assistant (that you'll also see shortly). She's wearing a black skirt that has a lovely cut work hem that I bought quite a number of years ago at the Salvation Army store in Wilmington, MA. Alas, it is too small for me, so Dolly is wearing it for the time being. And her blouse is a piece of lovely lace fabric.

Dolly wearing my black Victorian hat and standing next to my sewing/cutting table.
Before I get to my second assistant, let me tell you a bit about Dolly. Almost eight years ago, she was given to me by my dearest friend, Janie. Just before we moved to Canada. It was time for her to relinquish Dolly into my care and I heartily agreed! Janie had already named her and I wasn't going to change her name, mind you. (It throws my husband for a loop when I ask him to fetch Dolly! HA! He doesn't remember my mannequin has a name!) Dolly has assisted me at all my craft fairs I've participated in on PEI. Sometimes she stands on the floor and most of the time she sits on the table, due to lack of floor space at these crowded craft fairs. And she is adorned with a multitude of necklaces and sometimes scarves.

Last November at one of the community Christmas craft fairs, I had a lady grab Dolly's (my) hat thinking it was for sale! This lady thought the price tag that was for the jewelry Dolly was wearing was for the hat! I said there was no way I was selling this black hat! And not for $25!!

And my second assistant - Emma Thea Rose - she's my newest acquisition since July 2015! I just adore her! No, she didn't come with a name. It took me many months to figure out what to name her. (Those are three names that I love - I had a great aunt named Rose - and I love roses, and I have a cousin on my dad's side - Thea - whom I haven't seen since junior high/school??? She lives in SC now - Hi Thea! 😊). Shortly after purchasing Emma Thea Rose, I joined the Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine Facebook group.

Yes, she is my 1948 Singer Featherweight sewing machine! This Facebook group only allows people to join if they own an FW machine. It can't be anything else but!  It's fun to share our machines and everyone has a name for theirs. Sometimes the FW owners are selling their machines or acquiring another one or someone has mechanical questions and needs help. I still have to post and tell the other FW sewers about what I named her and the cover I made from my most favorite fabric in the world.

I love this delightful little 1948 Featherweight Sewing Machine! She's very light and the table extension flips up so she can sit comfy inside her carrying case. I also acquired a buttonholer and a zigzag attachment, so you see, I have just what I need. Nothing more, nothing less!

Here's the photo of the machine cover (below) I made to keep the dust off my darling Emma Thea Rose. She does have a square black carrying case that is adorable as well and very portable, but I like to keep her ready to sew and this dust cover came out beautiful, don't you think? Notice, the little fabric mannequin to the left that's made with the same fabric. That's my pin cushion. Delightful, yes?

This is the sign I made on the computer that is on the wall behind my Featherweight sewing machine!
My first machine was a Singer Genie. It was portable and I bought it in 1975. I loved sewing with it for many years, but I wanted to have a machine that did one-step buttonholes, so I bought an Elna - an electronic machine in 2000 - but a few years ago I didn't sew for about a year!! oh my!!! That was strange, only because I was working on my art instead. Then I discovered that not using an electronic machine for all that time, it causes things to not happen - like not sewing in reverse unless you force the machine! oh dear!  Even the repair shop in Charlottetown couldn't get it to go in reverse.

Frustrated with electronics, I decided to go back in time and purchase a mechanical machine that I could oil and maintain myself (with the help of a FW manual and online shops that specialize in FW machines - and FB group) and fell in love with the Featherweight machines I had been seeing online. I  looked for one for sale on the island. YES! I found one (in answer to my prayers) and I just love sewing on her!

This past fall, I advertised for the second time to sell my Elna and a lady west of Summerside wanted to buy it on the condition that if she paid for the repair and the machine still wouldn't sew in reverse, that I would take the machine back and give back the money she paid me. I agreed. She never called me back and I knew for sure that the repair shop she used was able to get the machine working properly. That was a relief! This lady was involved with a mission group in which a number of ladies came together to sew items for needy people and she needed another machine for this group. I'm really glad my Elna was able to be repaired and is being put to good use somewhere else.

In case you're wondering - I gave my Singer Genie to my sister, Heidi, just before I moved to Canada as I had my Elna to use then and she needed a working machine. 😍

Here are some more photos of my sewing room. It's not too big, but is much larger than the one I had in my Burlington house, of which I am thankful. The sewing table (fabric shelf) next to Dolly is the same fabric covered board I used in my other house. It's very handy to cut fabric on and for making jewelry, plus I have my laptop on the shelf above and my keyboard sits on this fabric shelf on the green cutting mat and that's what I'm doing now - typing this post!

How many years is it before something is considered an antique? Well, this wooden desk you see here that Emma Thea Rose is sitting on, is older than my mom! It was her desk when she was growing up. It was given to her family - not new - so most likely it is older than she is and mom is turning 88 the end of April! I have had this desk way back when I was growing up! I still have the wooden chair that goes with it (not the one you see here) but it's in the other room. I use that modern office desk chair as it's more comfortable for sewing.

That lovely large wooden spool holder you see hanging on the wall just above Emma Thea Rose's sign - that was a moving away gift from my friend, Fran, when William and I were moving to Canada back in 09. The large round basket sitting below the sign has sea shells woven through the cover. It holds my button collection. The basket came from the South Pacific - from Samoa, I believe. When I was working as a secretary at MIT/Lincoln Laboratory (Lexington, MA) in the early 1980s, one of the engineers went on a business trip there. Maybe it was Guam? Nevertheless, it was from one of those islands, and he came back with that gift for me!

This old wooden bureau sits opposite my sewing table - across from Dolly - and it holds fabric and supplies and items ready for purchase from my Etsy shop (here). I have had this bureau way back when I was growing up also! Even though it's missing the top drawer, which the lace is covering the open space, I would not give it up. It's a really great bureau (or dresser, as my son-in-law insists it is called! 😁 He's not from New England, you know! HA!)

I have piles of fabric in the basket that Janie gave me many years ago (to the left of the bureau).  And a few rolls of fabric waiting to be used for future bags and totes. I have more fabric in the closet behind the ironing board.

Well, as I could probably go on and on, I think I just about said enough for now about my sewing room. I wanted to give you a glimpse of my world here and where I create.

I did mention I have some new jewelry, didn't I? Well, here are a couple photos of five brooches I made this week - all available in my Etsy shop here. When you enter my Etsy shop, look on the left side to where the list of shop sections are and choose the "Brooches and Necklaces" section. That's where you'll find them. I do have two new necklaces completed and they'll be listed shortly.

 I just adore the tea cup brooch! It's so screaming cute!

This one has a mother of pearl shell charm. They all came out great!

This post wraps up another week and I leave you with the following passage taken from Psalm 8, verses 1 to 5, that I read in my devotions this morning (I keep a scripture journal.) A group of us on Facebook, hosted by my sister, Heidi, participate in a daily scripture journaling exercise, where we write out the scripture for the day. I write out more than what is on the schedule and choose passages from the Psalms and Proverbs. Writing out the scripture causes you to slowly read and thus you are able to ponder what is being said and hopefully take it to heart throughout the day!

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth, who hast set thy glory above the heavens! 
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained, 
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.

In today's world of turmoil, let these words from the LORD keep us focused on Him! Until next time...


  1. Such a lovely post, dear Linda! I so enjoyed getting a peek into your sewing room and my oh my, what a beautiful sewing machine!

    Your creations are ever so sweet and charming. Now I'm headed off to your Etsy shop :)

    Have a blessed Sunday! Hugs!

    1. Thanks! Have a great day, too!
      Hugs back :-)

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