Dancing Spools

These beautiful people…

Who are these beautiful people and how did they influence her?

Ms. SpoolTeacher’s mother loved to spool her own clothes. This picture was of the beginning of Ms. SpoolTeacher’s life. These two people met in Goosebay Labrador and fell in love. This night, they were probably headed to a dance. They loved, loved to dance. It was probably a special dance as they are dressed to the nines. There is little doubt that that beautiful vintage dress was hand-spooled. No doubt.

They would go on to have three little girls, whom Ms. SpoolTeacher’s mother would dress alike for years. Most of which were fabricated from remnants lovingly plucked from the reduced bins of House of Fabrics. (noone less than 50 years old knows about that wonderful sewing and fabric store. It just reeked of cemical dyes before there was any concern, it was the delight of all sewers to pass the doors and get that fix of fabric smell. Disneyland. A pure Disneyland of Fabrics. Countless hours…spent.)

As a little girl, Ms. SpoolTeacher sat with her two sisters with a See’s lollipop in their mouths while “mummy” looked through pattern books then scoured the bins for the best three-of-a-kind fabric cuts. Sometimes the colors would vary, but always three alike somehow.


Ms. SpoolTeacher would lay for many hours behind her mother sitting at the Kenmore machine, stretched out on the full sized bed, daydreaming and chatting; quality time listening to the machine hum, the pressure foot going up and down, and watching her mother create a work of art for her to wear, or a new outfit for her doll.

She was about 5 when her mother couldn’t keep the needle away from her any longer.

age about five, needle and thread and some this and that…

Little Ms. SpoolTeacher was helplessly hooked.

Her career Decorating other people’s homes was started because of a wonderful Kirsch Drapery Hardware magazine that fell into her hands somewhere along the lines. She saw a way to marry her love of sewing and decorating together in the world of treating windows.

After many years of “making” (having a workroom make) other people’s ideas (however strongly influenced by herself), she wanted to create her own, using her intuition and whatever fabric fell her way.

She pulled this ensemble together based on a vision of what they might be. The ribboned dark purple was purchased because she couldn’t not, the satin stripe was from the leftover of a job probably 20 years prior and stored for such a thing as this, the plaid piping was a little remnant that seemed to surface constantly and beg to be used. It was a lightweight cotton and it just didn’t seem to have enough heft for anything substantial. It had just found it’s perfect home. The cream sheer was a “memo” sample ordered to test a sheer for a client (designer’s order memos to get a bigger sample than what is typically in a book of samples so the client and she can handle it and play with it). It was enough to cut several strips from and ruffle it up to splice between levels of this evolving drapery panel. The translucent iridescent sheer another memo (not much of it so judicious use required, splicing pieces and settling for a diagonal seam in the middle).

The diagonal satin stripe would make a nice bias un-corded lip between tiers. That fabric, more retrieved leftovers from workroom jobs, always overestimated. (best practices call for this, to insure for mistakes and be sure of enough – dye-lots are a nightmare) The bullion trim would not make it in.

                                                                                           ^ (sorry about the camera cord)

(Floor Monster and Paint Monster are showing their faces in this shot. They will have to answer to this eventually)

Bishop sleeve anyone? Several ways to use this panel.

Ms. SpoolTeacher spent this process “InSewVating” and did manage to cut two of each items, but couldn’t bring herself to fabricate the second panel, the first one was sooooo much detail work. Fortunately, she has a perfect place (an un-doored opening) to hang a single panel, even though the other side of the room has another un-doored passage that would love to have the companion – one of the millions of things she will do “later”; like all that heavy lifting!) (and getting Paint Monster to paint polka dots on the floor?!)

It could work. :o)


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