Whiterose Designs by Debra

Make Your Style Standout

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Time to Update

I am sharing my previous sewing room so you can see the transformation. Although the old sewing room was very funtional and somewhat appealing in appearance, it was not the most useful in organization nor modern. So with my endeavors to move on with my goals of increasing my client base and growing to supplement our new phase of life, RETIREMENT, I must update. I had to remove the carpet and we refinished the existing floors we had underneath our carpet for over 50 years.  The floors are so beautiful now, but that will be another posting. 

My husband and I are working to make supplemental income to compensate the increasing cost of health care. He works for the private sector, so we will be having to pay out of pocket for his health coverage. Mine will be covered, but we all know with any pre-existing health issues and of course age, the cost of good medical coverage is on the rise, and not going to get any better. I LOVE to sew and have had some very fun and challenging clients to build my expertise and confidence to move on and challenge a growing business of not only alterations, but also dressmaking and tailoring. I have been sewing for over 40 years and making my own wardrobe for years, as well as for others from time to time. Where I have had the opportunity to grow is with tailoring and making some very interesting and fun designer garments from just pictures. It brings me so much inner contentment and happiness, I figured I might as well use it to see if I can aid in supplementing our meager retirement income in the upcoming few years.

 The biggest storage area I had was an open closet with shelves, many of them stationery unable to adjust.  And as you can see, I also used this area as a display for the jewelry I design along with garments.

To the right is the organizing unit I purchased at Walmart to store all of my jewelry making supplies with as much asthetics as possible for the cost.  Each little cubicle was stuffed to the brim with storage containers that fit perfectly inside each one, allowing me to pull out just the containers I need.
This is another storage unit I found at a garage sale, utilized for storing fabric & serger threads.  The foot stool actually is for my makeup vanity I found on the side of the road someone was throwing out.  It was vintage painted white about 50 times and the drawers were painted shut.  So needless to say it took alot of elbow grease and loving care to restore.  I ran out of time and finished up after stripping it, and just painted it brown, but this summer my goal is to strip it again and really restore it to the original finish.

You can see the vanity in it's almost finished mode from stripping, it is so vintage and I LOVE it.  I have wanted one like this since I was a small girl, a childhood friend had one, and I envied her so much, so I am enjoying mine I found just by fluke.  The storage rack for hanging garments I purchased also at Walmart to accomodate cllient's garments coming in & out, along with my current projects for myself.  All of these self fix methods to store are actually making my room more disorganized than anything.

This is my actual sewing desk and really it is a desk I had used in the office my husband & I share.  But when my daughter moved out, I moved in making it my sewing room finally.  The sewing maching is a Brother Duetta Embroidery combination, and my husband just purchased for me a new Babylock Serger with the air push self threader.  And by the way the Brother also has a self threading mechanism that just makes changing threads while emboidering so easy and effortless.
But coming soon will be the updated pics from the finished sewing room, and I will honor not only all the women who have their own blogs and inspired me to utilize some of their useful tools but also my son & husband who worked so hard to make my dream sewing room so possible.  I not only have the necessary hidden storage I needed but also the little nooks and cranies to fill even the littlest storage problems.

I also will be adding some pictures soon of our new and updated floors and what changes it made to the inside of our home.  We finally will have a home to never be ashamed of having guests invited into.  We have had such a year with my husbands three surgeries back to back and all the renovations at the same time.  But also my daughter who suffers from epilepsy from a childhood bacterial meningitis illness, had her first baby.  She had some complications throughout the pregnancy which meant ongoing support.  But we have a gorgeous grandson, Isaiah, who is the happiest little bundle of sunshine for us all.  He brings so much joy, beyond what I could have imagined. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I feel like a small child again, as the anticipation is so strong, I feel my completed projects will never get done.  As each day passes, more and more of my expectations increase.  We finished the sewing room and it is going to be fantastic, especially to bring clients into an new environment that is not only updated and modern, but have such a professional appearance that they will feel they have come to the right place.

I wish I had taken pictures of our finished work before I had to move our entire house into that new room along with the kitchen and garage.  As we had to pull up the carpet that has covered the original wood floors in the house over 50 years ago.  We purchased our home in 1978, and at that time it had green and gold shag carpets, which by the way were the "in" thing at the time.  With raising 3 children we kept putting carpet into the home over the years, since at the time it was the easiest. 

Now the "in" thing is wood floors, and I am so very happy, as I have always wanted to have them.   They are turning out to be beautiful, as the floors were in perfect condition, with the exception of one area in the living room. They replaced the few boards that needed to be repaired.  We chose a rosewood tint, or a cherrywood to many people.  Actually they used a Mahogany stain and added a rose or cherry tint to it, which gave us the exact color we wanted. 

My husband goes into the hospital on Tuesday for a total hip replacement, which is why we had to time everything just perfectly.  As I needed to be here for the process, and without any disturbance to this process.  Now I can focus on his surgery and recovery in the hospital, as the day before he comes home, I have a crew of friends coming to move all the furniture back into it's main spots.  Then when my husband comes home, everything will be in it's place, I can then focus my attention on his continued recovery.

I am surrounded by such good friends and have not had to worry about anything while he has recovered from his past two total knee replacements.  So even tho the last 6 months has been filled with emotions, I have been supported by friends that I cannot replace nor ever thank enough for all they have done. 

Today is devoted to "anticipation", which lately has been a big part of my vocabulary.  I am in anticipation of my husband's surgery, the house to be back into it's normal mode, but mostly for my sewing room to come to completion. 

That is the one room I have had the most anticipation for, as it is a room I want to be proud of to bring clients and friends into.  I want to show people especially my friends that I am a professional.  My husband wants me to have a room I can go to that is where I can be creative but also find my real contentment.  I LOVE sewing, as it brings me such satisfaction and complete inner calm.  I am so thankful.

I will have pictures soon, so please come back for my updates.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sewing Room Progress

Why do things take so long to get done?  I am the type of person that when I decide to get something done, I want it done "NOW" !  But I am learning to be more patient and in the process it is allowing me to get more organized with the design that I want to accomplish and finish.

But here is the new "Iron Away" system in the wall.  I am in LOVE with it.  It will allow me to be more professionally organized, and keep things like the ironing of the client's garments when done or even pressing things out while sewing to get the best effect.  For those of you that do not have such a system in their wall, I have to say, I am impressed and it will be such a nice addition to my room. 

Another wonderful addition to my room is "Molly", my new dress form mannequin.  For those that have the traditional dress form, you know how important they are to your finished clothes.  My husband wanted me to have one that would provide not only a nice looking dress form to the room, but as I told him, I needed something that would also have the flexibility for other sizes of different client's.  Here is the link: http://www.fabulousfit.com/  to the dress form that I purchased, as they have several different types as well as even tips on making the best of your dress form.  I just love "Molly" as she is going to be so very important to my dressmaking.  Notice she will be dressed for all occasions, and for now, she is ready to go out on the town.

I also included a necklace I designed, so it will give customers the appearance that I do not leave out detail.  I truly enjoy my hobbies, and don't consider them work, but for me it's total satisfaction seeing my creations complete. 

The box against the wall is the leaning mirror I will be utilizing so customers will have a full view of their garments as I am measuring and making adjustments.  I cannot wait for the next section of work to be completed, as this weekend will be full of accomplishment.  My son is taking advantage of the three day weekend and will be so very busy for me.  So look for more updates as we get it all put together and finally I can feel like my life is back together. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011


As I mentioned previously I wanted to tribute two very special friends of mine.  My daughter was my first, and now is my other very best friend of all.  We have been friends ever since we first met 38 years ago.  I was recently asked by someone how I am able to keep such a friendship going especially with the distance we have between us.  I live on the West Coast, she is literally on the other side on the East Coast. 

Our success is based on complete respect and value of each other for who we are on the inside.  We keep in touch constantly by email, texting and phone calls.  She comes out to the West Coast almost twice a year to see her aging Mother, and we are able to connect visibly.  And what reunions they are.  We are inseparable if not even together physically, and by that I mean mentally just knowing we are on the same coast together, both our spirits are lifted.

We are friends that never question each other's intentions nor expecting anything from each other.  I admire her for the skills she has despite not acheiving higher education.  She is not afraid of trying new challenges, making them seem effortless even tho on the inside I know she may be falling apart.  All her achievements are from a sheer desire to make her self grow, without having to prove anything to other's. 

She raised her daughter for 8 years on her own before meeting her husband, now being married for 25 years this year.  I could not imagine in my wildest dreams raising a child on my own, so I admire her for not only being successful doing it but never ever made her child feel neglected for it.  Once she got married, I even admired her again since she gave up all her friends here on the West Coast  to move and make a new life on the East Coast. 

She always makes the best of whatever situation confronts her, and always always looks at things in a positive way, even when her world appears to be falling apart.  She never gives up without a fight.  We both have conquered so much together just being there for each other.  I could not be who I am without her as a friend.

Here is a picture of us together meeting again for the first time after almost a year, and we both came dressed similar even in color.  Everyone thinks we are sister's and that just makes me glow, as I never had a sister growing up.  But I have a soul sister for life. 


We all have special persons in our lives that either inspire or just plain make us proud having them a part of our life.  I never thought I could have more than one Best Friend, as sometimes we are made to believe that is just not possible.  But as I get older my nucleous of friends that are special have become vital for my true inner contentment.
There are two such people in my life that merit tribute to the bond we have.  Most important tho is the special place they hold in my heart that transcends distance, time and pain.

  First I have to proudly honor my daughter who not only is my Best Friend but someone I could not imagine life without.  She is just an amazingly strong young woman who is 27, but has survived bacterial Meningitis, learning disabilities, discrimination, and weight control.  At 57, I thought I have seen it all, but what she has had to overcome and accomplish is truly inspirational.  For the first time in her life, she is sharing clothes with me, and teaching me more about style than I ever thought I knew.  She is vivacious and full of life.  Her personality makes others see who she is on the inside, which is truly beautiful.  She enjoys telling people I am her mother because they comment when seeing me with her they never knew she had a sister.  She is a sister I never had, but most of all we enjoy being best friends.  You may wonder if that is possible and separate the mother/daughter relationship to be bonded friends.  It is, let me tell you, I actually never believed I could have such a friendship bond like I do with her. 

I think the most compelling reason for that bond to have acheived it's level that it has is the intense struggle and effort she had to be accepted and successful in whatever her challenge were.  Her struggles began at the tender age of 2 when she was stricken with bacterial meningitis up until now.  She has become so strong and gained the insight to conquer whatever obstacles she had to hurdle.  I learned more from her tenacity than any other person I know.  To make my point, with learning disabilities, she has even succeeded in learning 3 languages.  Thru it all, we have become so close to the point that my husband teases me as to who I am married to.  Really, is he jealous?  Does he not understand the female bonding issue? 

Anyways, I could ramble on and on, but most of all, I just want everyone to know how special she is and ask all of you, "Who inpires you as a friend?"  Next I will share another friendship I have that also is very important to me but in a different way.  So check back for that.

By the way here is one of my special pictures of my daughter that I look at many times that just takes away all the woes of the day when I need it to.  And did I mention the gorgeous grandson I have from her, who by the way also has the same infectious little personality.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A bit of this and a bit of that

I may not have a clear cut focus yet but my goals for the future are to share my experiences of sewing, crafting, jewelry design and just life with friends and those that are looking for inspiration.

I had begun this venture with keeping you updated of my dream come true, a new updated and professional sewing room.  This dream come true is taking a bit longer than we expected, but will come true, so be patient with us.  I am going to have the dream sewing room, not that we are getting the high end sewing furniture.  My son the Carpenter that he is, owns his own business, previously framing custom homes.  Now he is expanding his career learning heating & air conditioning for very large buildings, like hospitals and malls.  So in his spare time, if any of us have that, he is going to build for me custom furniture for my sewing room that my husband outlined for him.  My husband, with my input of all the challenges I have for my small space, made drawings of what I needed.

It will be awesome to say the least, in that I finally will have in my small 10 X 11 room two workstations.  One that will be an L shape to accomodate both my sewing/embroidery machine and my new Babylock Serger.  The other workstation will be for cutting that goes beyond just a table, it will have tons of drawers and shelves on two sides for storage.  It will only have two sides of storage since it will be up against a wall, as the room has to allow for the most benefits possible, organization.

My closet is extremely small, so that took some very creative thinking to get the best of what I needed.  So once you see it you will agree it was the best design for my challenges.  It not only will have hanging storage ability, but also lots of drawers and shelves.  My goal was to make this room shine for organization and functionality.

I know I will inspire other's to make their dreams come true as well, so thank you for being patient.  In the next few weeks you will be able to see the process grow into my dream.

Tomorrow the baseboards will be installed by my son, which will make such a striking impact on the room compared to before. So please come back this weekend for the picture update.

By the way, let me know what you think of my new banner, I am still working hard on changing things to reflect myself and my site.  The pictures are of my mother in-law and her best friend, my son, my daughter and her best friend, along with my new grandson.  Isn't he gorgeous, I just love his adorable smile and his very contagious happy personality.