Thursday, April 28, 2016

Gorgeous weather and photographic ramblings...

Missouri Botanical Gardens
There is so much that I want to document here.  Sometimes I'm stymied by the problem of wrapping the photos and projects into some kind of coherent and thoughtful commentary...  maybe I need to take the pressure off and just share more photos.  (You might think so too after you read this brief but rambling post...)

This spring has been just beautiful.  We've been spending so much time outside, in our yard, at the Botanical Gardens, at my rural home.  And in the evenings, I've been knitting, spinning and sewing.  It's been a great balance.
Urban Garden

I listened to a podcast the other day about the declaration of "being busy".  And I know I just did that in this space.  And it felt cliched.  And the podcaster and her interviewee talked about how busy-ness is really just making time for all the things that you want to do.  And I liked that idea... it's not that someone doles out a list for me each morning as I stumble out of bed of things to do.  These are the activities of the path that I've chosen and our family has chosen... we are lucky that they are all engaging and positive things.

So, I guess if I'm being more honest and straightforward about all this busy-ness, it's all self created.  I get great joy out of our family time, watching the girls in their extracurricular activities and school, carving out time with my better half and also finding professional success at work. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the hobbies and the activity of trying to chronicle them on this blog.

That's our busy... and it's self inflicted and good.

Monday, April 18, 2016

April Already

It's hard to believe that the first quarter of 2016 has already passed.  It's been fun, so far.  And the weather in these parts is wonderful.  I was looking back at my posting history on this blog, and April and May seem to be the time when my ramblings taper off.  That fresh air and sunshine beckons and I am less apt to write down what is in the works...


The taper feels like it might be officially starting, so I'll share a few things that I made for Easter and try to beat my own trend.  The last post was the peanut's Easter dress, and this post will be about her sister's.

I bought a vintage Simplicity sewing pattern (3327) on etsy last year in a size that I knew would be a bit big, but it has this pretty pin tucked bodice with waist shaping, so I was willing to wait.  And this year it fit really, really well.

3327 - waist shaping hidden in pin tucks - be still
my beating heart...

I failed to take any progress shots of the actual making of the dress.  But I can tell you that it went really, really smoothly.  The pattern was very straightforward, and simple in the sense that it had no interfacing piecing.  The arm and neck holes were finished with binding.  The one modification that I did make was to sew the contrasting sash into the dress when I attached the bodice to the skirt.

Bodice detail

The fabric is the really fun part of the story though.  Growing up, my dad's god parents were a part of our extended family.  You could count on them and their family to come to every Easter and Thanksgiving dinner.  And they were always very fun and engaging with my sister and I.  His god mother was named Sabina.  She was perennially kind, polite and cheerful.  And she was so very excited when my husband and I had our first baby, which makes the making of this dress even more fitting.

Their household was broken up several years ago on their passing, and my mom was thoughtful enough to buy two pieces of material from among the things for sale at the estate auction.  The material was probably intended to be a housecoat, and it is a very lightweight, 100% cotton lawn, almost. (I'm terrible at identifying fabrics, but it's definitely a garment weight.)

Anyway, my mom gave them to me and this is the first that I've used either of them.  The small fry loved the pink roses.  And we updated it a little by adding some darker contrasting trim at the neck and sleeves.  And those sparkly pink buttons up the back, those were all her doing.

"Girling-it-up" even more

Egg hunting action shot

It's nice to see this come together and used by a new generation of little midwestern ladies.  And I think Sabina would agree.