Lonsdale Dress

Yay me!  I finished another dress, and just in time for the beach! (since I bought the fabric especially for its “beachy” look)

This time it was my first attempt making Sewaholic’s Lonsdale Dress.

The fabric is Michael Miller’s “Shore Thing Kelp” in green.

I have to say, I love that whole collection.

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I am really, really happy with how it turned out.

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I only had two problems when putting the dress together:  the zipper was faulty and broke after I installed it completely.  There were a lot of curse words.  I then pulled it out and put in a new one.  This time I was pissed off, though, so I did a sloppier job and therefor you can see the zipper this time.  Whereas the broken zipper had been sewn in beautifully.  Of course.

Then, when I was working on the hem I busted a needle on my serger.  Totally my fault, but still.  Very frustrating. Lesson: don’t sew while pissed off.

This dress is coming to the beach with me this weekend, for sure!

QUILT!!!

I finally finished a quilt!

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I started this quilt at least a year ago as a way to use up all of my cherished (and discontinued) Heather Ross scraps.

It has probably the crappiest binding and top quilting of any quilt ever, but I don’t care.

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I wanted it to be a summer quilt, and I finished it in the summer.  While there is still summer left in which to enjoy it.

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The backing fabric is a king sized sheet from Walmart.  I couldn’t believe I found one that matched so well.

This was my first attempt using the free-hand quilting foot for my machine.  I’ve got an even-feed foot now as well, so I’ll be trying that out next.

Finished quilt!

Squee!!!!

Gardens Gone Haywire

So, my gardens.  Not gonna lie.

They look pretty bad this year. I know I say that every year.  Last year it was the bugs.  The year before it was the unrelenting sun and lack of good rains.  This year, it was TOO much rain.

Of course, the last two years I still managed bumper crops of nearly everything I planted.

I knew we were in trouble a few weeks back.  The squash leaves were yellowing at an alarming rate and the soil in the new back garden was staying pretty soggy.  The weeds were growing at such a rate that I could pull them all  and have to do it again almost immediately.

As of today, all of the squash has died with the exception of the cucumbers, which are doing surprisingly well.

The corn has also done well and is starting to tassel:

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The sweet potato vines are also looking well.  The blue, red and yukon potatoes are at status unknown right now.  Probably they are dead.  The above – ground portion was eaten into oblivion by potato beetles.

The basil is faring moderately well.  The tomato plants are all doing well save for the pests that have claimed one of the plants.

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I can tell you one thing that is doing very, very well, though, and it is something I didnt’ even plant.  It came in the form of volunteer seeds in the compost we brought from Susan’s.

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These lovely sunflowers are my consolation prize for my lackluster food growth.

Honestly I could have probably saved a lot of the vegetable plants – at least the ones that were done in by pests.  I just took on too much all at once this season and couldn’t keep up with it all.  Honestly, I have over a thousand square feet of gardens to keep up with.

Lesson accepted, but probably ignored in the future.

For now I am tending to what there is that is salvageable, and planning to put the pigs in the garden this fall to root it all up and fertilize it for next year.

One day I will have a productive, fruitful, successful vegetable patch!

Another Day, Another Dress

I can’t believe i am posting pictures of myself TWO DAYS IN A ROW.

I am so not the kind of photogenic that this requires.

Oh well.  You’ll have to suffer my awkwardness to see the dress.

It’s a pattern I’ve made before but am not crazy about.  As in, the finished product is good, but I have to work with next to no instructions and do some heavy altering.  Last time it came out too long, so this time I cut it shorter.  Too short, as it turns out.  But, as it is a summer dress it’s not too terrible.

The fabric is Moda that I got at my local fabric store.

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Just about an inch longer and slightly looser in the skirt and it would be perfection.

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I’m pretty happy with my zipper installation, though.  Except for a small bit at the top, you can’t see it at all.  Practice, practice.

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I had enough fabric left to make a simple A – Line skirt.  It’s on the machine now, waiting for finishing.  I also cut strips to make some bias tape with it for various projects.   If I could have bought this fabric by the bolt, I would have.  The yardage I got was clearly not enough for everything I want to do with it!

Yummy Tiramisu!

A few months back I bought a pattern from Cake Patterns for a dress called “Tiramisu”.

I envisioned a comfortable red dress for summer, and trolled Fabric.com for a good buy on some cotton knits.

I found a color called “Rust” that looked nice online, but when it came ended up being more purpley than red.

But, it felt so nice and soft that even though it was a decidedly more fall color than summer, I decided to forge ahead with it anyway.

And I am SO. GLAD. that I did!

You’ll have to excuse the crappy pictures; I was playing with the self timer on my camera and fighting the fact that there is not one decent place outside to tale pictures where there’s not unsightly overgrowth everywhere (stupid rainy summer).

Also, Susan’s not here to be sure I get some flattering and high quality garment shots, so we’ll just have to deal with what we get.

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Also, excuse the dumb look on my face.  Like I said, I was still playing with the timer, and I wasn’t sure it had set.

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Or we can all just face the fact that I don’t like posing for pictures.  Not because it isn’t fun, but because I am no good with facial expressions.  In fact, I am pretty sure I have This Condition.

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Side View.  Complete with camera glare and thread all over my shoulder!

I have not finished the hem yet as per the instructions on the pattern to wear it a bit first and let the fabric fall and settle a bit.  I also had to take in the size a LOT.

I don’t use knit fabrics a ton, and my first instinct is to generally cut a bit larger than my size, just in case.  With this one, I measured myself and cut to that size, but there was an insane amount of positive ease in this fabric so it ended up hanging on my frame awkwardly.  It’s also a bit heavier weight fabric than I was hoping for, but in combination with the color I think it will be outstanding for fall.  I really want to make more in black, grey and pumpkin color as well as a nice teal if I can get it in a tissue weight.  It’s a great pattern, and now that I have it down to proper size, it’s very flattering and majorly comfortable.   It was also pretty darn easy to put together.

There you have it.

Now go make your own!

 

Fun with Friendship

Last week we were lucky enough to have Susan stay with us for a few days in between her trip to Scotland and her trip to the Northwest.

Unfortunately, it was still rainy and humid and just awful out, but she came with ideas for indoor fun.

Off we went to Michael’s to buy several bags full of embroidery floss for friendship bracelets.  At 37 cents per color, we nearly cleaned them out.

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Oona took to it right away.  It kept her busy and quiet for quite awhile.  That Susan, she’s a genius!

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Oona’s finished bracelet.

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I love these ocean-y colors.  I also think they would look good on Susan……..

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Our creative mess.

Though Susan’s visits are always all – too brief, she left us a massive pile of colored floss so we can keep making more.

Rainy day activity? Done!

Trying to Find Summer

It’s been one heck of a rainy year.  Virginia has always been infamous  for its humidity, but this year takes the cake, as far as I am concerned, with rainfall and moisture in the air.

Not only is this bad news for the animals (wet and humid conditions are just what parasites need to thrive) but it has made it hard for us to really delve into it being, you know, summer.

Rain every day and thunder mean no swimming, no picnicking, no lounging about out on the deck.  No leisurely evenings in the garden.

We’ve had so much rain that one day our bridge to the pasture was completely flooded over and there were rapids.  We had flash flood warnings that lasted for days and days.

We have had a few glorious days since the Solstice, but they have been just that: few.

So now, we are determined to make it feel more like something we can enjoy.  Summer has always been my least favorite season, so I’ve been doing my part to focus on all the good qualities of summer.

Like the food!

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Fresh fruit pies, fresh caprese salad, corn on the cob.  Anything on the grill.  Basil pesto.

My garden is hurting from the rain (the soil never quite dries out, and everything is going yellow), so we have yet to enjoy a fresh garden tomato, but I spied some green balls out there today, so it’s not too far off!

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We’ve also been enjoying the occasional fresh raspberries and wild blackberries.

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The raspberries I planted last year; the wild blackberries are growing all over our property.

On rainy days I’ve been struggling to come up with fun and lazy activities to keep everyone happy.  We play Uno, Scrabble and Mad Libs.  We read easy and fun (in my case, trashy) books.  We paint with watercolors.  We do puzzles.  We eat.

But sometimes, if we are very lucky, we get days where there is no thunder.  When that happens, I get everyone into the pool.  There is no better summer activity, and it wears them out like nothing else.

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We’re still hoping for summer to have a lovely second act.  In the meantime, we’re making the best of it however we can.