Hamil-Ween

Have I mentioned how obsessed with Hamilton we all are around here? It’s been the only music played at home and in the cars for months now. We’ve also devoured the book, and though we haven’t actually seen the play, it feels like we know it cold.

Since my children perpetually have Halloween on the brain it was no surprise really when Neve and Oona announced they wanted to go as the Schuyler sisters this year. Since there are 3 – Peggy, Angelica, and Eliza – they insisted that I must go as Eliza. Twist my arm, why don’t you?

Oona was happy to be Peggy (I don’t know, I kind of thought no one would want poor Peggy’s part), so Neve is going as Angelica.

For me, the fun in all of this will be making the costumes. It’s been ages and ages since any of the kids wanted my help sewing their costumes. Neve wants to make hers on her own, but I will be making Oona’s and my own.

08.25.16a

I’m looking forward to a lot of time in my craft room, working on all of the projects I’ve had in limbo. Like the Washi dress I’m halfway through.

08.25.16b

So much sewing, so little time.

If you haven’t hopped on the Hamilton bandwagon……DO IT! Start with the soundtrack; you won’t regret it!

Advertisements

Of Gardens And Sewing

As much as it pains me to admit defeat, I’m throwing in the towel on the pumpkins. The squash bugs have won that battle.  I got one good pumpkin picked before they destroyed it, and managed a photo of one that was being turned to mush on the backside by the bugs.  Those fifteen days I was in Europe set the stage for a mass takeover of pests that I could not reverse.  But, it’s okay.  I’m still calling this year’s garden a win, and every year I learn a bit more and get better at how I manage growing food.

I did get several jars of green beans canned, and a good dozen or so jars of pickles made.  I picked lots and lots of zucchini.  I got three butternut squash, one field pumpkin, and four delicious cantaloupes (we are SO growing those again next year!).   There are two watermelons looking pretty decent still out there, and many, many large tomatoes waiting to turn red.

07.29.15a

Next year I will use the deep mulch method again (it helped dramatically with the weeds!) and double down on the diatomaceous earth and Neem oil early on.

07.29.15b

As for the rest of this year, I have carrots, beets, and parsnips going in now, and at the end of the summer I’ll put Kale and Chard in again, along with some brussels sprouts starts. And THIS year I have floating row covers so I can hope to avoid little critters munching down my plants!

07.29.15c

07.29.15d

September will once again see a massive basil harvest and several solid days making pesto ravioli. Tradition!

I’ve also been trying to get back into the craft studio on the rainy days (when I can’t get work done outside) and work on finishing up projects that have been languishing (Shepherd Sweater, anyone?) and working on my skill set (I need to work on fitting and finishing techniques).

07.29.15e

I cut out another Washi tunic in cotton jersey, hoping to give it a bit of Alabama Chanin flair.

07.29.15f

The animals in the house LOVE when I work on crafty things.  It’s their cue to hover.

07.29.15g

Three big dogs piled onto the tiny round carpet in the studio. They’re pretty good company, actually, when I’m not tripping over their gigantic-ness.

07.29.15h

The tunic is coming along nicely; I added a ruffled edge to the neckline and left the waist with a ruffled raw edge as well.  I’ll be adding cap sleeves and hemming it  next.

Finished: Amelia Dress

I have been relying on Neve to take my pictures of finished apparel since I haven’t got a remote for my camera.

Usually it turns out well.  She’s got a little work to do making sure she frames the shots right and doesn’t get me a totally unflattering angle (she likes to sit and shoot upwards at me, which tends to me me look super top-heavy).

Today we had a cute distraction, so it’s okay.

But first, the dress.  I used The Amelia Dress pattern from Green Bee Patterns (you should check out their other offerings; there’s some cute kid patterns!) which is a dress that uses regular woven cotton or linen, but is cut on the bias so it hangs in a more flattering and comfortable fashion.

For the fabric I chose “Sprinkles” in Indigo from Dear Stella.

I’ve made the dress once before and enjoyed both the project and the dress itself, so I thought I’d have another go at it.

05.19.15a

I super love it. Also, it’s 100 times more flattering in person. (and it’s got pockets!!!!!)

05.19.15b

(This is my “I’m going to move a bit to the left but oh are you still taking pics?” look.

I really like that that the fabric has a kind of universe/Doctor Who-y kind of feel about it.

Orzo really liked it, too. In fact, he showed his appreciation by rolling all around on the ground at Neve’s feet while she was supposed to be taking pictures of my dress.

05.19.15c

Which is how I wound up with many more pictures of him than me.

Oh well. Can’t argue with cute!

05.19.15e

05.19.15d

05.19.15f

Then she handed off the camera and cuddled him up.

In other news, the roses are blooming, and there’s a sweet little bird’s nest in one of the bushes!

05.19.15g

So far I haven’t seen any activity going on in it, but it’s still nice to see it there.

We’ve also been getting a respectable amount of strawberries out of the garden.

05.19.15h

So far we are getting a good handful every evening.  I haven’t been allowing them to spread so that they will focus their energy into berry production. I’ll stop picking off the feelers after the peak fruiting and next year we should be absolutely awash in strawberries!

05.19.15i

Finished: Thurlow Pants

Confession: I’ve never really made pants before.

I mean, I’ve made kid pants, but they’ve been of the yoga and sweat variety, all with elastic waistbands.

These are honest to goodness, zipper and pockets kind of pants. They are Thurlows from Sewaholic, and I used a fantastic sewalong over at lladybird to work out the pattern better.

As the first pair, I am pretty pleased with the results.

05.13.15a

Although I’ve been trying to work through (and use up) my existing fabric stash, these were made of  leftovers from my Minoru jacket.

05.13.15b

I’m more or less happy with the fit as well, though I’m not sure they are as flattering as I’d like. They are comfortable, and the length is just about where I’d like it, if a teensie bit long (and I finally learned how to use my blind hem foot on my machine!).

05.13.15c

The one thing I can say that I need to improve is the fit in the seat/back thigh area.  It’s a bit bulky.  To fix it, though, I’ll have to unstitch the crotch area (lordy I hate that word) and pull in the extra fabric allowance. (yeah……I didn’t use a muslin to work that out first. I’m far, far too lazy and impatient for that).

05.13.15d

I took a bit of width out of the cuffs, as well.  They were quite a lot wider than I liked.

05.13.15e

The funny thing is, the details that I thought I would have the most trouble with came out the best. The zipper, the back welt pockets, the hem.

05.13.15f

See what I mean about saggy baggy back?

But check out those pockets!

Honestly I think it’ll only be a minor adjustment to the fit to fix the sag.  It’s just going to take me awhile to feel like actually doing it.

Finished Project: Minoru Jacket

Huzzah! I finished my Minoru rain jacket in time for my trip to Europe!

I used regular ol’ cotton twill in grey for the outer portion and a fun Llama print by Michael Miller for the lining.

This was the first time I’ve ever made something so complex, and though I had a few hangups, it’s not as remedial as I was afraid it would be.

04.26.15a

The collar has a handy zipper pocket in the back to store the hood away if you don’t want to use it or leave it hanging off your back. The collar itself is very tall, which I really like.

04.26.15b

It’ll keep the rain off, for sure. I’ll also be spraying it down with a good water repellent treatment.

04.26.15c

I also think that next time (oh yes, I’ll make more – it was super fun!) I will make the next size down. It’s just a tad big, and I think I’d like it a bit more fitted.

04.26.15d

Check out the llamas!

04.26.15e

You’ll notice I am also wearing my Sew Lisette Portfolio dress from a few years back.

04.26.15f

The back has a wide elastic band to cinch in a bit and create a more flattering silhouette.

04.26.15g

The twill and the lining make it a bit bulky and heavy for just a raincoat, but I wanted a little bit extra warmth, just in case.  We’ll be in Edinburgh in the first bit of June and I’m not sure how warm the temps will be.

I’m thrilled with it. and I’m feeling well prepared for rainy weather!

Finished: Alabama Chanin Top

Every day after school this week, Neve and I have been cutting and sewing.  I have such a backlog of projects, and I’m trying to work through all of them while also keeping in mind I want to make a Minoru for my trip to Europe.

I did cut out the fabric for the yesterday; hopefully I’ll get to sewing it a bit tomorrow. Today was a no-sew day, since farm chores were pressing (but I DID get watermelons, green beans, zucchini, Long Island Cheese Pumpkins, and White Pumpkins planted today!)

04.18.15a

Neve got some pictures of me hard at work (I thought she was taking pictures of the cat). Also, that top I’m wearing is a Renfrew I made last month.

04.18.15b

She says she wants this to be a big bolster pillow.

04.18.15c

I managed to finish a top I’d been working for a few years (!!!!!).  It’s from the second Alabama Chanin book (still my favorite of all of them) and when I finished up the last bit today (the armhole. seriously, it took like 15 minutes…..why did I put it off so long?!) I could see how much my technique has improved since I began it. SO much less sloppy these days!  It’s nice when you can see progress in your work; especially since I still feel like so much I do ends up disappointing me.

04.18.15d

I love everything about this. The colors, the shape, the stencil.  It uses a “Relief Applique” style I really like; it gives the stencil a more interesting look.

04.18.15e

04.18.15g

04.18.15f

04.18.15h

The back.

04.18.15i

The details can also help hide little flaws, like that this side piece is made up of two separate pieces.

I have a whole lot more pieces like this that are in various stages of doneness, and my goal is to get them at least mostly complete this summer. They’ve been languishing too long!

Still Making

I’m still hard at work being creative, though my time for it has been limited.  Spring means planting, planting, and more planting. When I’m not planting, I’m taking a look at how the fences, livestock, bees, and equipment have come through winter.  I’m taking stock of what has been accomplished in our school year and what is left to do in order to hit all of the goals we set out in the fall.  This year I am also getting ready for two weeks away in the beginning of June, which means streamlining how we do things so Paul, Emily, and Oona can manage without me and Neve.

But when I can, I am feeling all kinds of creative, and spending much happy time with my knitting needles and at my sewing machine.

Right now I am working on The Hollyburn Skirt from Sewaholic in a fantastic Denyse Schmidt fabric.

04.01.15a

I’d bought this fabric a few years ago and never did anything with it because I wanted something more than my stand-by A-Line skirt. Something with a little more character.  I’m thinking this is it.

04.01.15b

I’m feeling pretty good about my new little wardrobe I am slowly crafting. I may try to wear only me-made clothing this summer (aside from when I am doing livestock work, as that has to be hard-wearing, not-precious apparel).

I kind of wish that either I had more time with cool weather or that I was a faster knitter, because I think this skirt is going to look amazing with my Shepherd Sweater when it’s done.

04.01.15c

Maybe in time for cooler nights in late summer?