Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Good Stuffs

I don't get to reenact anymore; while I would still love to, there are several impediments:

One, it's really hot here for most of the year.
Two, last year I was sick and pregnant.
Three, now I have a baby and it's so not worth it to skip her naps.
Four, the earliest you can conceivably enact for this area is 1840. Which I could do, but don't have a kit for. And the dress I started before I got pregnant is still on the manikin.

Anyway, all that to say I haven't done any reenacting since I got here. But I am trying to get back into a few things that I enjoy, like dancing. I've also been trying a bit more to have ladies over. So far I've had ladies several times for tea and hand quilting, and that's been fun. We've also branched into talking about bread making and butter churning a bit.

So before we leave to visit family and get busy with Christmas I invited several ladies over for tea, ladies who have been quilting with me and ladies who I've met at other events. It's always nice to get out my collection of wooden plates and pottery cups. We went healthy with fruit, nuts, coconut chocolate, and whole wheat cucumber sandwiches. It was a sweet time and it made me very thankful that after two years I finally am getting to know some women here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Just little things

Onesie Dresses- So easy! So cute!

Making cute baby clothes is just too much fun. I sorted through some of my fabric scraps the other day and found some leftover melton wool in brown and scarlet. I slapped them together to make a little hood for Baby M, and used part of an old silk skirt at lining. Because wool is itchy! I've been working on getting some warm clothes for Baby M because the weather here is finally turning(Yay). Another fun thing I made from scraps is a little Snow White dress. It's pretty cute. She wore it to church one Sunday.

Slashed sleeves.

Blue linen and gold satin leftovers.
Baby M continues to amaze and astonish with her adorable average baby progress. We look forward to her first Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Grey Coat Done

The grey coat is done, shipped, and hopefully already on the back of it's owner.

Time they are a changing. Or at least my age is about to. I always said that if I was still single when I turned thirty I would spend all my savings to go back to Scotland over my birthday, so no one could celebrate me turning thirty. But as it happened, I'm not still single. So I guess I don't get to go to Scotland, but that leaves the question what does one do for a thirtieth birthday?

Quilted fields.

Scrap pinwheels

Clouds and such.


Finished quilt.

I've finished Baby M's quilt. It's passable; the linen piecing pulled and wrinkled a bit. Using linen for quilting doesn't work so well as stiffer fabrics like cotton, which is why pieced quilts are always cotton these days! But my goal was to use up some of my fabric scraps, and I have a lot of linen.

I'm coming to love diaper boxes. They're sturdy and they have handles, and we currently have a lot of them. I want to pack everything in my cupboards and closets in diaper boxes so that when we move, in about a year and a half, everything will already be packed. I'm not sure John really appreciates all the closet items migrating into diaper boxes; but I so enjoy having things organized!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Grey Wool Coat

Fall break was fun. We went out to eat Greek, had donuts and cider to celebrate Fall; went for a walk, bought steaks(John cooked me dinner) and generally just enjoyed being all together. Now it's back to the grind, and I'm shipping out the grey wool coat today!

Twelve buttons down the front.

Two very large pockets.

Three back pleats/vents

A three inch tall stand collar.

A rather bulky back pleat and lots of hemming.

And a very nap-ready Baby M with the finished product. A fairly basic coat, fun, and I look forward to seeing a picture on the customer!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Chickens... Babies... Sleep.

So Baby M is teething and maybe having a growth spurt. Anyway, she's been getting me up more at night. I'm tired. I'm also very excited to start her on solids and went to the store to buy some whole chickens to make bone broth, healthy for growing babies.

But, I should not have gone shopping while sleep deprived. In buying two chickens my glazed eyes didn't get past the words "Whole" and "Sale." They looked a little squishy, but it wasn't until I was loading them into the car that I realized they were whole, deboned chickens. I guess the baby will just get plain broth because I'm going to have a lot of it.

And then when I got home I discovered I had bought vanilla yogurt when I wanted plain.

Dan in one of my coats.

Anyway, Baby's doing well. I have another order from Dan, who practically could hire me full time. He's been asked to play the part of John Hancock at an event, and so of course needs a new coat. It's a soft grey wool with dove grey linen lining. It's going to be pretty sharp.

The Hancock Coat

The grey coat is supposed to follow this actual surviving Hancock coat in cut and style. I found this neat article about the coat.

Dan in another one of my coats.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Back and Settled

We're done with travel for a while. I'm in post vacation denial. I don't want to work, but too bored not to do anything! We so enjoyed seeing family for one more time this summer, and on top of that, a total eclipse.

Baby M

Baby M is growing fast. She's popping teeth and that makes her crabby sometimes, but overall she's a happy baby, and especially happy to be home and out of her car seat.

I bought this ladies' Medium blouse for .50, and it's brand new. I cut it up into a bunch of little bits and made this baby dress.It probably took way more time than it was worth, but oh well. I'm hoping to get my usual Fall rush of sewing orders, and I want to spend my sewing efforts in the meantime on baby clothes!

Shirt changed to baby shirt-dress

I also made this checkered knit dress, very Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. I bought the fabric from Girl Charlee- I'd been wanting to order from them for a while. The faux apron is a vintage handkerchief. I had never tried putting buttonholes on a knit before- and it didn't work. I should have just reinforced them and done them by hand. So I'm not going to show you the back because it looks bad. Maybe I'll go back and fix it someday!

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Navy Coat

Order finished! It was the navy and buff linen coat and breeches, with domed pewter buttons. The fabric was really striking, and they looked real nice. I took pictures to share- but accidentally deleted them. Ugh. So there are no pictures of the beautiful coat and breeches.

Baby Shirt Dress

Other than that sewing, I have on my work table a continual pile of baby clothes which are more for fun than necessary. I fiddle around with them when I have a baby-free minute. Also, Baby M's first costume is ready and waiting. Made from linen scraps, it's not historically accurate with elastic at the neckline and a faux shift underneath, but it is linen with mostly hand sewing. And I think she'll be cute.

First Baby Costume

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Baby Life

I know, I kind of dropped of the face of the blogging world for a while! I'm just enjoying the baby, and any sewing I've been doing have been baby dresses. I'm just getting back into taking sewing orders. I have an order for a gorgeous coat and matching breeches of deep navy and buff linen with pewter buttons.

Navy, buff, and pewter

Going out with a baby is interesting. Occasionally throughout life I would get comments from strangers on my person, mostly on my being short. Now every time I gather my energy for an outing, I get comments on the baby. Mostly about her being cute, quiet, etc., but once someone called her a "rat baby." This past week we all went out together, and we got the usual "how old is he/she- she's cute" but also "Oh, I thought she was your sister" and "he's your husband? He's so much taller it's funny." It seems having a baby allows society to comment right and left!

I bought a polka-dot sundress for $1.50 at the thrift store some time ago, and cut it into a baby dress. I've added cute skirts to several onesies(or bodysuits, as they're apparently called now).

Skirt added to a onesie

I haven't made too many items from scratch, but I did get this brown dress and white eyelet dress done.

Brown dress

White eyelet

All the dresses I've made are still too big, because I learned my lesson after the first two dresses I made for her only fit for two weeks.

Polka dot dress before.
Polka dot dress after
Sewing baby dresses is definitely a pitfall considering my amount of free time!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thistle Quilt Finished!

The Thistle Quilt

One of my before-baby goals was to finish the Thistle Quilt. And I did! Looking back over my quilting blogposts, I finished the central medallion on this quilt in September of 2015 after putting it together that summer. Less than two years to finish a decorative bedcover? I figure that's not too bad considering all the other things I was working on at the same time. Quilting is, after all, a relaxing hobby.

The central square is quilted with patterns of thistles. The white fabric is fine linen. Around the edges are colored blocks of linen, and the floral strips are cotton. The batting is cotton, and the backing is forest green cotton.

The quilting around the sides is made up of more thistles and church window patterns, while over the floral is a simple vine, and on the colored blocks are simple sentences: one side reads "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork" and the other "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, King of creation."

A corner and the backing.

I know the pictures aren't great, so just trust me- seeing that many stitches in one cover is just cool! Now I just need to finish my queen sized wholecloth... and the baby quilt... and the vintage quilt from Grandma....

Monday, April 10, 2017

Four weeks in

Four weeks ago, getting kicked from the inside.

 Things are going well. I'm tired, but we haven't had any sleep walking episodes or such. I was two hours early for an appointment, but that could have been worse. One late night I was having a dream that the baby was in bed next to me, so I started stroking her head. Only as I gradually came awake I realized it didn't feel like her head, and then John jerked his arm away and rolled over in his sleep. And I got up and fed the real baby.

Now getting kicked on the outside.

We've been enjoying lots of help with cleaning, laundry, and meals from friends and family. I'm just now getting back into doing things and trying to get my head back around a schedule. And I'm looking forward to some special sewing, eventually!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Baby Came Out

"Still no baby. I thought for sure I would go early, but the estimated due date is tomorrow. I've been baking a lot; cupcakes, coffee cake, cookies. I just don't feel like doing anything else! John suggested a healthier trend after attending the latest midwife appointment with me, and hearing the protein talk from the midwife. I know I've been eating more sugar the past two weeks; I suppose there's a faint sense of fatality. As in, well, if the baby's never going to come out, I'll just eat whatever I want. Everyone says the baby will come out eventually, but they aren't the one who's pregnant!"

-I wrote that two weeks ago. It turns out the baby did intend to come, exactly on the estimated due date, and my plans for chocolate pudding were laid aside. I rolled over in bed at 8am that morning, my water broke, and by 5:30pm that evening Baby was born. Not much else has happened since then- thank goodness!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Can the Baby come out now?

Well, maybe. It's coming soon, anyway. We're just past 37 weeks, the legal marker for home birth. I don't really expect the baby to go late, so it's good to reach this point. It's no longer worth it to shave my legs. Or bend over. Or lift anything. The baby's fine and healthy and seems determined to keep growing despite the protests of my abdominal muscles.

Baby Stuff- blankets and animals.

We're nearing the end and I've been blessed with several different baby showers. First, the enthusiastic Lutheran ladies, at Mildred's bidding. Second, a Thanksgiving brunch gathering with NE family and church friends. Next was evening tea with a few Seminary ladies, hosted by one of the Professors' wives. This past weekend was a Country brunch with the TX church ladies; and last but not least, a brunch with a few of John's side of the family in Dallas.

Diaper cake. Not really sure where to put it, but it's cute!

That all adds up to lots of little gatherings and gifts of helpful baby items(And just a few unhelpful ones) that we probably wouldn't have bought ourselves! It's a blessing. We're thankful for friends and family helping us prepare for our first baby.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Baptismal Gown

The Baptismal gown is finished!

I made the gown from leftover pieces of off-white lightweight linen. It's a pretty simple gown, mostly because we don't know if we're having a boy or girl and John didn't want lace and ribbons if it's a boy. Plus, any children we have will have to wear this and hopefully we will have a boy at some point! So anyway, a plain gown.

The gown has pleats in front and back, and simple trim on the reinforced hem. Plain cuffs and collar. A button at the back neck and ribbons to gather in as needed.

In researching baptismal gown traditions it seems to be a more high-church tradition, with the white gown symbolizing innocence and purity(not very Calvinistic!). Our family has never had a family baptismal gown; I made one more for the sake of starting a family tradition, to make the baptism of new babies special. Plus it's a fancy, gender-neutral garment already prepared beforehand.

So that's one more thing checked off the to-do list!

Monday, January 23, 2017

January Starts the Count-down

We are seven weeks out from projected baby arrival. Lists are being made. There's lots of little things like stock up on PB&J and toilet paper, but the main two goals look like this:

  • Clean entire house thoroughly by 37 weeks
  • Put food in freezer
Current state of the baptismal gown: needing lace. Current state of the quilt I'd really like to finish: close! Current state of my last sewing order: Ugh. Buttonholes.

I've had some pregnancy discomfort, but nothing really bad. It will be nice to not be rotund in the middle again; I look forward to more variety in sleeping positions! One thing I am looking forward to being over are the comments people make to pregnant women. I had no idea! People tend to all say the same things when they don't really know what to say. It also seems like younger women have been positive about childbearing, but the older women have tended to be negative. That's hard. Here are a few of the most common comments received:

  • You look tired.
  • How are you feeling?
  • You look like you're not enjoying this stage.
  • That baby will not come early.
  • Your life will change forever.
  • I know you haven't found out the gender, but what do you feel like it is? (I get this one ALL the time and I seriously do not know!)
  • Take naps/have fun now because you won't be able to later!
  • Childbearing causes your stomach muscles to separate/brain cells deplete/vitamins become deficient/whatever horrible health consequences.
Hearing these comments over and over tends to annoy me a bit. I'm thankful for a very calm, positive midwife and a husband who listens to my rants. The subtle attitude of negativity from some has left me desiring to be encouraging about childbearing to younger women, whenever I get to that higher position. For myself, I did not get married with the desire to remain childless. I did not go through ten years of singleness to turn around and bemoan the relatively short discomforts of pregnancy(except to John!). To add more perspective, we know that infertility can be very common. We see friends struggling with this and are very grateful we have not had any such painful issues. We are thankful to be having a baby, and I for sure do not need anyone to tell me about the physical discomforts of producing one!

A baby is a total life change? Yes. But I'm thankful that I'm not going into this blind. Our parents had no clue how to take care of a baby. I helped raise four younger siblings- they were so cute. And they hate to be reminded that I changed their diapers. I welcome ideas, and advice, if I ask for it, but I don't want older women to tell me how to raise or train my baby, especially if it's presented from a negative viewpoint. I already have experience and opinions, and quite a bit of available information. Plus, I will figure out my baby when it arrives. Which I am looking forward to!

I'm thankful- for a healthy, gender-unknown baby, arriving soon.