Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Gown and a Quilted Bib

I had to revise Asa's gown pattern again to allow more room, especially through the tummy. His blue homespun that I recently made is too snug, plus the sleeves are getting tight and short and the shoulders were too narrow. So a new pattern was necessary! This gown is a red/brown Delft print, not period correct but I like it. :-) It is cut *really* roomy, so maybe this will be the last pattern alteration needed before Spring. I had him weighed at 12 weeks and he was almost 17 pounds then, so he is pushing 18-20 lbs by now. He is also getting very drooly and needs something absorbent to catch the run-off. I have admired this bib from the Wisconsin Historical Society and used it as inspiration for my own quilted bib, they date this one to 1830-1869, it's quilted white cotton with tassels.

I hand quilted the one I made for Asa and though I really like how it turned out, it was rather labor intensive.

It was also my first attempt at making tassels. They came out OK, not award winning or anything but acceptable for a first try, I think. I wish he had a whole slew of these but I'm going to need a quicker option, the quilting alone took 4 hours so the whole thing was a 6-7 hour project. Now, if I could machine quilt, that would be a different story........ :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Elmer Fudd in the buff

Fashion is a funny thing.

I'm sorry, I can't resist. I've been envisioning this picture for a while, but our camera has been under the weather, today it mysteriously resurrected itself and I jumped at the chance to capture Asa in his "work coat and cap". :-) Katie made them for him for Christmas, the cap matches Levi & Micah's that I made. The coat and cap are flannel lined and the coat fronts are cut on the bias. The flaps tie on top of his head for the true "Elmer Fudd" look.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Need To Provide

The snow is falling fast and thick this evening, big snow flakes that drift slowly down because there's no wind. It's supposed to be quite a blizzard, maybe we'll get snowed in! There's a certain romance to being isolated from the world by a thick blanket of snow. :-) I love Winter, I love the stillness and the slower pace, I love the smell of soups simmering on the stove mingled with the wheaty smell of fresh baked bread.
I love the peaceful evenings around the stove reading aloud to the children. It's the time set aside to regroup and plan for the coming year, to pore over the seed catalogs and laugh that we ever could have considered Summer to be hot. It affords the opportunity to help the children develop skills that they will need as adults. A time for every season.........

It's about this time every year, after the holidays are over, that the drive to provide for my family really kicks into overdrive. I'm engulfed by the desire to sew and spin and knit, to assure myself that my own are covered and clothed. Mrs. B is knitting a wool undershirt for her baby and I'm enthralled with the idea of handmade wool undershirts, I want to bring forth the knitting needles and knit myself into a frenzy with undershirts streaming into my lap one after the other. Of course then reality rears its ugly head to snidely remind me that I can't knit.
Well, at least not well enough to actually make something. :-/

My inepptitude is really starting to mess with my self respect. How can I be a real woman if I can't knit wool undershirts? But seriously, I feel the weight of responsibility upon me in this area (as in so many others) because we've chosen to be responsible on a different level than a lot of other people are. If I don't sew, we go naked. If we don't keep a fire going, we freeze to death. If Katie or I doesn't cook, we starve to death. If the chickens aren't cared for or don't lay, we go without eggs. There isn't a back up readily available to fall back on. And don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have it otherwise. I love not being dependent on the outside world anymore than we are. But it does add a certain urgency to the situation. :-)

So, I'll renew myself and think and plan what needs to be sewn and what can be remade or mended. I'll vow to manage my time better and all the while I'll give thanks, really and truly tears streaming down my face thanks, that I have the family that I do and have been blessed beyond measure with the ability to care for them.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nothing Much

I don't have anything earth shattering to blog about, this is more of a "just checking in, how are you doing" kind of post. It's been busy here, we got a new cow last week and named her Clary. She's making her adjustment to the way we do things and it's nice for Levi and Micah to have their own cow to milk. Hand milking really builds the hand and forearm muscles! I've been sewing (are you surprised? :-)) among the projects were quilted caps for Levi and Micah. They turned out really well and I *do* want to post pictures. They are corduroy on the outside and quilted plaid flannel on the inside, Katie made a matching one for Asa and a little jacket too. It is so adorable! I cut and almost have finished an 1840's dress for Rebekah, but I did finish up another gown for Asa which is a red and brown Delft print. I need to draft a new chemise pattern for him, he's been going without and it is far too chilly here to not have that layer. I got the buttonholes and buttons done on Mr. G shirt along with 2 shirts for Aleks, 1 for Levi and 2 for Micah. I have something to sew for Katie today or tomorrow but I can't tell you what because she reads my blog! :-) I still need to rip apart my gown that I want to remake, but I haven't made much headway there at all. And, I really, really want to find someone to help me learn to knit better and I need to make contact with a local tatting teacher to work out a kink in my tatting. I'm turning something somehow so I get these funny twists in my tatting. So, there's my life lately. :-) I'll hopefully have some pictures to post later this week. Take care.

Mrs. G