Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 3 - Nothing to Report

Monday, back at the grind stone, with little to show for the day, at least where sewing is concerned. I tried looking on-line for more ideas for the clothes, but continue to find very little info to the period of 1840-1860(pre civil war). I can find some on the eastern fashion scene, but don't think it transported to the west to much with the settlers. I will dive into the drawers tomorrow.

I did manage to make almost 3 quarts of strawberry jam today. I have been meaning to make this up but didn't get to it before the weekend. I was a little afraid they would be spoiled before I could get to them. I cut the tops of f them all, threw in roughly the same amount of sugar as berries (roughly 3lbs each) and a can of crushed pineapple. Yum! It came out good, and the color is RED! It tasted out-of-this-world great. It was my first time of trying to stovetop method and it came out better then I expected. I started by making the jams in the bread machine which was very easy to do, just had to keep an eye on it so it didn't boil over. I even tried it in the crock pot, but had an over cooked taste. I'll try it again on the stove top later this summer when I have more fruit from the garden harvested. The bread machine is out, as I think it's starting to die on us (it's something like 10yrs old...), and it leaks jam out of the bottom of the bread pan. Very messy to clean up the cooked sticky jam at the bottom of the machine.

Tuesday I plan to work on the drawers for my DD1 and myself. Will let you know how it goes!

Day 2 - Bottoms up

Well here you can see the petticoat...done. I really like how full it is. It made up nicely! I'm not sure about the drawstring I used at the waist, it was the salvage edge from the dust ruffle. It's kind of bulky. I may have to change this. I thought about putting a pocket or two on the front to hold things(even if it's under my skirt where I can't really access it easily). Sometimes a girl just needs a secret pocket for a few things.

This is nice and lone for me. It hits just at my ankles. Good enough. Now I am busy with other things until next week, so there won't be any progress until Monday or Tuesday.

This weekend is my parents 50th wedding anniversary. WOW - 50! We are heading up to Reno to visit and celebrate with other family members. Everyone should be there but older sister out of state who couldn't make it this time around.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 1 - The Odyssey Begins

So my Daugther comes home last week from school with a piece of paper telling her 4th grade class is celebrating Gold Rush Day, May 28th. They are looking for donations and help from the parents. DD1 tells me she wants to dress for the day, so now begins our current project- make pioneer clothing for her and myself for the day. Since we've been talking to some friends about joining them for an re-enactment group thing for the old west, these would work for that as well, so I thought if we put a little effort into it, we can kill 2 birds with one stone.....

So after scanning the internet for ideas of Gold Rush wardrobe, I didn't actually find a lot. I'll find tons on civil war era, but not gold rush so much. I think if I am for civil war but omit the hoop, I'll be in the ball park. I did find a site that had some brillant ideas about the petticoat and drawers for the ladies. I went out this morning with this info foremost on my mind.

Here I have (#1)The beige floral calico pillow cases (2) I'll use for her drawers. (#2) The blue striped pillow cases (2) I'll use for my drawers. (#3) The small blue plaid I'll use for my dress (#4) the blue dust ruffle for my petticoat, (#5) the white dust ruffle I got for her, but now I'm not so sure I'll use it. It would make a great white petticoat, but I wasn't planning on making her dress floor length, and as it is right now, it would be long...besides, I was going to use a different beige calico (currently in the laundry getting prewashed) for her dress. It was something I had in my fabric stash for years. It would lean towards an off white petticoat made of unbleached muslin more then a bleached white-white petticoat. I may just hold on to this for now... or make it up and wear it too. If one petticoat is nice, two should be awesome...am I right?

I figure we need blouse, skirt, petticoat, drawers, and bonnet. I have roughly 2 weeks to do what I can. I can see DD1 and I hav different ideas about what to do, so what I start out to do and what I actually do will be 2 different things.

Unfortunately I have dance class and GS meeting tonight, so don't know how much more I'll be able to work on this today. I'll have to let you know tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stop Me If You've Heard This Before

Wow, it's almost been a year since I last posted. In someways so much has happened- I lost my job (well, actually it ended. The company went belly up), we put the girls in public school ( tuition can be so expensive), and girls scouts are still going strong.

In some ways not much has happened. Now that I am not working, I spend lots of time reading, grocery shopping, working around the house, doing odd sewing jobs...but it seems like no matter how much I do, the progress isn't as obvious. It kind of makes me wonder how I managed while I was working (or were my standards just that low?). Well you know what they say- If you want something done- give it to someone with a job. They somehow manage to get, and their job done.

Right now I'm on a throwing jag. I am going through boxes and trying to get rid of as much stuff as I can. I have quite a few boxes in the sewing room I need to go through and sort out what I really want to keep, and what I should get rid of. I have gone through the garage once, and need to go again. I really need to go through the girls closet, as the girls keep growing and the clothes don't. They have lots of things we can stand to give to goodwill. I am hard pressed to hold onto clothes from the older girl to pass on to the younger. They are 2 different personalities, and 2 different body types. I can hold onto it now on the off chance that they'll fit, or just pass them on and worry about new clothes for both of them as the time comes along.

I have even started going through the fabric to see what I really don't think I'll use. Trying to be realistic. also, I don't have little babies anymore, so some of that can go too. Tastes change, needs change. I guess I'm in a cleaning phase, trying to get my life bck in order. Maybe I could find a job if I could get myself organized....? It's a nice thought.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh What A Beautiful Morning...

Oh what a beautiful day. I love these flowers. The Blossoms always looks so beautiful in the morning. It's great to look out the window in the morning, and see all the beautiful blossoms on the back fence.

You can almost see my pumpkin, in the lower right hand corner (just out of the frame. DD2 wanted to try growing pumpkins, so she threww a few seeds into the ground and something actually managed to come up. We'll need to get a picture before we carve it up.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What the ........

Can you tell what this is?
Do they look like branches?

I worked on the 11 1/2 prs ( 20 gloves total for the show, plus 2 gloves as the sample pair, and 1 botched sample too small for anyone but my 5yr DD) of these for the show along with the leaves.... Streams and streams of leaves for the show.

It was all a big hit with the kids, not so big with my husband. If he was tired of the costuming after working on Poodle skirts and Elvis, then he's downright deadset against me doing more. I spent most of March sewing for the show. It was 66 tree costumes, 7 Toy solder costumes (jacket plus shako/hat). It was a lot of sewing. Sewing and fabric buying. The only good thing about these boughts of sewing is that during that time I try so hard to refrain from buying more fabric. I try not to buy things other then for the school, so as not to mix up the reciepts. I bought so much brown fabric. Of course not all the same shade, so I had to be careful to not mix up the tops and bottoms. I always made sure that when I cut out a top, I cut a bottom as well. Somewhere along the line things got out of whack...that would probably be when I decided it would be a great idea to heat set the wrinkles in to the costume (to enhance the "barky" goodness of the brown fabric). This meant cooking the garment in the mircowave, so things got a little crazy for a few days.

Kids would come home from school hungry, looking for something to eat, and hear the microwave going thinking I'm making something for them.

Them: "Hey Mom, what's cooking?"
ME: "Trees!"
Them: "Oh".

I made it through without completely losing my mind. Yes!. I'll have more pictures here in a day or two...I hope.

I couldn't do it all by myself- I had some good moral support from little Nutmeg.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Times Ain't What They Use To Be

Years ago I worked in fabric stores. Practically lived in them. At the time we could be pretty helpful (or charitable) to non-profits and schools. Now that I am pursuing fabric for trees, I am amazed how little helpful they are. I can get a 10% discount. That barely covers the taxes. This is very disappointing. I could search around more, but I am running out of time to aquire the fabric. I am at the point of just buying the fabric and submitting my receipts. Very disappointing.

I was able to find the elastic /notins at a good price on the internet. I ordered yesterday, let's see how fast it arrives from Portland Oregon (should take a day or two). I am excited, and can hardly wait for it to show up. How often do you get 288yds of black elastic cording in the mail? Elastic and brown thread. Yipee!

Today after work, I will go to the fabric store and pick up 2 yards of brown lycra to make the 10 pairs of gloves/treebranch hands. I want to finish these soon. I will also pick up broadcloth at the store if they have it around $2.99/yd. I can start to cut out the various tree costumes, and I have a parent that will start to sew together. I thought I would tackle the chorus first, because I can pass a lot of it off to the other parent (or at least start to funnel it out and see how fast she works). There are 44 kids in the chorus, the rest are suppose to be main cast. I'm not exactly sure how many kids are in the main cast, and of those kids, how many will be trees. I thought the known first, then plow through the main cast (the hardest part will be the gloves, that's why I want yo finish those first).

I was thinking of ideas for the headpieces for the main characters. It would be nice if we could do something more then just the leaf wreath for them. maybe something more along the lines of a crwon....but what? I have a vague idea or image in my brain, but not sure how to go about it. I am still giving it thought...trying to see where this leads. I was first thinking about a paper mache "hat", but not sure how that would work. Was also thinking of something more like the jester hats for rene faire, but more in the shape of a tree...? Maybe a crown, cut from carboard and covered in felt(or painted), with branches shooting upwards from it. Again, needs more thought - don't want it to look like a Las Vegas Showgirl headress with a ecological theme. Thinking, thinking, thinking. The wheels are spinning (obviously rusty they be).

This weekend is Girls Scout cookies. We have 2 booth sales going this weekend. Saturday morning 9:30- 1:00, and Sunday 9-12. At least the weather should be good (nippy in the mroning, but warmer as the day progresses). I will need to see if the sunbrella fits in the car(can't have the Thin Mints melting before they find a new home). These kind of cramp my sewing style, but I guess I could be cutting leaves while I'm there...Lord knows I've got lots to cut.

Idle hands...and all that!