Showing posts from January, 2010

More Sickness

Yesterday I acquired - after the illness of the beginning of the week - a rather unpleasant stomach bug.  Fortunately it seems to be short-lived, as this evening I was able to progress from the invalid diet of Coca-Cola and Saltines to the slightly more substantial Dry Toast and Applesauce.  I'd still appreciate prayers for full recovery, both for myself and for my mother, who's come down with a similar ailment as of this afternoon.  Since we are both supposed to be driving to Tennessee on Monday (early) -- a distance of nearly 700 miles -- good health for both of us would be a huge blessing.

At least the weather looks clear for driving!

Sickness, Health, and Birthday Sewing

I've spent the first part of this week sick in bed, and so have not been nearly as productive as I would have liked to be -- indeed need to be - this week.  Monday I head back to Tennessee for another semester of college, so before then I must finish my recital dress (all but the hand-sewing), tie up other loose ends and projects, and -- oh, dreaded word! -- pack.

I've a few things to show you, though, completed in the past few weeks; a shirt, a pair of jeans-turned-skirt, and my brother's birthday present.

Firstly the shirt.  It's a nice, basic, button-down shirt pattern, from McCalls.  Six buttons, a collar, cuffs - pretty normal.

The only unusual things about it are 1) that I didn't have to alter the bust darts AT ALL and 2) even though the pattern called for 2 1/2 yards of fabric, I squeaked it out of just under 2 yards.  I'll admit I was pretty proud of myself.

Bias-cut placket binding.  Buttons from my stash. And, just for fun, this photograph:

Blurry, but,…
Goodness, it's been a whole week since I posted.  I haven't been neglecting the blog on purpose... but first I had bad weather for picture-taking, and then my brother had a birthday, and then on Monday I came down sick and haven't felt like doing much of anything for the last few days.  I'm better now - to the point where I'm merely hideously congested - but still not feeling like doing much of anything.
I hope in the next few days to be able to post about some of the sewing projects I finished last week.  That'll be whenever my brother and I are well enough that we don't cringe at the sight of our faces! ;)
Keep well, my friends!  This crud seems to be making the rounds.  I hope to be back up and running normally in the next few days!

Dress Diary!

Well, I've decided to set up a blog for dress diaries, starting with the documentation of my recital dress.  I've got it set up and will hopefully put up what I've already recorded for this project sometime this evening.

Check it out!  Dress Diary Blog

I've mostly been working up the pattern for my recital dress the last few days, but I'm hoping to have some photos of my brother's birthday present up soon, and maybe a non-sewing post as well :)


Odds and ends and Mondays

It was lovely to have the Monday holiday this week - that means Daddy gets to stay home.  Which means that I get photos of my latest projects from Daddy's wonderful camera.

Well, that's not the only reason I like long weekends, of course!  But I did get some good shots :)

The past few weeks I've been working on knitting these arm warmers; they're super-long, reaching over the elbows, and they button all the way up, with eleven buttons each arm.  I used Slither, from Knitty again, and altered almost nothing; I did recalculate the spacing of the buttonholes, since I couldn't find quite enough buttons and had to leave one out on either arm.  I'll probably move the top two buttons further in, and possibly run elastic around the ribbing at the top, to counteract their slight tendency to sag above the elbows, but all in all I'm really pleased with this pattern and the result.  Instant long sleeves!

Saturday and Sunday I made an apron.  I need one for when I cook at…

Adventures with Knits

I did a little sewing for myself this week -- a knit shirt. This was sort of an adventure, as it was my first time working with knit fabric (except for actually knitting the fabric -- and this was somewhat different!) I think it turned out fairly well, although there are some things I would do differently another time.
Here, also, is the debut of a new look for me - glasses! I've never had them before but at my most recent visit to the eye doctor I was pronounced slightly near-sighted, so I have glasses for everything but reading, sewing, and other close work. I really only need them for driving, and for recognizing people at a distance, but they do make the world a little clearer! I'm still getting used to seeing my reflection with them, though.

Just to make things more difficult for myself, I didn't use a pattern specifically designed for knit fabric, but started with the Sense and Sensibility Regency Gown pattern and made alterations. I blended the back and side bac…

Concerning Scones

There has been a discussion of scones going on at Sarah Jane's blog, in the course of which I mentioned my recipe for Scottish scones, which was then requested. Here it is, along with the discussion of them in the recipe book!
Scones Scones belong to the British family of small tea cake though their Scottish pedigree goes back at least to the 18th century when Robert Burns rightly describes them as 'souple (soft) scones, the wale (choicest) of food'. How they got their name is difficult to say. The OED [Oxford English Dictionary] suggests that the word may be a shortened version of the German 'schonbrot' meaning fine bread, while Chambers Scots Dictionary suggests that hte word is from the Gaelic 'sgonn', a shapeless mass. There is no confusion, though, about its pronunciation, at least in Scotland, where it is universally spoken of as a 'skawn' as in gone. The English pronounce them in some regions as the Scots do, while others pronounce the wor…


Peace is quiet contentment.

Peace is hot tea in a lovely cup... a sweet cat purring sleepily....
a warm vantage point on a cold day.

The gentle whispering of a soft snowfall.
And peace is reminders of God's great love, like this selection from my reading in "Morning and Evening" yesterday:
'Ye are Christ's.' You are His by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; His by His bloody purchase, for He counted down the price for your redemption; His by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to Him; His by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of His brethren and joint-heirs. Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, 'I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ's'. Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ's, and touch it not. Are you exposed to difficu…

Sunday Musings

For some reason I always find it harder to "be good" on Sundays than any other day of the week. I'm not sure why this is, though I keep thinking about it - maybe if I find out why I'll be able to fix it. I've thought of two reasons: one is just that perhaps Satan chooses to be more active on the Lord's Day than during the rest of the week. This one feels like a bit of a cop-out or an excuse though; as if I'm blaming my own sin on Satan and therefore it's not my problem. Which isn't what I want to do.
The other reason I've thought of is simply that there's less structure, and more "lazy" time. Put that way, this one sounds wrong too. After all Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest - we're not supposed to work. (And maybe there's my problem... I never do completely rest on Sundays, I always have a project I'm working on, whether sewing or writing or something outside. Maybe I need to focus on really resting?)…

Birthday Sewing

My baby sister had her fifteenth birthday this October while I was away at college. Quite apart from the question "How can my baby sister be fifteen already?!?" I managed not to get her a gift, as I was 600+ miles away at the time, so when I came home for Christmas I promised to make her a dress as her gift.
We made quite an expedition of it - Kate had been reading Color Me Beautiful and we decided to use the trip to JoAnn as a way to figure out the colours she looks best in as well. I'm sure we attracted attention -- Katie and David and I, lugging cart-fulls of fabric bolts back and forth across the store. But we ended up with a good idea of what suits her, and fabric for a dress.
It was snowing, and she was freezing - I'm impressed at the smile!
Actually, fabric for two dresses. Katie couldn't decide between two sets, and she had some birthday money from our grandfather, so I agreed to make up a second dress for her.
The pattern she chose is Butterick 4790, whi…


I knit these wrist-warmers in the space of just a few days while we were in PA for Christmas. The pattern is Queen City Fingerless Mitts, from Knitty, and they were quite simple to make.
The directions were clear and straightforward and gave me no problems. I did have to alter them a bit, as I have small wrists and long, square palms - I think I started with the medium size at the wrist and by the time I got past the thumb shaping I was at the extra-large size! I also added some length. Altogether though these were a very quick project, and only used about 100 yards of yarn, so they'd be great for using up little odds and ends.
I'm finally getting back to sewing, now that I'm home for a month - I hope I'll be able to post about that soon!
Love, Gillian

Happy New Year!

This evening we finally had the chance to light the final candle of our Advent wreath, the "Christ Candle". One of the things I hate about traveling at Christmas is that the Advent wreath, readings and carols get interrupted... often we never get to finish them. This year though we seized an opportunity, reading the final passages and lighting at last all five candles.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...."

We also had our traditional New Year's Day meal, Pork and Sauerkraut. This is a traditional Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch dish, and probably a German one before that... but as my mother grew up in Pennsylvania and grew up with this meal, we have always served it as well and it's one of my favourites.
I set the table for the meal this evening, and as I set out the silver I noticed it was very tarnished.... but our silver polish, probably 25 years old at this point, was completely dried up and useless. But I had be…

Twelve Days of Christmas

Well, there are a few days of Christmas left but I thought I'd put up my "Christmas" post since it is officially the new year now!

We spent Christmas, as we often do, in Pennsylvania with my grandfather. The day itself was smooth and uneventful - a leisurely morning, gifts opened, and then a lovely dinner which we all pitched in to put together. In my family, gifts are usually fairly small and inexpensive - we don't have much (although I know we are blessed far beyond what we deserve and beyond what many have, and for that I am grateful!) but what we have is given with love, and that for me is better than whatever material gain there may be.
The table set for Christmas dinner!
Later in the week we visited my aunt and uncle, and also saw my cousins and their families. I have to show you this picture of my little brother and our cousin's daughter - she just adores David, and has ever since she was tiny.
Wednesday we drove home; a trip which ought to have taken twelv…