Thursday, June 25, 2015

Phoebe TV

This post slides onto the thrifty blog by saying that you don't need to buy electronics to entertain. Phoebe is better than a screen, but there are several considerations: her sound cannot be muted and she requires care and feeding even when no one feels like watching TV.  So the thrifty thing to do is borrow a baby, yes?
 

Under the arch of toys, looking in the mirror.



photo by Genevieve - the first Phoebe smile we managed to capture on camera!

I'll write about actual thrift in some upcoming posts.  I may be sleep-deprived and submerged in work, but nothing gives me satisfaction like worming out some creative, thrifty solutions.

Monday, June 22, 2015

"Very Frenchy"



These are sleep shorts, made with seersucker from an old duvet cover.  The running stitch is purely decorative, just to "de-sweetify" the shorts as Rebecca says. Or to "Frenchify" them, as I thought of this quote from my favorite Frances Parkinson Keyes book.

". . .then a pink silk muslin dress, with a knot of black velvet on one shoulder, and a black velvet sash, made from an old 'sacque' of her mother's, carefully steamed, pressed, and recut - she had read in the 'Symposium of Styles'  - which her friend Mabel Buck loaned her from time to time, since she could not afford to subscribe to a fashion magazine herself - that 'a touch of black was always very Frenchy.'"

Queen Anne's Lace by Frances Parkinson Keyes


Two pairs of my sleep shorts finally shredded into rags this June, ironic given my sleep deprivation, so I really needed these shorts.  And the running stitch and the tiny little photo shoot were very satisfying to my creative soul.  I may not be able to satisfy my need for sleep right now, but I can satisfy my soul little by little.


And, related, a French fruit tart which I'm sure the French would never recognize.  It's delicious and very simple. Besides jam, this was the only thing I did with strawberries this year other than eat them fresh with every meal.



Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Olive-Green Circle Skirt

I put together a half-circle skirt for myself at the end of May.  It covers up my post-partum belly pretty well and is nice and cool for summer, yet I think the color will carry into fall and winter, too.  


I finished the hem with yellow bias tape for fun, and now I think it looks like John Deere colors.  My son and dad will be so pleased.

I was pretty proud of myself for turning this out with a baby in the house, but I cleverly mixed up the sides and now I have a pocket and a zipper where I don't expect them.  As if my brain wasn't foggy enough. . .  and look at this photo where the skirt is skewed so that the side-seam pocket has strayed to the front.  

These photos were taken by Genevieve in one of those quick-seize-the-moment activities that guide most of my days right now.  

I've got plans for a nursing-friendly summer seersucker dress, but I just need lots of moments to make it.  We'll see. . . 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Enough Burpcloths

With the amount of laundry I am doing (2 loads a day), you would think I could keep enough burpcloths clean for the baby.  But no, so I made some more burpcloths.  And I embellished them in caught moments because that was how this mama was keeping her sanity at the end of May.


I want to clarify that I am doing a cookbook contract in June, so this sewing (and the next post I hope to write) all took place at the end of May. I have time for a very lite version of the dailies and the baby and that's about it.





I really enjoyed sewing around the clouds and the hoops.  I just used a running stitch in perle cotton.  I want to search my flannel stash for more shapes to handstitch around because I love the look. I've even thought of putting some of these in my Etsy shop, but that's pretty far down the list right now.


 Hopefully we can catch all the spit now.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jam-Making Saturday

Here I am, talking to my friend Danene as we eat rhubarb pie after making numerous batches of strawberry jam together this morning.  This was a gift, to have her in my kitchen, making the work fly and keeping the conversation interesting.  We only intended to process 10 quarts and that's what we ordered, but somehow, when my husband came home from the farm with the strawberries in his bike trailer, there were 13 quarts.  So now we have plenty of jam.

photo by Genevieve
My late lunch, a rice dish from our friend Marlisa, who adds a bit of bulgur wheat to cook with the jasmine rice for the added nutrition.  Isn't that clever?


The story of my dining room:  me, frantically shoveling calories in my mouth out of the serving dish, trying to read the newspaper, next to the 50 pound sack of sugar that was hauled up from the basement for jam making, next to the pretty bunch of peonies that Danene brought for me.  All of this with the baby in my arms and the impulse to grab the camera.


Ben and I were laughing at Phoebe's funny grunts and I was trying to catch the random spit-up (I did).  My, she has turned into a spitty baby!  Photo by Genevieve.


She has also hit the 4-6 week fussies.  Photo by Ben, who is still getting the hang of camera.


And then, peace and love.


It was a very good Saturday.  Was yours?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Phoebe at the Wedding

The first major public outing for Phoebe and me was our friends' wedding.  I love getting ready for weddings.  I had actually purchased the wedding gift shortly after we received the invitation in March because I like to have the pick of the registry and because I was trying to complete every task I could before the baby was born.


However, I had a few minutes to play, and so I made the wedding card.  That's a page from a falling-apart copy of Daphne Du Maurier's Frenchman's Creek (which I did like and do own a better copy of); of course, I picked one of the lovey-dovey romantic pages to sew over.



Phoebe was given a pretty dress, but I wished for pretty bloomers to go under it, so I sewed up some lavender ones with a scrap left from Genevieve's pajamas. I used a pattern in my stash and modified it to Phoebe's hilarious measurements. Because I didn't think she'd be using these bloomers a lot and because I need any shortcut I can get right now, I did not finish the seam edges and I sewed the elastic directly on the fabric instead of making casings.


I don't have any actual photos from the wedding (way too overwhelmed with just keeping my wits about me for all the needs of a nursing mother and baby).  Here are gratuitous photos of Phoebe with my dad.  Our little sweetheart.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Quick Seven for Ben

I am enjoying quick little sewing projects as I lay around getting strong again.  Sewing is very interruptable, the perfect kind of creative project with a new baby around.

In this case, Ben suddenly remembered that he wanted a seven on his tee shirt because he used to have a "four" tee that was passed on from his friend John.  And he knew that John's mom had sewed it, so mom, make me a seven tee shirt already!


Holding the baby, I directed him to make a newspaper template for the numeral.  Then he pinned it to the fabric of his choice (his favorite green) and some non-fusible interfacing.  I zig-zagged the fabric to the interfacing (no need to get out the iron for fusible interfacing, see) and then shortened and widened the zig-zag and sewed the seven onto his shirt.  Ben chose orange thread - doesn't that look sharp?


Done.  And happy!

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