A flowery skirt.

Having successfully made myself a few A-line winter skirts with a pattern I’d drafted myself, I decided to pull out said pattern to use in in my efforts to refresh my summer wardrobe. I must have put the pattern in a very safe place though, because I couldn’t locate it. I spent two days going through all the piles and bins in my sewing nook to no avail. Realizing I was losing focus, I sucked it up and drafted a new one. Thankfully I found the notes I had made when making the first pattern, so I had those to go by.

Pattern drafted, I quickly got the skirt cut out and sewn together. I was a little too generous with wiggle room in the waist as well as the curve of the hips, as I’ve already had to take the skirt in once and mean to do so again. I need to go back and adjust the pattern as well, which  has already been labeled and placed in drawer where I keep all patterns for safe keeping.

The fabric came from a long ago tag sale – it still had the original stickers from the manufacturer. It’s completely synthetic, but lightweight – it feels like parachute silk to the hand. It has this interesting texture to it as well – I tried to capture it in a photo – be sure to click on the close up of the fabric to see it.

Now that I’ve gotten the hang of zippers (it only took close to 30 years of sewing!), I’ve started utilizing them more in things like skirts for a more tailored look. I’ve also realized how much quicker it is to whip up a skirt with a zipper and not elastic or a drawstring. I was in such a rush to finish this skirt that when I couldn’t find my interfacing to do the waistband lining, I texted a neighbor that sews. Thankfully while waiting for her reply, I found just enough to finish the skirt, as the idea of heading out to Joann’s at 4:30 on a weekday was just too much to bear.

The end result still needs a bit of adjusting on the fit, but it’s sort of the perfect Becky skirt – a little wild but incredibly comfortable.  It’s already become a go-to for throwing on in the morning with a T for early morning walks with the dog.

Efribbits.

My friend Steve called me up a few weeks ago and asked if he could stay with us while in town for his upcoming college reunion.  But of course! Could he bring his college roommates too? It wasn’t the first time he’d brought total strangers to stay at our house, but giving me a heads up was thoughtful – and how could I say no? Continue reading

Crazy mixed up.

A bakery here sells Panettone every December, which I tend to buy several loaves of in order to stockpile in the freezer. A traditional sweet Italian holiday bread studded with dried fruits, I happen to think panettone makes an amazing French Toast, particularly on cold, snowy mornings.  I may have once or twice lobbied the owner of said bakery to consider making panettone more than just once a year – pitching a “Christmas in July” idea – so that I could have access to this treat more than once a year. Gerry was not buying what I was selling, but, he did manage to plant a seed that I could learn to bake panettone myself.  I spent some time looking for a recipe, but most of them seemed pretty intimidating. And then this King Arthur Flour Co. recipe came to my attention.

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Finding that mojo and a dog sweater.

Edie asked me a few weeks ago if I would knit a sweater for Betsy the Beagle.  I was game and so one recent evening found the three of us humans spending quality time sorting through dog sweater patterns on Ravelry. Of course the one we liked the most is, of course, one of the more complicated patterns.  And being that I’m not the fastest of knitters, I knew it could be a while before Betsy got herself a sweater.

betsy2

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In which we shoot.

Edie learned to shoot a rifle at summer camp. Not only is it one of her favorite camp activities, she has been commended on it in the closing ceremonies several times.  The girls don’t shoot skeet like the boys camp does though – only stationary targets. Of course, this made her very interested in shooting skeet, because as we all know, anything boys can do, girls can do better.

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Getting Schooled.

I spent three very delightful evenings this past week assisting down at the Charlottesville Cooking School with my friend Martha, who taught an Every Day Cooking Skills Series.  It’s a three part class that is usually taught over the course of three weeks, but Martha decided to teach it over three consecutive evenings in one week as a trial summer run.  The concept is sort of like a boot camp for cooking – it covers a variety of basic cooking techniques so that participants walk out  with skills to throw together simple seasonal and delicious dinners regularly.  Sounds too good to be true,  I know, but Martha is an amazing instructor who can make this happen and I don’t just say that because she’s a friend.  Martha is a trained chef, who has been teaching cooking classes longer than she wants to admit (which is also longer than I’ve been cooking).

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Lessons.

bluebellsI suppose it started when I found myself saying “Yes” to every kid from Charlottesville High School Band that asked me to buy fruit in their fundraising drive late last fall. We’ve always bought fruit to support the local high school marching band, because my better half, having done that himself, likes to support the local band, although I have to admit that these last few years I’ve been a supporter knowing these are the same families we’re going to hit up when Edie starts fundraising for orchestra next year.  Some of our family are big citrus fans and eat it up rather quickly, but I found a few pieces languishing in the drawer (no doubt a testament to how many times I said YES), so I thought I’d get crafty with it and try my hand at baking with it. Continue reading