I aspire to Becky made gifts for most everyone on my Christmas list annually, but this year felt like the first in a while that I actually succeeded in doing that, beyond handing out jars of pepper jelly and pickles and jam. Although this year, I outsourced most of the jam to my friend Daniel the jam god. Between the great canning jar shortage of 2020 and the dire straights of most small businesses this year, it was a no brainer way to support one of my favorite local purveyors while also handing out handmade gifts. Not only is he able to source things like Damson plums, he may be one of the only people I know who is at least as picky about where his food comes from than I am. I know, right? I honestly don’t know why I haven’t outsourced to him before, but I’m totally doing it from here on out.Continue reading
With construction wrapped up on the sunroom, all that’s left is the cleaning and unpacking. Also, the reupholstering, because you simply cannot put the same old grimy furniture back in the space that you just spent so much money into getting spruced up. But, scope creep meant rolling up my sleeves and reupholstering furniture myself.Continue reading
There has been a good bit of life keeping me distracted here lately – nothing terribly worthy of putting out on the internet for everyone to read. Continue reading
I may be considered a woman of many talents, but the truth is, there are some things that are beyond my skill set. Like pancakes. And vintage quilt restoration.
Remember last fall when I was hot to find patterns of a particular sort and spent entirely too much time looking all over for them? I had this fabric from my friend Nancy that I just knew would be perfect for a vest. An iridescent quilted satin, it was in a bag of upholstery and other decorating fabrics Nancy dropped off, ample sized leftovers she was sure I could do something with. (Question – do other people who sew have this happen? Where they are given all sorts of fabric because they’ll do something with it?) It screamed vest to me – and in my head, this vest was going to look exactly like one I already had, because the fabric was so similar. Continue reading
I confess that most of the sewing I’ve done recently has been of the boring but useful mending sort, like hemming pants. Knitting is far more portable and therefore conducive to traveling or just occupying my hands while watching tv. Along the way, I’ve actually managed to finish some!
My girl finished up her first sewing project over the weekend.
Like most sewers, I have a huge stash of fabric. When our fabulous local fabric shop closed last December, I went in and bought up more fabric than I care to admit for future projects. Sewers, you know how this is. I mean, it was half off or better and some great fabrics! Continue reading
Mena is a 23 year old mother of four who recently fled her home with her family in Afghanistan to resettle in Charlottesville. I was introduced to her by my friend Cathy, who had been paired with the family by International Neighbors (IN). Their family has been in this country only a few short months, having arrived here in Charlottesville thanks to the assistance of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Unfamiliar to our country, our culture, our language, Mena and her husband are also unaccustomed to running their own household, as they lived in a home with their extended family in their native land. While the IRC got them out of their native country alive, IN works to ensure they thrive in their new home. As a volunteer in the Family Friends program, Cathy was paired with the family to help in that adjustment. Continue reading
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.