All this dreary winter weather has me longingly flipping through photos of my trip to San Francisco this past summer, and planning even more travels to come.
I really wish the internet had a scratch-and-sniff option because I assure you, they smell just as good as they look. Both lilac trees outside my house are in full bloom right now (It’s not even June yet!). They are very mature (I suspect they are original to the house) and reach up to the second story, so the smell wafts through the open windows at night. I have also used every vase and jar and can possible to bring them inside as well!
Hello dreamy summer. I have been waiting for you.
This was my second version of Butterick 5454. I wanted something super comfortable – but still cute – to wear this summer while I am traveling. I wanted a dress that I could wear with flip-flips during the day, and heels during the night.
I loved the colour of the jersey and knew it would be perfect for just such a dress! This time around I added 2 inches to the front of the bodice pieces, so that I would have a little more coverage than my long-sleeved version and again, I opted not to sew down the pleats on the skirt. I also opted out of the short-sleeve version of the pattern and instead added just enough around the armhole for seam allowances.
I’m really happy with how it turned out! I think this will be perfect for just throwing on (maybe even as a bathing suit cover up) and just throwing in the suitcase. Here’s to a carefree summer! Thanks to Denis Duquette for the fabulous photos!
In an attempt to be a little more organized when it comes to my sewing projects I am participating in the Spring/Summer Palette Challenge from Colette Patterns. I would like to pack as many hand-made items on my travel adventures this summer (more on that later), so I will be sewing with those trips in mind.
After a dreary Canadian winter, I am really looking forward to a wardrobe full of bright colours! I have been keeping some inspiration images on Pinterest (here and here). I’ve got a yellow Minoru on the go at the moment and already know that I want to make a fuchsia one as well. I know there will definitely be more maxi-dresses in my future and more knit fabrics, and that I am in need of skirts.
So, it’s a loose plan, but at least it’s a colourful one!
I wanted to make a maxi dress for awhile, but I was having a hard time finding a pattern I liked. Being curvy, I was looking for a style that was not strapless or with spaghetti straps. This is Simplicity 2692, but I took out the sleeves. The dress came together pretty easily, once I very carefully cut out the material. I left the zipper fairly exposed, as I was able to find one that perfectly matched the print. I just lined the bodice, however, when I tried the whole thing on I decided that lining the skirt was definitely not optional. I wore it to two weddings in August and I felt so comfortable. The skirt has a lot of gathering, but isn’t too full either.
Thanks to photographer Denis Duquette I was able to get some great images and let my usual conscript have a break. We did a quick little shoot one night right before sunset. Between my dress, the sky and the water, I felt a little like a mermaid. Check out more of Denis’ beautiful work here!
A list of ten things that have happened over the past ten days, in no particular order:
1. Hours on the road. Officially caught up on podcasts.
2. Fox sightings.
3. Two lovely weddings which included sparklers, tap-dancing, mojitos and even a pig on a spit.
4. Homemade blueberry pie.
5. The beach – twice, in two different provinces.
6. So many bug bites that I was unable to wear normal shoes for days. Still scratching.
7. Visit to the cottage in the Land Without Internet.
8. Glorious naps.
9. Houses made from bottles.
7. Laundry, laundry, laundry.
8. Simultaneous tea-drinking and blue-heron-watching.
9. Fabric shopping at a price of $3 dollars a metre.
10. Boggle tournaments.
It was a great way to wrap up the summer! Now onto September, and all those emails in my inbox.
This weekend I worked at the Farmer’s Market with School House Gluten-Free Gourmet. I was up and out of the house by 5:40 A.M. I rode my bike down in the fog with flashing traffic lights all the way. It was very dark and I could just see my breath in the air. There are a lot of trucks there at that time, and if you are someone who enjoys seeing people “set up shop”, I highly recommend getting to your local market early. It was nice to be in the booth, see the sun come up and the shadows change quickly around you. And the produce – glistening rainbow chard, rainbow carrots, fennel, blueberries and more to tempt me with! However, I was very cognizant of the limits of my bike-basket, and hoarded only as much as I could carry home at the end of a very long, but very fun day.
I was telling my dad about all the dresses I currently have on the go for other people, when he interjected to ask, “and anything for yourself”?
That conversation was lingering in my brain when I sorted through my fabric the other night. I pulled out this beautiful jade-and-rust cotton I picked up in New York, which I had been keeping for just the right project. To be honest, I was scared to use it I liked it so much.
I had wanted to make a maxi-dress this summer, but couldn’t find a knit jersey that I liked or a print that fit my petite frame. I had only bought three meters of the cotton fabric, but the more I looked at it, the more I had to restrain myself from doing a little dance. I decided that if I cut out the pieces very carefully and strategically, it might just work. And let me tell you, it was close! Really, it was only do-able because I’m 5’2 and I shortened the pattern pieces to fit me. I’m making view A without the sleeves. It’s coming along quickly, and I will have some great photos to show you when I’m done!
I didn’t take this video and I wasn’t quite that close, but this gives you an idea of what a jumbled, chaotic, and completely awesome time I had last night. The show was actually on the other side of the harbour, so (what seemed like) half the population of my side packed onto the tiny ferry en-masse and headed over. I can’t believe I got to see them in such a small venue.
I loved that by an accident of lighting, there were giant shadow puppets of the performers dancing on the sides of the pavilion. We sang and yelled and came home with ringing ears and happy hearts. My other favourite moment had nothing to do with the music, but with the one gentlemen getting off the ferry (on the concert side) after it was over and his utterly shocked expression at seeing so many people waiting to get on!
My local record store is owned by a rather cranky old man – loves music, but will judge you on your taste and really let you know how he feels about it. This song earned me his approval. I went in one day in my spiffy office attire, explaining that I simply had to have an Elmore James album. His eyes widened and a Grinch-like smile appeared on his face.
This is one of my absolute favourite songs, but it’s not one you can play all the time: this is a song for summer. It’s for dancing on the porch, late at night when it’s finally (somewhat) cool, with drink in one hand and a lover in the other.
Have a good weekend.