Thursday, May 31, 2018

Me Made May 2018-The Stashbusting Edition

I had meant to participate in Me Made May 2018, then I realized I had few clothes that I had sewn for myself in my daily wardrobe. I've gained a bit of weight, so the few I had no longer fit. (sadness)

Thus, I've been exercising. 

And I've been stashbusting!

I dug through my fabric stash. Some of my fabric has been waiting since the day of purchase to become fashionable. Other pieces are remnants of prior projects. And yet other bits of fabric are old garments that I thought I might be able to re-imagine.

I dug through my patterns. Since my sewing skills are scattered, I'm beginning to see that some of these patterns are actually duplicates. Which ones do I like best? Which ones can I toss because they are duplicates? Which ones are not the best look on me?

I have been exceedingly busy going out and about that I plan accordingly. I have been power crunching my time at the sewing machine, saving hand sewing of the final steps for when I watch movies in the evening.

The other day I started sharing sneak peaks at my works-in-progress.

However, I did get to wear one brand new garment when my kids and I were out and about Memorial Day weekend. So, that counts as wearing a Me Made May item!


From the research I've done, this dress is based on a pattern from 1960. Stay tuned for details.

Monday, May 28, 2018

My Blue Embroidered Gingham 1960 Dress

For my latest sewing project I dug into my fabric stash and firmly decided I would give new life to my blue embroidered gingham. It had had two previous lives, first as a Civil War Era gown and second as a 1952 Walkaway Dress. Neither really worked and the third time is a charm, right?

I poured through my pattern stash and agonized over choices. I finally decided on Butterick 5930.


I loved this pattern when I read about the pattern release on Lilacs and Lace's blog. She compared it to a Butterick Retro 5747 from 1960.

As much as I love the slim look, I already had a full skirt ready to go from the Walkaway dress that I had already ripped apart.  I just kept the skirt as is. Because of the cut of the Walkaway dress, I could have easily (well, rather easily) made B5930 look more like B5747. However that meant buttonholes. The buttonhole attachment does not work on my sewing machine, and I have enough buttonholes to sew by hand on many other garments I have sewn. I just wanted to conquer this dress and wear it for Memorial Day.

So, really all I had to do was cut out the bodice and fiddle with the dickey and collar, attach to the skirt, partially sew the back seam of the skirt, and handpick the zipper.


It fit quite well at home. Then when I was out and about on Memorial Day weekend, the shoulders kept trying to slide down. I want to make little attachments inside the underneath portion of the shoulders to attach to my bra straps...because perfectly fitting to myself is virtually hopeless.

Other than that I really loved wearing the dress. And the dress is 100% cotton which I like, a lot! And I love the embroidery on the gingham.  I purchased it at Jo Ann in San Antonio, Texas over 9 years ago. It's difficult to find fabric like this in the stores these days. I had been so nervous to cut into it, and had made 2 previous outfits. This 1960 dress is a keeper.


And now for the photo shoot. Many thanks to my son who took the photos. Um, except no one told me my slip was showing. (I was wearing my eyelet slip, that I had previously sewn.) And my hair got quite a bit out of place. I had been wearing it down indoors, but it was a humid day with rain threatening. I put it up to stay as cool as possible. I had no idea. Oh, well. I love the setting though...especially the flag.






Sunday, May 27, 2018

Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day

For Memorial Day weekend my kids and I made our annual trip to Arlington National Cemetery to visit my distant cousin, PFC Byron K. Chatham, Jr. You can read about his story here.







Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mother's Day at Tuckahoe Plantation

Now that all the backdrop and history has been presented, on to the Mother's Day photos at Tuckahoe Plantation!

On Mother's Day, Tuckahoe offers a Peony Picnic. We bring our own food for a picnic anywhere we want on the grounds. (We did!) We may pick and pay for peonies from the lovely formal gardens. (We loved taking scores of photos.)  We may pay for a house tour. (We did!) And there were yard games. (Photos below)

My son set up his mini-tripod for a family photo.

Behind the house overlooking the river valley...


Their view of the James River...


Yard games...which were great for my daughter's spatial reasoning, too!


First it was bean bag toss...




Then croquet!




It was our first warm day of the season, and being near Richmond, a bit humid. Thankfully Gelati Celesit Ice Cream had their food truck there with scrumptious flavors. Yum!

It was a great day with my kids, to visit a lovely spot I've always wanted to visit.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tuckahoe Plantation Boyhood Home of Thomas Jefferson

For Mother's Day my kids took me to a place I have longed to visit, Tuckahoe Plantation: Boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson. It's also where one of my favorite movies was taped, Hallmark Hall of Fame's: The Love Letter. Here I wrote about this time travel from present-day Boston into the Civil War, a love story between Scotty and Lizzie that crossed the miles of time.

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As we drove up the drive I could just imagine Scotty on his bike...then I imagined Thomas Jefferson playing with his friends.

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Built in the 1730's by the Randolph family, William Randolph and his bride, Maria Judith Page, resided here for many happy years with their 3 children. Unfortunately, the parents died, leaving the children orphaned. William's will asked that his cousin, Jane Randolph Jefferson, and her husband, Thomas, (and their children) come to live at the home to raise the Randolph children. This is how Thomas Jeffferson, aged 2, arrived at his boyhood home. They lived there for the next 7 years, until Thomas Mann Randolph came of age. Thus Thomas Jefferson lived here until the age of 9, and received his first days of education at the school house located on the property, in attendance with his siblings and cousins.

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Many thanks to my son for the picture. I squeezed over to one side to showcase the roses trailing up behind me...which reminded me of the 1860's photograph of Lizzie in the Hallmark movie.

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I'm guessing that some of the scenes shot with Lizzie writing her poetry in the garden were shot in this more informal garden, rather than at the more formal ones on the other side of the property (shown above).

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Finally the moment came to tour inside the house!!! No photography allowed, but you can see it all (and more) if you get the movie The Love Letter by Hallmark.

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The current owners live on the property, so we weren't allowed upstairs. (Couldn't see Lizzie's room, which happened to be shot in Thomas Jefferson's bedroom.) But the parlor definitely looked familiar from the movie, with all the wood paneling.

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It was an absolutely lovely day. Many thanks to my kids for taking me here.  (More details tomorrow about the Mother's Day event here.)