Saturday, February 22, 2020

• Very Overdue, Very Random Post •


Well now, it's only been about half a year since I last blogged.  That's not very long, is it?

It's been a whirlwind of a fall and winter, with plenty of drama, plenty of fun, and plenty of blessings.  I'm thankful for where the Lord has brought us in past months, and wouldn't change a thing.  This year is going to be a good one!

I apologize in advance for the extremely varying sizes and shapes of these photos you're about to see - they are all gathered from my phone from varying sources.  Enjoy!  :)



Back in August, we were able to attend and participate in D-Day Ohio, and that was just an amazing experience.  We sewed up day dresses for day one, and went in uniform the other two days.


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Mom was an American Red Cross Gray Lady, and I was a Pharmacist's Mate in the USN WAVES.  Emily Stringham of Emily's Vintage Visions has done an amazing job gathering a (growing) group of ladies to represent WAVES at D-Day, and her WAVES display as well as her leadership of the group is amazing.  I am so excited for this year's reenactment!




Can't forget to add this -- we welcomed two little kittens into our family in October.  They are mischievous little rascals but we love them so <3 





A dear friend had a western-themed graduation party, so I planned to make a western shirt to wear to that.  I decided to procrastinate until the night before to finish it, so I sewed the last button on at 2:30 in the morning.  Sure was fun to wear though!  :)





We attended Mississinewa 1812 once again this year, and per usual I was dying of the worst cold ever.  I felt just exactly like death, and literally that entire basket you see in the picture was filled with Kleenexes.  But we went, and we conquered.




There is a really amazing antique market that has sales once each month, and one of the amazing things we found there was this box full of vintage fabric pieces and quilt blocks.  I could sit and look at them for hours!!!





In December, we were blessed to be able to participate in a choir society's production of Handel's Messiah.  The practice sessions each week beforehand and the nights of singing were some of my favorite moments of the year.  Such wonderful fellowship and the words - the beautiful, Biblical, Christ-honoring words were and are so moving.  Lord willing, we'll be participating again later this year!  

We needed black and white outfits to wear for the concerts, so......





....I made a 1930s and a 1950s ensemble, one for each night.  Once again, I had planned to make these outfits far in advance, but ended up waiting until less than 2 weeks before the concert.  Lots of evening sewing after work, and I got them both done!  And I sewed a blouse from rayon....everyone congratulate me.  That experience once again confirmed what I already knew, which is that I really, deeply detest sewing with rayon.





1930s for me, 1940s for Mom.






1950s ensembles.




At the concert!





Here you can see both of the adorable fluffballs :)







We took a trip to Minnesota also in early winter, seeing dear loved ones along the way.  This picture was taken in my grandma's very wallpapered bathroom, wearing a blouse with a very complicated history......

It was a UFO for quite some time, and I finally decided to finish it for our MN trip.  I had just finished sewing the last button on and went downstairs to iron it so it was ready to go.  We had purchased some cheapy iron in the summer, and we knew it always ran a little on the hot side.  I turned it on to an extremely low setting, lower even than normal, and proceeded to iron the blouse.  Right as I am ironing the front of the blouse, I notice that the fabric is strangely scorched-looking.  To my horror, I realize that the iron has literally scorched two large spots on the center front of my brand-new blouse, and not just minor scorch marks, but orange-y, horrible, awful scorching.

In my great distress and anguish, I took the little old iron upstairs, informed my mother of what I was about to do, at which time she proclaimed that the garbage man was coming the next morning, but I insisted that that was not good enough.  I marched outside in my jammies in the moonlight and chucked that iron over a 15' cliff at the back of our property.

That is what happens to naughty irons at our house.

End of story.




Mom got this beautiful coat from Stephanie <3, and it looks amazing on her.  Soft, fuzzy green 1950s loveliness!  We had just arrived in our favorite place (Duluth), and were marching out to watch a ship come in the harbor.





I scored this Dale of Norway sweater on Ebay in the late fall, and it has definitely gotten plenty of wear.  It's very heavy and warm, so it was perfect for traipsing through Duluth in the chilly gales!





No visit to Duluth is complete without a picture "next to" Split Rock Lighthouse :D





While we were visiting with my grandpa, I knitted up my first rendition of this "pixie hood," based on this picture from the '40s.








I didn't do a swatch, so it came out a little bigger than intended, so I just cuffed the front edge and went with it.  It made for very good elf-walks-on-waterfall pictures.






Mom looking amazing in her '40s lumberjack-vibes ensemble.










I didn't end up making most of the planned vacation outfits, but I did get this dreamy '50s skirt done.  Back when I first got into vintage sewing, I found this fabric on Etsy and saved it for just the right project.  I pleated it up, put pockets in the side seams (they're invisible!!), and finally got it finished!  I didn't have time to make the blouse I wanted, so my amazing mom made me this beautiful red '50s number.  It is one of my favorite patterns, and you might recognize it as the same style as my "Messiah" blouse.




Since it was practically balmy on Christmas Day, we dressed accordingly......
(minus one cat that didn't want her photo taken, apparently)




We added a whole bunch of Pendleton skirts to our wardrobes this year, and I am not sorry about it!  This Christmassy number is one of my absolute favorites, and it pairs very well with my favorite red 49er.




I also found this to-die-for collegiate sweater on Ebay, and it is just tooooo perfect.




We took our usual weekend down to southern Indiana in early January, touring gorgeous Madison, IN with its beautiful historic homes and doing plenty of antiquing, as you'll see here in a minute.




We had matching sweaters here, but no one will ever know....haha!




Matching Pendleton skirts as we trekked through what I'm quite sure is THE largest antique store anywhere in the world.  It is so enormous that you become quite fatigued only a quarter of the way through it, but it's worth it.  Ohio River Valley Antiques or some such.





The haul.  Or at least, part of it.  There was more than would fit in one picture.  :D




Another Pendleton skirt, paired with my favorite new RVS boots.





We've been enjoying beautiful concerts with the FW Phil this winter, the highlight of which has been Valentina Lisitsa playing her "Love Story" themes.  I never get tired of her playing!




One of my most recent (and favorite) projects is this 1940s housecoat!  I joined the Sew A Dress Each Month challenge for 2020, so this was my January project.  It is a literal dream and I put it on pretty much every evening when I come home from work, and some mornings as well.  It's got the dreamiest ruffles on the pockets, and it is soooo comfortable yet elegant to wear.




We also started working on a feedsack repro quilt in recent weeks.  It has gotten put on the back burner recently with preparations for a reenactment, but we're still so excited to work on it.




Just living the dream in my housecoat and mom-made ruffly apron.





This is version 2 of my Pixie Hood, this one fitting much better than the first!  Now that I completed it, we're not getting any cold weather, but maybe there's still hope before Spring comes marching in....




We did get a few flakes of snow, however, so I grabbed the opportunity to get pictures of my amaaaaazzzzzing new 1940s coat.  I still can't believe I have a piece like this!  It's in absolutely perfect condition - the best blue wool with a quilted lining and fur for days.




I also wanted pictures of my freshly-completed snowflake hood!  I started to knit one by hand, but not only am I not cut out for fairisle knitting (ugh), but I also was using much too large of yarn for the size it needed.  (No swatch again, naughty naughty...)  I decided to give it a whirl on the knitting machine, which I did, and it came out fairly decently! 




I did the body of it on the knitting machine and ribbed it by hand, which went fairly quickly.




I'm hoping to knit up a bunch of these and offer them for sale this coming fall and winter....




Another one of those projects that just makes you feel good....only 8 years after remodelling my bathroom, I finally made curtains to match.  Slightly overdue, but VERY satisfying.  Found a home for this gorgeous antique pitcher, too.





Lastly....just me being "me" with my loopy braids.  Growing my hair out again, and enjoying the benefits of that!

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If you made it to this point, I'll be shocked, but if you did, thanks for reading, and I hope you are all doing well!  I post regularly on my Instagram account, so head over and follow me there if you'd like.  Have a fantastic weekend, friends!
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6 comments:

  1. Great to hear from you again Esther - you have been so busy with your mother and completed so many lovely projects!

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  2. Hi Esther,

    This is a terrific post! You and your mom are great! You two have so many wonderful adventures together. All of your sewing projects are stunning! Your kittens are precious!! I am true a cat lover. : ) The picture of you mom in her lumberjack inspired outfit is my favorite.

    May you have a blessed day!

    Sarah

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  3. Forgot to say yesterday, I have been asked to take part in a re-enactment here in the UK on 8th May to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of V E Day. I have never done anything like it before but it looks like you have fun with your re-enactments.

    I have been asked to be a land girl and there will be vintage tractors, cars and lots of stalls selling vintage items and clothes. We may even have a Spitfire flying past depending on the weather.

    I will need to buy or make some 1940s style slacks and wear them with a check shirt and headscarf. Any ideas where I could obtain some suitable slacks - although I appreciate you never wear them yourself?

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  4. You and your mom both look great! I enjoyed seeing all your pics and projects.

    Best wishes, Dee

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  5. Oh how amazing those Dresden plate quilt blocks are. I have some of my aunt's, literally the same fabrics in some of them, a few of which are basted to old Pillsbury flour sacks. I would love to find more to finish out her quilt. I love your blog, just found it tonight.

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  6. I love those Dresden plate quilt blocks. I have some that my aunt made and they are literally the same fabrics. Wish I could find more to finish her quilt. Some of the blocks are basted to Pillsbury flour sacks. I love your blog, just found it tonight. My goal is to make a new wardrobe using vintage reproduction patterns. I LOVE the house dress as well. What pattern did you use? Keep posting.

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