2.15.2017

A Day in the Life of our Fall/Winter Homeschooling Semester

I feel so grateful to be living in a time where there are online communities of people learning and growing together. I have been profoundly shaped by those in both the sewing community as well as the homeschooling one. I'm so grateful for all of you talented people who inspire me so deeply!


I mentioned in a previous post that I wrapped up our year last year with a solid case of homeschool burnout.  I love to listen to podcasts while I sew and I found myself adding more and more layers to our homeschool.  Three separate, complete Waldorf curricula.  Classical language arts.  Singapore math. And while we're at it, let's throw in a good dose of Charlotte Mason.  Instead of ramping down at the end of the year, I ramped up.  My friend Rachel from Stitched in Color ever so gently asked, "You ramped up in the last month of the school year? That's a time when teachers tend to wind down." She is so gracious and wise.


This year, we made a couple of changes, the biggest one being that we enrolled Jude, Indigo, and Tia in a two-day homeschool enrichment program. (Initially we had enrolled Iris for one day as well, but she preferred to stay home with me and I am great with that.) The homeschool enrichment program offers amazing classes, which I wrote about near the end of this post.   The kids are learning so much and thriving there.  After three years of being home together every single day, seven days a week, it could sometimes feel a bit like Groundhog's Day. The change of pace has helped keep the kids so much more focused on their days at home with me.   And now I have a couple of days each week to focus on my two little girls, which has been wonderful!


2.09.2017

A Plaid Flannel Eleena Dress for Tarikua

There was a time when it felt like new patterns were being released nearly every week.  Between Japanese sewing books and indie patterns, I often felt like the options alone made my head spin.  There were so many great patterns to choose from! As much as I enjoyed (and still enjoy) sewing new patterns, there is something so comforting and familiar about those patterns that are tried-and-true.


The Eleena dress is one of those patterns for me.  This pattern was designer by my dear friend, Olga, of Coffee and Thread.  Olga is not only an incredible pattern designer and a talented photographer, but also an amazing woman and a thoughtful friend.


1.25.2017

The Janie Dress

I have a tendency to underestimate how long it will take to do pretty much anything.  Pack for vacation for a family of 7? I'd estimate that would take me about 45 minutes. Sewing Christmas nightgowns for each of my girls? An hour a piece.  And so forth.


I might even go so far as to say I radically underestimate how long it will take me to do just about anything.  I mention this because most of the sewing I have been doing this winter has been using fabric and project ideas I had from last winter, but never got to.


1.11.2017

The Ila Dress

Hello and happy new year!  For my first sewing project of 2017, I decided to make the Ila dress, a pattern by my dear friend, Olga from Coffee and Thread.


I always love an opportunity to play with stripes, especially on a dress like this one with such beautiful, clean lines.  I cut the pattern so that the stripes run vertically on the yoke, center panel and skirt pieces and horizontally on the side bodice pieces. (The fabric was printed with the stripes running vertically.)


One of my favorite features of this pattern is the hidden pockets.  This is also the one photo I have where you can see the true color of the gold piping. It's a pre-made piping I found at one of the big box stores and it worked well for this project!


12.15.2016

A New Pinafore and the Joy of Finding Eggs

I'll never forgot how excited my kids were on the day they discovered one of our chickens had finally laid an egg.  After months of waiting, it actually happened!


A friend told me later that each of our chicken's eggs would continue to bring joy. I wasn't so sure.  I assumed the kids would get used to it after a few weeks, that it would lose its luster.


I'm both surprised and happy to report that I was wrong.  So far, six months later, all five of our kids still love finding eggs!  Just this morning Indigo walked in with a smile on her face, cupping an egg in her hands and said, "Mom, it's still warm!  It's the best feeling, especially on a cold day!"


12.04.2016

Ash Pants, Bloomers, and Two Flashback Skinny Tees

I never envisioned myself as a person who would enjoy sewing basics.  When the Flashback Skinny tee made its debut several years ago, I remember wondering why I would ever want to sew a tshirt. They are readily available for purchase, whereas the dress patterns on the market are often so unique in their design.


Eight Flashback Skinny tees later, I can decidedly say I have changed my tune.  One thing that hooked me on this pattern is the fit.  If you are looking for a fitted tee pattern, this one can't be beat.  (If you're looking for a looser, more sweater-like fit, I love the Mini Briar, especially in a cozy, sweater-y knit.)


I assumed I would find it boring to make something so simple over and over again. But it turns out, I actually find it relaxing and rewarding.  They come together quickly, which is always so satisfying.


I also enjoy the mindless element of sewing tees, where I can plug in to a podcast and some music and relax, without having to think too much about how it will all come together.