Sunday, March 24, 2013

Easter dress and some spinning success

Saturday morning we woke up to a frosty springtime wonderland.

Thank you Lord for the future garden-soakage!!

My car plays in the snow much like my Howdy does :)

What to do on a snowy Saturday morning while the boys are sitting around picking their noses.  Seriously.

Hmm.  Maybe make a springtime Easter dress for my leading lady?
I got to pull a "my Nana" and sit at my machine, sewing and stitching for my favorite girl, while she sat there playing with my jars of buttons.  I remember doing the same thing when we lived with my sweet Nana for a while growing up.  I would get to ask all the questions I wanted and Nan would answer them so patiently while she sewed and sewed for us.  I even got to play designer a time or two and add a ruffle here, some trim there... Needless to say, a sewing machine has always had a place in my life since I can remember.  My first stitches were sewn on her Singer when I was 6 or 7.  Roo tends to keep me company when I'm busy on a task and I love that she's happy to just be there with me, because I remember feeling the same way.  Saturday morning she could have been downstairs, picking noses with the boys while watching cartoons but she chose to hang with her mama, drawing in her sketch book and sorting buttons with her dolly Mimi.  I love her.  

I had this long tank top that I never wear.  There is a light stain on the front only a preschooler can get away with, so naturally it answered the call of duty to our tiny budget and Easter Cuteness needs.  

I released the seam at what was the bust of the top.  It will be an empire waist on Roo since she's just a little guy.

Then I sewed a new side seam, and trimmed.  It's more finished than this but only slightly...

I didn't take it in along the skirt so that I could add some gathers with the excess fabric.  My girl loves a full, twirly dress, ya know what I mean?

The skinny strap you see on the right became the shoulder straps once I ironed and sewed them together for double width.

No one will notice them since she'll likely be wearing a parka on Easter.

So there's a dress a girl can really twirl in!  And it was free :)

Typing this now, I wonder if she will remember this dress, what she was doing while I was making it... Me asking her if she wanted peasant pockets on the side or would she rather have gathers so it would be full and twirly?  Would she please try it on just one more time?  I didn't really think about it while we were working on it because I tend to forget what an impact small things are in their tender young memories.  And now I'm feeling bad that I got really frustrated with her when she kept saying how itchy it was, and wiggling as I was tediously pinning, and eventually crying about it, and ripped the strap (which I was short on anyway...) as she was trying to get out of it in a rush.   I wonder if she'll remember that more than the peaceful morning we spent together :(  She took some time to herself for a few minutes, while I was finishing the straps, and came back with two drawings in her sketch book:  One for me to make me feel good when I saw it, and one that she drew for herself that meant she was angry.  She art therapy'd herself with her drawings, and I did with some quiet time to finish the dress up.  We apologized to each other.  I adored her pictures and she adores her dress.  We win!  Maybe that's what she'll remember about our morning.

poor thing had to try it on like 12 times.

Later, after the most epic Costco trip in our family's history, (which consequently leads to an epic cleaning/organizing of our fridge and freezers and pantry, then epic putting-away of the ridiculous amount of food), Nick settled in on the couch  again (his basketball bracket forced him) and I ascended up to our room to get to know my spinning wheel a bit.  Yes, that was the longest sentence ever.  Yes, a little Roo was in tow, with her weaving loom this time :)  

I had to figure out some spare parts (which are not spare, they're imperative), unsqueak the squeaky wheel, watch several youtube videos, read some online material, error some trials- you know.  The good news is that all of the parts are there (or available in our junk drawer, as luck would have it), they just need to be wined and dined a little.  After a couple of hours and even some help from Mister, I got at least an idea of how it all flows.  See?

My method was much more of a 'park and draft' as they say in handspindling, because I'm not sure the tension on the brake and the whorl is correct and I'm constantly stopping the treadle to adjust stuff and draft the fleece.  My roving (the combed fleece you spin and wind onto the bobbin) is not what they use on television.  I might need it drum carded or something, which I know nothing about.  
Fortunately for my ambitions, I found THIS PERSON online!  WHOA.  She lives here in Golden and teaches classes!  Classes on spinning, carding, color theory, anything you can think of related to creative spinning.  They're $15 each so I think I can make it happen, at least a time or two.  I'm so excited!  We've emailed back and forth and I am hoping to set something up for this coming week.  She offers incredible group rates too, so next time you're in the area with a hankerin' for a spinning lesson, let me know and we'll split the cost. 

Today the Mister went to work, because working weekends is awesome and fun.  So I got cozy with the kiddos and a new chicken book for a little bit, made some pannycakes, and then went hog wild cleaning the house.  Half the house, actually, but it took me all day until bedtime.  Roo helped me with chores and earned a dollar.  She's saving for chickens :)  Knox strutted around in his undies and binoculars, spanking his booty a time or two our halftime entertainment.  See?  I cry.  I can't believe they're mine! 

Apparently temps in the 70's will be happening soon.  Coop's gonna get built, ya'll!

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