Dear Vi,You might have heard that the streets of Dawson City are paved with gold,but the truth is, they aren’t paved at all.Here’s evidence: boot brushes outside the door of every establishment.And miles of boardwalk.This summer has been a writing retreat for me. I left home with a sketchy idea for my next novel, and today I’m well over halfway there. I’m writing about 1,000 words every time I sit down, which has been about 5 days per week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. When I’m not writing, I’m reading All The Books, which is so incredibly delicious – a summer of unlimited time.
And I’ve been accompanying Sam on his walks, of course. We love to walk up and down the streets, the boardwalk sometimes booming under our feet, sometimes squeaking , often soft with age.
I brought quilting projects and everything I need to sew a blouse, but haven’t taken my sewing machine out even once. And that’s just fine. It’s okay to stop once in awhile to wade in the water and smell the grass.
It was so pretty this afternoon, I just had to take Sam out for a walk. Actually, it was Sam who took me.
I was happily basting a quilt, head down, paying no attention at all to leaves blowing over the lawn, sunshine streaming through the windows and bouncing rainbows around the room.
But Sam grumbled and barked and grumbled and barked until I finally gave in.
We walked through the forest, down a country road, past a horse in the field and a wild apple tree whose branches were busting under the weight of hundreds of little red apples. The sides of the road were covered in blue wildflowers – the kind that will turn to stickers as soon as their blossoms drop. I’ll hate them later, but right now they’re stunning.
I wanted to take a picture of Sam sitting with the flowers. It seemed like the perfect photo opportunity. There I was, squatting on the side of the road, juggling the leash and the camera phone and trying to cajole Sam into smiling (or at least looking interested)…
Yeah, right.After I gave up, we walked back along the beach, where the water level has dropped but the sand hasn’t dried out enough to walk out very far without getting muddy.
I’m sitting out on the deck this morning with my coffee, where it’s warm in the sun but still cool in the shade.
Sam is sitting out on the dock looking serene and peaceful, sniffing the breeze, watching the fish jump and keeping an eye on the boat launch in the campground next door.
This is what he wants me to think, anyway. What he’s really doing is lying in wait for unsuspecting canoeists and kayakers to glide by.
When he sees them coming, he’ll lay down on his belly like a cat in the grass, and when he judges the time just right, up he’ll leap in a frenzy of barking. “Oh, look, a puppy,” the paddlers always say, unfazed. But Sam is never disappointed.
As they continue on their way, he sits back down, content, his mission successfully completed.
Combine 2.5 m of beautiful wool-blend Prince of Wales suiting and Simplicity 4097 and what do you get? The perfect fall jumper!
I’ve always wanted a jumper, something easy that I can just pull on over top of leggings and a blouse (or a full set of long johns, lol!)
It isn’t the most flattering outfit, I suppose, but I don’t care. Since when have I ever been a walking fashion statement, anyway? Three people have already complimented me on it, and one (a total stranger!) said, “you must have made that because I haven’t seen a proper jumper in years. I’m going to pull out my sewing machine and make one for me, too!” I hope she does!
This jumper pleases my little hippy heart and it’s both physically and emotionally comfortable. Since I’ve gained a bunch of that dratted weight back, I find that it’s harder than ever to find something to wear that I feel comfortable in. And not just physically, but emotionally. Because when you’re insecure about your body, being emotionally comfortable in your clothes is very important to how happy you are in your skin. Believe me when I say this is a struggle for me. My middle-aged body is…well…middle aged.
Since my goal is to someday become an accomplished sewer-of-my-own-wardrobe, I’ve been trying to challenge myself with each new project. This time it was fitting the back bodice and matching the plaid. Actually, pattern matching went so well that I forgot to take a picture of it, lol! Trust me, it’s pretty darn close to perfect. 🙂
The bodice is lined as per the pattern instructions, but they didn’t specify what to use for lining. So I used the same wool since I had enough. I also cut the bodice and the pockets on the bias. It was a bit tricky, as this cloth really stretched on the bias. But knowing that, I was extra careful which resulted in no problems at all. Yay!
I’m also learning about fitting a pattern to my own body. My shoulders and upper back are narrow and my waist is wide. In fact, my shoulders are two sizes smaller than my waist, which requires some pattern adjustments.
I cut the back bodice an entire size smaller than the front bodice, and it was still too big. It might be time to learn how to do a sway-back adjustment.
Since the bodice was already finished and lined, there wasn’t much I could do about the back. My solution? A box pleat and a vintage covered button to take in the excess across the mid-back.
Was the box pleat a professional way to fix the problem? No, and thank goodness for long hair, which covers up some bits of messiness that I’d rather you didn’t see. However, you have to admit, the button adds a bit of charm. I adore buttons. There is a button on every piece of clothing I’ve sewn so far, whether one was required or not.
Because it’s such beautiful fabric, I wanted it to be especially nicely finished on the inside. So I zigzagged every seam and then pinked them. I’m not going to show you any pictures because there are so many that are much more interesting than a bunch of pinked seams, lol!
So, are you wondering what my fabulous fall jumper cost to make? I’ll give you a hint: everything came from the thrift store. Fabric & pattern: (insert drum roll……) $3.25. Thanks to my wonderful Creative Mr.C for taking the pictures at McGuire Lake park in downtown Salmon Arm. This is what November looks like where I live now. Love it!
Today is one of those honest, old-fashioned lazy days. The kind we always wish we could have. The kind we imagine we used to have, back in the good old days, whenever those were. Of course, we can’t actually remember any specific lazy Sundays. But they must have existed, right? Because we remember them.
Maybe they don’t happen very often. Maybe that’s why they’re so special. Like today.
Outside my window the snow is falling and everything is covered in drifting white. The wind is ringing the chimes outside the front door. I have a cup of tea at my elbow and Mr. C is snoozing reading on the couch while our fur babies enjoy a group snuggle in front of the fire.
Today I did not get up with any particular agenda in mind. I may spend some time with my latest hand quilting project. This little quilt is so sweet. I’m quilting white-on-white because I want the quilt to look embossed when finished.
If you’re interested in quilting by hand, I’m using 40 weight YLI quilting thread in “natural” and John James size 10 hand quilting needles. I’m also quilting it directly in my hands instead of using a hoop or a frame. I’m also using a product called Thimble Pads on my pushing finger: little sticky leather dots. I love them.
I’m really enjoying quilting directly in my hands this way. I don’t know if I’ll go back to using a hoop after this. My stitches are a bit coarser, but they’ll improve with practice.
Other news: my critiques are all in from my little critique group. I will probably spend some time looking at them. Or maybe not.Maybe I’ll save those for tomorrow, because I know that once I open them I’m going to want to get busy with edits. I won’t be able to help myself. And that sounds like work. Not worthy for such a deliciously lazy day.
Later on my friend Cynde is coming over and we’re going to eat some of the apple cake that I made yesterday (recipe here), drink tea and watch a Craftsy class together.
Oh dear. I’m sorry I disturbed you, Sam!
Today I’m linking in with Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy’s Quilts, and at Lily’s Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet. And that’s all the work I’m going to do.
I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday as much as I am enjoying mine. Are you being lazy, too?
My name is Samson J Collins and I did a Very Bad Thing.
Do you remember the beautifultwisted tea time quilt that my friend Gully’s mom Dee made for my mom a couple of years ago?
Well, I was snoozing in the sun the other day when I heard an awful sound! It came from my mom! It sounded like Arrrgghhh!! and then I heard her say, “Oh, Sam, what have you done?” I jumped right up and ran to investigate.
Um…well… obviously I must have had something to do with that little incident. I wish I could remember! Maybe I was left unsupervised during a thunder storm? That quilt helped me get through a rough time!”
I am very sorry.
I know! I’ll make amends by helping my mom out in the sewing room!
Yesterday I held down the quilt sandwich so Mom could baste it.
Just when I thought I was done, my Mom laid out a second, larger top to baste that very same day! I had to recruit Misty to help. This was too much quilt for one little dog to hold down all by myself!
And then I supervised that darned Spooky for the rest of the day.
I even swallowed my pride and held this little table runner up so Mom could take a picture.
Even though it was beneath my dignity. Making amends can be so…embarrassing!