Saturday, December 31, 2011

OOP McCalls 4645 ~ Sweet Dreams Nightgown

Earlier this week I locked myself away in the sewing room to work on a nightgown for Mother-Dear. She was hoping that it would be finished by Christmas, but time got away from all of us last weekend and all I could manage was cut it out. At least that was done. Anyone else dislike cutting out?

My older sister is the nightgown maker around here (sort of how I'm the one who sews aprons...) and so after consulting her, mom chose an out of print pattern (c. 1989) that was in Erin's stash of a dozen or more nightgown patterns. We started out with the main base of the top right corner, but changed it a bit.
She had enough yardage of a cozy blue flannel with white polka dots to make it all come together just the way she wanted. Mom likes full-length gathered sleeves that had cuffs instead of an elastic drawn ruffle. I added some white piping for visual interest.
She also wanted a high peter-pan collar that would close if needed, and again, I added the white piping to coordinate with the sleeves.
Length was added (4" I think) to the skirt hem, and then I cut out a ruffle to put on the hem to make this a floor length nightgown. I cut out three 45" width panels by 10" so it's quite a full ruffle, but it added a nice touch of femininity.

She has already worn it several times, and so therefore the "crumpled" look. I suppose I could have ironed it after taking it out of her closet for pictures, but the thought didn't occur to me at the time. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bells Across the Snow

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
Is it really come again,
With its memories and greetings,
With its joy and with its pain?
There's a minor in the carol,
And a shadow in the light,
And a spray of cypress twining
With the holly wreath to-night.
And the hush is never broken
By laughter light and low,
As we listen in the starlight
To the "bells across the snow."

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
'Tis not so very long
Since other voices blended
With the carol and the song!
If we could but hear them singing
As they are singing now,
If we could but see the radiance
Of the crown on each dear brow;
There would be no sigh to smother,
No hidden tear to flow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the "bells across the snow."

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
This never more can be;
We cannot bring again the days
Of our unshadowed glee.
But Christmas, happy Christmas,
Sweet herald of good-will,
With holy songs of glory
Brings holy gladness still.
For peace and hope may brighten,
And patient love may glow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the "bells across the snow."

-Frances Ridley Havergal

A Time for Traditions

It has been 11 years since the tradition started for our family.

It is a time of dressing in our new woolens, corduroys, plaids, and then bundling up in multiple layers (plus some) and grabbing the winter boots out of the hall closet. It's a time of taking a flashlight in one hand and music in the other.

It's a time of Christmas caroling. With four or five families represented, we all gather on one evening just days away from Christmas at the home of our gracious friends to carol to their neighbors. Between singing, the young girls giggle, the older girls talk while shielding their faces from the blinding snow, the boys of all ages throw snowballs and skid along slippery gravel.

It's a time of filling our hostess' home with coats, mittens, gloves and scarves (and dripping-wet boots) after laying them down to sip their delicious mulled cider topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream and taste the special holiday delicacies laid out, while visiting with new as well as long-standing friends.

Such is the account of the Christmas caroling evenings we anticipate annually, and it was one we happily partook of earlier this week. My sister took a few pictures which she posted here, for all to enjoy.
Thankyou dear Morgan's!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just What You [might] Have Been Waiting For

Just for the record, brown serger thread is very hard to find.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Time for Photos

Earlier this week, there was a beautiful morning fog that filled the air, and I asked my sister if I could take pictures of her. Out we went and raced the fog that seemed to have a mind of its own of where it wanted to be, and we finally found an area where it stayed long enough for several shots.

Our dad kindly let us use an old camera of his for a prop. It's in pristine condition, and still takes excellent photos.
The winter candies and old books were my ideas as props. ;)
Just yesterday our family picture was taken in front of an old grocery store. We were driving around the nearby town and spotted it for the first time, and all hopped out for a few (literally four shots!) to be taken. This picture and the two above were taken by my sister. Visit her fantastic blog, and if you ever need portraits done, you'll know who contact! :)
The following two photos come with a little story. Before I left for school in August, my eye caught a beautiful blue wool coat in a little hole-in-the-wall consignment shop on the outskirts of town. It was marked $35. Saving all my pennies (literally!) for college, I decided to wait on it. Even if coats such as this one ran over $200 in high-fashion department stores. My green coat of 14 years could serve me another winter.
Upon returning home 10 days ago, I visited that little store and to my great delight, the coat was still there. Perhaps God saved it for me? "He does that, you know," I told myself. Coming home from college with less money than when I started out, I gave a sigh as I returned it to the rack. A day or so later, Mom asked if I could do some sewing for her, and she would pay me X-amount of dollars for it. What she asked for was a Christmas plaid homespun fabric to be made into a jumper. Instead of being paid for it, I asked if she would consider putting that money towards the blue wool coat, and I could somehow (???) make up the difference. She agreed, and I made that jumper up in record time. :)
We went to the shop that afternoon, and to my great ecstasy, the coat was on sale for the amount she was going to originally pay me. The tax came to $1.37 over, but she said not to worry about it. Did God save it for me? I believe with all my heart that He did, and I believe it was on sale for Him to show me that He will provide for our needs. That yes, He cares about the "little" details we concern ourselves with.
So here is a picture of Mother-dear in her Christmas plaid (she is wearing it in our family picture), and I in my blue wool coat.

["When it comes to serving God, we must never focus our attention on the size of the task, for it will squash our vision and enthusiasm. We should always place our eyes on the size of our Lord. What He says will happen always takes place in His perfect timing." -Brother Yun]

Monday, December 12, 2011


This time of year is indeed a hectic and busy season that brings out a the worst in people, as my dad would say. For the Christian it should be one full of grateful joy as we reflect the reason why God sent, in the form of a babe, His Son.

This time of year is also one for decorating in the interiors and exterior of our dwelling places. For our family, we try to keep things simple, but tastefully decorated for the season. Our home does not undergo an "extreme makeover" but we do bring out the wreaths, greenery, a red bows for the outside. The inside contains similar goods, but with a few intimate details. Our Christmas tree holds all the little things we made as small children, a few recent ornaments, and then the special antique ones that our mother has saved. We place homemade decorations on doorknobs, light candles in the evening, we girls fix a pot of tea or mugs of hot chocolate to sip while watching favorite classics such as White Christmas or The Nativity Story, or we might be working on secret gifts for each other in the sewing room while we pop in a Christmas CD (a personal favorite: The Music of a Victoria Christmas). All of these things help create an atmosphere that fosters memories.

Every year there are so many memories made at our house, as I'm sure there are many recollections to be said of yours. Tonight my mind went back to when I was living with my grandparents. It was shortly before an evening service at church during the Christmas season. The sanctuary was beautifully decorated that imparted a surrounding not of distracting or noisy clutter, but rather gave a feeling of quiet aesthetic beauty. My mentor and friend asked if I'd like to join her at the piano with my violin and we would prepare something on the fly for the offertory that night. Choosing one of the simpler ones to play, God seemed to bless us with His presence as we practiced once and then played during the service. The tune was achingly beautiful and the words ministered to our own hearts as we played.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

A smile spreads across my face as I recall the memory that took place only two years ago, but my heart sings when I pause to ponder the words of that 15th century carol.

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

Words: 15th Cen­tu­ry car­ol (Es ist ein Ros ent­sprung­en); vers­es 1-2 trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by The­o­dore Bak­er, 1894. Verses 3-4, Fried­rich Lay­ritz, trans­lat­ed by Har­ri­et Rey­nolds Krauth, 1875. Verse 5, trans­lat­ed or writ­ten by John C. Mat­tes, 1914.

Music: Es Ist Ein Ros’, Al­te Ca­thol­ische Geist­liche Kirch­en­ge­säng (Köln, Ger­ma­ny: 1599); har­mo­ny by Mi­chael Prae­tor­i­us, 1609.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

New Additions!

New skirts are in the shop this afternoon! Including an original Anthropologie skirt. ::sigh:: I wish I were a size 0.


Sunlight coming through the south-facing windows...
Hazelnut Creme coffee...
Corduroy skirts...
Psalm 4...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Let the fun begin!

Last night I arrived safely home from my journey from the southern area where I was at college for 3.5 months.Much to share, but will begin with announcing some sales going on this month in my etsy shops!
15% off over at TallySkirts when if you use the code: 15OFF
15% off over at PeasantCottage when you use the code: 15SALE
Will be back soon...