Friday, August 30, 2013

Tomato Basil Bruschetta for Lunch

It's that wonderful time of year again when flowers and gardens slow their growing to allow for late summer harvests. I love incorporating fresh berries on my cereals for breakfasts, and the vegetables and herbs for lunches and suppers. A long-time favorite combination is tomato and basil. There is so much you can do with the two!
Last year I shared a favorite from Tasha Tudor's Cookbook, and today it's Tomato Basil Bruschetta.

If you must have exact measurements I can share the measurements for more servings, which came from a page from the Editor's Pick. The following is for a single serving size which I "threw together" for my lunch today.

Mix together:
2 small homegrown tomatoes, chopped
4 to 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Dashes of salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, and parmesan cheese

Spoon on top of:
One slice of your favorite bread (or two small slices), lightly toasted and buttered

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Goodness and Mercy

My mind turns to a verse my pastor shared during a devotional at a summer picnic in July: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life," (from Ps. 23) and some counsel he gave me a few weeks ago: "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalms 37:3-5

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Making My Day

I heard from an etsy customer last night and her note completely made my day. I love sewing aprons and get joy in "making their day" when they get to wear them!

She writes: This is my second apron purchase. I love the quality; the fabric and attention to detail. I make a big mess in the kitchen and the aprons wash nicely. My mother-in-law, who has dementia, gets so tickled every time she sees me in my peasant cottage apron. She says, "you are wearing your grandmother's apron again!"

Thankyou, dear lady for your sweet note, and many thanks to your dear mother-in-law who thinks it's a vintage apron!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Acting by the Invisible

“When you are disappointed or vexed or hedged in or thwarted; when you are seemingly abandoned, remember, [daughter] of God, heir of Heaven, that you are being prepared for the higher life. You need courage, patience, perseverance, and it is in the hard places that they are developed. You need faith, and you will never have it unless you are brought to circumstances in which you are compelled to act by the invisible rather than the visable.”

“Had we no tests, no great hedged-in experiences, we would never know what a wonderful Deliverer  and triumphant Guide we have!”

--Springs in the Valley

Friday, August 09, 2013

S&S 1940s Swing Dress in Midnight Blue

It was on Wednesday that I locked (figuratively) myself in the sewing room to finish up everything on my table. There was an alteration for a friend from church, and then my sister's dress. Both were completed. What a relief, and yet what an odd feeling to not having anything to sew. ;)

As requested, I took a couple pictures of the completed dress. Using another wonderful pattern from Sense & Sensibility, I only made very little alterations to the 40s style dress. The biggest "fix" was the length of the skirt, since my petite sister wasn't wanting anything super long but a modest somewhere-below-the-knee. Since she's currently in Mexico, I had to guess on the length! :)

The fabric she chose was a poly satin crepe fabric, and while she is a classy lady, she didn't want the shiny side of the fabric so I used the crepe side. It's such a pretty blue color, and will match her eyes perfectly. I've teased her that she'll need a chaperon when she wears this dress. ;)

The front bodice is softly gathered at the shoulders and at the waist which meets the front yoke. I suppose my sister could wear a camisole or a pretty brooch at the neckline to keep the front crossover part from becoming scandalous!

The sleeves are just-above-elbow length and straight. The gored skirt is a-line, making for a slimming silhouette.

The dress features a hidden zipper on the side that starts in the bodice and extends into the skirt. I was thanking the Lord that it went in flawlessly the first time. The back of the dress has simple pleats at the bodice waistline, and has ties in the back.

Hopefully this fall, I'll have a picture or two for you all of my sister modeling the dress. Did I already mention that she'll be wearing it for a Retro-Diner themed dinner at a conference that she's photographing? With a set of kid gloves and a pearl necklace, she's bound to look fabulous!

Shakespeare was right: "Summer's lease hath all too short a date..."

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

S&S 1914 Afternoon Dress

Ahh, the completion one feels when cutting the threads from sewing a hem, or knotting the ends from sewing on a button! Just a little over seven years ago I made one almost identical to the one I just finished yesterday, and for some reason this dress seemed to take a lot longer to sew than the other one.

As before, I used Jennie Chancey's excellent pattern, but made a few changes. For one, the shoulders were brought in a little to prevent the dress from feeling like it was going to come off. I also squared the neckline in the front. The sleeves I shortened some and pinch the top a little while cutting the fabric, as I was looking for something a little bit more fitted than before.

I put in some buttons from my stash, and found a larger button that matched the smaller ones for the waistband closure (which isn't shown) in the back. Unfortunately I didn't have enough lace for inserting it into the back bodices, but it can stand on it's own. Most people don't (or shouldn't!) stare at one's backside!

The sash was simply made from a 1/2 yard of some left over poly crepe satin of my sister's, and I sewed up the raw edges, turned in right side out, bunch it up, and wa-la! For the back, I just tied it and tucked in the ends. World's simplest sash right there.

I may make up another one when I can afford 1/2 yard of silk duiponi. I loved that purple I had before, but the blue will do especially since I haven't the occasion to wear it yet!

The fabric I used came from an estate sale that I was working at quite awhile ago. I don't remember if the house owners gave me the few pieces of yardage for free or if I paid a dollar or two for it, but either way, making this dress cost me pretty much only in time. Because of the white seersucker yardage lengths, the hem of the dress is just a wee-bit shorter than I prefer. A historical dress must have pintucks of some kind in my book, so I did two 1/8" pintucks and turned up a 1/4" hem.

Thankfully, because hemlines were no longer down to the floor and were creeping up to ankle length, I think this dress can wear the title of a 1914 dress.

I'm loving my Gibson shoes from the American Duchess!  More on these later... :)

Next project: a 1940s Swing Dress.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

In Progress: the finery of a 1914 Afternoon Dress

The top of the dress is done.

Antique lace insertion and embroidery on the front bodice.

More embroidery, including the french knots at every inch on the hem of the sleeves since there was no more lace to used.

Time to go to bed.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

In Progress: a 1914 Afternoon Dress

Setting aside the poly crepe satin (or whatever it is my sister chose for her 1940s dress!) I began working on the little details of a 1914 Afternoon Dress. White on white hand embroidery and Anne of Avonlea is how I'm spending my Thursday afternoon.