Monthly Archives: February 2014

Nostalgic sewing

A small stack of summery fabric arrived in the mail last week.  The happy prints practically begged to be turned into sundresses for Miss P.  I sorted through my patterns, and decided to use a McCalls dress I had made for Miss E when she was just a little thing.  Miss P is a big girl and it can be hard to decide what size to make for her.  I didn’t want chance making the wrong size, so I dug through the storage shed until I came upon the tub of Miss E’s baby clothes.

These are the dresses I made for Miss E.  In fact, the little orange one is the very first dress I ever made.

McCalls M5830Pulling those baby dresses from that tub of baby clothes brought back so many good memories of sewing for my girl.  I tackled that first dress with more determination than skill.  After many hours, lots of seam ripping, and one burst of frustrated tears… I had made a dress.  The very next week I made the red and turquoise dress with a few less ripped seams, and amazingly, not a tear was shed.

Miss E's sundressI will admit I was so proud of that dress and I loved seeing her run around in it.

Beginer sewingThose two sundresses were riddled with mistakes!  Sloppy armholes, wobbly seams, misshapen neckline… but oh how I loved them!  I was even too scared to make real buttonholes so I used snaps instead.  On the orange dress I even managed to sew the neckline on backwards!

Wobbly pocketsSo, 3-1/2 years later I made another for Miss P.   The pattern I used is McCalls M5830.

McCalls M5830Man I love this pattern but it does not love me back.  That’s a little dramatic.  It’s really a breezy little pattern, except for the part were you attach the neckline to the bodice.  The instructions seem to be describing this terribly clever way of sewing the neckline on wrong -side-out.  Then when you turn it, everything is magically and suddenly right-side-out, with no exposed seams.  I could never figure it out.  Even my husband, who is my go-to pattern interpreter, couldn’t decode it for me.  He suggested making a practice dress but ain’t nobody got time for that.  So I ended up attaching the neckline in my own clumsy way… but it got the job done.

Strawberry pocketsIsn’t that strawberry fabric delightful?  I love the little kick-pleat in the front too.

I hand-stitched her pet name to the bottom of the dress.

Hand-stiched nameWhile I was at it I decide to make another.

McCalls M5830And look… real buttonholes!  I know… I’m a big girl… yes I am.

Buttonholes Can we just talk for a minute about how much I love this print?  I love it a lot.  All those happy little houses and funky little birds, how could I resist?!

Village Green fabric by Carolyn GavinThis one is going to look so sweet with her little red shoes.

McCalls M5830Oh, one more thing I should mention; the sizes on this pattern are a bit vague.  The sizes are listed as newborn, small, medium, and large, with no measurements to go with them.  After sewing this pattern in several sizes, I would say the pattern comes in sizes newborn- 18 months.  I made Miss P the 18 month because I want it to fit her this summer.

Summer dressesIt was fun to see how my sewing skills had improved over the last 3 years.  Fun to add a few more homemade dresses to the stack, and I’m looking forward to seeing Miss P toddle around in her summer dresses.

The Week that Was

Pictures from our week and a few words to go with it-


I like everything about this picture

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMomma tries to make the bed

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMiss P’s favorite place.  She sits in her perch watching the bustle of the kitchen.  She plays and snacks and gives me a huge grin every time she manages to catch my eye.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the view I walk past every time I go to the laundry room.  It is so hard not to get sucked into that room especially on laundry day!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe likes getting her hands dirty… just like her momma

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe likes being with me, doing whatever I happen to be doing.  Planting flowers, matching socks, scrubbing potatoes; she’s always right there at my elbow.  It works out well because I really like being with her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the view from my kitchen window.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey are so good to her

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe princess and her footrest


My thought for the week:  Sometimes I doubt myself as a mother.  Second guess my decisions.  Wonder. Worry.  Ask a lot of “what if” questions.  Am I doing enough?
But not when I play with them.  When I play my kiddos all of that goes away, and I know that everything is going to be just fine.


The Week that Was

Pictures from our week and a few words to go with them-

1. Quiet rainy day activities

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2.  Best $7.00 I’ve ever spent

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3. The stomach flu kept the boys out of school for a full week; which meant a lot of catchup homework

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA4.  My laundry spent the week traveling from the kitchen table, to the living room couch, my bed, then back to the kitchen table.  It got riffled through, unstacked, refolded, mixed up and finally… finally put in drawers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA5. A 4-year-old makes her own ham and cheese sandwich while wearing mix-matched pjs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6.  Making little treats for little friends

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA7. I abandon all attempts at productivity and join the kiddos for an afternoon of sidewalk-chalk drawing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA8.  Perfect pink toes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA9. Chalk smudges everywhere

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA10. Love offerings left under my pillow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA11.  Tulips for teachers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA12. Watching the Olympics


My thought for the week:  I love my little house.  That thought washed over me the other night as I walked in from the backyard just after dark.  The windows glowed with a warm light.  From where I stood in the cold grass I could see water-colored hearts hanging on the fridge, children reading on the couches, a globe left on the kitchen table were J had been working on an assignment, and Justin sitting at his desk with a baby perched on the edge of his knee.  Everything I loved most, under one cheery little roof… and it was mine… all mine.

Beach Days

This morning I woke to the sounds of rain on the roof, and a tiny girl making happy noises from the pillow next to me.  Justin had gone into work early so it was just the two of us snuggled together in the quietness of the morning.

Hard to believe it was only a week ago that I was rising early to get us packed and ready for our annual Pajaro Dunes getaway.  It’s even harder for me to believe that this is the 8th year we have made the same trek to be with family and cousins at the beach.  My in-laws started the tradition when my oldest was the same age as my youngest is now.  Each year, Dad and Mom W. rent a house by the beach for 4 days and three nights.  All the aunts, uncles and cousins converge under one roof, and for days we do nothing but eat, play, and run on the beach.  It’s always loud and crazy but so much fun!

This was Miss P’s first trip

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think one of the things the kiddos love best is waking up to their cousins every morning.  The way they play and pile all over each other reminds me of a litter of puppies.  Watching them all eat also reminds me of a litter of puppies ;)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe littlest girls doing their best to mimic the big kids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe weather was glorious!  Every morning after breakfast we would drag all of our stuff down to the beach and camp out until lunch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe loved the sand!  She grinned and squished her pudgy little hands and feet into the wet sand.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe also stuffed a few handfuls in her mouth.  She seemed to like the taste as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne side of the beach is lined with beautiful houses and long wooded staircases leading to the beach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe children never seem to tire of the sand and waves, it is the perfect playground!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is most of the crew, the three youngest stayed close to the blankets and sand toys.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery year J gets more and more comfortable on the boogie board

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is how G prefers to ride the boogie board

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe beach stretches on and on.  Perfect for long walks and sand dollar hunting.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrandma and Grandpa always have 1, and sometimes 9 grandkids in tow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the evening when the sun dips into the ocean, the beach house comes alive with dinner preparations and getting sandy children cleaned up and in their pjs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe afternoons at the beach are usually very windy.  The babies nap as the big kids play upstairs.  Sometimes they all head down to the tennis courts with the men, while we ladies enjoy a bit of shopping in Santa Cruz!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASaturday, in the wee hours of the morning Justin and I woke to the one thing parents dread waking up to… “Mom. Dad. I threw up.”  Yes, J came down with the stomach flu.  We confined him in our little room, trying to keep him away from the other kids.  He was so disappointed to be missing out on the fun!  By Sunday he was feeling good enough to join the rest of the family upstairs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASunday morning we woke up to rain.  The kids gathered in the little sun room to eat their breakfast.  Normally we would try to squeeze in one last trip down to the beach, but this time we packed up right after breakfast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe gathered in the living room for one last devotional.


We loaded the van with dirty clothes, sandy toys, and very tired children.  We took with us happy memories and we look forward to making many more!