elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Today The Girl and I went to Grand Old Day, our local street festival on Grand Avenue, and on a whim we decided to dress up.


I am more in love with this green calico all the time. It did bother me slightly that my dress was 12 years later than hers, but I am sure I am the only one who noticed! It's just nice to have something casual and easy that still reads as Victorian.

We enjoyed the parade and got lots of candy thrown to us. We saw a bunch of fun local mascots and art cars. And of course we ate a few treats! But we didn't stay much after the parade because lines for everything are so long and it gets so hot and tiresome. But we really enjoyed our morning! Dressing up makes everything more fun!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
This is F's other new costume, a cotton 1860s/70s dress for Little House dressup.

She is doing her "Sunday face."

little house (4)

little house (6)

Again, these are from the hotel at the con so they are not great pictures. But you can see the dress, more or less.

I used the Truly Victorian princess dress for girls pattern (TV600) and used it pretty much as it came out of the envelope. My girl is a little slim for her height so even though she is 6 1/2 years old I cut a size 4 in the chest and waist (and that even came out roomy!) but lengthened all the bodice pieces to the size 6. I cut the skirt extra long in order to sew tucks. The tucks are 5/8" deep and about 3/8" apart (from fold to next stitch line). I like these as a cheap and easy skirt detail but also for practicality - I can pick a couple of them out next year to lengthen the skirt if needed.

The fabric is the one she picked out last year on our fabric and candy store trip down at Reproduction Fabrics. The apron is a Moda print from work. It was totally last minute. The dress is very plain and I knew it needed something. Plus what's more Laura Ingalls than an apron? I planned to make a bib section for it but ran out of time. It needs it, because as you can see, the half apron slides down. I still have the fabric set aside for it, though, so the bib section will be easy to add later.

It buttons up the back with antique shell buttons I got from a coworker, and she is wearing it over two fluffy petticoats.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Here is my little green nature fairy!

green fairy 002

These photos are all in the con hotel, so they are not ideal. I am hoping to get dressed up sometime this summer and do some photos in the nature park.

more! )

She loved wearing this costume and got tons of compliments! She even got a hall costume award ribbon for it less than 5 minutes after we registered.

I was pretty happy with it, too. Two issues: the glitter from the blouse shed A LOT. I had to quarantine it in our luggage so it wouldn't spread. Also, the dupioni strips in the skirt frayed like crazy and got stuck on everything. I know dupioni is shreddy but I didn't expect this level of thread-tangled mess. It's too bad, too, because it looked so pretty in there. But that's a lesson for later.

I might do a post about this on my serious blog, I'm not sure.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Girl has been on spring break so I haven't been doing much sewing. We have had a busy schedule of goofing off to attend to.

I've done some mockups and pattern work for the HB's new Victorian stuff. Yawn.

On Monday I got distracted and made another Colette Moneta from some deep orange jersey I had in recent stash. I love one-day dresses!

I helped The Girl make her very first all-by-herself-on-the-machine project, a simple elastic waist skirt. She did great and she's so proud!

We had our monthly sewing bee last night at the LeDuc house and I worked on a new knitted lace edging.

I am thinking of making enough for a V neckline and wide cuffs for an early 1870s dress. I know I might be bending the rules a little by using knitted lace on an outer garment, but making lace is just too much work to waste it on underwear. And I like knitting lace, so I want to make it and use it where it can be seen.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Sunday we had a Victorian tea to attend at the LeDuc house to celebrate the birthday of one of the costume group gals. I decided I would try some rag curls in The Girl's hair. She just had two little braids for skating but the curls are fancier!

I didn't want to make her sleep in them so I started them during morning cartoons. I dampened her hair with half and half Lottabody setting lotion and water, and wound up locks of hair on strips of muslin. I tied the muslin in knots to keep it on. I remembered reading something about rolling the hair away from the face in front, so I did that. For the rest of her head I was just winging it.

tea 028

She wore them all day, even on errands and to play in the yard. At around 2:30 I gave them a just-in-case blast with the blowdryer, let the hair cool, then unrolled them, nervously. Aaaaaand... they turned out okay! Not perfect, but if I'd wanted perfect I would have used rollers instead of rags. And gotten someone else to do it.

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I tied a nice cotton sateen ribbon around her head. She chose white. The curls stayed in very well and felt so very soft and touchable. I kind of couldn't stop playing with her hair.

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She wore the red plaid again, her only currently-fitting Victorian dress. I think this may have been the last wear for this one. Our next Victorian event is probably not until summer, and I doubt this dress will still fit when cold weather comes around again.

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And her new tweed coat. Hopefully not the last wear for this!

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I decided to wear my green calico. Everything else I have seemed either too summery (the Renoir or the seaside) or too dressy (the green and blue taffeta ruffle dress). So it was down to the green calico or the brown wool, and I am getting a little tired of the brown wool. Plus I feel very like myself in the green calico, and I guess yesterday I just wasn't in a mood for fussiness.

I spruced up the calico with a new ribbon, another one of the cotton sateen ribbons from work. I tied it in a bow and pinned it in place with this antique pin my HB gave me. It's very dark green glass in a gold-tone setting. I also had my winter bonnet and buff-color gloves. I took this photo at home afterward so it's a mirror shot!

tea 046

My HB wore his 1840s suit that he bought from a company in Canada. He also wore the new top hat which I need to remember to re-shape a little with the hat jack.

There were 8 of us total in attendance. I didn't get photos of everyone but here is the tea table!

tea 041

I made two plates of sandwiches: egg salad on soft whole wheat (we don't keep white bread in the house, generally) and smoked trout spread on very dense, very thin German pumpernickel. One of those loaves that comes vacuum-sealed like a little brick. You know.

There were also deviled eggs, raw vegetables, brandied carrots, crackers with goat cheese, apple crisp, three kinds of cake, lemon tart, and a cold joint ("for the men," as Mrs. Beeton puts it). With so many sweets I wish I had made more sandwiches! Or even just bread-and-butter! There was also tea (of course) but mostly we drank champagne, and a teeny pitcher of orange juice was arranged for F.

The Girl behaved very well and her good manners were remarked upon by the tea guests. She LOVED exploring the LeDuc house and pretending we lived there. And she sat very nicely at the table and said please and thank you and was very nice about the food, even for being as picky as she is. I was very proud of her. Of course, she did get restless by the end of the day but that's okay because we knew it was time to leave! So, overall, a lovely event. SO glad we all went.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
So this is what we woke up to today:

first snow 2015 (8)

It's not officially the first snow, but it's the first snow of any real consequence. We got a dusting on Thanksgiving but this is about 3" and it's still coming down. Maybe up to 8" by Wednesday!! Yay!

Apparently this is "Winter Storm Delphi" happening (are we seriously giving every storm a name now?) but it's not stormy here; there's no wind, and the snowfall, while constant, is gentle and soft.

It reminded me I still haven't shared photos of a day The Girl and I spent in the park a few weeks ago, in early November. We took advantage of a beautiful late-autumn day and went to Hidden Falls park, a little bit of nature in the city.

The leaves were all gone by this point. I love the autumn color, but there is also something beautiful about the bare trees. And when all the undergrowth dies off for the season it's easier to walk off the paths.

The warm sunlight coming through these trees makes this day feel like ages ago! But it was only three weeks.

hidden falls (38)

More! )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Girl had her 6th b-day on Monday, which also happened to be Labor Day. That combined with school starting soon meant we decided not to throw a party, and instead we just took her on a fun outing and had her favorite dinner and cake at home.

We left early to go to Como Town, the little amusement park next to the free city zoo and conservatory. We went on rides, ate mini donuts, and went over to the zoo to see the Sparky the Sea Lion show.

Flora's 6th birthday (4)

Flora's 6th birthday (2)

Flora's 6th birthday (3)

I let her drive the bumper car. Mostly.

Flora's 6th birthday (11)

more! )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The day started out a little rocky, with everybody being crabby, especially me. But eventually we got mobilized and started out on the road.

All ready to go!


We took the interstate to Reproduction Fabrics, which turned out to be a pretty tiny shop in the second floor of a bank and office building. I would never have found it if I hadn't been looking.


Read more... )
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Last winter, The Girl started trying some needlepoint on plastic canvas. At first I didn't want to be too prescriptive; I just gave her some pieces of canvas and some string and let her play. But once she got the feel of it we decided to start a project, and chose a coaster from the Kristin Nicholas book Kids Embroidery (recommend!)

She started slow, and I helped her with each stitch, and wove in her ends and threaded her needles. We let it languish for a few months when more exciting stuff was happening, but a couple weeks ago picked it back up again. She really got the hang of it, and the other day she finished. Here it is!

F needlepoint 001

She was very proud! And couldn't wait to start another, this time in checkerboard-ish multicolored squares in a random order. It's going to be a christmas gift for her auntie. (Shh... don't tell!) Now she is threading her own needles, turning the corners herself, and weaving in her own ends. I only help if she isn't sure exactly where a stitch needs to go. Otherwise she is doing amazingly on her own.

I love her focus!

F needlepoint 007

It's a perfect activity for hanging out on the couch, though personally I wouldn't choose this angle.

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F needlepoint 030
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The birthday weekend was a bit of a whirl. I forgot to post about it because I've been recovering! But here we are.

I wanted to do party favors this year, so F and I made some ribbon wands.

I read a few tutorials for these, and my favorite idea to attach the ribbons was to use an eye-screw. So I cut the dowels into 12" pieces, screwed an eye-screw into each, then we painted them with some metallic gold craft paint that I just happened to find in the basement. It was a little old and clumpy, but we stirred it up and it worked.

Flora 5th birthday (2)

For each wand, I cut two 2-yd lengths of ribbon, folded them in half, and tied them onto the eye-screw with a larks head knot. A little blob of hot glue kept them in place. Done!

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All the kids loved them. So did I!


For cake I made chocolate with white chocolate frosting and strawberries, as requested. Holy crap was it good.

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And we played in the backyard, just keeping it mellow. Pretty nice. Cake, sunshine, and beer (or lemonade) is all you really need.

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Flora 5th birthday (30)


And now my girl is FIVE!! What happened?

Flora 5th birthday (35)
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
This is my dollhouse.


Or it was my dollhouse.

I've had it in my basement for years, and I decided I would take it out and fix it up for my little girl. Her 4th birthday is in two weeks, so I did this as a sort of early birthday gift.

Here’s the story.

Where I get wordy and sentimental )

Here’s the next part: what I did.

There are a bajillion photos )

Frankly, she would have been happy with it old and dirty and moldy, or with a cardboard box, but I am so glad I did this, for me. It’s still rough, and definitely not Pinterest-worthy, but it’s mine and it’s my daughter’s and I love it.

I could have bought her a nice new dollhouse – it would have been nicer and cleaner and less work – but I’m so glad we have something that has a little connection to the past.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Here’s what I did for F’s costume.

Flora's dres ren fest 2012 (16)

Lots more photos and construction notes )

The only thing I didn’t like about the costume was that the underskirt didn’t show very much at the front split.  The two colors are so pretty together, so I wish more of the teal was visible.

Other than that, I really liked the way it turned out!   She got tons of comments all day at the festival.  People were amazed when I said I had made it, which always feels odd to me.  I appreciate the compliment, but really?  Where do they think clothes come from?  I don’t mean that to sound snarky, I just think people don’t realize how easy it is to pleat a skirt, and that many people make clothes.

For the chilly festival day, she was wearing lots of underlayers: a long-sleeved white t-shirt, a long-sleeved white thermal tee over that, then her shift; cotton cable-knit tights with Smartwool socks over them; then her skirt, dress, and coif. 

elizabeth_mn: (Default)

Well, we all survived.  It was slightly overcast all morning with sun breaking through around noon.  It was about 50 F, which means that my fingers and nose were chilly but with all the layers the rest of my body was warm.  I really bundled F up under her costume, so I think she stayed pretty warm too.

I was really proud of F all day, this was her first festival, and she walked all day, and didn’t even want me to pick her up much at all.  It was great not to have to drag a stroller around out there.  She really liked the music and dancing, and she spent the entire belly dancers’ show running around with them on the manor green.  It was harder for her with the shows on more delineated stages, because she couldn’t climb up on stage with the performers.



More photos )

I met a group of folks I used to dance with (that one year I worked at the festival, um. . . 2005?) and one had a son just F’s age, so they spent some time playing together, which was nice.  She also talked to an older girl for a while, a daughter of one of the belly dancers, which was sweet.

We had a couple minor meltdowns involving the swing ride and the expensive hand-painted doll she wanted to take home that I said no to, but it was around 1:30, just before we left, so I will chalk it up to tiredness.  Four hours is a long time for a little 3 year old to walk around in a crowd.

Also, we were not allowed to sit down.  F got hysterical if we tried to.  I didn’t mind standing all day, so I let her have that one to avoid fuss.

Everyone loved her costume and she got tons of compliments.  I loved the dress; I thought she looked perfectly adorable all day.  The coif was pure genius, I think.  It kept her warm and gave a nice authentic touch to what might have been an otherwise kind of generic faire costume.

I didn't get great shots of HB's costume or Lainey's either, but she has some photos that I hope she'll share with me soon!  I'll probably make separate posts in the next couple days to record all the costume details.

Despite the bumps, I think we all had a great time, and it was so worth it.  I am really glad we waited until she was old enough to walk all day on her own and enjoy it.  My only regret is that I don’t have more photos of F and me together.  Sometimes it seems like everybody other than me has a photo of themselves with my child, and I just want more tangible evidence that I am the mom!


Nov. 21st, 2011 01:59 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
The DFWCG picnic was awesome! So worth the minor trouble of lugging all the costumes all that way. We had a lovely afternoon.  I was so glad to be able to meet so many amazing people, especially those I’ve been LJ-friends with for years:[livejournal.com profile] jenthompson and [livejournal.com profile] christylee.  I also got to meet [livejournal.com profile] nuranar and I know a few more people I met there are on LJ, but I didn't catch anybody else's username.

photo from Jenthompson.

My photos for the event are here. I’ve got more, but I got sick of uploading. My hubby took most of these.

LJ is being stupid and not doing cuts today so I'm going to try to shove everything else underone giant cut )

I'm so eager to see everyone else's photos!

my owl!

Nov. 1st, 2011 06:56 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
World's Cutest Owl!!  (Now edited with notes.)

I love the way it turned out so much!

The idea came from a quick Google image search for "toddler owl costume."  There were several costumes, both commercial and home-made, that I borrowed inspiration from.

The hat is a cotton rib knit; square with a little scoop in the middle/top to make the points.  I did the wool felt applique first, then I sewed it on the serger with a 1" strip of Peltex in each seam to make it stand up.  I tried hemming the bottom, but it looked like crap, so I just serged the edge and called it done.

The cape is a half-circle of brown cotton twill.  For the feathers, I rotary-cut my wool felt sheets into 4.5" x 3" pieces, then hand-trimmed them to shape.

How I made it, plus more cuteness! )

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Yeah, I finished it a week ago, but now here's the “Girl’s dress, so I don’t forget everything I did” post!

Way more cuteness, plus construction notes )

Anyway, I liked it, and she seemed quite comfortable and enjoyed wearing it. I also have that nice feeling that there is lots of room for improvement on her next dress!

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
We didn't get to stay as long as I would have liked, because of the Girl's naptime and all that, but we had a lot of fun anyway.

I'll probably do a couple separate posts tomorrow about the dresses and how I made them, but for now, a few photos of [livejournal.com profile] undycat and I picnicking (with our families).

Looks like Pink Stripes was the theme of the day!

More!! )

Nearly done

Jun. 1st, 2011 07:45 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Just buttons and buttonholes left to do on my little girl's Victorian dress.

It ended up being based on a ‘sack apron’ from the 1882 Butterick pattern book reprint. I added a wider hem ruffle, and cut it on the bias, but otherwise, it’s basically the same. So I made it as a dress, not an apron, but really, when the apron looks just like a dress, what’s the difference?  It has the gathered skirt back with a sash.

I am starting to get the dropped waist thing, a little.  A wide hem ruffle on a tiny person has basically the same effect as a dropped waist.

The back and more )

I love the block-in-the-face photo. You just can’t plan that!

So far I think she likes it a lot. We've had to do maybe 3 or 4 fittings and she seems quite excited! High praise from a not-quite-2 year old.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
If I’m going to plan a costume event for next spring or summer, I will need to figure out a costume for The Girl.

I have always liked Truly Victorian’s dress for girls, but maybe it is a little old for her. She’ll be 1 ½ or almost 2, depending on when we do the event.  It might be cute to do something a little more rustic, like prairie girl with an apron, but I want to avoid going too generically ye-olde-timey.  And it would be nice to not have to draft my own pattern from scratch.

I’m being vague. Clearly more research is indicated!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I love making everyday clothes, but I wanted to do something just a little dressy for a holiday party this weekend.

I bought the brown/pink corduroy dot fabric a while ago specifically to make a dress to coordinate with the patterned tights (cutest tights ever!) which we got free from a friend in a big bag of old baby clothes. I didn’t end up having enough corduroy for a whole dress, though, so I paired it with a scrap of printed cotton from the stash.

More photos and notes )

This went pretty quick, just a couple hours all together, and it turned out so well! It’s a little roomy, but it’s easier to get a non-stretchy woven on and off if it is looser.

Now that F is walking, I am seeing more dresses in our future. They really don’t make sense for a crawling baby, but she’s really moving with the walking thing lately.
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