This is my now 10-year-old in 2009, wearing the brand-new bunny hat I crocheted for her that spring. I also crocheted the border of her homemade dress and a cape, which she refused to wear.
This is the same hat on my 2-year-old yesterday. The crocheted border caught in daughter #1’s shoe and fell off during Sunday School 7 years ago, so although I saved both dress and lace, I pulled out neither for this Easter. (Bygones, right?) And the little cape that was so unloved back in 2009 later became a dress up box staple and was used so much it became ratted and tangled and was eventually thrown away. But the hat! It got a second life, right? And it was really nice to see it on daughter #2 this Easter. Happy Easter!
Daphne has really been on the baby social circuit this spring. While I may not be any sort of homeschool mom socialite, I do at least leave the house dressed as a grown-up sometimes, to go to the Kentucky Oaks or out with girlfriends, or my 20th (eek!) high school reunion. Daphne doesn’t really like it when I leave the room she’s in, and I don’t really like to hook my breasts up to machinery, so my third child/path-of-least-resistance parenting strategy is to just bring her with me everywhere. It’s kind of fun–I’ve become like the Crazy Cat Lady of Babies. And Daphne has been lots of interesting places. These pictures were taken at the Oaks, which is the day of racing that happens on the day before the Kentucky Derby. Daphne and I both wore hats, in keeping with tradition, and I made a little overdress for her with her name and “Little Winner” embroidered on the front. It might be the ultimate one-use outfit, but I justified that it was made with hand-me-down fabric.
This picture was taken on Easter. I might have made dresses for the girls, but when Costco put out cute dresses in both their sizes for $15.99 each I knew that sewing their outfits would not give me as much of a thrill as jumping on that deal. It’s so hard to find store-bought matching clothes for girls so far apart! I did make my own skirt, from the “Flirty Skirt” pattern in the book Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, which is a companion book to the other One-Yard Wonders book I’ve blogged about before. The skirt was the first project I’ve tried from the book and I was pleased with it. It was a little hard to find 3-inch elastic, and I think if I make the skirt again I’ll just use stretchy knit for the waistband, but I was impressed that I got a whole skirt that covered my butt decently and used only one yard of fabric.
So I think my seasonal allergies are officially killing me, and perhaps my blog as well. I’m so groggy but can’t sleep well, and I can’t stay up late for my solo creative time either since I’m so tired–all of which means that I’m just not getting quite as much done as I used to, and I feel all red-nosed and nasty. I’ll quit complaining now, but I’d like it noted that it is not cute or vintage or handmade or (since this comes up so often on my blog) sexy to have a stuffy nose for three weeks straight. Not one bit. Bleah.
Moving on, I’ve actually managed to get a lot done in the past few weeks anyway even if some of it may never make it into my little record here. This is my sweet family at Easter brunch, one of us popping decongestant pills as needed.
Dorothy’s dress was a joint venture by me and my mother. Mom sewed a simple tank dress out of white eyelet and I crocheted colorful little flowers to decorate it. I used cotton embroidery thread so the scale of the flowers would match the eyelet fabric, then made a very large one in worsted weight yarn for her hat. She looked sweet and pretty and it was fun to do a project with my mom for my daughter. Now the white dress has chocolate stains all over it, so I’m trying to devise a creative laundry solution!
I sewed my own dress from McCall’s M6027. I fell in love with this fabric at Joann’s a couple months back and finally got around to stitching it up a couple days before Easter. I think it is a Lisette poplin. The pattern worked up very easily on the serger–no messing with clipping around the bust or fussing with how all the skirt godets line up. The serger magically makes it all smooth. The problem with this pattern didn’t arise until I tried the thing on and realized the shoulder straps are set too far apart for my frame. I re-serged here and there, clipped, stitched and tucked and finally got the bodice so tight and the straps so ridiculously high that I couldn’t put my arms down when the back was zipped up. Right at the point I was read to throw it in the trash I took the scissors and cut big chunks out of the fabric under the armpits and that was when things finally started to improve. I sewed it back together and it fit acceptably well. The straps are still not in quite the right place for my shoulders and something around the arms looks a bit uneven, but if I keep the cardigan on no one will notice! The fabric is so pretty it is worth it. I altered the pattern a bit and re-sewed the dress out of a thrift store sheet to see if I could get the straps right on a second go-round. I love the theory of the pattern with the swishy skirt and the quick serger seams. I want to sew it out of this fabric and have it be a “cocktail” dress, in a breezy casual summer cotton. It went better the second time but then bagged a bit in the front. If I get my courage up I’ll order the fabric and do it one more time, with hope for a perfect fit.
My last Easter project was a gift to my church. Our pastoral staff organized an Easter vigil this year, a unique and special service that involved traveling around all the grounds of the church and involving various lay and clergy readers. They needed two three-ring binders in which to stash the materials for the readers and someone thought of me because I sometimes do book-binding. It’s much more satisfying to make books with more attractive bindings–traditional stitching or screw posts–but the three-ring kind was serviceable here so that’s what I did. It was fun to get back into a craft I haven’t spent much time on lately. I hadn’t even purchased book board in Dorothy’s life, but I was encouraged to find that I could buy it locally. I decorated the binders with illustrations drawn for the service by another church member, which I then embossed with powder and heat. I think this project will inspire me to do some more books in the upcoming months. I made a baby book for Dorothy but haven’t done the same for Worth so that seems like a good place to start.
Dorothy was in her ballet recital this weekend. The cuteness of a dozen girls in fluffy tutus under bright lights really can’t be exaggerated–it’s priceless. We love the low-stakes casualness of the recital our studio puts on. The girls have every reason to feel good and no reasons to feel anxious. I took Dorothy to the park near our house last week to take some informal pictures in her recital costume. This one is my favorite. Such a free-spirited dancer!
I finished our Easter dresses yesterday, just in the nick of time. Dorothy’s is Simplicity 2237 and mine is Butterick B4443. I lined both of them fully in a lighter lavender. I made hers in a size 5 but it is a bit wide for her. It’s still cute and I’ll use the pattern again but next time I’ll cut it to be more narrow. I made mine in a size 14 even though I’m usually a size 10 because the pattern measurements suggested that’s what I’d require, but it was wrong. The dress is too big all over, especially the armholes. I felt discouraged when I looked at our pictures because after going to the trouble of making us matching dresses I wanted to like the way I looked! It is never flattering to wear clothes that don’t fit. Now I’ve ripped up much of the bodice and taken in the seams, so next time I wear the dress it should look better. I will probably make this pattern again because I still like the overall style, simpleness of construction, and that it doesn’t take much fabric, but next time I’ll make it in my usual size.
I used inexpensive cottons for our dresses so they are both comfortable and washable. The contrasting bands around the waist are of a pretty batik. I glued fabric and ribbon flowers onto plain white headbands so we could match in accessories too. I suggested that Dorothy make a practical footwear choice like me but she’d have none of it! As it turned out the rain stopped, so I could have worn my (planned) white sandals after all.
The little imp edging in our picture here is my niece Lila. She doesn’t need a purple dress to look like me, does she? Don’t tell her that, though–it makes her furious!
I bought these gorgeous eggs before my first married Easter. We were still setting up our little household and I wanted some non-hokey holiday decorations. I had previously seen Pysanky eggs at a display somewhere and I found that I could order a whole box of similar ones on eBay to be delivered right to me from some enterprising woman in the Ukraine. They were spendier than plastic ones, but they’ve been worth every penny. I don’t think they are considered true Pysanky eggs because they are wooden and appear to be painted rather than done by wax-relief, but they’re so beautiful and I love getting them out every year. I keep them in a glass bowl on my dining table.
This year I decided to use my Ukrainian eggs as inspiration for an Easter project with Dorothy. I showed her the eggs and told her a bit about them, then we made our own. Like the inspiration eggs, ours are made of wood. I first painted them a solid color, some with acrylics and some with the latex paint sample jars I’ve been collecting during our home renovations. Then we used permanent markers and acrylic paints to put on our designs. Ours are not as intricate as the Ukrainian eggs, but maybe the Ukrainian artists weren’t trying to paint just beyond the reach of an impatient toddler! Once the designs were finished and dry I sealed them with a high-gloss glaze. That made them look shiny like our Ukrainian eggs and it seems to have made them more durable, seeing as how they’ve hit the wooden floor any number of times thus far but don’t seem worse for wear. We only painted some of the wooden eggs I bought; it’s my hope to do this project for several years in a row and see how our skill progresses.
I’m also hoping this project excuses me from dying hard-boiled eggs this year because I secretly dislike that project. I think hard-boiled eggs taste and smell nasty and the project is so messy. Dying shirts is worth the mess because after the project is over you get a shirt. After you dye eggs you just have colored hard-boiled eggs which taste just as bad as the originals! Plus Dorothy already dyed some at school and at Grandma’s. Now I’m just justifying, because clearly I’m a bad mom who is trying to get out of dying Easter eggs. 🙂
A few fun tidbits. I tried talking to Dorothy about the Christian Easter story last week, after listening to her run on about Bunny protocol for a while. Christmas was so much easier–a baby, a promise, some wise men with gifts. (There was a mermaid/myrrh mixup for her, but whatever. Mermaids seem like a much better gift when you’re a preschooler.) Easter required a little more nuance and is more difficult to comprehend at any age. She listened, then said, “Mommy, I don’t want to talk about this any more.” Well, neither did I. I only have a masters degree in Divinity from the University of Chicago. Who am I to try to explain resurrection to a four-year-old? So I’m hoping maybe the version they gave in Sunday School was easier for her to digest? Which brings me to Sunday School…
Nana purchased adorable pastel taffeta dresses for the three granddaughters to wear on Easter. Dorothy is photographed in hers above. The posed photograph involved careful timing (mid-morning, not too close to nap, right after feeding the baby) and bribery with chocolate to gain Dorothy’s absolute cooperation. Part of the chocolate deal was that she wear exactly what I pick out. I rarely choose her clothes, other than to make weather-appropriate suggestions. So she goes around looking like a preschooler who picks out her own clothes, which really is totally fine with me. It’s not that I can’t control my kid; it’s that I pick my battles. Anyway, when Easter actually arrived today she did decide to wear the dress, but chose to wear black and yellow Batman socks under the white patent leathers. And I have to say, it was kind of cute in a punk/chic sort of way. I thought she was an adorable Easter kid, and was even feeling sort of smug in my ability to let her wear Batman socks to church (’cause come on, not all Moms would have gone with it!), until I realized she also went to church wearing no underpants. I have no idea if the people in her Sunday School class figured that one out or not. I wasn’t there. I know not what was said about Jesus and the cross, nor what kind of peep show my daughter gave. Hallelujah?
This picture is me and my sweet baby on Easter. He’s wearing a sweater and booties I crocheted for him right after I found out I was pregnant last spring. It had a matching hat, but gender-neutral blue and orange turned a little infant drag-queenish when I put him in the pom-pom hat, so the hat got tossed into the donations pile. Worth looked adorable and quite appropriately masculine. And he wore a diaper–I saw to that! I wore a ruffly shirt I sewed while I was pregnant and a dragon skirt I sewed last summer. We kind of matched, color-wise, which was no accident. 🙂 Since I’ve already gone there with the underpants disclosure, I’ll continue the bawdy theme of this post and state that while Worth did not poo on anyone during the family Easter celebration as his sister and cousins each had during their first Easters (a family tradition, it seems!), he did make use of his uniquely male ability to shoot a fountain of pee all over Nana’s sunroom sofa. Happy Easter everyone!