Saturday was Rosalie’s college graduation (with honors! We’re so proud of her.) I quite like what Isabel did with her hair while waiting through the college president’s interminable speech.
Monthly Archives: May 2011
This top was my Christmas present to Rosalie. I designed it around a beautiful but fairly small piece of old lace. I sewed the sides of the piece of lace into princess seams, then gathered in the body of the top. It ended up having a very wide square neckline, with the straps so far off to the sides they look like cap sleeves in some of these pictures, but it was important to me to use the entire piece of lace. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Why was I up on a ladder in my last post? To take this photo!
Of course after we took it we thought of the green door which was a much better place for these photos. Such a pretty color, and no need for anyone to climb on anything.
I’ll be honest with you – there’s no good reason for me to be up on a ladder picking lemons. There are plenty of lemons on the other side of the tree, easily reached from the ground. But I got out the ladder to take pictures of Rosie (she was sitting on the fence and I wanted to be up at her height) and I liked the look of it so much I had to include it in some photos of its own.
Like all the cute clothes I wear but didn’t make, this skirt belongs to Isabel. It’s vintage, from the 50s we think, and has obviously been hemmed up several times. I love the summery citrus print. Could there be a better skirt to pick lemons in?
One of the hardest parts of selling clothing on Etsy is getting people to model. I’ve been both modeling and taking my photos (with a remote) since my sister Isabel went off to college. I’m learning to judge where I need to stand to get the picture I want and to focus on the spot where I’m going to be, but I’m looking forward to taking pictures of Isabel again when she comes home for the summer. Prima does all her own modeling and I take most of the pictures, which works well for most things, but presents a few challenges. Men’s clothing is one of those challenges, but for her latest vest we just ignored the problem and did a photo shoot with her dressed as the gentleman she imagined for it.
Her favorite photos from the shoot can be seen in the Etsy listing.
Even though I have a bit of trouble with set in sleeves, most of the dresses I make have them. This is because I lived in Sydney, Australia for four years, where in the summer (and even the spring and autumn) my shoulders would burn just walking to the corner store. I designed dresses that kept my shoulders and the back of my neck out of the sun without being too warm. This was one of the most successful, mostly thanks to the very thin, soft cotton fabric. Sadly the very open, almost cheesecloth like weave makes it a very fragile fabric, and it has not lasted well. But I will keep wearing it until it completely falls apart (or I find fabric like this again) because there is nothing more comfortable on a hot sunny day.
I’m not the only one in my family who likes to sew. I’ve written before about my sister Rosalie’s projects, but our dad also made his own clothes for many years. One of his sewing projects is still in use.
Many years ago, before I was born, my father traveled through Morocco. Along the way he met a trader headed for Timbuktu who lived in a big tent. It was made of coarse fabric that kept out the sand but let the wind blow through, and watching the moon through the roof of the tent, my father decided he wanted to live in a tent like this. When he returned home he bought yards and yards of water-resistant canvas and an industrial sewing machine and got to work. He went out into the woods and found two small straight trees for the main support poles. He made a waterproof lining and an optional floor. After many weeks work, he had an enormous tent.
These days the tent comes out once a year, for our May Day celebration. In rainy years it keeps us dry, and with the front rolled down it’s a warm place to eat a picnic lunch on a cold day. In sunny years like this one it provides shade and a quiet place to take a nap. Our May Day celebration is a large one, with a May Pole dance, singing, a play put on by the children, a potluck lunch, relay races, and an egg toss that just about everyone joins in on, but my favorite part of the day is lying in the tent drinking tea with our friends at the quiet end of the day.
The tent is also a nice place to take pictures out of the harsh mid day light. Like an over sized light box.
I’m wearing one of Prima’s creations, which can be found at Ranunculus Market.