Late afternoon light glittering on this field was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. You can almost see in these photos the way the air above the field sparkled and the grass glowed. We came here at the end of my last day in Brattleboro, and it was a perfect end to a wonderful weekend.
My dress is less than perfect. I love the fabric: a cotton lawn printed with art deco pansies. I’m happy with the back, which is low but bra friendly, and the general silhouette. The neckline is ok, although I had to put a pleat in the front after I cut it out too wide, but I think that fixed it. The problem is the elastic waist. The dress really isn’t big enough on top to warrant an elastic waist, and it’s a struggle to get into, especially when you’ve decided you need an outfit change out in a field with a couple of friendly strangers asking where you’re from. It really needs a side zipper, and someday I may add one.
Photos by Prima.
It took me ages to get pictures of this coat. I made it back in November, and I’ve worn it almost every day since. But somehow it took until now to take a photo.
The coat is fitted with princess seams on top, with overlapping center panels like in a double breasted coat. But I only put buttons on one side, leaving it asymmetric. There’s a wide waistband cut in one piece connecting the front and back of the coat, leading into a pleated skirt with welt pockets. It has a shawl collar, which I made a bit longer than the neck opening/collar stand and gathered up with a strip of fabric to make a sort of bow. I’ll put up a tutorial for how to make this sort of collar if anyone’s interested.
This was my original sketch of the coat, which ended up pretty accurate. The biggest change I made was to put in welt pockets, because side seam pockets made the skirt lumpy. I also ended up adding a snap to hold the floppy end of the collar bow in place.
The leaves don’t really change color back home in California. Sure there’s a maple tree planted here and there, but the native oaks and ubiquitous eucalyptus are evergreen. So this is my first colorful autumn and I can’t believe how beautiful the parks look.
I think I mentioned before that I wear these pants pretty much every day. I just love them. One of the projects in my pile of things to make before I buy any more fabric is a corduroy version for fall. I’ll make them with slightly narrower legs, because the thicker fabric will stand away from the leg a bit more, but other than that I’m using the same pattern. These pants are all I ever want to wear.
The flower crown is one of Prima’s crepe paper creations. The flowers decorated my birthday present, and after I put one in my hair she twisted them into a crown for me.
My sister Rosie spends most of her day around toddlers, so she tends to wear jeans and shoes she can run in. What she really wants to wear is high heels and crisp wool skirts, so when she presented her research at a conference this spring, she was happy to have the excuse make herself a new skirt. She settled on this gray suiting wool and simple a-line shape, with a narrow waistband and an invisible zipper. The sweater she’s wearing with it is a long sleeve version of the Shaped Lace Tee from Knitting Lingerie Style, which is probably my favorite knitting pattern. A pair of simple lace stitches with just enough going on to keep it interesting, and a beautiful finished product.
I recently made myself a couple of stripey shirts. I don’t think they look much alike, and I know you won’t either, but when I went to show David the second one he said “weren’t the stripes darker yesterday? Did the cat sit on it?” I explained that they were different shirts and he pointed out that they were similar patterns and both loose fitting, and then he looked sort of sad. So I promised to make something different next time.
This shirt is for David – much closer fitting than the others, and in his favorite color. I love the stripey shirts and I’ll wear them to work this week, but over the weekend it’s nice to wear something that makes David smile.
If your boyfriend is pouting about your very easy summer shirts and you want something fitted you can whip up in between orders for other people (or whatever fills your weekend), this is a very simple top. It’s more or less my draped t-shirt without the sleeves. I made mine as wide as my waist at the waist and tapered out a couple of inches above and bellow, which makes for a fairly close fitting top. For a more standard t-shirt fit, match your bust measurement and taper in and then out again from that. At the armpits curve in slightly in front (less than you would for a set in sleeve), and a bit more in back. This will make the front wider than the back, giving the top a slight cowl neck. Cut the neckline straight across. Sew up the sides, and hand sew the corners of the neckline together.
This dress was based on two patterns from the book Lace Style. I used the shape of the Essential Tank Top, and the lace pattern from the Ooh La Lace Dress. I used crochet cotton, and my lace repeats ended up slightly smaller than the original. I knit it a few years ago as a dress for Isabel, but she’s grown a bit (or just stopped wearing her dresses quite so short), and we generally treat it as a top these days.
I spent a quiet Sunday afternoon lying in the grass watching the clouds and taking a few pictures. It’s been a while since I had a real day off, and it was lovely.
I’m wearing my picnic dress. There are instructions on how I made it here, but it’s not the most detailed tutorial. Feel free to ask me about anything confusing.
Everything has been very busy this past month, and it hasn’t really calmed down yet. I still want to tell you all about how to make jeans, but it may take me a while to get to it. In the meantime, here is what Isabel wore to a tea party this weekend.
It’s been a very foggy summer here in the Bay Area. It’s just as well, since I like to wear jeans to work (I handle rats and they’re scratchy and not very clean), but it’s not very summery. I’m a little bit jealous of any of you who are out in a sundress today. I won’t be leaving the house without tights.