Thursday, July 30, 2009

What to Wear?

I have been following Lady Lydia's blog, Living at Home, for a long time but lately she has been doing a series on modest and feminine clothing reflected in older artwork and how to apply that to our daily wardrobes. It has been an excellent source of inspiration for me. I have always been dependent on current fashion to dictate both the style and fabric. I thought that I was choosing things that I liked, but really, I wasn't. Now I have several dresses to make with less than thrilling fabric, but that's okay. They are still nice and will be pretty.

So with the school year coming up, even though we are still smack dab in the middle of summer, I have been trying to figure out what dresses I am going to make for fall and winter. I will probably start with a summer weight dress, but only one. I also need to be sewing for my daughter too. Basically, I have enough sewing to keep me busy for a long time!

Here is my sewing list:

Daughter (Jordyn):
2 Summer dresses for her birthday in August
2 Corduroy dresses for fall/winter
2 Cotton long-sleeve dresses
2 Full slips
5 pairs of modesty shorts/capris
2 knee length bloomers out of flannel
3 winter nightgowns

Brown skirt (already cut out)
Blue skirt
2-3 Blouses
1 Summer Dress
3 Fall/Winter Dresses
3 Full slips
1 Half slip
5 Pairs of bloomers
1-2 Pairs of flannel bloomers
3 Nightgowns

Among all of that, I have several little projects, a handbag (or two or three...), these cute crayon roll-up bags, a couple of stuffed animals and dolls for Christmas gifts and I would also like to make my children each a new quilt for their bed for Christmas. Yes, I am already thinking about what to do for Christmas. I don't know if we'll do Santa Claus this year. It really disturbs me that I am required to do a substantial amount of lying to my children just for the "fun" of it, but we'll see what the husband thinks. Feel free to weigh in on the topic.

I suppose what I am trying to say is: I have a ton of sewing to do!! I love reading progress reports, so I will probably try to post some as well, with pictures. I doubt that those items will be enough to get us completely through the winter, but it shouldn't be too difficult to make a dress here or there once I've gotten into a good routine. I am still looking for an easier dress pattern to make for my daughter (with no buttons or zippers) because I am rarely buying everything for the dress in one stop and I don't like having to wait to find matching buttons or zippers. It's much easier if the pattern is just simple! I just found this one, which comes with two different sleeve options and looks easy.

What I really need now is to carve out some time in my schedule to sew. It shouldn't be terribly difficult because of my current living situation, but it will require me to sacrifice nights lounging around the TV and most likely, my sacrosanct naptime as well. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the end, to know that I have created two wardrobes for my family and moved on to the Christmas gifts...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fun Challenges

In church today we discussed "perfection" using the first few verses of James 1. That whole notion of counting it all joy when you face trials and tribulation wasn't what I wanted to hear this morning (err, yesterday's late!) but it was, as always, a well-timed sermon. So speaking of challenges, despite the constant turmoil of living here, which I know is producing good fruit in my life through the working of the Holy Spirit, I have decided to attempt two different challenges.

The most recent is a home cleaning challenge and you can find the initiator here. I have decided to go through and "spring clean" several areas. Living as I do, in an extended family situation, there are always other people around to help keep things tidy, but there are areas that have been neglected, so I'd like to tend to those.

1. Living room- all that unwanted stuff that collects because you forget to remove it, along with a good vacuuming and window washing.
2. Kitchen- scrubbing the floors, clean out fridge, reorganize pantry and cabinets.
3. Dining Room- mostly the downstairs bathroom and the game closet, which is a wreck.
4. Master Bedroom- suffice it to say, this is the messiest room in the house, and it should not be that way!
5. Back Room- that evil, tiny, multi-purpose room.
6. Garage- where all our leftover junk is stored. Q: Where is that thing that I had when we used to live there? A: I don't know honey, look in the garage. Q: Where is it, in that garage? A: Who knows...see ya next week though, if the spiders don't carry you off first. Sigh.

Hopefully, I will be able to take (and POST) pictures of my progress. I fully expect this challenge to take two weeks. Though my list is pretty short, some of these projects are multi-day types, like my bedroom for example. It should be really nice to get everything clean and tidy, and (gasp) keep it clean, in theory. I have a related resource that I will be reading during these next few weeks called, Home Comforts, which is really a manual on how to keep your home. I found it at my library after two different recommendations. I reserved some "crafty" books as well just to "try them out."

Okay, so the next challenge is much more fun. It involves feminine dressing. I know that not everyone agrees on what is "modest" and what is not, but when we take the time to address modesty in light of femininity, things take an interesting turn. I have been a big fan of Mrs. Sherman's website, Living at Home, for a long time now, even though I don't always agree with everything she says, does, or suggests. However, I love what she has been doing lately. She has been taking older painting that show the feminine clothing of the past and pulling from them inspiration that she translates into something slightly more modern and wearable. Among all these posts have been little nuggets on sewing tips, dressing tips, modesty tips and so on. She prefers for her comments to be anonymous, so there is really a feeling that you can ask whatever you want and not be shamed. I have really become almost addicted to this series (hence the need for the first challenge!). So, she hasn't issued an official challenge per say, but I will endeavor to take pictures of myself during these two weeks spent cleaning so that you can see my feminine wardrobe change as I add new pieces.

One subject I need some help with is hair dressing. If anyone knows some tips or tricks on what to do with medium length thin hair, let me know! I can't stand hair in my face and it is just too hot to leave it down (we get to about 100 degrees these days...with no air conditioning!) I would love to look into older styles, but I really need simple!

***edited to add: I have found another great website for Christian women, called What Women Never Hear and it is a collection of articles geared toward the modern woman written by a man. The few things I have read are very interesting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Check out my Reactions!

I read a little blurb on blogger about these "reactions" that you can add to your posts, and I love the idea, so I set them up. You will find them at the bottom of each post (below my signature line) and you can check the box that is the most appropriate. Just to be sure we are on the same page, some definitions for you...

Inspiring: to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something.
Interesting: the quality of exciting curiosity or holding the attention.
Insipid: lacking flavor, vigor, or interest; boring.

*If for some reason, you find my posts offensive, please comment to me privately.

Random; Space Issues

So what have I been up to this past month? Well, I have been pretty busy falling off the "schedule" wagon, but I expected I would. Now I'm finally trying to get back ON that wagon and get back into homeschooling, cleaning, working out...the usual.

I have been working at staying productive during the day and just these past few days, I've been organizing my tiny back room space which is so multi-functional it's funny. My sister is talking about potentially moving back to Washington in the not-to-distant future and though I'd miss her, I am already planning where my stuff would go in her wonderfully large room! {sheepish grin} Her room sits in the front of the house and has a large bay window and another side window which let in all the wonderful breezes and a lot of light to go along with it. It would make an excellent multi-purpose room for my crafting, sewing, computer/office, homeschooling, toy room. It is at least three times the size of the one I'm using now, so the space would be welcome. Though, I should probably be getting used to cramped conditions because I know that this is far more space than I will have next year when we've moved into our own apartment again. Hopefully, we will find a two bedroom space that works for us. We don't have any living room furniture, so if we have two bedrooms, we could use the living room for that multi-purpose space.

Just some random thoughts. It is not nearly late enough for me to justify spending time on the computer, so I'll have to run now and get back to the cleaning. Maybe I'll post some pictures soon!