Sunday, August 23, 2009

one day left!

The vintage pattern archive at the University of Rhode Island granted free access to all comers for one week; ending tomorrow unfortunately! I haven't even scratched the surface. Check it out here (you need to use Firefox, everyone says). They've got over 48,000 patterns, dating from 1868 to the present, and you can see details on each including year, cover and construction drawings. If you're super-talented you could probably work out the pattern from the drawings, but for the rest of us it's an amazing reference guide and wish-list producer. Also, loads of fun! I've found lots of patterns I want, but also there's lots of stuff that's just fun to look at. Check out this crazy envelope art from 1966 for aprons:


And this "Yeah Yeah Yeah Jacket" from 1965, with skirt or pants. Hmmm...what could this be referencing?


I could spend days just browsing and writing down pattern numbers. Go check it out while you still can!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009



Emily was thrilled beyond belief to pick (and then eat) her first ripe strawberry. I think this morning she'll have a whole handful! It's amazing to see just how fast they ripen:

watch it ripen

The cherry tomato plant is still producing like gangbusters although nothing is ripe -- her other tomato hasn't yet flowered. And soon we'll see what happened to the radishes -- I'm thinking no radishes, just greens. But we'll see.

Now if it would just cool off enough for me to get back to some sewing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

eye spy...something red

eye's all about the food, apparently! We must have some red things around this house...but food is what comes to mind first.

This week's eye spy theme brought to you by Ellieboo!

Friday, August 14, 2009

some sewing....

Emily after the library

Here's a dress I managed to finish off in between the two MASSIVE FLOODS we just went through (a week apart -- the first was due to a broken washing machine, which was at least easily fixed -- it just flooded out our storage space and caused plenty of grief; the second was our water heater going bad -- which called for a new heater, ouch! But at least we hadn't put anything back into the storage space. And did I mention the mouse that tried to break the refrigerator? My house is trying to kill me, seriously)

Anyway, where was I? This was originally a Hannah blouse I'd cut out in early spring, just from the apple fabric. I never sewed it up because Emily went all-dresses-all-the-time, but finally I converted it into a dress by adding the huge ruffle and changing the sleeves to match. FOE (fold over elastic) trims and gathers the sleeves and neck; I also added a band of FOE across the chest to make it more fitted. It came out very cute, and I would definitely make this dress conversion again!

All accessories by Emily, check out the flickr photo page for notes!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

eye spy...inspiration

A recent inspiration I have found is Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing -- it's the saga of a young New Yorker who is working her way through the 1952 edition of Vogue's Book for Better Sewing, a sort of Julie & Julia for vintage sewing as she reluctantly admits. I don't remember how I first found it, but following Gertie's sewing has re-inspired me to sew more for myself AND to start tackling my vintage patterns again. Here's a recent favorite of mine from her blog:

full skirt 002.jpg

That is her "full, gathered skirt", in a lovely large-scale gingham silk -- a.k.a. project two from VoNBBS, and it's the one that finally pushed me into digging out my patterns (purging over half of them) and picking a few to sew. We'll see how that goes! In the meantime, I'll keep reading Gertie and hopefully she'll keep on blogging!

This week's eye spy theme brought to you by Cindy of Bug and Pop!

Friday, August 7, 2009

in the garden

cherry tomatoes

Things have been doing well in the garden, considering our very late start and sudden adjustment to lots of sun! We've taken advantage of the sun and put in some vegetables (and fruit!) wherever we could squeeze them in. Above, some very quickly-producing cherry tomatoes; below some strawberries beginning to form. We also have larger tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, carrots, radishes and pumpkins; and a butterfly garden taking shape. So far, so fun!

future strawberries

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

crazy doritos

wasabi-mayo doritos

I rarely eat junk food, but maybe once a year there will be a strange flavor of doritos I'll have to try (or, I'll just get the urge to try some anyway) and I'll buy a bag. This time, what called to me were these wasabi-mayonnaisse doritos! I was afraid they would be too wasabi-hot...but actually, they were sickly sweet, I guess for the mayo part of the flavor? Anyway, super-nasty. I barely made a dent in the bag before finally giving up and tossing them. Well, it was fun to try!

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