Since the excitement of making Emily's coat ended, sewing has been more than a little mundane...I darned socks. (really!) I have lengthened every pair of pajamas that Emily owns. I have attempted to alter a favorite dress that got way too small (just didn't work out). And I have made draft stoppers.
Boring to make, but actually kind of exciting to have finished, because they have made a huge difference! Our house was built in 1919 and still has a lot of original windows, some of which are soooooo drafty. Every year I'd say "I ought to figure out to make some draft stoppers for those" but then I never got around to doing it. Finally, after a week of high winds coming up from the water, I did it.
I didn't bother to even look for any directions online, I'm sure there are plenty. But I just forged ahead and did what I thought would work -- and it did! I measured the windows and then cut rectangles that were the width of each window plus 1-1/2" long; and 7-1/2" wide. I used french seams for extra strength, and seamed the rectangles along the long edge and one short edge. Emily and I then filled them with play sand using a kitchen funnel (that was fun, if a little messy!), and then I rolled the open ends over, pinned them and then very carefully brought them back upstairs and sewed them closed. We put them in the windows and seriously, the temperature in the house climbed within just 2 or 3 hours.
Sewing hasn't been all boring though, Emily has her own machine now and has started making things! But more on that later. Ha ha, and I totally forgot, I made a new flannel robe from a vintage pattern for Evan...where is my brain? More on that later, too!
Over the holidays, we made our Xmas eve trip to Mitsuwa to pick up our Xmas Cake, and while browsing around the section of special fancy stuff for gifts, we found a display of real wasabi. Not the fake stuff you get in restaurants (which is mustard, horseradish and green color) but the actual root. I was excited to see it, and then flabbergasted by the price:
Yup, that's $59.99 per pound. Luckily, a little root doesn't weigh much! So we brought the tiniest one home.
I didn't have the proper grater (I used my trusty basic microplane) and we weren't even going to have sushi in the house while it lasted. But I wanted to see for myself what it was like.
And it really is nothing like the faux wasabi I've had all my life. It's hard to explain, but unlike the horseradish version, the heat dissipates really fast. And it doesn't go to your sinuses at all. At least in comparison. I do not love wasabi paste, but I really liked this! I couldn't just keep eating little pinches of it though, so I made a bowl of wasabi mayo out of it and we had it on sandwiches for a few days. Delicious, and definitely a worthwhile experiment!
So the princess coat has been a huge success. Emily wears her coat every time we go out, without any arguing or whining. She loves it, it keeps her warm, and I don't have to put up with the comments from strangers I used to get for letting her run around coatless in winter. So it's been a total win-win. In fact, it's been a win-win-win, because I entered a sewing contest with it and I won 2nd prize! (And by just 1 vote difference between 2nd and 1st!)
Pretty exciting. And, now I think I'm ready to tackle a coat for myself after thinking it over for a year or two!
So far, 2010 itself has been pretty alright. Here's hoping it keeps on going that way.