Thursday, February 4, 2016

Words and Wool

 One of the things I love about winter is that there is more indoor time for the possibility of creating! January has been a fairly productive month that way, probably because I brought my sewing machine out of my craft closet into my bedroom. I did this because I am helping with the sewing for Rachel's high school production of Mary Poppins. With the sewing machine cluttering up my bedroom I feel more inclined to get a bunch of sewing done before I put it away!

I got another owl made for a belated Christmas gift. These owls are so fun!

I think my favorite project was turning a pair of too-small trousers into a skirt! 

I bought this jacket/trouser suit a year ago for probably $5 at a thrift store intending to cut it up for wool. But, I was so in love with the jacket (which fit me) that I decided to keep the jacket and just cut up the trousers. However, a year went by and I still didn't have a really good option to wear with the jacket. The trousers were still several inches too small, and I didn't really want trousers anyway. Why not make a skirt?! 

Fortunately, the recreation went well and I was even able to salvage the lining for this skirt! I took the waistband off and added a few inches, let out the side seam, opened up the inseam and sewed new front and back seams. I'm sure there are plenty of good tutorials out there if you want to try this yourself!

I was very pleased with the results. I made sure to leave a little dart at the back so I could walk normally in the skirt. Good thing the trousers never shrunk when I carelessly washed them!!!

It's also been fun to do some recreating for the Mary Poppins play. This women's coat was turned into a man's costume with specific measurements for the individual who is playing the Admiral.

I love trying to create replicas of things and it was fun to take a photo and make the bars on this jacket match.

I also took a man's trench coat and created this British police jacket using buttons I found at Goodwill Outlet on a different coat.

I finally redecorated my mantel and living room for the post-Christmas winter months. I needed some sort of different pillows on the couch so took these needlepoint pieces I found at Goodwill Outlet and sewed them into pillows.

 And I needed a painting for my mantel and this is just what I wanted! (Note: mantel is pictured on blog header.)

 I found this darling miniature version of the exact doll I had as a child -- Holly Hobbie's friend 'Heather'. She makes me happy. :) I've also managed to finish sewing this bright and cheery quilt together and get it sandwiched with the back and some batting. Now for quilting -- I will be using perle cotton size 8 so things go quickly.

I managed to snag a bunch of vintage sheets at Goodwill Outlet this week. I use them for tablecloths as well as for backing on quilts.

I'm making wonderful progress on my super easy Ramona Cardigan. One sleeve is almost cast off!

Now to switch passions to reading......

Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi was a gripping Revolutionary War story that I read with the children. It is historical fiction and just about all the people and events (except the main character) are based on true happenings. The book takes place in New York City and is told from the perspective of Sophia, a young teenager who vows to avenge her brother's death and therefore takes up spy work. The book is very well written and made me interested to know more about what went on in NYC during the Revolution.

Making Choices by Alexandra Stoddard. Since it was January I wanted a bunch of books that make me focus on home. Alexandra Stoddard always does that for me. Her works aren't brand new, and I suppose she can be a bit eccentric, but she never fails to inspire me and she did so with this book. This book was more about saying no and being true to yourself rather than feathering the nest but I really enjoyed it and took some important things away.

No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice--Instead of Good--Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer Degler was another read in the category of recovery from codependency. Definitely helpful and plenty to think about.

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard by Kara Tippetts was a difficult but important book written by a young mother who lost her battle with breast cancer last year. Kara recounts in honest words what her battle looked like and how God saw them through it. It is certainly a helpful book to read if you are going through a hard struggle or know someone suffering with cancer or other major illnesses and trials.

I Am Murdered: George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson, and the Killing That Shocked a New Nation by Bruce Chadwick. This was such a fascinating and well-researched book! I particularly enjoyed touring the Wythe House in Williamsburg last fall and so when this book was recommended to me I snatched it up! Through it I learned what a remarkable man George Wythe was, who he mentored, more about the lives of the founding fathers, and also how messed up politics were even back there at the start of our nation! Nothing new under the sun! The book almost reads like a mystery as you are drawn into finding out whether or not the murderer is convicted or acquitted.

Winter Holiday (Swallows & Amazons) by Arthur Ransome. It seems like we always have an Arthur Ransome in the car to listen to. He's our comfort listening. Winter Holiday is the perfect thing to listen to in January! (or any other cold and snowy month)

That's it for now. Ginny has more ideas for knitting and reading over on her Yarn Along.

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Pom Pom said...

Hi Heather! Your new suit is very cute! I like Alexandra Stoddard, too.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I love what you did to make that skirt!

Becki said...

That skirt looks awesome! And I loved seeing and reading about your costume makes. Two of my sons were in high school dramas and making costumes and props were among some of my most frustrating and rewarding endeavors during those years. I especially loved those military bars. How clever!

Elise said...

That skirt looks amazing. You've been so busy! Love all your pretty fabric :)

Unknown said...

Wow you look LOVELY in your new outfit! I love the mantel painting and your pillows are darling! :)

I'll have to look into Stoddard...I am simply SAVORING The Book of Stillmeadow by Gladys Taber. I can't even go fast through her titles if I wanted too!

Anonymous said...

As usual, I am so impressed by all that you manage to do, including costumes - but transforming the "trews" into a skirt and making the suit just *perfect* for you tops the list! Well done. I hope you have lots of opportunities to wear it because it looks great on you.

Stephanie said...

Fantastic sewing projects! The revamped suit is terrific. Mary Poppins is still one of my favorite movies. So fun to have as a HS play! (sjn821 on Rav)