Monday, March 7, 2011

Bella Pants

Dear Mom,
Once upon a time ago, I was a seventh grader.  A trying-to-be-rebellious-but-not-quite-able-to-do-it-under-the-watchful-eye-of-Daddy teenager.  You decided it might be "good" for me to take some sewing lessons.  Every Saturday morning for I-don't-know-how-many-weeks, we woke up early and you drove me into Westfield to Mrs. Farnham and Farnham Fabrics.  She was old.  And her breath smelled like coffee.  And her fabric was "ugly".  ***teenage harumph***  I remember sewing a kelly green pair of pants, which I wore well into high school (with my navy blue and kelly green whale sweater!) and I remember sewing a golden pair of velour shorts.  I also remember totally loving Mrs. Farnham (and her sweet old husband who used to hang around the shop, puttering about and whistling under his breath!) and the smell of her coffee breath but there was NO WAY I was ever going to let you know that.  Mrs. Farnham was gentle and kind and probably used to many trying-to-be-rebellious-but-not-quite-able-to-do-it-under-the-watchful-eye-of-Daddy teenagers!  She did indeed teach me how to sew and she let me pick out ugly patterns and fabrics without a word, judgmental or otherwise!  She taught me that I should never be afraid to cut out a pattern or sew in zippers and to always! always! always! press open my seams!  It has been thirty-more years since I've seen Mrs. Farnham but every time I smell someone's coffee breath, I always think of her.
I don't sew very often but every time I sew something, I LOVE it!  Every time I sew something, I wonder, "Why don't I sew more often?!"  I really do love to sew!  I'm not super great at reading patterns but I have knit enough to know how things are put together and that I can cheat my way through the pattern!  So I found a darling pants pattern that I wanted to try for Pipsqueak.   The pattern is called "the Bella pants" by Pink Fig Patterns.  The pants are absolutely adorable but the pattern . . . well . . . . let's just say I did a LOT of cheating!!

I did a single ruffle with no pockets.

For the expert seamstress, this project will take maybe an hour; for someone like me, with sewing experience but struggles with reading patterns, a weekend.  I LOVED sewing these pants and have another pair all ready to go!  I also took great care in pressing open all of my seams!  Mrs. Farnham would be so proud!

This post brought to you by the color Green

He who plants a seed,

Beneath the sod;

And waits to see -

Believes in God.

- Author Unknown

Dear Mom,
Last Tuesday I got a head start on my vegetable garden. I've never tried starting seeds indoors before, and I'm certain that by some standards mine is a laughably small set up, but space is at a premium and I needed that "to plant a seed is a hopeful deed" feeling. I planted some spinach, romaine lettuce and two varieties of tomatoes. The tomato seeds are another new trick for this old dog. I saved some seeds from the heirloom tomato plants I had in my garden last year- the beefsteak type "Mortgage Lifter" and my personal favorites, "Red Pear". I ate those delicious red pear tomatoes like candy. I hope my efforts at harvesting those seeds and growing the same delicious tomatoes from them are successful.
The tray I purchased to start the seeds is divided into individual little peat pots and has a plastic dome lid to create its own little greenhouse. I filled the pots with a seed starter soil mix, set the tray on a heating pad to warm the soil and placed it on a tv tray in front of a window. Every morning I mist the soil with water and look for signs of life.
Yesterday I found this-
Its a spinach sprout!
Today there were more spinach sprouts, a couple romaine sprouts and LOTS of Red Pear tomato sprouts. I'll probably have plants to share. Wouldn't that be wonderful?!

Progress continues on the room swap upstairs. Painting the walls meant that more Stuff got moved into our room. Which was all fine and I was keeping the "we've got beds to sleep in and clean clothes" attitude going to block out any distress that might creep up on me when I looked at all the clutter. You know, the means to an end and all that. Except yesterday I wanted NEEDED to shower and reaching my clean undergarments required some strategic moves.

I'll be glad when things get back to "normal" around here.

The walls are painted (yes, it is that green- we've been asking the Young Lady if she will be able to sleep) and the woodwork has been touched up. The carpet is being cleaned in stages as I clean a section, wait for it to dry and then move furniture out of the way to do the next portion. My goal is to have the carpet finished tomorrow and we can start moving things back IN.
And believe it or not, but even with all of that going on I've been able to make some really good progress on my sweater. I'd show you a picture, but right now it is so scrunched up on the needles that a picture would not make any sense or be at all appealing. Just so you know, the side and sleeve seams have been sewn together, the pocket linings finished and the cardigan/neck border is in progress. I am at that point in the project where I can see the finish line and I am filled with both excitement to see the end result and fear that it will really just remain a blob of knitting that no human being could ever possibly wear.