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I’ve had this bee in my bonnet for a while, thinking that a pattern for formalwear could be made in more casual fabric, with more casual details, and look good. Here is my first attempt to put this into practice.

I used Simplicity 4270, a reprint of a formalwear pattern from the 1930’s. The fabric is a knit print someone gave me and the binding is a knit that I cut from a twinset wadder. I cut the neckline much higher both in front and in back than the pattern called for. I’m only 5’2″ and what only shows the average woman’s collar bone will show much more of me. I knew that if I cut it too high, I could cut some away later, but if it were too low, it would be difficult to add to it. I also shortened it significantly. The shorter version of this pattern finishes at 52 inches long from the base of the neck. On me that drags the floor, and I wanted this to look less formal. I also cut the bodice back on the fold, eliminating the center seam and allowances. In retrospect, I wish I’d also cut the front bodice on the fold. It would look better. One other thing: because I was using a stretchy-but-not-too-stretchy knit, I cut one size smaller than I normally would have.

Since the original pattern calls for very nice fabric, it also calls for a very nice finish – lining through both the bodice and skirt. My fabric is much more casual and heavier than what would probably be used for formalwear. I wanted a more conventional finish for knits, so I found the old wadded twinset from which to cut binding. It picks up one of the colors of the print and creates both contrast and interest.

After I got the dress and jacket put together I tried them on. It doesn’t fit through the body now, but might if I excersize. I decided I did not care for the extra fabric at the back of the neck on the jacket.

So I cut it off.

I haven’t hemmed either the dress or the jacket sleeves yet. Maybe later. Maybe not.

We caught our mouse last night. The girls came to me very excited. “The mouse is dead! The mouse is dead!” I immediately said, “Go tell Daddy!” He’s so good to me! He took care of it all. I never even had to look at the nasty thing. He also let the chicken out and took out the trash. Yay for good men!

Last night one of the girls had an accident in the bed during the night. So we both got up to clean up and get everyone changed. Charlie said the bed was so wet he thought the girls should sleep on the sofa hide-a-bed. I wasn’t too sure, but said, “OK.” He started to pull it out and a MOUSE ran out from under the sofa across the room. And I DIDN’T SCREAM! I’m so proud. The last thing he did before going back to bed was to set traps. But we didn’t catch anything. Guess we’ll try again tomorrow night.

When we got up this morning, Josiah’s diaper had leaked, so he also had to be changed and his bedding had to be washed. Then, almost an hour later, when I went to get Esther out of our bed, her diaper had leaked, too. So I’m washing the bedding for every bed in the house today. Plus all the clothes that got wet during the night.

And sometime today I have to go pull the hide-a-bed out and clean it all out. Someone has been eating on the sofa (not allowed, but it’s really my fault for not watching and enforcing the rules) and there was plenty under there to attract mice. Yuck. I plan to play a CD of children’s folk dances at the back of the house in an effort to keep the children from getting in the way too much while I clean out the sofa.

Saturday night I put the girls’ hair in sponge rollers. This is what they looked like Sunday morning. The pictures we got aren’t very good, but this should give an idea.

And here’s a video of Josiah in action:

I’m linking to a set of blog posts by Douglas Wilson under the heading, Letter to Mr. Harris. Sam Harris wrote a book, Letter to a Christian Nation. Mr. Wilson has written a section by section response, which is quite good. I especially recommend this to anyone who has been confused by the debate between secularists and Christians, evolution and creation, etc. The oldest post is at the bottom.

I made this some time back. After this dress, I have only one more sewing project to blog before I’ll be caught up. This fabric is vintage. It came from a yard sale last spring. I bought the ribbon especially for this project. I also made matching bloomers.

When I made this I was aiming for a sort of potato soup. It’s got lots of potatoes, but it’s not really potato soup. So I’m calling it Sausage Soup.

1 lb breakfast sausage
1 med onion
5-6 small-med potatoes
2 carrots
4 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1-2 Tbs flour
Approx. 3 1/2 cups milk
Approx. 2 cups water

Chop onion. Brown sausage and saute onion together. Peel and cube potatoes. Slice carrots into thin coins. Put sausage, onion, potatoes, and carrots in crock pot. In a sauce pan, melt butter. Add salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Wisk til blended. Add flour. Wisk smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups milk. Let cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes. Add sauce to crock pot. Add remaining milk to crock pot. Add water to crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-5 hours or until veggies are soft.

If your sausage is seasoned lightly, you might want to add some sausage seasoning. Google for breakfast sausage seasoning recipes.

This afternoon my 20-month-old little boy needed a diaper change. But he didn’t want one. Oh, no! He wanted to go potty. What are the chances he’ll potty train early?

I made this dress some time ago and am just now getting around to documenting it. I think I finished it in the first half of October. The fabric was given to me. It’s a sweatshirt fleece, but it’s not very stretchy. I used the Simplicity t-shirt pattern I’ve used all fall and added a skirt. I used the same pattern for matching bloomers. The dress/bloomers combo is quite warm. Perfect for winter.

I originally finished the neckline by turning itunder and stitching, but it was too tight. (Did I mention the fabric doesn’t stretch much?) So I cut it out to the stitching and applied a self-fabric binding. It’s a bit puffy, but it works fine and she can get the dress on and off easily now. Puffy neckline bindings are now a design feature.

I wanted to get a picture of this when it didn’t have dirt all over the skirt, but it just wasn’t happening. She plays outside. She gets her clothes dirty. Evening and morning are another day. I also would have prefered to post the picture in which she was smiling, but that one is blurry, and not in an artistic way. Meh.

How jeans are made

HT: Stitches and Seams