Tuesday, July 16, 2013

T-shirt mania (and cool things Jeremy has done, part 2)

I've been watching what I eat and working out (a bit, anyway) for a couple months now, and I'm down 15 pounds.  As a result, all my post-partum clothes are too large, but my pre-pregnancy clothes are still a little too small.  This prompted me to search the Internet for some easy patterns for summer staples.  I hit the jackpot.  In the last 48 hours, I sewed three tops and one skirt.  My serger and I are very close now, and my confidence sewing with knits is way up.

First up is this totally awesome tutorial for a knit pencil skirt.  It was so easy to make and it really does fit perfectly.  I envision many more.

I made the top using Maria Denmark's Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern - free! This navy is my first effort, made of a slinky rayon jersey I picked up in the $2.95 section of G Street Fabrics in Virginia.  It was much too big at first and I took it in twice.  I also lowered the neckline to make it more flattering to me.

This is my second attempt at the tshirt.  I drafted a drape neck for this one.  I love how it turned out, but it is a hair snug on me (which is why it's being modeled by the Lady In Red - Jeremy's birthday present to me and the cool thing referenced in the title of this post).

And my third effort, which is the best yet:

I need to bring in the neckline a little on the sides to keep it from slipping, and I think I could still take in the sides a tiny bit, but how cool is it that I made my own tshirt?  I'm pretty excited.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Garden update (and cool things Jeremy has done part 1)

I spend a lot of space on this blog showing everyone what I do with my spare time, but rarely do I show you what Jeremy does with his.  I have a few of my husband's projects to show off but I figured I'd start off with this garden update.

With temperatures routinely in the high 80s and 90s, my garden has wilted down to nearly nothing.  The downward spiral occurred not long after Jeremy built me a trellis for my spaghetti squash.

I was all excited because I had one fruit starting to grow - but after it reached about four inches long, it just stopped growing and then its vine withered and died.  The vine on one of my plants is still growing but not producing many blossoms (or any female ones until this morning).  The other three plants are decidedly stunted. Here are two of them.  Their leaves are quite small, though they don't seem to be as afflicted with the browning and yellowing around the edges that I'm finding on the more robust plant on the trellis.

This morning I finally saw two more female squash blossoms  - one on one of the stunted plants, shown above). As there is still a dearth of pollinators in the area, I pollinated them myself.  Hopefully they will start doing something.  My suspicion, though, is that the soil is out of nutrients (since it was pretty crummy to begin with) and that they won't bear any fruit.  There go my fall spaghetti squash plans!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Daytrip to Gori

My sister came out to visit recently and we took a day trip to Gori, birthplace of Stalin and home to a museum in his honor.  I had been to the museum on a trip to Georgia eight years ago (almost to the day, actually!) and it hasn't really changed much.  There is still virtually no mention of the atrocities committed under his rule, but if you were curious to read his schoolboy poems, the Stalin Museum's got you covered.

The house in which Stalin was born, preserved under a
Greek-inspired temple-like structure.

His private train car.

After we'd had our fill of Stalin, we headed to Uplistsikhe, a nearby cave city.  We didn't get a guide or anything, but the girls enjoyed scrambling up the rocks and exploring the caves.  This is an easy day trip from Tbilisi and a good one for kids.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Independence Day

July 4 was Thursday, but the community celebration with fireworks took place last weekend, starting at 6 p.m.  At 2 p.m., midway through naptime, I realized that my girls did not have appropriate attire.  I turned my stash upside down in search of the right fabric, and then sewed furiously until 5 p.m. Thanks to the very easy Oliver + S Popover Dress pattern, my girls had patriotic frocks by party time.  The girls had a blast and even stayed up to watch fireworks at 10 p.m.

Then on July 3, the Embassy held its official Independence Day reception. Jeremy was the emcee and I sang the national anthem.  No recording to share, but just as well since I did hear a snippet and my "see" was spectacularly off-key.  Well-supported, clear and with good tone ... but staggeringly flat.  Yikes.  Sorry guys.

I sewed myself a dress for the occasion (Made By Rae's Washi dress plus a ribbon belt) and I do have a photo of that for you.