My! I’ve certainly been slipping with my blog posting lately, haven’t I? Either I’ve been super-busy doing other things or I just have nothing interesting to say. Today it’s raining, T-Man is at work and I have some quiet time to myself.
So what did happen? Gardening, watering, walking, errands, reading, sewing, family visiting, babysitting, cooking…you get the drift. The weather has still been cool and iffy but I’ve been slowly working my way around the front garden, weeding and planting annuals. The veggie garden is about half-planted now and actually starting to produce salad greens along with the daily pick of kale buds and asparagus. The tomatoes are now finally in the dirt in the greenhouse instead of in pots. The shade cloth is up on top though it’s mostly rolled up because it hasn’t been sunny enough to need it quite yet. I made some cute little plaid sandbags to hold the plastic mesh in place because there’s nothing to tie it to. You can just see them hanging here:
I have to be careful when I roll up the side so the sand doesn’t dribble out of the bags! When unrolled it covers nearly down to the tinted row and helps keep the inside a little cooler in the hot sun from the south-west. The east side will be shaded somewhat when the walnut tree actually gets leaves on it so we don’t have to worry about covering the whole top. Otherwise we would need yet another shade cloth.
I’ve also been sewing a bunting bag for baby Rosebud’s first camping trip coming up next month. I found a McCall’s pattern (M6963) for one with a hood and fold-over mittens:
I decided to download the pattern to avoid it perhaps getting caught in a possible Canada Post strike. (They are threatening us with a 72-hour notice.) Even without a postal strike, it could take ages to get here and I need to get this done before the Annual Family Campout happens in a couple of weeks. I paid a little more than if I’d waited for the $2.88 Memorial Day Weekend sale at BMV. (You’ve got until tomorrow night if you want to take advantage! And Vogues are $3.88. Dirt cheap.) But it still cost less than if I could actually find it in our not-so-local fabric store. It takes more time and effort to print out the pages and piece it together but I found it pretty painless. This time I used a glue stick instead of tape and it worked really well. I adjusted the largest size (12 months) to have a wider and straighter foot section and for a separating zipper and snaps at the bottom so it opens all the way to accommodate Rosebud’s necessary boots and bar. I’m currently about halfway through sewing the bunting using some super-soft fleece with a stretch sweatshirt fabric for the lining, both in a deep rose colour. Even though she might not get much wear out of this thing at least I’ll know she’s not going to be cold sleeping in a tent in the mountains in June! The things a granny will do for her grand-babykins, huh?
Speaking of sewing patterns, I spent quite awhile downloading a heap of them for free from a Russian company, Lekala or Leko (I’m not sure which is the actual name). Their patterns are normally available by email for a fee. You send them your basic measurements and they send you the pattern to fit them. You can also get collections on CD from sewingpatterns.com. They are still fairly standard models though – not adjusted for any particular body fitting issues. Right now the women’s patterns in size 168-100-82-106 (equivalent to BurdaStyle magazine’s 44 or US pattern size 14) are free. It says “one month” on the website but there is no clue as to how long this actually will be available. Since we’re almost at the end of May, it might end tomorrow! Or not. A lot of the styles are very cute and wearable: maybe a smidgen less “fashion-forward” than Burda but much more stylishly European than the Big 4 American companies offerings. For me a 44 is right in the middle of my fitting adjustments: a little big on the shoulders and a little small on the bottom. So it’s a good size for me to start from anyhow. If you can print on A4 paper (metric/European) there is a smaller size that is always free to download for testing. I’m not sure of the exact measurements (maybe a US10?) but the notations on the pattern pieces are in Russian instead of English. Not a big deal really.
The larger drawback with these patterns is there are no instructions unless you can read the Russian “technical description”. For an experienced seamstress it shouldn’t really be a problem but if you need your hand held to know which piece goes where, you can’t rely on the online translators to help with sewing terms and there are no diagrams. A good sewing book is handy to have for the basics anyway. Don’t forget to also save the illustrations so you have a clue what you’re making! And it’s not necessary, but I really enjoyed downloading the “design picture” files to see how the pattern looks as it was actually drafted. They’re a great learning tool even if I can’t read the Cyrillic notations. I went nuts and picked up several dozen of these patterns and now am itching to sew a couple to try them out. But I need to finish the RoseBunting first.
Sorry I really didn’t give anyone much time to take advantage of either the sale at BMV or the free pattern downloads at Leko. Sheesh. Bad damselfly. Busy damselfly.
In other news, T was off work on Friday in lieu of last Monday’s Victoria Day holiday so we went walking in the rain/sunshine. On Saturday we had adventures with one of my sisters who flew south from her home in beautiful Haida Gwaii on business. We took her to Granville Island and she was in heaven buying nuts and fruit to take back home today. Maiwa was a big hit too though neither of us bought anything. She stayed with us Saturday night and then at another sister’s in Surrey last night. It was lovely to see both of them and I made us all a blueberry pancake breakfast yesterday morning when sis #2 came to pick up sis #1. After they left we got the grandbeasties for the afternoon while their parents went to the art gallery. The weather yesterday was lovely so we went to the little local park to play. Later when everyone got back I fed them all ham quesadillas for supper. They were a big hit with the picky beasties! However now I know why I’m kind of tired today. Whew.
Yikes! It’s nearly 11am and I’m still in my jammies. Must. Get. Moving.