Friday, April 29, 2011

~My Heart was Broken~

It was 1 am, and yet again I couldn't sleep. I crawled out of bed and crept into the dark living room to sit on the couch. Tears coursed down my face. My heart was broken.

I plastered a smile on my face and sat in my seat at church. If I could just get through the service and get to the car, I thought I could keep the tears at bay. "Please, don't let anyone ask me any questions", was my prayer each Sunday. My heart was broken.

Waiting. Longing. Tests. Waiting. Longing, but no real answers. Waiting. Longing. More testing. More waiting. Surgery. Drugs. Waiting. Longing. My heart was broken.

Questions--always questions to answer. Family. Friends. Acquaintances. Strangers. Was there no question off limits, no question too rude to ask? I didn't want to face any more questions. My heart was broken.

Year after year, each broken into twelve months. Twelve individual answers of "no". Over and over. Over and over. My heart was broken.

My heart was broken...but God held me close. He "brought me up also out of an horrible pit" (Psalm 40:2). Not just through a child. A child was my heart's desire, and I would like to say that I was completely OK with being a family of two for the rest of my life, before I got pregnant with my daughter, but I wasn't. However, I was moving in that direction. I knew that I couldn't live the rest of my life in misery. And I did live in complete misery for quite some time. Those months of misery were an "ugly" time period in my life. I'm not proud of them. Infertility did change me in many ways but I hope that I've allowed it to change me for the better.

My journey to motherhood is long and paved with tears. Many are still in the midst of the tears. This week is Infertility Awareness Week. Did you know that 1 in 8 couples will suffer infertility? Do you know someone who is struggling? Reach out to them with kindness. You may not understand exactly, but you can give a hug. You can't promise a certain outcome, but you can pray to One Who knows the outcome.

And if you are going through infertility yourself, I want to encourage you, from the bottom of my heart: please do not turn your back on God. He loves you. He cares for you. Don't tell yourself lies about God.

Here are some helpful links, that I would love to encourage you to visit:
Hannah's Hope--this book is helpful for those going through infertility and also for someone who has a loved one walking this road. Each chapter ends with specific words for "Burden Bearers".
Stepping Stones--a ministry of Bethany Christian Services. They have a newsletter that you can sign up for as well as helpful articles on their site.
Don't Waste your Inferitilty--a helpful blog article. I can't vouch for the rest of the blog, but this one article was extremely helpful to me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

~Finished Dress~

The dress is finished! I got everything done by 5 pm today. I love the way it turned out!

The finished dress:

The buttons:

The button extension on the inside:

Ruffled sleeve:

Matching barrette I made:


Everything all together:

I estimate that I spent about 15-20 hours on this dress, probably more. The outer dress is made of Mrs. Aster Greenfield Hill voile, in the cranberry colorway, which I purchased from Sew, Mama, Sew! I used cotton broadcloth for the lining, which I purchased from a local sewing shop. I've never used either fabric before, but I'm in love with both of them now! The voile is so silky, it's amazing it's 100% cotton! And the broadcloth was perfect for lining this dress, it was the perfect weight and just the right amount of crispness without being too stiff.

~Sewing Update~

It's been a busy week of sewing for me! It is very safe to say that this dress is the most difficult, time-consuming garment I have ever sewn!

The bodice gave me quite a bit of trouble, but at last I got it figured out:

Yesterday I got it to the point where it was all in one piece. That's such a good feeling! Today I have to slit the button holes, sew the buttons on and hem the dress. I might also sew a pair of bloomers, we'll see how that all goes.

On Thursday I was telling a friend how frazzled I felt. Then I was telling her about the dress I'm making, and she said, "Well, no wonder! Think about all the pressure you're giving yourself!" I really thought about that and realized how true it was.

Not only am I making a dress with a specific deadline,
I'm using fabric I've never used before
with a vintage pattern that has confusing details and instructions
which is time consuming not only to figure out but to sew
and it's a pattern that my grandma made so in my mind I have to sew this dress as she would have (perfectly)
and not only is it a pattern that my grandma made, but it's one she made for me.

Oh, and did I mention I have a deadline? I refuse to be sewing at 1 am Easter morning! Which means, it has to be done by Saturday evening!

So yeah, a lot of pressure. Once I stepped back and gained some perspective, I realized that the words I had uttered at one point were not true. What did I say? "I hate sewing!" which is the furthest thing from the truth!

Yesterday went so much better and I enjoyed the process a lot more! When everything came together and I put the dress on a hanger, I stepped back, clasped my hands, and tears sprang to my eyes! I love this little dress and all that it means. I'll be back later today with pictures of the finished dress!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This week I am working on a very special project. Quite a few years ago, I think even before I was married, my grandma was getting rid of some patterns and she let us look through them before she tossed them in the trash. I grabbed up a Strawberry Shortcake pattern that she used to make a dress for me when I was 6 or 7 years old:

Butterick 4824, 1983

It was one of my favorite dresses that my grandma made for me! I loved how the buttons ran along the top of my shoulder and came down.

There were two patterns, including an uncut one in size 2-3-4. I am making the size 2 for my daughter. I didn't cut the actual pattern pieces, thinking that I might want to make it again in the future, but I probably won't want to make it again. It is quite a detailed pattern.

The sleeves call for 3" wide flat eyelet lace. I couldn't find lace to match the fabric I already had purchased, and didn't want to do as one of the ladies in the fabric store suggested and tea dye lace. It just seemed like too much work with unknown results. So one Sunday morning in church I was sitting listening intently, well...I think it was during announcements so to be honest I wasn't listening very much at all...I was thinking about about what I was going to do about the sleeves on the dress! Anyhow, I looked down at my blouse, which had rows of ruffles on it and had the brilliant thought to make the sleeve ruffles out of the dress fabric.

After much stress, seam ripping, brownies and tea, and scouring the internet for tutorials on using hemming foots, I finally figured out the best way to get those hems sewn. They aren't perfect but they are nice. And with the way my daughter runs around, nobody's going to be able to examine them too closely anyhow! LOL

With all that said, after several hours of work, I have the sleeves done. This calls for a big "TA DA!" LOL

I was telling my mom about this project and she said it sounds like something I would take on. She was telling me about when I learned to crochet and I was talking about wanting to make my own lace. She was thinking, "Just go to the store and buy it!" I guess some of my projects do get pretty involved...

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Last fall, my husband and I planted some bulbs in memory of our wee one in heaven. Some of them were crocuses, which finally came up and started blooming. Normally, crocuses show up through the snow, but these took their sweet time. I'm not sure why they took so long, but I'm glad they have finally arrived and are in bloom!

They make me smile.

Friday, April 08, 2011

~UFO Bust Report~

This week was a profitable UFO busting week! I don't have a finished project to share, but I do have progress!

A few years ago I started a days-of-the-week dishtowel set, using Alicia's embroidery patterns, found here.

I finished these three towels:

and then stopped. Oops.

I didn't have any progress on the remaining four dishtowels! So this week, I squared up the tea towels, and added the fabric trim. They aren't perfect, no matter how hard I tried to get the towels "square" it didn't work. So I reminded myself that these are dish towels.

Now I need to transfer the designs, and do the embroidery. Seems like a good evening project!

For more UFO bust reports, visit Blackberry Creek.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


We get our eggs from a family in our church. Most of them are pretty normal in size and shape, but this one was huge:

I haven't done a lot of research, but I've heard that eggs from free range chickens are healthier. I can't vouch for their healthiness, but they sure are tasty!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

~Summer Jammies~

I love my new sewing machine. But you could probably guess that, huh? What with all the sewing projects I've been blogging about, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out. ;-)

I previously mentioned finding some vintage sheets. I was out thrifting again, and found another sheet:

I bought it with the express purpose of making my daughter a pair of summer jammies. I'm not sure if it would qualify as "vintage" or not? But I like it a lot! And so does my daughter. When I was taking the above picture, she said that it was "gorgeous". Thank you, Fancy Nancy, for the vocabulary help!

The bottoms are about one inch too long (on purpose). I love the ruffle along the bottom! I used Butterick 4910, size 2.

Do you ever wonder why almost every picture on my blog has the same wood grain background? I have a cedar hope chest sitting in front of the living room window, and this spot is about the only place in my house with good lighting, especially in our dark winter months. I took some of the toys off for the above picture, but the other half I didn't touch:

=) Have a good day!

Monday, April 04, 2011

~Birthday Bunting~

Early this year I decided to make some buntings/banners/streamers/whatever-you-call-thems. ;-) I wanted to have them on hand for birthdays, and when our daughter turned two in March they were all ready to put up:

We didn't have a party this year, just a family celebration with the three of us, but it was still special to have them up!

I used scraps from my bin and two packages of bias tape that I had on hand. I love it when I have all the materials needed for a project! I also didn't do any math prior to the project, and I ended up with 8 more sewn triangles that I don't have a use for. Oops!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

~Storybook Apron~

I'm really excited about the next theme for Tie One On, "Storybook Aprons". I will have to think about this, but I want to participate this time!

The first apron story that comes to my mind is from In Grandma's Attic. The mom had a busy day, with mess after mess to deal with. She kept tying an apron on to hide the mess...and at the end of the day she had about eight aprons on!

Any favorite aprons/stories from storybooks to give me inspiration?

Friday, April 01, 2011

~UFO Bust Report~

I had a UFO hidden away which I forgot about when I listed all my UFO's: a stenciled tote.

For Christmas, we made each of our moms one of these totes. I got a smudge of black paint on one of the totes so I set it aside to make one for myself. Kevin did all the work on the silhouette, which was a lot of work, and he did it three times over for these totes.

So this week I got it done. I think it took five minutes? Maybe ten. Certainly it didn't need to be sitting in my closet for the past three months!

My inspiration for this project was this tote, and this pillow. Painting over the paper doily was a little tricky, but I finally figured out the best way to do it, which is a little different than the tutorial I linked to above:
1) Use spray adhesive to attach the doily to the tote.
2) Paint over the doily, making sure to get paint in all the spaces and holes. Make sure the paint on the doily is very thin, you don't want paint puddled up on the doily, because it will seep through to the tote.
3) Use a hair dryer to dry the paint.
4) Remove the doily. This part is time-consuming, but you can use an exacto knife or some other sharp tool to help pull the doily bits off.

For the silhouette, I used a hair dryer as well, rather than leaving it to dry over night.

For other UFO Bust Reports, visit Susan at Blackberry Creek.