Wednesday, September 29, 2021

sweet wedding, sweetheart dress

Over Labor Day weekend, Dan and I were excited to attend the wedding of my cousin Keith and his beautiful bride Liz! Dan's parents came to our house to watch Mae and Colin, while Dan and I traveled to Cleveland for the weekend of festivities. We arrived Saturday afternoon and checked into the Hyatt Regency at the Arcade (also the wedding and reception venue.) We dropped off our bags in the room and decided to explore the area a bit. The Cleveland Air Show was just finishing and we were able to watch the entire Thunderbirds performance from the pier near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Afterwards, we had dinner on 4th street and then caught a shuttle to the post-rehearsal-dinner party where we were able to catch up with family that I haven't seen since Christopher's wedding 7 years ago! My Gramma and Grampa even made the trip for the wedding, so I was able to visit with them briefly!

On Sunday, we went to church, had lunch, walked around the city a bit more, and then got dressed for the wedding. I got to meet my cousin Todd's kids for the first time - aren't they the sweetest little flower girl and ring bearer?
The whole weekend was perfect down to the tiny details. The venue was beautiful, and we had so much fun during the reception! Todd's wife Jacqueline even helped arrange dairy-free cupcakes! I especially loved how the glass ceiling over the arcade gave beautiful sunny lighting to the ceremony and then faded to sunset during dinner to show off the globe lights strung over the tables and dance floor.
Since I haven't had an excuse to make (or wear) anything fancy for a while, I decided to sew a dress for the occasion. This dress is a mash-up of the Patterns for Pirates Sweetheart Dress bodice and Pencil Skirt. The main fabric is Telio 320 Ponte, the bodice lining is a 40 denier nylon tricot, and the overlay is a nylon stretch lace with scalloped edge. I used the scallops as the edges of the sleeves and skirt. The neckline is finished with fold-over elastic. I sewed a small bodice graded to a medium at the waist. Based on my measurements, I sewed half way between a medium and a large in the skirt, but it turned out too big. I tried it on, pinched some out from each side, and re-sewed the sides.
I used French seams on the lace, but standard seams for the rest of the assembly. To do this, I French-seamed the lace shoulders and sleeve caps. Then I sewed the bodice sleeve and side seams and the skirt side seams with the fabric wrong sides together. I turned the top and skirt inside out (right sides together), sandwiched them each between the ponte pieces, and sewed the seams again. Lastly, I sewed the bodice to the skirt. I did not sew the bodice to the lace along the top edge of the main bodice piece. The bodice stayed up pretty well on its own.
Honestly, this project was a bit of a slog. I'm glad it turned out cute, because I didn't enjoy working on it much! I blame the fabric; it was so slippery that keeping everything lined up was impossible. Fortunately, my machine handled the lace and layers pretty well. The top thread broke a few times while transitioning from lace to thicker areas; I'm guessing the auto-tensioning is to blame. I definitely want to sew up the pencil skirt pattern again. I think it would make a cute wardrobe staple.
During the reception, someone asked, "What are you doing for your anniversary?" and I responded, "This!" A fancy wedding (and a weekend getaway) was a great way to celebrate 9 years together. Happy Anniversary, Dan!

Monday, August 30, 2021

summer round up

I was browsing photos from the last few months and realized I had some cute ones that I never shared! They actually paint a pretty good picture of how we spent our summer. At the beginning of the summer, we visited my family for a weekend so we could celebrate Oliver's birthday and Mom's birthday. We even enjoyed a tasty lunch all together!
It's been hot recently, but that hasn't kept us from the outdoors! We've made a couple trips to the farmer's market for fresh pasta and tomatoes. Colin and Mae like playing with the sidewalk chalk and then washing their hands (and feet) off in the fountain.
We've spent many afternoons in the front yard, playing in the sprinkler and decorating the sidewalk with chalk. Mae likes being traced and then coloring in her outline to match her outfit.
Colin watched her do this a couple times and then grabbed his own piece of chalk, walked (yes he walks now!) over to the sidewalk, and laid down on his back to be traced! (I drew a diaper on his outline.) He also likes terrorizing Mae by sitting right on top of her freshly chalked art.
Mae was finally able to finish the swim lessons that were cancelled because of COVID. She did 5 private lessons with her instructor and then a couple of group lessons at our public pool. She's made so much progress being comfortable in the water! While Colin likes being in the pool, his favorite part is the splash pad. He is fearless and barely flinches even when he gets a face full of water!
With Colin still taking two naps, it was harder to fit in play dates this summer. Fortunately, we did manage a picnic and playground visit with Anna and Grant!
The day before Mae started school, we took a trip to the zoo with Grandma, Christopher, Emily, Oliver, Archie, and Lillian. The kids had so much fun running around and visiting all the animals. It was a great finale to summer vacation!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

mae goes to school

Mae's is officially a kindergartener! It feels like we spent all summer getting ready for this moment, and it's finally here! Last week on Monday, we went to a snow cone social at school and she got to peek into her classroom and meet her teacher. Thursday morning, we loaded her up with her new backpack, new water bottle, new mask, new light-up shoes, and new raincoat, and we all walked over to drop her off at school. Even the pouring rain couldn't put a damper on the excitement. No tears were shed (by Mae or by me), so I'd call it a success!
We picked Mae up at the end of the day, and she had lots to tell us about her first day at school. They explored the school to find all the important locations (cafeteria, art room, library, gym, etc). They sang songs, did a couple worksheets, and had art class! She had a turkey sandwich and cookie for lunch, and the rain cleared up in time for outdoor recess.

After school, we went to a small festival at the park. Mae got her face painted and jumped around in the bounce house for a long time.
The house was so quiet on Friday with Colin napping, Dan working, and Mae at school. I took Colin to the grocery store for the first time, and he was enthralled. Colin and I are going to have to come up with some more fun activities for our Wednesdays and Fridays!