Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tennessee - My Future Home

I've been gone on a trip to Tennessee for two weeks - visiting my fiance, Jordan, and his family. I'd never been to TN in the summer before, and  just couldn't get over how green and lush everything was - the bright sunny fields, and the cool dark woods.

I love the little details of the woods - the ferns, patches of moss, the wildflowers...

These wildflowers we gathered our first day back in Tennessee.
Aren't they beautiful?

Jordan and I have been busy this Spring planning our future home.
 It was so nice to be able to see the progress in person, instead of just talking about it over the phone.

He is going to build us a cozy log house, in the style of the 19th century.
We are planning to live semi-off the grid, with minimal electricity and "modern inconviences". :) I am so excited - I've always dreamed of living a more old-fashioned lifestyle.

The last Saturday I was there, there was a 'working' where many of Jordan's friends came over to help get the site ready for house-building. Clearing, cutting, and burning felled trees, digging footers on the house site, and sawing up more house logs were the activies for the day. It was so exciting to see things beginning to take shape, and I am so grateful to all the families who took the time to come help!

(see the pile of finshed house logs in the picture?)

Us girls stayed busy before lunch time getting the big noon meal ready, and transporting everything across the creek to the hungry workers. Later in the afternoon we made time for a swim in the *freezing* cold creek, where we had watermelons floating to chill.

The days preceding, Jordan had been hard at work sawmilling - cutting out more logs for our house, and felling trees.

I got to assist Jordan a bit in his work- and it was so fascinating to see the process - from living trees, to square logs cut, stacked, and measured ready for the house-raising.

Tennessee seems to have such an abundance of edible wild things!
 During my trip I enjoyed sampling many of them...

The wild cherries were my favorite. Just the right mixture of dark bittersweet tartness.
Though sometimes they were rather difficult to obtain....

The wild blueberries were small, but so flavorful!

And then, of course, the blackberries.

One morning we all took buckets and tramped through an enormous patch of blackberry brambles, getting very scratched and hot by the time we were through, but emerging with about a gallon and half of delicous berries. These later transformed into three large, juicy cobblers for the working day.

More Tennessee posts coming soon....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Early 1860s Print Dress

You've seen this dress already in my engagement photos, but I really thought it deserved a post of it's own with a bit of construction explaination.

I knew back in March I wanted to make a new dress for Shiloh 150th. I had the material picked out, but what style to do was still undecided until the last minute, when I happened upon this picture on Pinterest:

A young married couple c. 1855
As I studied the dress more, the details were very intriguing. What appears to be a very fitted fan-front dress, (though on closer inspection I think it is a gathered yoke dress) high collar, and unique 2-part sleeves. They seem to have a drawstring at the wrist, a separate short pouf at the shoulder.

I was also inspired (again) by one of my old favorites.....This sheer day dress from 1860.

For the pattern of the front bodice, I modified Past Patterns #800. The back bodice is not gathered, but is in a normal fitted style. Back and lining were from Past Patterns #702. Sleeves were drafted by me.

I speculated from the first picture that the lower sleeves could have been removeable, they were certainly made with two separate pieces. So, I decided for my dress that would be quite handy. The upper sleeves are just lightly gathered and completely finished with a narrow band. The lower sleeves are also gathered and finish with a band that was just hand-sewn to the short sleeve on the inside, so that the stitches could be clipped and the lower sleeve removed at any time. The wrist is just a simple buttoned band.

The dress, without lower sleeves.

The cotton print fabric is from the collection 'Nottingham Village'
 by Judy Rothermel and Marcus Fabrics.
Buttons are antique black glass.

Even though short sleeves for adult women were not as common as long sleeves, they were seen.
Both for working and fashionable situations.

I deviated quite a bit from my orginal inspirations, but I just love the way the dress turned out, and hope to make more in similar style.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'm Back...

You may have been wondering at the long silence here on the blog....

Well, I just returned last night from a 2-week trip to Tennessee - visiting my fiance and his family. I had such a lovely time, and I have so many pictures to post and stories to tell!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

We have a winner!

The winner of the eShakti giveaway has been chosen by random number!

Congratulations to.....

Thank you to everyone who entered!!


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