Sunday, July 29, 2012

Our 1860's Family

David was able to take his vacation from work this past week, which worked out so nicely since he could be home with me and the boys and the baby as we settled in. It has been a week of not doing so very much; letting the housework slide a bit, taking the children to the country 4-H fair and for a hike in the woods after the heat wave passed by. Baby Anne turned one week old yesterday and it's hard to believe it has already been a whole week since she arrived. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to think that she has been here only a week - it seems like she has always been part of our family. She is such a good baby; we are so blessed. The boys are great with her, although at times I do think they view her as more of an oversized kitten to carry off and play with.

One thing we did this week was attempt to get an 1860's style picture of our family together. So far, it has not been very successful. But we did get a few of the baby and the boys and us so here they are (and we are still trying for that family picture! Maybe today the boys will be more cooperative and the baby won't decide she is starving as soon as we are ready to take the picture!)

Anne is a bit tiny for the little gown and cap I made for Malachi when he was four weeks old. But she still looked very sweet, although her main priority was attempting to taste the cap strings. 

She was more dress than baby.

David is so proud of his little daughter. It is interesting to see how his behavior is different towards her than it was towards the boys. He is more gentle, more tender, more worried about her well being. More willing to fuss over the warmth of a blanket, or the amount of air coming in through the window over her face. He was never anything but lovely with the boys but he has a much more protective demeanor towards our little girl.

I now can see my husband with new eyes. In him I see the gentle hands of my daddy, as he used to hold me. I can feel my daddy's embrace when I see David adjust his huge frame to fit the tiny bundle he lays against his chest. His eyes are deep and full of some sweet tender feeling. He realizes the enormous responsibility he has; to bring up this little woman into gracious womanhood, to be the man she first falls in love with, to be the arms she can fly to when trouble comes, to reassure her constantly of her value and her beauty. To be there for her as she discovers the man he will one day give her to, when the time comes that she will cross that mystic threshold of sweet girlhood into the realm of wifehood, of motherhood. 

As for me, I look at my baby girl and seem to see myself. Since her birth I have felt much closer to my mother. I wonder if she felt with me the same feelings I feel now as I look into the face of my infant daughter. When I think of the coming years and how fast they will go, I wonder how my mother seemed to know exactly what to teach me as each day came and went. How she enabled me to follow my own paths instead of ones she may have chosen for me instead. From embroidering little t-shirts to presenting me with my highschool diploma at the successful end of a 13 year homeschooling journey, she has been my role model, my inspiration and my teacher. I hope I can do as well with this new little one. 

This past week has been lovely but it is back to the grindstone tomorrow! I am grateful for an entire week to do nothing but get to know our newest member of the family but I do admit I am also looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Reengergized, refocused, refreshed. We will see what life is like for a family of six. I think it will be very good.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Lady Anne

Anne Victoria Charlotte arrived Saturday, July 21st, at 2:06 AM.

Six pounds, four-and-half ounces and 19 inches of perfect baby!

She arrived at exactly 37 weeks and although she is small, she is full of spunk and fire. Already she has quite the little personality and is an amazing nurser. Like her brother Malachi before her she is extremely strong for a newborn and she wants to eat constantly.

We are so happy to have our beautiful little girl in our arms. She is so pure. She is so wise. Her eyes are the eyes of the Ancients and in them I can see the face of God. We are so happy. We are so blessed.


More photos here: Lady Anne

Friday, July 13, 2012

Victorian Sunbonnet Tutorial

NOTE: The dates for the sew-along/tutorial will now be July 23rd-July 27th, since my sister has to borrow the camera this week. Thanks! ;) 

We are gearing up for Vacation Bible School this coming week and the boys are very excited about attending. This year's theme is Goldrush and is set in 1860 - can you believe it?! That is just pure awesomeness, right there. I was asked to help out with some of the costumes for the drama and it will be fun seeing various articles from the reenacting closet worn by the cast members. I am super excited!

Since there is not much going on in the sewing department right now (besides an overnight bag for the hospital for myself - never again will I have to stuff my things into a brown paper grocery sack for an emergency trip to L&D!) I thought that this week I could take my time and work on a little project that I have been thinking about for a while; doing a tutorial for a basic mid-19th century sunbonnet. I know there are other tutorials out there but I haven't seen one yet made in this style, so, it's what I've got. ;) Besides, I need a new sunbonnet. I actually don't even have one right now. That is pathetic.

I will be spreading it out over several days so hopefully it will be easy to follow. Just a few steps per day. The sunbonnet in these pictures I made for a little reenacting friend earlier in the spring and it went together in just one evening. Very basic and simple but I was very happy with the finished result!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eyelet Baby Gown

Many months ago I found a very pretty eyelet valance at the thrift store. It was wide and very, very long and only two dollars. I bought it, intending to make the baby a gown with it at some point. We had just found out we were having a girl and I had very few girl clothes for a baby. I envisioned sewing her up a dainty wardrobe of pretty frocks.

However, I did not count on the generosity of friends and family. Little Anne is now very amply supplied with clothes for at least the duration of her first year; little dresses and jumpers and frilly skirts and sleepers and nightgowns and hats, socks, headbands, shoes, sweaters and snowsuits, and onesies beyond necessity. (I counted twenty-six newborn size onesies when I last took stock of the drawers I am keeping her newborn clothes in). Making a lot of baby dresses then seemed to be a waste of time since she really does not need anything extra at all.

I still did want to make a White Dress. There just seems to be something so old fashioned and holy about a baby all in white. . .something pure and sacred and beautiful and fleeting. I decided to hold off on making the gown until closer to my due date. So, this past Saturday, as we did *not* go to the Civil War event (the heat index was 102), I made the little white gown and baby cap. It went together very quickly.

For the pattern I just traced the bodice from one of the dresses she already has. I added little loose gathered sleeves and a little ruffle at the neckline. It was fun playing around with the eyelet design. The skirt is just a tube gathered to the bodice and another strip of eyelet, topstitched to the waist, makes the waistband. I'm hoping it will be big enough for her to wear for a while. When she is little the gown will be quite long, of course, but as she grows the skirt will come to above her feet and the waistline will become more empire than natural. I made sure to make the armholes and the neck opening plenty big for this reason. The baby cap pattern is an 1860's one I used for the boys.

I have so much of this curtain left over. I wonder if I should save it to make something else for her when she gets bigger or if I should make something for myself. ;) It's an awesome feeling knowing you are repurposing fabric and that you got it for such a good price! Even cheap eyelet from Jo Anns is $10/yard and is a poly/cotton blend. (In passing, I totally have been disappointed and disgusted with the offerings Jo Anns has had lately. Their prices are just SO HIGH and the fabric feels SO LOUSY to the touch.)

Now that the dress is done I think I am really all ready for the baby to get here. Except for diaper pins. I still need to get some of those. I passed the 34 week mark (always a nervous time for me since little David was born at 34 weeks) so am feeling pretty good about that. Now she can come whenever she is ready. I feel like I'm lugging around a ripe watermelon!