March 15, 2014

"Spoiled" Vacations

 I don't remember staying in a hotel until I was maybe thirteen. Our vacations were always spent tent camping for two weeks every August. One week at the mountains for dad and a week at the beach for mom. And I loved every minute of it, except being cold in the night and not wanting to emerge from under the covers in the morning. I remember waking to the sound of crackling fire and a kerosene stove, which, I knew was warming water for hot chocolate. Dad was always up first getting things ready for us to warm ourselves by the fire before we went exploring.

I haven't given up tenting it, not yet. It gets harder with babies in a sleeping bag and trying not to wake the entire campsite, but it's so worth it. I want the kids to grow up with that experience. But that's not to say I don't appreciate what a nice indoor vacation has to offer, especially during the winter months when we could not otherwise venture out.
 We just spent several days at one of our favorite vacation spots in Washington. On the drive to Port Townsend, as we crossed a beautiful bridge over the Puget Sound, I saw my first whale. It was incredible. 

 This was the view from my window. I went to sleep with the stars reflecting on the still water at night. There was even a shooting star bidding me goodnight and the sound of water lapping on the shore just a few steps from my room greeting me in the morning. 

  This fellow was just outside our front door. I wish I had a better zoom on my camera!

We combed the beach for shells, crabs, and other treasures. We made friends with seagulls. We watched for seals.

And headed back to the room to read and knit. 

It was relaxing and beautiful and peaceful. Now, our next major family vacation will be spent in a tent. Maybe not as relaxing now that I am on the parent end of things, responsible for all the packing, but definitely worth it.

March 7, 2014

How to Make an Inverted Pleat

 My Addy loves pockets. So does Lucy, who has an eye for small details and usually fills her pockets with sparkles or other tiny objects she finds when she's out and about. I had them in mind when I was designing the pocket for this skirt. I wanted to mimic the look of the petals on tulips, so I went with an inverted pleat.

To make an inverted pleat, measure the width of the item, with the fabric right side up. Mark the center point. In this case, my unfinished pocket was 8 in. wide, so I marked it at 4 in.

On either side of that middle point, mark 3 separate points at equal distances from the middle mark. Since my middle mark was at the four, I marked my pocket at 1,2, and 3 on the left, and 5,6,and 7 on the right. In other words, each mark was one inch away from the other to make equal distances from the middle mark.

Next step. Find the middle of the three marks on the left or right of the middle mark. It doesn't matter which side. For my pocket, since I started on the right, I found the 6 in. mark. Pinch the fabric in your fingers and pull it to the center mark. 

Now repeat on the other side. You should have something resembling this. 

  There should be three layers of fabric on each side (bottom, middle, and top.) 

Pin it as needed and sew within the seam allowance. For the pocket, because I needed a finished top seam, I folded it twice toward the wrong side of the fabric (about 1/4 in. folds) and pressed before sewing.

And there you have it. An inverted pleat on a pocket ready to fill with sprigs of rosemary from the garden or seashells on the beach.