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Last fall, I believe I wrote about how my husband and dad reroofed a section of the roof on the outbuilding that is now my crafting oasis. Well, they threw down a tarp on the grass and all of the old roofing materials plummeted to the ground. Then it sat there from the end of October to the end of April. The worms, centipedes, and snails had a nice little home all winter!!!! We finally rented a dumpster and picked it all up (I tried to save as many worms as possible much to my husband’s dismay because I wasn’t “picking up enough stuff fast enough”).
Here is the before and after:
Then I was feeling ambitious so I picked up some flowers for the boxes on the deck. Last year we had coleus, zinnias, catnip, dusty miller, and something else I can’t remember in the boxes. The deck boxes are the “annual boxes” (except for the catnip) so I’ve decided to change it up each year just for the sake of variety.
Wisconsin has had a really wretched spring with way too much rain, cool temps, random snow flurries/sleet, so I’m hoping that I did not jinx the weather by putting in the new flowers already. I purchased pink, white, and purple asters and yellow pansies. The dusty miller was left from the previous owner and reseeded itself last spring so I left it, but it had a mildew on it this year and did not look like it had come back so out it came.
Then I was even more ambitious and since my hands were already dirty, I decided to transplant hostas. We have some really nice ones around the base of the walnut tree. The clumps are humongous and definitely need to be thinned. I just hope I did it correctly and did not ruin the ones already there. Around the deck, right at the edge, no grass will grow. I have no idea why. I think someone sprayed too much weed killer and ruined everything. Who knows. But my mother-in-law suggested we put hostas around it. I think it a swell idea because they do provide wonderful coverage. I chunked off about 4 – 5 sections of hosta and plunked them in the ground. Finally, in between those, I put in muscari or blue hyacinth. I’ve never had hyacinth and I really like the name and the shape. Except, after I put it in the ground, I read online that you are supposed to plant bunches of them near each other to give it a full look. I did not so much accomplish this as I split up the bulbs. But I’m hoping the hostas will fill in nicely around them and then the blue hyacinth will poke up in between.
By the tulips on the west side of the house, I put in two pink hyacinths. Not sure if they will bloom at the same time as the red tulips, but that would look nice.
We still have some more landscaping projects once it gets much warmer. I have holly hocks and a bunch of other bulbs/roots that need to get in the ground pronto. Our yard gets prettier each year!!
Yesterday I was bored. Spring time means light lesson planning and grading. Therefore, my mind wandered back to my post earlier this winter with all of my dream projects. I thought why not! I chose the jacket, not because it was first on the list, but because there was less fabric involved. Heh. We’ll see how that works out in the end.
I cut out the pattern. Cutting out patterns or fabric is not complete without a cat stepping on the exact piece that you are working on. Watch your paws kitty!! If you look at the pattern, there are three jacket front options and two back options. I am making C-D because it is shorter (less fabric, but not by much) and is more appropriate to the 1780s that my unit portrays. However, I don’t quite have the patience for making handmade eyelets just yet, so I’m fairly certain I want to have the jacket close all the way in the front. Therefore, front A appeals to me. But I like the way the opening on B looks with the stomacher visible.
I know my shoulders at the top front are very small/short/narrow, so I made a mock up on muslin first (a la package directions). Then, I had my husband, begrudgingly, tie me into my stays. haha. Thanks!! Anyone who sews anything historical knows that if you don’t put on your undergarments with the garment for a first fitting, you have no idea whether it will fit or not. Everything fit super well!! I was so impressed. I only need to add two inches to either side of the jacket front so I can properly pin it closed. The back fits; no bunching, no weird puckering – and this was with rather fast hand sewing basting stitches too. Hooray! The part that I’m debating over is the shoulders. When I have all my stuff on, and I stand how I normally stand, the shoulder strap front gets a crease in it, suggesting to me, it’s too big and needs to be readjusted. Maybe next weekend I will climb back into all the garments and try it on again to test to be sure and pin if necessary.
My new quandary is this: I want to make the jacket reversible. I have a faded red for the “outside” color and a yellow/golden brocade like for the “inside.” I’m having a wee bit of trouble wrapping my mind around the concept so that when I stitch the two parts together, I can actually turn the jacket inside out and it works. I’ve seen one picture in Fitting and Proper of a jacket/petticoat combo that was reversible, therefore mine is historically accurate as much as it can possibly be.
The next part I have to test out is the sleeve. I did not exactly have the patience yesterday to sew a sleeve and set it in. That can wait for the following week.
It’s almost over. That’s okay I suppose. The best part about being home for a week is that I can go outside any time I want and check on the “flower growing progress.” Yep, because I have nothing better to do with my time, I walk to each spot where the flowers are planted and look for how much they’ve grown in 24 hours. So far, these are the flowers that have just poked through: daffodils, irises, crocuses, narcissus, tulips, poppies. The only ones with blooms are the bright yellow crocuses. I really want to see my tulips the most because they are bright red. A giant rock separates the tulips from the crocuses so on either side will be a fun contrast!