Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hardy Little Hummers

Last week Spring! This week, Winter. Cold, snowy and just plain raw. And while I am complaining only mildly about winter's resurrection, the resulting moisture has been a very good thing. Lots of rain and then 6 plus inches of wet, slushy snow. It is not pretty but if we want a chance of keeping fire season at bay until at least June, it is worth it.

I did feel sorry for the few early arriving hummingbirds. We have at least one pair of Rufus Hummers. This is the little male last week enjoying sunshine and nectar.

There is not much I can do about the weather, but I kept their feeders on the warm side. I have two so we would pull one in and replace it with another that had stayed at room temp in the house. The hummingbirds are up and seeking food long before the first finch, chickadee or sparrow even peeps a good morning call. I hear them buzzing not at first light but first glow, the almost imperceptible lightening in the east. They are the last to go to roost too. Leaving in the deepest of dusk as the bats are starting to patrol. Natures shift change.

And of course as I am sewing and watching great big wet blobs of white slop fall from the sky, I am wondering why I am working on summer garments! Floral linen no less! But it is what it is. If I was working on winter sweater knits or woolens, no doubt it would be blazing sun and 80 degrees. Hm, maybe I can control the weather? ;)

So, here is a rundown of all flax sewing.

A linen dress.

 I don't often make dresses or wear them, but this big bold print screamed hot summer days in something cool and flowing.

 Simple modifications of a slightly dropped bodice, a couple of pleats in the lower portion and loose fluttery sleeves. Pair it with a straw hat and some cool canvas flats and I'm good to go almost anywhere.

Cross weave linen in black and white turned into a Schoolhouse Tunic with some fun reverse applique.

The dog fabric is vintage and likely from the late 50's early 60's. I have used it sparingly over the years since I love it so much and once it's gone, it's gone.

  I had an awful lot of fun with this and it will see a lot of wear with it's season spanning color and fiber.

Lastly, a pair of cropped pants, my standard pant pattern, shortened darted and pleated.

The fabric is a crisp and tightly woven Japanese linen in a color that is sort of grey, sort of brown and sort of deep blue. It will go with almost anything.

 Just a touch of an orange twill cotton ribbon. After all, orange is the new black!

Big Sal has been weaving steadily. I usually have a break in my day late in the afternoon. Traditionally this has been known as "Beer Thirty".

 It's the time after all the dogs and horses have been fed, and our dinner is either in process or easy enough to start at five-ish. I crack my one and only beer and sip and weave. Since I don't have to keep track of treadles and throws with the dobby, it's a perfect zen kind of 30 minutes. I'm getting to the end of the runner. I don't know exactly how long it will be but whatever it is, it'll be long enough.

Parting shots: Shedding is very Zen.

Very, very Zen.


  1. Ah, spring snow and floral dresses. How I will miss that combination. I love your photos, especially of the little hummer. It is chilly here this morning and Nick and I are sharing the doggie blankie.

  2. Pure zen contemplation. Love the little dog bits on your new tunic!

  3. Floral dress is so pretty. Tunic and pants are classic and will go so well together. Pup looks so peaceful. We had rain all day yesterday'. Rain is scarce here so it is welcome. Some areas of Alberta had snow yesterday. Spring hasn't completely chased away winter but after the grass is getting green. Seen our first robin on Monday.

  4. that's the answer....shedding = zen. We've got that down pat, then! Your vintage dog fabric is so neat!!! You are lucky to still have some to play with.

  5. Love the dress and the tunic!! Such fun to see how you make your patterns your own.

    It's still pretty cold here too. I would rather it warm slowly for the fruit trees. That warm then cold thing really ruins a fruit crop!

    Can't wait to see the runner that comes off Sal. Beer-thirty...that's one advantage to a dobby that I hadn't considered. :)

  6. Zentastic i say. What a lovely bunch of sewing! And I see you are wearing my Jack dog on your sleeve! What is that kind of dog? I was thinking he was a mix of something mean and something furry. He is in his zen zone too.

    I know that first morning glow...I used to work night shift. Its at around 3-4 am when I got tired and for some reason many babies were born. Those two don't go together really well.