Monday, October 31, 2011

My Hallowe'en Costume! Part One

Hello, everyone! I promise that I have not abandoned this blog; I had a sick little boy, which sort of put everything else out of my head. He's fine now; in fact, it didn't seem to slow him down much at all, although I can't say the same for myself! After that little episode, I was kept very busy planning and executing (and cleaning up after!) my annual Hallowe'en bash. I'll share those pictures later, but I'm so excited about my costume that I just had to show it first! I decided to divide this into three separate posts; one to show the finished costume, and two subsequent posts to show the details of the coat and the jodhpurs. I actually stopped to take pictures while making the coat (don't get too excited; I took the pictures with my phone, so they're not great)! Here it is:

If only the Vintage Baroness and I could have attended the same party; take a look at her ridiculously awesome costume...wouldn't we have made a great pair?
Everyone thought that I was Amelia Earhart, although my original intention was to be Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The fact that a huge number of people had never heard of either woman and had no idea what my costume was supposed to represent was very disheartening. Darned American educational system! There were quite a few children, though, who yelled "Amelia Earhart!" at me, so they must still study her in school (and then forget all about her when they become adults)! Of course, my ever-complimentary husband decided that I looked like the creepy kid in "A Christmas Story"who stands beside Ralphie in line to see Santa.

I found the hat and the vintage welding goggles at a flea market a few weeks before Hallowe'en. I had been planning to make my own hat, but since I found this one, I took the faux leather that I had bought for the purpose and used it on the pants instead. It turned out to be a luckier find than I thought; the coat and jodhpurs took much longer than I had anticipated, so I wouldn't have had time to make the hat anyway!

The boots were a lucky ebay find; I had been looking for boots like these for months, and I finally found this pair, reasonably priced and only a little bit too big for me, a few weeks before I needed them. Fate! The scarf is made from white crepe, and the shirt is from Banana Republic via Goodwill.

And a good time was had by all! It just about killed me to get a store-bought costume for Henry; I actually have a child's pattern for jodhpurs and a little bomber jacket, and I was planning for us to be Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Alas, I ran out of time...maybe next year! He's really into Mickey Mouse right now, though, so he was pretty excited to wear this, as you can see!

Here is a photo of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. In addition to being a pioneer of women's aviation, she was also a well-published author.

Stay tuned for the details on the coat and jodhpurs, and for some pictures of my party!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Altered Knits: Easy Miss Lemon-Inspired Sweater, And A Blog Award!

I found this pretty sweater at Goodwill for a few dollars and knew that it just needed some embellishment. I had been watching Poirot recently (as usual), and thought that a big knitted bow à la Miss Lemon would be perfect!

I know we've all coveted this cardigan worn by Miss Lemon in the Poirot episode "The Adventures of the Clapham Crook". It was worn again by another character, Ann Shapland, in a later episode, "A Cat Among the Pigeons". Gemma of Bake Do and Mend put her knitting skills to good use by making her own lovely version of the Miss Lemon sweater. Isn't that brilliant?

This one was very easy to make. I don't have a picture of the sweater before I cut into it, but it basically looked the same as it does now, just MUCH larger and without the bow. To give you an idea of how much I took in on the sides, it was actually sleeveless before. I also shortened it by about 5 inches by cutting off the bottom band, taking it in, and reattaching it. As I mentioned in a previous post, if you don't have a serger, make sure you use the zigzag stitch for this, or you will be in big trouble when you try to put it over your head! As with everything else, I learned this the hard way :) For the bow, I took a sleeve from another sweater whose weave was identical to the bottom section of this sweater. I basically made a tube the size that I wanted the bow to be, turned it right side out, and slipped it through the holes that were already in the sweater, tacking the ends of the bow to the sweater on the inside to finish it. Quick and easy!

For all of you talented knitters out there, I found a pattern in a reproduction knitting book, which you can purchase here, that is very similar to Miss Lemon's sweater. Isn't it pretty? If anyone makes this, please let me know; I want to see pictures!

I've been thinking that I might embellish the bow somehow; either by embroidering my initials, one on each side, or by making some stripes like in the original sweater. The sweater is a coral/salmon color, so I was considering perhaps a turquoise-colored yarn for the accents. What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Also, I'm so honored to have been given two blog awards! Okay, it was really one blog award from two separate people, but my ego wants to call it two :) Thank you to Beth from V is for Vintage and to Susan of Susan's Diary-Vintage Style meets Heavy Music for giving me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award!

It seems that along with this award I must share seven random facts about myself, but I could only think of six things that were different from the ones I listed last time. I guess I'm not that interesting :) So here goes!

1. I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, but I have to try really hard to eat my vegetables; I'm more of a carb-etarian.
2. My favorite cartoon character is Jerry Mouse, but I'm fairly certain it's because he dances with Gene Kelly in "Anchors Aweigh". I grew up watching musicals, not cartoons. Plus, anything that involves Gene Kelly is automatically my favorite. Except Xanadu.

3. My second-favorite period in history is the American Revolution. I am named after Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, and chose my screen name of "Nabby" after their nickname for their daughter, who was also named Abigail.
4. I love gardens, but not gardening. I have the blackest black thumb around, but I keep trying every spring!
5. Hallowe'en is my favorite holiday! I always host a big Hallowe'en party, and ever since I bought my beautiful old house, the setting has been perfect! Of course, it's not as creepy as it was the first year we lived here, when the holes in the ceiling and the crumbing plaster really added to the ambience, but we make do :)
6. I hate to cook and am terrible at it, but I have a few easy-yet-impressive dishes that I can make very well. I basically alternate these three dishes each time I am asked to bring food to an event, and in this way I have convinced people that I am an awesome cook!

And now my favorite part of receiving an award: passing it on to some very deserving blogs! Here are some more blogs that I think are wonderful:

As usual, if you decide to participate in passing along this award (I know that some people don't really do them, and that's okay! I still like to give them.), you just need to acknowledge the giver, list seven random facts about your self, and pass it along to some other blogs you love. And thanks again, Beth and Susan, for my award!