Monday, June 28, 2010

A Domestic Weekend-gardening, preserving, and sewing

Jason and I have not been home, together, for about 6 weekends, so we decided to make this weekend about staying home, doing projects, and being together.

Last week the HOA (Home Owners Association) decided to paint the exterior of all the houses in neighborhood. They told us that they were going to do it, but not the dates that they were going to do it, so we didn't have a chance to move all of our outdoor garden stuff until they had already started painting. HOAs are one part of this "suburban" lifestyle that I can't wait to be without. The painters trampled our lettuce bed, painted on plants and trellises, and crushed various other plants that were planted along the sidewalk (amaranth, calendula, and poppies). The first thing that I did on Saturday was work on fixing those garden beds. I trimmed the parts of the plants that were covered in paint. Pulled the plants that were dead from the painter's footsteps, spruced up the plants that I think might bounce back, and replanted the lettuce bed. Jason helped put our gardening table, the potted plants, and our bird bath back next to the house.

This lettuce plant got painted and had to come out. I don't think paint would be a nutritious amendment to our diets.

This branch on our raspberry plant had to go. It was totally painted!

We left the strawberry plants. Hopefully the pain dusting they got won't affect the berries.

After putting the garden back together I decided to sew some pajama/workout pants. I have made this pattern three times now. The first time I made it the way the pattern said with a drawstring waist. I didn't really like the way they fit. The second and third times I just used an elastic waist. They aren't the prettiest or most flattering pants, but they are super comfortable for lounging around house, working out in, or sleeping in. For my next pair I want to add pockets (I have never made pockets before!). I got the red fabric for the pants from a twin sheet set that was 25 cents at a garage sale. The fabric is faded but soft, but was really warped and hard to sew with.

My new red workout pants!

Jason worked on my kayak (yep, he's building me a Greenland Kayak, I'm so lucky!). On Saturday night Jason and I watched The Taking of Pelham 123 on Netflix instant (well, I fell asleep on the couch).

On Sunday I woke up with lots of energy. I cleaned up the kitchen from Saturday's dinner and decided instead of making dilly beans to dehydrate our green beans for our next backpacking trip. So I washed our beans from the community garden, about 3 pounds worth, trimmed the ends, cut them into smaller pieces, and put them in the dehydrator. It took about 18 hours for all of them to dehydrate. I put them in an airtight ziplock and the next time that we go backpacking, we will either add them to another meal or eat them alone. We often rehydrate our foods by adding water during breakfast or lunch and then heating them at dinner. They are not quite as good as fresh, but after a long day of hiking, it's nice to have veggies with dinner.

Washing the beans-green and purple

Putting them on the dehydrating tray.

Leave them for a long time.

After getting the beans ready, I decided to go for a workout. After my shower I decided to work on a dress that I wanted to make. When we were in Vegas for father's day, Jason's mom helped me pick out some fabric for a dress and I wanted to get working on it. I have a lot of difficulty visual and spatial tasks. I can't "see" what something will look like when it's put together. This makes sewing sometimes really hard for me. I also get frustrated with patterns because they never quite fit me right. I got a book about pattern alteration when I was in DC with Sarah and decided to try and alter the pattern. I shortened the pattern at two places to more accurately represent my body style (although the dress was still a little too big for me in some places, while fitting just right in others, someday I will figure all of this out).

I have never sewed anything that had so many pieces to it. It took 3 3/8 yards of fabric and included and yolk, a bodice, front and back pieces, ruffles for the bottom, ruffles for each sleeve and a tie. I was really proud of myself because I knew how to do each task on the pattern instructions (I think this was the first pattern where I didn't have to scratch y head and figure out how to put it together). I worked from about noon until 1am with breaks for lunch and dinner. But in the end I have a dress. It turned out allright. I think that if I make it again, I will make it in a fabric that is lighter than cotton because it is very heavy. I think that I will either take in the sides to make it more fitted or make a smaller size because it hangs on me and almost looks like a maternity dress. But I feel like I am learning about sewing and finally making clothes that I would actually wear!

Dress Front

Dress Back

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