I am sorry to be absent for so long! 2020 has been full of surprises and changes. Some are unexpected and happy, like finding out that I am pregnant and that we will have a baby in November. And some have been very difficult: getting used to Gia not being here, losing my part-time job as an art teacher, trying to be cautious about going out on any errands during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, struggling to see the doctor for prenatal visits during a pandemic, worrying about the stability of my husband's job (so far it is holding steady and we are immensely grateful), and finding out that we unexpectedly had to move apartments at the end of May.
The national and international news have been overwhelmingly sad and tragic, and Instagram has become very politicized at the moment as many people justly share their anger over so many wrongful deaths and so much neglect of the vulnerable and the poor. I've always hoped that sharing sewing projects here or on Instagram could create a moment of hopefulness: sharing how I make the best of what I have, encouraging myself and others to make do and mend, and attempting to dress with dignity no matter the circumstances. I feel like those things have continuing value and importance, especially in these current times when we are all justly afraid for the future because almost every life has been destabilized and touched by (or even overwhelmed by) trial and hardship.
Still, because Instagram is currently embroiled in important political conversations about race and resistance to injustice, I'm saving my tiny message of ordinariness for this blog. I am going to post some of my early maternity outfits that I've worn through my third month of pregnancy and into my fourth. Even though I've been lucky to avoid much nausea, pregnancy has still been a hard experience for me so far: my body is changing quickly which brings back some body-anxiety that I had as a teenager who struggled with anorexia, and my first trimester was exhausting and I spent a lot of it asleep. I'm relieved that some energy is slowly returning now that I've passed 15 weeks, and I am trying daily to find ways to cultivate comfort and hope, no matter how small or brief those moments are.
I've been starting to sew some things for the baby and my changing, and I plan to post them here as energy and circumstances allow. Changes are happening, and I am trying to adapt every day.
My blue check dress, worn here under a thrifted denim skirt. Both have elastic waists--perfect for early maternity, when fitted waists stop fitting.
My brown check maxi dress, worn here with a homemade black velvet bow attached to a pin.
A new and un-blogged smock dress made from Simplicity 9343 and a thrifted floral sheet with pale pink poppies on it. I am wearing it here with a thrifted pink cotton cardigan and a locket that my husband gave me.
My first outfit photo from our new apartment: my yellow Folkwear prairie dress (I don't think I've given it a proper blog post yet either) with the sleeves rolled up---truly the most comfortable, light, and flowing thing to wear while pregnant in hot weather.
My sister gave me this ready-made cotton-linen blouse and the thin cotton jumper, which she sewed. It is wonderfully comfortable and adjusts with ties at the side.
This was one of the last photos I took in our old apartment, while the weather was up and down between late-summer hot and early autumn cool. I am wearing my navy twill jacket (reviewed here) and my navy broadcloth skirt (reviewed here) with a vintage pale blue striped shirt with a white collar I found at the thrift store and a new sterling silver Stuart Nye pansy brooch that I found on Ebay for only a few dollars. It was black with tarnish when I got it, but after some polish, it is quite lovely, I think. Pansies have been one of my favorite flowers since I was a child, for their cheerful faces, and royal colors, and because ‘pansies are for thoughts.’
We’ve been having a hot spell in California, and so I’ve been grateful for all the cotton in my handmade wardrobe. This was an outfit I was particularly pleased with for being cool but still interesting when I wore it last week on yet another 90 plus degree day: the blouse I reviewed here, and the recently completed gingham skirt I reviewed here. I made the citrine necklace, too, which I blogged about recently here.
Mr and Mrs Rat
Mr and Mrs Rat like to sew.