December 15, 2008


Haven't knitted a stitch, recently. But my sewing needle has been busy, making up this:


Allegra's dance school has its open house this coming week. They have a tradition that the high school girls do the closing number to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." It's a real play-to-the-audience dance. The girls wear red circle skirts, white Ts, and wacky Santa hats.

This is Allegra's first year doing this dance. I had been vaguely aware that the school had skirts to loan to kids who didn't have their own. But when Allegra came home with a skirt make out of felt, that was not even a circle but only flared, and had as its trim the kind of gold tinsel you'd put on your Christmas tree, I said, "We can do better. We'll make one."

I chose the simplest pattern, which was only three pieces and four seams. I didn't want to fool around with putting in a zipper, especially not on velvet, so I went with the pattern that had an elasticized waistband. We chose real velvet, and justified it by saying that, not only was it on sale for half price, but also if the dance school sticks to its tradition, she'll wear the skirt for three years. I did what my mother always told me to do: I hand-basted all my seams before running them through the sewing machine. I even did a Hong Kong finish on the side seams to keep the little velvety bits from shedding onto Allegra's clothing. Years ago I had made a circle skirt for myself, and I remember from that experience that the hem was the most difficult part, since the outside circumference of the raw edge is greater than the circumference of the finished hem. Hand-stitching the hem, and hand-stitching the mirabou trim each took two hours. I think the results are stunning, if I do say so myself.

Allegra said, "Malcolm's tail is a mirabou." And it is:


You can see we've had snow over the weekend!

* * *

Last night Scott and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It was a low-key evening. We ate dinner at the Barking Frog and spent the night at the Willows Lodge in Woodinville. Earlier in the month we had bought new furniture for our family room, as our present to each other.

Posted by Karen at December 15, 2008 10:45 AM

Lovely job Karen! I'm a month away from my 25th as well - this could be a nice place for us!

Linda "K"

Posted by: Linda "K" at December 15, 2008 04:11 PM

That skirt is gorgeous, and boy, does Allegra make it look even better. Gotta love those dancer's legs. You are quite the seamstress!

Posted by: Anne at December 16, 2008 10:33 AM

Thanks, you two! Now let us hope the predicted snowstorms are mild or nonexistent ... after all the time and effort (my sewing, Allegra and the other kids rehearsing) I would hate to see the open house performances be canceled for weather.

Posted by: Karen at December 16, 2008 08:48 PM