R suit

5 year-old Robert’s Easter suit


NEWS FLASH!!!!   I beat the clock!  Robert’s shirt was finished by 1 p.m.  Saturday! I sewed on buttons at the hairdresser’s, I hemmed while waiting  at the airport  for my brother, I whipped neck bias while watching  for Uncle Richard to arrive. I am done!  Bring on the bunny!


2 year-old Alastair's Easter suit

2 year-old Alastair’s Easter suit


Blue pearl buttons from Farmhouse Fabrics add color to the back.

Blue pearl buttons from Farmhouse Fabrics add color to the back.


I’m driven, determined to beat the countdown to Easter morning.   Alastair’s suit, shown here, and Laurel’s dress are finished, but one thing or another has roadblocked my efforts to finish Robert’s outfit.  I have been way behind schedule with unexpected and time consuming life complications, but thought I could catch up.

Two days ago, we had Robert and Laurel overnight.  Their mother has been sick all week and our son has been out of town on business.  So Shelly has been struggling at home alone.  Her mother has helped out a great deal and we had them Wednesday  overnight.  It may not take a village to raise a child, but two sets of nearby grandparents surely makes the task a lot easier. 


Robert in the ER after his breathing was stabilized

Robert in the ER after his breathing was stabilized


About midnight, Robert awoke with severe croup and after following the standard protocol–tenting him with a cold air humidifier– he was no better.  In fact, after an hour,  he was  gasping for air, so I rushed  him to the emergency room.   We were there until the sun came up.  Yawn…..  I slept most of that day and sewed only a little.  Robert is home recuperating with his sick mama. Laurel is back with us and is tucked in upstairs.

I MUST finish Robert’s outfit.  I am positively driven.  My dear husband has advised me that the celebration of Easter will come on Sunday whether or not this little guy is wearing one of my creations.  Why can’t we just buy Robert a new shirt?  I know his only intention is to relieve my stress and get at least one thing off my overflowing plate.  But he cannot understand why this is so important to me.


The side vent makes the untucked shirt acceptable. It wouldn't stay tucked in anyway.

The side vent makes the untucked shirt acceptable. It wouldn’t stay tucked in anyway.


Do you understand my drive?  Do you ever find yourself ready, willing and able to meet unexpected family needs, but unwilling to give up your own personal goals?  This sweet five year-old would have no hard feelings and he would get over it.  But I wouldn’t.   I had waited somewhat patiently until our son was 31 years old for the blessing of grandchildren.  Now that they have arrived, I cannot bear to miss an opportunity to sew for them.  So I must finish this outfit.

Since the two boys’ outfits are alike, the second is going quickly.  The shorts pattern, Jackson by Children’s Corner, is unlined.  I lined them using the directions for the shortall in Martha’s Favorite Applique  book.

If you’ve never used this technique, you would find the price of the book worth this tidbit.  This is sooo slick!  Though I’ve made up several of the shortalls and A-line jumpers, I experience a sense of awe and wonder every time.  I don’t know who engineered this miracle, but I suspect it was Louise Baird. And I appreciate it.


obert's collar features a sailboat design from Southern Stitches. The sun and birds were added to the design.

Robert’s collar features a sailboat design from Southern Stitches. The sun and birds were added to the design.


Embroidery machine shadow work  is featured on the collars of the boys’ shirts. Alastair’s train (currently, his consuming interest) design is from Suzanne Hinshaw’s Teddies and Toys collection.  After washing out the water soluble stabilizer, several of the underlay stitches had not been caught in the top stitching, so I ironed on no-show stabilizer.  Aside from securing the stitches, the stabilizer actually made the collar construction much easier.

 The shirt pattern is from Martha Pullen’s Heirloom Sewing for Jack and Jill collection.  The side vent is a modification made by following Nancy Coburn’s excellent directions in her Gingersnaps Hudson’s Sunday Suit for the side vent.


All boats have a registration number. This one reflects the date.

All boats have a registration number. This one reflects the date.


Robert’s shadow embroidered  sailboat design with waves is from Southern Stitches’ Shadow Work Baby Collection.  To coordinate with Laurel and Alastair’s outfits, I felt it needed more yellow.  After adding the sun, it was out of balance so I included some birds.  There was no mast, so I added that in BuzzEdit2.

I had hoped to avoid the problem of loose underlay stitches but it was a disappointing repeat performance.   Must be operator error.  In fact, the Southern Stitches instructions direct you to stitch the underlay on “non-removable extra sheer stabilizer. “  Instead, I used UltraSolvy so that may explain the failure. At any rate, the after-the-fact iron-on stabilizer fixed the problem.  Next time, I’ll start with that.

Saturday starts early with Laurel Cade’s usual 0:dark-thirty wake up.  Then in rapid succession comes my early hair appointment, the arrival of my charming 91 year-old Uncle Richard who is spending a few days with us, picking up my brother, his wife and dog at the airport, and finally greeting our daughter Rebecca, Harvey and 2 year old Alastair.   I’ll have to fit in a run to the nursing home to take clean laundry to Aunt Aileen and bring her an Easter treat.

Uncle Richard will be set to work stuffing peeps and jelly beans in the plastic eggs.  The others can load the Easter baskets and stuff more eggs.    I’ll be cooking, decorating and enjoying my family.   Our son Ryan and hopefully healthy Shelly will be here with Laurel Cade and Robert Charles for the egg hunt and dinner. And I can revel in the glory of my 3 beautiful, well dressed grandchildren on this glorious Easter day.

Whew!  After detailing the schedule, I realize that I really must  finish tonight because there is no other time left.  This is the only chance I will ever have to sew coordinated Easter 2011 clothes for my grandchildren.   I am driven.

Still, harried as I am, I have had time to savor the joy and meaning of the holiday.  I wish you all a happy, meaningful Easter with your family and friends.

P.S.  I’m not even taking time to review or edit this post–it’s a single draft with nothing but spellcheck.  I hope you will excuse me.

5 responses to “Driven

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.