Updated…Compromises-Play it again, Sam!

Though nothing like this was heard at the formal Stetson Christmas Concert which is central to this post, the video below is is too special not to share. Thanks, Shirley, for bringing this to my attention. I promise you all will want to see this to the very hilarious ending.


I’m being forced to make creative compromises.  It is absolutely impossible to sew all that I want and to regularly dress my grandchildren in the classic clothing I’ve always wanted for them.

Torn between making baby clothes for soon-to-arrive granddaughter #2 and sewing Christmas outfits for the three grandchildren who are already here, I am making compromises I never thought I would accept.

I’m re-doing, recycling, and taking shortcuts with holiday clothes, not to mention cooking and housekeeping!  This year’s Christmas frock for granddaughter Laurel is 2011 all over again.  It’s the same burgundy velveteen collar dress, though he collar has been replaced with one I made for my daughter 24 years ago.

This doesn’t even meet the bridal wardrobe standard of “something old and something new.”  This is just something old and something older!

Seven year old Robert joined us this year for the Stetson University Christmas Concert.   He looked handsome in a nice red sweater (off the rack, not even handknit by Nana), while Laurel, 8, wore this dress.  But they certainly didn’t compliment one another’s outfits.  Oh well.

The concert was absolutely spectacular and incredibly moving.  My scalp prickled and my eyes teared.

The impact of the divine music and the beauty of the surroundings cannot be overstated.  And according to my family, I’m the Queen of Exaggeration.

100 year old Elizabeth Hall Auditorium.  I wish you could see it with the lights dimmed and the candles lit.

Shortly after this photo was taken, a gorgeous golden harp was brought on stage. Later it was played by Cameron Huster, a lovely young lady from our church who now teaches at Stetson University.  When she was 8, she took a quilting class from my daughter 16 year old Rebecca.

Cameron Huster, harpist, stock photo

The addition of the harp and Cameron’s artistry at the strings certainly elevated the concert music to a heavenly level.  Other new features included handbells and a 7-piece string ensemble of violins, cellos and a bass cello.  My oh my!

As we waited, Robert and Laurel wiggled and chatted.

Laurel is sucking a mint Lifesaver.

But once the music began, they were all ears.

I doubt this Christmas dress is the last compromise I will have to make in the next several months.  With four grandchildren, I will have to find ways to stitch more in less time.

How do you juggle/schedule projects for the children in your family?  I’d appreciate any tips.

14 responses to “Updated…Compromises-Play it again, Sam!

  1. The collar is as beautiful as it was when it was worn by your daughter. There is just something about Christmas music that swells my emotions. I love “high church music” (Messiah, etc) and so getting to go to some of the bigger church or university concerts makes the season even better. This year, we are not in high gear since most of my days are spent sitting by my mother’s hospital bed. Once again, cards might not be sent, tree might not come out of the attic, but there will be years in the future to do that. I am where I need to be. Have a wonderful Christmas with the grandchildren…they make it so magical!

  2. Oh, My, Goodness! Look how those children have grown! Laurel’s face looks so mature in that first picture! And then Robert is almost as tall as she is in the second one!!

    I purchased Christmas dresses this year, too. And they don’t perfectly coordinate. We’ll move past it, together, yes?!

    I love, love, love those kinds of Christmas chorales. I need to go see if UNL is having one this year…..

  3. I have 5 kids and life is certainly about compromises. My Mom always says, “do you want to live in a museum (ie perfect house) or do you want 5 kids?” Of course, I choose the kids every time! Just do what you can and realize that time spent with family is never a compromise. You do so many special things with your family and that’s what makes wonderful memories for them. The beautiful grandma-mades are a bonus!
    No Goddaughter here (due tomorrow) – what is Rebecca’s due date?? Babies are such fun!!

  4. Laurel and Robert have grown so much this year. Where does the time go?
    Love the collar. I have several of those from years past, however, my DD and DDIL do not like collars, so they stay packed away! Saving them for great g’babies now!
    No new Christmas dresses here this year. They can still wear last year’s….thank goodness. I am working on Kennedy’s new red wool coat and need to get started on her birthday dress. And moving on to think about Easter!

  5. Thanks, Beckie. I, too, love “high church music,” though I enjoy a good choral rendition of “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and similar music just as much. Regardless of what traditional Christmas chores are left undone, you are attending to the most important task. I hope your Christmas is peaceful, Beckie. You are overdue for peace and rest.

  6. The children certainly are growing fast, especially Robert. Even though you see that every day with your 5, it is both reassuring and frightening! If you didn ‘t make or coordinate Christmas outfits and Judy’s granddaughter’s are wearing last year’s frocks just like Laurel, I am more accepting of the situation. Meanwhile, get thee to a concert, Jo!

  7. Your mother is absolutely right. We all know it and believe it, but it is hard to put that in front of ourselves at times like this. I have countless memories of fun with my children, now 38 and 34, but I can’t recall a single day of cleaning house (though I promise you I DID….every now and again). Rebecca’s baby girl should arrive some time between Christmas and the first week in Jan. I hope you will post lots of pictures of your Goddaughter on your blog, especially in that divine christening gown.

  8. http://mommysapronstrings.blogspot.com/
    Lisa, your wise mother faced the issue head on. I have countless, precious memories of time with my young children, now 38 and 34, attending Christmas parades, decorating gingerbread houses, helping with homemade Christmas gifts, etc. But I can’t recall a single day of housecleaning…though I DID do that, every now and again. Rebecca had been given a few due dates, from Christmas day until the first week in January. I hope you will post blog pictures of your Goddaughter, especially in the spectacular christening gown you made for her. This Christmas surely is a season all about babies.

  9. Judy, I can’t wait to see that red wool coat. It’s a shame that the granddaughters’ mothers don’t like collars. They can really stretch the life of a holiday yoke dress.

  10. Shirley Boyken

    There’s nothing wrong with recycling beautiful classic clothing! They deserve to be worn and enjoyed. Thank you for the beautiful gift of music on this blog. I enjoyed it so much.

  11. Hi Janice, I am a new visitor to your site and have happily buried myslef in it! LOL But I didn’t see where else I can reach you. I’ve “tracked you down” because I would really like to share your wonderful article on Drafting a Bishop Dress for Any Size Doll, from the 1992 Holiday Issue of Sew Beautiful magazine, with my Yahoo doll group Bleuette Sewing Club. We are an online doll club sewing for a 10″ bisque and composition doll. The original vintage dolls were given with a subscription to a French girls’ magazine starting in 1905 and patterns were included for the doll until the end of its publication in 1960. I’m sure you are very busy, especially this time of year, but would you please email me and let me know if this is posible. Thank you so much! Deirdre

  12. Laurel’s dress is absolutely beautiful. I would have never known that it was last year’s dress with the new pretty collar! There are so many more things I wish I could do too. I liked what Elisabeth Rose said………and I have six. 😉

    We all gathered around the computer watching the Christmas video. What fun!

    Merry Christmas!

  13. Hi Deirdre. I’m flattered by your persistence in tracking me down. Of course you may share that article on drafting a bishop dress. Honestly, figuring that out was one of my most useful expenditures of time. Now that my granddaughter is into American Girl dolls and a variety of others, I use those techniques again and again. Your Yahoo doll group sounds like fun. Wouldn’t you love to lay hands on an original doll and with the original patterns? I love old things. So happy doll sewing and pattern drafting to you and the members of your group. Thanks for your sweet words about my blog. I hope you visit again. P.S. If you or anyone would like to contact me via e-mail, the address is NCcabin@aol.com.

  14. Oh thank you Janice! My sewing group will be so delighted! I have already shared the address to this wonderful blog with them earlier today. A few of the ladies do own original dolls. They are beautiful to admire (the very first ones were made from Jumeau molds), but can go for as much as $6,000 because of their rarity! I am lucky enough to have some of the actual 1905 and later Le Semaine de Suzette magazines. I guess, like Sew Beautiful magazines, a great many were kept and treasured. Please feel free, everyone, to “drop by” my website of free English translations of those early patterns http://www.dressingbleuette.com They are interesting reading and fun to look at the styles even if you never make up the patterns. And of course you all are most welcome to join our Yahoo group, Bleuette Sewing Club! They are a lovely group of women who love dolls and handwork. Thank you again Janice I know they are going to be just thrilled with your clear instructions.

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