The Handcrafted Wardrobe: Off Track

My heart isn’t really in a true Handcrafted Wardrobe post tonight.  My mind it too full of other things, flitting about, unable to settle.  I do have some finished projects, but no pictures, getting photos of myself being rather a bother and a chore at times.  I have been pondering cold weather needs and adding to my cool weather capsule wardrobe mood board.  I’ve been comparing what I’ve made so far to what I’ve dreamed up with that board to see if I’m keeping on track, and I don’t believe I am.  I’ve been teasing out silhouettes in my mind of a Thanksgiving dress in vintage floral print on a deep wine ground.  Then I think, oh slippers for the baby!  And is there enough of that crimson wool for a bonnet as well? Is that costume plan foolhardy or does it truly stand a chance?   And when will I find the time to make it?  Is my lesson plan for the week full enough??  And off I go again…

This weekend was supposed to be devoted to sewing for children, but ended up being all about cooking instead.  We had our first little snow squall, the fire burned without end and the wind howled and howled.  Even now it continues to whip around the eaves and thrash the trees about.

Both our pork and beef arrived this week.  A whole pig and whole cow respectively, except for the bits of pork that are still being smoked.  As a former long time vegetarian, I am still not entirely comfortable with eating meat, though I make a good show of it.  This, I at least believe, is the best way of going about it.  Local, free-range, grass-fed meat from a small family farm.  The price per pound works out to be around the equivalent of inexpensive cuts of conventional meat, only we get all of the cuts down to expensive roasts and porterhouse steaks, along with the reassurance of a good, healthy life for the animal involved and nutritionally superior food for our family.  But it does require freezer space!  Which was on the tricky side and lead to a frozen harvest cook-a-thon.  I made a huge pot of beef stew with all sorts of autumnal root veggies, turned some summer squash puree into a dairy-free cheese and baked a strawberry crisp, using home-made coconut butter as the topping, as per this recipe.  We had the fresh pork chops Saturday night, cooked with onions and pineapple sage and served with orange and yellow chard.  I grew pineapple sage for the first time this year and I find the scent intoxicating.  It has somehow managed to escape harm despite all of our recent frosts and brilliant scarlet flowers are just beginning to peep out of their buds.  I have delusions of somehow finding a way to winter it over in the garden, though I know the thing is impossible.  Perhaps I’ll dig it up and see how it fares inside.

I still have some thawed chard that I think I’ll turn into creamed chard and a couple of jars of shredded zucchini that I haven’t decided what to do with. We also spent almost an entire day rendering lard, which was a first for me.  Eight whole quarts full! I’ve never even cooked with lard before. And maybe, just maybe I’ll finally sew up that skirt full of pins by my side.

Has the season scattered your focus as well?  Do you find a discrepancy between what you like and the items that you make, buy and wear?  This has always been true for me and I’ve been trying to correct it, but apparently without much success.




5 thoughts on “The Handcrafted Wardrobe: Off Track

  1. Trish

    You are not alone! I too, end up with things that either don’t fit, don’t look good or weren’t what I was originally after. It takes time and energy to figure it out. I honestly don’t know how others do it.

  2. Robyn

    All of my projects have fallen prey to the daily grind of work. Two unfinished sweaters sit mocking me in the bedroom at the moment. The sewing machine, purchased with great ambition and hope, has yet to have been plugged in.

    I’m struggling with a lack of focus on the home front due to the monopolization of my attention and energy from my new job this year. The stress from the new environment and its demands have taken its toll on everything. My goal now is to knit and make when I can find quiet, but just survive the year. There will be some serious reevaluation and soul-searching regarding what I do next year.

    Your food prep sounds so very good, as does the cold weather.

  3. cb

    Hi Melody, I am a loyal reader here for years, 1st time I’ve left a reply. When you wrote about being a former vegetarian and still not being comfortable eating it, it caused me to stop and think about my situation. I was a vegetarian for 16yrs but starting eating local grass fed meat more than 6 months ago. It is still very hard for me to eat this way but I had to do it for my health. Do you feel that being vegetarian caused your health to not be as good as it should be ? What made you decide to eat meat ?

  4. Jasmine

    Yes I’ve been scattered too! But for me it’s working out well because although I have several large sweaters on my needles I keep getting sucked into the satisfaspction of small quick projects. I’ve been making stocking stuffers and Christmas crafts and odds and ends I’ve been meaning to make for a long time. It feels good. Scattered is alright sometimes. But now I’m going to dive into those sweaters. The weather is right.

  5. Melody Post author

    I’m glad to hear I’m not alone! I’m still accomplishing things as well, but not the right things. Not the things that are much needed or would make life easier.

    I think you are very right Robyn, to hunker down and do what you have to, without adding any other stress! I very much hope for quiet moments of rejuvenation for you, where you can make something simply for the joy of it.

    CB: I honestly don’t know. I stopped eating meat at age 11, when I was obviously still growing and developing. My diet from that point until about age 18 consisted mostly of junk food. At 18 I became more health conscious and began eating a greatly improved, whole foods based vegetarian diet and somewhere in my 20′s began eating meat again. I’ve often thought my diet really hurt me health-wise. But my children have mostly had a wonderful diet all through their lives and still struggle to stay well. Of course they came from me and only could work with the building blocks I gave them- so their foundations may be poor due to my own long-term depletion. All I really know for sure is that without eating well now and trying to incorporate that into a generally healthy life style, everyone’s health would be much, much worse.

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