That Color

comments: 135





















It's weird that a woman with no time and a baby that is crawling all over the free world pretty much every minute of the waking day would do something like hand-pleat a big piece of fabric and then smock it by hand and then block it and then baste it and then cut it and then sew it into a tiny dress that needed a ton of hand finishing (linings sewn in, a giant hem). Weird but true, people.

Meems goes to bed at 7 p.m., and I swear, the minute I turn on that monitor and click that nursery door closed my basket explodes, and out bursts the yarn, the floss, the needles, the thread, the fabric. The flying fingers. A flurry of quiet industry ensues, until . . . I pass out around ten. . . . I like it. I like to sit and think about her, about the day, about the year. It's especially nice to do it with my feet up, and my face washed, and my nightgown on, and a breeze blowing through the evening window, and a puppers or a kitters on the bed. Nothing else to do. A deep, deep sigh. Slowly the fingers find their rhythm. One of my favorite parts of the day.

I bought vintage McCalls pattern 2447, intending to use the smocking iron-on transfer that was included, only to find that forty-some-odd-years later the transfer didn't work. So, plan B: hand gathering, using this tutorial. That went fine. I made up my own smocking design and colors. Random. Don't overthink these things or you'll never get anything done. I followed the directions on the pattern for finishing the rest of the dress. It was a handful, but I was in too deep to turn back. Need a hook and eye for the back. Boom. Can't wait to see it on her. The color is just dreamy to me. I must really like this color. It's a dusty pink but warm. I must think of it as Amelia's color because I keep using it for her.

My Lilla koftan? Meh. It's okay. Came out sort of oddly proportioned. Didn't like how the placket didn't overlap. I've seen other peoples' versions of this sweater and they are much cuter. I think I would use a plied yarn and larger needles next time. Make it drapey. The Milk Glass Pink came out quite pretty, though it's still on the blocking board. Too hot lately to put these on the poor child. We had an enormous thunderstorm the other night, however, and that was just awesome. Cool and cloudy today and I am beyond delighted.

Now on my needles is Ravi Junior. Isn't that the most gorgeous pattern? I look at patterns all the time but I only just ran into this one. I'm using Quince and Co. Chickadee in the color Chanterelle. It really is such a lovely color. Or kind of a non-color. Sort of brown, sort of pink, like the underside of a mushroom, or a very old ballet skirt, or an antique book about flowers, or the wallpaper from the back bedroom in your grandmother's house in Iowa. That kind of a color. One that's just right for summer's slide into fragrant, cloudy, rose-hipped early autumn.


Okay first I have to say I love your Wilco poster.
Very nice indeed. So weird thinking back to Jeff's Uncle Tupelo Days and seeing them play in St Louis.
Now on to your sewing and knitting, I have said it before and I will say it again. That little girl has the best mama in the world. Oh so much care put into her tiny clothes.
All the love in the world.

Let me tell you that your blog is just beautiful.

Your family is so lovely and you are so talented

Well done. Everything is so inspiring and beautiful

Love it x

Your work is so beautiful. I love all of these photos so much. Funny that you call her Meems; for a very long time, one of my pet names for my husband has been Meemer, or Meem for short. Occasionally, he is also Meems. It's a good name. :)

Susan Goldstein says: September 04, 2013 at 02:52 PM

I've been quietly stalking your blog for quite some time now. I love your pictures and everything you make. You're a very talented woman. I live in PA, my boyfriend lives out in Troutdale, Oregon. I'm always commenting to him about your blog. Hopefully I will be visiting that area in the future. The photos he sends me from there are beautiful. I've actually sent him to Acorn and Threads to pick up threads for me when I know he's headed back this way.

just lovely thimgs you made for your little baby
the pink one is simply wonerful
lovely pictures
sorry for my english

Everything is beautiful. Everything.

Is that Amelia walking?! Just love watching this precious and blessed little girl grow.

The smocked dress turned out beautiful! I had a few dresses that my Mom smocked for me when I was little. I remember she used gingham fabric..

I know what you mean about the magical quiet time all for yourself after the babes go to sleep. I remember it fondly. I am glad you are enjoying it, and the sewing/stitching time.

I love everything about this post, Alicia. The beautiful photos. The craftiness that spills into life. Your description of your evenings of making and dreams for Amelia. The adorable photo of everyone napping. The one of the kitten by the window, oh those curtains! And when you describe "that color" it becomes a story in and of itself. Your blog is one of my safe havens, a big source of inspiration, and just delights my heart every time I visit (which is sometimes multiple times a day to read and reread and just meditate over your lovely photographs and words.)

Love that color! It's so feminine. Beautiful for a baby but sophisticated enough for an adult too. Lovely.
My lap is a flurry of needles in the evenings as well. It's a wonderful way to relax and end the sometimes chaotic days.
Thanks for sharing♥

As always, love your photos! And Mimi just gets more adorable every time you post!! I admire your patience with the smocking! I just have never been able to get into that! Love the photo of little girl in the doorway. What possibilities does she see before her? Thank you for the lovely words and photos!!

waffles, pancakes, smocking. beautiful blue-grey eyes, sweet potato fries. bears cap (i hope) and a nap. gorgeous archway, baby in doorway. soft shades, things handmade. i must learn to budget my time in your manner. beautiful post, as always, alicia. thank you.

Amelia is mobile! Go Meems go!

The picture of her asleep on her daddy made my heart burst a little. Such a precious moment.

I think you are right about the dusty pink as her color. With her hair and coloring, it really is beautiful on her. That dress was worth every stolen moment. It is amazing. Do some kind of photo shoot with her wearing it though because she needs to see that kind of love and devotion when she gets older. It will make her heart burst a little too.

Auntie Allyn says: September 04, 2013 at 03:35 PM

So much beauty and richness in every photo. Thank you for sharing . . . savoring your photos and words is such a delight!

Is she WALKING??!!!!

I smocked many dresses for my girls who are now in their 20's. I still have all those little clothes. Hoping to pass them on to a Grandbaby some day. I still have my pleater, which may or may not be easier than hand pleating. Way to go with all the hard work for your precious one.

I was going to suggest that the vacation 'really recharged you,' but that's a silly suggestion, because as far as I can tell you are as productive and talented as ever! Woman, and your house is clean too? I've been sewing quite a bit, but I am a hot sticky mess in this heat, and all other concerns and demands go neglected and abandoned, just so I can play with my needles and threads. Aren't we lucky to find time, or steal it, and to do the things we love? yes, yes, yes

i try very hard to scroll down slowly...because it's all so yummy. today when i got to the andy and sleeping baby i welled up. love you all and i just have to say that this year has been such a gift from muskoka xoxoxo

p.s. ....just finished a big plate of curried chicken, but now craving pancakes and maple syrup...thanks. :)

Nothing better than watching a sleeping baby, except when the daddy is holding her and sleeping also. Photos are amazing, the dress is so very pretty. I am inspired by you to get out all my yarn, fabric, embroidery and quilting as soon as the littles go off to bed! It is important!!

The smocked dress is beyond gorgeous! Oh, you are so wonderfully talented. I love smocked anything and everything... my daughter is four, and still wears smocked clothing! I love the snapshots of your home... it's so, so lovely. And I love the photo of Andy feeding Amelia her bottle. Our daughter would never hold her bottle, and that was okay with me!

I commend you on your neck binding on the smocked dress! I made a bishop for my daughter's first birthday last year, and that was, by far, the ting that stressed me the most. Well done!

just thanks for your blog Alicia, it's lovely x

So precious, everything! That is a sweet color for a sweet baby girl. The smocked dress is amazing! These beautiful days...what a gift!

Your ability to complete projects AMAZES me....and yes with a little one walking around...the pink outfit with the cross stitching on it is beautiful, but then again everything you do is beautiful. You are a very talented lady. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

So now I know when you get it all done but I still don't know how! Please tell me there's at least a pile of dishes in your sink? My little one just turned 1 and I can't get a fraction of that accomplished! That smocked front is darling!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at