Proper Schoolgirl

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Andy had the whole weekend off and we had nothing to do (this almost never happens). I had a pile of fabric and patterns and needed some alone time (I almost never get this). Into the sewing room I tear, and the scissors start flying. My girl is growing, growing, and has no clothes. I make a lot of her clothes. I made a lot of her clothes before she was even born (as you might know :). I made them up until size 3T, figuring she might not want to wear the clothes a made after that. DARLING GIRL, she still does, but has none that will fit her this fall, when she turns four. Oh, how my heart sings at the circumstance! Here comes a plaid jumper for the first day of preschool (McCall's pattern #7590, from 1981); a dusty pink dress that was made from a nightgown pattern (McCall's #3381, c. 1972); a blue plaid smock with the prettiest embroidered daisy ribbon (McCall's 3237, c. 1972); and a sundress for the back-to-school picnic (Simplicity #8712, from 1978). I have a lot of ideas for things in my head, but not much time to sew. When I do get the time, the things pour from my hands. It's a start. Amelia will go to preschool three mornings a week this fall. We are all very excited about it!

Next week is the last week of summer. The yard is parched and pale yellow, already covered in spiderwebs and dusty things. The spent hydrangea blooms turn russet, the grass dies. I half-heartedly water stuff, not sure if it's already too late. I can't remember the last time it's rained. Summer, you do challenge me. Day after day of 97-degree temperatures and I can't see anything but waves of heat in the air. We routinely get in the car and the thermometer there says its 109, 110, 111. . . . I'm cooked. I bought a bread machine for sandwiches. The loaf was so adorably runty, all bulbous on one side. I couldn't help but love it. It tasted just fine to me, and I made a ham sandwich with a ton of lettuce and avocado for dinner. Our apple tree has loads of apples, many with holes, some half-eaten by something before they're even picked. They're good though. If it ever gets below 90, I'll make a pie. I really cannot wait for that day.

Andy, Amelia, and Clover Meadow spent one (actually cool-ish) night in the tent in the backyard for the first time. I slept in the house, listening on the monitor. She woke up around1:15 a.m., and they (we) were up for an hour. She insisted on staying out (though Clover came back in), fell back asleep, and slept until dawn. Dawn's coming so much later these days. I don't mind that, either. Today is the last day of swimming lessons. Simon, the teacher, comes and tells us yesterday, "Tomorrow, we get to turn on the fountains! Tomorrow we get to do whatever we want!" "Oh, she'll be good at that!" I say, winking. I'll miss swimming lessons, sitting on the chaise lounges in the shade with the other lesson parents, listening to the kids sing "I Had a Little Fishy," watching them chase rings and lay on their backs and blow bubbles and put their faces in the water. I'll miss holding up the towel for her to run, shivering, into my arms when she's done, cuddling her on my lap while we watch the lifeguards put the lane lines away and crank up the beach umbrellas for open swim. We took six weeks of daily swimming lessons this summer. I will miss all these pool days, and some of the summer things. But I'm ready to go outside again, and not feel like I have to be covered in water to do it. . . .


Patti Dunaway says: August 26, 2016 at 11:09 AM

The plaid jumper and pink floral dress are sooooooooo perfect!

We left Portland feeling as though a change of season was on the brink... red and golden leaves and apples, cool mornings, a bit slower to begin. It was like leaving a party too soon! Now, here, even in fickle Southern California, I am being lulled into the belief that this summer wants to leave on time. That would be welcome, if we could skip our protracted months of heat. To bake, and sew, and relish those coolish nights. Clover looks dear. Sorry about that scab! Best wishes to the proper schoolgirl~

I've had many happy times at the sewing machine making outfits for my daughter. From baby thru Junior High, I made her clothing. Plus Halloween costumes. Yes, many happy sewing times.
As hot has it has been, I know that Fall is not far off. I can close my eyes and see golden leaves, feel the rain and cool breezes. Oh yes, it will come.🍁🍂🍃
Seeing your fresh bread makes me want to pull out our Zojirushi bread maker.🍞 Also make a small batch of jam, too.🍒

Hello Alicia! I loved the images in this post.. especially Mimi's hand reaching for an apple on the tree and the one of her with the sun making her hair like a golden halo. You sure do have a knack. Now I want some homemade bread, too. Oh honey! I'm off to swim with Gracie.. we went to the Hot Springs on Wednesday and were treated to seeing the American Empress.. (pix on blog). Now I'm off to swim at LA Fitness! Enjoy the last days of summer.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Darling clothes you've whipped up! I used to sew for my children, but haven't done any for my grandchildren - yet. While two of the granddaughters are too old now, one is just four, which is a perfect age to be sewing for her. And my daughter hinted about making pajamas for boys and girls from flannel sheets I no longer need. So... I appreciate your example and inspiration.

So, so hot this summer -- here in Michigan too. Hooray for swimming pools and swimming lessons, but I can't wait for fall -- apple orchard trips, pumpkin muffins, woolly cardigans, all that good stuff. Amelia's new clothes are so sweet -- I need to get cracking on clothes for my little ones, who will be 1 and 3 this autumn.

A bread machine is a very good investment. I use mine almost every day, putting it on so that there's a loaf done at about 10am. I put 1lb 2oz of flour, a good pinch of fast action yeast, a teaspoon of honey and one and a half teaspoons of salt on the 5 hour brown/granary programme, even if I put a mixture of flours in, or white flour. About an hour and a half from the end I take out the dough, remove the blade from the machine, shape the dough and put a cut down the centre of it, then put it back in. It works a treat. I know what you mean about the garden at this time of year, it's the same here. Hope you enjoy these last few days of summer. CJ xx

Ha! I've been watering like that, too! "Here's a little something for you - Good luck out here!", before I head back into the ac. My carnivorous plants are very happy, but everything else looks exhausted. Happy End of Summer! We made it through another one!

I soooo LoVe coming over to your lovely space. Living now in the Scottish Highlands I have a little summer heat envy, my summer has so fare been a bit of a wash out ....literally.
Your new creations for Amelia are beautiful Paperdolls are 18 &11 now and still regularly requesting handmade clothing from me, only difference now is they have strong opinions on fabrics & style.Wishing you a little cooler but wonderful weekend!
Anna xx

Aah, wonderful post! I want to wear all her clothes ... I'm 44, does that matter??? I hope it cools down for you soon :-)

I love all Amelia's new clothes and especially that sundress which I know will also look great as a pinafore with short then long sleeve tees under it. I would like one myself! I am impressed you now have a little model to pose these on or is it a dressmaker's dummy to help you sew? You always inspire me and I remember now that i have a bread maker hiding at the back of a cupboard somewhere. For you it's a novelty for fall and for me it will be novelty for my souther hemisphere spring to have ham and lettuce sandwiches again. Happy schooldays dear Amelia. I know you you will enjoy all the new activities and sights xx

Charlotte K says: August 26, 2016 at 03:47 PM

mountains, darlin'--time to run away to the mountains for a few days and cool off!!

Oh the clothing is so precious. You truly inspire me. My girl is going to be 2 this October and I've been inspired since I was pregnant with her by your blog. My little girl now sports a few patterns you blogged and it pleases me so to see her dressed in things I've made. Before your blog I just bought everything - never knew the pleasure of making things by hand...I too am looking forward to fall. It's been a drrryyyyy summer here West of PDX.

Oh the dresses are soooo sweet!!! Truly wonderful!!! I miss having my daughter little enough to make dresses for for everyday. At thirteen she does still liked them, but mostly for special occasions such as Easter or Christmas.

Yes, the weather has been hot!!! Let's hope it really cools down soon, I'm sooo ready : )

The heat is annoying and I fret about it every year. Somehow this year it seems to have gone by quickly. Here in the Bay Area, we won't have that full cozy feeling until the first week of November, unless we are lucky this year. Our neighbors apples look ready, and some are spilling into our yard, perhaps a pie is in order :)

My kids are now ages 8 and 10 (entering 3rd and 5th grades next week!) and I occasionally miss the days when they were 2, 3, 4 years old. It's such a sweet time. Never a moment to yourself, but they love you so and still wear the things you make. I hope it cools off for you soon. I always think the coming of fall is bittersweet, but mostly I get excited about the new school year (I work on the academic calendar, too) and baking apple pies and putting lots and lots of roasted tomatoes in the freezer.

Is Clover starting to get a few grey hairs? How old is she now? She's such a great dog. I love your dresses. Amelia will look gorgeous in them.

That pink floral sundress? The last one? I have a large piece of that exact fabric in my stash! Haven't been able to think what to use it for, but it looks perfect in that pattern. She will look so sweet in it.

Those sweet little dresses, oh, those sweet little dresses. The photos of them made me audibly gasp with delight.

What is your favorite bread machine bread recipe?

stephanie says: August 26, 2016 at 09:32 PM

I love all your posts you make life sound so wonderful. I am wondering where you got the cute little fox that Amelia seems to love so much. Thank you for all your beautiful word and pictures.

I adore reading your every day life stories, so beautiful!

Alicia- may I ask what brand/model of bread maker you picked out? I've been looking for one that makes small loaves and yours looks like it might just fit the bill. Thanks!

Cute little dresses - you sure so fast and well! I prefer hand sewing things, but I'm trying to get more confident with the machine. Such a lucky girl to start pre-school in style! Can't wait for cooler weather too! Thanks for sharing your wonderful world!

6 weeks of daily swimming lessons. Wow, I admire your commitment! We bought a breadmaker over 10 years ago, after staying in a holiday home which had one. We used it so much but now hardly at all since I rarely eat bread, the children have school lunches and my husband eats leftovers for lunch. It is super handy when we do need bread though, a purchase you won't regret! Love the dresses, how lucky you are that Amelia still wants to wear your handmade goodies.

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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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.