Swedish Sunshine

comments: 130


PATTERN: Simplicity 3510
VIEW: Bodice with three-quarter raglan sleeve (modified to eliminate tucks)
FABRIC: 100% shirting fabric from Fabric Depot, lace is vintage from an estate sale

Thank you for the music recommendations! I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of all the bands you suggested, so I am looking forward to doing that while I sew this week. At some point over the weekend I remembered that I have to, like, do some actual work again. My scrap basket was absolutely overflowing, so I began cutting my scraps into more 2 1/2-inch squares, and now I have a new handbag design I am really excited to show somebody. I am still working on the prototype, but after four tries I think I have got it. Get ready for some bitty squares, some linen, and some (yes) smocking! Oh, and do you like the color of apple blossoms?

The past few weeks of sewing these little dresses has been so much fun, and so relaxing, somehow. On a physical and, dare I say, an existential level. As I sew I think about the past and, for the first time in such a long time, the future. I think about what it will be like to have a new voice here in the house, and new sounds and smells. I think about what our animals will think about this new little critter in their pack. I think about the baby books we're reading, and the adoption books we've read. I think about the children's books I want to collect, and the songs Andy will write and sing. I think about pockets holding acorn caps and crayons and crumbs, and I think about hems and sleeves being shortened or lengthened once little arms are in them. I think about summer camps and skateboards. I think about birthparents and birthfamilies. I think about walks in the woods and campfires on the beach, and stars. I think about teeny, tiny toes. I think about the view of three dogwood trees from her bedroom window, and wonder if someday she'll move her bed so that she can wake up and look out of it, the way I did. I think cloth, or disposable? I think about all the ways in which the preparations we are making now will no doubt someday make us (and everyone we know) fall over laughing at our naivete, but I love thinking about that, too. You do your best to prepare, knowing that the reality will be whatever it is (because really, what has ever turned out how you expected?). I want to fill this time with the work of our happy hands and the highest hopes for all of us, the way any parent would. The preparations: I hope they turn out to be mostly functional. But symbols have a function, too.

Shelling Peas, Carl Larsson, 1908 

This little gingham dress is inspired by two of my great inspirations, artists and parents (of eight!) Carl and Karin Larsson, whose rooms were filled with children, food, flowers, fabrics, fresh air, animals, handmade things, art, peace, sunshine, togetherness, and love. Just like I want ours to be.


I just want to say how happy I am for you--how wonderful this is! Many good thoughts being sent your way!

xo Mary Jo

Such a lovely dress and lovely thoughts you are having. I am so excited for you!

Angela Bowman says: May 22, 2010 at 02:38 PM

Best of luck to you, what great adoption news. Do your best to be patient with the adoption process. Takes a long time, but is so worth the wait. Our little adopted daughter was born in Portland. I'll never forget when we picked her up in Oregon City, on a Christmas tree farm!

A very touching post and one that's very real for me.
We are also reading adoption books/articles and I still think about the past, but we are not yet at the point that i dare look to the future. I hope that day will come very soon.

I wish you all the best!!

I made a top for my daughter for the first day of preschool inspired by this beautiful dress you made. If you are curious - you can see it here http://beanniequilts.blogspot.com/2014/09/back-to-school-sewing.html I'll probably do more similar ones because I love it so much. And maybe a dress too.

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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 aliciapaulson.com