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.


I can't overstate how I love seeing your darling daughter growing. You were really meant to be a mama to a baby girl so you could have the most wonderful reason to be sewing and knitting all of those adorable clothes. Your photos are so beautiful, as always! I wish you were on Instagram so I could enjoy a picture or two there each day. (hint, hint!)

Sandi McLean says: September 08, 2013 at 03:25 PM

Hi Alicia, just love the dress you made for your beautiful girl. Reminds me of my girls when they were growing up. Love your blog and all the sharing you do. Thanks.

You are so creative. The most beautiful clothes comes from your hands.

best. naps. ever. With a babe on you like that! I sooo miss those days! enjoy!

Love that smocked dress! You did an amazing job! :)

I am admiring that hanging lamp at the cafe. The doorway photo has such a homey feel to it as well. So very pretty, Alicia.

I love how you have your home decorated. I have been on the lookout for some pottery pieces. I noticed you have a beautiful collection. Very inspiring to look at how you have arranged them throughout your home. With your fresh floral arrangements, and romantic lighting.
Happy week to you!! :)

In the movie, "The Thornbirds" (and the book too), they referred to that color as "ashes of roses". :) I love that color too!

Does Andy work PMs? I'm a nurse too, and I work NOCs. It is wonderful you have those golden hours to do all your stitching. I do mine in bed too, after dinner, while we're trying to catch up on recorded programs. Our son is 12 and things don't change...we're watching stuff from last Feb. right now!

Love all your stuff. Wish you could have been at our EGA meeting last month--a little college girl came in with her mom asking us about smocking. No one knew how to do it by hand. :( Maybe when your girl is grown, you and Andy can travel and teach seminars.

What is your pancake recipe? They look delicious.

Please tell me what kind of pie that is !!! YUMMMMM! Girlfriend you must have teeny elves hidden somewhere...hand pleated smocking ..REALLY?! Amazing!The colors of all your projects are just amazing and inspiring!

That little lady is kind a cute too...;-)

so nice little rosa dress & knitted tunic

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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