An Autumn Portrait

Here in middle of the country, autumn is usually a beautiful time of year. This year has been no exception. The trees put on a colorful show, the skies are often clear and blue, and the humidity lessens. Autumn is nearly over – rain and wind during the past week have denuded the trees, and there is a hard freeze forecast for this weekend, with possible snow flurries.

Twenty-one years ago (I think!) my parents had an autumn portrait taken of their grandchildren. Here are my Annie and David, and my sister’s two sons.

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Of course, I made coordinating outfits for everyone 🙂 One girl and three boys, ranging in age from just under a year to eleven years old. I chose a very soft, bright plaid cotton flannel as something that they might all be willing to wear!

I don’t have the shirts Annie and David wore any longer. Annie’s had a V-shaped, bias front yoke that I fringed at the lower edge. I don’t remember doing it, but the picture shows fringe around the collar, as well, so I assume I fringed a strip, then inserted it in the collar seam as I would piping. David’s shirt had an attached hood, and I found a brightly colored lizard button that I added to the chest pocket.

I do still have my nephews’ garments! Thanks, Mom and Cathy, for saving them.

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This was Sean’s shirt (the plaids on the front placket really do match, but the way it’s hanging shows that they don’t!) 

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You can see that I matched the plaid on the chest pocket. Just as a tip, look at the little stitched triangles at the upper edge of the pocket – this really helps keep pockets from tearing out, and adds a nice professional touch for very little effort!

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The cuffs were made with a continuous-lap placket and two pleats.

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On the left upper sleeve, I appliqued a colorful lizard to match the lizard button on David’s shirt! I added googly-eye buttons for fun.

All of the “big kids” outfits were from commercial patterns – I have no idea which ones.

Mark’s overalls may have been made from a commercial pattern, or some other pattern, or adapted from a pants pattern.

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The smocking was Ellen McCarn’s “Crayon Rainbow.”

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I wanted the legs to snap, but wanted fewer snaps than snap tape. So I cut the snap tape apart and spaced them out on the inner leg opening.

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The back waist was elasticized. The criss-cross back straps buttoned to the inside of the back waist, with multiple buttonholes to allow for growth.

Finally, these garments have been stored with others that I have made. Do you know that purple boa feathers shed copiously?! I was picking little purple feather shreds off of these garments as I was trying to get photos, but obviously missed some.

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And where did the purple feather boa enter into my sewing history, you ask? Well, as a trim on a very sparkly dress! But that’s a story for another day…

 

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