Thursday, December 10, 2015

Striped Skater Dress

Pygmy palms.

As I write this I am gazing out my front window at the delicate waving fronds of my latest horticultural adoption. I have spent the last few days outdoors exercising my green thumb on the front and back flowerbeds.

I feel a bit like Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden; tugging at the weeds clustered around my various flower bushes to let them breathe. I know next to nothing about gardening and can only hope that the little sprouts I am pulling are actual weeds. Justin and I are caretakers to a little blue California bungalow whose land houses deep purple bougainvillea, roses, cacti, flowering trees, and apple, orange, lime, and grapefruit trees. It should feel like a tiny oasis but for the hideous drought. Residents can water outside only twice a week and lots of home owners are trading in the lush tropical landscapes for drought-resistent plant life.

Regardless, I am determined to nest.

Therefore, I found myself this past Sunday, topknot askew, digging feverishly in the front flowerbed to make room for new cacti and my beloved pygmy palm. My lovely neighbor, who has kindly been educating me on floral care, has given me bulbs to grow Aztec lilies and pink amaryllis. I have even attempted to propagate the giant cactus I brought with me from Kentucky.

This is all a lead-in to say that despite the early December date, the never-ending summer in California has not given up. The evenings may be dipping into temperatures in the high forties but the days remain sunny and 75.

In the mountains outside LA, there is a different story brewing. Justin and I drove to the San Gabriel mountains a few weeks ago and the air was crisp with the bite of winter. Clouds of mist appeared each time you drew a breath and the ground was hard with the promise of frost. In fact, shortly after driving back to sea-level we checked the weather and found it has snowed in the area we had just visited.

Combined, this made my dress of choice a bit unwise.

I made this skater dress out of cheap navy and white striped jersey cotton. It has a slight turtleneck, 3/4 length sleeves and enough stretch to be forgiving. It was a simple, 3-hour project and I absolutely love it. 

Yeah, yeah, the dress is cute, but, dude, that landscape! Its hella gorgeous in the mountains. All barren rock, succulents, and withered trees. I can't wait till it really snows and I get to see all that majesty covered in glittering white. 

I love this simple dress and plan to pair it with chunky sweaters or a denim jacket as the weather gets cooler. I have lots of other fabulous projects waiting to be photographed, and many that are just in the dreaming stages. I can only hope my gardening is as prolific as my sewing. I will keep you posted.