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Facing Fears at the Subway Cave

In Elementary school my class took a trip to the Subway Cave (which I believed up until this past year was a trip to the Shasta Caverns – things always seem more grand in our memories). At said childhood field trip, 30+ years ago, I remember someone mentioning that my flashlight might run out of batteries. Although I’m unsure if it was my parents scrambling for a working flashlight the morning of, a classmate or a well-meaning adult at the cave, the thought of being trapped in a dark cave with no flashlight scared me enough to not go in the cave back then. I don’t think I was the only one as clearly someone waited outside with me.

What I wasn’t told then, nor did I think of, was the 50 other people in the group, many holding flashlights. It wasn’t going to be dark in the cave at all. Ah well. I missed out. So when I saw the Subway Cave on my boys’ school field trip schedule I was ready. Fear facing time!

First we go up…then we go in… Photo on (R) courtesy of another parent.

Cave day: The cave is amazing in many ways. Short but something to see. We had a guided tour, which I’m certain made it more interesting than just walking through on your own. It is 46 degrees in the cave and we felt it by the time we were out. I was able to snap a few photos; when I asked my boys to stay behind for a family photo in the cave, my oldest, who was being particularly un-agreeable Friday, made some snarky remark about taking selfies and declined. So not looking forward to the teenage years. Oh wait, boys get easier. Or do they?

Let’s just say, there was one incident where a young child was screaming to get out of the cave as he was scared, although there was light. My heart cried out for him and I fought telling the young mother to heed his pleas and get out of the cave, instead of shushing him to be polite. But I didn’t. I bit my lip and pulled my own little fellas tighter.

The group, part of it, in the narrowest & shortest part of the cave. 40 feet under the earth.

Cave boys.

And as it would happen….are you ready for it?? My flashlight BURNED OUT!! part way through the cave. Seriously?! When it happened, I just chuckled. Of course the battery would die in the cave. It was my destiny.


Make it Monday // Seamwork Patsy

This skirt is from the Seamwork, skill building pattern collection.

Patsy: With subscriber’s bonus – pleats.

I have been working on this skirt since it came out; not sure if that was two or three months ago, and really not wanting to look. Let’s go with two! I can’t say I loved the farmgirl version, original Patsy, but this shorter pleated version definitely got my attention.

Short Patsy with pleats as posted by Seamwork. (L) and Elisalex’s Raw Silk version (R) – hers is much more 50 vibe than the religious oppression version I cooked up.

Perfectly timed, I had just seen a blogger I follow (Elisalex of By Hand London fame) make a similar tea length version without a pattern right before this pattern was released. For mine, I did a dark pink faux silk, fully lined version, with added inseam pockets. In full disclosure, I left it below the knee length and joked with my SIL that it looked like a religious oppression skirt. The length plus pleats was not a winning combination for me.

I was trying to get a similar shot – for comparison to the one above. This is what Brendon did. Hmmm. I really need to scope out a wall at the new place for my photos and set up the tripod; my photographers are getting more resistant.

I shortened it and am pretty happy with the results. Unfortunately, my waist size changed during the long duration between muslin and skirt and now it’s a bit baggy, which I could do without. I’m kind of kicking myself for not trying it on during construction as I had to redo the zipper twice and I could’ve easily taken it in either of those times. Oh well. Worked pretty well with bike shorts underneath on Sunday.

One item of note is the whole skirt is French seamed. Meaning there are no raw, fraying edges lurking about in the inside. Even the pockets!! Eeek!! Thank you League of Dressmakers sewing group for the assist and helping me take my sewing up a notch. Inside the skirt at pocket (L). Outside at the pocket (R). This fabric is a real chameleon – the color is constantly changing.

Stepping out in my Patsy for church. This is as good as it gets with 30 minutes to shower and dress after a 3 mile run, feeding kids and cutting hubby’s hair. Nothing like cramming a few things in before 9:00am. And don’t think Hubby was too tolerant of the photo taking either. Haha.

And for a bit of bad news….whomp, whomp, whomp. I had planned to make the Astoria top to go with this skirt. Wouldn’t that have looked cute?! Then the long sleeve t-shirt Alice came out this month and I decided at the 11th hour to make that. Only my computer stopped talking to my printer and I was so frustrated I printed the pattern using Hubby’s computer.

Weeeellll, you know how there is the test square on the first sheet to make sure the pattern prints the correct size? I noticed it was a touch, a tad, an itty bitty bit small. Turns out that makes a BIG difference. After all my careful sewing and finishing. I can’t get my arms into the Alice top I made. Waaahhhh. Should’ve stuck to tried and true Astoria! A real bummer.