Make it Monday // Varda Top

Just before church yesterday, I was able to put the finishing touches, i.e. sleeves, on my Varda top. Woohoo! I love having a new make for church.

My Varda top, worn with my Artemesia necklace by Steinen. I intended to wear this necklace when I finished a pink dress I had plans to make; never happened. Works with my Varda.


Varda was the last offering from Christine Haynes Patterns before she switched coasts and I loved it when it came out. Right up my alley! Simple top with nice style lines. In the late night tracing of the pattern, I traced off my usual CHP size, sewed it up all nice and tidy and wouldn’t you know it…. it was too small…. Meh. I should’ve known something was up when I had to wrestle it on my dress form, but I kept moving forward. Needless to say I have a very well sewn Varda in one size less than I need.

The Kitty Dress by Maven Patterns. I love the unique bust dart; I had to chop off the sleeves as I just couldn’t get the puff part to look good on me. Another Steinen necklace. 🙂  


I set about to retracing the correct size and used the left over fabric from my beloved Kitty Dress. Except, I didn’t have enough for the sleeves. Ha! I was able to make the shirt 70%, ran to the fabric store last night, washed, dried and prepped the sleeves before calling it a night. Then, woke up nice and early to attach the sleeves. It was a whirlwind and yet another example of need to make a muslin and/or read the finished garment measurements!!

I copied some of the details from the Kitty dress onto the Varda top – top stitching the French bust dart and also a tight top stitch at the neckline instead of the 1/2″ on the pattern.

Overall I’m really happy with the Varda top and it’ll make a great workday staple (planning to wear it today again!). I liked the fitted mid section better on the size smaller, so probably a perfect Varda for me would be a size 6 bust with a size 4 waist. I’m already dreaming of the next version….

I noticed all my shots were either slouchy or leaning what back (not sure why), so I did a nice tall shot – resulting in a nice shot of my shirt, but a slightly cropped head.

Double Header Date Week

 A month into school and the blog is mostly silent. (I wrote this a few weeks ago and just got to finding the photos) It’s been a rough go getting into the swing of things with hubby back at work and me taking over the kid running duty, while still maintaining my steadily busy work schedule, complete with the untimely “emergencies” that creep up. Such is life of a working mom.

Who’s ready to laugh?

The first week of school we had a rare double header date week. We go months without a date and then two in one week! We need to get on a better schedule!! (Thank you Awanas Season) But who am I to complain, when the date included seeing Seinfeld in person! After over a decade since the last time. This was a first and definite bucket list check for Vance. Seinfeld did not disappoint. I was sort of skeptical at the outset of the performance, thinking it couldn’t top the endless Seinfeld series quotes in my head, but boy was I wrong. By the end of the set, I was ROARING with laughter. I think the lady in front of us was pretty annoyed with my giant laugh, but hey, it’s a comedy show. I ended up with tears of laughter rolling down my face. It was so funny!! If you ever get a chance to listen to Seinfeld’s bathroom stall bit, you’re in for a real treat. Probably even funnier to an architect who makes bathroom design decisions regularly. So worth every penny and mid-week time inconvenience. A huge shout out and thank you to my niece Izzy for watching the boys for the evening. **Uncle Vance spent your baby sitting fee on wine and water**

Pre show.

That was Thursday. Saturday we attended the Wine Club Tasting party at New Clairvaux in Vina (on the way to Chico, just past the Lassen Steakhouse). I could write volumes on this winery. In fact, I wrote a blog two years ago titled “the making of a bestie” about the winery, but never published it thinking it was overly complementary. Not that I’m striving for non partisan news by any stretch; I felt it bordered on dis-genuine from an objective standpoint.

The truth is, this is a fantastic winery. Beyond delicious wines (red, white, rose and bubbly), the grounds are beautiful. The arrival is nothing short of a “path, portal, place” adventure. You drive through a modest town, past the iron gate, wind around the vineyard and arrive at an amazing piece of architecture. Especially if you like old French Churches or early Brick Farm Architecture, which I do. A feast for the senses.

The winery is ran by monks who live on the premises. There are cabins you can rent; although I mention this with a heavy heart as I haven’t been able to secure a couple nights there for myself and worry about the “word getting out” about the place. I’ve always found the staff friendly and you get the sense they truly enjoy working at the winery.

I’m getting side tracked! A couple months ago we joined their Wine Club. For the wine club, you agree to purchase three bottles of their picks (usually a new release in the mix) of wine four times a year. There is a discount to the overall price and the best part is the Wine Club Tasting party. We had no idea what to expect. Then again, did Alice know what was beyond the looking glass? No she did not, but she pushed on regardless.

It was amazing. There were wine stations set around the perimeter and food down the center. The whole event was really well ran and the wine tastes very generous. The only rookie mistake that happened to us was leaving our barrel unattended. They have various wine barrels, but not enough for everyone to have their own, set around the room and we thought leaving our half eaten plates of snacks would be enough to deter a barrel takeover while we got another wine taste. We were SO wrong. But fortunately, it’s a mistake you only make once. After we secured a new barrel, it was sure to have one of us nearby at all times.

We’re really looking forward to the next one.

Our Nibbles. Would you really take a barrel that looked like this? Clearly they are coming back. No?