Class Picnic Blouse and Shorts and summer ramblings

I made this little outfit back in early June and never blogged it. G recently turned eight and shot up in height, but has yet to be filled in. I sewed a size seven, but should have made a six instead, as the whole outfit is a little too big. I used some vintage barkcloth for the top and a scrap of red linen I had left over from a dress I made L a few years ago. The Class Picnic blouse and shorts are both great patterns and the instructions will walk any beginner through the process. For the more advanced seamstress, it’s an easy and relaxing sew. So yes, I would recommend the pattern to both beginner and sewing veteran. 

I love the little bands that wrap around the front of the shorts and the faux fly. Such cute little details that take a basic pair of shorts to the next level!


I haven’t blogged or sewn much all summer. Life got pretty messy since June. Things had been going smoothly for a long time, so it was inevitable that our family would have a dark season. Things can’t be great all the time. I won’t get into too much detail but all I can say was I was blindsided by the trouble one of my kids had gotten into, and it sent the whole family into a downward spiral of anxiety and self blame and doubt that I’m only just starting to see out of. Then my older daughter got bacterial pneumonia and someone totaled our car in the same two weeks. And then we got sick too, but it wasn’t pneumonia. Izzy took a while to heal, but made it to her Paris summer program.

So of course, I lost all my sewing mojo. That was the first thing to go. Then I decided that what I needed to do was take the girls on a long road trip to Montana to see my son and his girlfriend who are working there as horse guides and invited us up.We went fly fishing, river rafting, hiking, and camped outside of their 80’s RV… And of course we rode horses. The girls loved it. We even crossed the Gallatin river on the horses. We definitely had some ups and downs on the trip. It was a super long drive from Southern California, and I brought my mom along. My husband and I needed a little time away from each other and I usually take a girls only trip every summer.

At one point we pulled into a campground in Utah, and it was 117 degrees outside! The drive was long and sometimes boring and sometime breathtaking….we stayed in an old casino hotel in Winnemucca, Nevada. Have you ever been to or even heard of Winnemucca, Vegas’ forlorn little sister briefly mentioned in  Johnny Cash’s song,’ I’ve been everywhere’? I hadn’t, either. Imagine Reno forty years ago and you have Winnemucca…

There was arguing, yes, that happens with three generations of drama prone females stuck in a mini van. But there was also a lot of fun. We never did visit the Idaho Potato museum, though.

There’s Oliver getting one of the horses ready. He looks like an old pro here, but he actually had no horse riding experience before he took this job. He and his girlfriend searched the Montana Craigslist ads from Berkeley, and found an ad for horse guides in Big Sky, Montana. The owner of the ranch was willing to train them how to lead rides and work with horses. But he also wanted to them to know that he was a Trump supporter and he “knew where they were coming from, being from Berkeley and all” and he wanted to be upfront about things before they came out….

Oliver always reminded me of my uncle and grandfather on my mom’s side. My grandfather was a great outdoorsman. He was Cree and Blackfoot Native American and was actually born not too far from Big Sky. Oliver even looks a lot like him. It’s kind of serendipitous he’d end up in the same area as Grandpa, who died of cancer at age fifty, way before he was even born.

So yesterday I finished an outfit for myself, the first in months, but I have no camera to take photos of it, since I left mine up in Montana. Bummer! One of these days it will get popped into the mail and sent back to me if my boy gets it to the post office before it closes at five. These photos on this post are all from my iphone. I’m not thrilled with the quality of them, but I really felt like blogging, so they will have to do until I get my camera back!

Happy sewing!

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  1. Carol Gardiner says

    Oh my goodness those shorts are so cute. G looks adorable in her new outfit. So glad to hear your son found a fun summer job in such a beautiful area and that you and the girls were able to go up and visit. Making memories is what family time is all about. I am happy to hear you are back to sewing and looking forward to seeing what you’re making. I’ve been busy sewing summer dresses for my little granddaughters, which is so much fun since they look cute in everything. I also made five summer tops, trying out some different patterns. Hope the rest of your summer is drama free, its nice to hear from you again.

  2. Sara Jane says

    I have been a long time reader of your blog. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable and honest. Boy, can life throw us some tough and painful seasons. I will be praying for you and your family. Glad to know you are back to sewing.

  3. Sandy Osborne says

    Oh, Justine, I’ve missed you! I wondered if something happened and I’m so sorry for all your troubles. Hopefully, they’re behind you and good things will be on the horizon. Gigi looks adorable in her outfit. I love the red shorts. And man, I don’t envy you the long car ride. My husband and I used to drive 9.5 hours from Phoenix to the Central Coast every summer with 3 or 4 dogs and at the end of each trip, we would avoid each other for the first few hours. But you all made it and will look back at the trip as a fun bonding time (wink, wink). Anyway, glad to see you back on the blog and here’s to more fun sewing adventures in your future.

    • says

      I bet you were tempted to drop those dogs off somewhere in the Pacific, too! I couldn’t look at my mom for a few days, we had such a bad argument on the way home, but all is well again!

  4. says

    Wow, a lot going on. I’m glad you are on the upswing of things. I feel you with barely sewing…that is me. I’ve been so busy that I’m just plain tired. I would love an uninterrupted day where I didn’t have to do anything but sew. That will have to wait another 4 weeks, so not long. Our girls start 9th grade and our son is a Junior this year. I can’t believe all are back in the same school again. One of my girls made cheer. I had no idea how busy that would be for her and me. School hasn’t even started yet and cheer is all through the summer. I’m clueless about these things. LOL That is a really cute little outfit you sewed up.

    • says

      My girl is starting high school too! these sports and things are so time draining! I was sooo tired when Gigi ran track this spring. Why can’t they just stay home and homeschool and sew with us all day!? Lol!!

  5. Kat says

    I love that outfit, and i am going to look up that pattern! I am glad to know someone else’s 8 year old is also as slim as mine. My Hadi shot up as well, but alas, no meat on her bones. She takes after my Hub’s side–i have plenty of meat on mine. Love looking through your projects! God bless.