The Mainah Tee

The Mainah Tee

The Mainah Tee

The Mainah Tee

The Mainah Tee

The Mainah Tee

The Mainah Tee

I was recently introduced to the term Wahlheimat, a German word, like so many German words, that crams a lot of meaning into a few letters. In this case,  Wahlheimat means home of choice, which is a perfect way to describe my relationship with Maine.

All told, I’ve now lived in the state for about seven years total, but even when I’ve lived here for another 50 years, I’ll still be considered “From Away,” the title of Mainer forever out of my reach.

Fortunately, my From Away status doesn’t taint Little Miss Cleaver’s true-blue Mainah credentials (though if you talk to people Down East, living in the Greater Portland Area may).

So it only seemed fitting to make her a blue Maine tee, featuring our state mammal (the moose) and our most quintessential, but unofficial state phrase – ayuh, which dialect blog names America’s oddest yes

It’s made out of more of the sun-protective jersey from Rockywoods and of the tees I’ve made to date, this one is by far the best sewn.

I pulled out the (rather slim) manual for the Pfaff Select 3.0 and got more into the weeds on its stretch-stitch capabilities. By using a combination of the straight stretch stitch, the “closed overlock,” and a double needle, I got what is a professional-looking and sturdy final product.

I don’t know how prevalent these stitches are on non-Pfaff machines, but if there’s any interest, I’d be happy to pull together a tutorial.  Let me know!

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Gyros

Faux Dome - Christ Pantocrator

Dolmades

Trying Spanakopita

Trying Spanakopita

Saints Icons

Baptism of Christ Icon
Loukoumades

Dancing & Loukoumades

Dancing & Loukoumades

Entry into Jersusalem Icon

One of the tastiest days on the Cleaver family calendar is the day we visit the Greek Food Festival. Hosted annually by the Holy Trinity Church in Portland on the last full week of June, we start anticipating our visit as soon as the weather gets warm.

It’s not that you can’t get good Greek food in the area other times of the year, it’s  just that there’s something about the food that you get at the Festival that makes it extra delicious. We eat light in the morning so we have plenty of room to stuff ourselves with dolmades (lamb and rice-stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita, gyros, and loukoumades. And oh the loukoumades – the Greek equivalent of a light crispy doughnut hole, made fresh and served in a honey-nut syrup.

Despite being rather full, I gave Mr. Cleaver some serious stink-eye when he suggested only getting one serving of loukoumades this year.  It only comes once a year! Even LMC, who for the most part was too busy taking it all in to pay much attention to the food, loved the loukoumades. She ate her little snack and danced her little toddler dance to the Greek music playing on the loudspeakers. Happily swaying back and forth with the taste of honey on her lips. We usually go in the mid-afternoon on a weekday to avoid the crowds and lines, but it would be fun to go see the live music and dancing one of these years.

We did however take the opportunity to get a  private tour of the church from Father Sarantides himself. If you ever get a chance to see the inside, I’d highly recommend it. Holy Trinity features a number of stunning small and large scale icons throughout the sanctuary.  All we had to do was ask one of the volunteers and they set it up. They’re truly beautiful.

Love You S'More Tee
Love You S'More Tee

Stenciling

Love You S'More Tee

Love You S'More Tee

As much as I love sewing tiny dresses, my very active little girl needed some more items in the way of summer basics suitable for playing in the dirt and sitting on sidewalk chalk and generally being a toddler.  So I made my first of what shall certainly be many Flashback Skinny Tees. It’s a great basic – I’ve already got a second one cut out and at least two more variations planned in my brain.

For this first go-around, I sewed it exactly to the pattern specifications (except for the short sleeves) in the 18-24 month size for my tall almost-15 month old.  For the next go around I’ll to drop the front neck a bit to make it a bit easier to pull it over LMC’s head, but other than that, I’ve no complaints. The shirt is made in a 100% cotton sun-protective fabric from Rockywoods, which feels like a very substantive interlock. It was a breeze to work with, but it’s definitively a thick knit. This is a sturdy and not a breezy tee. I  imagine, that the fit will look a bit different in a regular jersey. That said, I’m hoping I have enough of this white leftover to make myself a tee from it, because fair-skinned mamas need sun-protection too.

While I’d make a plain white tee for myself, I thought LMC’s needed to be a little more fun, so after surveying my collection of camp-themed Dear Charlotte stencils leftover from Ms. Maggie’s baby shower, I came up with the s’more idea. I could have been a little straighter with the lettering, but all in all it turned out nicely. It’s only been washed once thus far, so we’ll see how it holds up over the long run, but I imagine it’ll be fine for the length of time kid clothes last before they’re outgrown.