Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

The berry-picking dress.

Happy Monday!
Hope you all had a great weekend... I did, and I really enjoyed spending my Saturday afternoon picking raspberries at a local u-pick farm!
I never did this as a kid, but I've been a few times as an adult and I loooove it!  I don't mind doing the grunt work for my own food; in fact, I really like picking out my own berries to eat or freeze for later (and snacking as I go, which is encouraged!).  I filled a 2-quart freezer container full of organic, no-spray raspberries and paid $4.73 for the whole thing.  What a deal.
It was in the upper 80's the day we went picking, full sunshine, but luckily I had the perfect dress... one I made a while ago (pre-blog) for those super hot days when you don't want to wear much at all.  I wanted something bright and fruity-looking, berry-colored or farm-appropriate or just very summery.  I had this sheer cotton plaid that was left over from something my mom made (I think it was from Fabric Depot in Portland or Fashion Fabrics Club online, so nice quality), and I only had enough to make a simple halter style, so I lined it with plain cotton and added a 4" wide band of elastic under the bodice that I gathered the fabric onto so it looks like a midriff panel.  I added small bust pads in between the bodice fashion fabric and lining so I don't have to wear a bra with it! ;)
Here are some pictures of our awesome trip and the perfect berry-picking dress!
They had all kinds of berries, but we stuck to the raspberries, tried the blackberries (not quite ripe, or not enough ripe to make it work walking down the aisles), and looked for the tayberries (a cross between the two former), but couldn't find them and were hot and sweaty so happily went home with our raspberries.
Delicious right off the bush!  Stains your hands, though...
The dress in action!
My friend and I both had a great time!
The farm had shady eating tables for a picnic lunch after picking...
And what to do with all our raspberries?  I froze most of mine for smoothies throughout the summer, and hopefully longer (I want to go back and pick another $5 2-quart container!).  I make fresh fruit and spinach smoothies almost every morning for me and Jason, and I love being able to use organic berries at such a great price.  TIP for freezing berries: lay them out on a cookie sheet first, spread out enough they they're not all mushed together (they will much together with all the weight of the other berries on top of them).  Freeze them this way, then when they're solid, put them back into the container with the lid, or ziploc bag or whatever.  Otherwise you'll end up with a big frozen chunk or raspberry ice!
After berry-picking we drove around the countryside north of Portland's western suburbs, because the Oregon Lavender Festival was going on this last weekend, also!  We stopped by one of the participating farms and enjoyed the lavender goodies there, too.
Oregon grows a lot of lavender.  The air in the countryside smells so good!
So I wanted to share with you  my fun summery weekend activity, and the perfect dress for it.  Oh, on the dress, by the way, I used the top front and modified back from New Look 6557 and made up the skirt and midriff elastic addition.
Did you get to spend some time outside this weekend?  Any great summery plans?


  1. I'm always so impressed by your sewing skills. I'm slowly but surely learning how to sew. How did you learn the tricks of the trade?

  2. I love going berry picking! So fun! I really need to find a u-pick place near me.

  3. Thanks, Sarah!
    I learned to sew starting when I was about 5, from my mom. She has a business making historic clothing, but also made me clothes and things for the house, and taught me with simple projects and hand-sewing. When I was 16 or 17 I started actually making and designing cute summer dresses for myself, and it sort of stuck!

  4. Berry picking looks like so much fun! We've been trying to go strawberry picking, but we always seem to miss the season. I love your dress, especially since it is a berry color. :)


  5. I love your dress and i love berry picking. We have a pick your own farm just up the road from us they sell lots of local produce aswell it always tastes wonderful.

  6. I do miss those Oregon berries! An Oregon blackberry is the best thing I've ever put in my mouth.
    Tip: Pour a kettle of boiling water over berry stained clothing-cotton-and wash the stains disappear. Honest.
    From: A former Hillsboro strawberry picker.

  7. It's a beautiful place and beautiful ladies! We have raspberries here in our yard and boy howdy! They are good!



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