I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Overalls, After All...and a Tea Shirt

I'm pretty pleased with the way these little overalls turned out. Originally, I wanted to make classic button-on-the-shoulder overalls with a smocked insert. This would be cute and comfy over a turtleneck. Believe it or not, I didn't have such a pattern in my extensive stash of patterns! So, I decided to do the Chery Williams' Overalls in size 6 months for Andy's first Thanksgiving. I even cut them out. They were HUGE. I know babies grow quickly, but these would have fit a Viking baby.
Next plan: make Andy the Terry Jane Little Lambs Coveralls, which is a one-piece with long legs, short sleeves, and a collar (with the smocked insert). So, I got this cut out and started sewing. Once the front yoke, insert, and front pants were together, it looked like the front of the overalls I originally had in mind!
On to plan 3: my pattern drafting skills are around advanced beginner, I'd say, but I was able to make the changes needed: enlarge the armhole and neck openings, make the back yoke one piece, add button extensions, and cut linings.
Andy took enough naps for me to nearly finish; with no sleeves, collars, or plackets, overalls are an easy, fast project. I'm pleased with the machine smocking, too. Definitely a quick alternative to traditional smocking. Sometimes for me it's a question of: do it quick or don't do it!
It seems like I often spend more time planning and revising my projects than actually sewing. Does that happen to you?

The other thing I managed to sew is a "tea shirt" for a friend. I had been gathering some items to mail her a "tea party in a box"; homemade banana bread and strawberry jam and teapot cookie cutters. I had seen this pretty design while browsing at EmbLibrary. I immediately thought of my friend, who is a real kindred spirit. We both love tea parties, sewing, babies, and the Waltons! However, while I am an average cook, she is a spectacular one. Her baked creations are amazing, so I know she'll do something fabulous with the cookie cutters.
Tomorrow, I will start the OFB Daygown Sew Along. Are you planning to do it, too?

I'm also linking this post to Sew & Tell Friday
at amylouwho
's blog.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

White Wednesday - Daygown

This little white daygown was one of my first French Handsewn projects. I made it when I was 16; the year I took a class on FHS with Melissa Stone. 

I remember that I had just gotten my license and I went to the craft store (which meant driving on the highway, which I was afraid of). Anyway, my sister-in-law was expecting my first niece at the time and I saw these beautiful patterns as well as an amazing magazine; Sew Beautiful.

That year, I got a new niece and a new sewing machine on Christmas day! I had that machine until 18 months ago, when it died and I was "forced" to enter the marvelous world of machine embroidery!

This daygown is really tiny. It actually fits a newborn perfectly. This was the only thing I made that fit Andy when he was born. The pattern is called "Homecoming" by Special Request (now out of print). Do you ever wonder what happened to some of your favorite designers/pattern companies? I do.

I'm participating in "White Wednesday" at Faded Charm today!

This blogging thing is cool. Now, if only housework were so fun and easy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thanksgiving in July

I have been wanting to try machine smocking for a while. I really love hand smocking; both the way it looks and stitching it. But with a new baby and 5 kids on summer vacation, my free time is very limited. I decided this week that I want to get ready for the holidays early this year. If I do my sewing now, it will be fun instead of stressful, right? I found this cute "Fall Leaves" machine smocking at Elizabeth's Embroideries. I thought Chery Williams' Overalls would be cute and easy in a soft brown corduroy for Davy and Andy. The insert is mushroom-colored Kona cotton.
I pleated my insert and used tearaway iron-on stabilizer in my 6x10 hoop. I thought I'd tried every stabilizer out there, but this was my first time with the iron-on and it worked really well. I actually hooped the stabilizer, laid the insert on top, then flipped it and ironed from the back.
Then, I popped it onto my embroidery machine and stitched with no problems. Each "smocking" stitch generally covered 2 pleats, so I think I'm on the right track! Like I said, this won't replace hand smocking for me, but for a quick gift or playclothes, I think it has its place.

Next, I traced my pattern. I was going to make the 6 mos. overalls for Andy, but looking at the pattern, they look huge! It is hard to predict how big he will be by November, but I think I may make a one-piece coverall with the smocked insert, instead.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hi! I'm Elisabeth Rose

...and I'm starting this blog to share creative ideas with friends, old and new. I love reading other people's blogs about sewing, homemaking, and life; maybe I'll be able to inspire you! For my first post, I am going to share a few of my favorite things. Most of all, I love spending time with my family. I have one terrific hubby and 5 adorable children: Petey (14), Katie (12), Rosie (10), Davy (5), and Andy (8 weeks)!
My smocked dress quilted wall hanging

When I have free time, I like sewing and crafting of all kinds: smocking, machine or hand embroidery, quilting, crocheting and knitting. 

I also love to read, have tea parties, sit on my porch, or visit with friends.

My 1879 New Home Treadle
Other things I'm interested in are: antiques, going to the ocean, photography and dolls. I love the Edwardian and 1930's periods in history-and the clothing styles of those times.
My favorite TV show is the Waltons. I am a fan of Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables; the books and the movies. I also love the Elm Creek Quilt and Outlander series of books.

I hope to share many pictures of my projects with you. Coming up this week: my first machine smocking and I will participate in the Old Fashioned Baby Daygown Sew Along!