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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3 Little Kittens Baby Blanket

I spent several evenings digitizing this cute design of 3 Little Kittens. I wanted to test stitch it on something that could be used, so I stitched it on a piece of flannel and made up this quick baby blanket. I learned a lot of new things while digitizing this. It was my first time using a "motif" fill, which is on the mittens, apron, and step. I also tried the candlewicking stitch to create the pink circles for the flowers. It looks good, but was way too dense. When they were stitching, the needle went "plonk-plonk-plonk" and it even pulled a tiny hole in one spot. I need to change them to some other stitch. I had lots of fun doing this and am happy with it, except for the pesky flowers.
To make this simple blanket, I just embroidered along one edge of a flannel rectangle. The embroidery was facing the edge, so that when I folded over a border, the embroidery would be right side up. I just stitched ric rac to the edge, ironed the border, stitched it down, then hemmed the other edges. It is a nice way to finish it, because the back of the embroidery is sealed into the hem. This blanket will probably be donated to a local baby charity.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The World Visits Davy in First Grade

My little Davy had a geography project at school which entailed receiving postcards from friends and family in other states or countries. Many of my sewing friends made sure Davy had plenty of cards to enjoy. I scanned in the pictures for you to see how many places were represented!
 OREGON & OHIO (gotta try those Buckeyes candies!)& DENVER, COLORADO & CAPE LOOKOUT LIGHTHOUSE, NC

and MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (need to scan)

Thank you to everyone who sent postcards to Davy!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Goodnight, Sweetheart

These His & Hers pillowcases were a Valentine's Day gift for my hubby. I have made so many sets of monogrammed or embellished pillowcases since I got my embroidery machine, but I have given them all as gifts! This is the first set I've made for us. I know hubby will think of his retro wife every time he sees his pillow, even if his dreams are more Star Trek (Star Date: -310852.36462128116) than Gone With the Wind (1939)!
The designs are by Heather's Home at OPW. I'm glad I bought them awhile ago on sale, because I can't find them at OPW anymore. It's a shame, because these stitched beautifully.
 Cross-stitched designs can look great when all the crosses go in the same direction, or not so great if poorly digitized. This whole design looks great to me!

These his & hers designs are from a vintage transfer, which I couldn't resist buying when I found one.
 There are some other cute designs here that I might try digitizing myself. I've been working on a "3 Little Kittens with their Mittens" design which is looking super. I also started Andy's Easter outfit, so I have lots to work on!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vintage Smocked Dress and Embroidered Bib

Remember last month, I showed you the 1939 button-on suit? Well, this little smocked dress and bonnet were part of the same "lot" I bought from a 72 year old man, who said they were his baby clothes.
This dress has light blue smocking and beautiful hand embroidery, which can barely be seen now, it is so faded.
And here's a picture of the embroidery:
I tried to adjust the picture to make it easier to see, but I couldn't do better than this. It is 2 large birds- storks?? with a large flower between them.
This bib is also hand embroidered in light blue and has maintained its color better than the dress:
Here's a close-up of the bib embroidery, a simple heart and floral motif:
The padded stitches are beautifully done. I have a few more items to share from this lot and I am starting Andy's Easter romper, too. I have only traced the pattern and chosen my materials so far. Hoping to get started soon- at least I have plenty of time!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Annie Sewing...or Not

Hello again. I was in NYC this week for my father-in-law's funeral. It was nice to see the extended family, but it was also good to get home again. A stomach virus has gone through the house, so I have not done much sewing this week.
Rosie is going to be in the play "Annie" so I started a folder of ideas for 1930s girl's clothing. I was looking forward to making her costume. Cast as an orphan, she would need: a dress, apron, and nightgown at least. I had in mind something "authentic" to the period, not a tacky dress with fake patches all over. But Rosie likes the fake patches and the director is planning to borrow all the costumes from a big theater nearby, so my plans have been thwarted. Still, I found some good ideas...
This dress looks like it might have been worn in an orphanage. The shoulder straps look very 1930s and I like the stripe with coordinating solid.
This dress reminds me of the American Girl Kit's Birthday dress, which I have always liked. The green color is pretty.

I suppose smocking is way too fancy for an orphanage, but this is a cute pattern!
Here's a 1930s catalog page. I like the classic shape with pleats.
 Did you know that there were patterns made for Annie clothes?
Well, I hope things will get back to normal here next week. I'm starting to think about what to do for Andy's Easter outfit.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Winner of the Retro Kitchen Give Away!!

I am trying the random number generator to choose the winner today. Let's see if it works:

OK, I am doing something wrong. Every time I post this, it changes the result. The first time I hit the Winner button, it choose #1, which is:
I will try to email you for your address. Thank you to all who entered and those who became followers! Back soon with more sewing!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bitty Boy Bab-ing Suit

I have been wanting to make a little swimsuit for Andy. We joined the YMCA in the Fall and they have a wonderful pool. Andy and I do a Gym & Swim class every Thursday and we have lots of fun. I loved the embroidered seersucker girl's swimsuit pattern from Sew Beautiful last year and thought the idea would be cute on boy's swim trunks as well. I call it a "Bab-ing Suit" because that's how Davy used to say bathing suit, so we often call it that.
 The fabric is 100% cotton from my "stash" and the embroidery is a freebie from JuJu. It stitched wonderfully. I used polyester thread so that the design won't bleach from the chlorinated pool. I already tried it on Andy and it looks adorable! Now I'd like to find a plain white T-shirt and embellish it to co-ordinate.
 There's still time to enter the give away!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pink Gingham Bishop with Swiss Collar

I thought it would be fun to share something smocked today. This dress was Katie's 4th Birthday dress, but it would have been appropriate for Valentine's Day, too. 
The pattern is Chery Williams' Bishop and it's made from Imperial micro check and Swiss cotton embroidery for the collar and trim. The smocking pattern is just a simple design of diamonds that I made up. This dress looked really pretty on: I wish one of my girls were still little enough to model it! I did have their pictures taken in it, though. I'll have to see if I can scan one in. (Back in the day of  film!)

I am very happy that so many of you have entered the give away or become new followers!! If you haven't entered yet, see my previous post: you have until Saturday.

Monday, February 6, 2012

55 Member Give Away!!

Hi Friends,  
I had been planning to have a give away to celebrate hitting 50 followers, but as I was getting the items ready, I shot up to 55 followers! I am always excited to see that someone enjoyed my blog enough to become a follower and to want to come back and read more. Thank you to all of you who have signed up!! 
Here's what I'm giving away:

1 yard of this adorable retro kitchen tools fabric in teal and brown tones
1 embroidered kitchen towel to co-ordinate with the fabric
1 square of white muslin also embroidered to co-ordinate with the fabric
Cupcake papers in a kitchen tools design

This fabric would be cute for a number of projects: an apron (of course!), a casserole carrier, a tea cozy, a kitchen valence, a little girl's pinafore, or anything you can think of!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post and be sure I have a way to contact you. This will be open until Saturday at noon (EST) and I can ship to the US or Canada. You don't have to be a follower to enter, but if you like what you see, I'd love for you to become #56! I'm linking this post to "Sew Grateful Week at My Happy Sewing Place and will be participating in her themes this week. I'm also linking to Sew Many Ways So Crafty.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vintage Smocking Inspiration

I'm so happy to have had so many nice comments about the onesie tutorial. Thank you!

I have been away from bloggerland for a few days because we are battling ear infections and colds here. Poor Davy has 2 ear infections and has been very sick. He is improving now, though! Three of the other kids have had colds, too.

Tonight, I'm sharing some of my vintage smocking transfers with you. I got these very inexpensively, which is good because some are complete and some are not. In any case, I would be very unlikely to pleat something by "dots" instead of my pleater! The first thing I ever smocked was by dots, hand pleated, but that's a story for another day.
 The first four are older than the last McCall's. Notice they don't have the "s" in their name yet: McCall.

These date from the 30s or 40s, since the name changed to McCall's around 1950.

 This Simplicity transfer is from around the same time.

Here's a picture of the directions that came with one of these transfers and a little piece of the iron on. It has some pretty floral motifs.
I have several ideas that I'd like to start stitching, so if I can avoid this cold, I'll be back to share them soon.