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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easist Christmas Dress Ever!

 I found this cute onesie at Walmart. I love the sentiment for my friend who is going to have a baby girl any day now!

It was a 20 minute project to add the skirt to the onesie. I just used 1 layer of taffeta and 3 layers of tulle. They were all 42x8 inches. I cut the onesie apart at the waist, then gathered the skirt pieces and stitched them to the onesie with a stretch stitch. The pantie part went right back on.

I think having the snaps there will keep the dress neat. I hope she likes it!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2-hour, $7, GOLDEN button-on suit

OK- we had our Christmas pictures scheduled for today. I got sick Thanksgiving afternoon and was out of commission on Friday, so yesterday I had to figure out how to clothe 5 kids for photos. I always default to a red theme- red is easy to find and very festive. The past several years, I kept wanting to do a gold scheme, because it would be pretty. We last did gold when my oldest was 8 (he is now 17). So, I had one day to get everything together. Gold sweaters for the girls, black pants for boys and girls, we found a gold dress shirt at Walmart for oldest son- who knew?? A pretty golden tie for son, a sweater for 8 year old. I wanted to get him an ecru dress shirt, but guess what- you can't find them in boy's sizes (I checked Walmart, Target, Sears, Macy's, JC Penney, and a huge consignment store- what the heck- no cream, only white, blue, purple, peach, green, even black and red!!) Ahhh, but I digress...
Don't forget jewelry, socks, shoes, hair clips, underwear, etc. Well, in all that, I found nothing for my littlest guy- 2 years old. Oh, that's Ok- I can whip something up. Off to Joann's last night. Long story short (oh, too late for that) I made a Primrose Lane Baby Kevin Button-on Suit. Size 24 mos (and it was snug lengthwise), fabric was horrible broadcloth $1.99 at Joann's and super-tacky gold fake silk shantung for the pants. 
 I spent more time choosing the "right" ME design than making the suit. I think it took about 2 hours. Actually looks super-cute on. I love the pictures.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Vintage Magazine Score!

 I went to an Estate Sale last weekend. It was the home of a 92 year old lady. She sewed and crafted and there were many crafts items. Most of them were tacky 70s things, but I found a few treasures. I found over 50 knitting, crocheting, sewing, and crafting magazines or booklets from the 30s to the 60s. There are some real treasures in them. I paid $4 for the lot. I took pictures of a few of the interesting items, but I'd like to share more later once I really sort through them.

 Here's a Crochet Annual from 1949. It has some pretty edging pattern in it.
 I don't think I'll ever have the time (or patience) to crochet a tablecloth, but they are fun to look at!
 Here's a little gem with great directions on all the needlework techniques on the cover. Tatting is something I've always wanted to learn...
 2 more fun crochet leaflets
 This booklet shows how to do embroidery using machine stitches. I think our home embroidery machines would have blown them away in the 50s!
 This one is a fun blast from the past! I love the traditional family picture.

 `Here are 2 60s booklets of Christmas ideas.
 This Make-over Guide was published during World War 2. I love it!
 This is my favorite page, "Brother and Sister Suits made from 2 Worn Shirts" I'd love to try this just for the heck of it.
 Here's a precious ad for Red Heart yarn- still available today!
 Stylish Mother-Daughter aprons were all the rage in the 50s.
 This McCall's magazine featured some of their patterns. Isn't that pram suit cute?
 I love the old Knit o Graf Patterns. Here's a nice color ad showing their selections.
 Bucilla Craft kits are still popular today. Here are their offerings from days gone by.
In the Spirit of the Season, we have this fun ad for "Sno*Flok" Just attach the handy dandy nozzle to your vacuum and spray your tree. It is fire retardant-I wonder if this contained asbestos??

These may have been a dime a dozen, but they are a treasure to me!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christening Gown is 95% Done!

 I am so excited that my Goddaughter's Christening Gown is almost finished! I worked hard this week to get the construction done. The things left to do are: attach a tiny trim to the neck edge, run ribbon through beading, hem back edges, and do some sort of beading/ribbon/embroidery at the "waist" of the smocking.

Here's the yoke. Notice the 2 cable smocking rows: between them is where I will add some beading, ribbon, and/or embroidery. I'm not sure yet what to add.

 Here are the embroidery, fancy band, and ruffle. I love how they look together!

 Here's the whole dress, laying flat. You can see through the front to where the dress is open down the back. I decided to add buttons at the back yoke and leave the rest open. It will make it easier to dress a newborn and will look better spread open for pictures.

More ruffle detail. The ruffle is 132" gathered onto the 72" skirt. It took me a long time to gather and stitch that ruffle!

Project Details:
Fabric: 100% cotton Satin Batiste from Fine Stitchery- I had JUST enough with 2 yards.
Laces/Entredeux: Cotton French lace and Swiss embroideries
Thread: Madeira 80 wt cotton for machine embroidery and Madeira 60 wt cotton for construction 
Pattern: Chery Williams' Baby Yokes for Dress
Ellen Briggs Party Dress Sleeve only, size 1 reduced by 10%
Machine Embroidery: my own combo of designs from Linny's Heirloom by Artistic Designs

This dress went together wonderfully. It was a charmed project. I estimate 30-40 hours of work (including all the hand smocking). I LOVE the way it looks and I can't wait to see it on my little GodBaby!! She is due December 4 and her baptism is scheduled for December 30, so I don't have too long to wait! I'm going to take a break from this to work on my Thanksgiving and Christmas projects, but when I get back to it, I will also make a simple slip and bonnet to match!
I'd love some comments with what you think of it!     

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Digitized Christmas Ornament

Hi! I have been working on the Christening gown and have it almost done! Everyday I hoped I would be finished so I could post pictures and now a week has gone by with no posts. So, I am just going to share something else I've been working on until I can show you the finished dress (and it is gorgeous!)

I saw this pattern for felt ornaments on ebay. The designs are so simple and are meant for hand embroidery.
I thought it would be easy to do something similar with machine embroidery. This is my version that I digitized. I don't have a stitchout yet, but I hope to try it out after I finish THE DRESS.
The design will be stitched on ecru felt, then placed onto tan felt for the tan buttonhole heart stitching. I thought it would make a quick ornament to tie onto homemade cookie trays or presents. I can probably make 2 or 3 in a 6x10 hooping. I hope to be back tomorrow or Friday with pictures of the dress!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christening Gown Progress

This week I finished the smocking on the Christening gown. Here is the yoke before I cut it.
Here it is after cutting it to size (oh, I hate cutting through all those hours of handwork!) I intend to run a silk ribbon between the 2 cable rows.
I also stitched together the fancy band, which will go at the bottom of the skirt. A ruffle will be under that.
I chose a Swiss embroidery and French lace that coordinated well. They both have a zigzag floral pattern. I was very, very pleased with the fancy band, until...
I put it next to the embroidery on the skirt of the gown. You really can't tell from this photo, but the thread on the embroidery is a "winter white" - just a speck off white. The thread on the Swiss is a very bright white and they look terrible together. I will be re-doing a new fancy band with French laces only. Oh, well, this fancy band will be beautiful for a little girl's dress another time.
As with so many projects, it is 2 steps forward, one step back...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Birthday Pillowcases

October is a month with a lot of birthdays for us. My son Davy turned 8 and my Mom turned 20-something (again). My kids also have several friends with birthdays this month. For one Davy's friends, I embroidered this pillowcase to wrap around her gift instead of wrapping paper. 
The flowers are from Oma's Place and I don't remember which alphabet I used. I thought it looked nice and girly. I'm always happy with Oma's Designs.
This set of 2 diamond-monogrammed pillowcases was for my Mom's birthday. She bought me my embroidery machine a few years ago, so I always try to make her something for holidays. She kept asking me for a diamond monogram, but I couldn't find one I liked at a low price. This one is from Jolson's and it stitched well, though I had some trouble aligning the diamond when I did : PLL, as was my initial plan. I need to email them my question.

I did some work on the smocking of the Christening Gown this week and I'm hoping to finish the smocking and block out the yoke tomorrow. Once I do, I'll be back with pictures. Have a great weekend!