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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Winner of the Bubble Shorts Pattern!!

Good morning everyone,
I enjoyed your comments on the Give Away post and thank you to all of you who chose to become a Follower. I hope you will enjoy what you see! I wish I could send the adorable E&E Bubble Shorts pattern to all of you, but there is only one winner:

Tami C!! I will be emailing you and Heidi at Elegance & Elephants will send out your pattern. 

If you didn't win, you can still buy this pattern with a 10% discount with promo code: FLIP, now till June 5!

Remember to come back to see my FLIP of this pattern next week!! I already finished it and photographed it on the darling Miss Ella. It is really CUTE and I can't wait to show you all.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FREE Pattern: Timmy & Mary's Sunsuit!!

 I'm posting at A Jennuine Life: The Lost Arts of Sewing today. I tell you a bit about how ladies shopped for patterns back in the day and how the patterns were different from what we are used to. To celebrate my guest post (and because my baby is about to turn 3!!), I'm giving you another FREE pattern!

You are going to love this! It is easy, adorable, and can be embellished in so many ways!
This sunsuit has sizes 6 months to 3 years and thorough photo directions of each step. The shoulders tie, which means no buttons or zippers! There are snaps at the crotch, for quick changes. You can line it or bind the edges with bias. Both options are quick to make. There is no center front seam, so this is a great pattern for embroidery by hand or machine. It's super for featuring novelty prints, too!! The fit is loose and comfortable for hot summer days.

I am also giving you this cute puppy face machine embroidery design! It comes in 2 sizes for the 4x4 or 6x10 hoop. 

Just think of all that you could try on this pattern: ruffles, rick rack, lace, contrasting bias trim, add elastic to the legs, embroidery, trim on the leg openings. What will you try first?

To get your free pattern, visit me on facebook. Just request to join my Mommy's Apron Strings Pattern Group and the files will be posted there later this morning. While you're there, "Like" Mommy's Apron Strings, if you want!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sailor Shorts & Shirt for July 4th!

Wow, I can't believe I have a 4th of July outfit done more than a month early. I have so busy sewing samples for my new pattern and working on an outfit for "Flip this Pattern," that one day I just wanted to do something quick and fun.
The Brownie-Goose Sailor Shorts have been on my list since I started seeing so many versions other people made. I have never seen a version I didn't like! It's a simple pattern, but with so many ways to combine fabrics, trim, and buttons- you can make an endless variety of these cute shorts. If you've been here awhile, you know I love anything sailor, so these are a home run for me!
I made a version I don't think anyone else has. I made these for my little boy. I think this is intended to be a girl's pattern, but after all, the original "Sailors" were all men! 
The shorts are made of an easy-care poly-cotton broadcloth with a cotton plaid trim and bias tape I made from a red star print.
The T-shirt is a purchased one from Walmart, which I embellished with a machine embroidered anchor from Happy Applique. The colors in the first picture are more accurate: navy and dark red.
Well, do you think this works for a little boy? I will try it on when my little model gets up from his nap.

Don't forget to come by on Tuesday for the release of my FREE sunsuit pattern- it's a cutie!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

E&E Bubble Pocket Shorts Pattern GIVE AWAY!!

Today is the kick-off of "Flip this Pattern" at Frances Suzanne! To celebrate, each of the bloggers "flipping" is offering a chance to win this fabulous pattern. Here's the pattern cover: 
This pattern has 2 totally different styles, so it's really like getting 2 patterns in one. Not to mention the terrific range of sizes: 6 months to 8 years! 
You can increase your chance to win by checking out the other participating blogs at these links:

To enter here, you must do ALL 3 of these:
"LIKE" Mommy's Apron Strings and "Elegance and Elephants" on facebook. Here are the links:
Elegance & Elephants on facebook
AND you must be a follower of my blog (just click the Follow button)

Once you have done that, just leave ONE COMMENT on this post telling me that you have "liked" us. Easy-peasy. The give away ends at midnight, May 29, so don't turn into a pumpkin- enter now!! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sneak Peek of my Next Pattern!

I have been sewing a lot! But I haven't shared pictures because I've been working on another pattern for you! It's a tied-shoulder vintage sunsuit. It will be available at the end of May and it will be FREE!! It is being tested, tried-on, and formatted right now. I don't think I've ever made the same pattern so many times before!
This was my first try, but I've changed the fit since then, so it's just a teaser.
Tomorrow I'm going to do a photo shoot at the beach with these sunsuits. I bought some tiny wooden Adirondack chairs and stained them myself. Aren't they cute??
I have also been busy going to what seems like an endless stream of dentist, oral surgeon, and orthodontics appointments. Today I got these:
Actually, that picture is a symbol. My bottom teeth have become crowded over the years since I had braces as a kid. Since I have to live to over 100 to use all my patterns and fabric, I figured I might as well do it with nice teeth!!

So, that's what I've been up to. Oh, yeah, and working on 2 Guest Posts for the "Lost Arts of Sewing" series at A Jennuine Life and the "Flip this Pattern" series at Frances Suzanne!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In Good "Flipping" Company!

I am so excited that I've been invited to participate in a new series: "Flip This Pattern" with the super-talented sister duo Ashley and Emily at Frances-Suzanne!
I will be participating in June, sewing my version of the Elegance & Elephants Bubble Shorts!
 I better get busy!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

First Chameleon and Mother's Day!

Today we all had to get up early, because as Andy announced, "Davy, today is your First Chameleon!" It was actually a special day to have First Communion and Mother's Day all in one. My sweet little Davy wore his first suit. He looked so debonair. Very GQ.
His sweet and gentle spirit make him just as beautiful inside. I am so proud of my boy!
This statue was carved by a person in our town. Isn't it amazing? This sculptor also carved a rock at our school playground with all the letters of the alphabet.
This azalea was a gift on another Mother's Day, several years ago. It just happened to be in full bloom today. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day with your families!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: Romper

Isn't this a darling little romper? I'm always attracted to things that button on the side. This sweet pattern is from the late 40s. The thing that jumps out at me is the stereotypical boy/girl embroidery. The girl is an "angel" while the boy gets "Butch boxing gloves". I guess the sailboat was good for either. I can't quite imagine embroidering boxing gloves on my baby's outfit, but I love everything else about this!
If you like it, too, you don't have to search for the vintage pattern in the right size, because Sew Beautiful offered a pattern similar to this:
Issue 106, May/June 2006 had this side-buttoned romper as part of their "Ultimate Layette" series. I have always wanted to make this!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Amazing "Ella Kathryn" Bonnet by Linda S.

My friend Linda S. was a tester for my Ella Kathryn Bonnet Pattern. As so often happens to me, life got in the way and her bonnet wasn't ready in time for the pattern release. BUT it was worth the wait! She made this amazing confection with a gorgeous floral print and a hand shadow-worked insertion. Add some tiny piping and French lace and you have a perfect bonnet! She wrote: "I especially liked this pattern because it lends itself so well to various embellishments and interpretation." Gee, Linda, I couldn't have said it better myself!
I mentioned to her how much I like the ties she made and she replied: "the "fluffy" ties were made from cutting 4 in. wide, unlined fabric strips (on the lengthwise grain) and hemmed using my narrow rolled hem foot.
I also love her shadow-work insertion. She added Swiss bridging embroidery on both sides and wove floss in colors to match the shadow-work. She also generously offered to share the embroidery pattern with us: "If you'd like the simple shadow embroidery pattern to offer with your bonnet, let me know.  I always make my own and do it all the time.  This one will only fit your bonnet, because it is slightly curved and just for that shape."
Wow!! I am thrilled that she has offered to share the embroidery design with us. As soon as I have it, I will post it in PDF with the bonnet pattern. 
If you haven't downloaded your FREE bonnet pattern yet, you can get it when you join the Mommy's Apron Strings Pattern Group on Facebook (click on "Join this Group)
While you're there, you can "like" my MAS page to keep updated on my blog via Facebook.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rosie Stitches Shoes

My daughter Rosie (13) had a project for Social Studies recently. She had to do an Artisan Project, using a skill that people might have used in the Middle Ages. She originally signed up to make her own chain mail. Me: "Ummm...how are we going to do that, Darling? Wasn't there anything sewing related? Couldn't you at least sign up for the bread baking?" Rosie: "I wanted to do something fun and different." Me: "How about making baby shoes by hand? I have a good pattern." So, Rosie's teacher approved the first Artisan Textile Project and we were off!
We bought some really nice 30% wool felt. The only babyish colors were a slightly off white and a creamy yellow. This set is mine, but I haven't quite finished yet! Rosie did white shoes with a yellow tongue.
We stitched everything by hand, including the embroidery on the toes. We used DMC floss, all 6 strands, as recommended in the old directions.
The first step of construction was to stitch the 2 sole layers onto the upper. We marked the placement of the stitches with a wash-away marker to make them even.
Then we stitched the tongue to the upper at the toe area. This was the hardest step.
Stitch up the center back and the shoe is done. I found a terrific tool in the scrapbooking area. It's a 1/8" hole punch, which we used to make the eyelets for the laces.
We had to go to an old-fashioned shoe store to find appropriate laces. They only cost 75 cents! 1/4 yard of each color wool would make 3 pairs of shoes and was only $2.50 total, so this is a thrifty project.
Here's a side view. The teacher was very impressed and asked if Rosie would make another pair for her niece! These were really fun to make.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My First Pattern! Free Ella Kathryn Baby Bonnet

I am super excited to share my first pattern with you!! I originally made this bonnet for a contest at Adorable Heirlooms. There was a lot of interest in the pattern, so I decided to give it a try. My friend Ashley at Frances Suzanne collaborated on this with me, to bring you this computer-drafted, graphically-appealing pattern! I am blessed to have such a super-talented friend!
This pattern was tested by some of my sewing buddies. Sarah at Gregarious made this adorable blue bonnet for Lady Jane:
Her picture shows how beautiful the plain (unsmocked) version is! I love the white piping on the blue and how sweet it is with the white pinafore. Love the traditional baby shoes, too, Sarah!
Ashley made this bonnet for darling CL. It is going to have a matching sun suit, too! The brim is big enough to provide shade to those delicate complexions. These babies are 10 and 8 months old and this bonnet is size 6-12 months. It is fully lined, too. Notice how Ashley used coordinating fabrics for the outside and the lining?
Jan from Princess Designs made the smocked version. Her smocking is always a treat (and always so fast: I think she sleep-smocks!). I love her combo of lavender and white. Very springy!
 Here is the back cover of the pattern. My "signature" is that each pattern will have a little story with it.
I am offering this pattern for FREE! It is available for PDF download on my Mommy's Apron Strings Patterns Group on Facebook. (click to join). While you are there, I'd appreciate a "Like" on my MAS page, too!
If you make this pattern, I'd love to see pictures and will share them here or on my Group, if you like. I hope this is just the first of my patterns: I have lots of ideas!!