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

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Sailors & Shirt Modeled

We had pictures done today for several occasions: Andy's 3rd Birthday, Davy's 1st Communion, and Rosie's 4 Dance Recital Costumes.
I got a few shots in the Brownie-Goose Summer Sailors and machine embroidered Shirt I made to match. The shorts are a bit snug, but Andy just had his check-up and he's about 90% for height and weight, so I guess I'll start making 4s now.
I love this pose and I don't think these shorts look too "girly" - do you?
This smocked fishy jon jon was one I bought at a tent sale last year. I had forgotten it was in the closet until a week ago. When I found it, I knew it would be perfect for a summer picture. I found out why it was on sale, too- one of the buttonholes wasn't clipped open. A quick fix at the studio! We got lots more great pictures, too- I'll be sharing the recital pictures soon.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: Dated Drawers

Underthings for children did not change much from the 1860s to the 1940s. They usually consisted of an underwaist and drawers, which buttoned together at the waist.
 Sometimes, these were a one-piece outfit known as a "combination" for obvious reasons.

These undie patterns from the 1900s to the 1940s are pretty easy to find.
I have always thought the drop-seats are so cute. When I first started collecting patterns, I got a 1920s combination pattern and I wanted to see if I could figure it out, having just the unprinted pieces and minimal directions.
I did figure it out! The combination I made is really cute and could even pass for a sunsuit. I never did all the buttons and buttonholes, but you get the idea. Above picture is the front.
Here is the back, with the cute gathered "back door". 
Another "necessary" for girls was the slip and panties. These patterns from the 30s and 40s are quite lavish with ruffles, lace, and hand embroidery. I don't know where Mommies found the time to stitch such confections for their little ones.
As we move into the 50s and 60s, the slips got the fluffy, ruffly, bouffant style- nowadays referred to as a petti-skirt (and worn sometimes as the outer layer.)
Isn't it fun to look at the beautiful fashions of yesterday? I am busily working on the directions for the pinafore pattern and getting ready for 4th of July!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Horsing Around

Davy was invited to a friend's birthday party this weekend. She was turning 8 and loves horseback riding. He wanted to get her something "horsey" and I thought making something might be a nice change, since I never know what toys and books kids already have. I was in a rush, as usual, and the only fabric I could find with horses was at Walmart. I thought it more suited to a quilt than clothing, but I gave it a try anyway. The floral on the sleeves was also from Walmart and thought they weren't a set, I think they go together perfectly. I used the Footloose & Fancy Free Sew Adorable Blouse, size 8. I decided to shirr the sleeves and neckline rather than using an elastic casing. The shirring went so well, even though it was only my second attempt. I did 3 rows on each sleeve and the neckline. The hems are just a narrow rolled hem. Once this was done, with an hour before the party, I decided to make a pillowcase to match.
I actually liked both items more than I thought I would! I think with the sleeves in the floral, the top is great for a horse-loving girl. The party was at our "Dinner & a Movie" place. I stayed and watched the movie with Andy & Pete while Davy was at the party. We saw "Monsters U" and it was great! I would definitely recommend it for kids of all ages. In fact, my girls still want to see it, so I may be going again. The birthday girl seemed to like the gift, but it was so loud and rushed, that I couldn't tell for sure. I hope she did!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

3 New Babies at Our House!

Did I get your attention with that title? If you think I had triplets, you are going to be disappointed! But 3 babies did join our family...baby chicks, that is! Yes, pet-free Lisa finally agreed to get animals. We are an allergy family and I always thought that 5 kids was enough work. But I understand that chickens are an easy pet and they will live outside, so...we are giving it a try!

Chickorita (black), Benedict (tiny striped), & Shell-done Coop-her PHD (pretty hen deluxe). 
Chickorita is a Barred Rock, Benedict is a Bantam (mini chicken) of unknown breed, and Shell-done is a Rhode Island Red.We have been to some great yard sales this summer and we found a brand-new chicken coop at one for $40. The chickens only cost $2.50 each and are hens, so they will be pets and provide us with fresh eggs when they are mature (at 24 weeks old). Here are some pictures of them in freshly-mowed grass. The Bantam is only about 3" long- so adorable!

Here's Benedict on my hand (and I have small hands):
It will be fun to watch them grow! I have several projects queued up to share with you, so I'll be back soon!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Time to Vote for a FLIP!!

Hello! Today is an exciting day for me. It is time for voting at FLIP this Pattern!! I will re-post my entire entry below, but I hope you will go vote for your favorite FLIP, whether that's mine or one of my talented competitors! It was really fun and I love the outfit, so win or lose, I was delighted to FLIP!!

My Entry:
I was so excited to be invited to participate in "Flip This Pattern" by my super-talented friends Ashley and Emily. To be able to Flip a pattern as versatile and cute as the Elegance & Elephants Bubble Shorts was even better! In fact, I had already purchased the pattern the day it came out. I love that it has 2 options: classic or sailor style. I am a sucker for anything sailor, but for this Flip, I decided to make the classic style and add a favorite technique: smocking! I also made a matching pinafore to go with the bubble shorts. I am lucky to have a beautiful God-daughter to model for me. Ella is 5 months old and such a sweetie!
Just learning to sit up. I love the big bows on the sides of the pinafore.
 Here she is in the pinafore and shorts.
 The smocking on the top matches what's on the shorts.
Nice and cool for a hot day- can you see them under the tummy?

Now that you've seen the cutie pie shots, here are the details:
The classic bubble shorts, size 6-12 months. Fabric is cotton. I added width to the pockets to allow enough fullness for smocking and I added the Swiss eyelet to the cuffs to match the pinafore.
Here's the 3-D view! I like the contrast waistband lining.
 Just the pocket.
The pinafore is my own design (you may be seeing a pattern for this soon). It is open at the sides and has 2.buttons on the back yoke.
I added piping to the front and back yokes and around the neckline. It adds a pretty element.
The ties are a single layer with a narrow rolled hem.
Thank you Ashley & Emily for inviting me to "Flip This Pattern" and thanks to Heidi at Elegance & Elephants for such a darling pattern to work with!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Roundup of Sunsuits & Bonnets from MAS Patterns!!

I have been very happy to see the Bonnet & Sunsuit patterns being used to make some great creations! I'm going to showcase some today and if you have made one that you are willing to share, send me pictures at mommysapronstrings@gmail.com- thanks!
First up is this gorgeous set by Elizabeth H. She made an Ella Kathryn bonnet and smocked it to go with her sweet bishop dress. I love this combination! Can't you picture a little girl in this lovely set?
Karen, my blogging friend from Karen's Butterflies & Faeries, made this adorable Timmy & Mary sunsuit. Don't you love the color-blocked front and the little puffy pocket? With a little teddy inside! She even tells you how to create this look: just click on the link.
Karen didn't stop at 1...she told me she finished these 2 and has #3 and #4 in the works!! This one is a beautiful teddy bear toile. I would love to find some of this fabric, wouldn't you?
Becky posted this picture of her darling little girl on my facebook page. Here's a modern, trendy look for this old-fashioned pattern. Everyone loved the headband, too, and how can you resist reaching into your computer to pinch those little cheeks? I love seeing my patterns used, but even better on precious babies!!
This is the "Timmy" or boy's version of the sunsuit. It is made by Donna M for her little grandboy, 17 months old. She added a little triangle at the neckline with machine embroidery of a dinosaur. What a great "remix" and a super way to add some interest to a simple pattern. I'm glad the boys are being represented here!
Last, but certainly not least, is this amazing ensemble by Sharon, who blogs at Sweet pea & Pumkins. Her blog is brand-new to me, but boy there is a lot to see! Her taste is mine!! She has 4 boys and a little princess and she sews gorgeous things for all of them!! 
She used the Ella Kathryn bonnet pattern to make this watermelon bonnet. It is so different than my version, you wouldn't even know it's the same pattern. I LOVE how people can interpret this so many ways. Look how the scallops are like slices of watermelon with the little green ruffly rind!! Cute, cute, cute! I want to know how she has time to sew so much with 5 kids much younger than mine!!

So much talent- I am thrilled to be allowed to share these with you! If you haven't downloaded your free Ella Kathryn Bonnet or Timmy & Mary Sunsuit patterns, just join my patterns group on facebook!! I'd love to see you there!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ruby Jean's ADELE Sew-along

I am enjoying the variety of sew-alongs available on the various Pattern Groups on Facebook. I haven't had enough free sewing time to do all the ones I'd like to, but I'm hoping to participate in several over the summer. I did sneak out a couple of hours to make an "Adele" by Ruby Jean's Closet. I like her patterns: they are simple but very cute. I love her "Sugar Pie" and want to make one soon. 
The way she ran her sew-along was great. Each step was posted on the blog in an increment that took about 15 minutes per day. She added some little variations and tips not on the original pattern. Everyone posted their progress each day (or for me, every couple of days as I got to it!)
I would like to run a sew-along of the Timmy & Mary sunsuit on by Facebook Group soon. I am going to work on it this week. If you haven't joined yet, here's a link. It's where you'll find my free patterns and embroideries!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baby Quilts Done...Finally!

These adorable baby quilts were stitched by the children in Davy's second-grade class. They were learning about Pioneers and the teacher thought a sewing project would tie in well. I'm not sure how similar a totally machine-stitched quilt is to what the Pioneers did, but the children sure loved sewing it! They were amazing. I spent about 15 minutes with each child and they laid out, stitched, and ironed (2) 4-patch blocks each.
I had pre-cut the squares and planned 2 quilts: one for a baby boy and one for a baby girl. The girl's quilt has owls with bright pink, blue, green, and yellow squares.
The boy's quilt has dinosaurs with blue, green, yellow, and orange squares. The boys in the class made the blocks for the dinosaur quilt and the girls stitched the owls.
I put the blocks together, backed with flannel, machine stipple-quilted, and bound the quilts.
I chose bright bindings to make the quilts more fun and the flannel backing makes them very cozy.
These will be donated to a special lady who makes Welcome Bundles for underprivileged babies in our state. She will come visit the class tomorrow to pick up the quilts and tell the children about her project. She wraps the donated quilts or afghans around a complete layette of gently-used (donated) baby clothes, including outfits, socks, blankets, outerwear, a sweater, and sleepers. Each layette is seasonally appropriate and will fit 0-6 months. After it is wrapped in the quilt, it is tied with a ribbon and a small toy and book are added. They are distributed throughout our state by social workers.
I like to "give back" when I can, so I am thrilled to have been a part of stitching these baby quilts. BUT I am also so glad they can be crossed off my to-do list. Now I can work on the pinafore pattern!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Baking with Sisters

Happy 3rd Birthday, Andy!
My baby is 3 years old and he's lucky to have 2 terrific big brothers and 2 wonderful big sisters. The sister love to bake, so they offered to make his birthday cake(s).
We had already planned to have a "Cars" birthday party when we found the Lightning McQueen cake pan at a yard sale for 50 cents. That was exciting!
The girls have their own ideas about decorating, so we decided they would make chocolate and vanilla, red and blue versions.
Katie, age 15, made the red Lightning McQueen and Rosie, age 13, made the blue. They both tasted delicious and Andy had fun blowing out the candles twice!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Check out my "FLIP"

My flipped E&E Bubble Shorts are posted at Frances Suzanne today! I've been dying to share the cuteness with you, so I'll show you one picture here, but visit their blog for all the details and lots of pictures!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cheery Cherries! I'm at Stitch-it-Up Today!!

I made this sweet little romper a couple of months ago, but I couldn't share it until my review was posted. Well, today I am at Stitch-it-Up sharing my review of this pattern. Go take a look and you can also buy the pattern for 25% off. This was a really quick & easy project and I just love how adorable Ella looks in it! My only regret is that I didn't cut the ties shorter. We grabbed the shoes at Gymboree on the way to the photo shoot!
What a cutie!! This is fabric I got on sale and I hated to cut it, but luckily I have a few yards left. This romper only took about 1/2 yard. I love the combo with the red gingham. We are finally having weather suitable for this cuteness. It's been 90 degrees here! Today I'm off to yard sales and to stain our new treehouse. Enjoy your Saturday!