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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blessings for Aunt Mary

My Dad's sister Aunt Mary is our family go-to person for prayer. She is a special older lady and will soon be moving closer to our family. In order to make her new apartment a bit more welcoming, I made this kitchen towel for her.
The design is a combination of 2 embroideries!

This design is from Embroidery Library and I made it this way for my Mom for Christmas (but I forgot to take a picture). However, the fishes and loaves were stitch and thread change intensive, so I wanted to something simpler for Aunt Mary.

This design is from Urban Threads. I love the "Toile" type designs because they are quick to stitch, one color, and look so pretty!
My Handy Dandy Embird made quick work of combining these elements. I also shrank the kitchen tools.

I stitched on a Kitchen towel from Willams Sonoma. I found these recently and they are absolutely the BEST kitchen towels, both for looking great with embroidery and being nice towels. They only come in white, but they are large and have a nice hanging loop. Also, the front is an attractive flat weave, while the back is thirsty terry. I wish they were available in many colors- I'd never need any other towels!

I hope Aunt Mary is happy in her new home!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

PR&P (week 3): Andy's 1950's (Reversible!) Suit

This week's theme at Project Run & Play is "Boy's Week." This is right up my alley, since my most willing model is my 2-year-old Andy.
For this week's challenge, I decided to make a size 3 version of some shorts I made him last year. They were one of my favorites, but quickly outgrown.

For this outfit, I found a navy corduroy with no ribs. It is smooth like velveteen, but more boyish. I also choose a coordinating check in navy and light blue on white for the reverse of the shorts. I was inspired by a 1950s pattern for these shorts, which I have in sizes 1, 2, and 4. I drafted my own to a size 3 and altered it so that it would be lined rather than have facings. The reason for this was to make the shorts reversible!

Here is the reverse side. I love both fabrics and I think they will look great for spring. These will be great to wear for church. I just stitched a button on both sides of the suspenders. There is elastic in the back waistband to give a snug fit.

Guess what? I also made the little sweater! This was such a fun project! I bought a size 6 sweater at a consignment shop for $2. I used a Kwik-Sew pattern for a t-shirt as my base. I cut the fronts and the backs so that the ribbing would be at the waist. I also cut the sleeves from the bottom of the (formerly) long sleeves. Then I assembled it and used the neck ribbing at the new neckline. I used a stretch stitch so that it maintains its integrity as a stretchy sweater. 

Here's a view of just the sweater. I will definitely be making more of these!

Here are views of both sides of the shorts.
I love the little suits for boys from the 1950s and this is just what I was dreaming of!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

University of Alphabetical Studies

A quick funny for you tonight. I will be back soon to share my PR&P Boy Challenge!

So, Pete is a Junior in HS and has started receiving mail from various universities. Today he had a flyer from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). Davy (age 8) noticed the computers and science lab photos and said to Pete, "I think you should go to RIT." 

Little Andy (age 2) never misses being part of a conversation, so put in his opinion, "I think you should go to LMNOP."

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by The Shaffer Sisters. They found me on the PR&P blog. I think it will be fun to participate, so here goes:

The Liebster Blog Award is an award given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers, most of whom have less than 200 followers (or have been blogging for less than 6 months). It is to show newer bloggers that they are appreciated, and to help spread the word about new blogs. It was created to promote appreciation and recognition among the blog world. Liebster translates to “dearest” (or favorite/best) in German. It is also known as the Love Blog Award." It's been fun to get to know some bloggers better and a great way to pass on the love.
Here are the rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions given by the nominator.
3. Create 11 new questions for those you nominate.
4. Choose 11 new blogs and link to them in your post.

11 Random Things About ME
1. I have only lived in 2 states. I was born and grew up in the same house my parents still live in. I moved one state away when I got married and still live there.
2. I met my husband through a Smocking Guild! Yes, I belonged to a wonderful Smocking Guild in High School and College and through a "friend of a friend of a friend" in my Guild, I was introduced to my husband. We met on a "blind date" and the girl who introduced us made 3 successful marriage matches, though she is now divorced.
3. My fifth child was born at the same hospital I was, on my half birthday!
4. My favorite TV shows are The Waltons, Wind at my Back, and other historical dramas. What's weird is, I also love Big Bang Theory and Criminal Minds. Big Bang Theory is so funny because hubby and oldest son are self-proclaimed Geeks and some of what Sheldon says sounds like them! Also, Leonard is a family name, so we love when Leonard says, "I hate my name. There's a -nerd in Leonard."
5. I collect sewing patterns: vintage and new. Of course, I fully intend to make all of them someday!
6.In an alternate universe, I could have been a nun. I went to a Catholic High School and with my ambition to have a large family, I was rather horrified when one of my teachers (a sister) told me "I always hoped you'd have a vocation."
7. I will have a son starting college the same year my little one is in preschool. It's really fun to have kids in a wide range of ages, because I get to do varied activities and meet more people.
8. I love living in a small town. We live in a town of population 4,000 and it is wonderful. I know many of the families in town and if I don't know them directly, I probably know someone who does. We have no traffic lights! We have lots of wild animals and a big yard, yet can be at a Super Walmart in 15 minutes. It is the best of small-town life with the conveniences of a bigger city nearby.
9. I am a major chicken. I don't like heights, speed, dark, or being underwater. But when Davy was 4, a friend took us up in his 6-person plane and I thought it was fun!
10. I have made up "B" pet names for all my kids, without intending to: Biddles, Beckity, Bunolean, Budgie, and Bear (or Bug).
11. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up! I majored in Biology- can you believe that? But I started out in Early Childhood Education. My hobbies are sewing (of course), photography, historical fashion, and babies- so what job will I do someday when my kiddos grow up? I have several ideas: run a needlework/sewing-only consignment store, be a newborn photographer, a midwife, a teacher, run historical-themed birthday parties with costumes, or make special photography prop kits with vintage/handsewn items.

The 11 questions for me to answer:
1. What is your favorite part about blogging?
Sharing my creations and ideas with like-minded people who I may inspire as they inspire me.
2. What made you decided to start a blog?
I enjoyed other people's so much that I wanted to join it. It has been a great motivator to finish things so I can post them!
3. If you could live in any house where would it be located and what would it look like?
I love my house and where I live, so I probably wouldn't change much. If I had to move, it would be to Amish Country in PA. The house would be a huge farmhouse with antique style, but brand-new conveniences. It would have a porch, lots of windows, fireplaces, and lots of closets!
4. Give yourself job descriptions to describe your day to day tasks.?
Mother, Teacher, Chef, Personal Shopper, Seamstress, Bus Driver, Head Office Scheduler, Nurse, and Maid Slave.
5. What is your favorite thing that you have ever blogged about?
The Christening Gown I recently made.
6. Second Honeymoon, where would you go (first if you haven't gone on one yet)?
I would choose England or Prince Edward Island. Hubby would chose Hawaii (I don't like cliffs).
7. Greatest Blogging Strength.
Sharing Beautiful Creations
8. Greatest Blogging Weakness.
Posting as often as I'd like- taking pictures slows me down.
9. First 5 minutes of your day.
Bring the 2 little boys downstairs, brush my teeth, make coffee or tea, watch the news for a few minutes.
10. If you could meet one blogger who would it be?
Janice Ferguson.
11. One word to describe what you aspire to become?  

11 Questions for my Tagged Bloggers:
1. Why did you start your blog?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. Your favorite place on earth?
4. What year would you like to visit for a week as a time-traveler?
5. If you didn't have the job you have, what would you want to do instead?
6. What is your favorite food?
7. What is your favorite period in fashion?
8. What is your favorite novel or series?
9. What famous person do you most admire?
10. What is your favorite restaurant?
11. If you are a crafter, what is your favorite thing you've ever made?

Blogs I'm Tagging for the Leibster Award:
1.  Janice Ferguson Sews
2. California Stitching
3. Dorrell Delineations
4. Granny Lane Sewing
5. Jan's Smocking Blog
6. The Opulent Poppy
7. Shirley C
8.  TiramiSue
9.  Sew Much to Give
10. Smock, Sew, & Be Merry
11. Karen's Butterflies & Fairies

Thursday, January 17, 2013

PR & P (week 2): Pink Polka Dot Pop-Top and Pants

This week's Project Run & Play theme is "Polka Dots & Stripes". This is a really fun theme! I purchased this polka dot fabric with a gift certificate I won at my Quilt Guild. I had seen little smocked dresses made from it and it struck my fancy. I looked through my patterns and decided to make "Miss Violet" by the Handmade Dress. I've been wanting to make it for awhile and thought this was a good opportunity. The top is really simple: basically a peasant top with elastic neck and sleeves. 
What makes it different and special is the bit of honeycomb smocking at the center front. I have done tons of English smocking, but never this type! It was very quick and easy to do and I would like to use it in future projects.

I decided to use the baby blue for the capri pants because they looked so pretty together. Stripes of rick rack add a dainty touch to the top and capris. I can just picture this on my new Goddaughter this spring. It is a size 3-6 months and I love it. Katie said it reminds her of a cupcake!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Crocheted Baby "Stork Pouch"

I actually made this about 2 years ago. My Andy was about 9 months old and I first saw these "Stork Pouches" to photograph newborns. This pattern was touted as being especially for larger babies, so I chose it. I whipped this up in a few hours from a soft chenille yarn. Andy did not like it despised it. I tried several times to take his picture in it, until finally he cried if he even saw it! We started calling it The Torture Net.
I didn't think I'd have another chance to use it so soon, but the arrival of my friend's baby has given me some fun photo ops! They came to visit yesterday and this was one of the props I had ready. I got a bunch of cute shots. It looks dangerous, but my hubby was actually holding the top of the net and she was just inches above the ground. Black velveteen makes a great background!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Project Run & Play Week 1: Party Dress

Hi! I am so excited to be participating in Project Run & Play for the first time! I first learned of it on the Frances Suzanne blog and I always love a challenge. It's a great way to make something different and I love to have a deadline to motivate me!
The pattern for this challenge is the Party Dress by The Cottage Home. I wanted to do something elegant and I was happy to find these 2 fabrics that look great together! The bodice is pin-tucked taffeta and the skirt is flocked taffeta. The skirt fabric is very "crisp". It makes a wonderful swishy sound when it moves. The bodice is lined in a soft gray broadcloth. I made a size 5 because I felt the design of the fabric was too big for a small child.
 I thought about all sorts of belts I could make, but in the end I opted for a simple black velvet ribbon sash and it looks perfect!
 The skirt fabric is 54" wide and I used the whole width to make a very full skirt. It is gathered as much as possible, but I love the way the skirt looks and if I had a model, I'm sure it would be great for twirling!
 A challenge is a great time to try something new. I've seen dresses with "tutu" hems, but had never done one. I bought 4 yards of tulle and used almost every inch! I cut strips 4" wide, gathered down the center, folded them over, and stitched them to peek out from under the hem. So, the ruffle is 4 thicknesses of tulle and very full. I would definitely do this again!

I am planning to participate in all 6 weeks of Project Run & Play if I can! I have already planned weeks 2, 5, & 6 and I'm very eager to start sewing!!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I love finding vintage clothing that I recognize the pattern it came from! Tonight I'm sharing 2 really cute sunsuits and the patterns that some Mommy used to make them many years ago.
Here is a darling bunny romper. The face and bow are hand embroidered to make the bib of the sunsuit.
Here is the pattern it was made from. This pattern comes up for sale quite frequently and fetches a nice price. Even though it is common, its charm is universal and most pattern collectors want one of these! It also has a cute puppy option for the boys, though the bunny example above could certainly have been for a girl or a boy- it's hard to tell!
This sunsuit is so cute- I can just picture Junior going to the circus in this elephant outfit!

Here is the pattern for the elephant suit. This one is much more uncommon than the puppy/bunny one. I have only seen it for sale once and it was too expensive. Someday, I will probably find one.
These patterns were both made by McCall in the 1940s.
I have been working on a dress for Project Run & Play this week. I'm hoping to finish it tomorrow!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ruffled Scarves for Winter!

 I first saw these ruffled scarves at a craft fair in December. My girls and I loved them and I figured they couldn't be too hard to make. I looked online and found directions. The yarn is a special one that's like net. I bought a few skeins and finished 3 of them the weekend before Christmas: one for Katie, one for Rosie, and one for my Mom. 
This one is Rosie's.

This one is Katie's.
I made 2 of this one: one for Mom, one for my best friend Karen.
This one is for ME!

 These are really fast to knit! The yarn is called "Sashay" and I bought mine at Walmart. It's about $5/skein. There are also other brands to make these ruffled scarves. My ecru one is from Starbella. You just cast on 6 stitches and knit every row till the skein is used up. They are about 64" long. The secret to the ruffling is that you knit by picking up 2 threads on the edge of the yarn. There are many online tutorials.

Next up this week, I will be sharing my first entries in the Project Run & Play Sew Along! It will be my first time participating and I'm very excited about it. I've planned my entries and started working on 2 of them.