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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fabulous Floor!

This week was super busy. I started a new part-time job and we had a new wood floor installed in our kitchen, breakfast area, hallway, and entry.

BEFORE:  The floor was an inexpensive vinyl from 14 years ago when we built the house. It had lost its shine and was scratched, dented, and grubby. The area by my desk had peeled and kept getting worse.

AFTER: The wood looks so warm and inviting. The whole kitchen looks more elegant to me. 

Here is the new floor in the kitchen table area. It is so shiny and smooth. Andy went "skating" in his socks. I really didn't want to bring the table back- it looks so nice and empty!

I have done a little sewing since everything got put back together. It is also "back to school" here this week! Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Children's Corner Pleats 2 II Dress: My Favorite!!

In the 7 or 8 years I have been a vintage pattern hoarder collector, I have seen this pattern come up only a handful of times. I was able to get one for a reasonable amount twice. Somehow, they are both size 1-2. (My extra is listed on EBAY)

Anyways, I have always LOVED the "Candace" dress (on the right). I mean, it may be my favorite pattern ever made. Everything about it appeals to me: the double-breasted front, pleats, collar, etc. It would be a classic as suitable for 1936 as 2016. How often can you say that?
So, you are thinking, "if she loves it so much, why didn't she ever make it?" Well, my littlest 2 kiddos are boys, so I've done a lot of boy stuff. But I think another reason is that I am afraid to mess up something that is my "favorite.". It is a bad character trait that I have recognized and I'm trying to change it. Do you ever not do something because you don't want to fail? It has to be perfect or nothing? It really sounds ridiculous, but I think I do that. So, not only did I jump into making this dress, but I cut into one of my favorite fabrics that I have been "saving." And I love how it turned out!!

I just need to do the hem. The whole thing took about 3 hours at most. It looks complicated, but is actually faster than gathering to yokes. Both front and back are pleated from shoulder down, so I felt like I was doing origami more than sewing!
Another time saver was that Children's Corner patterns are not "nested" so each piece can be used fresh from the package- no need to trace. I did waste a bit of time and (horrors) fabric because I initially cut the back with the cherries going upside-down. I knew it would bug me, so I re-did it.
This dress was really fun to make!!

I used the puffed sleeves from the "Camille" view instead of the cap sleeves. My fabric is called "Sweet Treats" from the Clothesline Club, but I can't find it for sale anymore.

The collar is white 100% cotton pique. The piping is called "whipstitch" and was from a piping grab bag. All I had to buy was the buttons!

Here's a side view. I haven't hemmed it yet because I was trying to figure out the length. This pattern is from the 1980s, so it doesn't quite have "Brady Bunch" length as I think of the pantie-showing 60s dresses. 

It is meant to be just above the knee, so I can do a regular hem or I could use a fabric facing. Red gingham would be cute for the facing with matching panties.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Looking for Mr. Right

My son's best friend's mother was getting re-married last weekend. He was invited to the festivities, but I was at a loss for a gift idea.
I don't think two "mature" people who are combining households need another toaster or blender. I wanted to make something. My son has a tremendous sense of humor, so I wanted the gift to reflect that.
It was important to honor how "right" they are for each other, so here is hubby's sham:
and here is wife's sham...
I originally thought about embroidering pillowcases, but then I found these lovely quilted shams at Walmart. The color is a pale aqua with the embroidery in teal and gray. I wish I had taken a picture of the whole sham. They have pretty box edges. They had many more colors in the store and the quality is great. CLICK HERE to see them online.
I digitized the sayings myself. The words are actually the same height:

I am offering this design in my ETSY SHOP. It is for the 150x240 or larger hoops only. Right now, it and all my other embroideries are on sale for 25% off until Sunday, no coupon needed!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tiny Bishop Gowns

I received some ready-to-smock and assemble Wee Care gowns from my facebook friend Liz. There were about 15 in 2 small sizes. Several went to members of my Smocking Guild and have been completed. I smocked a few while at the lake with friends. My boys are finally old enough that I can sit in a chair and sew while watching them. I wanted to try something different and fun. Here's what I came up with:
This one opens down the back. I smocked it in 2 shades of purple and yellow. I digitized the pansies and embroidered them.
 Then I added a lavender gingham neckband and hem. The tiny sleeves have Swiss edging and elastic. I am planning to add a tiny crocheted pansy to the center front of the smocking if I can find a pattern.

I flipped the next one so that it would button down the front:
I might use tiny snaps and sew decorative buttons on top. Buttonholes that tiny would be hard to fasten.
The smocking is very simple and I used candy pink gingham to pipe the neckband and sleeves. I trimmed the sleeves to make them short and puffed. I love them!
I did a very simple featherstitch machine embroidery design at the bottom. It still needs to be hemmed.
These little gowns are fun to experiment on because they take so little trim, etc to dress them up.

Monday, August 8, 2016

SALE at Mommy's Apron Strings!!

I added 7 new vintage embroideries to my shop this week. To celebrate, EVERYTHING is 25% off until Aug 14. No coupon necessary- prices are already reduced. This is the first time I have put the embroideries on sale. All of the new designs come with both 4x4 and 5x7 for one price!!  My customers say they love these for children's items because they are light and quick to stitch. Also they look very close to hand embroidery with much less work!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Let's Talk Testing (and more sneak peeks)

I have spent the past several days stitching tests of the new designs I have digitized. I have 7 designs that will release this week- all come with 2 sizes for the 4x4 and 5x7 hoops!
Sneaky peeky!!

I stitch each design over and over until it is perfect.
Elly had a broken arm that needed fixing.
Doggy's striped ear wasn't right.
A new version of doggy is stitching now...
Ducky stitched perfectly on the first try!! I love this design!

So what do I check in tests? Are all the stitches of the right type? Redwork, traveling stitch, or fill? Are there any jumps that could be eliminated? Does anything lose its definition in the 4x4 size? Does everything line up properly?

Why don't I have other people test? Well, I have done that in the past, but I did not get very good results. I need photos that have a white background and are straight-on. I have only ever had one tester who took photos I could use. Also, I send the free designs and never hear from people again! That's frustrating.

What else is going on in my week? Lots of things, but this happened:

Darling daughter #2 got her license and 6 days later she hit another car. Thank goodness no one was hurt except the 2 cars: the other one was brand new. Ugg.