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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween! Costume Inspirations

Happy Halloween! Today I thought I'd share SOME of the costumes I've made over the years. I have made many more, but these are the ones I have digital pictures of, so it makes it easier to post while holding a baby! What is your favorite costume that you've made? Leave a comment; I love hearing from you!
I'm planning a few posts next week with some quick Christmas ornament ideas, so check back soon!!
Military Guy

Princess and Purple T-Rex

Japanese Geisha

1950's Poodle Skirt

American Girl Felicity

Green M&M

Native American Girl

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Smocked Rattle Romper

 This little romper is one of the outfits I made for Andy during my pregnancy. It was supposed to be a coming home from the hospital outfit, but it ended up fitting him around 2 months old instead! I used Maja's Heirlooms Jordan pattern. I emailed her about sizing and she kindly advised me how to make the 3 months size scale-down to newborn. I used light blue Imperial microcheck and pique from Fine Stitchery. I love both these fabrics. They are soft and easy to work with, look good, and best of all can be machine washed and dried and don't need ironing! Not to mention the very reasonable price.
 Because this is so small, I made the sleeves very simple. Instead of the cuff called for in the pattern, I made a plain lined sleeve. It's so easy to do and looks great on tiny arms. I love patterns that have a little area of smocking, so you can finish it in a reasonable amount of time. It's a great place for a little picture smocking; you don't get bored smocking the same motif five times. This little rattle is from the plate CR's Rattles by Terry Jane. I remember the first time I saw this smocked on something. I was 15 and baby-sat for a family with 4 boys. Their littlest boy was baptized and the Mom commissioned a Royal Babe Romper with this plate for the smocking. I loved the outfit and always meant to use it on something.
I will definitely make this pattern again! It was easy to make, I love the way it looks, and it's great to have a smocked outfit with long pants for those of us in cooler climates. Wouldn't this be cute in a soft baby-wale corduroy?
I've been back at the sewing machine a bit this week and my bargain leaf-block quilt top is almost done. I hope to share it with you soon. Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Funny Computer Guy Shirts

My hubby is Mr. Techno. I can be sure my computer and photos are always backed up 4 different ways. He is also a software guy for his job, so when I want to sew for him, computer-themed stuff comes to mind.
This denim shirt was purchased at Walmart. I un-sewed the pocket, did the machine embroidery, then sewed the pocket back on. I love this saying. The embroidery is from Embroiderydesigns.com.

The next shirt was also purchased and embroidered on the pocket. This design is also from Embroiderydesigns.com. I like their site when you need something really specific. They always have tons to choose from, even if you need something unusual! These are shirts that always result in a funny comment. In fact, they've even led to some people "commissioning" items to be embroidered.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Andy's Baptism Gown and Tabard

Alternate Post Titles I Considered: Ironing Torture, Fluffy Baby at Church, Grandma Calls Baby Sissy

Today was Andy's Baptism. It was a beautiful Fall day and the ceremony was really special. Andy was the only baby baptized at the Mass today. He slept for most of the service, until it was time for the water and oil, at which point he got a little scared and cried. After that, he did pretty well, except when he saw the priest. He was annointed with a lot of oil, so the gown is now being thoroughly washed.
I made this gown before Petey was born (15 years ago!). All of my children have worn it at their baptism. Petey was only 4 weeks old when we had him baptized and it was very memorable, as I ended up in the hospital having my gallbladder removed that night! The others were a bit older when we baptized them, but they have all looked beautiful in this gown.
The pattern was in a Creative Needle magazine sometime in 1992. It is made from Nelona Swiss Batiste and cotton French laces. I put blue ribbon in the beading when my boys wore it and pink when the girls wore it. Ironing this gown is awful! The ruffle around the yoke is very full and nearly impossible to iron. As you know, the minute you put it on the baby, it is a ball of wrinkles again!!

Keep reading, lots more pictures below:

 Here is a view of the gown in front of a window.
 This is the fancy band, with beading, lace, pintucks, and a ruffle.
Here is a close up of the yoke and sleeves.

I thought it would be special to make his little "white garment" or tabard myself. This is something the church usually provides, but now that I can do machine embroidery, I wanted to make it. The cross is from Linny's Heirloom by Artistic Designs at OPW. I was itching to buy this beautiful set and I thought the cross would be perfect for this project. A friend, Gillie, digitized the words for me. Thanks! The priest liked it, too. You can't tell from the picture, but the back is the same as the front (it's like a sandwich board). The fabric is Imperial Pique from Fine Stitchery. This is a really nice fabric to work with, soft and easy-care with a little texture for interest.
I hope you enjoy seeing these special Baptismal garments!
Linking to White Wednesday at Faded Charm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quilt Guild Fun

Quilted wall-hanging, entirely hand-sewn, about 16".
I belong to a wonderful Quilt Guild. We have a very active group of women who come from about 10 small towns in our area. I am lucky that our meetings are at a church only 10 minutes away. I always say that crafters are the nicest people and my guild is another example of that. I have enjoyed getting to know the 40 or so ladies in the group and have been inspired by each of their talents.
Most of the ladies piece and quilt by machine, a very few machine piece and hand quilt, but only 2 prefer to do everything by hand (and I am not one of them!). One of these ladies is an amazing 80-years-young quilter who copies museum pieces by drafting, cutting, piecing, and quilting by hand. Her quilts are unbelievable! She taught a class on making templates, piecing, and quilting by hand. This little wall-hanging is my project from her class. It was funny how many of the super-talented machine quilters had a real struggle with hand-work. I have done both and enjoyed making this little quilt, though I still prefer to piece by machine for speed. As for quilting, I prefer hand-quilting for heirlooms and machine-quilting for more utilitarian pieces. What do you prefer??
Detail of hand appliqued center.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dinosaur Birthday Party Shirts!

This weekend is Davy's birthday. I wanted to do a craft that 5 year-olds could manage on their own and still make something nice. I thought about machine embroidering a dinosaur on a shirt and letting them decorate it with fabric paint. (to self) "Are you crazy?! You have no free time! Keep it simple!" So, I revised my original idea to make appliqued dinos using Heat 'n Bond and let the kids decorate them with fabric markers.
This picture shows one of the finished shirts. The green dino is the original applique that was embellished with grass, dirt, an underground fossil, and eggs (not dino poo). Here's what I started with:
I made 10 different shirts and inserted cardboard to make them smooth:
The kids had a really good time decorating. They worked on the shirts for about 20 minutes and then put them on so we could take pictures (for the thank you notes).
I think this idea has a lot of scope. You could make the appliques work with any party theme, for girls or boys: tea party, space, cowboys, ballerina, etc. The materials were very inexpensive. I bought a 10 pack of boy's undershirts at Walmart for $7 and 1/4 yard of several plain fabrics for the appliques. The fabric markers were my biggest investment. I bought 2 packs for $10 each (but these can be used again and I bought the more expensive brand). What do you think??

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another Little Smocked Dress Quilt

 Everyone loves these little smocked dress quilts. I have made 4 of them so far: 2 large (one isn't quilted yet!) and 2 small. You may remember that I shared another one here which was a charity quilt for my Guild. This one was made entirely by me and hand-quilted by my Mom. (the blue marks hadn't been washed out in these pictures-oops). These 4 bishop dress blocks were samples for a class I taught. I thought they went together pretty well, but wanted to do something different for the sashing. I decided to set them off with a double row of 2" blocks. These were cut entirely from scraps. When I have a scrap of fabric smaller than about 1/4 yard, I cut what's left into 2 1/2" strips, sort of like making my own "jelly rolls". I have used these strips so many times for projects and it's easier to store a bunch of strips than a lot of irregular scraps. Sometime when I have free time again, I'd like to make a boy's smocked outfit quilt. They are really fun to do! I like being able to work on one block at a time and because a lot of the sewing is by hand, it is portable. Do you like this quilt? If you do, leave a comment and brighten my day!! Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

BOO! Candy Quilt

I made this wall hanging at one of my Quilt Guild's Fall sewing retreats. Twice a year, we spend a weekend at a nearby retreat center in a beautiful rustic setting. All we do is sew, eat, chat, and sleep (in that order). It is a fun time and I always get many projects completed in just 2 days of intensive sewing.
This little Halloween quilt was fun to make and was completed in a few hours. The purple and orange blocks are actually folded pockets to hold Halloween candy. Of course, I don't fill it too early in the season or you know what will happen! The ghosts are made from men's handkerchiefs. I found the pattern in an old issue of McCalls Quick Quilts magazine. I hang this quilt by my front door to greet visitors in October. It is one of my favorite Fall decorations. I hope you are all enjoying some beautiful Fall weather where you are.