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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fairy Princess in Christening Gown

My little god-daughter is a beauty. My girls didn't want to put her down (neither did I!)

  I brought a piece of black velvet to the church for some pictures.
 She wore the beautiful sweater set made by my friend Shirley and looked like a little angel in all the delicate white garments.

 I love this sweet face. I gave her the cross necklace as a remembrance of the day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 We had a visit from this guy last night. The kids had a wonderful day and are busily enjoying their new "toys". Mom and Dad got a nasty cold, but we had a good day anyway!
Hope your stocking is nearly as big as you are and that your Christmas is full of the blessings of family, friends, love, peace, and good health!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

 This set of pillowcases was my contribution to our "Secret Santa" swap at my quilt guild. For years, we have done a "Yankee Swap" but invariably people got the wrong gift. I always brought something I spent hours making only to receive something someone bought and didn't want. This year, we decided to do a swap where we would choose a name and make something specifically for that person.
The girl I chose was Susie Williams: she is a really nice lady and I figured her taste is similar to mine. I checked with a friend of hers and found out that her master bedroom is yellow. This thread looks gold in the photos, but is actually a pretty vintage yellow- not too bright.
The monogram is "Vintage W" by Needle Passion Embroidery. This is really my fall-back monogram. I have made it at least 6 times and everyone loves it. I love it, too, because I can count on it stitching perfectly every time and with only one color, it is quick to do! I reduced this one from about 100mm tall to 66mm tall, so it would better fit on the pillowcase hem. I am slowly collecting this alphabet a letter at a time. Since it is $3.50/letter, I buy them only as I need them. I hope that the next time I stitch this monogram, it will be for hubby and me!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shirley's Sweater Set for Ella

My friend Shirley made this gorgeous matinee jacket and bonnet for Baby Ella's Christening. The pictures don't do justice to the daintiness of this set. The yarn is very soft and fine with a touch of sparkle. Ella will look like an angel in this. I want to get lots of pictures!
 Here is the whole set. I will have to get pictures of it on the baby for you to see how delicate it is.
 Close up of the bonnet. Notice the pretty ribbon rosette at the chin. It has a tiny pearl in the center.
The yoke detail. It is such a pretty, lacy pattern. Shirley says that she has knit this set many times for her own children and as gifts. She knits and crochets gifts for family, friends, and people in need. While she knits, she prays for the recipient. I think that is really special and I can only imagine how many people she has blessed with her talents. Thank you, Shirley!!
This pattern is from Paton's R21 and is posted online for free.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Birth Announcement Onesie

My best friend had her baby last Wednesday. She is adorable!! I quickly stitched out this postage stamp birth announcement on a onesie for little Ella. I think it makes great photos to have the info right there on their little tummy. I made this same design in blue for my Andy when he was born. It was tough to hoop and stitch on such a tiny onesie. The design is 170x100mm. I think it turned out great and Ella and her Mommy love it!
This awesome design is from Sew Terrific, here. The coolest thing about it is that it comes with special Embird files that allow you to type in your information and it will be automatically formatted to the correct size and shape. I had never tried this before, but the directions were perfect and I had no problem setting it up!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Special Sequined Stockings

 My Mom made these to pack some gifts in before mailing them. They are kits from Bucilla and are a lot of work! Many hours go into cutting and appliqueing all the little felt pieces. Then many sequins are hand-sewn on with a little bead to hold them.
 These sorts of kits have been made by Bucilla since the 1960s and are still very popular today.
 Here's some detail from the fisherman stocking. Notice the individual fish hanging from the border.
 I love this perfectly Christmasy vision of the Holy Family.
I had a very small part in this project by machine embroidering the names for my Mom. You can't tell that they aren't hand-stitched like the rest!
Are you working on your Christmas projects, too??

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easist Christmas Dress Ever!

 I found this cute onesie at Walmart. I love the sentiment for my friend who is going to have a baby girl any day now!

It was a 20 minute project to add the skirt to the onesie. I just used 1 layer of taffeta and 3 layers of tulle. They were all 42x8 inches. I cut the onesie apart at the waist, then gathered the skirt pieces and stitched them to the onesie with a stretch stitch. The pantie part went right back on.

I think having the snaps there will keep the dress neat. I hope she likes it!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2-hour, $7, GOLDEN button-on suit

OK- we had our Christmas pictures scheduled for today. I got sick Thanksgiving afternoon and was out of commission on Friday, so yesterday I had to figure out how to clothe 5 kids for photos. I always default to a red theme- red is easy to find and very festive. The past several years, I kept wanting to do a gold scheme, because it would be pretty. We last did gold when my oldest was 8 (he is now 17). So, I had one day to get everything together. Gold sweaters for the girls, black pants for boys and girls, we found a gold dress shirt at Walmart for oldest son- who knew?? A pretty golden tie for son, a sweater for 8 year old. I wanted to get him an ecru dress shirt, but guess what- you can't find them in boy's sizes (I checked Walmart, Target, Sears, Macy's, JC Penney, and a huge consignment store- what the heck- no cream, only white, blue, purple, peach, green, even black and red!!) Ahhh, but I digress...
Don't forget jewelry, socks, shoes, hair clips, underwear, etc. Well, in all that, I found nothing for my littlest guy- 2 years old. Oh, that's Ok- I can whip something up. Off to Joann's last night. Long story short (oh, too late for that) I made a Primrose Lane Baby Kevin Button-on Suit. Size 24 mos (and it was snug lengthwise), fabric was horrible broadcloth $1.99 at Joann's and super-tacky gold fake silk shantung for the pants. 
 I spent more time choosing the "right" ME design than making the suit. I think it took about 2 hours. Actually looks super-cute on. I love the pictures.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Vintage Magazine Score!

 I went to an Estate Sale last weekend. It was the home of a 92 year old lady. She sewed and crafted and there were many crafts items. Most of them were tacky 70s things, but I found a few treasures. I found over 50 knitting, crocheting, sewing, and crafting magazines or booklets from the 30s to the 60s. There are some real treasures in them. I paid $4 for the lot. I took pictures of a few of the interesting items, but I'd like to share more later once I really sort through them.

 Here's a Crochet Annual from 1949. It has some pretty edging pattern in it.
 I don't think I'll ever have the time (or patience) to crochet a tablecloth, but they are fun to look at!
 Here's a little gem with great directions on all the needlework techniques on the cover. Tatting is something I've always wanted to learn...
 2 more fun crochet leaflets
 This booklet shows how to do embroidery using machine stitches. I think our home embroidery machines would have blown them away in the 50s!
 This one is a fun blast from the past! I love the traditional family picture.

 `Here are 2 60s booklets of Christmas ideas.
 This Make-over Guide was published during World War 2. I love it!
 This is my favorite page, "Brother and Sister Suits made from 2 Worn Shirts" I'd love to try this just for the heck of it.
 Here's a precious ad for Red Heart yarn- still available today!
 Stylish Mother-Daughter aprons were all the rage in the 50s.
 This McCall's magazine featured some of their patterns. Isn't that pram suit cute?
 I love the old Knit o Graf Patterns. Here's a nice color ad showing their selections.
 Bucilla Craft kits are still popular today. Here are their offerings from days gone by.
In the Spirit of the Season, we have this fun ad for "Sno*Flok" Just attach the handy dandy nozzle to your vacuum and spray your tree. It is fire retardant-I wonder if this contained asbestos??

These may have been a dime a dozen, but they are a treasure to me!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christening Gown is 95% Done!

 I am so excited that my Goddaughter's Christening Gown is almost finished! I worked hard this week to get the construction done. The things left to do are: attach a tiny trim to the neck edge, run ribbon through beading, hem back edges, and do some sort of beading/ribbon/embroidery at the "waist" of the smocking.

Here's the yoke. Notice the 2 cable smocking rows: between them is where I will add some beading, ribbon, and/or embroidery. I'm not sure yet what to add.

 Here are the embroidery, fancy band, and ruffle. I love how they look together!

 Here's the whole dress, laying flat. You can see through the front to where the dress is open down the back. I decided to add buttons at the back yoke and leave the rest open. It will make it easier to dress a newborn and will look better spread open for pictures.

More ruffle detail. The ruffle is 132" gathered onto the 72" skirt. It took me a long time to gather and stitch that ruffle!

Project Details:
Fabric: 100% cotton Satin Batiste from Fine Stitchery- I had JUST enough with 2 yards.
Laces/Entredeux: Cotton French lace and Swiss embroideries
Thread: Madeira 80 wt cotton for machine embroidery and Madeira 60 wt cotton for construction 
Pattern: Chery Williams' Baby Yokes for Dress
Ellen Briggs Party Dress Sleeve only, size 1 reduced by 10%
Machine Embroidery: my own combo of designs from Linny's Heirloom by Artistic Designs

This dress went together wonderfully. It was a charmed project. I estimate 30-40 hours of work (including all the hand smocking). I LOVE the way it looks and I can't wait to see it on my little GodBaby!! She is due December 4 and her baptism is scheduled for December 30, so I don't have too long to wait! I'm going to take a break from this to work on my Thanksgiving and Christmas projects, but when I get back to it, I will also make a simple slip and bonnet to match!
I'd love some comments with what you think of it!