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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ella's Snowman Overalls

I finally finished the cute snowman overalls for Ella! They were supposed to be for her birthday at the beginning of December, but it took until yesterday to get them done. I'm glad I chose a winter theme instead of Christmas, so she can wear them until spring.
I used the Footloose and Fancy Free Jon Jon pattern in size 12 months. I made the lined version, but added elastic at the ankles so that her feet wouldn't get stuck while crawling. I used a really soft featherwale corduroy from fabric.com and I was very happy with it.
The white lettuce-edge shirt is from Walmart and both fit perfectly. It looked really cute on darling Ella. Now I just need to finish Andy's co-ordinating turquoise version. I might even get in some sewing time today to end off the year. It's been a good one!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: Snowsuits

We had a wonderful Christmas, but I am always relieved when the rush is over! We were super-busy until Friday, then just spent the past couple of days relaxing. Today I thought it would be fun to share some vintage snowsuit patterns!
Do you remember bundling up till it felt like you couldn't bend? I do!

Here's a real beauty from the early 1930s. These suits probably were made from heavy wool. Look at the pretty cross-over detail on the yoke.

Here's another oldie from the 1930s. I can't quite tell on this one, but some even had a drop-seat in back. I can't imagine it would really make things easier, with all of the layers.

It seems like most of the oldies are one piece suits. They often come with cute helmets or hats.

There were some two piece sets, even then. These seem to be the earliest "jacket" patterns, as opposed to the wool coats that were common in the 1920s. Notice that this one has an optional hood which zippers up the middle.

This little 2 piece set is from the early 1940s. I wonder if zippers were harder to get during the war, due to the metal shortages?

The little tots had buntings or carriage suits. No worries about car seat straps back then!

I love the pants on this set. The high waist is cute.

I couldn't resist throwing in this cute hood pattern. I don't have this one, but it would still be a practical choice today.

Does January make you want to sew warm, cozy suits or are you revving up for spring already??

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We Danced at Fezziwig's Ball

Here we are, all dressed up! I spent weeks sewing the gowns to get ready for this night.

Rosie looked lovely in her crimson "faux silk" ball gown. I used Past Patterns Ball Gown pattern.

My dress is the Past Patterns Gathered Bodice. I made up the skirts on my own, due to the rush.

I have lots of details to share about these, but I will do it in a later post.

I saved my sanity took a shortcut on Katie's dress by buying it on Etsy. I was just running out of time and had so much else to do at this time of year. Fairly happy with it.

Davy was ADORABLE in his vintage knickers and tweed vest. The knickers are probably from the 1920s, but I thought his outfit captured the "flavor" of Dickens if not being exactly period-correct.

Andy coordinated with Davy, except his knickers are green velveteen that I made. I thought they looked exceptionally cute!!

Here's a view of the room at the Old Towne Hall. It was a beautiful room- notice the windows and chandeliers!
Rosie loved the dancing, as I knew she would, and she was really good at it! Rosie has been dancing since she was 2 and is quite accomplished.
We saw a lot of the same people who were at the Regency Ball in October. I guess that there's a main group of "crazies" (as hubby calls us) in New England, and I have found them.
There was a grand march, polkas, waltzes, and line dances or reels. It is as much fun to watch (holding Andy) as it is to dance!
I couldn't resist taking a picture of this Dapper Lad. His outfit was almost as cute as he was.
There were lovely treats and hot cider during the break! And it was 51 degrees outside!!

Sometimes I think about how blogs tend to show only the joyful moments, the beautiful projects, etc. So I'm going to be honest here and say that these were the fun parts. The not-fun parts were that the other 4 kids didn't want to dance, Katie got a stomach ache, and we left early. 1 hour 20 minutes each way and lots of $$$ wasted. BUT I learned something and next year I will try again with only hubby, Rosie, and me. The re-enacting hobby is something I will still pursue, but I don't think it's going to be a family thing. That's OK.

Tomorrow is going to be Cookie Baking Day here. I will try to come back and share some pictures and recipes. We have big plans!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friends with Pillowcases

Katie made these terrific pillowcases for her 3 BFFs for Christmas. They are having a girls' weekend at my parents' beach house this weekend and these pillowcases are part of her handmade gifts. I am so proud that my girls love crafting just like I do!
No, her friend's parents didn't give their daughter the unusual name "Fabulous" but that friend likes to enter a room and state: "Fabulous is here!"

Katie and I had fun shopping for flannels at JoAnn's big Black Friday sale. They were around $1.50/yd. I bought more than enough to last till next year's sale and Katie just chose these pretty combos in her friends' favorite colors.

I helped her do the names in Embird, curly font.

Michaela's (aka Fabulous)

I am working on our Civil War outfits for the Dicken's Ball a week from today! AAHHHH!
Back soon between card-writing, wrapping, crafting, baking, cleaning, and having fun!! Hope you are having fun getting ready too!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sleigh Ride Kitchen Towel

This kitchen towel was a kitchen-warming gift for my Mom. My parents just renovated the kitchen at their weekend house and the grand unveiling was on Thanksgiving. The kitchen is beautiful and was up to my Mom's feast!
The towel design is a toile from Embroidery Library. I think toile designs are some of the best, because they are one color with no jumps!! The design is achieved with shading and clever stitches. I stitched this 22000 stitch design three times! After a charmed morning working on the snowman overalls (yet to be posted), I was feeling cocky! The first towel stitched perfectly, but it was UPSIDE DOWN- I didn't realize my mistake until the 18000th stitch! Oh, no- second time will surely go better. Checked placement several times, stitched perfectly until about the 18000th stitch, when something caught and disrupted the alignment. If you do ME, you know that that is an unrecoverable error! Third time's a charm!
Tomorrow, I hope to work on one of the Dicken's Ball Gowns. We will also decorate the huge tree we got today. Back soon!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby!!

My little God-daughter Ella is one today! She and her Mommy came to visit this weekend and we had a party. I did a photo shoot, too, and got some fun pictures. As usual, what I wanted to do was more than we had time for, but here's some of what we got:
I had a lot of fun in PhotoShop! I took out the background of this one and made it pink.

 Here's a sweet face! We found a onesie with a cupcake to go with our theme. I had a pink tutu as well. 
I love this shot with the birthday hat! On Thanksgiving, Ella's Mommy tripped and fell and Ella got a cut (4 stitches- ugh!) and scrape on her forehead. I figured out how to "remove" it in PhotoShop. See it in the original? Of course, she is still adorable, boo boo and all!
Rosie made the "1" Cupcake! It was yummy as well as beautiful!
Next we took some Ballerina photos with Rosie in Pointe Shoes. Don't they look lovely together?

Ella wasn't entirely onboard with these photos, so we got a cute back shot even though she was crying.

I love the little tiara, but it was hard to keep it on her fine hair.

Finally, we got some Christmas pictures. This is her pretty Christmas dress. She was actually sitting on her Mommy (lying down) in this picture and we were singing silly songs to get her to smile.

I love this picture. The Jingle Bell Princess! I had the red tutu and I found the over-the-top headband and legwarmers at Claire's. My friend did not like this pose, but I think it's CUTE!
Here's a sweet little face shot that I used the focal B&W on. Do you like it? Here's the original color version:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY ELLA!! My little Andy calls her "Baby Ella" but he said now that she is one, we should call her "Big Ella!"

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Egg-cellent Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! I hoped to post sooner, but I was at my parents' house and my laptop didn't like their internet connection. We had a great time with lots of delicious food in my parents' just renovated kitchen.
We had to leave our chickens at home, so I set them up with lots of food and water and locked them in to protect them. When we got home, look what was waiting:
a speckled egg! We are pretty sure Blackie is the Mama, because she is "nesting" in the wooden box this morning. Also, she is larger than Shelly. I was really surprised to find an egg, since they were due to start laying at 26 weeks and are only 23 weeks old. It must be all the TLC we give them.
The egg is a perfect 2" long, making it a medium size. I understand that the first eggs are often misshapen or mini, but this one is really nice. It has some white spots that are a bit different than the normal shell, but that's all.
Maybe we'll be having a fresh omelet for Christmas breakfast this year!!
Back soon with my dishtowel disaster and the finished snowmen overalls!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: A Rare Romper!

I found a gem to add to my pattern collection this week. It may be my rarest pattern yet! For a few years in the mid to late 1920s, McCall made patterns with distinctive covers. They had photos of the garments on models: they must have hand-colored and edited these photos and they are quite beautiful. The patterns just so happen to be pretty amazing, too!
Here's the one I scored this week! It is a darling romper with a pretty scalloped detail at the waist and embroidered flowers. Look at the little girl's socks with ribbons at the top. This seems to have been a common decoration back then. Maybe they were elasticized to hold up the stockings?
I just love everything about this: the pink gingham with white, the embroidered flowers, the collar and cuffs, and the precious little model. This is one I would like to make someday!
I have the pink and turquoise overalls cut out and I'm hoping to finish the embroidery tomorrow! Are you ready for Thanksgiving yet? I am getting off easy this year- going to my parents' house! Yahoo- easy peasy and bound to be a delicious feast made by my MOM!

Monday, November 18, 2013


I am working on Andy's Christmas outfit for the pictures we have on Sunday. I finished his knickers today and I will be smocking a shirt to go with them. Meanwhile, the weekend after Thanksgiving, we are having a first birthday party for my goddaughter Ella! I was despairing of finding time to make her a dress, when I had a middle of the night inspiration!
I will use these patterns by Footloose:
Reversible Aline Jumper Dress Pattern PDF Sewing Pattern 6M-6CH Handmade Children Pattern Instant Download
to make co-ordinating overalls and a-line jumper for Andy and Ella. I decided to use featherwale corduroy and I ordered 2 color combos from fabric.com:

I'm not sure if I'll go with the pastels or the brights. Obviously, Andy will have blue and Ella pink.
This is the snowman applique I will use. It's from Planet Applique. I think I will do fun prints for the scarf and hat on each snowman.
Now that I have everything planned, I just have to wait for the fabric to arrive to get busy. I had t send my machine in for a tune-up today. It just wasn't running well. I can still work on my daughter's machine, though- phew!
Oh, yes, I have a little blouse waiting for Ella that I picked up when MP had a big sale and I also have a white shirt for Andy, so I think we will be all set!