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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Flounce into Spring

Ellie Inspired is having a "Flounce into Spring" contest on Facebook. I can't believe that I have never sewn flounces before! I had so much fun making this and I love how it looks! Flounces are different from ruffles in this way: ruffles get their fullness from gathers at the top of a straight strip of fabric, but flounces are cut as an arc and get their fullness when the top curved edge is stitched straight across, making the bottom arc gather. So, you can see that flounces are much less time-consuming since there is no gathering of fabric involved.
This pattern is the Ellie Inspired "Ayano". I made size 3. The contest specifies using spring colors, so when I found this collection of co-ordinates, I thought they were perfect! I changed the pattern a little bit by making it fasten at the shoulders and sides rather than button up the back. I used snaps and then added snap-on bows to the shoulders. It was an idea I had seen and wanted to try. 
The sewing on this pattern is so quick and easy. It was fun to make and I would definitely do it again!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rockin' that 70s Polyester Double-Knit Look!

Alternate Titles for this Post:
Can You Dig It?
I Did NOT Buy This...It was Free!
Ugliest Pattern Ever!

My friend Ashley over at Frances Suzanne told me about the Ugly Vintage Pattern Contest at Simple Simon.  Since I am a collector hoarder of vintage patterns, I was intrigued. I took a look at their post and immediately thought of this pattern:
I really don't know why I kept it. It was part of a "lot" on ebay. I bought some cute vintage boy's patterns and the seller threw this one in for free. I wonder why??
So many things come to mind. Did you notice it is designed for knit fabrics only? Do you love the plaids and stripes? Size 16!! Would you wear this to go disco dancing? To the beach? To school? 
To quote the 70s, this pattern is:
far out, keen, fab, groovy, dy-no-mite, funky, and just gnarly!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Andy's Easter Outfit

 I am happy that my little guy's Easter outfit is done more than a week early! Yeah! I am very happy with it. 
The shirt is a purchased "Imp" shirt, but I'm not happy with the collar, so we'll see. The shortalls I made from a cotton "faux linen" that perfectly co-ordinates with a dress shirt I bought for Davy. I think this color screams "spring" even though our weather is still firmly yelling "winter"!!
I wanted an embroidery design that was Easter-ish without being limited to just that occasion. I was happy to find this one that is reminiscent of Peter Rabbit in the carrot patch. I love how it stitched out- the fur has whorls that make it look very real. I has never used one by this digitizer before, but I was delighted with the stitch-out. You can find it here.
I started with this 1940s Advance pattern. I knew when I bought it that it was missing the directions. So, I was working with just the cover photo and unprinted tissue pieces. I guess I am getting better at de-ciphering patterns, because it went together like a dream- even the side openings, which I was unsure of. I love the low-rise shortall front. The straps are a bit short, so I'll have to make an adjustment there.
We had fun coloring eggs this week! And we enjoy eating them, too! They just taste better when they are so pretty.
Linking this outfit to Sew For Victory at Lucky Lucille.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quilting with Second Graders

Today I am starting a project with Davy's class. We are going to sew 2 baby quilts, which will later be donated to a local charity. I had offered to do a sewing or quilting project with the class last Fall. After the holidays, Davy's teacher told me they would be studying the Pilgrims in March and she thought a sewing/quilting project would tie in well. I can't think of much about today's sewing and quilting that is the way the Pilgrims did it, but maybe I can explain to them that people used to have to do it all by hand. I would like to find a relevant book to read to them, too. I can only think of Ox Cart Man or The Quiltmaker's Gift- do any of you have another suggestion?
I wanted the fabrics I chose to be cheerful and bright, with a childish (but not too babyish) theme. For the girls, I found this adorable Owl print with terrific colors for co-ordinates. I love that the owl has polka-dots and I was able to find a pink polka-dot fabric. Each child will sew 1 or 2 4-patch squares. I have pre-cut everything.
For the boys, I found this terrific Dinosaur print. Again, it has nice bright colors for the co-ordinates. I found some very soft flannel for the backing, too.
And here's my very fancy rendition of the quilt's layout. The 4-patches will alternate with squares of the focus fabric. The squares are 8", so a 5x5 quilt will be 40" square. I like that size, because you can get away without piecing the backing. 
I am packed up and ready to go. I'm not sure if this project will take a few days or a few weeks! I'll be back soon to show you Andy's finished Easter outfit. It is really cute- now I just need to take pictures!

Monday, March 18, 2013

We Have a Winner!

Thank you Everyone who entered the give away or became a new follower! I finally figured out how to use the random number generator, so...

the winner is comment #6, Katie!! I will email you to find out what you'd like! 
Back tomorrow with some special quilt-making.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nailed It!

I have been over-thinking what to make Andy for Easter. I had found some cute seafoam colored dress shirts at Walmart that I picked up for both little boys. I thought about making something tan to go with it for Andy. This week, I bought a vintage pattern that I knew would be perfect.

I was at JoAnn's for something else when I thought to check the "linen-like" fabrics. I have used this fabric before in navy and while it looks like linen, it is machine wash and dry and doesn't wrinkle at all. I was looking for tan when I found a beautiful seafoam. I wasn't sure if it would match the shirt, but when I got it home- I had nailed it!
 The shirts are just a shade lighter than the fabric. I will have Davy wear the seafoam shirt and Andy will have the shortalls with an ecru dress shirt. Now, I just have to decide on what machine embroidery I want to add to the yoke of the shortall. I am thinking something very Easter-y with bunnies and chicks.

Don't forget to enter my Give Away, here. You have a great chance to win- I've had few entries so far. It ends tomorrow night.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The BIG 100 Follower Give Away!!

Hello Friends,
I have been blogging for 2 1/2 years and I remember when it took weeks to get a new Follower. Lately, the numbers have been going up more quickly as I've participated in some Sew Alongs and Linky Parties. I want everyone who has clicked the "Follow" button to know how much I appreciate that little vote of interest! So, a Give Away to celebrate hitting 100 Followers!
I wanted to do something that's simple to enter and FUN to win!
So, I came up with something a little different.
To enter, you MUST be a Follower. Then, just leave a comment telling me one thing you like about my blog or one creation I made that you liked. That's it!
I will choose 1 Winner next Monday (March 18). You can enter till midnight Sunday the 17th. Shipping to US only.
Here's the twist. The winner will get $Blog Bucks$ to spend at the Mommy's Apron Strings Give Away Store. You will get at least $100 Blog Bucks$ but if I get more Followers, you will get as many $Blog Bucks$ as I have Followers on the 17th!

Here are the prizes you can choose from:
$25 BlogBucks$
Bunny Machine Embroidery
An original Mommy's Apron Strings Embroidery Design. This is a file for an embroidery machine. This cute bunny holding a carrot is great for Easter sewing.

$100 BlogBucks$
Smocked Baby Gown & Bonnet Kit
This kit contains pre-pleated pieces to make a smocked baby gown and bonnet. Everything you need is here. It also has a pretty lavender hemstitching on the white batiste.
$30 BlogBucks$
Vintage Girl's Dress Pattern
This is Simplicity 2982 from the 1950s. It is a pretty spring dress in a girl's size 8.

$40 BlogBucks$
May/June 1993 Creative Needle
This wonderful magazine is now out of print, but you can still win it right here! This issue will be sure to inspire your Easter sewing! Pattern pull-out is intact.

$35 BlogBucks$
Woman's Day 1949 Crochet Annual

This booklet has all sorts of how-tos and patterns for edgings, baby things, doilies, afghans, etc. If you like crocheting, you will love this vintage gem!

$45 BlogBucks$
Vintage Ladies Pattern
This simplicity 2397 is from the 40s. It is a pretty ladies sundress and bolero. Size 12 (I wish!)

 $55 BlogBucks$
Ellen McCarn on English Smocking Book
This is a great book on how to smock. It also contains many pretty smocking plates.

$40 BlogBucks$
Creative Needle May/June 91

Here's another chance to get a rare, out of print Creative Needle magazine! Pattern pull-out is intact.

$70 BlogBucks$
Vintage Baby Dress
This little dress is a size 6 mos. It was handmade, probably in the 30s or 40s. It's in good, vintage condition with no holes that I noticed. It has tiny tucks and a little lace-trimmed Peter Pan collar. Pretty to take photos of a newborn or to hang in a nursery.
$40 BlogBucks$
Advance 9197
This 1940s Advance pattern is for a girl's dress in size 6. It has unique sleeves and a full skirt.

$40 BlogBucks$
Sept/Oct 91 Creative Needle

Here's another copy of Creative Needle. If you have never seen this magazine, you will enjoy it. It has excellent photography and detailed how-tos on smocking and other types of heirloom sewing.

$55 BlogBucks$
Vintage Collar
This is a vintage collar, probably for a lady, but you could make it work for a child. It would be pretty on a dress from a vintage pattern and is in excellent condition.

$15 BlogBucks$
Vintage Girl's Pattern
This McCall's 7783 is from the 1950s. It is a cute little A-line dress and shorts for summer.

$35 BlogBucks$
MAS Kittens ME
This is a machine Embroidery by me. It is the 3 Little Kittens hanging their mittens and stitches out so cute! This one is for the 6x10 hoop only.
 So, leave a comment to enter! You have until Sunday, March 17!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bonnet Update: I WON!

I was so excited to hear that I won the bonnet contest at Adorable Heirlooms! It was a lot of fun to participate and I'm sure I'll also have fun spending the winnings!

Check back soon for a big 100 Follower Give Away!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Put on your Easter Bonnet...

...with a frill upon it.
This bonnet is what I've been working on during February. It is for a contest at Adorable Heirlooms. The bonnet had to have an original smocking design, hand embroidery, and an Easter theme.
I started with a 1940s Simplicity pattern #2336. I wanted a scalloped brim and horseshoe crown. This pattern is size 6 months. I made a pleated panel for the center section. 
  The smocking has baby-wave diamonds, 3 large scallops, and 2 rows of waves at the back. I drew it on smocking graph paper to get the spacing right. It's 170 pleats. I added a woven satin ribbon between the middle rows of diamonds.
The embroidery has spider-web roses, bullion rosebuds, and lazy-daisy leaves. The roses are in 2 shades of pink, both darker than the background smocking.
The brim has a spider-web rose and leaves on each scallop. I piped the scallops on the brim and both sides of the smocked panel. 
The bonnet is completely lined. I hand-stitched a gathered ruffle of French lace around the face. The ties are self-fabric.
Design Details:
Fabric: 100% cotton Swiss pique, pale pink
Smocking: original design in DMC floss
Pattern: Simplicity 2336, circa 1945
Size: 6 months

I will hear the results of the contest tomorrow and will let you know. I haven't seen any of the other entries yet, but I am looking forward to it!

Also, linking to Sew for Victory (1940s Project) at Lucky Lucille.  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wonderful Boy's Romper in Unusual Size!

I took the kids to the beach for a few days this week. Of course, it was too cold to swim (except at the YMCA!) but Katie and Rosie are great thrift shopping companions! We went to several thrift shops at churches: we find the best bargains are found there. Also, some kids' consignment shops and a couple of antique stores. It was at an antique store that I found this treasure and to my delight, at a thrift store price: $10! 
I didn't have a chance to iron it, but you can see it has adorable embroidery and smocking. The colors are very traditional: white with blue trim. The unusual thing is the size. It's a large size 3, the largest one-piece boy's romper I've seen. I know why, too. Andy was potty trained a week after he turned 2 and one-pieces make it hard for him to "go" by himself. They are my favorite outfits, but I have to think about 2-piece sets from now on. I can imagine that Mommy's in the past were more eager to potty-train at a young age, considering their laundry situation and larger families. 

Anyway, I was very excited to find this and a little dress with hand cutwork and eyelets to run ribbon through (which I will share soon).
I have been working on a special smocked bonnet for a contest at Adorable Heirlooms. I finished it today and it is gorgeous! I can't share pictures until Tuesday when the contest is over, but I look forward to showing you. Also, look for a great 100-Follower Give Away at the end of the week.