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

Monday, February 22, 2016

Springy Smocked Dress

This dress started as a mystery smock-along with Adorable Heirlooms last summer. I fondly remember the sunny days spent smocking at the beach while my kids played with friends! I know the promise of those days is in the air and I can't wait!!
So, anyway, the smocking was done, but it just sat in a ziploc bag in my "to-do" pile. A few days ago, something inspired me to finish it.
I orignally planned it to have short sleeves. I remade them twice because they weren't full enough, then my online friends recommended making it sleeveless. I decided I liked that idea, so I removed the sleeves again.
I bound them with the yellow gingham. I didn't have any of the blue piping left after all the sleeves, so I just left it plain, but I think it looks good anyway.
The sleeves were not a total waste, though! I cut one down to make a puffy pocket. I used the same gathers and just cut it into a rounded shape, then hand-appliqued it on.
I had many problems with the pattern I started with, so I am not going to mention it. I would recommend the Chery Williams' Basic Yoke or a Children's Corner pattern if you want to do something similar.
This dress just says "spring is coming!" I hope it's right!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Froggy Pillowcases

I made some super-soft, super-easy pillowcases this week.
I have a special quilting friend who is in rehab in a nursing home for a few weeks. Our guild has been visiting to keep her spirits up. Plus, she's a really fun lady! She is a famous quilter who does everything by hand. I'll share one of her quilts soon.
When we visit, she is propped up with pillows in a hospital bed and can't walk around freely. I thought a soft, cozy pillowcase would be better than the plain white ones they have. She has a room-mate who is very sweet, too, and the room-mates favorite color is pink!
I was looking for pink flannel and found these coordinating froggies. They are soft and cheerful! The pink with the green cuff is for the roommate and the green with the pink cuff is for my friend. Of course, I have a sick kiddo home this week, so I haven't been able to deliver these yet. I think they will like them!
I rotary-cut the pieces and assembled them on my serger. Literally about 5 minutes each!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Girly Polka Dot Outfit for Spring

Ok- I made another pair of Maxaloones. I'm tellin' ya, this pattern is sewing crack. It's just addictive. Easy, cute, fun, and they hardly take any fabric.

This set is destined for a friend's granddaughter. She is 18 months, so these should fit well now and for another year or two!

She may not be wearing this for a few weeks, since it was -15 degrees here when we woke up today. Ugg. Spring will come. Spring will come.

Gotta show off that cute heinie!

These fabrics are cotton/lycra. I got the polka dots from a friend and the salmon is from a Walmart cami. The colors in the second picture are true.

I bought the little white shirt at Walmart, too. It's a Garanimals  basic.

The shirt looked too plain and I wanted to tie it in with the pants, so I digitized a "raggy" flower. It is just the bean stitch. I used felt underneath the knit to give it some dimension and eliminate the need for a permanent stabilizer for the knit.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lovely Fleece Preemie Blankies

I will be teaching how to crochet edging on a fleece blanket at my April Smocking Guild meeting. It is always more fun to do a project when it is not a rush, so I thought I'd start some samples now!
I have previously made infant blankets from flannel with hemstitching and a thread crocheted edge. I LOVE these and used them all the time when Andy was an infant. I was originally planning to teach it on flannel. Then I realized that it would be too difficult for people who have never crocheted and too time consuming!
I had read about using fleece and yarn, so I decided to give it a try. One advantage of fleece is that you can use a "skip cutter" or rotary blade that cuts slits, to make your foundation holes. With flannel, I hemstitched the edge, which is also labor and time intensive if you need samples for 15-20 people!
The picture above show the back side. You can see the tiny holes the cutter made. I rolled about 1/4" of fleece to the back and crocheted over it.
This blanket is 22" square and it is shown on a 19" baby doll. This doll is a "reborn" baby, meaning the parts come as plain vinyl and you paint and assemble the doll. My super-talented daughter Katie did this baby (and several others). It has painted hair and also a little bit of rooted "fuzz". The details are amazing and it gives me a chance to "try things on" a newborn-sized model.
Here is a picture of the folded blanket. It is extremely soft! I think it will be perfect to donate along with our Wee Care gowns. I am picturing coordinating gowns and blankets. Wouldn't this be pretty with a gingham robin's egg gown?
This picture shows the detail of this doll- isn't it beautiful? I'm already working on more blanket samples. I am thinking of white with a variegated edging or printed fleece with a colored edging...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I have not accomplished a lot of sewing lately. I made these tiny "Max Joggers" in a sew-along and I used my cover-stitch to finish them.

The top-stitching around the bum circle was done on the cover-stitch machine. It makes a double line of straight stitches, with stretch allowance in the back. It's like the hem on a purchased t-shirt.

Here is the inside view. The top-stitching neatly holds down the serged seam allowance and makes it totally flat and smooth on the inside. I am absolutely enjoying my new serger & cover-stitch machines!!