Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Portfolio

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that my daughters had started this portfolio for me.  I have added some photos, but I really need to update it.   I have gotten as far as buying more pages.  

This is my grand daughter, Jenna, who is now 6 years old.  Her first Easter dress is the pink one.  It is gingham.  As you can see, I smocked it to match the antique handkerchiefs that I used as the collar and to sew into the skirt on the front.   The blue gingham dress is actually her mom's first Easter dress,  so it's almost 32 years old, now. I smocked this dress before I had a pleater.  I just used the checks by which to gather the pleats.  The collar has some of my grandmother's (Honey) tatting and has little embroidered flowers.   Jenna was nine months old, I think, when she wore it.  Notice that in the 70s little girls' dresses were shorter than they are now.

The navy and green and pink dresses were also Easter dresses.  Jenna's is made from seersucker blue floral trimmed out in green.  On the bodice are ribbon flowers.  It has a built in crinoline.  I remember watching Jenna walk down the stairs in this dress.  She was walking like a regal princess making a grand entrance, as she held out the skirt as if to make a curtsey.  So CUTE!!!  Kellen's was a similar style with her pink fabric with 3D embroidered flowers.  Her bodice also has ribbon flowers behind a ribbon fence like design.  She also had a crinoline sewn into hers.  She was also adorable!!
The green dress was Kellen's first Easter dress.  I embroidered the bodice and in each scallop around the hem line.  There is inset lace bordering the skirt.  Also, I made a lacy trim on the bottom edge of the bodice by hand with the embroidery thread.  I had so much fun making this first grand daughter's Easter dress!!  Little did I know that I would later have 4 grand daughters and a grand son.  I am hoping to have more, of either, before it's all said and done.  I told my daughters that I'm buying 9 of everything, 3 each sounds about right.  I know 3 was a perfect number for me.

Three and a half years ago our youngest two daughters both got married!  One in July and the other in October.  What a year!!!!  Kellen and Jenna were the flower girls in both weddings. ( These photos aren't very clear since they are photos of photos.  I have told my DH that I want a scanner for my next bday. )  Kellen was 5 and Jenna was not quite 3.  The July wedding was an afternoon affair and very traditional in a church.  The bridesmaids wore pale blue and carried off-white flowers.  I made diagonal tucks on the bodice of Kellen's dress and hand stitched little pearls to each intersection. I did ribbon embroidery on the belt and collar.  Jenna's dress, as you can see was smocked and had little pink bows incorporated into the smocking.  Both dresses had huge off-white sashes in the back.
For the October wedding, which was outdoors, the bridesmaids wore red and carried bouquets of fall colors such as orange, red, golden yellow, etc.... (So different from the other.  My first daughter was married in a more formal evening church wedding.  Her girls wore lavender and carried yellow flowers.  You couldn't find 3 more different personalities.)  These flower girl dresses were off-white satin with wide red sashes with big bows in the back.  On the back are covered satin buttons close together in a row, like you see on the back of a lot of wedding dresses.  I put large piping cording into the hem line so that the skirts would stand out even more than they would with just the crinolines underneath.  I stitched a shell stitch over the piping to give a more interesting edge to the skirt.  The girls once again thought they were princesses.
Jenna didn't exactly act like a princess, as she rolled across the front of the church with her legs in the air in the July wedding.  Thank goodness one of the bridesmaids picked her up before it got too bad.  She stood up front for the October wedding for a while and then came to sit with me.  Kellen acted so grown up in both weddings.

The orange gingham dresses are all different, but all smocked.  As I've said before, we are huge University of Tennessee fans, and for those of you who don't follow college football and basketball, UT's colors are orange and white, and the checkerboard is used in the end zones of the football field.  Thus, the orange and white checks.  I used the checks to smock by rather than use my pleater on these.  
Then, for some Halloween costumes.  Kellen was a cowgirl on a horse.  Her legs are the horse's back legs;  those are fake legs hanging over the sides of the horse.  I bought a pair of cheap jeans and stuffed them and attached cowgirl boots to the ends.  The tops of the jeans zipped and snapped around Kellen's waist.  This helped hold the horse up and made it look like she was really wearing them.  This was a fun, but challenging project. 
 Jenna was a mermaid, 2 years in a row.  I made the costumes as different each year as I could.  I've also made her a couple of mermaid costumes to just play in.  She did not want her legs to show so she couldn't walk in this.  She said it was ok because, "My Daddy will carry me."  And, he did.  What a dad!  She actually thought she was a mermaid and had an elaborate story made up about how she would grow her tail when she grew up.  Her family members would be able to visit her through a special tunnel. 
Riley was a sea horse  (a combination of a horse and a mermaid!)  Her little costume was really funny.  I made it from some shiny gold fabric that had a swirly design.  The tail curled back up toward the front between her legs like a sea horse's tail does.  She liked having it on.  I thought she would be miserable.

These two little ones are not my grandchildren, but the precious children of a friend of mine who I get to sew for on occasion.  When the little boy was born his grandmother asked me to make him an heirloom bubble suit.  I used an antique linen tablecloth as the fabric that had an eyelet design.  I lined the eyelet design with blue and used tiny blue piping on the collar and cuffs of the sleeve.  Instead of giving a gift for the baby, I decided to make big sister a matching dress.  As you can see, her dress is a baby blue cotton with an embellishment from the tablecloth.  I cut out a large portion of the design and stitched it to the front of the skirt.  I had some eyelet lace that had almost the same exact design so I used it to edge the hem.  I stitched a white grosgrain ribbon around the bottom edge of the bodice and left it long enough for a really loooonngg sash down the back.  I also made her hair bow.  I make hair bows to match almost all of the dresses I make.  I'll have to remember to photograph them next time.

There are lots more in my portfolio, but I won't make you look at every page!


Faye Lewis said...

That is really, really cute.

Tanya said...

Too cute, your work is awesome. You should be in grandma heaven if your little one was just visiting.

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