Saturday, March 14, 2009

Preview of final two episodes of "Easter Sewing Saga"

Dress for Jenna Ruth

This is the basic pattern I'm using for Jenna.  She's six and in the first grade.  She's a real girly girl who likes to look beautiful!!

I'm going to smock the bodice.  I may make a separate bodice like the pattern shows, or I may make it  more like the dress in the Sew Beautiful Magazine picture that I posted earlier in February titled,  "Decision, Decisions, Decisions!" ( I tried to link to my earlier post, but it didn't work.  I'll have to figure out how to do that.)  (The picture on the bottom row on the left.)  That dress is a bishop style.  Jenna's won't be, but you get the idea. 

To continue the look of that dress, I'm using the edge of a tablecloth that I had in my antique stash.  The border is scalloped like the dress in the photo.  I'm doing a hand embroidered flower in each scallop.

These are just close up views of the embroidery.  I still have more to do.  This is so much fun.  I just make up what I'm doing as I go.  The flower or the left is Shadow Embroidery.  On the right the flowers are done with a Bullion Stitch and French Knots.

These two are done with a Satin Stitch, Outline Stitch, and French Knots, again.
Here's more Bullion Stitching, Outline Stitch, Straight Stitch,  and of  course, French Knots.  I plan to attach this scalloped border to the hem of Jenna's dress using lace insertion between the border and the dress fabric.   I will scallop the top of the border to match the bottom, I hope.  I'm not sure about the sleeves, but I do have the corners of the tablecloth edge.  They are bigger scallops and might make really pretty ruffled sleeves if I also embroider on them.  Or, I may make regular puffed sleeves from the dress fabric.  We'll see.

Now, for Kellen Marie  

She is 8 years old, but will be nine in May!  She likes Math, Science, and horses.  She isn't as girly as Jenna, but she still likes to dress up and look pretty.
This is the basic pattern for her.  I wove ribbon of two shades of lavender for her bodice.  Remember weaving paper in elementary school?  This is the same idea.  I made dog jackets by weaving orange and white ribbon once as shown in my January post titled, "My Grand Dogs are Ut fans."
A friend of mine bought a flower girl dress recently that had a bodice woven from ribbon like this.  I thought it was very pretty.
Weaving the ribbon wasn't too hard.  I used the big sheet of card board that I use for a cutting surface on top of my 2 ironing boards pushed together at their tallest height.  I first drew a square that was bigger than the bodice needed to be.  I then pinned the lighter shade of ribbon to the card board at a diagonal.  Then I wove the darker shade.  I had to keep pinning and unpinning as I went.  I also had to keep adjusting the ribbon so there wouldn't be gaps.  It was slippery.

 Once I had it all woven, I taped around the edges, turned it over and sewed stabilizer that I cut from the bodice pattern piece on the back side of the ribbon.  

I then cut it out.

 I am planning to sew pearls where the ribbons intersect.  On every intersection???  I don't know yet.  I may also embroider very small flowers in some of the diamond shapes.  

The flower girl dress I saw also had a ribbon pattern around the hem line.  I may or may not do that.  It may be too much.  We'll see when I get to that stage!

Now, it's time to go help my mom eat her dinner.  It must be awful not to be able to feed oneself.  I hate seeing my mother in this shape.  She's 84 and will be 85 in May.  She's so weak she can't even turn herself over in the bed.  She is completely wheelchair bound.  She has a really bad tremor; that's why she can't feed herself.  She has a better memory than I ever did, though.  She was a very independent lady who raised the three of us and some of my cousins with very little help.  She worked as a lab tech after getting a degree from UT in  microbiology!!  Then she taught science.  She hated teaching.  Then, she worked for the Department of Human Services with children and families.  She dealt with lots of abusive situations.  It is strange, though, to hear her say the words, "I love you," to me every day.  She never told any of us that she loved us.  She was not an affectionate person.  That's strange, because all of us kids, my siblings and cousins,  and all of our kids are very affectionate.  I believe in a HUG a day, or more!!


gwensews said...

Anyone can tell you truly LOVE what you do. You would have to in order to do it so expertly. All of it is lovely--the smocking, the hand embroidered flowers, and the ribbon weaving is amazing.

I know what you're going through with your mother. I was the care giver for mine for several years. It's hard to watch them become frailer and less of the person you always knew. Very difficult.

Julia said...

Gwen, thanks for your comments. I do truly love sewing and all that goes with it. I love that I have these 5 grands to sew for.
I appreciate your remarks about my mom too. It is hard, but so many people do it. My in laws are getting in pretty bad shape too. My MIL has Alzheimers and my FIL is getting a knee replacement soon. We live next door to them.

knitmachinequeen said...

Julia those dresses are going to be beautiful. Can't wait to see the photos of the kids all dressed up.

Cindy said...

I am so impressed with both your projects. All I can say is beautiful.
I know what you mean about having someone that doesn't say the words but we have no control over other people, only ourselves. It is what it is. ~ what you said about your mom ~ you love her so much. Try to enjoy your moments/ her presence because it's all we have.
Be good to yourself. I can't wait to see your dresses finished.

Angelia said...

My husband went through the same thing with his mother.. it was heart breaking... prayers and hugs to you!

The dresses are coming along beautifully!!!!
The ribbon weaving is so awesome! I am so going to use that technique on something I do!

Meg said...

Oh those dresses are going to be sooo gorgeous. I can't believe all of the amazing details you are including. I especially love the hand embroidery! I can't wait to see the finished product, your granddaughters are going to look so precious!

It must be so hard for your mother. I remember when my granny got to that stage, she used to get so frustrated with all the things she couldn't do anymore. Unfortunately my parents didn't have the option to look after her as we lived in Australia, and she couldn't get residency (she lived in South Africa). I guess what I'm trying to say is, at least you are there, to be with her and your inlaws. I know they must appreciate all you do. even if it isn't said

Lisa H. said...

Julia,you are incredible! Wow! The handwork detail is fab and full of love. You and your family are in my prayers.

Joyce said...

The dresses are going to be gorgeous. Cherish the time with your mother. I wish I could hear my mother say "I Love You" one more time. I lost my mother when she was 65. I would love to have had her for 20 more years.
Joyce in NC

Back Porch Blessings said...

Just wanted to stop by and say hello and let you know that I have been missing all of my blogging friends. I am still adjusting to working so have gotten no sewing done, but plan on getting in a little tomorrow.
Have a great weekend.

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