Friday, November 27, 2009

"The Birds", A Lonely Sight, and A New Award!!!!

Hi! I hope everyone had as great of a Thanksgiving as I did. We had lots of family and lots of food!! We've invited the in-laws over to help us eat some of the left overs for lunch on Friday.
One of our daughters, her husband, and their Little Man came down for a few days. They left yesterday. My sister was also here for a few days. She left today. It's pretty quiet here, now.

Now for the titled post!
Yes, folks, those are birds flying in, around, behind, and through that tree. Those are not leaves. There is not one leaf left on that tree. There were literally thousands of birds flying around my back yard yesterday. When they all took off it sounded like thunder!!!

Who remembers the movie, "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock???? I watched it and was terrified. A few days later a couple of birds got in our chimney and down into the fireplace that had been covered for a few months. My grandmother took the cover off the front of the fireplace, and those birds got loose in our house!!! I have had a terrible fear ever since then!! Needless to say, my hands were shaking while taking these pictures, but I think you can get the idea!!

What's the loneliest sight you ever saw? This is mine right now. My daughter, son-in-law, and husband put this tire swing on one of our trees a couple of days ago. The Little Man was not a happy camper when he saw his mom out on the high limb tying the rope to hold it there. Yes, my daughter climbed the tree rather than one of the men, because she said she knew she could climb it better than they could. It was fun seeing Little Man and my great nieces playing on it, but it will just hang there until more of the grands come to visit. I really can't see me or my husband "Just a Swangin' "!!!

Sandra at Crazy Mom Tats awarded me this week!
Scrap means left over, fragments, discarded material. Many times truth and honesty are discarded material, considered fragments and left over. People like us need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will. are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and list their blog and link it.

2. Share "10 Honest Things" about yourself.

3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.

4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded Honest Scrap and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

I'm not sure I can think of ten honest things about myself to tell you because I already tell it like it is, but let me give it a try. Hum.....
1) I love spiders. I know that most people think I'm really weird, but I love that they weave such beautiful webs and that they eat insects that I don't like.
2) I don't like rodents like rats and mice!!!!! Ugh!!!
3) I could eat a whole pan of shortbread by myself.
4) I could eat a whole loaf of regular bread by myself.
5) I want a Boston Terrier, but I won't get one because I want to travel to see my daughters and their families often and don't want to board a dog. I guess we could travel with it, but that wouldn't be practical. Besides we have a cat who is 18 1/2 years old who would not take kindly to a new pet.
6) I just went on Facebook. I was on for a couple of weeks a few months ago, but felt that I didn't have time, but I'm trying it again.
7) I didn't used to be a patient person at all, but having lived with my husband for 37 years I have learned to be patient about lots of things. I still have to work on this sometimes.
8) I would love to perform in musicals, but don't have the time nor the talent that would require.
9) I played the part of Moonbeam McSwine in "Little Abner" when I was in college.
10) I was the kind of little girl who wanted to wear frilly dresses and play in the sand and explore in the woods!

Now, to try to award only seven other bloggers. Anyone who has ever tried to narrow down to only 7 bloggers who deserve an award know what I'm going through as I do this. I read many of your blogs almost daily. You know who you are because I leave comments very often. So, if you aren't on this list please know that I love your blog, too. Here goes:
1. Gail - She is in the process of making the most gorgeous formal gown for her daughter. You have to see it!!!
2. Sarah - She made these really nice fingerless mittens. I left her a comment that I really could use some of those because of the arthritis in my hands. So, she sent me a pair. See below!!!
3. Serena - She and I have formed an email friendship. Some people just connect because of similar backgrounds.
4. Katie - This is one busy lady who not only sews, she's also a pediatrician!!
5. Mermaid - This lady volunteers to do all kinds of things for the high school that her son attends: makes costumes for plays, works the door at performances, etc.... You name it, she does it. But, she is encouraging her budding designer son to sew, and he's very talented.
6. Gwen - She will probably receive this award from bunches of you because she is so generous with her encouraging remarks. She is such a talented sewist!!! She puts such detail in her work!
7. Faye - She will also probably receive this from others. She is on a quest to make the most tops in one month of all times!!! She is breaking all kinds of records and she has made ruffles!!
8. Cindy - Another blogger who will be getting this from many others. She teaches sewing and has the luckiest students ever. They are really learning all the basics and beyond!
9. Back Porch Blessings - The name of her blog says it all. She's been through more hard times than anyone should ever be, but she looks at the bright side of things.
10. Trudy - She is a very encouraging blogger who is raising the most amazing children. She's also a great artist. I'm going to send this link to her new blog.

I knew I couldn't stop at 7! It was very difficult to stop at all. I hope these ten friends will pass this on to others since I had to stop at some point.
Here's the photo of the fingerless mitten. Can you see how it will help with my arthritis that is mostly in my thumb joints? I saw these for sale at Hobby Lobby for this use.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Talk Turkey

It's only a couple of days before Thanksgiving, so I looked up "Talk Turkey" in my new favorite book, Why You Say It, by Webb Garrison, which is full of words and phrases that we say all the time without thinking why. Here's why we say "talk turkey".
"Half a dozen anecdotes seek to explain this expression for speaking plainly. Most of them recount a conversation between an American Indian and one or more white settlers. Discussing the division of game bagged in a joint hunt, the native insists that his comrades talk turkey and hand over to him the biggest bird shot during the day.
These entertaining frontier stories bypass a skill that was long familiar - and important - to veteran woodsmen.
Many a fellow reared in the woods became an expert turkey caller. That is, he so skillfully imitated sounds made by the big wild birds that some who heard at a distance came within gun range. It was this bonafide turkey talk, not banter at the end of a day's hunt, that spawned our American expression for speaking in a clear and forthright manner."
Since it is so close to Thanksgiving I want to list some of the main things for which I am thankful.
1) My husband. He has been my best friend all of the 37 years (in December) that we've been married.
2) Our three daughters. They are all so different from each other. I used to say they were like the points on a triangle. They were each out there with their own unique talents and personalities, but were connected by those strong lines like on a triangle. I have told them forever that their dad and I won't always be around, and that their friends will come and go, but that their sisters would be their sisters forever. I love them more than words can describe.
3)My son-in-laws - I feel such a relief everyday knowing that my daughters are in such good marriages. All three of the guys are different from each other, just like our daughters are. But, they are so well suited for my girls. And what great dads they are!!!
4)My grandchildren. They are also very unique in their personalities and interests. I won't go into the detailed descriptions, but you can believe me when I tell you that they are all extremely smart, gorgeous, talented musically and artistically, sweet, adorable, funny, cuddly, compassionate, and....... need I go on? I am not the least bit proud of them either. LOL
5) My mom and my in-laws. It is so hard to see them getting older and not able to do the things they once did. They all lived very productive lives.
6) My siblings and cousins. We are all very close in "heart" even if we don't all live close to each other. I am thankful that some of them will be at my house on Thursday and will be bringing food! My husband will cook the turkey.
7) My friends - I have some of the best friends that a person could ever ask for. I have, like the song says - some old friends and new, some are silver and some are gold. I am so blessed with the people that God has put in my life.
8) My blogger friends. This experience has been unbelievable. I love reading your blogs to learn about you and the creative things you are doing. It is really a small world isn't it?
9) Every night I pray for my family's health, safety, and most of all happiness, and we have been blessed with all three!
Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Tired!!!!

Pictures of my booth.

These aren't the greatest pictures. I meant to take the camera today to get more, and I forgot. There's actually another dress hanging on the top bar that you can't see because the walls were black and it doesn't show up. I really had the best location of the whole show.

I have a few people who say they want me to make things for them. One lady wants a coat for her daughter. Another pregnant lady took my card and said that once her baby is born she will bring me some of her family's heirloom things to make into a dress. A set of grandparents are waiting to see if their daughter is having a boy or girl and then they plan to call me.
You know, I really don't know if these folks will ever call or not, but lots of people took my cards and flyers, and who knows?

I learned alot about what to do and not to do when participating in a show like this.
One, I should have had extra lighting.
Two, I really should have had a few things I was actually selling instead of just taking orders (but that would require making a bunch of stuff I really don't want to make or have time to make). Three, I should have bought better hangers. I got these because they were skinny and white and would blend into the shelves that I was hanging them on.
Four, I should have had bigger tablecloths.
Five, I shouldn't have gone to the other artists' booths. I bought stuff!!!
There are more things I learned but my brain is too tired to think of them now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making Progress!!

This is one of the flyers that I will have at my booth at the show this weekend. The tag on the left is one that will be on one of my sample dresses. I'm not selling any of these dresses. They belong to my grand-daughters. I have priced them to give an idea of how much similar ones will cost. I have priced them very high. I have decided that 1) I have quite a bit of $$$ tied up in the fabrics, heirloom linens, etc..... 2) my time is worth lots, to me anyway 3) people feel like they are getting quality if the price is higher (I may be wrong on this one, but I have been told this by several people who are in the know and 3) I think they are worth it. The label you see is definitely one of the highest priced ones I have. Most are in the $100 range.
On the right you see my "new" business card. I ordered these through Staples. I designed them at home on my computer using one of their templates one night, and they were ready the next morning. But, (I am kicking myself right now! Ouch!!!) on my way to pick them up I realized that I had put my husband's cell phone number on them instead of mine. (I never call my number is my excuse.) When I got to Staples the girl told me that they would just print them over at no extra charge. I thought that was weird, but that was okay with me. I was going to be near Staples this morning anyway. Of course, when I got there I was told that the clerk was mistaken. Oh well, I bought a pack of paper that is called Sticker Paper. It is computer paper that has a peel off back and is adhesive!!! I came home and typed my number on my pages program. I typed it 4 times across one line and then colored it the color I wanted it, and then copied and pasted that line until I had 100 numbers. I then printed it out and cut and stuck the numbers over the wrong one on my cards. They really don't look too bad. Whew!!!

Below are the dresses that I am taking. I think I have 25 or 26 to display. I had to iron all of them. These are all dresses that I have made for my sweeties over the years for Christmas, Easter, Valentines, etc..... I will take photos when I have my booth set up so that you can actually see them. The picnic basket in the background is full of antique linens, handkerchiefs, etc.... so anyone who is interested in buying a dress from me can pick out something to be incorporated into the dress. Of course, they don't have to do this. I will use something of theirs from their family treasures or nothing at all. I will smock, embroider, etc.... But, I will not make duplicates. I will only do one-of-a-kind dresses. I don't like making the same thing twice.

Here's Kellen's dress with the pleated border around the hem. I think she will be happier with the length now. I actually like the way it turned out better than I did before.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Well, I havent' fallen off the face of the Earth. I've just been gone a few days. We went to see 2 of our grands in a program, and yes, it was worth the 15 hour drive on Thursday to get there and the 15 hour drive back home yesterday!
I am freaking out about all the things I have to get done, so this will be short and sweet, well, maybe not so sweet, but anyway, you know what I mean. It will take a while before I even have time to download the photos I took.
Here goes:
1. Add a couple of inches to Kellen's dress. It really looked cute on her, but when she sat down it did creep up a little too much. I think I can add a pleated ruffle around the bottom without too much trouble, and I think with the tucks that will be a good look.
2. Get ready for a trunk show that I am participating that starts Thursday and goes on through Sunday. This is the first of anything like this I've ever done, and I'm not sure about my sanity when I agreed to it this time. I am not really selling anything. I'm taking a bunch of the dresses I've made over the years and having them on display. I'm taking some of my antique linens, etc.... If anyone wants a one-of-a-kind dress made for a little girl, they can pick out a linen, etc... and order it from me. Or, if they want one without the linen, that's okay, too. I probably won't get any orders, but we'll see what happens.
3. I agreed to donate something for a door prize. I plan to make a pillowcase dress. That is a quick and easy thing to do.
4. I have posters to make and need to figure out a way to display everything. I think I know what I'm doing but I need my husband's help. He said he would do whatever I need him to do. Isn't that sweet?
5. I am singing a solo in our church's cantata, and so have extra practices!!! Don't be too impressed. Remember I'm in a very small church, and there are few of us in the choir and even fewer who are willing to sing solos. I am an alto, or really a tenor. So, not too many female solos are written in my range, which is about an octave and a half! LOL From the D below middle C to the C above middle C. This solo actually has some Ds and Es above middle C. It's a strain for me.
6. I am in charge of the children's and puppets' program for Christmas. It is the first Sunday of December, and we've only really had one rehearsal. Oh well, they'll do fine.
7. I have to make some costumes for the above said program, which is not fine, though.
8. Next week is Thanksgiving, and we'll have somewhere around 20 or so people here to eat. My mom wants to come, but I think some of us are going to go eat with her instead. That sounds mean, but it is almost impossible to transport her. She got so tired last year that she slept for days afterwards. Everyone can take turns going to visit her.
9. One of my daughters and her family will be here for a few days at Thanksgiving and so will my sister. I am so excited that they are coming!!! They have to have clean bedrooms to sleep in, though. This isn't a huge issue because the rooms just need a dusting and vacuuming.
10. The rest of the house is a shambles, though, especially downstairs in my sewing room!!! AAAiiiieeee!
11. We have another niece getting married in December, so we will be going to her wedding in Nashville for a weekend.
12. We will be celebrating Christmas at our house with one daughter and her family early, so Granmomma's got to get busy decorating the house and shopping.
13. One grand has a birthday in December, so Granmomma's got to get busy making her a birthday outfit of some kind.
14. Then it will be Christmas, and we're trying to figure out a time when we can go visit our other daughter and her family who we haven't seen since August.

And...... I got a call early this morning before I'd even had a shower, that I needed to come to the nursing home to calm my mother down. She was all upset because she had one of her dreams in which something horrible had happened to one of my grands. I had to go reassure her that all was well, and that my girls and grands were all okay. She had the CNAs calling the jail (they pretended) to make sure that something bad wasn't going on there with my grands. Now, the oldest is 9, and if something was going on with them that required goings-on at the jail we would really be in trouble. My mother worked as a social worker for the DHS with child abuse cases for many years, and saw some terrible things. I think she dreams about those times and gets confused with present times. I'm not sure, but she calmed down when I got there and realized she had been dreaming.
I will be reading blogs, but probably not posting much or commenting much over the next week or so.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dresses 2, 3, and 4 finished!

Here is Riley's dress. If you've been following this saga you will remember that hers is the first one I started. I did the embroidery first. Actually, I made all of the bodices first.
( This really isn't true. I made Little Man's suit first. I remember when I was really little and my mom would read the comics to me. I always wanted her to read "Nancy" first and she wouldn't, because......"you should always save the best till last." I say, "Do the most challenging first." You may remember that post.)
Back to the dress. I wish these were showing up better in the photographs, but the velvet and taffeta have a sheen to them and they just aren't looking the same in these pictures as they do in person. But, you can get the idea. This dress has a short little jacket. When you see the pattern at the end of this post you will see that I changed the shape of the front of the jacket. Heck, I wasn't going to do that embroidery and then cover it up, was I?

Here's the picture from the back. You won't believe the MAJOR boo-boo I made on this dress. When I was cutting the bottom buttonhole, I sliced through it and into the dress. I almost died right then and there. But, I regained my composure and hand stitched it so that it doesn't show too much. Luckily being the bottom buttonhole, the sash covers it, and the jacket does,too, so that you can't see it anyway. I really don't think it would be too noticeable unless I point it out anyway.

As you can see, her dress is mostly velvet with a taffeta border around the hem, a taffeta bodice and sash. The dress itself is sleeveless. But, Riley lives in the cold north so she had to have the jacket.

The next two photos are of Emory's dress. You may remember the smocked bodice. I used one of the antique collars on hers. I ended up not using the other one or the lace. I guess I'll use them on something else sometime. These sleeves are a little different. The cuff is open on the outside part of the sleeve. It has long ends that tie. They look a little lopsided in these photos. Emory lives in the West where it is hot all year so her sleeves are short and most of her dress is taffeta with velvet trim so it won't be too hot.

Here's the finished dress for Jenna. This is the one that has the puckered bodice with pearls sewn round about. Her dress has a bubble skirt. All of the dresses are lined with brown satin that is a garment weight rather than a lining weight because it cost the same and this just had such a good feel to it. You can see from the inside out photo that I finished the dresses so the silky satin side of the lining is toward the girls' bodies. On Jenna's I had it all put together and decided that the skirt needed more fluff. So, I took apart the lining at the waist and added a 4 layer ruffle of tulle on the inside. That's what that seam on the lining is.

I finally got the length measurement for Little Man's pants. I put a cuff on them so that as he grows they can be let down.

Just a reminder of Kellen's dress with the pin tucked bodice and hem border. Gwen said she had never thought of making pin tucks on velvet. Me neither. I just think of really weird things to do, usually in the middle of the night. I figure if they don't work I can just do something else.

These are the patterns I used. The upper left one is the one I used for Jenna's. It is Simplicity Project Runway number 2767. Little Man's is in the middle of the top row. Obviously, since his is the only one that's not a dress. His is Butterick 6894. Kellen's is the big girl pattern on the top right. It is Simplicity 5234. Riley's is the one on the bottom left. It is a New Look 6448. And, Emory's is the one on the bottom right. Hers is Simplicity Project Runway pattern number 2989. As you can tell I took lots of liberties with all of these patterns and made them my own. I just hope my little ones like them.

I want to thank all of you who said prayers for my mom and wished her well. She is better today. I don't dare say that out loud or she will be sicker tomorrow. Today was really good, though. She actually let them put her in her wheelchair so she could get her hair done, and she ate lunch in the dining room.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dress Number One!

Here's Kellen's dress completed. Her bodice and the band around the hem are velvet with pin tucks sewn. The trim at her neckline is from an antique linens' store. I tea-dyed it so it the white flowers would be more off-white. I mimicked the flowers in this trim when I made the large one, which is made from really wide off-white satin ribbon, tied with narrow blue satin ribbon. I'm doing something a little weird with the lining of these dresses. I don't want to waste the wonderful feel of the satin lining, so I'm turning it so that its soft lusciousness is next to the kids' bodies. I hand stitched the bottom of the lining in Kellen's dress to the bottom of the band.

I see that I need to press this dress again. It got wrinkled when I took it to the nursing home to show my mother. Please keep her in your prayers. She is really having a rough time lately. I'm not quite sure what's up with her. She's not following the usual pattern for a normal UTI. So, there must be more going on. The nurse told me last night that this may be a new stage of Alzheimer's. We've never really thought she had this horrible disease, but I'm beginning to think that perhaps she does. She isn't reacting to it the same way my mother-in-law has, but I guess everyone is different.
Mother thought that her mother's cousins had been to see her yesterday morning. She thought she could see my grand-daughter, Jenna, getting in a car all by herself. She thought she had been to Nashville to a meeting. She tried calling people last night. I had to go to the nursing home late last night and hide her phone. I just told her that her phone was broken. I wouldn't care if she just tried to call me, my sister, my brother, etc..... but she has been known to call friends of hers and even 911 on two occasions. This would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Sometimes I have to laugh to keep from crying.
She ordinarily only does these kinds of things when she is in the beginning stages of a UTI. Usually, a day or two after the doctor starts her on an antibiotic, this stops. This time, though, it stopped for about a week, started again, stopped for two days, and has started again in full force. She's still on her antibiotic, and the doctor actually started her on a second one a couple of days ago. This could mean that her body has become resistant to these antibiotics.
I didn't mean to go into all of this, but it makes me feel better to share it.
I only have a couple of details left to do on Jenna's and Riley's dresses, and on Little Man's suit. I'm now ready to put little Emory's dress together. I should finish today. I'll post about the rest of these soon.
This is what I did last night after getting back from the nursing home, to relive some stress. I sorted all my buttons by color. It took me until 2:00 am, but I'm so glad I did it. I needed to do this forever ago. Some of these are leftover from my grandmother's collection of buttons. It doesn't look like so many now that they are all sorted, but when I was trying to find one certain color, size, etc.. amongst all of them mixed together, it seemed like LOTS!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm Coming Unraveled!

At least this fabric was!!!

I don't know that I've ever sewn with fabric that raveled as much as this did. I did lots of zigzagging!!
This little three piece suit is finished except for hemming the pants and sleeves. My daughter hasn't had a chance to get these measurements to me yet.

Here's the inside of the jacket. I'm going to write Granmomma on the tag with a permanent pen. I never did show a photo of the lining I'm using on these Christmas outfits. I bought a satin that is really suitable for a garment rather than the lining satin because it was the same price. This has such good body.

I'm a little disappointed in the vest. If my daughter decides not to have him wear it I won't be hurt. It's a little high at the top in front and a little short at the bottom of the front. I didn't have anymore velvet, or I would have redone this. The back is made from the taffeta that I'm using on the girls' dresses. It's lined with the satin. I might make him another vest from taffeta and satin.

Here's his Velcro fastened tie. I used the taffeta and sewed blue ribbon on it. I looked at one of my husband's ties to figure out how to make it. I've made him two others, but for some reason I couldn't wrap my mind around it this time. It is becoming more and more difficult to wrap my mind around anything these days.
If I learned from all the mistakes I make I would be a genius by now! I would put an LOL here, but it is not funny, not one bit. Lol

The tie is lined with the same satin as the jacket and vest.

This is what I've done on Kellen's dress so far. That trim around the neck isn't sewn on. I'm not sure I'm going to use it. I think that if I do, I will make some flowers from the blue ribbon that I used to trim across the bottom of the bodice to add to the strip of ribbon. The bottom of this dress will have a border of the tucked velvet with the blue ribbon around the top edge.

I've added a neck band of velvet to Jenna's bodice and have it lined and the sleeves sewn in. I don't usually sew on more than one at a time, but I'm waiting on measurements for length on Kellen's before I move on. My daughters and grandchildren are so busy that they keep forgetting to measure or they think of it at a time that isn't convenient. They are just like their Momma!!!

Have you seen the giveaway at She always has the neatest new notions for sewing that I have ever seen. The other day she posted about this amazing ruler. You just have to go to her blog and watch the video to understand how great it is. Her giveaway this time is for a book on thread painting. COOL!! I want to learn this technique. I've done a little but nothing like this lady did.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Momma Always Told Me to Save The Best Till Last!

Have you seen the giveaway that Marydon posted about on Nov. 1? The deadline is the 9th so hurry on over to

I have re-interpreted that to say,
"Do the most challenging thing first!"
This is the pattern that I went by to make Little Man's shirt for his Christmas suit. Notice there is no neck band, no placket down the front, no cuffs, no yoke, and I wanted all of those details. That's why this was challenging. I made him a dress shirt for Easter, but I had one of his shirts to go by. He has grown, a lot, since then.

Here's a couple of pictures that show details. Here, you can see the neck band and collar.

In this one, you can see the yoke, flat felled seams, etc...... I made flat felled seams everywhere except down the sleeves. I made French seams there. The sleeves are too small to get into to sew them flat.

Here's the finished shirt. You can see that I added the cuffs and plackets on the sleeves.
I hope it fits him!!!

I recently bought a book titled Why You Say It by Webb Garrison. It has stories that explain the reasons behind everyday words and phrases that we use. I love words and language, so I had to have this book.
I will on occasion share with you from this book.
I am a BARNSTORMER because, "this term is attached to anyone who moves around a lot without getting much done." Even though I don't move around to live in different places, I do move around in circles a lot without accomplishing much. This term was first applied to acting groups who traveled around and performed in whatever place they could find, very often in barns. Politicians are also labeled barnstormers very often, because they do get around, but how much do they get done?
I got a note in the mail from the guy at church who upset me last week. He apologized!!!! He didn't mean what he said in the way I took it. Our preacher preached on Love, Misunderstandings and Forgiveness on Sunday. After the service this guy came up to me and asked who I thought the sermon was directed toward. I said, "ME!" He said, "No, it was me!" Lol! We will be able to work together now without hurt feelings. This guy once told my husband that he never apologizes to anyone because it is a sign of weakness. Well, he did apologize and I think it is a sign of courage myself!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All cut out and ready to be sewn!

Here's what will soon be 5 Christmas outfits for 5 grands. The photo in the background shows 4 of the grands taken 2 years ago. The baby is Emory dressed in the Christening gown that I made for her mom 28 years before that photo was taken.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weather Predictors, "Read The Directions First", and Proper Name for my Thingy

Red skies at night, sailors delight. This is the sky from last evening. As I was driving home from the nursing home the sky was soooooo pretty and red. I tried to snap a photo with my phone, but it didn't show up. So, I ran in quickly, grabbed the camera, and went out to take this picture. By the time I got out there the sun had gone down just a little more and there wasn't as much red as just a few minutes before. Also, our house must sit lower than the road halfway between here and the nursing home.

If a woolly worm is brown all over we are supposed to have a mild winter. If it is black on the front end, the beginning of winter will be rough, the rest will be mild and vice verso. If it is black on both ends the middle of the winter will be mild. If it is totally black, the whole winter will be cold and rough. If that's true, we should have a mild winter this year. This one looks a little darker on the front end, but not black. BUT, we had about 4 fogs in August, and that means we'll have at least 4 snowfalls. In SE TN that's a lot these days. We used to get more.

As a teacher I always told my students to "Read the directions, first." Do I follow my own advice. No, I don't. When I was sewing with the twin needles, one of my threads kept breaking. Frustrating to say the least. So, I got out my machine's manuel, and lo and behold, I had threaded my machine the wrong way. When using two threads, one should go on one side of the tension disk and the other on the other side. It works!!

In my last post, I referred to this little triangular shaped tool as a "thingy". It' s really a pintuck blade. This foot is called a pintuck foot. I'm not sure what I called it.
I did sew pearls onto Jenna's bodice. They look a little weird in this photo, but they really look pretty in person, I promise.
I'm through with the 4 bodices for my grand-daughters' dresses, and I'm nearly through cutting out all 5 outfits. When I'm making more than one outfit at a time, I like to cut everything out, so that I can just sit and sew when I get started. I don't like the starting and stopping.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Decor, Flowers, and Bodices for Christmas Dresses

This is the extent of my fall decorating so far. I will probably do some for Thanksgiving, at least on my tables.

My father- in-law asked me to make an arrangement of silk flowers to go on his parents' graves. This is what I came up with. I thought about using fall colors, but decided to use something that would look okay all winter, if someone doesn't steal them or the wind doesn't blow them away by then.

I found this tatted basket the other day when looking through my antique stash of linens, etc... I had forgotten that I had it. I think it is gorgeous. I may use it on one of the girls' dresses that I'm making.

This is the bodice for Jenna's dress. It is taffeta that I have puckered. I stitched both horizontally and vertically on a large rectangular piece of the fabric using a long basting stitch on my machine. I then pulled the treads across and down to make the puckers. I wasn't sure how this would work, but I like the effect. I may or may not sew pearls scattered about on it. I think Jenna would like pearls so I probably will.

Emory's bodice has a piece of taffeta that I smocked. Here is a close up view of the smocking. You can see across the top that I make velvet piping at the seam where I joined it to the top of the bodice.

I'm sewing vertical tucks on velvet for Kellen's bodice and on a border around the hemline. It doesn't photograph very well, but here's the machine set up to sew the tucks. I'm using a twin needle, a tuck foot, and the little thingy that fits in the little hole in front of the foot. This thingy causes the fabric to pinch up so that when it goes through the foot the twin needles will sew on either side of it and it makes a tuck. I used to make tucks the old fashioned way where you actually fold the fabric and sew along a narrow edge, but since I discovered this method I'll never go back.

This photo shows the fabric in place to sew. I'm using the foot as a guide so that the tucks will be evenly spaced.
Look at that selvage! Many of you have been saving your selvages and making incredible things with them. I may just have to save this selvage and the one from the taffeta, too. It also has a gold tread running through it.

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