Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm Back, and................

                 I did a little knitting and crocheting before Christmas.                   
 This little knitted baby blanket was made in honor of our new little granddaughter who was born in July.  I am going to donate it to our local Department of Child Services.  My mother was a social worker there for many years.  There were lots of times that she had to go in the middle of the night either to someone's home or to the jail to pick up children whose parents had abused or neglected them.  Many times the only things they would have would be the clothes on their backs.  
 I do not consider myself as a knitter.  I know how to do the knit and purl stitches, but that's about it.  For this blanket I knitted two stitches then purled two.  I did that for two rows and then I reversed and purled two then knitted two.  It made sort of a checkerboard textured pattern.  I had a lot of fun with this.  I showed my two oldest granddaughters how to do the knit stitch.  Both of them picked it up very quickly!
 In honor of our newest little grandson, who was born in November, I crocheted this green and yellow striped blanket that I will also donate to DCS.  I am not a crocheter any more than I am a knitter.  I looked in a book and figured out how to do a couple of stitches, which I actually already knew how to do, but I didn't know what they were called.  My aunt taught me the basics many, many years ago.  I had no clue how I was supposed to start using a new color, so I had all these loose loops of yarn all along one side.  When I got to the end, I just crocheted a border all the way around, taking in those loops so that they can't be seen.  This was really fun, too.  
                          Now, I just need to learn more stitches and how to read patterns.
 I'm going to show you a few of my mother's favorite Christmas things.  A few years ago, she gave me this collection of miniature Santa mugs.  They are each slightly different.  There are 9 of them.  I think there were 12 originally, but some have been lost or broken, I suppose.
Mother had a collection of Santas.  My sister and my daughters each picked out some they liked best for their children, and in my sister's case, her grandchildren.  This is the one that I set aside for myself.  It is made from plastic, and one boot won't stay on.  It was probably the most inexpensive of them all, but it is my favorite.  I remember playing with it as a child.
 This little angel choir actually belonged to my grandmother, who gave it to my mother years ago.  Mother passed it on to me.  I remember lining them up and rearranging them for hours on end when I was a child.  I was showing them to my daughter when.................
 I dropped this one.  I nearly cried, but it is only a "thing" not a memory which I will keep in my heart forever.  Besides, it can be glued back together.
And, last..........My mother wanted to be in the Red Hat Club so badly, but there never was a group around here that she could join.  When she was in the nursing home in Knoxville a few years ago, there was a group.  My daughters bought her this red hat.  She never got to attend a meeting because she became too ill, and then she moved to the nursing home here.  I kept this hat hanging on her wall in her room, though, and she loved it.  So, to honor her, I incorporated it into this wreath that hangs in our foyer.  I love it.

This past year has really taught me about the Circle of Life.  My husband and I both lost our Mothers, but memories of them and all they taught us will never go away.  We both had strong, hard working Mothers who taught us the importance of family first! We will carry their legacy throughout our generation, our children's generation, and it is already being passed down to the next generation.  I have no doubt that our grandchildren will continue to remember and pass along the stories of their Great Grandmothers and their mothers before them.........................

I pray that you each have a Happy, Healthy, and Safe NewYear!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

to all of my blogger friends!!!!  I will be updating my blogs after the new year or maybe just before.  No time right now.  This has been quite the year.  There's so much to reflect upon. 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

38 years ago..............

Today is our 38th wedding anniversary!!!  It seems like a lifetime, but like it was just yesterday, as well.  Weird, huh?  We started 1st grade together, started dating our senior year of high school, married while still in college, had 3 daughters, and now we have 7 grandchildren.  We are BLESSED!!!! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Little" Little Man

I've been gone to the NE for a three week visit.  I barely even saw a computer, so I am way behind on reading blogs.  I probably won't get caught up till after Christmas!
We welcomed our seventh grand baby into the world.  He is the "little" Little Man.  His big brother is now the "big" Little Man!  He looks like big brother.  He was a healthy 7 lbs. 8 oz. 
We also got to help celebrate our little Miss R's fifth birthday!!!  We have never gotten to be at her actual "party" since it's so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We've always just had a special little extra celebration with her.  She was SOOOOOOO excited.
We were with two of our daughters and their families during Thanksgiving.  I got to  participate in several of their family's Christmas traditions, which I've never gotten to do!  What fun!
Now, it's time to get my house ready for the visit from all three of our girls and their families for Christmas! Yes, they are all coming!!!!  That's why I probably won't be on the computer much for a couple more weeks.
I hope each of you and your loved ones have a Happy Holiday Season!!!!!!!
I'll be back for the NEW YEAR!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Taking a Break and a giveaway to tell you about

Go here for a great giveaway of a fabulous apron!!!!!  You will love Goosegirl's  blog if you aren't already following it.  She makes the prettiest aprons, outfits for her little one and her teen, costumes for plays, etc.............

I am taking a sewing and blogging break.  I finished all my Christmas sewing, and I'm giving my machine a rest.  Life has been overwhelming, in some ways, over the past few months, primarily with the illness and death of my mom.  It was only a few months ago that we lost my mother-in-law, as well.  We've had staph infections, brain surgery, broken feet and ribs, and all sorts of other things going on in our family.  We have had some real blessings, too!  We've welcomed one new baby and another one is to be born soon.  But, with the holidays approaching, I just think I need a break.

Let me leave you with these photos of MY Barbie wearing a new dress and vest that I crocheted for our granddaughter who will soon be five!  She wants Barbie stuff for Christmas, and she has a birthday soon, so I thought I'd try my hand at knitting and crocheting some little items of clothing.  Boy, does Barbie ever need a new hair style!  I got this doll in 1963!  I also have Ken and Midge.  None of them have clothes anymore, so maybe I should make them some.

I will still be reading blogs and commenting when I get a chance.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Miss R's Christmas and Birthday Sewing Done!

 For some reason I really had trouble photographing this dress.  I opened the curtains, but it is cloudy outside.  I turned on the lights and used my flash, but you still can barely see the bow at the waist line made from the same black velvet that I used for the bodice.  As you see, Miss R is getting a more trendy dress, just like her big sisters are getting.  The skirt of hers is made from a synthetic blend of "I don't know what", but I was assured that it was washable.  It has the look and feel of a flocked taffeta. Her big sisters' dresses are also supposed to be washable.
 I thought maybe you could see the bow better if I took a close-up, but I don't think so.
 Here's the back.  Even though the belt hides the waist line, and you can't see where the zipper comes together, I promise that it met exactly!!!!  I was so excited, because this one was the easiest of the three invisible zippers that I put in these dresses.  I used to use them all the time when I was a teenager, and they had just started manufacturing them, but with these little girls, I usually use buttons.
 Miss R's skirt is bubbled.  Here's a peek at the underside.  I used netting between the skirt and the lining to give the poofed look.
 For Miss R's birthday, I made this very poofy skirt!!!  I didn't use the pattern directions, and for once, I wish I had.  I was supposed to make the skirt and then make a crinoline slip separately, but I thought that it would work just as well to sew the netting directly to the skirt.  It really made it way too poofy.  Believe it or not, this skirt was even poofier than it is now!!!  I sewed the tulle layers down to the lining about half way down to take some of the poof away!!!  You might be able to see the white lining a little bit.  I took this picture from an angle aiming up so that you could see more of the tulle, etc...   Anyway, I lined the whole thing with this really soft, smooth, unknown, sheer fabric that I had bought a few years ago to make an angel costume for our church's live nativity.  This fabric felt so good to the touch that I thought it would feel good against Miss R's legs.
I bought the white shirt and embellished it with the same fabrics, as you see.  I also got some white tights.  I'm hoping to find the right shoes to go with this trendy little skirt!
Since these three sister dresses are sleeveless this year, I am trying my hand at crocheting caplets for them to wear.  This did not photograph well, either.  (I need to go back to my sewing room where I usually take my pictures.)  I don't know if the girls will like them or not.  They may just wear cardigans.  I really don't know why the dresses for Christmas are sleeveless, and yes, I know I could have put sleeves in them, but the dresses the girls showed me that they liked were sleeveless, so sleeveless they are. (I do believe that was a run-on sentence!)  I've noticed that lots of women's dresses are sleeveless all year round, too.  {I don't do sleeveless, EVER, so I have a hard time buying dresses for myself.} I really don't know much about crocheting, but I'm learning.
I'm going to share a few more photos from the wearable arts fashion show:
This shows the fabric in Miss J's dress better than the photos in the post about it.
Two little sweethearts!
                                                                  And, two more!

 This dress and others of this style were made by a lady from all vintage laces, doilies, slips, etc.......  They were amazing!

 These dresses were made by students of fashion from Thailand!!!  One of the ladies on our committee goes there every year to teach.

This is a coat that was made by Rachel Clark who is world renown amongst quilters!!!  A. MA. ZING!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've been tagged................

by Donna at her Comin' Home blog.  If you haven't visited her, you will be amazed by her interesting and varied topics on her posts.  I am always anxious to see what she has written about next.
In this tag game, which is a first for me, you are supposed to post about  
something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue..

So here goes:   
Something OLD!
 This is a Valentine that my mother received when she was a child.  She had it and several others framed for me, my girls, my sister, etc.............................

Something NEW!
She wanted a dress like the ones on this website.  She liked this dress the best......
Of course, I couldn't find the same fabric, and with a few other changes, this is what I came up with for her.  The fabric I found is polka dots rather than plaid and I put the "jewels" at the neckline and used a sequined trim at the waist.  I hope she likes it just as well.

My second hidden zipper didn't go in so easily as the first.
{As an insert here from my last post..........Miss J picked out this dress from the same website.......
And this is what I came up with for her.......  Neither of them are exactly the same, but close enough?????

Something BORROWED!

These little girls don't belong to me.  Since my grands live so far away, they couldn't be here this past weekend, so  I borrowed these beauties from their moms to model my creations at our wearable arts fashion show on Saturday.  They were beautiful and sooooooo sweet!!!!

Something BLUE!
I guess this is cheating, but these girls were so cute that I couldn't resist showing them again.  They were wearing the dresses that I made for my two oldest granddaughters to wear in their aunt's wedding 5 years ago. 
Now I guess I'm supposed to tag some more of my blogger friends, but I think since it's so late, I'll let any of you who want to play to go ahead and take my "tag, you're it!" and go with it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Miss J can go to a party!!!!

This is not my usual style of dress, but Miss K and Miss J are getting older (well, Miss J is still young enough to get one of my usuals for Easter one more year, probably) and really like the more trendy styles.  Even though it isn't my usual, I still really like this dress, and, oh my, it went together pretty quickly.  The only parts that took extra time were the underslip and tulle, which were not a part of the pattern.  I used McCall's 2590.  I will definitely use this one again.
Here are some close-ups of the details.  This is a trim of 3-D flowers sewn to a net background.  It really adds just the right touch, I think.
 This fabric is a polyester????? satin.  It really could be reversible.  As a matter of fact, I used the "wrong" side to make Little Man's tie that I posted about a few days ago.  This fabric shimmers and shines when the light hits it.  I'm glad I got it done, because we needed one more dress for one of our little models to wear in our wearable arts fashion show, tomorrow.  This should just fit one of my little friends who models for me every year.   I just wish my granddaughters were here to model these dresses!!!!
 I have not put in a hidden zipper in YEARS!!!!  I almost always use button closures on my dresses, but this dress needed this zipper.  I'm pretty pleased with how easily this went in, and how well the trim meets at the waist line.  You can see a slight difference in this photo, but I didn't see it in real life.  I'll have to check that out, but I don't think it's enough to have to change it.
 The bodice is made of premier velvet.  I bought both of these fabrics at JoAnn's.
 Here's a closer view of the tulle that peeks out from below the hem.  Under the skirt is a satin lining that I lined with two layers of a stiffer netting.  That just gives it a little "oomph".  The tulle is sewn to the lining.  I would never use netting without another lining to be against the girls' legs - scratchy!!!  I did not make French seams with this fabric since it was too heavy, but I did zigzag all the seams.  The hem was a bit of a challenge, because this fabric didn't "ease" easily, and with the skirt getting wider as it gets closer to the hem, there was a bit of extra fabric in this  hem.  I hemmed by hand, so that I would have better control.

We needed still another dress for another of our little girls to wear tomorrow.  I had this dress already, that I had made for Miss K several years ago for Easter.  It is made of a blue floral polished cotton.  I really love this fabric. 
 The collar is made from a vintage table runner and a vintage handkerchief.  The tatting  is hand made and exquisite!!!!  I bought these from my son-in-law's aunt. 
 I used some tiny gingham to trim this dress.  I made piping for the sleeve cuffs that you can barely see in the upper corner of this photo.  I also made the buttoned belt from this check.  I then reversed and made the piping to trim the belt from the floral fabric.
I see that this dress needs a better ironing before tomorrow!!!

On to make another "party' dress.  Miss K and Miss R are getting dresses that are similar in style to Miss J's this year. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little Man's Christmas Clothes

Little Man is going to be very dapper this winter.  I made this coat using Simplicity pattern 2526. I only made one minor adjustment.   The pattern has a front facing, but I lined the whole coat instead.  I really like this pattern.  It is pictured at the bottom of this post.  I like the girl's version, too.
This photo shows the vent on the back.  The picture is blurry, but I think you can see it well enough.
 This houndstooth wool blend is the softest fabric that you can imagine!  I lined the coat with a thin black wool blend that I had in my stash.  When one of my dear friends went through her mother's things after her death, she found some great fabric.  She brought me this wool, along with some other beautiful pieces.
 The shirt is made from Simplicity 5366 and says that it is "easy to sew".  I will not make this pattern again!  The shirt front was not wide enough for the collar stand and collar to fit, so I cut the collar pieces down.  Well, that was a mistake, because then the neck was way too small.  I cut out these pieces again, this time adding to the front center.  There is not a back yoke.  I could have added one, and would if I was making this again.  I was so excited to find a dress shirt pattern that would fit our little man now that he can wear a size 3 with a few alterations!  I've always just made up his patterns for shirts.  I guess I'll stay on the look out for a pattern that I like.   The fabric is a simple solid gray cotton.
 His pants are made using Butterick 6894.  I've used this pattern before.  I really like it.  It has a real front zipper and side pockets.  It goes together very easily.  These are made from the same black fabric that lines his coat.  I lined the pants with a black satin lining fabric.  I was afraid they would be itchy if I didn't.  The pants are actually pinned to the shirt in this photo so they would stay on.  That's why they look kind of droopy.
 His tie is made from the leftover fabric from his big cousin, Miss J's dress.  I used the red side, as I guess you can see.  Her dress will be from the black side.  This is a faux tie.  I made it with a Velcro closure underneath the collar in the back. 
This is just a shot of the inside of his coat showing the lining.
These are the patterns that I used.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

2 Down - 5 to Go! Christmas dresses.......

You may be tired of seeing this dress, but now it's finished.  I made little bloomers for her to wear to cover that diaper when she's crawling around.  He mom hopes she's not crawling by Christmas, but she sure is trying now.   Of course a dress isn't the easiest thing in which to crawl.
 As I told you in previous posts, I wove the ribbon into the smocking so that it can be taken out easily after Christmas, thus, extending the life of this dress.  Therefore, I made a placket all the way down the back with buttons.  Otherwise, I might have just made a short opening with binding with the bows as closure.  See that little piece of thread on the floor?  I find those all over my house.  Do you carry threads on your clothing everywhere you go, too?  When I'm in town at the grocery store, or wherever, people always know I've been sewing!
 Looking very closely, you can see the tiny tatting that my grandmother made.  Each grandchild, mine, my siblings' and my cousins', are all getting one item with some of Honey's tatting.  The boys are getting pillows or blankets.  The pillows and blankets also have one of our aunt's huck tea towels. 
Now, for number two.  This dress is the sister dress to the one above.  This one is for Lil'E.  This dress also has a life after Christmas.
 The collar is detachable and reversible.  It's hanging kind of crooked in this shot.  Her mom will have to do better than I did for this photograph.
 The collar simply ties in the back with ribbon with long streamers.  As you can tell, I like ribbons and bows.
 This dress could even be worn without the collar.  I added the piping at the bodice and around the neck to dress it up a little.  I thought about adding rick rack, but changed my mind.  For the hem, I sewed the edge of the bottom of the skirt into a one inch growth tuck, which ultimately would add two inches if ever needed.  The way this dress is made, and as slender as Lil'E is, this dress could fit next year, too. 
 This dress could almost be worn inside out!  It kind of looks like a dress with a pinafore.  The only thing I would need to fix is where the buttons are on the back.  I would need to sew on buttons just for looks.  I thought about putting rick rack near the hemline on the lining, but time is of the essence, and I really doubt she would ever wear it this way, anyway.  The sleeve seam is the only thing that would show, but since it's a French seam it wouldn't look bad.  Of course, there's the elastic casing, but it looks ok, too, I think.
 Here are some close-ups of the collar.  This side is appliqued.  I ironed double-sided adhesive to the back of the fabric.  Then, I cut out the "E" and the hearts on the bias, ironed them on, and stitched around each one with a narrow zigzag stitch.
 This side is embroidered.  My daughter read on my blog that I was planning to make this collar, so she asked me to include the "Es" since it is detachable.  In other words, when Miss B gets big enough to wear this dress, I can just make a new collar with "Bs".
 When I embroider, I just do it as if I were drawing and coloring with thread.  I rarely ever use a pattern.  The same with my smocking.  The little holly berries are made like a bullion rose would be made, only with just three knots.  I first outlined the "E" and the holly leaves, then filled them in with a satin stitch.  I had to add an extra layer of cloth and interfacing to keep this from showing through on the other side. 
Now, it's on to Little Man's and the three big sisters' dresses. . . . . . . . . .

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