Monday, February 28, 2011

Faux Entredeaux

I looked through my laces, trims, and ribbons.
If I told you what I was looking for I'd be fibbin'.
How I was going to make two little frocks? I didn't know,
But, I needed to figure it out before I sat down to sew.

In my stash was vintage trim that would be just right.
I soaked it to get the yellow out, and to make it white.
Then, I looked and found some entredeaux
To edge this trim when I was ready to sew.

I'm making two dresses that will be the same, you see,
For Little Miss E and Little Miss B.
But there was only enough to trim one dress.
This was causing me to be in great distress.

The nearest store for buying entredeaux
Is over an hour away, and I didn't have time to go.
I found a long strip of batiste of white cotton.
I don't know when it had been gotten.

To make my own, I decided to try.
Otherwise, I'm afraid I would cry.
I used my wing needle and stitch 22
It isn't perfect, but I think it will do

So that these two little girls will be well dressed,
The fabric has been washed, dried, and pressed.
Now, in my head, a vision I can see
Of what the design for the dresses will be.

The pattern for the bodices and the sleeves
Have been cut out, and I'm pleased.
Tomorrow, I can actually sit down to sew
Using my new faux entredeaux!

Here side by side are the new and the old.
To say it is as good would really be bold.
But, I think it will work okay
To edge the trim that I found in my stash today!

Please forgive some of the really corny phrases, but I had trouble coming up with words that rhyme for this little ditty.
This is my second post for today.  I posted a photo of Lil'B that you may want to see.  It is soooooo cute!  I'm not partial or anything.

Pillow for "Little" Little Man and a Cutie Patootie!

While waiting for the fabric for Lil' E's and Lil' B's dress to wash and dry, I decided to make "Little" Little Man's pillow.  For all the baby boys in the family (my cousin's grands, too) I make a pillow from a huck tea towel that our aunt made with some of the tatting that our grandmother, Honey, made.  The boys don't want tatting on a collar or whatever, so this is how I give them a small bit of their Great-Great Grandmother's and Great Aunt's creations.
 And, here is a picture of Lil' B after her sister put her in dress up clothes!  I just couldn't resist posting this!  She's 7 months old, now, and crawling and pulling up!  Her momma has her hands full.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2 Down Only 5 to Go!

Here's the 2nd of the 7 grands' Easter garments.  This is for Miss R who requested pink with bunnies and hearts.  I got the pink and hte bunnies, but no hearts.  We'll save those for another time.
 I found this fabric which is a cotton blend, almost linen like.  It was in with the holiday prints.  I love that it doesn't scream Easter, even though the toile pattern does have rabbits. 
 I'm not sure I love this bunny on the smocking panel, but if I took it out there would be holes to deal with, so I think I like it enough to leave it.  I like the diamond pattern.  I'm not sure that what it is called.  I did back smocking on this, too.  I decided to use the ribbon above and below the smocking rather than piping, as I usually do. 
 As you can see, the ribbons go all the way around the back and make the ties for the bows.  I also added ribbon along the hem stitching.  I did put piping and binding on the neck and sleeves. 
This is a close up of the sash loops.  I made one long loop and stitched it down in the center to form two loops.
Next, it's on to Lil' E's and Lil' B's dresses.  I'm thinking they are going to be made alike.  Their mom has purchased some antique handkerchiefs that I will incorporate into these dresses, maybe as collars.  One of them has an embroidered E, the other a B.  They are white.  The fabric is a purple that leans toward lilac.  Lil' E's only requests were that it be purple and have sleeves and a bow in the back.  She also said that Lil' B wants purple, too.  This fabric is also a cotton blend with a fairly loose weave like linen.
Miss K, our oldest, and I are consulting one another over the internet and cell phone about her dress.  I've bought fabric that she has approved, so now, I've just got to make sure I get the right style.  Her reply when I asked her where she shops for dresses was, "Well, Granmomma, when we go shopping for clothes, I always walk right past the dresses without looking.  I wouldn't be caught dead in a dress at school.  The only time I wear a dress is when I have to and it's a fancy occasion."  So, she's not liking fru-fru anymore.  I want her to want me to keep sewing for her, so I will try to please this sweet young lady who will be 11 in May.
Then, it'll be on to the boys' clothing.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Bunny

This is what I came up with for the bunny on the smocking insert.  I have the dress all put together as much as it could be before finishing the smocking.  Now, I just have a little hand work to sew down the binding on the sleeves and neckline, then I'll be ready to put this dress together.  It's been a fun one.
I just hope that Miss R likes her bunny.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dress finished, but trauma with a lost............

......button!  I took the dress with me in the car so I could sew on the buttons on our way to Cracker Barrel last night.  I picked up one of the yellow buttons for the front of the bodice. ( I had exactly the right number of buttons, by the way. ) Anyway, I dropped it between my seat and the console.  I didn't think that was such a big deal; I'd find it when we got to the restaurant, right?  Wrong!  I looked and couldn't find it, so I thought, "Oh well, when I get home, I'll get a flashlight and move the seat as far back, and/or forward till I find it.  Wrong, again!  I found ink pens, coins (not many), pretzels, embroidery thread, and various other things, but there was NOT a BUTTON in that car!!!  My husband said to let him look.  Of course, HE would find it!  WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!  That button disappeared!  So, this morning, I had to go buy another whole pack of buttons.  I should have used some I already had.                                                                                                  
 I got another button, and have 4 extra, now.  So I'm set!!!  I sewed it on and pressed the dress.  My girls laugh when I say that I press something.  There is a difference in ironing and pressing, don't you agree?  Ironing is when you have to REALLY get the wrinkles out of an entire garment.  Pressing is when you just have to lightly get a few wrinkles out and/or smooth seams, you sew.  Am I right?
Whether I'm ironing or pressing doesn't matter, I guess.  What matters is that this dress is finished.  I added the buttons to the front bodice.  I felt like it just needed a little more of something.  As you see, I didn't use yellow piping.  I changed my mind and bound the neckline and sleeves with bias cut fabric.  I then made the yellow sash.
 Close up of front bodice showing the drawn thread worked insert.
 Close up of back bodice.
I thought I'd show you that I did not make button holes for all those buttons.  I like the look of the three buttons in each scallop.   I only made button holes for the top button, the ones on the outer most edge of the scallops, and the one just above the skirt.  That one is mostly hidden by the sash, which by the way, I decided to fasten with buttons, too.  I didn't think this dress needed a big bow.
 Close up of the sleeve and over sized sash loop.
 Close up of the Boutis technique on the skirt.
Now, to start on Miss R's dress.  I pleated the piece of solid pink for the smocking, which I'm going to do in brown.  I may try a picture smocking of a bunny.  Does anyone have a good template for a bunny?  I don't want an Easter bunny, because I want her to be able to wear this all summer.  There are bunnies in this print.  I don't usually use store bought piping, but I am going to on this dress.  I want brown, and I don't want to buy another yardage of another fabric for making piping. I'm not exactly sure how I will use the ribbon, but I bought it, just in case.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bodice - drawn thread work

This is what I've decided to do for the bodice of  Miss J's dress.  This is the dress that has the Boutis technique on the bottom of the skirt.  I had a piece of yellow linen from which I drew threads horizontally and vertically.   I then used blue embroidery thread to make the design through the loose threads.  I have done a Madeira applique technique to insert it into the bodice.  I am going to use the yellow for a sash and as piping around the neckline and the sleeve cuffs.  Miss J said she wanted either a sky blue dress, an Easter egg yellow dress, or a faded pink dress.  I love blue and yellow together, so I decided to use her first two choices together.             
                            With the light from the window showing through the open drawn work.
 This is the lining for this piece.  I simply drew the scallops on the blue bodice lining.  Then I layered this yellow cotton batiste on the back and sewed a straight stitch on the lines I had drawn.  I cut away the extra yellow, then I zigzagged with a very narrow and close stitch to catch the loose threads.  This will be the backing for the open work.  If it weren't on the bodice, I wouldn't line the drawn work, but for modesty's sake, I felt I should.
I've started a baby blue crocheted sweater for Miss J, too.  She may, or may not, wear it with this dress for Easter.  I guess it depends on the weather.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Boutis Finis

At least the Boutis on the skirt of Miss J's dress is finished.  I may do some on the bodice or on the  front of the sash.   This was a lot of fun, but it took a lot of time. I'm sure that I didn't do this just exactly right, but I did learn a lot.  To learn more about this technique you can go here or to Donna's blog where she posted about her Boutis projects last May.  She has been very helpful to me while I've been working on this.                                                      
          I'm thinking of accenting this dress with yellow.  I've got to get my brain in gear to decide.
         The picture below shows the Boutis with the light shining through.     
After I finish this dress, I only have 4 more dresses and 2 outfits for the grandsons to make   before Easter.  I'd like to get them done before the first of April.
Do you think I should get busy?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Boutis Technique Has Begun

First, I drew my design.  I actually only drew half of it, then I folded my taped-together paper in half and traced the design so it would be symmetrical. Notice, that I didn't draw in all the details on the ribbon streamers.  I'm not sure if I'm going to put those into the final design or not.  Probably not.
Then, I cut a piece of sky blue (per request of Miss J) batiste long enough for the skirt of her dress doubled!  I sewed the selvage edges together using French seams.  Then, I folded the fabric back on itself in half with the seams to the inside and pressed.  I almost always line little dresses anyway, so this technique is working out perfectly.  (Sometimes I make a slip instead of lining.) 
 Next, I put the drawn design between the two layers of fabric on what will be the front of the skirt.  I pushed it all the way down to the folded edge which will be the hem.   For this photo I just put it under a piece of the fabric so you could see how well it showed through.
 The next step was to trace my design using a pen with ink that disappears when it is dabbed with water.
 Now, it was time to stitch by hand around each line of the drawing.  This took lots of time.  I tried to make itty-bitty stitches.  Some of you quilters out there could have done much better.
When I finish the next step I'll post about it.  It has taken a little trial and error to figure out just what the easiest way to do the next step is, but I think I have it worked out now.  I am going in from the back and pulling yarn into each shape to make it puffy looking.  This technique is sort of like quilting, but not really, if you know what I mean.  It will have a quilted look to it when it's finished.  I just hope it looks like I am envisioning it will when I'm through.  I saw the instructions for doing this in the last issue of Sew Beautiful.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Popcorn Anyone? and I'm a winner!!!!

Popcorn crocheted sweater that is.  This is the sweater for Miss K.  Next will be Miss J's, then the boys'.  When I first saw this pattern, it scared me.  It looked very difficult, but it's not.  It only required the single and double crochet stitches.                           
Here's a closeup of the ribbing and popcorn puffs.

 I used these clear buttons.  I didn't think this sweater needed any that stood out very much.
I am one of the top ten winners this week in the CSI challenge (Create Something Inspiring)!  I am really surprised!  There were some really great projects, so to be included in the top ten is a shock!  Thanks!  If you aren't familiar with this site, you really should check it out.  Each week there's a different challenge.  There's usuallly over 100 entries, so some really great ideas are shown!  I have found several new blogs that I am following from these challenges. 

 Here's a preview of what's up next on my list.  I really need to move that plastic bag off that doorknob.  It's been in several pictures lately.
Thank you to those of you who wished me well on my last post.  I wasn't just deathly ill, but I just didn't feel good for several days.  I'm still not quite myself.  Achy, sore throat, stuffy head, and all that goes with that kind of sick.  I'm better, though.
A friend of mine, who I worked with on the wearable arts fashion show, is going to the intermediate schools in the area and teaching about Fiber Arts.  She let the 4th graders dye yarn with Kool Aide, then she gave them hand sized looms that she made with mat board and string.  They are weaving a design using colors that tell a story.  They are dreaming up these stories using their imaginations.  They will write the story at the end of the week.  She has taught them a brief history of quilt making and the stories that go along with that craft.  She has also introduced other cultures' stories that they tell with their fiber arts.  I went one day last week to witness the fun.  I'm going to go more this week.  I think it's a great program that is sponsored by our area arts council.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Not feeling so well........ I am going to just link you back to a post I did last April about a pinafore and dress I made from a vintage crocheted pillowcase.  I am linking back to this today because I just entered CSI's Honeysuckle Challenge for the week.  I always thought of honeysuckle as being a yellow-gold color, but for this challenge, it is PINK. If you have never gone to CSI's blog, you should.  If you have, you know about some of the amazing projects that you will find there.  There are some great ones again this week, so I definitely recommend that you click on the link above or the button below and visit today.


Here's what I did with the upholstery samples.  
                                    SIDE TWO                                    
I already had these handles that I bought somewhere, maybe Walmart.  I don't remember why I bought them.  I have lots of these upholstery samples left.
I needed a new purse and didn't want to buy one.  I love these colors.  Of course, if there had been purple instead of the reddish orangey color I would have been a tad happier, but I like the way these coordinate with each other.  I whipped it together in a hurry, so there aren't a lot of details, and some really shoddy craftsmanship!  Oh well, it's for my personal use.

**I am working on the last sleeve of Ms. K's sweater, so I'll be able to show it soon.
**I've started on the Boutis technique on Miss J's dress.  So far, I'm happy.
**I delivered the heirloom dress yesterday to the grandmother of the baby that is to be born Tuesday (I think I said Monday in yesterday's post).  Grandma seemed happy, and she even paid me a little more than what I asked.  I do charge for making these dresses when someone asks me to make one for their grandchild, niece, etc.......   I don't make $$$$, but it defrays my expenses a little bit and helps make up for my time.  Since the slip belonged to my friend's mother I didn't charge as much as I would have if I had used some of my stash of vintage items.  But, I did use my fabric for the lining, my buttons, ribbon, lace, etc..... My husband fusses at me for not making a profit.  That's not why I do it.  I do it because I love it, and I love seeing the joy on my friend's faces. 
Now, I'm going upstairs to get Mother's paperwork organized to take to her accountant so he can file her income taxes,  crochet on Miss K's sweater, and work on Miss J's dress for the rest of the day.  No vigorous activity for me today.  My head feels like it is stuffed with a whole bag of cotton stuffing!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Family Heirloom, I RECKON!

This little dress is for a baby girl who is to be born on Monday, if she doesn't make her entrance before then, that is.  Her mom is one of my former students, and her grandmom is one of my dear        friends.  It is made from her great grandmom's half slip.  That's what makes this dress a family heirloom,  The "reckon" part comes from reading a few blogs this week about "Southern Speak".  I'm not sure that "reckon" is a Southern word, but I think it probably is.  If you don't know, it means, "suppose", or what one "thinks" about something.  For example,  I "reckon" we'll be gettin' some snow here tonight.                                                                                                                            
 The fabric is a fine cotton.  The lace and embroidery on the front was already on the slip.  I enclosed the slit up the front with some lace that was very similar to what was already on the slip.  I add the pintucks to the bodice.  I used similar lace on the sleeves.  The hardest part about making this was that the slip was cut on the bias, so the fabric wanted to stretch in weird ways.  Making pintucks on bias cut fabric is not the easiest thing I've ever done.
I added four little tiny buttons to the bodice.

 I embroidered a vine of flowers like the ones that are on the front across the back under the tucks.  Instead of buttons, I made bows as closures.  The ribbon is sewn on the right side and slips through button holes and ties into bows, as you see.
I lined this dress since the fabric was so thin and on the bias.  I felt like it needed the straight grained fabric underneath to prevent it stretching while little one is wearing it.  I sewed ribbon to the hemline of the lining and added another bow.

Below is a peek at the sweater that I am crocheting for Miss K.
 This is the reason I have been afraid of knitting and crocheting for years.   The directions look scary, but I "reckon" that if I read them one direction at a time and really concentrate I can figure them out eventually.
 I plan to make something for myself using some of the upholstery samples seen below.  It won't be something to wear, but I "reckon" it'll be something I need and will like anyway.

Monday, February 7, 2011

If you read my last post, you know that I am joining in the challenge with Coloradolady for letter writing.
I like to send notes, letters, and cards anyway, so this really isn't a challenge for me.  The challenge will be in remembering to post about it on the fifth of each month. 
Last night, after traveling to Atlanta and back to celebrate my father-in-law's 82nd birthday with his sisters, then watching the Super Bowl (If Peyton or Eli isn't playing, I don't care who wins.), I came home and wrote these notes.
      *First, I wrote to a former pastor and his wife.  He was actually only an interim, but he is one of my favorite all time pastors.  He was in his 70s, but very open minded!   When a person was talking to him, it was as if that person was the only one in the room.  He really listened.  When we were looking for someone to baptize our granddaughter recently (which we didn't get to do because it snowed too much to have church on the one and only Sun. my daughter's family was going to be in town, he was one of our first thoughts.  He was going to be out of town and couldn't be here, but he wrote us a note telling us he was honored to be asked.  Then, he wrote us another note later to ask if we were able to go ahead with the service.  So, I have written to him to thank him for his thoughts and concerns about our grandbaby's baptism.
    **Second, I wrote to a lady from our church who just recently moved into an assisted living facility.  I've heard from her daughter that she is doing well, and that she loves getting mail.  I just let her know we miss her at church and that we are wishing her well.
     ***Next, I wrote to my husband's aunts who hosted my father-in-law's birthday celebration, thanking them for inviting us and feeding us such a delicious meal.  I also complimented them on their beautiful home.  I had never been there.  We really did have a great time.
      ****Then, I wrote to one of my dearest friends with whom I've been friends since about 5th grade.   Her son recently died.  I wrote to let her know that I'm still thinking of her, and that I hope to get to M___________, to see her soon.
     *****And last, but certainly not least, I have written to Jocelyn@ Happy Cottage Quilter who recently hosted a giveaway.  I won lots of yardage of homespun fabrics.  I posted about that a few days ago.  I thanked her on her blog and through mine, but there's nothing like getting a real thank you in the mail.
I used to teach the art of letter writing to my 6th grade students.  They wrote a real business letter, that we really mailed, a friendly letter to a former teacher, and a thank you note to a custodian, secretary, cafeteria worker, or bus driver.  I hope they remember what they learned.  The businesses usually replied in some manner to the students.  I'll do a whole post about this someday.
I got Little Man's art work hung next to a piece done by Miss J.  What a glare!

This is what I've gotten done on the little dress for my friend's yet to be born granddaughter.  This is being made from my friend's mother's half slip.  The hardest part is that the slip was cut on the bias, so the little tucks are wanting to stretch and dimple.  I think it's going to be ok, though.  The first thing I did was close in the slit down the front with some lace that I had that was very much like that on the slip.  Can you see how I put a flower between each scallop, to try to make it look like it was supposed to be that way?  Gotta finish this, make a couple of baby slings for gifts, then I will get to start on Miss J's Easter dress using the Boutis Provenchal technique.
I am still working on Miss K's sweater and thinking about Miss J's.  I worked on my crocheting all the way to Atlanta and back (about a 3 hour drive one way).

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