Sunday, July 31, 2011

Smocked Sailboats

I just finished this, well, actually, it isn't finished.  I still need to block it, etc.....  I see some of the pleating threads that I overlooked.  First, I backsmocked, then, I made some waves in blue and white. 
I have never really done picture smocking correctly, but on this I decided that I wanted to do better.  So, I got out a couple of my Sew Beautiful magazines and a book on smocking.  I studied the correct techniques, and then I practiced a little.  I couldn't find a sailboat pattern that was free, and I didn't want to wait on buying one, so I just made these up as I went along.  I added the birds and then more wave stitches in blue and white across the top.  This is going into a baby boy's shortall suit.  It will be made from a tiny blue gingham check, and trimmed with yellow piping.  I am making it for Tucker, who is the 3 month old grandson of my friend.  She asked me to make it before he was even born.  I am just now getting it started.  I hope to be able to take it to her on Wednesday of this week.

I made a hand-smocked dress from a vintage table cloth, last week.  It was embroidered and had drawn thread work on it.  It was so pretty.  I donated the dress to the Boys and Girls Club for a fund raiser auction.  I hope it will sell and make a little money for them.  I forgot to take any photos of the dress, but maybe I can go to the event and get some, or I may just go by their offices before the auction and ask if I can get some photos.  I know they won't mind.

I had two teachers' meetings last week.  I am going to help the teacher, whose maternity leave I'm covering, work in her room tomorrow.   I hope I can stay home to sew on Tuesday.  Wednesday is when the teachers first REAL meeting is.  I don't think I will need to go to it, though.  Thursday is when the kids register.  There will be workdays and inservice days on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, then, the kids' first real day is next Wednesday, the 10th of August.  I will be a full-fledged third grade teacher ( until Christmas, that is).  I am looking forward to it, anxious about it, and dreading it all at the same time!!!
I will enjoy seeing my teacher friends again.  I had lunch with a few of them the other day.  It was so much fun!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paper(?)Doll Book

I found this fabric a while back and nearly forgot that I had it.  I found it at Katy's Fabrics, which is a little family owned store not too far from where I live.  Anyway, the dolls are on one bolt of fabric and the clothes on another.  I started with one looooooonnnnnnnnggggg piece of the pink checked seersucker fabric.  I cut around the dolls and then zigzagged the edges, folding the pink checked fabric into pages with batting in between, as I went.  When I was finished with that, I cut a bias binding from the multicolored checked seersucker.  I bound each page and then the spine of the book.  The spine was a little difficult to work with because it was soooo thick with so many layers and all that batting, but it worked.  As you can see, the pages are slightly askew at the bottom.  I figured it wouldn't matter too much since I was making this for a one year old.  I realize that the almost 4 year old, big sis' will probably want to play with this book, too.                     
The doll on the front is off-center.  If I had thought ahead, I would have appliqued something about Lil'B on the front, but it was too late when I thought to do that.
I made a pocket on the inside of the front cover for a storage place for the clothes, hats, and shoes.
I sewed Velcro to the dolls on their heads, feet and chests.  After backing the clothes with a rosebud print (which I should have photographed, but didn't) by zigzagging around the edges, I cut them out and attached Velcro to the back of each piece.  I made sure that the Velcro would be in the correct position for each doll and piece of clothing.  There weren't shoes for some of the dolls feet placement.  The dolls are standing in different positions, so some of the clothing doesn't work on some of the dolls, but I made sure that each doll had an outfit or two.
The following pictures show the dolls with and without their clothes.

This fuzzy photo shows the birthday girl and her big sister checking it out just after it was opened.
Here's the birthday girl enjoying her first cake!!!!  By this time, she was sleepy and filled with a little too much sugar.
And here's a photo I just couldn't resist posting.
 This is Lil'E admiring her new dress that I posted about a few posts back.  Of course, she would be holding it up backwards, but that's ok.  She wanted to wear it to church the next day, but her mom wants to get photos at the beach first.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Christening Gown - 4th time Worn

I have posted about this Christening Gown before, but it has been a while.  I made this dress 32 years ago for my daughter to wear.  Since then, one of her nieces, Miss J, and her daughter, Lil'E, and now her daughter, Lil'B have worn it, too.                                              
 I really don't remember how I did this lacy neckline.  I just worked the thread with my needle till it came out like I wanted it to be, then I wove the ribbon through it.  The ribbon ties at the back neck for a closure.  I also used 3 of the tatted loops from my grandmother's tatting to serve as button loops on the back. 
 Here's a close-up of the embroidery which I did freehand.  That's why it isn't perfectly symmetrical.
 Here's the slip that goes under the dress.  Before I forget who has worn this dress, and when, I need to embroider their names and dates of their Baptisms.
I actually made this before I was really into heirloom sewing.  I wasn't well versed on some of the techniques, but I was happy with the outcome anyway. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pin The Bow On the Baby!

My daughter, mother of Lil'B and Lil'E asked me to make a cartoonish drawing of Lil'B on a sheet of poster board so that the kids can play "Pin the Bow on the Baby" at Lil'B's first birthday party.  I had her send me a close up of Lil'B via email so I could capture her cuteness as closely as possible.  Below is a cropped version of the photo she sent.  I zoomed in very closely to her cute little face and printed it out as an 8X10 photo.  I then taped this photo to the poster board and drew with a sharp pencil around the outline and her features, including that big, big smile.  (BTW, this photo was taken when she was in the borrowed to-go seat that I posted about yesterday.)  I used colored pencils and a black permanent marker.                                                                                  
This is the result of my efforts.  It's not exact, but remember, she wanted a cartoonish depiction.   I didn't have a photo to go by for her body, so I just winged it.  And, as my husband said after it was finished, "You sure did give her some fat legs!"  I told him that she's a baby and babies do have fat legs.  After really looking at it, especially from across the room, I realized that I sure did give her some fat rolls!!!  She really doesn't have chubby legs; she's a rather thin little one.  But, oh well, like I said, the intent was to do a cartoonish version of Lil'B.  If I had spent more time, perhaps it would have turned out better.  Oh yeah, and her hair has lightened up since the photo above was made, so my daughter said to be sure to give her blond hair.  I also covered up her ears.  I don't know why I did that.
 Then, I made a bunch of bows from different ribbons so that each child will know where their bow was placed.  We will actually use two-sided tape rather than pins.  I figured that after the party, my daughter might want to replenish her daughters' bow supply.  If she doesn't want all of these, I could send some to my other granddaughters, well, the five year old might still wear them.  I don't think the older two do any more.  Or, if my daughter wants to let the little girls at the party pick a bow to take home they can.  Of course,  a clip will have to added to the back, but that's easy enough.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A BABY To-Go Seat!

This is just a zippered bag, right?                                
 Well, yes, but there's something inside. just looks like a bunch of fabric and sashes, hum................?

But................if you slip it over the back of a chair (almost any sized chair, this one is a typical ladder-back cane-bottom chair)in a restaurant or at a friend's home, etc..........,

 ...........and then tie the first set of sashes around the back of the chair,
 ....then, slip a baby, or Smokey ( the University of Tennessee's mascot), into the front with another set of the straps (sashes, which have loops sewn to the front part that covers the back of the chair for which to guide the sashes and keep the securely in place) over his/her shoulders, then.........
 ......tie that set of sashes around on the back of the chair, also, then...............
 ......pull up the sashes that are attached to the part of the seat that the child is straddling, and.......

criss-cross them around the back, then the front, and around to the back again before tying, the baby will be securely confined to the seat.
 If the seat part is too tall for the baby, it can be folded down to accommodate a smaller child.
 I realize this sounds like a lot of tying, etc..., but truly, it only takes a minute to get the baby settled.  Of course, I was working with a very cooperative Smokey and not a squirming baby, but my daughter borrowed a seat very similar to this when we went to my niece's wedding, and it was a life saver!  She didn't have to carry in some bulky seat or stroller to the reception.  Now, granted, this is not exactly like the seat she borrowed, because it was a purchased one, and not  made from a sheet and sham pillowcase covers like this one were, but I think it will work equally as well.  I sure hope so, anyway.

Below are some darling milkshake banks that the children at VBS have made from plastic cups, fabric scraps, soda straws, and red poms.  The theme of VBS is SHAKE IT UP!  It is a food themed Bible study and refers to lots of scripture that is food themed, but mostly as a reminder to children that their are many people less fortunate than they, and that God wants us all to GIVE of ourselves, our talents, and items/food/etc.................  One of the gentlemen at the church made milkshakes for about 90 people the night they made these!!!!!  We are a very small church, so this year we have gone in with another, not quite as small, church to have VBS!  It is working very well.  Next year, we will be the host church.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More on the Bubble and now a Sundress, too

Here's Lil'B's bubble suit, again.  I thought I'd show it with Lil'E's sundress, below,  to match it.
Here's the back of the sundress.  I like that both outfits have bow details.  I really should pay attention when I'm taking pictures.  That bow just looks all weird, but it really doesn't, I promise!
 I used the shell stitch detail for the hem of this dress.  I think it adds a pretty little touch.
 I thought I'd show you that I lined the bubble suit.  The fabric is so thin, that I was afraid Lil'B's diaper would show through.  That would not be pretty!
 I also lined Lil'E's dress because of the thin fabric, too.  I think lining just gives a little dress more body. 
 These are the patterns I used.  I changed them in that I added a smocking panel and I lined them.  Otherwise, I pretty much stuck to these patterns.  I don't do that often, but it sure does make things go more quickly.
Next, I have a couple more things (but not clothing) that I want to make for Lil'B's first birthday!!!!  Our VBS starts tomorrow evening, so I will have to work efficiently to get everything done.  That's something I haven't done lately.  I found out what Big Little Man and Little Little Man want their Halloween costumes to be this year: A monster TREX in bed and a baby monster TREX in bed.   Their mom suggested making pjs for the TREXes.  I guess baby TREX will have to have a sleeper type pj.  I had better get busy, don't you think?

Sewing Bubbles!

Well, one bubble suit that is.  This is for Lil'B's first birthday. 
I used yellow piping to bring out the bit of yellow in the smocking.  This is my favorite color combination!!!!

           Bow details.  The way I have this pinned to my backdrop makes the buttons  and center back looked skewed, but they really aren't. 
                                                                 On the leg side seams
Now, it's on to Lil'E's dress.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Crazy, but I've got my mojo back!!!!

First, I'll tell you about getting my mojo back! 
Because Lil'B has a first birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, and Lil'E has a fourth birthday in about a month, it was time to get back to my real passion, which is sewing for my grands. 
Above is the smocked panel that will go into a bubble suit for Lil'B.   I used floss that matches the fabric (lavender) almost exactly for the largest part of my smocking.  I filled in the diamonds with pastel yellow.  Then for the bullion roses, I first outlined the center of the diamonds with pastel green and then filled in the center with more of the lavender.  
And - below, is the smocked panel that will go into a dress for Lil'E.  For this one I used a pale, pale pink for the largest part of the design because Lil'E's new favorite color is pink.  Then I used the pale yellow to fill in the diamonds.  And - again, I used the green to outline the bullion roses, and this time, I used the pink for the actual roses.

The bubble suit and dress are cut out and ready to be put together. Their mom asked me to make outfits that they can have their photos made in at the beach.  She didn't want the typical white, though, so thus, the pastel lavender 100% cotton batiste.  She'll have to iron these.  I am going to line these with a blended cotton, though, so maybe the ironing won't be too bad!
Okay, so it's time to go rinse the color out of my hair, then into my sewing room for construction of these little birthday outfits.

Do you know the song, "CRAZY," that Patsy Cline made famous? The lyrics have been running through my mind the past few days, but with some major changes, as follow:
                                   (saying well, maybe)
Crazy, I'm crazy for feelin' so lonely.
                                                   (giving it a thought)             
I'm crazy, crazy for feelin' so blue.
                                   (You knew, I would  have a hard time saying no.)                                     
I knew you'd love me as long as you wanted

(that it's been four years since I the last time I taught)
and then some day you'd leave me for somebody new.
Worry, why do I let myself worry
wondering what in the world did I do.
                                  (I should teach again )
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying
                            (and, "WHYING?")
and crazy for crying
                                               ( ..ier than I've ever been!)                
and I'm crazy for loving you.

Worry, why do I let myself worry
wonderin' what in the world did I do.
                        (and feeling such dismay)
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you.
I'm crazy for trying
(and "WHYING?")
and crazy for crying
                                            (saying, "OKAY.")      
and I'm crazy for loving you.
So, if this made sense, you will know that I've agreed to go back into the classroom, not permanently, mind you, but to fill in for a teacher who is going on maternity leave.  I retired four years ago after having taught 32 years.  I went back part-time as a math interventionist, and then again in the spring, as a substitute.  Now, I have agreed to teach third grade till December 16!!!!  The teacher who asked me is a real sweet young lady, who just had her second child {a new little baby boy (her first is s girl)}.  I taught 6th grade language arts the last 18 years of my career. The things I'm most concerned about are: 
Every classroom has a SMART BOARD now!!!! (Am I smart enough to learn how to use it?)
Centers are a requirement in third grade!!!
I'll have to set my alarm clock again!
When I retired we had 3 grands and one on the way.  Now, we have SEVEN!  Sewing for 3 is one thing; sewing for 7 is another.  Will I be able to find the time to make Halloween costumes and Christmas outfits?

The things that made me say, "Yes," are:
I really like this young teacher, and I remember the year I took a maternity leave until Christmas. Finding subs is not an easy thing to do.
I love little ones.  I did teach third grade 30 years ago and loved it.  One of my grands is this age, and she's so much fun to be around.
I miss being in the classroom and around kids.
I miss my teacher friends. 
I will not have to worry about sick days.  When I need to take off, I can do so without worry, as long as I can find a sub.
After the first three weeks that this young teacher is using her sick days for, I will get paid full teacher pay on top of my retirement!   I can teach for, I think, 120 days before it starts affecting my retirement.  So for all of Sept., Oct., Nov., and half of Dec.  I will make decent $$.

But, am I nervous?  You better believe it!!!!! 
Am I CRAZY?  We'll see!  I guess it may be December 16th before I know.  By the way, December 16th will be our 39th wedding anniversary.  I may really celebrate this year!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pop-up Window!!

A couple of my followers have told me that for some reason I didn't have a pop-up window for comments.  I didn't realize that!  I'm sorry if that has caused an inconvenience for anyone who has tried to leave me a comment.  I thought I had it set for a pop-up window, but when I went to settings, I didn't.  I would appreciate if some of you would try commenting on this post to let me know if it is working correctly now.  I've been busy doing yard work and inside cleaning, so I haven't been sewing lately.  I hope to  get back to my sewing soon!!!!! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Flower Show and a couple of other things...............

This little fellow has taken up residence in our front shrubbery.  I think he's a baby Mocking Bird, Tennessee's state bird.  His parents keep fussing at us whenever we get close to him, but he just sits and stares at us.  I guess we are scaring him.  We should leave him alone.
Rose of Sharon
Butterfly Bush
Not quite blooming yet, Crepe Myrtle
Knockout Rose
Pumpkin, where I threw out our fall pumpkins last fall.  Ha!!!!
POISON IVY!!!!!  My husband is spraying this today!!!  I sure hope he gets rid of it.  I've never had poison ivy in my life till this year, and I've had it twice just recently!!!
Can you see them?  Look very closely.  See all those little black dots?  Thousands of June Bugs in the field between our house and my father-in-law's.

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