Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I decided to make a fall dress for Kellen. Since she's the oldest, when she outgrows something there's nothing handed down for her to wear like there is for the younger girls. Her mom told me that she only has one dressy dress that still fits right now. This isn't real dressy , but she can wear it to church or school. I had this batik fabric in these pretty fall colors already. I bought a few bigger girl patterns the other day. I decided to use this Hannah Montana design from Simplicity 3514. I made it from view A, the blue dress in the upper right hand corner.

As you can see the finished dress doesn't look a whole lot like the pattern. After I finished I decided that the neckline was way too big for a 9 year old to wear comfortably, so I used crisscrossed ribbon to raise the front. I also added two little rosettes on either side of the front neckline. This was because I cut a hole in the fabric when I was trimming the ribbon!!! I also added belt loops and a ribbon belt. Kellen may want to tie it in the back or wear it without the belt at all. The belt loops are small and made from the same fabric so they won't show much. I also made long sleeves since she lives in the NE where the weather is already pretty cool. I made French seams everywhere, except on the sleeve, where I used bias binding made from this same fabric.

I forgot to give credit to the McCall's for the patterns that I used on the blue and brown striped outfit. I also used these patterns as a basis for the pink "suede and lamb's wool" outfit.

I used McCall's 5170 for the jacket and the vest. I used McCall's 5169 for the skirts.
Next, I have a skirt cut out for Riley that will be quick to make. I also want to make a little something for Little Man.
I have been commissioned to make a set of dress-up clothes for a little girl as a Christmas gift. I also have a Pocahontas dress and jumper for another little girl. Gotta get busy. I 'm beginning to think about Christmas outfits for my grands.
I sent in the information to participate in the trunk show in November. I hope I don't kick myself for getting into this show. I need to think about exactly how I'm going to work it. I am not going to make up a bunch of stuff. I'm going to display dresses I've made and take orders, I think.
There's been no sewing today.
First I got my nails done at 8:00 this morning. Yes, this is one thing I do to pamper myself. I have the worst nails in the world, so I started getting manicures several years ago.
Then, I took Mother to the dentist. She's had a new lower denture made. I've had to take her 4 times now. I hope this is the last time. It isn't easy to take her anywhere. One of the CNAs from the nursing home went with me today and yesterday. I couldn't do it without help!
Then, there was laundry to do, a kitchen to straighten up, etc.....
And, I have an eye appointment this afternoon. I've been having terrible headaches, and I think it's because I need new glasses. I hope that's what it is anyway.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Fabric Should Be Illegal!!

This fabric is so easy to sew with that it should be illegal for an experienced sewist to use!! I love it!! This is fake pink suede backed with fake lamb's wool. To make the vest I sewed it with the wrong sides together so that the insides show. Along the hemline and armholes I just sewed a straight stay stitch. The collar is sewn to the lapel and then to the back neck. I did turn the front edges back just a little so the "lamb's wool" would show better. I did the same along the top of the pockets, and then I just sewed them on flat.
The skirt is also sewn together down the sides with the wrong sides together. I turned the hem up and stitched it so that the wooly side would show. I used a satin blanket binding as the casing for the elastic around the waist. I didn't think it needed anymore bulk there.
And, finally I cut a straight piece of fabric, cut fringe on both ends, and then stay stitched along the sides and across the top of the fringe.
Too easy, right? Every now and then it's nice to make something this easy.
Now, on to a few more projects that I just decided to do today.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing....

This is the link to the movie trailer for "Where the Wild Things Are."

Why, you may ask, am I posting a link to this site? It's because our Little Man is going to be the little boy from the book/movie for Halloween. Here's his costume. It's all done except for the buttons up the front. I have to go buy some. Out of all the buttons I have, I couldn't believe I don't have 5 or 6 off white buttons, but I don't. I'm also going to make him a crown like the little boy has on in the movie.
The first photo shows Smokey (UT's mascot again) wearing the costume from the front. The 2nd photo shows the costume from the back. This is supposed to be a wolf costume according to the book. I don't think it looks very wolfish, but this does look like what he wears. I can't wait to see it on our Little Wild Thing!

Now, in previous posts I have told you that Kellen wanted me to make a hummingbird costume for her American Girl doll because in the movie, Pocahontas's best friend is a hummingbird. I made one from real feathers that I threw away. It was awful!! Take my word for it!!
I decided to use this baby doll as a model for this costume. She isn't exactly the same size and her arms and legs are curved, not straight like the AG dolls. Oh well, it's the closest I have to the real thing. I'm going to buy a cheapo 18" doll so I can have a model for their dolls' clothing.
I used a green knit that I had in my stash. I cut out feathers much like I did for Riley's toucan pictured a few posts back. I really made it alot like I did Riley's. I used real feathers for the red front and around the neck. I used buttons for the eyes and the quill from a yellow feather as the beak. The legs are just yellow cotton pants with bird toes cut out at the bottom. Remember this is a doll's costume, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Little Miss Sophistication!

I finally got Jenna's little suit made. I struggled with this quite a bit. Before I cut this out and made it I put the fabrics side by side (actually they were sold side by side at the store), and they looked fantastic together. Once I got the two pieces done and put them together, whoa..... they
did not look right together. So, what to do?
My original plan was to make the ruffle on the skirt from the narrow stripe of the jacket. But, of course I didn't have enough fabric to do that. So, I thought that I could make a binding to put on the hem of the ruffle. Nope, still not enough fabric.
Now, mind
you I bought this fabric about a year ago at our local Walmart. I went back to Walmart and of course they didn't have any more of the narrow stripe. They had it in red and in yellow, etc.... just not in the blue.
, I went to another Walmart about 30 miles from here and believe it or not they had it!!!! Yea!! I still wasn't sure what to do, but I decided to make a wide bias binding on the hem of the ruffle and a flower to match.
I'm still not thrilled with the look, but it's way better than it was. Jenna can wear these as separates, too. I think the jacket will look cute with jeans, khakis, or a denim skirt. I bought a long sleeved brown tshirt for her to wear with this grown-up girl suit. I don't usually make grown-up looking things for my little girls, but I did this time for some reason.
I don't know why my pictures are so fuzzy and the lighting is so bad. I need to work on this. My other cheapo camera took better pictures than my husband's good one, at least for me. I just need to learn to use the settings correctly.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday to this Special Grandaddy!

Yep, he's caught up with me. I'm about 4 1/2 months older than he is, so he teases me all summer long!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award! Awesome!

Trudy sent this award to me. I feel very humble receiving this honor from her because she is very creative and has become a very good blogger friend. She also has an adorable little daughter, Emily, who has her own blog.

The "RULES" of this award are that I am to......
1) tell you seven things that you don't already know about me. I'm not sure there are 7 things that you don't know about me, but I'll try to think of some.
2) I am to name seven other blogs to receive this award. It will be hard to pick only seven.
3)I am to leave a comment on each of the blogs I have nominated letting them know that I have given them an award.
4) I am to thank the blogger who gave me the award.

Okay, let's see, seven things you don't know about me.....
1. I have a phobia of heights! Just thinking about standing on the edge of a cliff starts my heart racing. Flying isn't so bad because I don't have to look out and I know that at the end of the flight I'll be seeing one of my daughters and her child/children, or I'm going on some exotic trip somewhere. I can dream can't I?
2. Claustrophobia is even a bigger issue for me. I do not like to be in closed-in places. I'm not wild about elevators, but I do ride on them. If one ever got stuck between floors while I was on it I think I'd have a heart attack. I've been in several caves, you know touristy places, but when I went into Mammoth Cave on the "keyhole tour" I nearly freaked. I will not go underground again.
3. On that same note, I want to be cremated when the time comes, because just thinking about a casket and underground gives me the willies. Also, I like the thought of being sprinkled in either a wide open space or a body of water somewhere.
4. I love to swim. I grew up near a city pool, and I went nearly every day. I was even a lifeguard one summer. I didn't like that, though, because everyone else was having fun while I watched. If I believed in having a past life I would think that I was a dolphin. If I believed in having a totem, a dolphin would be it. When I life guarded, I did pull one guy out of the water. He jumped in the deep end and didn't know how to swim. I watched him go under a couple of times before I realized he was really in trouble. A lot of the guys would tease the female lifeguards this way. Anyway, I got him out. He was a really tall guy who was a year or so older than me. He was pretty embarrassed, but he did thank me later.
5. Even though sewing is what I do most often, I do like to draw, paint, and write. I am working on a children's picture book and only have a couple of pages left to do. I have a bunch of stories bumping into each other in my brain. I need to get them written down soon or I will have a major headache. I actually sent a short story to a ladies' magazine recently. I haven't told anybody about that! So shhhhh......
6. I have another phobia. I call it Dentistaphobia. I'm sure there is another proper name for this fear. I have had dental issues since I was 6 years old when all of my permanent teeth came in behind my baby teeth. The roots of my baby teeth did not dissolve, and the dentist had to pull them. But, the real reason I have such a fear is because when I was 23 I had a car accident that resulted in my front top teeth being embedded in the steering wheel. They had broken off completely. The roots were fractured. The teeth next to them were knocked loose, as well. I had a 6 tooth bridge for years. After having an abscess form above the bridge, and having issues with the anchor teeth, etc... I decided to have all of my upper teeth pulled when I was 50, 7 years ago. I have had an upper plate since then. I have never been happy with it and refuse to have my picture made very often, because I hate my smile! Well, it broke recently, and I am going to pick up my new one as soon as I finish this post. Wish me well. I got the new one a couple of weeks ago and it did not fit and made me buck toothed. (Update: I went to pick up my new upper plate and it still doesn't fit right so he's sending it back to the lab. In the meantime, I'm wearing a temporary plate.)
7.I am going to refer back to number 1 where I mentioned an exotic trip for my last one. My husband has always wanted to go on a cruise to Alaska, and I've always wanted to go to Australia. Now that I've made several Aussie friends through my blog, I really want to go even more than ever. It would be a dream to go to lots of other places, too, but these would be our first choices.

I follow lots of blogs. Many have been around for a while. Some are fairly new. I decided to award some that are, at least to me, fairly new. And, since I'm not a quilter, I don't feel qualified to award one quilting blog over another. I have seen some gorgeous quilts through this blogging world, though. I am so impressed with the patience and preciseness that these folks have.

Now for the blogs that I am passing this award on to:
1. southernmatriarch.blogspot.com This lady does the most beautiful smocking ever!!!
2. mermaids103.blogspot.com There's always something fun to read here, like about National Pirate's Day, a good natured feud with her neighbors who put trolls in her garden, but she got them back, LOL!
3. plainjane21.blogspot.com This is a very busy teacher who lives in Canada. Her latest post shows an adorable scarf for her dog.
4.thoughtsfromthesecondfloor.blogspot.com This is a young woman who has young children for whom she sews. The latest is a nightgown for her daughter, but she's made a really nice jacket for her son, as well.
5. littlesewingalcove.blogspot.com This is a blog that I was following, when all of a sudden there were no new posts, but she's back now!! Yea!!!!
6.texassmockingcompany.blogspot.com Here's another very talented smocker who has had her creations featured in Sew Beautiful magazine.
7.primsbynancy.blogspot.com This lady makes the most unusual and personality filled dolls! You have to check her out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Calling all Textile Artists in the Southeast, USA!

If you live in the Southeast, anywhere within about a 3 hour drive from the Knoxville or Chattanooga areas, this post is for you. All other bloggers can read this, too. You may have some great ideas to help me out. We are always looking for new ideas.
I am on the Board of Directors of our local arts council. We are planning a wearable arts fashion show that will be in November of 2010. In this show we will showcase work of knitters, weavers, crocheters, sewists, quilters, felters, jewelry makers, makers of purses, etc.... and any other type of art work that can be worn. We have had beautiful shawls, coats, skirts, bags, necklaces, scarfs, you name it, in our show.
My children's dresses and costumes have been included in the show the past couple of years.
We are looking for new artists who would like to have their creations featured in this show. There is always a big crowd. The artists will have an opportunity to sell their creations.
So, if you live within about a 3 hour or so drive of the Knoxville or Chattanooga areas and would like to learn more about this show and how you can participate just email me, and I will get more information for you.
Also, if you belong to any clubs, guilds, etc..... that would like to have a short presentation as a program next year let me know through my email. We have found that women's church groups, sororities, sewing guilds of all kinds, etc.... are sometimes interested in learning more about this show. It is the time of the year that most clubs, etc.... are working on their agendas for the coming year.

Below are four of the dresses and one costume that I made that have been in the fashion show. I'm sure I have blogged about each of these in previous posts. The first is adorned with antique laces, and was our oldest grand daughter's Easter dress one year. The second one is made from antique fabric and has a shaped lace insert (the first I ever did). This was our 3rd oldest grand daughter's Easter dress a couple of years ago.

The next two were Easter dresses for our 2nd grand daughter. The yellow is embellished with antique place mats and napkins that have little chicks appliqued on them. The green one has antique napkins incorporated into the skirt, sleeves, and as the collar.

This turtle costume is what I made for Little Man last year for Halloween.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Toucan and Paperdolls Completed!

Riley can be a Toucan for Halloween! Here is her completed costume....
from the back,

from the side,

and from the front. I'm sorry for the fuzzy photo.

Riley will be much cuter in the costume than this model. The only model I could find was a teddy bear. My father-in-law is borrowing my Smokey for his UT vs. FL party tomorrow. I draped the bird over a chair to make it stand up. The yellow has a Velcro closure all the way down the front. The front is sewn to a back that you cannot see that's underneath the wings. The wings are sewn across the back neck and down the sleeves. Riley will wear either yellow leggings or tights with this. I hope Halloween is a cold night up North because this is going to be a warm costume. The blue has a vinyl backing. The yellow feels like paper, I don't know what it is.

I finally got the paper dolls finished for Jenna. The first photo shows some casual and play clothes. These are not really like any that Jenna has; I just made them up.

Next you see a yellow dress that is very much like an Easter dress that I made for Jenna when she was about 2 years old, a slip, tights, a dress that is similar to the dress I made Jenna for her first birthday, and last is a top and suit that is "sorta" like an outfit I'm planning to make for Jenna for her 7th birthday. This looks like an old woman's suit, but I think it will be cute when I actually make it.

Now, here's a dress that's kind of like the dress I made for Jenna last Christmas, and two of her Easter dresses.

The first two outfits are similar to outfits that Jenna has. The orange one is a smocked gingham that I made for her a few years ago. I made all three of the sisters similar dresses because of UTs colors. The skirt and tshirt are copies of the outfit I made Jenna last spring.

A few years ago I made the three sisters this dress and cape. The cape and yoke and sleeves of the dress were purple corduroy. The skirt of the dress and the appliqued bow and collar are from a print that had lots of pinks, purples, and lavenders.

Every little girl with Tennessee roots, which Jenna has through her mom, needs a UT cheerleader uniform. The Indian dress is this year's Sacajawea dress for Halloween.

For past Halloweens Jenna has been a beautiful princess in a red dress, a mermaid (actually there were two Halloweens that she was a mermaid), and the most beautiful water fairy ever!
Jenna used to think that she really was a mermaid and that her tail would grow when she was a teenager. She said it would be ok because in the merpeople world there is a secret passage that humans can come through to visit.

As you can see I put magnets on the backs of the paper doll and the clothes.

I went to get fabric for Little Man's costume today at the store where I always find what I need when I need something unusual. Well, they had it in every color except off-white, which is what I need. I guess I'll go to Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's one day next week.
My husband and I are going to a concert tonight. I have been elected to the Arts Council in my county, and the first concert sponsored by "US" is tonight. This is the guy who actually sang instead of George Clooney in the movie, Oh Brother Where Art Thou. I'm anxious to hear him.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

First It Was Beads, Now It's Feathers, Next is for Wild Little Man!

The Indian dresses and Pirate Princess costume are done. Now, it's on to birds. Riley's will be blue and yellow. I am first making a little jacket out of these blue and yellow fabrics. The hood, back, and sleeves are blue, and the front is yellow. I will attach the wings and tail to the arms and back of the jacket. The front will have a Velcro closure. I am going to use some real feathers, but I'm also cutting out feathers from the fabrics. So far, I have a bunch of blue ones cut, but there are many more to come.

I got this much done after I published this post, so I thought I'd go ahead and post these two pictures of the front and back of the bird, at this stage.

Next will be Little Man's "Where the Wild Things Are" costume. His parents decided on the costume that the little boy wears. Have you seen the movie trailer? I want to see this movie! I bought some off white fleece, but I'm thinking I need something with more texture. I also need to get something for the tail! There's a store nearby that usually has anything odd that I'm looking for, so tomorrow I'll head there.

Again, I was in charge of the activity at our youth meeting this week. I planned a scavenger hunt inside the church. We've had rain, rain, rain, and more rain this week, so it had to be indoors. I hid clues all over the church. We formed two teams of kids. ( We had a bunch of kids out this week. I hope they don't have the flu. The middle school closed this week due to sickness.)

These girls had trouble finding where the "light shines through the Word." One of our stained glass windows has the Bible pictured. They finally figured it out with a few little extra clues!

There was a clue on Jesus' picture, the sound system, the Sunday School rooms, etc.....

There was a clue in the storage closet where we keep all the paper goods like paper plates, paper cups, and even toilet paper. For some reason this was a confusing clue for both teams.

Each clue had a Bible reference on it that "sort of" went along with the place in the church where the clues were found. I say "sort of" because there are no references to toilet paper in the Bible, that I could find anyway. There are several verses that speak to keeping "treasures" in the church, though. I figured toilet paper is truly a treasure to have.
The kids looked up the Bible verses and matched them with the verses on a sheet on which I had typed and printed them. They then had to figure out how that verse related to the place that clue was found. They took this very seriously and worked hard.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pirate Princess, Paper Dolls, and Shaving Cream Fun!

Have you ever seen a pirate princess? If not, here's your opportunity. This is Emory's Halloween costume. She loves the Backyardigans when they pretend to be pirates. When you ask her what a pirate says, she replies, "Arrrgggg......" So cute. I found this PINK skull and crossbones fabric and just had to get it for Emory since she is such a girly girl. I don't know that any pirate ever wore pink, polka dots, and eyelet, but this one will. I had the eyelet fabric in my stash. I used Simplicity 3680 View E. I changed the skirt. I made it in two layers, but with smaller zigzags at the bottom. I aligned them so that the polka dot zigzags peek through the zigzags of the skull and crossbones. I made the belt and scarf reversible. Otherwise, I followed the pattern. Smokey (University of TN's mascot) looks a little uncomfortable wearing this girly outfit, but he was my only model available.

Jenna's paper doll set is in progress. She has a UT cheerleader outfit, a swim team swimsuit and shorts, several of the dresses that I have made her over the years, some of her Halloween costumes that I've made, some outfits I just made up, and of course there are shoes, a purse, a tiara, etc.... I need to color the rest of the outfits, cut them out, laminate them, and attach magnet strips to the backs. I found this great notebook with pocket pages that is perfect for keeping all of the outfits safe and secure.

I was in charge of games at our youth back-to-school kick-off party last week. One of the activities was to see who could make the tallest shaving cream hairdo! They had a ball with this one! We played tag with a twist. Each of them had a strip of towel hanging from their pocket. They had to steal each others' towels. Whoever had the most at the end, won the game. Another really fun activity was to blow bubble snakes. I got this idea from a Disney Family Magazine. I cut the bottom off of plastic water bottles. I used a rubber band to attach a square of terry cloth to the opening. Then the kids dipped the terry cloth end into water then into dishwashing liquid. Then, they just blew into the bottle. It made the coolest really big bubble snakes. The winner was the one who made the longest snake. We also had a pudding eating contest. Another fun game was one in which they made a circle (we made a circle of girls and one of boys) holding hands. They have to move a hula hoop around the entire circle without using hands or letting go. They did it so quickly that we then did it with 2 hula hoops in each circle. I didn't have my camera. A gentleman in our church sent me these and a few others, but none of any of the other games.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Perks of Being a Cyber Bridesmaid......

.....are numerous! For one, I didn't have to buy an expensive dress that I'll never wear again. Instead I got to make a dress for my grand daughter that she will definitely wear.
Another perk was that I didn't have to worry about all the duties that a bridesmaid has, like making sure there were safety pins, needle and thread, etc.... at the church in case of emergency situations.
I didn't have to go to a bridal shower, bridesmaid luncheon, rehearsal and dinner (even though I actually think these functions are fun to attend).
I really didn't have any thing to do in order to be a bridesmaid for Rachelle and Calvin's wedding.
However, she graciously sent me a bridesmaid gift anyway! I got an email this morning that said my gift was in the mail, so imagine my surprise when it was in today's mail! Look at the beautiful and very useful clipping scissors and beaded clip hanger that she made! I love this gift for several reasons. One of the main ones is that she made it herself, and she added a personal touch with the pink ribbon beads. Rachelle has been fighting cancer. I will never forget who sent this wonderful gift to me. I already used the little clipping scissors. I really needed them. I will keep them right by my machine to clip threads as I sew.

On another note, it is time, get it "TIME" (see my clock) to get organized, finally. Aren't I funny, and yes, that was definitely an intended pun. Years and years ago I did the crewel work for this clock face. It did have a piece of glass in it until one of my daughters decided to do cartwheels and back flips in the house one evening. You can guess what happened. I have never gotten around to replacing it. I did put a new battery in it the other day, and it doesn't work. Oh well, I still have it hanging on my sewing room wall. I don't think my hands could stand up to that much detailed work anymore with my arthritis.

If you've been following my blog, you know that about 2 months ago I had surgery on my foot. While I sat and kept my foot up, I put all (well, almost all, I still have one box to go) of my patterns in file jackets. I cut the envelopes apart and glued the front and back to the file front.

Also, you may remember this cabinet that my husband's grandfather built for his new bride for her first kitchen. I didn't dream that these file sleeves would fit inside the cabinet perfectly. It's almost as if it was made for them. I have doll patterns, costume patterns, and my little baby sizes on the top shelf. Every size from 3 to 8 on the second shelf, and then sizes from 8 up, boys' patterns, craft patterns, patterns for purses, and women's patterns on the bottom.

I guess you can tell how my collection has grown with my grands. The oldest is 9, now, so I don't have as many in the bigger sizes. I only have one boy, so far, and he's only 15 months old, so I don't have lots of boy patterns, yet. I don't ever sew for myself, so I have very few women's patterns. Actually, I do have a box full that I have put away. I really need to get it out because those vintage styles are back. This isn't the box I was referring to earlier. I still have kids patterns that aren't filed yet. I bought more file jackets today though.

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