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. . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some Progress and Wearable Arts Fashion Show Fashions

This is what I've gotten done so far on the bishop dress for our 3 month old grand for Christmas.  The ribbon is woven in and can be taken out easily, so this can be worn after Christmas through Valentine's Day!                                                                             
 I've mentioned that I am helping to plan a wearable arts fashion show for our local arts council that is to be on November 13th.  If you live anywhere near here and would like to come, let me know.  I have some tickets to sell.  There is a link on my side bar to two sites where you can learn more about the show.  You quilters out there will be interested in knowing that Rachel Clark will be doing a trunk show in the morning before the runway show.
This is one of the three dresses that I will have in the show.  I made this 5 years ago for our oldest granddaughter (then 5 years old) to wear in her aunt's (our middle daughter) wedding as the flower girl. 
 It is made from baby blue cotton batiste and is fully lined with the same fabric. 
 I embroidered the band across the front with ribbon and embroidery floss.  For the bodice I made diagonal pintucks then sewed tiny pearls to each intersection.  I used this pintucked fabric to make the piping for the band.
 I used the same pintucked fabric for the cuffs and piping on the cuffs.
 Our daughter's wedding colors were baby blue and off white, so I used off white to accent this dress.  I love big sashes and made this one way oversized.  It looked very pretty as our granddaughter walked down the aisle.
 Our 2nd granddaughter was the "ring princess".  She carried the pillow that my daughter's mother-in-law made from some family heirloom handkerchiefs.  It was beautiful.
 Her dress is made from the same fabric, but is a different style.  This granddaughter was only 2 1/2 at the time.  Her dress was smocked, as you see here.  I added touches of pearls and little bows and embroidered flowers on the smocking portion of her dress.
 Her sash was way oversized, too.
This dress also had inserted lace.  Her dress was also fully lined with the same batiste.   I bought this fabric and lace at a store in Gastonia, NC.  Mary Jo's is the name of the store, if I remember correctly.  It is a huge store.  I wish it was near where I live!
This is what I did today, besides working on the first little Christmas dress.  I cut out all of the other grands' Christmas outfits.  I think I have picked out a pattern for the unborn babe!  It is one that has both a boy and girl outfit.  I just need to decide on fabric.

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