Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Pocketbook I Actually Like, I think anyway

No, not this one.  I like it okay, but the handles, which I bought, are not holding together.   Also, I just made it in such a hurry that it isn't finished like it ought to be on the inside and the shape is rather boring.  I do like these colors, though!!!  But, I used them all up on this purse.    So......
 I made this one.  Again, I used furniture upholstery samples that my cousin gave me.  I knew I wanted it to hold it's shape, not be very deep (I can never find anything in those really big, deep purses.), and have a good, strong handle.  I wanted it to be open at the top so that I could get to my cell phone, keys, etc... easily, but I didn't want it completely open, thus the button flap. 
 I wanted it to have zippered pockets where I could put things that I don't need very often, but that I do need once in a while.  I also wanted pockets for my pens, Tide stick, lipsticks, etc...  So, I put zippered pockets on two of the inside sides and open pockets on the other two inside sides. 
I always make these pocket book organizers so that I can swap my necessary things very quickly from purse to purse.                                                           
These are great. because they fold to different shapes to fit most pocketbooks.  And,,,,,,my favorite thing about them is, everything has it's own little compartment, and I can see everything at one glance..
 I used coordinating fabric samples to tie it all together, but like I said, this organizer can be used with almost any purse.

This time, I made a separate little money purse that has a Velcro closure flap and a little tab so I can pull it out more easily.  I have always just put my money in one of the open pockets, and while that worked ok for the folded bills, my change was always hard to dig out and sometimes didn't go in the pocket that I intended for it to go into.
I've only carried this purse for a day and a half.  So far, I like it.  The strap is just the right length to go over my shoulder and it actually stays there.  I have very sloped shoulders these days, so that can be a problem.  The purse if very light weight, yet sturdy.  I did use interfacing between the layers and that brown suede fabric on the bottom and the strap is very stiff.  I've already had some compliments on it.  Now, if only the colors were purple, yellow, and green, I'd like it better, but there weren't any more samples in those colors.  I may have to go to a furniture store and see if I can get some other colors that I like better.  There are lots of fall and wintery colors, so I'll be set for those seasons.
I took my sewing machine to the sewing machine doctor yesterday.  I'm leaving her for a few days to have a complete checkup and a little rehabilitation.  Since I won't be sewing for a few days, I may not be blogging either.  But, I will be reading your blogs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dresses for some Little Dolls

  I made these little dresses for some, as the title says, LITTLE DOLLS.  I more or less, made them to match the dresses that I have made for my three oldest grands for their dolls.  Miss K and Miss J have American Girl Dolls.  Actually, Miss R does, too.  Hers is a Bitty Baby.  But, Miss R is into Barbie right now.  Of course, the dresses aren't identical to the REAL little dolls' dresses, but similar.  I hope they like them.

  I didn't have extra fabrics that were exactly like the girls' real dresses for the most part, so I just made these sort of like the real dresses.  The skirt on the blue one in the bottom right corner looks like it is shorter on one side than the other.  After I saw this photo, I checked the dress, and it really isn't.  I guess it's just the way the doll is modeling.

  The yellow dress up in the right hand corner is an exception.  None of the girls have a yellow dress made from the cuff of one of my shirts, but when I cut these off, I thought, "Hummm...... that looks like something that could be turned into a Barbie dress.  It's been right where I put it last summer waiting to be made into this absolutely GORGEOUS sundress.

   This little girl doll, by the way, is one that belonged to our youngest daughter many years ago, and just happens to be the same size as the AG dolls.  The Barbies in the top left photos belonged to my daughters, too.  My Barbie, who is about 50 years old, is modeling the yellow dress.  She is skinnier than the others.  Somewhere through the years, Barbie gained a little weight in the hips.  I had trouble getting this dress on the younger Barbies.  I hope she fits Miss R's Barbie, who is only a few months old.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Hats For The Little Men and a couple of other things

 I finally am getting to post about these hats.  I've actually had the first one(pictured to the left) made for days.  I made the second one(pictured on the right), and then my husband decided that HE NEEDED HIS CAMERA.  He's a real estate agent, and the camera I use is his work camera.  He had to take pictures of a house that he's listing, so I was without a camera for days!  He left it at the office.  He brought it back last night.  In the meantime, I decided that I didn't think the second hat I made was going to fit either Little Man, so I made another one yesterday(the one in the middle).  I didn't have anymore of the tan herringbone woven fabric, but I had this dark brown canvas-like fabric, which I think worked just as well.
 I am going to count this as one of the NEW things I've learned to do this month.  I've made a few hats and bonnets, but I've always had a pattern and they were much more simple than these.  I did learn a little more with each one I made.  For example, I started with the brim and went UP to the crown of the hat on the first two.  While that worked ok, it was difficult getting into the crown part to sew.  So, on the third one, I began at the crown and worked DOWN to the brim.  That was much easier.  However, none of it was REAL EASY to get to, inside the hat. 
Inside the first hat, I used the binding that was in the store bought hat that I had.  The stitching isn't very neat, but it is inside the hat and won't really be seen.
In the second hat, I used some bias binding that I had.  I didn't get a photo of the inside of that one.  For the third hat, I used some fake suede fabric cut on the bias.  It doesn't ravel, and it's really soft to the touch.  It worked just as well as the other two.      

I've tweaked a couple of things on this dress.  Remember the button that was out of line with the rest?  It was the second one from the top on the left side.  I moved it over.
 Also, I raised the growth tuck that I put in this dress.  The bottom of the tuck was actually right at the very top of the Boutis quilting and I wanted it to be a little higher.  It wasn't hiding the quilting, but it gave that impression.
 Now, for another project altogether.  I am almost finished with Miss J's sweater.  I have the back and both fronts done.  I'm only showing one front here.  I am beginning to think, I should make this a vest rather than a sweater with sleeves.  I mean, it is almost April.  But, she lives in the NE where they've had snow this week.  But, as a sweater vest she could wear it longer.  She could wear it over a long sleeved shirt for now.  What do you think?
 Here's a close up of the crochet pattern.  This is another NEW technique ( the shell stitch) for me.  So, that makes two things that I've challenged myself to learn in March.  I am still going to start on the cable knit stitch.  As soon as I finish this sweater, that one is next. 
I guess I could count piping icing onto cupcakes as a new skill.  I've always just spread it on with a knife, but I've been watching CUPCAKE WARS (love that show) and I wanted to try piping it on.  I used a baggie with the corner cut off to pipe with. I have a lot of practice to do before I get them all the same and centered and all that.  I actually made the cupcakes below for a Lenten Luncheon at our church.  Several churches in our community come together during Lent every Wednesday for soup and sandwiches, a little devotion, and to take up an offering for a food and clothing store that we sponsor for the needy in our area.  This past week was our turn.  These are really messy, and I'm a little embarrassed to show them, but hey, I never professed to be a baker.  I made a smaller hole in the baggie to do these and circled around the top of the cupcake.  I added the jelly beans and pipe cleaners for decoration.  They aren't perfect by any means of the word, but they do taste good.  I ate two bites of one to make sure.                                                        
I'm trying very hard to stay away from sugar, and I've given up bread (my all time favorite food in the world) for Lent.  It really hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be.

Monday, March 21, 2011

An Extra Dress

When talking with Miss K and looking at the same websites (long distance), I decided that she might actually like this dress better then the blue one I posted about a couple of days ago.  I sent pictures of both patterns and fabrics, and she chose the blue and the other pattern.  But, I already had this pattern and this fabric, so I decided I'd make both dresses and let her have 2.  If she doesn't like it, maybe I can shorten it and Miss J can wear it.  The style I think would work in this size for either of them.                                                                                                              
 Here the dress is completed.  As you see on the pattern, this was an easy dress to sew. 
 I like the little butterfly sleeves.  I already had the pink bow.  I had made it a LONG time ago and just never did anything with it.  I thought this dress needed just a little something more.  I safety pinned it on, though, just in case Miss K or Miss J doesn't like it.

The fabric is so sheer that it had to be lined.  I tried some solid purple cotton that I had.  It didn't look right.  I tried white.  That was awful.  But, when I tried black, it looked just right.  This sounds like Goldilocks, doesn't it?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stylish?? Me??????

I was awarded this Stylish Blogger Award by Sherry, at Blessings From Our Nest!  
She reminds me a bit of myself in that she's been married over 38 years and has children and grandchildren she loves very much!  She's also into : sewing, gardening, embroidery, reading, crocheting.  These, with exception of gardening are things I am also into.  She is a master, though, whereas I'm still a novice!  If you aren't already her follower, click on this link RIGHT NOW!  I promise you won't be sorry!!!!  

Rules of this Award
1.  Thank and link back to the person giving the award
2.  Share 7 things about me.
3.  Pass this award to other bloggers I have recently discovered and think are fantastic.
4.  Contact these bloggers to tell them I have awarded them.

Seven things about me:
uhhhhhhhh..................I can't think of one interesting thing to tell that I haven't already told in some other post during the 2 years and 4 months that I've been blogging.
So, I'll tell you about my 7 amazing grandchildren instead.
1.  Miss K is nearly 11 and has a very definite sense of style.  She knows what she wants, that is she knows EXACTLY what she wants.  She has a BEAUTIFUL singing voice and is an artist exemplar!  She doesn't like math.  She loves blue.
2.  Miss J is 8 1/2 years old.  She used to only wear dresses, but then she found out it's more fun to play on the playground in pants.  She, too, has a BEAUTIFUL singing voice and is also an artist exemplar!  She loves school.  She is fearless!
3.  Miss R is 5 years old.  She is the funniest little girl in the world.  She is always doing such hilarious things.  An example is - today her daddy burned a bagel.  She came running down the stairs yelling, "I smell smoke.  DROP and ROLL!"  Then she laid down on the kitchen floor and started rolling.  Yesterday, after dinner she told her mommy that her tummy hurt and the only thing that would make it stop would be chocolate!
4.  Lil' E is 3 1/2 years old.  Talk about fearless.  This child jumped off the diving board when she was just 2.  She took swimming lessons at age 2 and just jumped right in on the first day. By the end of the session she was swimming, well, more or less.  She's very proud of her baby sister. She's moving to be a little closer to granmomma, soon.
5.  Lil' B is 8 mos. old.  She started crawling and pulling up to a standing position about a month ago.  She has the biggest blue eyes!!!!  She likes to eat shoes and dog food if her mommy doesn't keep them out of reach!  She's also moving to be closer to granmomma.
6.  Big Little Man is nearly 3!  Oh my, those three years have gone by quickly!  He is a bundle of muscular energy!!!!  He loves the out of doors!  He loves to HELP his mom and dad cook.  He loves to torture his dog, who is very patient with him! He also loves riding the tractor with his Papaw (great granddad). 
7.  Little Little Man is 4 mos. old.  He is very curious and likes to watch what his big brother is doing.  He is cuddly and loves to laugh.  I'm sure that as soon as he is able, he'll be getting into big brother's cars, trucks, trains, etc......

Now, to award some bloggers whom I have recently found and think are fantastic:
Nana's Just Bananas  She's another grandmother who likes to sew for her grands.  She has made some gorgeous little dresses.  Her blog is fairly new.  She just began in October '10.  Be sure to check her out.
Bugaboo mini mr & me  She has some new linky thing going on all the time.  She and her blogger friend  have just started a YARN LINKY party.  Fun!
Stitchbird  She is starting a fabric business.  She is a very clever, creative lady who comes up with all kinds of new ideas for decorating.
A Creative Dreamer  I've found her very recently, too.  She posts tutorials for some fantastically creative projects.  I think she's a Southern gal, like me.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What's the Point....

 ...of having these stitches, if you never use them.  I rarely use the decorative stitches on my machine.  I don't own an embroidery machine for two reasons: 1.  I'd rather hand embroider, and 2.  the cost of the machines!!!!
I finished Miss K's dress for Easter, using the pattern below.  I made the view of the pink one in the center of the pattern front.  It looked a little "grannyish" to me, though.    So.......
I embellished this white satin ribbon with a machine decorative stitch and then added the blue satin ribbon bow.  I definitely think this "youngs" it up a little.  Afterall, Miss K is not quite 11 yet.  She liked this pattern and fabric, though.  The fabric isn't photographing exactly as it really looks.
Here's a little closer look at the ribbon.  The only gathers in this dress are in the sleeve caps.  The front and back skirt, as well as the sleeve hems are pleated.
A close up of the back zipper.  I rarely put in zippers in my kids' clothing, but this dress called for it and I thought it worked.  I usually just add a little fabric to the center back to accommodate the button overlap when a pattern calls for a zipper.
Below is the hat that I showed you in my last post.  But, now it is all taken apart to use as a pattern.
Someone asked what fabric I am using.  This is a heavy and fairly stiff cotton herringbone that I had in my stash.  I think that if I add a few layers of interfacing and have two layers of the fabric for the brim, it will be plenty stiff enough.  I think I have figured out how to make the back of the brim curl up.  It may not work, but if it does, I'll show you how I did it.  I will adjust the size as I go along.  This was a woman's hat, by the way.  I don't think it would be a whole lot too big for our Big Little Man.  I'm not sure what kind of hat I'll be making for Little Little Man.
Go See the Pay It Forward Post on my other blog Baby Girl's Observations.  Just click here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What We Fed the Church Kids (Nutritious????) And A Hat

We take turns at our church feeding the kids and their families on Wednesday nights.  This was our week.  We don't go for gourmet or healthy, as you will see.           
  A Variety of Delicious Chips.  There is a running joke about having to have cheese puffs of some sort at every church event.
 Grapes - Okay these have nutritional value!
 Carbonated Drinks??????????  Well, at least we offered green tea, but there were no takers!
 Salad - We have one vegetarian adult teacher, so we always have something she can eat.
Corn Dogs!!!  I gave up bread for Lent, and let me tell you, a corn dog without the cornbread is not very tasty.  It's not like eating a regular hotdog.  Yuk, but the kids love 'em!
 Cupcakes with green sugar sprinkles for Saint Patrick's Day!
 This lady is one of my favorite all time people in the world!  The kids are pretty cool, too!

 I'm going to take this hat apart to use as a pattern for Big Little Man.  I'll have to make it a little smaller.  This was on sale for $3 so it was cheaper than a pattern.  I couldn't find a pattern like this anyway.  I've already taken the band off that was on here.
Miss K's dress is almost finished.  It isn't photographing very well, but I'll see if I can get at least one photo that I can post.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pants and ties to go with shirts

Big Little Man's shirt, tie, and pants.

Little Little Man's version of the same.


Sadness Is A State of Mind

Sadness Is A State of Mind

Sadness is a state of mind
And of body and soul, I find.

If all I see is darkness and gloom
and sadness in my life, it will consume.

So, when things just aren't right
I must look around and seek the light.

It is all around me every day,
Even in just a smile that comes my way.

I need to let the warmth of love come in
And fill my heart to let happiness win.

Without happiness there cannot be success.
I sometimes forget this, I must confess.

I will try harder to remember this
When things don't go as I wish.

JR  March 2011

After finishing my grandmother's journals, I felt very sad.  I'm glad I've had the opportunity to read them, but it saddened me to realize how lonesome she was the last couple of years of her life.  We were all too busy to see it.  I could have spent more time with her.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it, because I didn't know.  I hope this will help me to see that sadness in other people's eyes, and perhaps I can bring a little joy to them with a smile, an extra "hello", a note, a card, a phone call, or a visit.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Motivation for Spring Cleaning!

Invite Guests to Dinner!!!!  That's what we did last week.  We got the house clean (well most of it anyway!) and had a great time with our friends.  Not to mention the wonderful meal my husband cooked with only a LITTLE help from me.  He did the pork tenderloin and potatoes.  All I did was the broccoli casserole and bread.  He also made these awesome appetizers with figs, goat cheese, bacon, and maple syrup!!!  We got that recipe on the Food Channel!!!!  Oh yeah, we have Marie Callander (sp?)to thank for our scrumptious lemon pie for dessert!  I didn't take any photos.  I was having too much fun. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I made bloomers to go with this dress for Lil'B since she is in the crawling stage.  We wouldn't want her Pampers or Huggies to show, now would we?
I didn't have enough of the fabric left to cut the pattern pieces in whole, so I pieced the top with the bottom portion.  I had to hide the seam, so after making a french seam inside out, I added the ribbon and lace.
Here's how I tied the bow.  When I sewed the ribbon on, positioned it so that the ends would meet at the back center seam.  I made a right angle fold on each ends of the ribbon, one going up and the other down. I stitched all the way around the top and bottom edges of the ribbon, catching in the lace.
I made a loop with the top ribbon going over and with the bottom ribbon going under.
I crossed the top loop over the bottom loop, then went around the bottom with the top one and put the bottom loop through the "rabbit hole" as we used to call it when I taught Kindergartens how to tie their shoes.
I pulled the loop through, and pulled tightly.  I then stitched a little bitty zigzag to hold it in place.  This could be done to be hidden.
I have found that when tying ribbon that is to be sewn onto something first, it is easiest to make a pretty bow if you sew the ribbon up and down, so the bow will end up across.  Does this make sense?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Boys' shirts done!

Shirts for Big Little Man and Little Little Man are done.  I had fits with these because of my sewing machine needing a check up.  I think I took out as much as I put in big Little Man's shirt because the tension needed adjusting.  I kept adjusting and adjusting till finally, I got it right.  Little Little Man's shirt went much more smoothly.  As you see, I made him like a onesie so it will stay tucked in. 
I included all the details that  a Little MAN'S shirt should have, like button down collars, cuffs with plackets, and yokes across the back with FRUIT LOOPS!  If you are my age, you probably remember pulling the fruit loops (the little loop on the back of a boy's shirt) and keeping them.  If you really liked a boy, you made sure to get his.  Some of the boy's, and I'm sure their moms, weren't too happy when their shirts got ripped.  I don't think I ripped anyone's.  I do remember some girl in my high school really ripping, not just the seam, but the fabric of some boy's shirt.  I think that's when the announcement came over the INTERCOM that NO MORE FRUIT LOOPS WERE TO BE PULLED OFF BOYS' SHIRTS, PERIOD!!!!!  Okay, so it wasn't such a great idea in the first place.
Next, it's the boys' pants, which are already cut out, ties, for which I've already found the fabric, and sweater vests that I'm going to knit.  Remember me posting that I was going to challenge myself to learn something new each month.  I never did get the cable knitting done.  One of these sweater vests will have cable knit stitching, that is , I HOPE it does!  That's the plan.
Last month I learned how to do the Boutis Technique of Quilting.  To learn more about this go to Donna's blog, Comin' Home.  She has done a beautiful post that explains the technique way better than I did.  She really knows how to do this.
I didn't learn to do drawn thread work, exactly, because I had done it before, but it was so long ago, that I really had to relearn how to do it.  I used this technique on my middle daughter's Christening Gown, 31 years ago.

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