More Little Things….

In case you can’t tell, I’ve had so much fun creating so many sweet little things.  I though I’d share some more of them.

After smocking one of the SAGA Wee Care bishop gowns, I made up the diaper cover pattern as well as a smocked bonnet to go with it.  For the preemie smocked bonnet, I used the free pattern that has been graciously provided by Laurie Anderson.  She has excellent instructions!  If you don’t know how to smock and would like to learn, she also has some fabulous u-tube videos (for those visual learners like myself!).  It’s easier than it looks!

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Laurie also includes a simple smocking design with her pattern.  🙂  It works up quickly and is very appropriate for beginners.

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I thought that this made a beautiful set for a preemie baby!

The next girl set that I finished I have already shared a picture of the gown, but without the bonnet since I didn’t have that pattern ready yet.  This bonnet pattern is now available.  The embroidery design is from “Designs For Shadow Work Embroidery and Fine Embroidery” – designed by my late friend Lane Edwards and  published by her daughter, Donna Krezelak.  The design on the bonnet is as it appears in the book.  I modified it for the corner design on the dress – a simple matter of rotating half of the design.

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I love everything about this sweet set!  I chose a simple embroidery design so that it could be completed quickly and sent out to the expectant mom.

Not wanting to leave the boys out with the pattern, I also included boy designs as well as a girl design with a brim, though my favorite is definitely without the brim.  There’s a total of 4 bonnet styles, all lined, in the pattern The pattern also includes instructions on how to apply piping so that it is as tiny as possible and how to apply the gathered lace with plenty of tips for that.

What father would love this little bonnet with the embroidered horse?  Unfortunately, I cannot tell you where I purchased this design.  During my early machine embroidery days I lacked the computer skills/knowledge required to adequately file and note designers.  Thankfully, I’m past that now, but I have thousands of designs that I have no clue where they came from.

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This is another sweet embroidery design.  I though that it may be from Martha Pullen, but I didn’t couldn’t find it online.  Perhaps someone else knows.  Both the horse and the puppy designs were shrunk somewhat to make the size more appropriate for these 4 – 5 lb. bonnets.

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The last bonnet to design was a girly one with a brim.  For this embroidery, I used a design from Joy Welsh.  She has some beautiful and very reasonably priced embroidery designs.  I particularly liked this design with the featherstitching and hope to make a matching dress or diaper shirt to go with this.  She also includes tips on how to make this a continuous design that can be used all around a hem, or can be made into insertion lace.  I haven’t tried that yet, put it’s in the plans!  Hopefully soon!

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I’ve enjoyed creating these special little things for some special little babies.  I had never intended to offer patterns, but several ladies requested the patterns, so I decided to offer them.  There’s very few tiny preemie patterns available.

I hope others will enjoy sewing some of these patterns as well.  For all those women that don’t have little ones to sew for , these make wonderful gifts and are also much appreciated if you choose to donate them to a hospital or to the Wee Care project of SAGA.  The piped bonnets can be made up in no time at all!

Enjoy some fun stitching!!!

 

Preemie Pattern Options

I am still playing with the preemie clothes/pattern and enjoying every minute of it. The pattern is available on Etsy.  I most recently finished up another asymmetrical diaper shirt, but lengthened it to be a daygown length.  This was so simple to do and the dress is so sweet!

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To lengthen the gown is a simple process.  Extend the side seams another 5″ longer than the pattern piece on the back as well as both of the front pieces at the side seam as well as the front seam.  Then slide the front piece down and draw the hem curve back in on the right front piece.  Voila!!!   You’ve now got a daygown!!!  Of course, the longer length will require more entredeux and lace.  🙂

The lengthened dress needed some embroidery on the front.  In honor of my dear friend, Lane Edwards, I used one of the embroidery designs from her book, “Designs For Shadow Work Embroidery and Fine Embroidery”.  This book was published by her daughter, Donna Krezelak.  There are some exquisite embroidery in that book as well as the other 2 books she published under her own name.

Lane went to her home in heaven last month, July 13, 2016.  She was someone who I admired not only for her exquisite embroidery skills, her unending talent with the needle and thread, but also her unshakable faith and love for the Lord and her family.  She was one of the most godly women that I know and I will always treasure the friendship that we had.  I wanted to embroidery one of these gowns in her memory.

If you don’t have any of Lane’s books and you enjoy embroidery, you can often find them on Amazon or Ebay – snatch them up!  They have lots of beautiful embroidery designs, most included in 3 different sizes.  I use mine often and I’m sure that you will as well.

 

 

Preemie Sewing Pattern Available!!!

Well, I’ve done it – I’ve ventured into selling a PDF version of my diaper shirt outfit.  I had many people express interest in the pattern, so I’ve ventured into this new arena!  I added a girly version and had to add plenty of lace!!!  I do love how they all turned out and hope that there will be some beautifully dressed tiny babies wearing special clothes made from this pattern.

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I had to get some picture advice from hubby since my other pictures didn’t look great.  These look better.  Here’s the “cover” picture for the pattern.

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I’ve listed this pattern in Etsy, but cannot seem to add the link.

If you happen to buy the pattern and have any problems (or even suggestions), please let me know!  This is a first for me, so I’m sure that there’s room for improvement!

Hope everyone enjoys a beautiful weekend!!!

Sewing For Preemies…….

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I’ve been absent from blogging for a while.  Summer has been busy with travels, vacations as well as working on sewing projects/classes/patterns.  I have gotten a lot done, but don’t have a lot of sewing to show for it.  More of the work has been on class notes, pattern drafting, etc.  All of which are needed things, but not the fun sewing that I enjoy.

After several weeks of not touching the sewing machine, I just had to sew something.  I’ve had so much fun these last few days working on some preemie baby things.  A dear friend of mine will soon has some grandchildren on the way!  I’m so excited for her and have been praying for those little ones.  I suspect that the babies may be early.  Of course, they would need some preemie sized clothing.  I went on the search for some cute preemie boy patterns.  I was so discouraged at what I found, or rather, what I didn’t find!

When searching for preemie patterns, there are plenty of freebies out there, but they are mostly hand drawn kimono type garments.  I was looking for something that looked more like real clothes and not something to be worn for bed.  I finally gave up and decided to draft my own diaper shirt and diaper covers for the little guys.

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This was the first outfit that I finished.  I used the sweet bonnet pattern that was included in a recent SAGA News for a matching bonnet.  Judith Marquis designed this bonnet and the pattern is available for purchase and has multiple preemie sizes included.  I can’t wait to get to the SAGA convention and purchase the pattern so that I have all the sizes!

I just love these diaper covers!!!  They are designed similar to the vintage pattern styles with no elastic in the legs.  They are my favorite!

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Here’s what I have discovered as I’ve looked for preemie patterns.  The few that I found available were sized either 3 – 7 lbs. or 4 – 7 lbs.  Therein lies the problem that I have with those patterns.  If something is large enough for a 7 lb. baby, it’s going to be enormous on a 3 or 4 lb. baby.  The seamstress in me cannot wrap my head around how a 3 lb. baby could wear anything that is something that a 7 lb. baby could wear.  Here’s a visual:

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The doll on the left is the size of a 7 lb. newborn – same length, torso length, chest, waist, etc. while the doll on the right is the same size and has the same measurements as a 5 lb. preemie.  (Just for reference, I don’t consider a 7 lb. to be a preemie but a , so also don’t consider clothing that goes to 7 lbs. to be preemie sized but a NB size.  Yep – I’m strange!)  It doesn’t take much to figure out that the same sized outfits will not fit both of these 2 dolls.  I didn’t have a doll the same size as a 3 or 4 lb., but the difference there would be even more significant.

I also was unable to find any diaper shirts and diaper cover sets in a pattern for the preemies, and that’s what I had my heart set on.  So, after a pattern draft, a trial garment, some minor corrections and more sewing, I’ve been able to create 2 outfits and make 2 slightly different shirts.  I’m quite pleased with the little outfits.

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I love the asymmetrical shirt and think that the blank space would be perfect for a monogram.  Not knowing what the boys will be named, I opted for a cute rocking horse design.

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Now that I have the pattern drafted, I hope to get instructions written up.  We’ll see how that goes.  I’d much rather be sewing than writing instructions and taking pictures!!!

Until I can find other preemie (as in, up to 5 lbs.) patterns, this will be my go to pattern for preemie boys!

I have no problem with preemie dress patterns.  The SAGA Wee Care gown is a wonderful smocked bishop dress and I know it fits little ones great!

Several years ago my niece was born prematurely weighing 1 lb. 12 oz.  She spent  time in the NICU until she was big enough to go home.  I made her some 1 – 2 lb. size smocked Wee Care gowns.  This is a picture of her at 5 weeks in one of those gowns.

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The little gown fit perfectly!  As she grew, I also made her some 3 – 4 lb. gowns and she wore those as well.  I think she may have been the best dressed little girl in the NICU.  🙂  We thank God that she’s a healthy teenager now!  I cannot say enough good things about this SAGA gown.  If you know of a preemie that needs a tiny dress, this SAGA one is sure to be a good fit.

That’s the extent of my recent sewing.  I hope you’ve been able to fit some sewing in this summer as well!

 

 

 

Vintage Treasures!!!

I recently visited some Estate Sales.  I’ve never done that before.  It seems to be a different class of garage sale – maybe a bit more classy than a garage sale.  It was quite the experience.  I visited 3 different sales in 3 different neighborhoods and came home with some treasures.

The first plea that I would make to everyone that has beautiful garments or linens that they are saving is – do not store these things in the attic!!!  People save things in the attic that they treasure and wish to pass on to future children/grandchildren/generations.  However, saving anything made of cloth in the attic = not treasuring them at all!  The extreme temperatures in an attic wreak havoc with cloth – it deteriorates the cloth, the cloth becomes brittle and weak, discolored, etc.  It is the worst possible place to store cloth.  This doesn’t even touch the problem caused by the dirt, dust, etc.  Please find an alternate storage place other than the attic if you treasure these baby clothes, family heirlooms and other beautiful things.  I have some gorgeous treasures that are beyond help and hope due to being stored in the attic.  So sad.

At the first sale, I snagged a tin of buttons and a box of assorted textiles.  I spent a total of $13.  It appeared that everything had been stored in the attic – for many years.  It all was stinky and dirty.  The box had some hankies and some laces – both lovely and cheap ones.

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I thought that the button tin was quite pretty, though inside it was a bit rusty – again, attic storage.  After getting home, I cleaned both the tin as well as the buttons – they had a thick layer of dirt/grime on them.  There are some really interesting pieces from this tin.

There’s a variety of belt buckles – a mother of pearl one as well as a bone one and the burgundy/cream one is a type of plastic – maybe bakelite? Also there are pairs of either buckets or coat clasps.  the metal clasp at the top of the picture has some green “stuff” on it – not sure about how to clean that, but that is also a result of attic storage.

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There are quite a few different Mother of Pearl buttons – usually at least 2 of the big ones.  These are all over 1″ – closer to 1-1/2″.

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There there are quite a few really large buttons that are different and interesting.  Most of them are pairs.  What on earth do you use only 2 large buttons on?

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I had to take an individual picture of the floral button at the bottom of the picture.  It is so interesting.  On the back of this button the flowers are carved into the plastic and then painted.  There’s only one of these.  Isn’t that different!!!

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However, the best treasure in the box was what I initially thought was a mother of pearl necklace or charm.  It was horribly dirty and pitted – so much that I almost didn’t realize that there was something inside – a blade!  It was almost impossible to get it open.  Thankfully, my husband spent some time working on it and cleaning it up for me.  🙂  Though it is not perfect, it is significantly better than the way that I found it!

I’ve done a bit of research on this tiny knife and have found that it is a quill or pen knife.  These were hung on a watch chain and used to sharpen the quill pen when needed.  I’ve had a couple different opinions on the age of this piece.  There’s a seller on Ebay with an identical penknife stating that it is from 1890 and made by the Sheffield knife company in England.  However, I’ve contacted a couple other knife experts inquiring about it and  have had different opinions.  One believes it is from 1910 – 1940’s and indicated that without a stamp to identify the knife, it could have been made by any of the numerous knife makers, not specifically Sheffield.  Another believes that it is a German-made piece.  Either way, it’s pretty old and it is hand crafted and it seems that they aren’t all that plentiful.  I think it is delightful and that this was a definite score!!!  A ladies mini-knife.  LOL!  Who knew?

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The next stop was in a very posh neighborhood (million dollar homes!) and I snagged a magnifying floor lamp – out in the garage lean to.  There was no door on this structure and I’m sure that a strong wind would knock it over.  LOL!  The lamp was covered in dirt, but a good cleaning fixed that.  I was thrilled to find that even the light bulb worked!  Inside I found a vintage darning egg for $2.  I don’t ever plan to darn a pair of socks, but I do like having a piece of history.  🙂

The last stop was at a home where the lady of the house was a seamstress.  I got quite a few treasures there.  Several cutting mats and quilting rulers, all for $1/ea.  What a deal!!!  But then, in her storage room, I discovered a box of laces and hankies and another box of little boy outfits!!!  Score!!!  I bought both boxes and as I wove my way back to the cash register I picked up a book of children’s poems by Silverstein.  It was an autographed copy.  I wanted it to read to the grandkids.  When I got home and checked out my purchases, I discovered the previous owners name in the book and it turns out that she was someone who I knew back in the early 70’s when we first moved here.  She was a member of the church we attended.  I love that I have some of the beautiful things that were previously owned by someone who I actually knew!

All of the items I purchased at the sales were really dirty – I mean, really, really dirty!!!  However, the last 2 boxes were unbelievably filthy!!!  After 2 washes, the water was still brown and gross.  I wasn’t sure if these laces and outfits would be able to come clean or not.  However, I persisted and did the best that I could with laundering and then finished them with a soak in Retro Clean.  Some items cleaned up beautifully, but I cannot seem to get all the stains out of the outfits.  They were just about black to start with.  They may have to remain with light stains on them – I’m afraid to soak them much more.

This is a sampling of some of the laces that I got from both the first as well as the last house.  The second from the left is a beautiful piece of heirloom lace and there’s a couple of yards of it and no holes – I hope to use it on a special outfit.  The tiny lace in the middle is also an heirloom lace and there are at least 7+ yards of this lace.  The lace on the right is a gorgeous piece of embroidered cotton netting.  There are several pieces of this, but it is very fragile and brittle.

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Then there are the pretty hankies.  The hankie on the far right is of such fine/thin fabric that I cannot imagine it being useful as a hankie.

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Note just how sheer that hankie is!  I doubt that we can even buy fabric this fine anymore.  It is more sheer than Swiss voile!

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The hankies in the middle have some beautiful drawn thread work along with delicate embroidery.

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The next group of treasures I rescued from a trunk in the ladies storage room – all collars.  They all appear to be things that either may have been from her family that had been saved, or she salvaged them from vintage pieces that she had acquired.

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You have to know that I just drool over this beautiful lace!!!  The first collar has beautiful laces as well as cotton netting laces – notice that the netting is on the bias.  I don’t know if the holes appeared after the collar was laundered or if they were present prior to the laundering.  As previously mentioned – everything was so dirty that I hardly wanted to touch them.

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The second collar is a gorgeous piece!!!  Again, there is embroidery on the cotton net and then the outer lace is attached to the net.  It is just exquisite!  The netting on this piece also has some tiny holes.  So sad that the poor storage of these items has resulted in damaging the fibers.

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This 3rd collar is very different – almost like a bib, but definitely sized for a woman.  It is really an unusual piece.  Again, beautiful cotton netting with laces.

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Close up of the details.

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The last collar isn’t exciting, but the laces are so pretty!

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I’ve saved the best lace piece for last!  This is the “pièce de résistance”!!!  This piece is completely round and the lace is some of the prettiest and most unusual that I’ve ever seen!!!  Perhaps it is from the hem of a petticoat or Christening gown?  Possibly from a tablecloth?  Though it is fragile, there are very few holes in it.  I have no idea what the bridging lace is between the other laces (I’m no lace expert) – maybe needle lace?  I’ve never seen anything like this before and have asked a couple of friends that are much more knowledgeable than I am about lace.   All agree that it is quite unique.

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As you can see, there were many treasures found at these sales.  I haven’t even shown everything.  There are other pieces of lace, including yards of handmade tatting, there are 2 sheet sets with tatted edging, etc.  I’ll save some of these other things for a future post.  🙂  This was pretty cheap entertainment for a morning and I have found some beautiful treasures – some that I will use and some that I will hold on to just for pleasure.  I’ll probably let go of other things that I will not ever use.  It’s been fun.

Hope everyone will enjoy some special stitching during the remainder of the summer months.  Maybe even stop and check out an estate sale when you pass one of those signs!

Kathy

 

Happy 4th of July!!!

We just returned from our beach vacation with all the kids!  What a fun time we had!!!  The weather was beautiful and staying in a home on the beach front was a real plus.  As the first person up each morning, I enjoyed the sunrise every morning.  Such beauty in God’s creation!

As I promised, I’ll show picture of the kids in the outfits made for this trip.  Sorry – you’ll be bombarded with my family pictures!  LOL!  We went out to eat one evening and had to entertain the kids for quite some time while waiting for a table.  We found some good entertainment!

These are the girls in their Children’s Corner “Lillian” dresses. 13524548_10153716502091769_532481176654240926_n

The hanging shark (plastic) was also a point of interest for the kids.  Liam is wearing the Children’s Corner “Johnny” with firetrucks smocked from Junebug Designs.  He especially liked the shark’s teeth.  LOL!

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The day we arrived, 2 of the girls were wearing their paisley “Lillian” dresses.  I brought the 3rd dress that day for Livvy.  🙂

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The ocean front porch was a fun place to hang out.  Liam in his Children’s Corner “Johnny”.  Vintage Little People and bubbles were enjoyed on the porch!

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The Monday before we left for the beach I decided to make up 3 ready to smock sundresses and smock them at the beach.  I got them all sewn together and started stitching on the drive (3.5 hours) to the beach and then continued stitching while I was there.

Stitching on the ocean front porch proved to be quite the challenge!  Hahaha!!!  While I loved the breeze, I really had to hang on to my needle and thread.

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This is a poor picture of the 3 dresses finished.  I chose to smock a simple geometric on the backs and not the sailboats.  The dresses are Children’s Corner “Katina” and the smocking design was Creative Keepsakes “Easy Sailing”.

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Needless to say, they looked much cuter on the girls.  The beach sign for our daughter’s house arrived while we were there.  Can’t wait to see this sign up on the house!

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We enjoyed having all the kids and grandkids around for the week.  I’d post pictures of the adult kids, but since most of them are in bathing suits, I think they would prefer to not have them posted.  Instead, I’ll share a picture of the entire family that “gramps” took on our last evening there along with a couple other favorites.

Love each and every one of these kids and grandkids and my husband!!!  I’m so blessed.

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Honestly, could they be any cuter???  Such personality!!!

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Liam’s Children’s Corner “Jeffery” (out of print) is smocked with Junebug Designs “Whale of a Tail”.

I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful 4th of July!!!  We are so blessed to live with the freedoms that we enjoy.

Keep on stitchin’ ……

Kathy

 

 

Vacation Dresses for the Girls!!!

For the last several years, I’ve made matching outfits for the kids to wear at our beach vacation.  They are all young enough that they love matching.

After all my sewing for Liam, I couldn’t leave out the girls.  🙂  So, I’ve been busy getting some summer dresses finished up for them.  Oh my – sewing for 4 little ones can certainly keep one busy!  I’d have it no other way.  What fun to be able to sew for all of them and have their moms love what I make!!!  I’m so blessed!  🙂

The first set of dresses that I made came as a result of finding these Beaux Et Belles smocked inserts in my stash.  I remember buying 2 of them quite a few years ago.  My dear friend Lane Edwards also bought 2 of them.  When she was no longer able to sew, she gifted me with much of her fabric and with it came some of the inserts that she had purchased as well as a couple that she had stitched herself.  What a wonderful surprise.  So, I had 4 of these inserts in my stash.

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Needless to say, they were perfect for our upcoming beach trip!  I made all 3 girls a Children’s Corner “Lucy” dress.  I prefer a one button shoulder – actually, I think that their mom’s prefer that for quicker dressing.  LOL!

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I probably should have fussed with them a bit more before pictures, but you get the idea!

Then I moved on to the next set of dresses.  I had cut out the dresses and then went looking for some lace to put down the front of the dress and pulled out a beautiful lace.

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However, as I scoped out the sewing room, I felt that the lace was a perfect match for a different fabric, so I quickly cut out more dresses.  This time I used the Children’s Corner “Lillian” pattern.  It is so similar to the Lilly Pulitzer style dresses that the girls love.  This beautiful lace was purchased at the Orlando SAGA Convention – I suspect maybe from Luc, the lace guy from Holland.  The dresses turned out just as I’d hoped!

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The final 3 were made from the fabric that I had cut out first.  I just love this fabric!!!  This is a beautiful poly/cotton soft line piqué that I purchased in Europe last year at Kolomka Fabric store – an absolutely wonderful store with every fabric you could imagine for sewing.  If I hadn’t been limited by suitcase size and what I could carry as we walked back to the train station, I would have come home with so much more!!!

I thought that this fabric only needed a monogram to complete the dress.  This elegant font is from Kabo designs (#039).

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These dresses are much cuter than they photographed.

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So, now I can sit back and relax – sort of – and get ready for the upcoming beach vacation!!!

I do love these quick sewing projects.  Instant gratification.

Kathy

For The Boys!!!

I love to sew  outfits for boys!  They are so quick and easy and the little guys look adorable in them!  I dress our own son in these all summer the summer he turned 2.  They are easy on, easy off for diaper changing.  I don’t do leg snaps because at that age, they are so busy that the snaps rarely stay snapped.  And, if they do stay snapped, little fingers like to pull them apart.  It’s just easier to leave them off and remove that temptation.  LOL!

Liam won’t be 2 until fall, so this summer is the perfect summer for these! He will stay cool as well as look cute all summer long if it’s up to grandma. 🙂  So, I did some stash diving – both into the stash of inserts and then into the fabric stash to find just the right combinations.

Edited to add that I use Children’s Corner “Johnny” for the jon-jons and “Lucy” for the dress.

This first outfit is poly/cotton chambray (aka: no wrinkle!!!).  The insert was purchased from Belles Et Beaux.

IMG_9860  This next outfit is a pima cotton gingham.  I probably should have done a better job of positioning it on the mannequin, but I was in a hurry and too lazy to retake the picture.  I smocked this insert several years ago and it was just waiting for a little guy to come along.  This is my favorite fire truck design.IMG_9862

This smocking design is from Junebug Designs, and available at many of the heirloom shops.  So, so cute!  I love the coiled hose – a very long bullion stitch!  She designed many plates to co-ordinate with Sew Many Designs appliqués.  The smocking designs are adorable and the appliqués stitch out so beautifully.  I only needed the smocking for this one.

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The next outfit is a poly/cotton seersucker – again, no iron, so it’s going to be a hit.  Liam will love the trucks – he’s all boy!!!  This insert is also from Belles Et Beaux.

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I had both the boy and the girl version of this insert, so I had to make brother/sister outfits.  I can’t wait to see them in these matching outfits!  The fabric is a dimity check.  I love this stuff!  Though it is 100% cotton, it really doesn’t wrinkle hardly at all and is very durable.  Again, the inserts are from Belles Et Beaux.

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I love when I can whip up some cute things so quickly because of inserts already on hand and my fabric stash = a small fabric store.  Hahaha!!!

Isn’t he a handsome little fellow!!!  Can’t wait to see him in all his new duds!

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And he’s always smiling – especially if there is food involved!  I stole this from my daughter’s Facebook page.  🙂

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Next up is some beach outfits for our trip in a couple weeks.  🙂

Keep on stitching……

Kathy

Coming soon…….

I know that weeks can go by and I don’t get to post an update to the blog.  That doesn’t mean that I am not sewing or working on new classes.  It just means that I can’t show you what I’ve been working on yet.  I work regularly on garments that I hope will be included in the only heirloom magazine that we have available – Classic Sewing Magazine.  Soon the fall issue will be out and I have a cute outfit included in this magazine.

I first made this top many years ago when we only had one granddaughter.  She wore it and looked so cute in it.  The smocking plate was designed to match the apples on the pant fabric.  Of course, this was 5 years ago and unless you have some of this aging in your stash, you’ll have to find a different apple print.  Thankfully the apple design will work with many prints! SG3B1108_sm

I love the simple lines and tailored style of this top and think that it will be popular with both moms as well as the little girls.

Thankfully, the Classic Sewing magazine also like the top and I was able to remake the top – x3 – for the upcoming fall issue.  Won’t this be so cute for back to school???  Fall in the south is pretty warm, so the top paired with capri pants is perfect.

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However, fall in other parts of the country may be cooler, so I also made the outfit up with long pants in fine wale corduroy and a cute fox smocking design.

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Both the fox and the apple smocking designs will be included along with the smocked top.  They have also included pants and capri pants patterns, so you’ll have everything you need to make up this outfit.

All the fabrics and trims were purchased at Farmhouse Fabrics, so I know you’ll want to go to their online shop and make your selections.  I worked with Sally to choose fabrics that we hoped would still be available this fall.  That is no small feat since these outfits were made months ago!  However, if the exact prints aren’t available, her staff is wonderful and will help you select something similar.  🙂

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I hope you’re as excited as I am about this cute new pattern!!!  You definitely will want to subscribe to the magazine if you don’t already!  Or, if you just want to try it out, Barnes and Nobles as well as many of the heirloom shops carry the magazine.  I like to support the heirloom shops whenever possible so that we don’t lose any more of those!

So, now that you know what I’ve been sewing, what have you been sewing?  Are you ready to start sewing for fall yet?

Keep on stitching……

Kathy

 

 

 

Two New Dresses!!!

I’ve been busy the last couple weeks with designing and then sewing two new dresses.  I love the entire process and am really happy with the end results!

I had a vision for what I wanted to make, sketched it out on the computer, and then set it aside for a few weeks months.  When it finally came down to sewing, I relied on my stellar memory.  LOL!  That was a providential mistake.  I had the entire skirt constructed before pulling up the sketch.  At that point I realized that I’d made a different skirt than what I intended to make.  Hahaha!!!!  Oh well, in the end it was an opportunity to create 2 beautiful dresses – one is an easier to make dress, the other one a more challenging one.  So, I now have 2 dresses in 2 different sizes.

Dress #1 – the pretty mistake dress.  Because this was going to be my test sample dress, I made it out of Imperial batiste.  That alone makes this a dress that will get plenty of wear.  After rinsing out the blue wash out marker, then a light hand washing and time in the dryer (yes, I was impatiently waiting to photograph!), it only needed a slight touch of the iron before photographing!  Honestly, for wearing, I wouldn’t iron at all – I only did it for the photograph.

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I love madeira hem treatments and I love pinstitching wherever I can use it!  The shadow work embroidery is the icing on the cake for this dress.  🙂

Upon the completion of dress #1, I moved on to dress #2 – the sketched dress.  Dress #1 didn’t need any changes to the pattern or process, so this dress was made from heirloom fabrics – satin batiste!  That is such a beautiful fabric to work with and I love the sheen.  This is the hem and bodice treatment that I had sketched and planned to do the first time.  LOL!  It is equally beautiful, but definitely a bit more challenging to create.

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I love everything about this dress as well!!!  It turned out exactly as I’d hoped.  Madeira hem, pinstitching, pintucks and a little hand embroidery – what’s not to love?!?!?!

Because there was already plenty of interest already in this dress, I kept the embroidery simple.  I think that was the right choice.  It also made it easier to get it finished once the dress was completed.

With the dresses finished, I’ve been hard at work on the computer, getting the pattern pieces drafted on the computer rather than my usual hand drafting.  I’m much slower at doing it on the computer, but I love the results, so I’m sticking with it.  I know I’ll be happy when all the bits are finished.  It’s going to take a while.  I have Claire Meldrum to thank for her patience in teaching me how to use Illustrator several years ago.  She has written the best tutorial on graphing smocking designs in Illustrator.

So, now you know why I’ve been away from blogging.

What’s next?  Perhaps some summer sewing for the little ones…..

Fun Play Clothes

The past week and a half I’ve enjoyed plenty of time in the sewing room.  I always enjoy sewing fun clothes, so it’s been relaxing.  I had 2 partially completed “Annalise” tops that I’d used as demonstrations for different techniques when I taught that class earlier this year.  I don’t think it took an hour to finish both of them.  That’s a bonus!

After a bit of stash diving, I came up with the exact fabric that inspired the smocking design many years ago!  I love when that happens!  A pair of capri pants (Children’s Corner “Abbie) were cut and stitched to match that cute top, but with a ruffle instead of contrast band.  The second top got a pair of shorts (Children’s Corner “Lettie).  I can’t wait to see these on the little girls!

Both of the smocked sections were done many years ago when I sold a lot on Ebay.  It was a great “find” to discover the already smocked pieces since that made the completion of the tops so much quicker, though smocking such a small section goes quickly anyway!

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This is a picture of my Ebay outfit from back in the early 2000’s.  I may have enough of the butterfly fabric to make one more outfit like this!

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This smocking was also from my Ebay selling days.  I am sure that I have a picture of that somewhere as well, but wasn’t able to find it quickly.

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I also lengthened a bishop dress – this little ones keep growing so fast!!!  It’s so nice to see them looking so cute in their smocked things, I don’t mind the re-hemming!

Because of my busy schedule this spring, I haven’t had a lot of time to sew special gowns for the Caleb Ministry, so I took several days and competed a few gowns, bonnets & embroidered matching blankets for them as well.  I love sewing for this wonderful ministry, though I wish it wasn’t needed.  The boxes that they provide for families suffering the loss of a child are really special.  I consider it a privilege to sew for these precious babies.

This gown and bonnet were made to compliment the blanket with beautiful lace.  Another volunteer made the blanket.

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One of the other volunteers made this blanket also, so I made the gown to go with it.  This one required a tiny gown.  though you can’t tell from a picture, this gown is only about 6″ long and designed for a 1 – 2 lb. baby.  I put just a touch of hand embroidery with tiny bullion flowers on this gown and on the blanket.  We don’t make bonnets for these very tiny gowns.

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There were many of these ecru blankets made with donated fabric.  We only make white gowns and bonnets, so I added corded pintucks in ecru and added machine embroidery to make this set go together.  I love this beautiful cross design from Fromtheneedleofanne.  Her embroidery designs stitch out beautifully.

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This is another gown featuring corded pintucks and a cross design.  I don’t remember where this design came from.

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This last gown is another tiny one.  Another talented member knit these precious booties, bonnet and blanket, so I made just the gown to go with them.  I used pink ribbon down the center of the lace strip, though it’s hard to see in the picture.

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CI count children and grandchildren as my most precious treasures here on earth.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those families that have suffered loss this Mother’s day.  I know that it is a particularly difficult day for anyone that has lost a child.  Don’t forget about these women this Mother’s day and say a prayer for them.  God cares for them.  Psalm 56:8 – You have…put my tears in a bottle.

I still have a few more UFO’s that need to be finished up for the little ones and several more things that I’d like to make for them.  Until next time, keep on stitching!!!

Some Simple Sewing Projects

This past week I’ve been doing some simple sewing projects.  Having found a completed top as well as a partially completed top, both which would fit one of the little girls right now, I thought I should finish some pants or capris to wear with the tops.

This first top was partially completed.  It was rather plain, so I added some hand embroidery to it.  I thought it was sweet, but Ella – well, she wasn’t sure about it.  We’ll see.  LOL!

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The second top was sewn many years ago when I sold children’s clothing online.  This wasn’t sold due to the initial.  I was thrilled when I went stash diving and found the polka dot pique that was a perfect match to the top!  Of course, this is for Livvy (Olivia).

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Then I also finished up a couple sweet Wee Care gowns.  The white one is simple and will work for a boy or girl, but I loved smocking the tiny rocking horse on the second one!  I know it will be sweet for a precious little boy.

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The smocking design for the horse is Tiny Rocking Horses by Ellen McCarn.

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In addition to some of the enjoyable sewing, I’ve had fun with the grandkids this past week, having some “sleep-overs” with some of them!  That trumps sewing any day!

I’ve been busy sewing other things as well, but those have yet to be photographed.  I’ll save that for the next post.

I hope you’re enjoying some relaxing sewing these days as well!

“Beautiful Beautifuls”

One of our granddaughters calls her smocked, fancy, twirly dresses her “beautiful beautifuls” and requests to wear those quite often.  Of course, I love that!  Well, I’ve just returned from teaching at Peanut Butter ‘n Jelly Kids in Mobile, AL where I saw some of the most “beautiful beautifuls” ever!!!   Everywhere that you turn you can see a beautiful dress that Anna Marie has made and put on display for inspiration.

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Each dress is as beautiful as the next and lace is used extensively!!!  What eye candy!!!
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At every opportunity (breaks, lunch, before and after class) I walked around the shop taking in all the pretty things displayed throughout the shop.

Anna Marie is a woman of many talents.  Not only does she draft/sell her own patterns and smocking plates, she is now re-creating the beautiful 1752 laces and having them made here in the US on perhaps the only vintage machine left in this country.  These laces are just scrumptious!!!  Here’s a small sampling of the laces.

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I am going to have to dream up a “need” to buy and use some of these.  They are produced on delicate netting – oh, how I loved them!

There’s no lack of inspiration in this shop!  You definitely need to visit if you are ever in AL.  However, if you cannot get there in person, her online shop carries all these pretty things as well.

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I had a wonderful time teaching at this shop!  The students were enthusiastic and eager to learn and try new techniques.  They hardly wanted to stop for lunch – however, Anna Marie tempted all of us with a delicious offering each day.  🙂  They worked hard and I’m sure will have their projects completed in no time.

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Do you see the lavender and blue hoop skirts in the back of the classroom – these are the “in progress” works of Anna Marie’s gowns for the Azalea Trail Maids of Mobile. Some pretty amazing dresses with multiple pieces and HUNDREDS of yards of ruffles!!! She makes several each year. She sewed ruffles while we sewed heirlooms. 🙂

It was lovely getting to know each of these ladies and helping them learn some new things!  Anna Marie was a delightful host and ready to jump in and help where needed – even volunteering to do a bit of embroidery on a bodice.

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I stole a picture from FB – they were a lovely group of students and I enjoyed getting to know each of them!

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All things have to come to an end, and the ending was just as sweet.  I had a car tour of Mobile and saw the majestic trees, stately homes, the bay and other attractions and then finished the evening with a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants.  It was a wonderful weekend.

I did have to snap a picture of one of the displays at the airport. It was so fitting – royalty.  🙂

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Now, after I get my things put away, I’ll have to decide what to sew next.  I think I may finish up the hand embroidery I started while I was gone.

 

A New Group of Stitchers

I just returned from Minnesota.  It was my first visit to that state.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after spending a few days there, I have decided that the people of Minnesota are warm and inviting.  I had a wonderful time during my visit.

I had the privilege of teaching the Lakes and Prairie SAGA Guild in MN.  What a great bunch of ladies there!  They were an enthusiastic group and they extended such a warm welcome to me. The weather was cool, which was definitely not unusual.  But we had beautiful sunshine every day, which made our meeting room nice and bright.

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We had a wonderful meeting space at an assisted living center.  During the course of the class, a couple of the ladies stopped in to see what we were up to.  🙂

After working hard on day 1 with their sewing and pleating, we spent day 2 doing embroidery.  Notice our open windows – LOL!  We stayed rather warm as the assisted living facility keeps the room temperature quite high.  We resolved that by shedding layers and opening the windows.  Hahaha!!!

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This was a talented group of ladies and they did so well both days.  They were a delight to teach!

I stayed with a lovely couple and had a room with the most beautiful hand-made quilts.  These were family heirlooms.  Of course, I had to examine them.  The quilt hanging on the wall was completely hand stitched together in a most unique (to me) way as well as hand quilted!  What a treasure!!!  They were displayed beautifully.

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While I travel, airport waiting time = stitching time.  I normally work on Wee Care gowns, but this time I took along a jacket I was already working on and managed to get it close to completion.  Upon my return home, I finished up the stitching and I’m pleased with the results.  I hope that my MN ladies will see this and be inspired to stitch up some jackets of their own!

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I’m back home, unpacked and have put away the suitcase for a couple of weeks.  Today I may choose some summer fabric and start on a few summer things for the little ones.

Of course, this is Easter week and I’m looking forward to our worship service on Sunday.  I love seeing everyone in their Easer finery.  However, all the finery pales in comparison to the celebration of our Savior, His resurrection and all that this means for us as Christians.  I hope everyone will enjoy a blessed Easter weekend reflecting and celebrating our Savior’s sacrificial love for us!

 

Finishing up Another UFO…

I am not a fan of having a bunch of UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects), but it’s inevitable to have some of them – at least, that’s the case for me.  So, this outfit was next on my list of things to finish.  Sadly, I think I’ve missed the window of opportunity to have this sweet jacket be worn.  It’s perfect for our southern spring church mornings.  However, I finished the set on Saturday and the temperatures were in the 80’s this past weekend.  Unless we have some unseasonable cool temperatures, this will go into the “Closet Creations” closet until there’s another little girl to wear this.

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While I was in Michigan a couple of weeks ago, I finished up all the embroidery on this jacket.  It is quite time-consuming, but well worth the effort and very enjoyable!  The ensemble was started at a Gail Doane seminar that our SAGA Dogwood guild hosted last year.  Gail is a very talented designer and an excellent teacher.  If you enjoy heirloom sewing & smocking and haven’t taken a class from Gail, you definitely need to put that on your bucket list!!!  You’ll be glad that you did.

This past week I’ve been on the “rest and recuperate” mode after a busy time watching our grandchildren.  Who wouldn’t love spending time with these sweeties!!!  We had such fun with them, but we certainly felt our age trying to keep up with all that energy!  LOL!

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The R&R involved some no-pressure  sewing and I was able to finish up both the jacket and the dress.

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Although Gail offers a lovely smocking design with her pattern, I decided to do something slightly different on my dress and was happy with the results.  I opted for a bullion bow rather than the beautiful silk ribbon bow.  I thought that it would hold up nicely to all the washing that I expect this dress will get.  Isn’t the fabric a beautiful print!!!  I love paisley.

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These embroidered jackets are some of my favorites.  You’ll remember the one that I finished late last year – it was different, but equally beautiful.

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The time embroidering this new jacket was relaxing and enjoyable.

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I certainly got plenty of practice with bullion stitches on this jacket!  I’m sure that you’ll agree that the finished jacket is one of the cutest ever!!!  So sad that I missed the boat on this one being worn.  🙁

Thankfully, the dress will be worn, but not until next year.  I tried both the jacket and the dress on our granddaughter and the jacket was a perfect fit, but the dress was quite large.  So, I will reserve hemming the dress until next spring and I’ll be ahead of the game next year!  I know she will look adorable in this!

Next week is a new week!  With this warm weather, I’m thinking about doing some spring/summer sewing.  How about you?  Ready for some spring sewing?