Monthly Archives: October 2017

Fall At The Beach

I just returned from a beautiful weekend at the beach!!!  The beach in the fall is wonderful!  There are very few people on the beach, so it is very different from going in the summer when everyone is out enjoying the sun/sand.  I had the beach nearly to myself when I went out for a walk.  It was very quiet and peaceful.

When I arrived at the beach, I unpacked and then enjoyed a lovely walk on the beach.  This is what it looks like from both directions during the off-season.  Beauty – just as God created it!  It was just me and the birds!  LOL!  They didn’t seem to mind.

After my walk, I went out to the porch swing and enjoyed some stitching time while there was still sunlight to work by.  As you may be able to see, I’m working on my next Alabama Chanin style garment.  It doesn’t get better than this – a glass of wine and stitching as I overlook the canal!!!  I could hear the ocean waves as well.

Friday and Saturday I spent time teaching the Stranded Smockers and Stitchers Guild.  What a delightful group of ladies!  We all had fun and they were a great group to teach and we had a nice room for the class.  These ladies work so hard to put on Sewing At The Beach each January – it was really nice to be able to spend time with them when they weren’t “working”.  I’m so glad that they invited me to come and teach!

After class I returned to the beach house and enjoyed one last evening and morning there with a walk on the beach.

Sunday morning sunrise was just spectacular!  With the temperatures in the 60ºs and the ocean breezes, I was able to just enjoy God’s creation.  After seeing this gorgeous sunrise from the rooftop deck, I had to head to the beach for my walk and I knew the sunrise would be equally beautiful there!

I’ve returned home again and have unpacked.  Now to decide on what to do for today and my next project.  It was so wonderful to spend a quiet weekend away at such a peaceful place.  Next time I believe that I’ll have my husband join me and maybe spend longer there!  😊

 

 

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Stitching – Alabama Chanin Style

Recently I finished up my first garment that was stitched in the style of Alabama Chanin.  This is a far cry from heirloom stitching, but I love the look and enjoyed the process.  Everything about this was new to me.  I’ve never stenciled before.  I’m not great at the stenciling!  But I will persevere and hope to improve on that front.  Thankfully, most of what is stenciled is cut away!

When I first came across this style, I quickly bought a couple of her books – they come with patterns included.  The first book had paper patterns included in the back of the book while the second book had a CD with some of the same patterns, but some newer ones.  Be aware that if you choose to have the patterns printed, it can be expensive as they are on large paper.  One of the ones that I had printed ended up being $13.  I may try tiling them on the home printer next time and see how that works.  The books include detailed explanations on how to achieve the look.

To create the garments, the pattern pieces are first cut, then stenciled and then layered (stenciled fabric on top of base fabric) and pinned or basted together.  Then the handwork begins.  Each stenciled design is stitched around – I chose the easiest method, which was a running stitch.  After stitching around all the stenciled designs, the inside of each design is cut away, leaving just a bit of the stenciled area behind.  I love the resulting effect!

After all the stencils are stitched/cut, then the garment is hand stitched together.  There are many options for this as well – I chose a traditional (inside) seam allowance and then topstitched the seams for additional strength.

I ended up using a pattern that I drafted for my first garment.  It has been quite a learning experience, but a delightful one.  I know that the second garment will be better and I’ll do some things differently.  However, this one is one that I am happy to wear – it’s comfortable, and I am proud to have completed it.

I have my fabric, paint and stencil chosen for the next outfit.  I need to decide on the pattern so that I can get started!  However, last night I discovered that Alabama Chanin is offering a new class on Craftsy, so I immediately signed up and will be watching that before starting the next project – I’m sure that I’ll learn some new things from her – even if it is just watching her hands while she is stitching.  I can’t wait to start!

Since this is a slow process, I’m undecided if I should sew for cooler weather that is coming, or sew another warm weather garment since there are so many hours involved.  Decisions!

I hope you’re continuing to try and learn new things!  It’s always an adventure!!!

Dressing Dollies

In preparation for Christmas as well as a birthday (this week!), I have been sewing some doll clothes for the little girls.  This is such fun sewing!  I have several more on the cutting table, but thought I’d share a few before they leave the house.  These are for the 18″ dolls such as the American Girl dolls, Gotz dolls, etc.

I have my wonderful Dolly’s Wardrobe book, which has patterns that match the Children’s Corner patterns.  You can still purchase this book from Children’s Corner store.  I used these patterns to make doll clothes for our daughter, and used them again for the granddaughter’s.

I had a couple blouses cut out and partially sewn from when our youngest daughter still played with dolls.  They are vintage now!  LOL!  So, I finished one of them up to go under a jumper.

The jumper pattern is from Genniewren and goes together very quickly.  Her patterns are excellent as are the instructions.  I used the a-line dress pattern, but didn’t do the color blocking for this dress.  It’s an easy change to make.  If you don’t want to change up that pattern, her Melanie pattern top could be used – just add length.

I have another jumper made, but need to make a blouse to go with it yet.

The next dress made turned out so sweet!  I love smocking and was thrilled to make up this Lucy dress pattern.  I made up my own smocking design, though Genine has a pretty smocking design included with the pattern.  I think this is my new favorite dress pattern!

Instead of embroidering small flowers, I used tiny buttons from a craft pack.  That worked out great and was very quick and easy.

The last finished outfits are pants and a smocked top.  Genine made the top pattern to match my Temily top that was in the Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine several years ago.  It has just a bit of smocking in the center.  Her top pattern is called Kataya.  The pants are a very quick sew with an elastic waist.  I used the Melanie pattern and added length to the pants.  The pants can be worn with either of the tops.

I did make a change to the top pattern and had it open all the way down the top for easier dressing.  I wanted to make this as easy as possible so that “mom” didn’t have to be involved in dressing the dolls.  LOL!

Again, I did my own smocking design, though Genine provides a pretty smocking design in the pattern.  This is such a small section to smock, it can be finished in about 1/2 hour.

On this white top, I decided to try the neckband without elastic and with only a bias band.  It worked out well, but in the end, I prefer the elastic.

For all the doll outfits, I used snaps for the closures.  I like the Snap Source snaps – they come in so many colors and with either a closed cap or an open cap.  For the doll clothes, I used the size 14.

Today I’ll wrap up a couple of these for the birthday party, and save the others for Christmas.  I have many more needed for Christmas!!!  Next up for sewing is the doll coat pattern!  I can’t wait to sew this up – it’s cut and ready!!!

Have you started your Christmas sewing yet?  If not, I highly recommend the Genniewren patterns as well as the Children’s Corner Dressing Dolly book.