Monthly Archives: May 2019

Let’s Start Summer Sewing!!!

Memorial day always marks the beginning of summer for me.  As a kid, that’s when school got out and summer holidays began.  I feel much the same about it today.  So, this past weekend I had cleaned up in my sewing room and was ready to start.

I began by finishing up a skirt that I’d started quite some time ago.  When I brought it over to try on the girls, Eva asked if I would make her a dress.  😊  She told me her favorite color was turquoise.  As it happens, I had turquoise fabric on the cutting table and a plan for it already!!!  So, I started on the turquoise dress when I got home.

My inspiration for the dress was this little Lilly Pulitzer dress that Ella wore when she was 2 years old.  I adore the style!

I had to do some figuring out on this!  Thankfully, all the girls wear a size 6 – Ella’s just needs extra length since she’s 9 years old.  Whew!  Only one draft needed. I wanted to copy all of the elements of the dress, down to the scalloped pockets and the zipper in the back.  The zipper was installed like they do in mass produced garments – it is encased in the neckline as well as both the lining and the dress seams of the zipper are sewn by machine.  It’s a nice, clean finish.

 I’ve managed to make it work – x3.  That said, I have to do some more thinking on the steps in construction.  I still don’t have it working as easily as I’d like.  There has to be a better way.

By the end of the day yesterday, I had 3 of these finished!!!  I have loved this print and been saving it for the right dress.  I loved this fabric so much, that I purchased in in all 3 color ways – turquoise, pink & lime green.  I’ve already made dresses in the other colors.

The fabric is wonderful – it’s a lightweight denim that it poly/cotton – so, no wrinkles and no ironing needed!!!  I know that will be appreciated!  What doesn’t show up in the pictures is that the center of the palm trees has silver sparkles.  The girls will love the sparkles!!!

I did managed to put the zipper in production style and am quite pleased with the way that it turned out.

I’ll be doing a little more math to get the lap slightly narrower.  Overall, I’m very happy with it.

My favorite part of this dress is the pockets.  I chose to pipe them rather than have a band of fabric like the Lilly dress features.

I used a monogram in the same hot pink color.  I like this monogram font so much, I’ve bought the identical font from 2 different sources.  It is either Fancy Monogram 1Font from Embroitique or it is Elegant Font from Applique Corner.  I’m not exactly sure which this one is, but I’ve used both and they both stitch out beautifully!

I decided to scallop the hem of the dress to match the scalloped pockets – that is where I made the dress a bit differently than the sample dress from Lilly.  I used the method that I described in an earlier post.

I’ll definitely be making more of these dresses for the girls.  Summer is here!  School is out at the end of next week, so I’d better hurry!

What does your summer sewing look like?

Pretty Pillow!!!

I continue to have fun with embroidery!!!  It’s something that I can work on for a bit, put down and then pick up again and work some more.  I’ve really enjoyed stitching so many different stitches.  Figuring out which stitches to place where was quite the challenge!  I don’t consider myself an embroidery expert, but I continue to learn and improve with every project!!!

My latest project has been a pillow.  This pillow has colors that will work in my living room, bedroom or outside porch (it’s covered and protected).  I don’t think it will end up on the porch because it’s too special for that casual atmosphere.

When I talked to our youngest daughter about making an embroidered pillow, she quickly pointed me to Anthropology, Pier 1 Imports and World Market – all of which have cute embroidered pillows that are just a little more trendy and stylish.  I loved the idea!  So, that’s what I went with.

Choosing a word to stitch proved to be a little more of a challenge – I wanted it to say something that resonated with me and not phrases that would go out of vogue in a few years (you know, “Farmhouse”, etc. – I don’t live in a farmhouse!).

I ended up with BLESSED – because I am reminded each and every day how blessed I am!!!

I was able to find the perfect trim at Hobby Lobby.  Thank goodness!!!  We’re living in a fabric store desert here with only HL and JoAnn’s.  I chose a simple rope design with all the right colors.  I felt that tassels, hanging bobbles and such would take away from the embroidery.

I used some beautiful Ulster linen but machine washed and dried it first to give it a lived-in look.  This was a plus for many reasons.  Now the pillow cover can be washed if needed.  It also allowed me to use wash away markers on the fabric – a definitely bonus.  And it softened up the fabric, making it easier to embroider.

I have to thank my sewing friends – Angela and Margaret – both of whom helped me when I ran into construction problems with the cording.  The cording was so stiff that I had real problems getting it attached properly.  Angela had great advice, pointed me to a great tutorial on finishing the ends of the cording and let me know what type of foot and machine would work best for the sewing.  Margaret  had the right equipment and was local and willing to help me out.  I’m blessed to have such wonderful sewing friends both far and near!!!  Aren’t sewing friends the best!!!

I’m busy writing up the instructions for all of the embroidery and sewing of this pillow and hope that it will be a class that students will enjoy taking!

I’m not sure what I’ll be stitching next.  I’ll ponder that over the weekend.  I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!!!

May Musings….

May is Mother’s day month and I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to have such a wonderful mother!  She has always been there for me, always loves me and has always been the best example of a godly Christian woman.  Her love for God, family and others has been constant and she lives out this love daily.   She has been a constant encourager to all of us, expecting us all to be the best that we can be and pointed us to Christ at an early age.  For that and so many other things, I’m so blessed!   I hope that I can be the same example for everyone that I am in contact with as she has been for me!

This picture is 2 years old, but I love it – this is my sister and mom – 2 lovely ladies in my life.

This is a more recent picture of mom, dad & their 4 kids at their 65th wedding anniversary party last summer.

I’ve also been blessed to be the mother to 4 wonderful children, the mother-in-law to 4 terrific spouses and the grandmother to 4 beautiful grandchildren here on earth and 5 more that I will meet one day in heaven.  I’m thankful that God has entrusted me with the role of mom & grandma and love all of those that he has placed in my life, including my loving husband of 42 years (we just celebrated our anniversary yesterday!).  I hope that I will have the positive and godly influence in their lives that my mom has had in mine!!!  This is a picture of our gang at the beach last summer.  As always, spending time with all of them is so much fun!!!  We’re looking forward to another beach trip this summer.

I have spent the last few weeks sewing tiny gowns and bonnets in memory of our precious grandchildren in heaven, in honor of their moms and in the hope of bringing a small measure of comfort to the moms that will receive these gowns for their little ones.  This is something that I try to do each year as I celebrate Mother’s day and recognize that for some it is a hard day due to losses.  I donate gowns to both our SAGA guild, which passes them on to area hospitals as well as to the Caleb ministry – a local ministry that provides wonderful support and has many resources for those that have suffered loss.

I have recently been blessed to receive fabric & laces from others that are no longer able to make these little gowns.  I have used all of the gifted fabrics and laces for these recent projects.  Thank you to all of those that have participated with me in this endeavor by sending me the fabric and lace.  ❤️

I have been trying to make more “sets” as opposed to just gowns.  The first set is a blanket, bonnet & gown in pale yellow.  the accent flowers were done in lavender.  The smocking design on the gown is one that our local SAGA guild donated to convention as table favors one year.  This gown is the SAGA Wee Care gown pattern and the bonnet is a free download from Laurie Anderson – unfortunately, I cannot get the link to work.  The pretty cross design was purchased at From The Needle of Anne.  Her designs always stitch out beautifully.

My cell phone pictures are so much better color than the ones taken in the studio.  Definitely need my technical support guy to check out the “problem”.  LOL!

The next set is done in pale pink, though for some reason I couldn’t get the colors just right when I took the pictures.  The same gown and bonnet pattern were used and the cashmere flannel blanket is so soft and sweet.  The smocking design was one that our local SAGA guild donated one year for convention table favors.  I don’t remember what embroidery design I used for this, but I suspect that it was from Martha Pullen.

The last 2 gowns don’t have matching bonnets as there was only enough fabric for the gowns.  You know how whites don’t all match!  I didn’t want a mismatched set to go to a family.  The white cross design is another From The Needle of Anne and the smocking design was my beaded design that was featured in a SAGA news magazine.

The aqua and white smocking design is an out of print design from Kathy Crisp called Tiny Baby Bishops – it is a favorite of mine to smock on these little gowns.  The cross on that dress is a Martha Pullen design from many years ago.

I have 4 more bonnets and gowns made up and ready to smock.  These are easy to pick up and work on when I’m traveling.  I like to have several on hand since they smock up so quickly.  I smocked all of these little sets while we traveled and enjoyed a weekend in the mountain with our friends.  I’ll leave you with these beautiful pictures from that trip.  Nothing can trump God’s beautiful handiwork!!!

The first waterfall we visited was spectacular!!!  We were able to walk behind it as well.

The second waterfall we visited was also pretty, but not nearly as impressive as the first.

We also did a small (2 mile) hike up the mountain.  We were up 4,000 ft.  The views were breathtaking from all angles!

I look forward to more stitching this week!  I’m working on a pretty embroidered pillow that I hope to share soon!!!  I pray that you will be able to count your many blessings as you stitch something beautiful!

 

 

 

My Kaleidoscope Tote

I’ve been on a hand-stitching binge lately and have had the best time embroidering a tote bag.  I wanted to make something that was fun to stitch, useful and something that a stitcher could enjoy.  I think I hit the mark on all levels and am very pleased with the end result.

I love the way that the flowers pop on the black denim!!!  It’s a festival of bright and colorful flowers.  Many have been created with simple stitches while others are more difficult.  I enjoyed every stitch!!!   I have submitted this as a potential class to teach – I think many would enjoy it and would especially enjoy making something for themselves!

I have used this tote pattern for many years – it’s a favorite of mine – my own pattern.  In the past, I’ve only done machine embroidery on the front.  This has a totally different look.  I add pockets as I envision they will be used.  For this tote, I wanted a pocket large enough to carry my iPad.  I have that on the back of the tote and it carries on the bright and fun theme.

Of course, there’s a pocket for a water bottle on the side.  I always have water with me, so that was a given.

Inside features many more pockets for holding all of those necessities that I carry when I pack up for a class or a trip and will have my stitching projects with me.

I have a much harder time getting a good picture of the inside that also has good lighting.  You’ll have to use your imagination!  There are pockets with elastic on both sides, a long pocket with elastic on the side that isn’t visible and then a smaller pocket with exposed zipper teeth to hold those smaller things that you don’t want to lose.

I reinforce the bottom of the bag so that it is sturdy.  I cannot stand soft and floppy bags.  This will hold up to lots of wear and tear.  I now wish I’d added some sort of loop with a snap that I could attach my scissors to.  Those always seem to get lost in the bag somewhere!!!  Oh well…..it’s always something.  Perhaps I’ll have to make another one and will include that.

I had to tweak my pattern a bit so accommodate all of the embroidery.  Here’s what the bag looks like with monograms.  With this fabric, it’s easier to see the pockets as well as the inside.

I did not include the side pockets inside on this version of the tote and the pocket on the outside isn’t large enough for a water bottle, nor is the back pocket large enough for an iPad.

I’ve made this tote so many times that I’ve lost count!!!

 

I’m not sure what’s on the agenda next, but I know I’ll be stitching something!!!