Category Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!

So, the 2 weeks before Christmas and what have I been up to?  Well, since I’m ready for Christmas 🎄, save the last bit of baking and cooking, I decided to sew something for spring!  After all, following Christmas comes spring, Easter, summer sewing – those are my favorite seasons to sew.  I love the colors, styles and everything else about spring/summer sewing!

I browsed through my AS&E magazines and was looking for something different to make.  I have so many of the magazines and thought I should start sewing some of the patterns!  I chose Flight of Fancy from issue #93 (this is still available as a PDF download from the Martha Pullen company).  I loved this sundress and the construction of it was very different from most dresses.  I was ready for the challenge!

This looked like a perfect summer dress for Ella.  The pattern came in sizes 6, 8 & 10.  Because I know that the patterns in AS&E tend to run big, I chose to make the size 6 (Ella is 7-1/2).  While her body measurements were smaller than the pattern measurements, her height was spot on.  I figured she could wear a blouse with it in the spring and then without the blouse in the summer.  Perfect older girl dress!

I chose one of my favorite European fabrics purchased years ago and paired it with some polka dots for the ruffles.

I did run into a couple of issues sewing the dress.  Though the insert was cut to size, when I went to sew the dress, the insert was too long to match the back bodice.  Thankfully I hadn’t smocked the first 2 and last 2 rows.  So, if you are going to make this dress, be aware of the insert size and back bodice and adjust as needed.  I also added width to the insert since I felt that the pleats were spread too far apart with the suggested length.  Of course, that meant many more pleats to smock!

I didn’t smock the design in the magazine but rather smocked a combination of 2 of the other smocking designs in the same magazine.  I felt that the fabric was too busy for the smocking design from this pattern and the other 2 worked better.  I was quite pleased with the outcome.

This dress back is also very pretty and perfect for our warm summers.

When the dress was finished, I thought it looked very big for a size 6, but waited until Ella was over to try it on.  Sadly, I was right – it’s huge on her!  The width is roomy, but would work with a blouse underneath, but the back waist is well below her waist.  That was a surprise since she is the correct height for the size 6 in the AS&E measurements.   The dress also was extremely long on her – it looked nothing like the picture in the magazine and hit about 3″ above her ankles.  I guess I’ll be saving that for next year!

Of course, it hadn’t occurred to me to look for errata for the pattern.  Today I found that AS&E had posted corrections for the skirt tier lengths.  😳  Apparently the measurements in the magazine were for the size 8, which explains the frumpy length for the size 6.  However, with the back waist being too long as well, even the length correction wouldn’t make the dress fit her correctly.  At least she can grow into this one.

So, I’ve put away the pink print that was going to be for Eva’s dress – sister dresses are nice if they co-ordinate but aren’t exactly the same.

Now, what to do next?  Do I dare try another AS&E pattern and hope for a better fit?  Hmmmm……

This was just a sew for fun dress, so although I’m disappointed that it won’t fit this year, it’s not a disaster.  Now I can choose something else to stitch and sew while listening to my favorite Christmas songs.

I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas season celebrating the birth of Christ!  May the peace, joy and love of Christ be with all of you this Christmas and in the year to come!!!

Kathy

Delightful Dolly Clothes

With Christmas right around the corner, I have been busy with the last few dolly outfits for the little girls.  When I make them, I can customize them so that they work best for the girls.

The first set of outfits are doll jumpers and blouses that will match Ella and Eva’s jumpers.  I used the same featherwale corduroy.  The pattern is the Mary De pattern from the Children’s Corner Dolly’s Wardrobe book..  I love how quick and easy the jumper is to make.  I could only eek out the 2 jumpers with the fabric left and ended up piecing together one of the bodice pieces, so I disguised that with some lace and ribbon trim.  The blouse is also from the same book.  I hate making the doll blouses – those collars are something that I just don’t enjoy making!  So, for the gingham blouse I made a ruffle around the neckline and I also changed the sleeves slightly.

The next dress that was made was stitched from some piqué scraps and I love the way that this dress turned out!  The pattern is the Betsy dress from Genniewren.  As always, her pattern instructions are excellent and the finished dress is adorable.  Genine gives wonderful tips for the new seamstress so that the pattern is also a tool for learning new techniques.  I chose to leave off the belt and used red piping at the waistline instead.

The next winter outfit is a featherwale corduroy jumper and the same blouse from the Mary De pattern, but with the ruffle neckline.  The jumper pattern is the A-Line Color Blocked dress from Genniewren, but I didn’t use color blocking.  It made the jumper very quick and easy to make.

I decided that Livvy also needed a Christmas dress for her doll and I had this cute Christmas fabric in my stash.  I had this brilliant (NOT!) idea to make the Mary De jumper but add the blouse sleeves so that I didn’t have to make a blouse.  In my mind, this was going to be quick and easy.  Well, it didn’t exactly work out that way!  😂  I did add the sleeves, but doubt that I’ll be doing that again right away as it was rather tricky.  LOL!  I do love the way the dress turned out though.  Livvy will love the sparkly rickrack used at the hem.

The last outfit that I stitched was the coat and hat – again from Genniewren.  This is called the Carla coat.  There are several options and lengths that you can make this coat.  I chose to make the long coat and I do hope to make one of the shorter versions as well.  After all, I’m sure that all the dolls will need coats!  The coat is completely lined and has an adorable hat to go with it.  I used some brushed twill from my stash and trimmed the coat and hat with sparkly rickrack as well as some lime green cord.  Now it’s time to get wrapping these up and putting them under the tree!

I’m sure that there will be more doll clothes sewing in the near future.  I have plenty of the polka dot fabric used to line the coat left and I think it would be so cute to make a dress to go with the coat!  That may be next on the sewing table for me.

Is your Christmas sewing finished?  Next up is Easter!!!  I can hardly wait to start that sewing!

 

Jumpers For Christmas and Beyond

I haven’t been in the sewing room much lately, so I haven’t had anything to write about.  However, with Christmas fast approaching, and some pretty emerald green corduroy on the cutting table, I decided it was time to get going on jumpers for Ella and Eva.  They still have fancy silk dresses from last year that will fit again this year, so the casual corduroy seemed like a good choice.  After much though, I determined that smocking a design that would work for Christmas but wasn’t so Christmas-y that it could be worn again later would be just perfect.

I chose to make the Children’s Corner “Mary De” pattern.  I’ve been sewing this jumper for so many years and can practically do it in my sleep.  If you don’t already have this pattern, now is the time to buy it.  They have revised the pattern to include instructions for an inset, which I’ve done in the past, but it requires some math.  Not my strong suit, so always a challenge for me.  Now no math is necessary as they have already done the hard work for you!

I’m quite pleased with how the jumpers turned out.  This time I actually made blouses to go under the jumpers as well.  I had broadcloth that was a perfect match for the piping, so that’s what I did.  The blouse pattern that I used was also Children’s Corner – the “Meg” pattern.  I am pretty sure that this pattern has been discontinued, but there are so many that you can choose from. What I love about the CC patterns besides the wonderful fit is that the sleeves and collars can be interchanged.  These sleeves look a bit long to me – but I rarely sew long sleeves, so they may be just right!  The elastic wrist will help keep the sleeves in place if they are a bit long.

For the smocking, I stitched an original design and made each one a little different, but used the same colored threads.  It’s so much nicer to not have to smock the identical design twice.  😊

The addition of the pink to the smocking makes the dress look a little less Christmas-y to me.

I loved finding the perfect buttons in my stash as well.  If everything comes from my stash, that pretty much makes these outfits “free” right?  LOL!  I love having everything that I need on hand when I start sewing.  With no fabric stores other than JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby in town, a stash is a real advantage!  I keep telling myself that!!!

In the spirit of Christmas and giving, I am sharing both smocking graphs with my readers.  I hope you’ll enjoy them.  If your Christmas dresses are already finished, you can use the graphs and get a head start on your spring sewing!  As you can see, I wasn’t too creative in naming the smocking designs – I named them after the little girls that they are going to!

I hope that you enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  What a joy to set aside a day to be able to praise God for the unmeasurable blessings that we enjoy each and every day!!!  Follow that with the Christmas celebration – what a wonderful season this is!!!

Hopefully you’ll find a little time to enjoy some stitching these next few weeks!

Kathy

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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.

Buried in the Sewing Room!!!

If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted lately, it’s because I’ve been buried in the sewing room!  It’s as if I have had ADHD in that room and it’s been chaos in there.  😱

After making the pillowcases for the little girls, I decided that Liam should get a pillowcase for Christmas as well, so I found some cute pirate fabric and whipped up a pillowcase for him.

Once that was completed, I decided to make a knit dress for Ella.  Well, that involved pulling out my tote of knits, going through patterns, Ottobre magazines, etc. and then tracing off patterns, washing knits, and on and on.  In the end, I couldn’t decide what to do as all the patterns I traced off were going to be too big.  Ugh!  I shoved that in the corner and then started working on doll clothes.

I found that I had several doll outfits cut out from when our youngest played with dolls.  Hahaha!!!!  Talk about nearly vintage!  These were 20 years old.  So, I completed a few of those, found more patterns and printed those out and made several, but then got distracted with making purses for the SewPowerful project (due to the affiliation with the doll dresses I was making). If you don’t know about the Sew Powerful project, you need to read up on it and (hopefully) participate!  Cinnamon and Jason have done a wonderful job helping these young girls stay in school with the purses and supplies that they provide as well as helping the moms work.  It’s a fabulous project.

I used some fabric that I had used previously for a tote bag and managed to whip up 7 purses and got them sent in.  Sadly, I only took pictures of the 4 matching ones.  I’ve since seen pictures of so many cute and creative designs and I’ll be doing more with trims and such when I make these again.  This is a year round project, so feel free to jump in and make one or many to send in!!!  I hope to hear that many of you will be supporting this wonderful cause.  The purses are easy to make and don’t use much fabric – it’s a wonderful way to use up stash.

With the purses completed, I started working on something for the Classic Sewing magazine. Of course, that involved pulling out more fabrics, drafting supplies, etc.  At this point there was stuff all over the sewing room!!!  It’s a small room, and the mess was monumental!  So, with a good start on that project, I turned to my Alabama Chanin style project.  I’ve worked on that for a couple of weeks – mostly because it is hand sewing and that way I could avoid the mess in the sewing room.  LOL!

I find this to be such a fun project!  I am not good at the stenciling of the fabric – I sew, I don’t paint.  So that was quite the challenge.  Embroidering on t-shirt fabric is different from any of the other type of embroidery that I’m used to.  It’s been a learning process.  With the embroidery completed, the center of the stenciled part is cut away.

The top is now complete, and I’ll have to get hubby to take a picture of it since I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see the bathroom mirror pictures.  😂

Then I moved on to the next challenge – little boy pants.  Of course, more fabric, patterns, tracing paper, etc. came out.  Yikes – the mess continues to grow.  I have managed to get a great fitting pair of pants for Liam, but that will be my next post.

I’ve cleaned up in the sewing room a bit.  When you lose patterns and fabrics that you need – well, it’s time to clean up.  I am used to working on a couple of projects at a time, but this has been ridiculous.  I will be returning to working on only a coupe things at a time and hopefully won’t get into this mess again.  We’ll see how that goes!

I hope you’re enjoying some fun stitching time!

 

 

Christmas and Crayons!

I have been stash diving lately, trying to decide on how to thin out the “stash”.  I have accumulated quite a large collection of fabrics due to many years of sewing for the public as well as selling outfits on Ebay back in the day.  LOL!  And then there is the obligation to purchase fabrics from all the various shops that have gone out of business in the last 25+ years or so because you never know when or where you’ll be able to purchase fabric again!!!  Needless to say, I can make most anything without setting foot in a store at this point since I have a collection of fabrics, laces, trims, buttons, etc.

As I was pulling out fabrics to let go of, I found this gem – some really fun fabric that was made by a company called Princess Fabric, Inc.:

I purchased this fabric 8+ years ago at a unique little shop that had everything you could imagine – current and vintage sewing supplies!  It was kind of like a “pickers” store – nothing was merchandised pretty and you had to dig through to find things.  I got several treasures there.  I had no particular plan other than that I thought it might make a great boutique outfit to sell on Ebay.  That never happened.  It was going to be sold for a bargain, but then I had a fabulous idea!!!

This fabric is meant to be colored, so I immediately ordered fabric crayons – 3 sets for 3 granddaughters.

Then I whipped up 3 pillowcases with different band colors for the different girls.  That way the pillowcases will match the bedroom and will also help with identification, should they have a sleepover and all use their Princess Pillowcases.

Crafting, princesses and new pillowcases!!!  What could be more fun than that!!!  I know that the little girls will be thrilled with this gift.  They are all about crafting and princesses.  I had just enough fabric for the 3 pillowcases and have a 6″ strip left, which I will include for them to practice on.  Coloring on fabric is a bit different than coloring on paper.  😜  I also thought that would help the moms practice with the “heat set” after the coloring is over.

They can color on both sides of the pillowcase – that should keep them busy for a minute!  Don’t you just love all the different “scenes”!!!

I’m thrilled to have a Christmas gift finished!!!  I know others that have already been sewing Christmas gifts and have quite a few put away.  Maybe this will inspire me to continue with the Christmas shopping – even though it’s in the 90’s here!!!

I’ve also done some other sewing this week – I made several more of the ready to smock nightgowns (finished with that for a bit) as well as some tiny diapers to go with the Wee Care gowns.  I’m not sure what will be next, but I have a feeling that it will be something unexpected as I continue the stash diving!  If anyone is interested, there are several groups on Facebook where you can buy/sell from each other.  I’m trying to stick to selling, though sometimes it’s hard to not buy something!  LOL!  If anyone is interested, place a comment and I’ll add you to the groups!!!