Category Archives: Classic Sewing magazine

Sewing, sewing, sewing…..

I’ve been sewing a LOT since my last post, but many of the things aren’t quite finished, which is why I haven’t posted about them.  😛  However, without having deadlines, who knows when they will be finished, so I’ll go ahead and post the nearly finished things.  LOL!

First, I thought I should sew one of the Tamarack jackets from Grainline Studio that we are making in the class with the refugee women at Project 658’s Make Welcome Sewing School.  I felt better prepared after making the jacket.  Of course, it is lacking the closures.  The pattern recommends snaps.  We’ll see – might be buttons.

There are many of the instructions that I don’t care for, so some of them I did my way, while others I went with the pattern directions, but would do them my way next time.  I love the fabrics that I chose for the jacket, but I’m not sure that I’m a fan of the jacket.  Perhaps that’s why it isn’t finished!

If you decide to make this jacket, I would recommend quilting rectangles large enough to accommodate the pattern pieces and then cutting out the pieces after they have been quilted.  Quilting does shrink up the fabric a little and if you follow the pattern directions, which have you cut the lining, face fabric and lining of each piece, then sandwich them together and then quilt – well, the pieces don’t end up matching correctly at the edges, no matter how carefully you cut and stitch.  Then the quilted piece isn’t the same size as the pattern piece. I quilted first, then cut – much more accurate.

I chose to bind the seams inside, but am not a fan of how the bound seams match up with the bias outer edges (which has the very edge cut and unfinished).  Next time I’ll do a Hong Kong seam and I’ll finish the edges of the bias binding properly.  The pattern indicated to stop the side seam stitching at the “dot”, which is above the bias band.  I didn’t like that look so I stitched to the bottom of the bias binding.  I followed the pattern directions for the welt pocket, but will never use that method again.  I don’t believe that it is durable enough for constant use of the pockets.  One of the other volunteers teaches a more traditional way to stitch the pocket, which is how I’ve done them in the past.  I’ll continue using the traditional method in the future.  I like to try the pattern directions, but after that, things are done the way that I prefer.  Anyway, this is project #1 that is “nearly” finished.

Then, the next projects were supposed to be stitched while enjoying a sewing retreat at the beach with some special friends.  After a week of getting projects planned and supplies kitted, meal planning, grocery shopping and meal prep, hurricane Florence arrived and changed those plans!  Since I’d made kits for each dress, all the fabrics, trims, threads, etc. and the hard decisions were made, the kit made it easy to take out one project and move forward.  I had my “retreat” at home.

The first project I cannot show since it will hopefully make its’ debut in Classic Sewing magazine next summer.  Here’s a sneak peek – ignore the stray thread!  Hahaha!!!!  How did I miss that one???

Then I moved on to more Vida dresses that will be Christmas gifts.  These are for Ella and Eva, so the same prints in different colors.  You may remember that Livvy has the Minnie Mouse dress.  Of course, both of these are missing the buttons and buttonholes and I’m still deciding if they need a monogram or appliqué somewhere.

This was my quick, unprofessional cell phone picture of the dresses carefully placed on the coffee table!  LOL!  I love the Tilda fabrics and have been saving them for the right dresses and these were just the ticket!  Once I decide about what else is needed, I’ll have those finished and put away until December.

I also started another Minnie Mouse Vida dress for Livvy’s other cousin, but had to set it aside as I’m waiting on the last of the fabric to arrive.  So, another UFO – we’re up to 4 now.  🙄

In addition to all the fun sewing for the grandkids, I’ve been doing some sewing for Caleb Ministry, which is such a wonderful ministry to women suffering miscarriage/loss.  I have made 4 boy gowns with matching caps (the tiniest size doesn’t get a copy).  Thankfully, these are all finished!!!  No UFO’s.  I tried different thread colors to try to get the best match for the corded pintucks.  I think my favorite is the middle gown.  Now, to mark that one so that I know the next time!

The next thing I  tackled was embroidering hankies that are put in the memory boxes.  I think I embroidered about 20 of these.  The stitching goes quickly, but the prep work and set up takes forever.  The hankies need to be washed, ironed, starched and then marked for embroidery.  They do seem to take forever just to get little feet stitched on them.  I’m not a fan of production style sewing or the amount of stabilizer used for these, so these are definitely a labor of love.

The last group of embroidered items are the blankets.  I was given these blankets to embroider – someone else stitched the blanket edges.  They did such a nice job with the rolled hem edge – something I haven’t been able to master on my serger!  I think that there’s about 15 of these – 3 different sizes.

So, you can see that I had my personal sewing “retreat” and loved spending the time sewing with few interruptions.  It was good to have all that distraction from the hurricane happenings.  My thoughts and prayers go to all of those whose lives have been affected by this disaster!

After all that stitching, I cleaned up the sewing room and last night I cut out 2 dresses for the little girls.  I hope to start on them this week but need to do some cleaning in the rest of the house first!

What have you been stitching?  Have you started Christmas sewing yet?

Kathy

 

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!

 

 

Sweet Baby Bishop

I have finally had some time to do some relaxing sewing/smocking!  While we were away at the beach, I smocked such a sweet bishop dress that I wanted to make for a baby gift.  Another couple in our Bible study group just had their first granddaughter a few weeks ago.  So, this was the perfect opportunity to stitch a little dress for the baby.

It was so relaxing to sit and stitch without the pressure of deadlines.  I knew once we got home that I would be stitching with a deadline again, so I enjoyed every minute of this relaxing, no-pressure stitching.  Of course, being at the beach certainly helped!

After stitching the dress, I decided to keep my illustrator skills sharp and graph the design.  For my dress, I loved the pink/yellow combination, but any combination of pastels would be lovely.  I used DMC#963 & 3078.  I thought I’d share the smocking plate with my readers.  😊   I gave this smocking design the same name as the baby it was gifted to!

The hem treatment was so easy – I folded up the hem depth twice and then stitched the tuck, encasing the hem at the same time.  I added ribbon and a bow above the hem just for interest.  I think it’s a nice option to add just a bit of color.

I also stitched a couple of bonnets while I was at the beach, but I’ll save those for another post.

Upon my return home, I got right down to sewing the next dress for the Classic Sewing magazine.  If you enjoy smocking and heirloom sewing, you should consider a subscription to the magazine – it provides so many patterns and free downloads with each issue.

I just received my fall issue of the magazine last week and was thrilled to see how beautifully they photographed the dresses that I’d submitted for this issue!  Could the models be any cuter!!!

I guess that means that it’s time to think about some fall sewing!!!  What will you be stitching?

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

What a wonderful thing to have a day when we can celebrate the mother’s that helped form us into who we are today.  I have been blessed to have a godly, loving mom who has always been a great example to me.  She taught me what it was to be a child of God, has loved me unconditionally and encouraged me to do my best.

My aunt (mom’s sister) was also very influential in my life, as were both of my grandmother’s.  All godly women.  I took this picture of myself, mom and her sister last year shortly before my aunt passed away.  It’s not the best picture, but I’m glad that I have it.

Be sure and take time to celebrate you mom today!  If you mom is no longer with you, enjoy and celebrate the memories!

This past week I had plenty of time to play around in my sewing room, cleaning, organizing, etc. while hubby was away.  I did manage to finish up a couple of projects that were nearly finished.

The first project finished was a dress from SATB in January.  The dress is “Vintage Visions” by Trisha Smith.  It is the sweetest dress.  I had set it aside due to my questions about the embroidery design and pocket placement – thinking I had lost the embroidery template.  Once I realized that it was a freehand drawing I went ahead and drew in my design.  Fingers crossed that the pockets are in the right place!  I can’t wait to see this sweet dress on Livvy.

The next project was finishing up a top that I used for demonstration purposes at SATB.  The top is the Jane pattern from Classic Sewing magazine.  I finished up the top and made some shorts to go with it.

Ellas was excited about this outfit and I’m sure it will look so cute on her!  The whale design is from Junebug Designs, “Whale of A Tale” – if you can find it at and heirloom shop, snatch it up as it is out of print.

I hope to finish a few more UFO’s that I found this week!  Until then……

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Just breathe!

So, the wedding is less than 2 weeks away and we’re in the last days of all the little details to attend to.  Although we’re so excited about the upcoming wedding, there’s always stress involved.  My plan is to add nothing to my calendar for this week and next week and to enjoy some relaxing sewing time as time permits.  This is relaxing and enjoyable to me when it doesn’t involve drafting/sewing for new classes or magazine articles.  LOL!  I started this process on Saturday and had a delightful weekend!

My first nearly finished project only needed a couple of rows of smocking and some buttonholes and buttons to be sewn on.  I enjoyed finishing the little dress and look forward to trying a different method of using a contrast fabric at the top of the bishop.  I believe that each method will have benefits as well as challenges.  I am OK with this method, but think the there may be a better option.  After I try a couple of others, I’ll be back to report and share my findings.

I used the apple design that I did for the Classic Sewing magazine‘s fall 2016 issue and eliminated the color changes and added a chain stitch around the outside to mimic the apples in the fabric.  I graphed the bird to match the fabric.  What a funny little bird!  I also backstitched the smocking area with a 4 step trellis stitch and like the wavy effect that it gives.

As always, I used my practical 2 button back closure.  I find that this method actually stays closed while the dress is being worn.  😜  That’s always a plus with active toddlers!

With the bishop dress completed, I moved on to the next nearly finished project.  As I have moved clothing around in the bedroom closets and rearranged space after our daughter moved out, I found several projects that needed only a little attention to be finished.  One project was a sample “Suzette” dresses that was made when I designed the dress.  I made 5 samples – the blue dress was one of them.  I recently taught this dress and it’s one of my favorites with the simple lines and smocked sleeves.  This dress only needed a hem and a button and button loop on the back.

I machine stitched the hem in the dress and then added the featherstitching.  I can say that I’m not totally thrilled with my featherstitching at the hem!  On the bodice I use a grid to get the stitch uniform.  For the hem, I decided to try it without a grid.  Oh my!!!  Wrong choice.  However, I’m giving myself some grace and recognize that nobody will be down at hem level inspecting this dress, so as Elsa says “let it go”.  That’s exactly what I’m doing!

I do love this dress and will love seeing both this one and the bird/apple dress on the little girls.

Today I’ll dive back into the closets and see what else can be finished easily and hopefully enjoy some fun stitching time between the wedding errands and such.

I hope you’re enjoying some spring sewing!  Our weather has warmed up and I think spring is here to stay!  Soon it will be time to start the summer sewing!!!

Keep on stitching……

Kathy

Busy January! SATB, Flower Girl Dresses….

January is flying by – does anyone else feel like this?  I no sooner got the Christmas decorations down and it was time to start packing up for Sewing At The Beach.

If you aren’t familiar with Sewing At the Beach, you’re missing out on a wonderful sewing retreat at Myrtle Beach, SC.  This event has grown so much over the last 25+ years.  It was started by SAGA‘s Grand Strand Smocking Guild and has grown each year – without any outside advertising!  Teachers are brought in from all over and although it is strongly focused on smocking and heirloom sewing, there is also quilting, machine embroidery and even tuffet making classes.  There’s something for everyone!  You can take classes for a couple of days, or for the full 6 days.

Because of an ominous weather forecast, I chose to head to the beach 2 days early to avoid the “snow” and stayed at our daughter’s beautiful beach house just north of Myrtle Beach.  I enjoyed my personal “retreat” for a couple of days!  Who wouldn’t enjoy a few days of R&R here? I read and smocked during the day and enjoyed a glass of wine and a “girly” movie at night!  It was quiet and very restful.  Oh, and we got no snow at home!

After my  2-day personal retreat, I headed for Myrtle Beach.  I enjoyed a wonderful time teaching again this year.  I had some of the most delightful students in my classes and I think they enjoyed taking the classes as well.  I love teaching and hope that this love of sewing, smocking and heirloom is evident to everyone.  The best part is when I hear a student have an “aha” moment when they learn something new or different.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take any pictures during my classes the entire week I was gone, thought I did get a beautiful picture of a morning sunrise – what a beautiful picture of God’s creation!

My last day at SATB I was able to take a class from Trisha Smith – a popular teacher with a very sweet disposition and great teaching style.  Though I had to leave early from my class, I enjoyed meeting her and being in her class.  Hopefully the dress will get finished up soon and fit one of the girls this summer!  As always, it was nice to be home again.

Since returning home, I’ve been busy working on flower girl dresses for the April 8th wedding of our youngest daughter.  Once the little ones were asked to be in the wedding, I immediately had thoughts of smocking, heirloom, lace, etc. and was dreaming up the most beautiful confections to create.  However, that dream was quickly changed as our daughter showed me what she envisioned for the little girls to wear.  She loved the fabric on the bodice from this dress ( from WedLuxe):

But she wanted the tutu type full skirt as in this dress (from Jen Jar Photography):

Of course, I could make that happen, right?  😝  So, fabric was ordered and was stashed for a few months until I was ready to start.  I need to get these done and out-of-the-way.  Once finished, it will be on to the ring bearer’s outfit, which will be a more traditional button on suit.

I’ve been working on the 3 dresses and have a couple of them to the point where I’m ready to do buttons and buttonholes and then decide on sashes for the back and any kind of flower or such for the front.  I did add pink piping to the neckline and armholes for a touch of color.  Can I just say that working with layers of netting and tulle is like wrestling an octopus as you try to attach all these layers to the dress bodice!!!

Here’s what I’ve got so far!  The worst is over for 2 dresses – well, actually 3 dresses!  LOL!  Unfortunately, the first dress that I made I somehow managed to cut the lining too short.  Clearly, math and I don’t get along well.  I obviously didn’t think through my solution either!  I figured I’d add a ruffle to the lower edge of the lining and all would be well.  Wrong!  While that added length, I neglected to take into account the fact that you can see through the tulle and netting layers.  🙄  While it looks fine, and the little girls were delighted to try them on, I am not happy with a ruffle at the hem of the lining, so I’ll be making another one.   Ugh!

All I can see with this dress is the ruffle!  I know, we seamstresses are our own worst critics!!!  At least I know that they fit well.  LOL!  Hopefully this dress will be remade today and then I can decide on the finishing touches for these dresses.  There will be an update when I am finished!

The highlight of this past week was to receive my issue of Classic Sewing Magazine and see my dress on the cover!!!  How exciting is that!!!  Needless to say, I was thrilled.  I had just finished teaching this dress at Sewing At the Beach.  😃  This issue is packed with the most delightful sewing projects for spring.  You definitely will want to get this issue!  I would say that even if my dress wasn’t on the cover.

So, if you’ve wondered what I’ve been up to this month, you now know!  I hope you’re enjoying some peaceful stitching time to start out your year!

Keep on stitching……

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