Category Archives: picture smocked dress

Happy New Year!!!

Today is the start of the new year and I’ve been busy doing what I love to do the most – sewing!  It’s been a lovely day!  I’ve heard of a saying that what you do on the first day of the year is what you’ll be doing all year long.  I’d love that!

I have finished up a project that has been a long time plan – which is to redraft a pattern that I taught at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion in 2013.  I was seriously pressed for time when I designed the first dress and made the sample.  While I was satisfied with the dress, I knew that in time I would want to teach the class again and offer more sizes as well as tweak the pattern a bit.  I’m happy to say that I’m very pleased with the results.

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The newer version has several minor changes from the first version of the dress, but I think that the subtle differences are more pleasing to the eye.  I’ve also drafted the dress in several sizes as opposed to the one size that was offered at SOAF.

This was the first version of the dress, which was worn by our first granddaughter and the rest that followed.  It was an ensemble that included a bonnet as well as coat and looked adorable on all the little girls.

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I knew that I wanted to change the collar to have a slight roll to it, even though a true Peter Pan collar is not supposed to have  roll.  I also softened the shape of the bodice curve and thought it is a slight change, I do prefer the new shape.  I also changed the shape of the sleeve somewhat.  These minor changes have made me much more happy with the overall appearance of the dress, though I doubt that many would even notice.

When I taught the class at SOAF, the bow on the dress was machine embroidered – with a sewing machine and not an embroidery machine.  I like the softness of the shadow work embroidery and have drawn out 3 different bows that students will be able to choose from – the 2 pictured on these dresses as well as one more that is a bit simper and will stitch up even quicker.

Needless to say, I’m very happy with the first day of the new year!  A sewing success is always great way to finish any day, but it’s a fabulous way to start the new year!

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I hope each one of you has had a wonderful start to the new year as well and pray that the new year will bring many blessings to you and those that you love!

Keep on stitching…….

Kathy

Merry Christmas!!!

Where does the time go?  I’ve sadly neglected the blog with the busy time of year and all the activities that accompany it.  Have I been sewing?  Yep.  Can I show you all of what I’ve been up to?  Nope.  LOL!  Some are gifts, some are for future publication and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  So, what do I share?

One thing that I will share is that I love this time of year and the opportunity to reflect on the all the blessings that have been given to us.  I also love the opportunity to share some of these blessings with others.  Of course, the biggest joy of the season is in the gift from our heavenly Father   – Jesus Christ, our Savior.  In all the hustle and bustle of the season, don’t forget why it is that we celebrate Christmas – it is because of Christ.  I will not succumb to the “happy holidays” greetings that the world is embracing.  I will continue to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Last week I had the opportunity to go to the memorial service of a precious baby boy – Arthur.  I am blessed to know his mom and she has shared her difficult but blessed journey as she carried him, knowing his time would be short.  In honor of Arthur’s short life on earth, I have made a couple more gowns for the Caleb ministry.  They provide the most beautiful memory boxes, that include gowns, bonnets, blankets, etc. for families that experience the loss of their precious babies.  I only took pictures of one gown since most of the gowns look so similar.  However, I did some hand embroidery on the girl gown and bonnet, so I did photograph those.  I love sewing with the laces and made sure that I added plenty of lace to make the gown extra sweet.  🙂

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I’ve also taken the time to clean up the sewing room in order to start the new year with the room as clean as possible.  It’s a small room, so if it’s a mess (which it often is),  it becomes frustrating when I have to keep shifting piles around.  LOL!  I can’t wait to start my next project!!!

In the cleaning process, I re-discovered this tiny pattern.  I know that my mom sent this to me some time ago – something she found at a yard sale, and I don’t think I paid enough attention to it to even realize that it was a pattern.  The extra small envelope fooled me.

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Note the date on the back of the envelope – April 21, 1908!!!  The pattern envelope is 3″ x 5″ and the sewing instructions are on the back of the envelope.  What a treasure to find this again!  I may have to make this up, just for fun.  We’ll see if I can find time for that in the new year.

I wish all my readers a merry Christmas and pray that the new year will bring you abundant blessings!

Kathy

Vintage Baby

I have been busy sewing these days – sewing for the grandkids, making samples for classes, sewing samples for the new Classic Sewing magazine, etc.  I’ll share pictures later.  This post isn’t about my sewing, rather it is about appreciating some vintage pieces that were also lovingly sewn for babies.

I recently received a bag full of vintage baby daygowns and assorted other baby items.  These were given to me by one of our new SAGA guild members that was trying to get rid of unwanted items.  She recognized that these were precious items and should be appreciated by someone, but she just didn’t have room to keep them.  Because she did not have an emotional attachment to them – they were not clothes from her family/ancestors – she had no problem giving them away.  I was delighted to be the recipient of these gowns whose history was unknown.

All the baby items had yellowed and were in need of some TLC.  I gently washed the clothing, but that didn’t really get them white.  So, they got the Biz soak next.  In less than 24 hours, most of them were a nice white once again!  After washing, rinsing and hanging them to dry, they all got pressed  so that I could take pictures to share.  Every gown is made of the finest lightweight cotton batiste.

The first item I’ll share is this sweet slip.  This slip is completely made by hand!  The side seams are stitched with the tiniest running stitches.  Except for the torn buttonhole, this slip is in excellent condition.
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The hem has a pretty scalloped hem made with a buttonhole stitch finish.  Each stitch is perfectly executed.

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The neckline and armholes are done with a more simple scallop.  The hand embroidery on the bodice is exquisite!

 

 

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I’m sure that at some point this slip had a matching dress.  I feel sure that the matching dress must have been even more beautiful!

This next gown is also beautifully hand stitched.  Although there is a tag inside that indicates that it was purchased, the gown is completely hand stitched – every seam.  All the seams are French seams, including the sleeve seams.

Tiny 1/8″ tucks are on the front of the gown along with delicate embroidery, pin-stitching and granitos.  The back of the dress has 1/4″ tucks.  This dress is coming apart in a few places.  I’m trying to decide if I should try to repair the seams that are coming apart or if I should leave them as they are.
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The label indicates that this is a size 1, though I seriously doubt that it would fit any one year old that I know.

 

IMG_9674The neck edge, sleeve cuffs and down the center front are finished with a hand-made buttonhole scallop.

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Close up of the beautiful embroidery.

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Sadly, my photography doesn’t show up the feather stitching very well.

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This next gown is machine-made, but with beautiful details as the other gowns have.  The label inside indicates it is a size 1.

The entredeux on this gown is some of the tiniest that I have seen.  Delicate lace is hand whipped to the entredeux at the neckline as well as sleeve edges.  A tab is stitched down the front and is embellished with little bullion flowers and leaves.  I have never considered adding bullions to the entredeux, but they are both at the neckline and one is embroidered on the entredeux at the sleeve edge.  I will have to remember this treatment for future sewing.

 

 

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The next gown has the most delicate flowers embroidered on the collar and down the center front of the bodice.  The flowers consist of 5 pink lazy daisy stitches and a blue granito center.  5 additional granitos are stitched between the flowers.  The lace is barely 1/4″ wide.

 

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Sadly, this gown fabric has quite a bit of damage.  There are several pin holes, and a few that are larger.  But, it is definitely worth keeping.

I have several more gowns to share, but will leave these little vintage treasures for you to enjoy.  Hopefully with the camera adjustments that hubby made for me, I’ll be able to get some clearer pictures of the other gowns.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these beautifully made gowns.  They make me want to pull out a baby gown pattern and start stitching!

Keep on stitching….

More Christmas…

I know that today is Halloween, but I’m focused on getting the Christmas outfits for the kids finished.  🙂  Once I got the news that the football outfit fit well with just a bit of growing room, I quickly made up Liam’s Christmas outfit that goes with the 3 outfits for the girls.

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You’ll have to pardon the cell phone picture – I had many technical challenges this week and the camera was one of them.  LOL!  But the phone camera always works!  As long as I’m sharing cell phone pics, I’ll share the football outfit.  It’s fuzzy, because this little smiley guy is never still long enough for a picture.  He’s only still if he’s eating!

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Who wouldn’t love this little guy!!!

I went delving through the “Closet Creations” – those closets that are packed with clothing that was made before there was anyone to wear them – and found these 2 outfits that are just his size!!!  He’s going to be too cute wearing these!  (I could only find these old pictures taken on a mannequin – oy!)
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These will look much cuter on him than on the mannequin!!!

They are both his size, so this was a wonderful find!  I immediately tried last year’s bishop dress on Livvy, and it still fits – it just needed the hem let out, which I’ve done.  I love that I she can wear this dress again – I just love it!

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I’ve also been working on some other sewing projects, but they will be shown later on as they aren’t yet finished.

How’s your Christmas sewing coming along???

 

Meet The New Girl ….

I’m still around – sewing, designing and such.  There’s always something going on in the sewing room and the drawing board.  This weekend I managed to get 3 Christmas a-line dresses made for the little girls.  I’ll work on the matching little brother outfit soon.

The dresses are all made from the Chez Ami twill fabric, bought when they were getting rid of a lot of fabrics.  It has  a bit of spandex.  Not my favorite to work with, but I loved the weight of the fabric and the colors.   I have the same large gingham in a royal blue/light blue combination for the little brother outfits.  I love when that all works out!  Before you’re too impressed, I have to let you know that the smocked inserts were purchased.  I didn’t make them!  They sure are cute though!  Of course, the dresses are the Children’s Corner “Lucy” – my go to pattern.

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Do you see the new girl???   I scored big with this purchase and am so excited about it!!!  I happened to be on Craig’s List this past weekend and imagine my surprise when I saw a Wolf size 5 dress fitting mannequin listed for sale.  I’d love to own an Alvanon professional fitting form, but that definitely isn’t in my budget.  So, this was the next best option.  I was a bit skeptical about completing the purchase – you hear some pretty scary stories about purchases that are scams.  But, the form was being held at a bait and tackle shop.  She was quite out of her element there.  I’m sure that she will be much happier here!  Honestly, it looks practically new.  Sadly, the arm wasn’t with the form, but I took her anyway.

Other exciting news is the smocking design that I’ll have in the new Classic Sewing Magazine that is scheduled to come out in December.  You’ll definitely want to subscribe to this magazine!  It promised to be a beautiful magazine dedicated to quality heirloom and classic sewing with many favorite designers included.  Signing up now also will allow you to get in on the beautiful machine embroidery monogram design that they are giving to subscribers.  It’s beautiful!  Here’s a sneak peek of the dress…

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You’ll have to wait for the magazine to see the rest of it!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to this last week.  Have you started your Christmas sewing yet?

 

 

Birthday Sewing and More!!!

I’ve sadly neglected my blog!  For the last couple months, I’ve been gone more than I’ve been home, so not much sewing (or blogging) has happened.  However, I’ve been home now for over a week – yippee!!! – and have been able to sew some things again.  It’s been great to get back to sewing.

The first things on order for sewing were birthday outfits for Livvy and Liam.  Both have birthdays this first week in October.  Their birthday party theme is a Circus theme, so circus outfits were in order.  My daughter sent me ideas for appliqués and I had the exact appliqués in my “collection” of embroidery designs!!!  Score!  Her color scheme is aqua and red.

IMG_9617The appliqués were a combination of a couple different designs – the tent came from Embroitique, the #1 came from Planet Appliqué and the name was the circus font from 8 Claws and a Paw.  The shortfall pattern is Children’s Corner “Johnny”, slightly modified for out chunky monkey!

Making an outfit for Liam required just a little tweaking since he is a bit wider than patterns in the appropriate size.  LOL!  We also wanted to see his chubby legs, so I raised the leg on the sides.  The result was exactly as I envisioned.  His birthday was last Friday, so he arrived dressed in the outfit.  Can I just say A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.!!!

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This was the best picture that we could get of the little guy – he’s always on the move!!!  However, the most fun of the day was watching him devour his birthday cupcake.  LOL!  He’s never had cake/icing before – let me tell you, he was a fan!  He dove into that cupcake with determination.  He started a bit timid, but quickly realized that he had a prize.

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Next up was a matching dress for Livvy.  However, I had in mind something other than gingham.  So, after teaching a class at MaryJo’s, I did some shopping.  I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so only purchased 2 fabrics.  Next stop was the quilting shop, also in Gastonia.  Oh my – what a stop that was!!!  I found several fabrics and had the clerk cutting some of them, when she (cleverly) suggested some others.  Well, the “others” were even better, so I had to have those as well.  I ended up with 8 pieces of fabric from the quilt shop.  My shopping spree for the “perfect” fabrics ended up costing $150!!!   Good thing that I love all the fabrics and will use them in other things.  Hahaha!!!

Her dress turned out so cute and I wish that I’d snapped a picture of her dancing around in it.  She was so silly and excited when she got her twirly circus dress!  Maybe I’ll have some pictures after the party.

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Obviously, the appliqué information is the same.  I didn’t think about the fact that the red letters for her name would be over red polka dots and don’t show up as well.  Hindsight.  Ugh!  Should have used yellow.  Oh well.  She loves it!  I used and OOP Children’s Corner pattern called “Libby” for the bodice pieces and just added the skirt tiers and bottom ruffle.  I’m sure it would be easy to substitute a similar pattern if someone wanted to copy the style.

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After completing the circus outfits, my SAGA News arrived in the mail.  It was the Wee Care issue and had such a cute gown that was designed by Joy Welsh of Appliqué for Kids.  I wanted to try that gown pattern – it looked very quick to make and particularly nice for boys.

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I had contacted Joy and asked her if she would be able to digitize an anchor design – I wanted it for a special little baby – and she did it that very evening!!!  What a big heart she has!!!  Thank you Joy!

I made a blanket to go with the gown.  Love the way that the gown and blanket turned out.

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If you haven’t tried out these shadow work embroidery designs, they are so quick and the end results are beautiful!!!  I could kick myself for not trying them out sooner.  I’ll definitely be using more of these.

IMG_9638This anchor was stitched on Imperial Batiste and was even stitched on the bias of the fabric on top – no puckers!  Typically poly/cotton fabrics always have puckers, but that’s not the case with her shadow work designs.

I followed that quick and easy design with a smocking design on another Wee Care gown.  It turned out sweet.  I love the way that the beads look in the design.

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I’ve submitted the smocking design to SAGA to use in a future magazine.

This week I’ve been working on fall outfits for Liam and Livvy and wanted them done for their birthday party this coming weekend.  🙂  I’m too lazy to make the shirts for under the outfits.  These were really pretty quick to make as I used purchased (Belles et Beaux) smocked inserts that we bought last year.  I made the long pants version of the Children’s Corner “Johnny” for Liam.

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The fabric for his outfit is a really great fabric – a twill from Chez Ami when they were discontinuing fabrics and clothing.  While I’m a fan of the cotton with a hint of spandex for wearing comfort, I’m not particularly a fan of sewing with it.  After pre-washing the fabric, it remained a bit off grain, so in order to get all the gingham matching at center front and back and sides, the  area just underneath the smocking is a bit off kilter.   I did try to straighten the grain and tugged for quite a while, but in the end, this was the best it got.  I don’t know if the spandex is the culprit or what.  I have several pieces of their twill with spandex.  I’ll have to see how the others do.

Livvy’s outfit is a cotton gingham – definitely liam first birthday3liam first birthday3liam first birthday3easier to sew on and get wonderful results.  For her dress I used another OOP Children’s Corner pattern for the bodices – the “Elliott”.

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I added a skirt to the bodice of this pattern.  It was an easy adjustment.  I thought about using the Mary De pattern, but wanted something that buttoned on the shoulder and was closed in the back.  I know she’ll love the twirly dress for this as well.  They are big football fans, so I hope these outfits will be a hit!

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So, as you can see, I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the sewing this past week and hope to do some more things in the next few weeks!

What have you been stitching???

 

Classes, kits and how it all comes together!

I have recently shared with some sewing friends about the challenges and work that goes into putting kits together for classes, and some encouraged me to write a post about just that.  Since I’ve been gone so much recently and haven’t had the time to sew much of anything, I thought I’d share the process here.  However, I’m going to start at the beginning of the design process.

The fun part is coming up with an idea for a project or garment.  I really enjoy that and have way more ideas than will ever make it to a class or pattern.  LOL!  I like garments that are “different” – not just the traditional yoke dress with a twist, so thinking through the drafting and sewing of the pattern is the next challenge – which I also enjoy.  After coming up with the first pattern draft, I sew it together to make sure that the process that I came up with will work.  Most of these first drafts are wearable drafts, but need some refinement.  Hahaha!!!  I wish I could say that the first one works out perfectly, but that’s not usually the case.  Often it takes another garment (or 2,3,4) before I have everything right.

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I am so thankful to have a wonderful friend that is a professionally trained pattern drafter/grader.  She has been an invaluable resource when I need to try the final garment on a “real” professional fitting mannequin.  We try it on the mannequin and she can see if there’s anything else that needs tweaking.

Upon completing the garment and getting the fit/proportions just right for one size, the pattern is drafted in additional sizes.  This is a slow process for me and makes me wonder why I don’t just use a traditional yoke pattern, which would be so much easier!

With the grading completed, the writing of instructions is needed.  Oh, what a tedious process that is!  This is NOT a part that I enjoy, but is necessary.  I start with the basic instructions, then will make yet another garment, taking pictures of the process along the way, and will attempt to refine the instructions.  I slave over getting the written instructions just right, trying to describe each step of the process in a way that is easy to understand and inserting pictures where I feel they are needed.  I HATE using Microsoft Word for this as every time I change some of the instructions and go to save the changes, it re-arranges my pictures in a most unfortunate way.  E.V.E.R.Y.  T.I.M.E.!!!  This makes the dreaded task even less enjoyable and so much time is wasted putting those pictures back in place.  Oy!

Graphing the smocking design used to be another dreaded task, however, once I finally understood the software enough to work with it (thank you Claire Meldrum for you tutorials and patience with me!!!), that has become a task that takes a while, but I do enjoy the process now.  It used to make me cry!  LOL!

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Every time I create a smocking design and get it graphed, I feel so accomplished!  Hahaha!!!  Don’t you love it when little things can make you happy!

The next part of the class process is figuring out what will be included in the kit and what the student will need to add to that in order to complete the garment.  Lists with requirements are made and you cross your fingers that you haven’t forgotten anything!  This takes some serious thinking!!!  Everything included in the kit needs to be enough for the largest size offered.  Costs for everything need to be figured out to come up with the cost of the kits.  That part is tricky for me as well.  At this point, the class can be submitted to SAGA for approval.

Then there are decisions to be made about what to do to make the class run more smoothly, eliminating the possibility for cutting errors, or just doing some of the work so that more class time will be for sewing and not cutting out.

For fabrics that will shrink, washing, drying and pressing is next.  Thank you to my hubby who bought me an iron press to make this job easier!!!  (picture from Amazon)

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Supplies have to be on hand or ordered – everything from the fabrics, notions, etc. to the plastic bags for the smaller things (buttons) as well as a larger plastic bag for the entire project to go into.  Instructions and patterns need to be printed.  Once you “think” you have everything needed, the kit-making process begins…….

For the kit shown below, bias bands were cut for the neck, underarm, angel sleeve contrast, ruffle strips were torn, elastic lengths cut, rick rack – one package and an additional cut length added, smocking needle and embroidery needle inserted into a piece of felt, practice piece pleated as well as garment piece pleated.  After everything is cut and/or pleated and folded, it is brought to the “assembly room” (aka: guest room).  Everything for the kit gets a spot.

At this point, I decided that I needed to label all those cut pieces, so back to the computer to type up the sheet and print the labels – armhole bias, neckband bias, etc.  Then pin the appropriate label to the cut pieces.

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Then begins the assembly line to pack up everything in the kit.  Of course, this is when you discover that you are missing a few embroidery floss colors (or some other little thing when it is a different kit!).  So, kits are put together and the ones that have everything (you hope!) are placed in one location – a dresser drawer at our house! – and the ones still in need of a couple of items in another location – a different dresser with a note as to what is still needed.

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An attempt is made to fold up everything neatly and in a semi-attractive way (honestly, I cannot make this jumbled mess attractive!) and slip it into the large bag.  Add the printed instructions and you hope that you’re done!!!

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I recently made 25 of these kits (pants not included) and 20 of another kit to prepare for a class.  It took about 60 hours to get everything ready because both kits had a lot of work cutting and/or sewing so that students didn’t have to spend time in class doing that work.  You can imagine how thrilled I am when the kit process is finished for a class!!!  Doing the happy dance!   I like to enjoy the moment, because when it’s time for the next class(es), it will be kit making time again!  LOL!

So, if you get to a class and are missing an item – please understand that its human error!  I try so hard to make sure that each kit is complete, but because I do actually have to stop and cook, sleep, etc., the interruptions can sometimes cause a blip in the process and something gets forgotten.  I wish I could blame it on the “help”, but I’m the “help”.  😛  For this reason I try to take a couple extra kits along for each class.  🙂

If you’ve made it this far without being totally bored, you are to be commended!  I hope that this gives you a bit of insight into the process of creating classes and preparing kits.  I know that all teachers strive to do the best for their students and classes.  We all love to teach and share our knowledge – hopefully helping students master new techniques.

I’ll continue designing/drafting and creating classes, but now you know why I only manage a couple new classes each year!  I love it and can’t wait to come up with the next one.

 

 

Bonnets and Buddies

I’ve been waiting for the right time to share this post.  I’m sure that you’d agree with me when I say that sewing buddies are the best!!!  This theory is proven to be true again.  My sewing buddies are the best!!!

Our local smocking guild has grown quite a bit this past year and I’ve made several new friends because of that.  One of our newer members, Janice, brought in a gorgeous Christening gown, slip and bonnet at the second meeting that she attended.  Her bonnet was displayed on a beautiful hand painted bonnet stand.  I admired it and found out that she had made the bonnet stand as well as the beautiful outfit.  Of course, I had to ask her if I could commission her to make a bonnet stand for me.  I was thrilled when she said that she would be happy to.  I was in no particular hurry.

Imagine my surprise when a couple months later Janice arrived the meeting with not one, but 2 beautiful stands!!!

I have the greatest respect for anyone that can not only sew, but also paint.  I can hardly pain my nails, much less something pretty!  Both stands are beautiful!  Her painting is as lovely as her sewing!  What a wonderful gift that she has given to me!!!

Aren’t these so pretty!!!  I couldn’t wait to display a bonnet on one of these.

I can’t wait to bring my bonnet and stand to the class that I’ll be teaching this week.  I cannot think of a prettier way to display a bonnet than on one of these stands.  It sure beats the candle sticks I’ve been using.  LOL!  Thank you Janice for making these beautiful stands for me – I am so blessed to count you as one of my friends!

Fancy Band Frustrations!

You know what I’m talking about – those beautiful fancy bands that grace the special heirloom dresses.  True labors of love!  I love working with lace.

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It is such a delight to see these beautiful creations being worn by the special little ones in our lives!  They look so angelic and sweet.  Then that moment comes, that horrifying moment when those sweet little feet step on the band and the damage is done – the beautiful band is torn.  Well, I have 2 of those mishaps that needed repair work.  Ugh!  A truly dreaded task!!!

As I cleaned up in the sewing room last week, I came across the more recent disaster.  I’m sure that you’ll recognize this dress.  This dress was originally made for Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine (Issue #84).

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Then a few short years after publication, I was thrilled to see Ella wearing it for Easter and her little sister Eva wearing a blue dotted Swiss day gown to co-ordinate.  They were adorable.

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Isn’t that the sweetest picture ever!!!  Cousin Livvy also wore a dotted Swiss dress and was equally cute.

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This dress was featured in SB #146 and was appropriately called Olivia’s Easter dress.

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However, before we could get pictures of all 3 little girls together in their dresses, the dastardly deed happened and the fancy band was torn.  🙁  Thank goodness for a pretty slip underneath!

The time had come to fix this dress while I still have enough eyesight left to pick out those stitches.  Imagine my delight when I discovered that I had already picked out the torn lace on the blue dress!!!  Oh the joy!  The job of repair just got infinitely easier.

While I was at it, I knew that I should also fix the torn fancy band that has been waiting for 19+ years for repair.  This was worn by our youngest daughter, Lauren, for Christmas when she was 4 or 5 years old.  She wore that dress several times before the band was torn.  I pulled that one out as well – might as well get both of them done.

Here’s the only picture I could find of her in the dress.  I kindly cropped out the rest of the kids in their very 90’s outfits!  LOL!  They will be happy for the cropping!

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I wish I could say that I had already picked out this torn lace, but alas, that wasn’t the case.  Not only had I not picked out the lace, but I apparently had the bright idea to cut away the torn lace close to the header.  Bad idea!!!  I also managed to make a bad mistake even worse.  Before realizing that I had not properly removed the damaged lace, I starched (aka: glued) the lace heavily in preparation for sewing.  Oy!  Now the nearly invisible stitches were glued to the fancy band!  What a horrible job that ended up being!!!  I think I spent 6+ hours un-sewing.

Finally, I was ready to begin the actual repair work.  As I mentioned – I heavily starched all the lace areas – the laces attached to the dress as well as the lace to be re-inserted.  I soaked the laces with starch and let them dry over night.  Once dry, I pressed everything and began.  (excuse the wrinkles – I wasn’t pressing the entire dress when I knew they would need pressing once finished!)

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The new lace was attached to one of the sides (doesn’t matter which side you chose to start with).  I started and stopped the lace about 1-1/2″ away from the side seam so that I could accurately sew the lace seam and have it fit properly.  I marked the lace with a blue wash out marker exactly where the side seam should be, then french seamed the lace.  At that point I was able to stitch the final section of lace on.

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As you can see in the top picture, the original lace band top edges don’t meet exactly.  As I stitched the new lace to the original band, I carefully stitched over that section making sure that I caught the header threads of both laces.  It ended up smooth when I was finished.  Disguised very well.

Next in order was re-attaching the band to the dress lace section.  Before doing this, use a blue wash out marker and mark the dress/lace as well as the band/lace in sections.  Side seams and center front and center back should be marked first . Then mark half way between these marks as well(see red arrows).  This gives you guide lines as you stitch the lace band back to the dress.  Without marking, it is likely that either the upper lace or the lower lace will feed through the machine unevenly and the result will be that there will be extra lace on either the upper or lower band that will be too much to ease back in.  Marking the sections allows you to ensure that everything fits back in place.

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Once the bands were back on both dresses, they needed to be washed to clean and remove all that starch.  The white dress had really gotten dingy looking from years of storage.  Finding that I was out of Biz, my usual go to for brightening/whitening, I remembered purchasing another whitening agent – Retro Clean.  I cannot remember where I purchased this fromThis was purchased at the Peanut Butter and Jelly Kids  booth at the SAGA 2013 convention. It was quite pricey at $15.  I do remember being assured that I would be happy with the product.  Time to put it to the test.

IMG_9588 A couple of hours of soaking the white dress and it looked new again.  I’ll let the “before” and “after pictures speak for themselves.  I didn’t Photoshop the colors on either of them.

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As you can well imagine – I highly recommend this product!  It worked wonders in just a couple of hours.  I can’t wait to try this out on a couple other things that are in need of some brightening.

So, a day of work is done.  Both dresses are fixed and ready for the next wearing!  Hopefully the next wearing won’t involve torn fancy bands.  However, if they do, well, I’d rather have the dresses be worn rather than just decorating the closets.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Lauren’s Christmas dress will fit Ella this year.  That way I’m ahead of the game for Christmas dresses!

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I hope that you don’t have to repair fancy bands.  The job isn’t fun, but in the end, it was well worth it!

Keep on stitching……

 

Vacation 2015

I haven’t been up to any kind of sewing lately, which makes me itching to get back at it!

We had our annual family beach vacation the first week of the month.  It wasn’t quite what we had expected this year.  I’m fondly referring to it as the “Beach ‘n Barf 2015”.  We hope that this type of vacation won’t be repeated – ever!  We’ve been going to the beach with the kids for 20+ years now and have never had a bad vacation, so I won’t complain too much.  However, this year, in addition to the flu, we also had 3 days of mostly cloudy and/or thunderstorms.  Not great fun.

We did enjoy some wonderful days at the beach.  However, due to the illnesses – which was on a different day for each of victims – we didn’t get our family beach picture this year.

This was also the first year that I did absolutely NO stitching or reading at the beach.  As I said, it was a very different vacation.

The little ones sure did enjoy the beach on the days we made it there!  I’ll share some pictures for you to enjoy.

This little guy was always smiling – so much that we didn’t even know he cut a tooth while we were there!

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He and his uncle Steve were buds – 2 gingers hangin’ together.

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Then there were the girls – they have such fun together!  Love that!

Being silly right before we ate at the restaurant…

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Silly at the beach….

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And how sweet is this…..

 

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Upon our return from the beach, I’ve been in the sewing room a lot, but not sewing, rather making up kits for an upcoming teaching event.  The kit making took an entire week.  I’ll share that process in another post.

Lest I forget to mention it – I also had a dress to make up prior to leaving for the beach!  I hope that all the heirloom sewing friends have heard about the new magazine that will soon be available – it is called Classic Sewing and will be published by Phyllis DePiano of Hoffman Publications.  Kathy McMakin is the talented editor of this new magazine.  The first issue is scheduled to come out in December and will be an Easter issue.  There promises to be lots of beautiful eye candy in this issue.  You’ll want to subscribe to this one!  You can read about it at the Classic Sewing magazine homepage.  I’m so excited about this new magazine and am delighted to be included as one of the contributors.  🙂  Here’s a little teaser for you.

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After 2 weeks of not sewing – beach and kit making – it was time to clean around here.  Sure with that houses were self-cleaning like my oven!!!  But, since that’s not the case, I had some serious work to do.  The house needed it and the sewing room looked like a bomb went off in it!

So, that’s it for now!  I hope to get to the sewing room again this week, even if it is only for a little while.  I need to get going on some Christmas outfits with 4 little ones to dress!!!

What will you be working on?  I hope you have had some special sewing time as well…..

 

 

Home from the SAGA Retreat!

I just returned from another great SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) Retreat in Chicago.  As always, it was several days packed with activities.  The ladies that worked hard to put this event together did a great job and I think that everyone enjoyed the weekend.  There were quite a few new, first time attendees!  That was really exciting!

The food at the hotel was good, but the desserts – yummy!!!

As always, there were lots of table favors from shops and guilds.  It’s such fun to see the creative element with these favors!  If you’ve never attended a SAGA retreat or convention, there’s still time to sign up for the retreat in PA in Sept.  I’d encourage you to consider it.

Not only was I able to enjoy getting reacquainted with women that I’ve met previously, but I had the privilege to meet one of my internet friends, Jenny Jo.  🙂  We’ve known each other for several years online, but this was the first time we met in person.  She’s the smart one that remembered the camera (I only had my cell phone for pictures!), so I just “stole” her picture!  This is us at “market” after a busy day.

We enjoy getting to know each other a bit more over dinner one night and again at breakfast our last morning.  We discovered that we share very similar upbringing – both attending a reformed church, learning the Heidelberg catechism (both of us attended Sat. morning catechism classes as kids), etc.  I can tell you – that never happens!  She was as delightful and thoughtful in person as she is online.  She gifted me with a beautiful smocked pincushion!  I will treasure this.  Not only that, but she also made a book with lovely smocking designs and ideas that go beyond children’s clothing.

I also received a nice gift basket from the SAGA board.  Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the basket – it was pretty, and full of goodies.  Another student gave me some delicious caramel popcorn!  I devoured one of the bags while in Chicago.

I had a wonderful group of students for both classes that I taught.  However, I stayed busy enough that I only remembered to take a quick couple pictures right at break time, so many students are missing from the pictures.

The students all worked hard and I believe that all of them will be able to finish up their projects soon.  🙂   I hope that many of them took away some new tips and techniques that they will be able to use on other projects.

Upon returning home, I am busy watching 2 of the granddaughters while their folks are away (in England!).  They will be with us until Monday, so I am staying on my toes keeping up with them!!!  Yesterday we did some creative “art” work outside.  LOL!  You have to love the way that little minds work – how about that coloring position – down the steps.  Hahaha!!!

I have one thing going for me – I’m getting some great sleep at night!

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful summer!!!  Keep on stitching…..

Staying One Step Ahead – maybe…

“Grandchildren are like a crown to the elderly” – Prov. 17:6a.  There is such truth in this proverb!  We have delighted in our grandchildren these last several years – each one is unique and their personalities as well as antics keep us laughing!

This is Eva – our little whirling dervish granddaughter!  She’s 2-1/2.  That little pixie face and big blue eyes make her look like a little angel, but don’t be fooled!  What goes on her head – well, I cannot even begin to imagine!!!  She’s our modern-day version of Dennis the Menace.  LOL!

 

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Eva is never still.  She’s always into something, and the average adult cannot imagine what she could come up with or what she could get into.  That’s just how it is.  She attacks life with gusto and is fearless.  Case in point……

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So, what does this all have to do with sewing?  Funny you should ask.  LOL!  Eva’s independent spirit means that she likes to be in charge of herself and her environment – including, what she’s wearing – or NOT wearing, as the case might be.

As early as she could manage to figure out how to “un-do” things, she has been one to undress herself when you would least expect it.  Frequently it is in bed, right before she falls asleep at nap time or bed time.  Recently that has become more of a challenge since it is happening more frequently.  She’s still in pull-ups.  You can see where this is going!  LOL!

One of the more recent episodes of undressing in bed was due to necessity.  She was uncomfortable.  Her pull-up was “soiled”.  So being the independent little thing that she is, she “handled” it.  Later that evening, her mommy discovered the soiled pull-up, many, many, many wipes and the little angel  sound asleep in bed wearing a clean pull-up.  These are the discoveries that nobody wants to find!  Hahaha!!!  I’m grandma, so I can laugh about it.  However, mommy had to do the clean up.  On the plus side – Eva is so busy all day long, that once she is asleep, she out for the night.  The clean up was done, including steam cleaning the carpet, without her even waking!!!

Upon pondering the situation, I decided that perhaps – and that’s a big perhaps – the situation can be avoided by creating the appropriate sort of “union” suit for her to sleep in.  So, that was my mission this past week.  This isn’t heirloom sewing, couture sewing or anything of the sort – it is fast and dirty sewing.  So, I went out and found a bigger girls polo type dress and re-fashioned it into PJ’s that zip up the back.  The hope is that she won’t be able to get out of these.  LOL!

I have to admit – I feel a bit like the 30-something young women that refashion outfits and then put up a free “tutorial”, including pattern, on their blogs.  LOL!  This isn’t the case – I’m just showing you my pitiful attempt.  I do know how to make a real pattern and have it fit – just don’t want to spend the time doing that for these PJ’s.  I suspect that they won’t be needed for long enough to warrant that kind of dedication to creating a pattern.  🙂

Clearly there’s no pattern for zip up the back PJ’s, so I was wingin’ it on these.  I laid out the dress, and then put a size 3t sleeper over it to come up with the pattern.  I decided this would work with little effort.  I should have realized that this would render HUGE armholes, but I wasn’t thinking about that.  LOL!

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I was fearless with the scissors and attacked the sewing in the same manner as Eva attacks life.  I quickly had something to work with.  After about an hour, I had the zipper in, armholes and neckline finished (quick and dirty – just a zig zag) and was ready for a “fitting”.  It was obvious that the armholes and probably the neckline would need adjusting.

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The orange zipper is a fashion statement – the whole concept is a little wild, so why not have a wild colored zip in the outfit.

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Definitely NOT couture methods.  Hahaha!!!  This is not my usual type of sewing – but it worked for this.

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I think the armholes would fit me at this point!  Side seams of the dress were left in tact and leg openings are a rounded out portion at the bottom.  I’ve seen this in little boy rompers, so I was going with it, though NO snaps – she knows how to undo those as well.

 

 

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Because I had to stop over at our other daughter’s house, I tried the outfit on Livvy, who is only 3 months older and just a bit taller than Eva.  Krissy assured me that our little Houdini could escape through the large armholes!  So, I went home and dusted the neck and arms and this is the finished product.  Tinkerbelle was added in hopes to make this more appealing to Eva.

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I reused the buttons from the dress to decorate the box pleat in the front.  It’s functional, not proper technique.  🙂

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I addressed the armhole situation by putting in a large inverted box pleat and then stitching it down, twice – inside and outside.  I can only hope that this is enough.

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The back is pretty plain, but that’s ok.

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Now, the true test of this creation is if it will accomplish the purpose that it was designed for – to keep the girl (including pull-ups) on.  I’m not entirely convinced it will work, only because her little mind can come up with things that I cannot even imagine.  In my rational adult mind, there’s no way out.  However, she could still surprise me!  She’s pretty determined and very creative in her endeavours!  If that’s the case, I’ll have to come up with something else.  LOL!

Love this little sweetheart!  I only hope that I can keep up with her when we keep both girls next week!!!  I’m sure that mommy is ready for a vacation!

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Now, on to some sewing that is more my style…….

Where Does The Time Go?

I’ve sadly neglected the blog for a few weeks.  Time seems to be flying by this summer!  I have managed to get a bit of sewing in and have enjoyed every bit of it.

Upon our return from Europe, I took some time the first week and did some charity sewing.  I made more gowns for the Caleb ministry as well as several peasant dresses for the Dress A Girl Around The World.  Of course, I couldn’t forget the gowns that I make for the SAGA Wee Care, so a couple of those were finished as well.  Both are wonderful ministries and I consider it an honor and a blessing to support them.  The peasant dresses are easy to construct as are the gowns for the tiny babies for Caleb ministry.

I neglected to take pictures of all the items, but I did manage to finish up my “stash” of blue floral, as you can see from the 3 dresses.  LOL!  I sewed 6 peasant dresses.

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The Caleb ministry gave me a supply of heirloom laces to work with, which was right up my alley!  While I wish these tiny gowns weren’t needed, it enjoy that I can make something special to make a difficult day a little easier for the parents.

 

 

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The same sentiment is shared with the Wee Care gowns.  I’m so glad that there are opportunities for these tiny babies to have some special gowns.  These blue hem treatment on the first gown is a sweet way to add some color to the gown and decorate it without making it too girl-y.  This is the second gown that I’ve used this Madeira treatment on and I’m sure I’ll use it again.

 

 

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Then I thought it was time I finished up this dress.  It’s been complete for weeks, only lacking the hem and buttons.  Why do I not get this finished up as soon as the smocking is completed?  Oy!  The butterfly is a smocking design from Frances Messina Jones called “Flutter By“.  She has the cutest picture smocking plates and I enjoyed smocking this one.

The fabric is a poly/cotton from Farmhouse Fabrics.  I went there a year (maybe 2) ago and bought this fabric in blue, white and yellow since it’s so hard to find a quality poly/cotton fabric.  I know that this dress will be especially enjoyed since no ironing is involved!

 

 

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I kept the back design simple and quick.  Ella wore this dress when they came over for Father’s Day dinner and it was adorable on her.  Of course, with the gang all here, well, pictures didn’t happen.  LOL!  It was wild and busy, but with lots of fun for all.

 

 

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Then I moved on to yet another UFO that has been aging in the stash for a few years – a wool jacket, Snug as a Bug, from a Gail Doane class.  I hate to admit it, but I made many mistakes on this jacket due to the fact that I didn’t review the instructions prior to competing the embroidery.  (showing my red face here!!!)  Clearly, as a teacher, I should have known better.  But, I wanted to get it finished prior to taking another class from her this week.  Bad idea.  After the embroidery was completed, I did review the sewing instruction and that’s when I discovered that my embroidery was different than the instructions.  Oy!  I did my best to fix the situation.  It’s still a beautiful little jacket – it just doesn’t look exactly like the original kit was designed.  LOL!  I know better now and hopefully will not make this dumb mistake again.  Mistakes and all, I still love the little jacket and know it will be worn!

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I did try the jacket on the little girls when I watched them last week, but I had all 4 kids at the time and a good photo just wasn’t an option!!!  Instead, I’ll share a picture of the 3 little girls on their trip to the aquarium in their whale dresses.  You know I have to share my sweeties from time to time!

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After the jacket was finished, I moved on and continued working on my next (hopefully) class to submit to SAGA.  🙂  I need to finish that up this week!

The last 2 days have been spent at our guild’s workshop with Gail Doane.  As always, she is a wonderful teacher and I’d encourage anyone to take a class from her.  You won’t be disappointed.  We had many first time attendees at the workshop and they thoroughly enjoyed her classes.

Now, back to the real world of cleaning, cooking and sewing……

Kathy

Komolka – Fabric Shopping in Vienna

As promised, I’m sharing pictures from my fabric shopping adventure in Vienna.  We found the fabric store via the internet and I was hopeful that we would be able to fit this into our schedule.  However, we encountered a few challenges!  We arrived in Vienna on Saturday, late afternoon – too late to shop, not to mention that it was pouring.  Sunday, we discovered that all the stores were closed, so we used that as our day to visit the tourist sites – no problem, there’s always Monday, right?  Wrong!  Monday was a national holiday and all the stores were closed for that as well!!!  Ack!  Our train back to Prague was Tuesday at 1pm.  What to do…..

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We got up Tuesday morning and double checked the directions, etc. to get to the store.  The map said that it was about a 25 minute walk from our hotel.  No problem – we’d been walking all week and 25 minutes was nothing.  Well, that was until we decided that we would walk there, I would shop, then we would walk to the train station – a 40 min. walk from the fabric store – all while pulling our carry on bag and with our backpacks.

Not deterred by this additional weight to pull, I gleefully set out with hubby to find the store.  Thank goodness for his iPhone map to navigate the streets!  Did I mention that all the streets and sidewalks are cobblestone?  Try pulling luggage on that for a few miles.  LOL!  We got there a couple of minutes before opening, and we didn’t encounter pouring rain during the walk, just drizzle, so I counted it as a win!

My husband was a great sport.  There’s a chair near the front of the store (for gentlemen to patiently wait) and he sat there with the luggage while I drooled shopped for a couple special pieces of fabric.  He also was my camera man and took plenty of pictures for me.  🙂  I can’t thank him enough for all these great pictures!

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Stepping into the store was like stepping into fabric heaven!!!  You can see me sporting my backpack.  LOL!  There was fabrics EVERYWHERE, along with gorgeous trims, ribbons, buttons, etc.  And, unlike the US fabric stores, not a piece of fleece in sight!  Yep – pretty much fabric heaven!  Also missing was copious quantities of quilting cottons.  Another win as far as I’m concerned.  This store was for someone who wanted to sew clothing!!!

The building was an older building and had many twists and turns as well as several floors/levels and every area was well-organized by fabric content as well as color.  These were fabrics for women – everything from twill to tweeds to linen and everything in between.  Of course, I couldn’t read the signs, so I went by feel as well as by the words on the bolt ends – many are similar to English words.

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The wall on the back side is all men’s suiting type of fabrics.

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The beautifully color groupings in the picture below are the linings.  What a selection.

 

 

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The selection of knit fabrics and jerseys was exceptional!

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I just loved the aqua tween on the mannequin and went back to this piece several times before deciding that I probably would not make myself a jacket, so to spend the money on that would be foolish.  It sure was beautiful!  They had the tweeds that you see in the Chanel type jackets in every color combination you could imagine, priced at the equivalent of $39 – $69/yd. and higher.  Each piece was as beautiful as the next!

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I think that this may have been the bargain area, though I cannot be sure.  The prices on these fabrics were lower than most of the rest in the store, but they were all quite nice, so not cheap remnant stuff that our chain stores seem to get in quite regularly for their “specials”.

 

 

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Up the set of half a flight of stairs (seen on the second fabric picture) was the children’s area, which was the only area where I saw any quilting type of cottons, and quite a few of those were from the US, though there was a lot of beautiful piques as well as heirloom fabrics.  No bargains to be had there.  I didn’t get a picture of that area.  However, up from that small section was the bridal, formal wear fabrics – oh my, there’s hardly words for that floor!  These are the rows of solid colored satins, silks, and such on the right.  There were so many beautiful print, silk chiffon.

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Then there was the laces…..every color you could imagine and what a selection of the white bridal laces.  Of course, there were beautiful beaded trims to match every color.

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But, the show stopper for me was the Liberty fabrics!!!  The table had so many beautiful Liberty prints!!!  I’ve never seen so many in one place!  Stop  my beating heart!  I petted many of them, pulled several out trying to decide which one to buy, but with 3 granddaughters, yikes!  The sticker shock with the yardage needed to make 3 dresses stopped me short.  So, I gazed for a while and then slowly walked away.  Actually, I think that the prices in the US are a bit better for Liberty than they were in Vienna – we just don’t have quite the selection.

Just prior to leaving the shop, I asked to use the lady’s room – necessity before another 40 minute walk.  That was in another corner of the shop on a different floor.  Imagine my surprise when I found just as many Liberty fabrics in that back room that was tucked away near the lady’s room – and all were different prints than what were on this table.  I think that was the section of the store for decorating a baby nursery.  Unclear why they would separate the Liberty like that, but I guess it works for them.  Lots of beautiful fabrics in that room as well.

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Then there was the buttons, threads, trims and such – quite a selection.  Look at all those buttons on the wall!!!  The trims and ribbons were on the table.

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Threads…

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I didn’t venture down to the basement level, which I was told had mostly home dec. as well as outdoor fabrics.

It was a delightful shopping experience.  I left with 4 pieces of fabric.  I was limited by what we could still fit into our suitcases (which, by the way, were carry on size – for a 10 day trip!!!).  That was perfectly fine with me – I own enough fabric that I cannot possibly sew it up in what remains in my lifetime.

If you’re ever in Vienna, you just need to stop at this shop – it’s well worth it.  And you may even want to leave room in your luggage as well as a hefty chunk of spending money for the adventure!

I’ve been sewing since we got back home.  I’ll share those things next.  Until then, keep on stitching……

Kathy

European Vacation….

As you can guess, this post isn’t about sewing!  We’ve just returned from a 10 day European vacation.  My husband travels overseas regularly.  This time I went along.  He worked for the first couple days while I explored alone, then we had the rest of the time to do all the tourist things and enjoy a different culture.  It was a wonderful vacation and we had a great time exploring, getting (a little) lost, walking until we were I was exhausted, eating different foods, etc.  It was a fabulous way to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary!!!

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I’ll apologize right away and say that you’re just going to have to put up with the “tourist” pictures!  LOL!  We spent time in Prague as well as Vienna.  Both were cities with beautiful buildings, architecture, art, etc.  We visited a castles in both cities as well as a cathedral in Prague – it was built on the castle grounds.  Amazing!!!  The size and scale of these historical buildings leaves one speechless!

The first castle that we visited was the Prague castle.  It was built around 880 and includes the basilica of St. Vitus on the grounds, which was the main church of the castle.  It was quite a hike to get there from our hotel.  After a lengthy walk, we crossed the Charles Bridge – a historical bridge with 30 statues of religious figures and built in the 1350’s.  Pretty impressive.

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From the Charles Bridge you can see the other area bridges, which are equally beautiful, but without all the statues.

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From the bridge you can see the castle in the distance (the basilica towers can be seen).  Yep – we walked there!!!  It is a pretty walk, though all uphill, with cobblestone streets and shops and restaurants along the path as well as assorted street performers.

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This is typical of so many of the streets.  I love the quaintness of the streets, shops and restaurants.  We noticed that the building colors were mostly in tans, peach, yellow/golds and light green colors, but no blues.  Wonder why?  Perhaps I only wonder this since I have such an affection for blue!

 

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When you finally get to the castle, the view of the city is pretty spectacular!  I love all the orange tile roofs that you see all over Europe.

 

 

_DSF2249 The castle was pretty, but we didn’t really get a picture that shows it well since there was a lot of maintenance work being done on the outside.  However, there are lots of pictures of the basilica – I’ll limit it to a couple, just so you can see some of the magnificence of it.

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The artwork, gold ironwork, paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows – everything – it is unbelievably beautiful.  One more picture, just so you can see the scale of the building – it is HUGE!!!  I don’t know how they managed such construction without the modern tools that we have.

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We did not enjoy all the crowds at these tourist attractions.  But, there’s never a time that it is without tourists.  We toured many of the different buildings at the castle and saw many artifacts, saw the changing of the guards, the castle china and the beautiful sceptres and crowns with their Bohemian jewels.  Even with the crowds, I was glad that we had the opportunity to tour this site.  (my fitbit recorded 28,000+ steps and over 13 miles for that day!)

In Vienna we visited the Schönbrunn Palace as well as the Belvedere Palace.

The Belvedere Palace was a pretty structure and the grounds were beautiful, but the inside was basically an art museum. That wasn’t what I expected.  I like art, but room after room of art isn’t what I prefer to tour.  The grounds and fountains and gardens can be viewed without paying to get inside the buildings, which is probably what we should have done.

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The Schönbrunn Palace reminded me very much of the Biltmore Estate here in NC and I really enjoyed seeing all the different rooms, which were furnished with the original things.  Again, the intricate designs and detailed workmanship of all of the rooms and furnishings were pretty amazing.  The landscaping and fountains were also magnificent.  Again, the grounds could all be viewed without paying for entrance into the buildings, but it is definitely worth seeing the building insides and doing a tour (along with the multitude of other tourists!).

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The fountain and sculptures were beautiful and this one was no exception.  This one was of the god Neptune and the other mythical creatures surrounding him.

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As we exited the gardens we saw this beautiful rose bush – with different colored roses growing from the same bush – I loved it!!!

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I could share so many more pictures and stories about our trip, but will leave it to this.  If you’ve managed to read through this entire post, you’ve done really well.  It has nothing to do with sewing, but it sure was an adventure!  I did do a bit of smocking while on vacation, but more about that later….

Stay tuned – my next post will be about the fabulous fabric store that we found. I commissioned my husband to take plenty of pictures for me!  🙂  He got some great ones.

Hopefully I’ll get a bit of sewing done again now that I’m home.

Kathy