Monday, December 31, 2012
Yes, I am one of those people who makes New Years resolutions. They are usually the normal ones, eat healthy, exercise, and all the others. A few years ago we made our resolution to just have more fun during the year. We now refer to that as the "Concert Year." I think that we went to four or five, "Wow, glad we finally got around to seeing them while they are still preforming" concerts. This last year was going to be our big travel year, but sometimes real life interrupts. The past year has been a really rough one and each day is a struggle, but at the same time we have been blessed beyond words. We could not foresee that our sweet little granddaughter would be living nearby, little cousins now have the chance to become best friends, or that a husband would have a life changing medical diagnosis. What we did know ahead of time was that God would be with us each and every day and that he would use it to strengthen each of us and our family.
And so what is my resolution for this year? The necklace that I picked out for Christmas says it all. "Focus On The Day." I will be making the conscious effort to focus on the special moments in each and everyday from a hug, to birds at the feeder, or the smell of bread baking.
Do you have a resolution for the new year?
Thursday, December 20, 2012
I'm planning on taking a little break until after New Years to concentrate on what is really important. An intentional slowing down and giving myself permission to go for more winter drives, visiting with family and friends and to watch more Christmas movies. What brought this on you may ask? The dream that I had last night that I had forgotten to complete my Christmas shopping! As I lay in bed at 4:00 AM, I was relived when I remembered that I am finished, but maybe wrapping those gifts would be a good idea and starting the grocery list for Christmas baking.
So, it is now time to do a little of this.
And a lot of this!
Hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Most of us are familiar with the Christmas stocking kits that are made out of felt and trimmed with sequins and beads. My mother made them for my kids and our little guy needed one this year. I bought the kit at Hobby Lobby, I have no idea where Mother and I were finding them over 30 years ago. Anyway, never having worked with felt, sequins, and tiny tiny beads it was quite the challenge. As I finished the project I had the hang of it and things were going smoothly. The main difference I discovered between the new and the old kits were the amount of "sparkle" that they now have which means A LOT more beads and details. Sounds about right for our times doesn't it? I'm confident that I will be finding beads and sequins in the couch for the next 5 years.
Do you have special Christmas stockings made with love at your house?
Friday, December 14, 2012
Have you noticed that layering is all the rage for the kids? Since I remember layering long sleeve and short sleeve from my middle school years, let's just say that I have been a little slow on jumping on board. But when one of my blog readers commented that she has been putting long sleeve tee shirts under short sleeve bishops for years I wondered why I hadn't thought of that! A couple days later we were out and I spotted a little girl in a navy gingham bishop and sure enough she had a long sleeve white shirt on underneath and white tights. What a cute outfit and a great way to get a dress though another season.
Or how about a long sleeve shirt under a sundress. I did think of that on my own! :)
Monday, December 10, 2012
Sometimes you just get extremely lucky and the dress that was a little big last year works this year with a major hem let down! We are going to pretend that the sleeves were intended to be 3/4" length and with a white sweater, she is ready for a Christmas party. Click here for the free smocking design.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
A little tutorial about cutting out corduroy. Corduroy has surface texture which is referred to as the "nap." If you run your hand along the fabric in one direction it will feel like you are stroking a cat. If you run your hand in the other direction it will feel like your are rubbing the cat in the wrong direction. If the top of the pattern pieces don't all face in the same direction the garment will look like it is made out of different color fabrics. I was taught to have the nap running down and just assumed that was a sewing rule. I was recently looking through a sewing book published in 1964 which stated that the nap of the fabric should run up so that the fabric will have a deeper color. So just like that, I found that there is not a set rule and we can do what whichever we prefer!
A few days later I was getting ready to cut out red corduroy for a Christmas outfit and was not totally happy with the color. The red just wasn't quite red enough. Fortunately I remembered that there is no longer a "nap rule" and when I turned the pattern pieces in the other direction, the fabric was a deeper red and did not look as washed out. I often tell my students that there are few right or wrongs in sewing, but many different ways to do things. This time that saying worked to my advantage. :)
Which direction were you taught for the nap of the fabric to run?
Friday, November 30, 2012
Soft off white featherwale corduroy made using pattern #132 or #136. Smocked with Little Memories "go fish."
Corduroy Hint: Because of the bulk of the fabric, I only used a 40" strip of fabric to pleat for the insert.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
One day it occurred to me that maybe we needed a special nap quilt for our house. I am a basic quilter. Nothing more complicated than squares stitched together on the machine and then hand quilting. Quilting gave me something to do at the beach and helped me through another football season.
The quilt has been kid tested and approved!
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Need a little Christmas sewing inspiration? Well this certainly did it for me. Once again I need to thank Patrice for sharing her lovely creation! You can visit her blog and see more details about the outfit at http://smocksewandbemerry.blogspot.com/
Saturday, November 17, 2012
You should always invite a friend over when you are having this much fun. And it is even better when your friend brings a friend, in this case her new Lamb Chop puppet she got for her birthday.
They kept looking at us like we had been keeping a fabulous secret from them. I don't know how we'll handle the fact that our magical pile of leaves will not be here forever. And by the way, Lamb Chop loves animal crackers! Who knew?
Lamb Chops mommy decided that she needed to do her own free style jump into the leaves.
*No, I have not quit sewing, but we are having a whole lot of fun doing other things that I don't want to miss a second of. As I was laying on the couch last night exhausted, Rex commented that maybe sitting in the floor playing with the kids and playing tag through the house all day long, might be a little more tiring than I realize.
May you also be exhausted from fun! :)
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Someone forgot to tell you that the leaves would fall of the trees. Someone also forgot to explain to you about raking leaves at Nana's house with Daddy, Grandda, and Uncle Ben.
But, no one had to tell you how to jump in a pile of leaves. You started dancing with anticipation as soon as the leaves began to pile up.
The boy's face says it all. May we all enjoy the little things in life as much as he does.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I am aware that my smocking days for the boy are numbered, so with that in mind I am smocking with a purpose and many times with a theme in mind. So, in honor of the new truck sounds that he has learned to make, the boy now has a new outfit featuring trucks. The Jon-Jon is made out of a soft chambray which pleated up nicely and is smocked with Ellen McCarn's "Keep On Truckin." The Jon-Jon will work well with a long sleeve shirt underneath for Winter and then short sleeve for Spring.
I must admit that I had almost forgotten how much fun it is to roll a truck across the kitchen floor making the appropriate noises!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Guess who is two years old?
Hard to believe that the time is passing so quickly.
And harder still to believe that she is even more a joy with each passing day!
*Her birthday outfit is the long version of the Jon-Jon with elastic at the ankles. A machine applique' on the front matches her jungle themed birthday party.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Thank you Pam for letting us know that you located our much sought after snowman ribbon at The Brooklyn General Store online. The ribbon is on the featured outfit in the latest Sew Beautiful Magazine. Not only is it cute on the boy's outfit, wouldn't it be cute for a matching sister or cousin outfit?
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
A few changes were made to pattern #124 for a simple dress for Fall. The paisley cotton print went well with buttons and trim from my stash. No collar was needed, just a simple neckband and the sleeves were lengthened to long sleeve. Afraid of plackets? Well...this pattern buttons all the way down the back!
These are the basic measurements that I use for long sleeves. The measurement is from the top to the bottom of the sleeve and includes the seam allowances. 3 month-9 1/2", 6 month- 10 3/4", 12 month-11 3/4", 18 month-13", 24 month-14".
Monday, November 5, 2012
I must admit that it was when I spotted the new Sew Beautiful magazine in the grocery store yesterday that it occurred to me that I had failed to blog about it. Makes me wonder what else I have forgotten to do the last few weeks. :)
The "Ribbon/Christmas Issue" is full of inspiration. The boy's article gives detailed instructions for adapting a collar and completing the Bridging Stitch. A lovely effect on the black corduroy outfit. The outfit was made using pattern #134 and a vintage look snowman ribbon really dressed up the outfit. The ribbon was given to me for the purpose of the article and I have been unable to find it available for purchase at this time.
It is fun to open up the magazine and see how our little guy looked a year ago. Sitting alone was his new trick and once he discovered the artificial snow, things went downhill pretty fast. Who knew that little boys instinctively roll in snow?
Have you started your Christmas sewing or are visions of Christmas outfits still dancing in your head?
Saturday, November 3, 2012
I feel free to call this the cutest outfit ever, because I didn't dream it up or make it! :) I love when I have the opportunity to see what someone else has done with one of my patterns, in this case pattern #103.
Someone suggested that I look at http://smocksewandbemerry.blogspot.com/ and I must say that I enjoyed the visit. You can click here for the outfit details. Beautiful job Patrice!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
You might have noticed that styles are changing and things are not as matchy matchy as they once were. Contrasting fabrics used together are becoming quite popular. I'm not sure what this new trend is called, but while I find it refreshing it can also be a little overwhelming if over done.
I normally wouldn't have considered any thing other than the shirt fabric for the neckband for the shirt, but a messy cutting table led me to try something different. The blue gingham gives an otherwise plain shirt an updated look. Why not pull out some of your leftover pieces of fabric and see what you can match up?
Saturday, October 13, 2012
At 17 months he looks like such a big boy that it was time for a "Big Boy" outfit. The shirt is made out of a striped blue and yellow cotton with a contrasting white collar.
Pattern #139 was used for the shirt and the shorts were redrafted to long pants with suspenders. To make the needed changes, I measured the little guy from waist to ankle, added the length to the shorts and then tapered them in slightly at the ankle. Suspenders were added which crisscross in the back and button to the pants in front. The pants are made out of a super soft denim and loops on the shoulders of the shirt help to hold the suspenders in place.
Quite the little climber, our little guy climbed out of the crib, opened his bedroom door, and decided to find Mommy and Daddy on his own last week!