Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm hoping that everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! My first e-mail this morning was from our son in Iraq. After 18 hours on the road they had finally made it safely to the next base. He said that the Thanksgiving dinner that was waiting for their arrival did wonders to sooth their frazzled nerves. Lets all remember how much we have to be thankful for!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Baby Boy Bubble

Of course, we need a Christmas bubble for baby boy! When I sew for boys, I like the clean look of tiny tucks. This button down the front bubble, with tiny tucks and a touch of embroidery was made using pattern #129.

The tiny tucks are stitched in place before the two fronts are cut out. This gives you the option of making your tucks slightly smaller or larger, and helps to insure a better fit for your finished garment.

After the bubble was completed, I decided that it needed more color. I used a Running Stitch with one strand of DMC floss along the front placket and sleeve hems. Because, I had already stitched down the placket and sleeve hems, I had to pull out the machine stitching as I went. This took time, but also gave me a guideline for the Running Stitching. Instructions for the Running Stitch can be found in the Heirloom Embroidery Book.

Directions for the "Holly and Berries" embroidery can be found on the Christmas Dress blog.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sweet and Simple Christmas Dress

This little Christmas dress, demonstrates that simple, is sometimes best. Pattern #104 is one of my favorites, because there is so much that you can do with the yoke overlay. I had some beautiful white pima cotton fabric and scraps of lace that were perfect for a Christmas dress. Sketching my design gives me a chance to make sure that I am happy with my style and color choices before I start the project.

I trimmed the yoke overlay with lace edging along the bottom edge. A 1" space was left between the lace edging and lace insertion for the embroidery. The holly berries are spaced 1/2" apart and were worked with one strand of DMC floss. The berries are Granito Knots worked with 5 stitches and the leaves are Filled in Lazy Daisies. Instructions for the stitches can be found in the "Heirloom Embroidery Book."

Once the yoke overlay was completed, the dress went together very quickly. I also added a strip of lace insertion down the center of each sleeve. This dress would be lovely for Spring, stitched with pink rosebuds.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

If I Were a Squirrel

If I were a squirrel, I would need to wake up limber, in order to reach my breakfast!

It would take me quite awhile to eat one sunflower seed at a time, but that is OK, because when you are a squirrel there isn't much on your "To Do" list.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Button Rescue Project.

Do you save buttons? In my family, we can trace the, "Can't throw away a perfectly good button" impulse back to the invention of the button! All of the women in the family, had a small box or jar of odd buttons with their sewing supplies. These buttons were ready and waiting for a "button emergency" when the perfect button would step forward from the collection and save the day! I am proud to say that I have carried on the tradition of saving buttons. As busy as I am, with available money to buy buttons, with a button company offering me FREE buttons for my sample garments, I still could not throw away this old work shirt without rescuing the buttons. I took the time to snip off each button while I thought about what future life they may have, and then strung them on a thread before dropping them in my button box. Yes, it took a little time, but sometimes slowing down for these little projects reminds me of how fortunate we are to live where small things like buttons are readily available. And besides, I bet those buttons are worth at least $2!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why You Will Not Find Recipes On My Blog

I have noticed on numerous blogs that it is common to occasionally post a favorite recipe. Although I enjoy seeing what others have been cooking, I promise that my cooking is not worth sharing with the rest of the world!

This all came to light Sunday, when I realized that I need to take homemade cookies to a ladies gathering at church Friday night. On the way home from church I looked at my husband and said, "I think I have a problem."

1. It has been about 10 years since I made cookies. No joke, once our daughter was old enough to bake, I retired.

2. My only cookie recipe is the one on the bag of M& Ms!

3. They always tasted fine but did not look that great.

I am now waiting for our daughter to e-mail a cookie recipe that I can handle!

Update- She just e-mailed a cookie recipe and asked me to bring the salad and rolls for Thanksgiving............................... Draw your own conclusion!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Any Christmas Sewing at Your House?

I have spent the weekend making purses for Christmas gifts. I made my own pattern for the purses, but found one very similar at, the "Messenger Bag." The purses are made out of denim and cotton print fabric.

The stiffest washable interfacing I could find, gave the purses enough body to stand up! In the photo, you can see the inside zippered pocket.

The first purse turned out so well that I immediately made a second. It is the same pattern, just a different layout of fabrics on the front.

I now have a turquoise and black print fabric cut out to make two more purses, and can hardly wait to see how they turn out. The hardest part of this project is going to be deciding which one to keep for myself!

Are you making any of your gifts this year? I would love to hear what you are working on!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Do You Share the Vision?

Most of us tend to follow the style trends a little to close, and forget that sewing is our chance to experiment with style and color. Our daughter arrived with a "Retro" Simplicity pattern and an unusual choice in fabric for our Saturday sewing. I had trouble "Sharing the Vision" for this dress, but she was confident that it would look great.

Wow, was she right! This project reminded me to be more daring with pattern and fabric combinations!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saturday Sewing

Daughter and I, were finally able to get together and do some sewing for her! We were able to meet earlier in the week and decide on patterns and fabrics, so once it was time to sew, everything was cut out and ready to go. Two skirts were quickly completed and then we moved on to the dress. Because the dress was a fairly complicated pattern, I took the time to make a mock-up version out of muslin and fit it to the dress form. It is a time consuming step, but worth the effort. Once we were happy with the fit of the muslin version, we were able to move on to the dress with the confidence that it would fit when completed!

She picked out a light weight suiting fabric and the pattern was Simplicity "Project Runway" pattern #2550. It was one of the best fitting patterns and had the best directions that I have seen in quite awhile!

Our "tag team" sewing consists of one of us sewing while the other reads the instructions, cleans up, rips out mistakes, and tells funny stories. We also played with my new camera, and watched funny videos on Youtube! When the one doing the sewing starts making mistakes or whining, we trade places.

She was thrilled with the dress and it was a perfect fit! Is it my turn next?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Sewing Room

I'm often asked, "Do you have an awesome sewing room?" I am always caught of guard by the question, because I think that if you have ANY place to sew, it is awesome! A small bedroom of our home, serves as my sewing room and office for the business. The size of the room can be a challenge, but since I don't like clutter around to distract me, it works out great.

One corner has the sewing machine, serger, and ironing board grouped together. A small cabinet in the corner is handy for laying supplies on while sewing and has great storage. The small bulletin board over the sewing machine is extremely useful for holding notions and pattern pieces!

The desk and computer are next to the sewing machine. There is a large bulletin board covered in fabric and a prefab shelving unit in the corner. My favorite thing in this area is the radio mounted under one of the cabinet shelves!

The prize for "Coolest thing in my sewing room" goes to the cutting table. We bought the cheapest prefab kitchen cabinet base that we could find and lay a cutting board on top. It is the perfect height and has fantastic storage underneath!

A double closet on the remaining wall holds the patterns ready for shipping, and there is another shelving unit next to it. There is not room for my drawing table, so it stays in the quest room until time for company.

And now you are wondering, "Is her sewing room always this clean?" Absolutely not! Creativity is messy!


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