Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Favorite Pattern

This is the third time that I have used pattern #127 to make Emma a dress, so I am guessing that it is my favorite pattern right now! All three versions take very little fabric and lace.

The heirloom sewing skills that are needed are on the beginner level.

And the embroidery goes quickly, while adding a whole lot of elegance! I am now referring to these as "day dresses" so that Emma's mommy will not save them for Sunday best! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Things That I Have Recently Learned

Several random things that I have learned the last few weeks.

1. There IS a magnetic pin catcher that I love! I bought this one from Sew Beautiful while at Martha Pullen School. It is polarized so that the pins face one way or the other when they land on it instead of sticking up every which way.

2. An experienced person can train you to swaddle a baby using a can of spray starch (stand in for the baby) and a piece of fabric. Thank you, Lela. I think that I am now ready!

3. Baby Emma is now 3 months old and continues to grow fat and happy just like a baby should despite the fact that I am not there to kiss her sweet face! We are looking forward to a visit the first of April. Rex and I practically stalked a young mommy and baby in the grocery store the other day trying to guess how close the baby was to Emma's age. It only occurred to me later that I could have asked! :)

4. Anna is absolutely beautiful pregnant, just like we knew she would be! And less than 90 days to go. Am I excited? You bet!

Are you also feeling especially blessed today?


Monday, February 21, 2011

Attaching The Collar

I used pattern #103 for this little outfit and added Bridging (or Faggoting) to the collar. 1/4" was trimmed off of the outer edge of the collar to accommodate the bias strip and the Bridging.

The shoulder seams of the front yoke and back yokes are stitched together, along with the shoulder seams of the front lining and back linings.

The two collars were tacked together along the 5/8" seam allowance so that they would not move while basting them in place.
Next, the lining is folded over on top of the yoke, sandwiching the collar in between. The shoulder seams are matched up and the back opening is on the fold. I then stitch around the neck opening and trimmed and clipped the seam.

Understitching the neck opening is then done to keep the lining from rolling out to the right side of the garment. I have opened up the lining and the yoke, so that I am only stitching through the yoke lining and the seam, close to the edge. You are seeing the lining and the underside of the collar in this picture.

This can be a little confussing, but I fell in love with this technique the first time that I tried it years ago. I love not having to fool with a tiny bias strip and that the yoke is lined!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Sizing The Pleated Piece For Smocking

One of the mysteries for smockers is learning to construct the garment after the smocking is completed. It is very important to size your pleated piece correctly when tying off.

For this garment, the smocking will be attached to the bottom of the front yoke. In the picture you can see the front yoke, the piping that I will be using, and the smocked piece. I carefully measured and tied off the pleated piece before smocking, but got so excited about smocking that I forgot to take a picture!

Right sides up, and matching the centers, the piping is then pinned to the smocked piece. The piping should fall right above the first row of smocking.

I like to use my 6 groove cording foot since the tiny piping fits just right into one of the grooves! The stitch is lengthened to about a 3.5 to attach the piping, then back to a normal stitch length when the yoke is attached.

I hope that these pictures have helped solve one of the mysteries for you!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in pink.

Pretty in blue.
And pretty in white!

I thought that I would share how much better the dresses look on the baby!

Now that I am back from teaching at Martha Pullen School, where I had a fabulous time, you can look forward to a lot more sewing and a lot more tutorials on the blog!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

We made an interesting observation in the family this year.... I am the only one who likes Valentine's Day! How did that happen? What about all those years that I bought little boxes of candy and cards for everyone and even cooked a special dinner for the family when is was too much trouble for Rex and I to go out? As soon as Valentine's stuff appears in the stores I get excited. What is not to like about cards and candy! Rex finally confessed one year that it all seemed a little "forced" to him. Oh well, he is a guy, until Anna said the exact thing last week! We then took a survey and I am all alone in my love for the holiday. I'll just remember THAT this year when I do my shopping!

So, to prove that there are still true romantics in the world, the picture is of what use to be a chain link fence at Seoul Tower in South Korea. It is covered by "Love Locks" and are placed there by couples with what I would like to assume is a romantic inscription since I can't read Korean. The fence was so covered, that you couldn't really see the view of Seoul after we had spent an hour walking up the side of the mountain.
The first time I saw a picture of "Love Locks" was from Daniel's trip to the Ukraine. There they cover the fence along the top of a bridge. Supposedly one couple will randomly place a lock on a fence and before you know it the fence is covered up. Young people in love.....what can you say.

And if you are worried that I will be left out on my favorite holiday, don't be. I have trained him well. :)

Valentine's Day, do you love it or tolerate it?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sewing For Baby

I am at Martha Pullen School this week busy sewing and visiting with old friends and meeting new, but thought that I would leave you with a peak of what I managed to sew and get in the mail this last week.

This pale blue baby knicker, made by pattern #103, is made from Imperial Batiste. Now that I am once again sewing for a real live baby, Imperial Batiste is my all time favorite fabric! Not only is it soft, but being 65% cotton and 35% polyester, it washes well and needs very little ironing. I do not recommend it for an heirloom garment since we don't know what polyester will look like in 50 years, but since I plan on this outfit being worn and passed around to other babies, it was perfect for the project.

I adapted the collar for Faggoting (or Bridging) by subtracting 1/4" off of the outer edge of the collar when I was cutting in out. The smocking consists of simple Baby Waves and tiny Bullion rosebuds. Directions for Faggoting and the Bullion rosebud can be found in the "Heirloom Embroidery Book."

Wouldn't this be cute with a little pink sweater for Spring?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How Many 50 Year People Does It Take to Change A Light Bulb?

How many 50 year old people does it take to change a light bulb? Apparently more than two! I have absolutely loved my two sets of track lighting in my office since Rex installed them last winter. They can get a little warm in the summer, but the light they give off is fantastic. Well, after a year one of the light bulbs went out and it happened to be the one that shines right on the sewing machine. We had a little time on Saturday and while we were out we stopped at Lowes and picked up a new bulb. After getting home and each taking turns on the step ladder, we discovered that we didn't have a clue how to get the old one out! We finally figured out that there was a small metal clip which some how assisted in holding the bulb in, but nothing to grab to get the bulb out. Can you believe that I had to get online and Google "How to change a light bulb!" It recommended a small suction cup. Rex went back to Lowes and bought a small suction cup and the bulb popped out like magic. We then discovered that we had bought the wrong bulb, so back he went again. Then because of his large hands and my inability to focus my eyes while looking up and standing on a step ladder, it was no small task getting the little metal ring back in place! After an hour and a half and three trips to Lowes, I finally had light again.

The worse part is, that we did not learn a trick to make the next one easier and now live in dread of the next bulb going out. If you happen to be the person who came up with the design of this system, it might be best if you kept that information to yourself!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pattern #120 & #121 Tutorial

It is time for a little tutorial for patterns #120 and #121. It is a very easy pattern and goes together quickly, but we all know that a picture is still worth a thousand words!

First, I would like to point out that the white fabric is the yoke of the dress which is sometimes mistaken for a collar. For this dress, I pipped the edge of the yoke and added eyelet trim. The embroidered bullion tulips can be found in the "Heirloom Embroidery Book."

This picture shows how the yoke buttons on the shoulders. I was unable to find buttons that I was happy with, so I made covered buttons.

And now for the pictures which are hopefully worth a thousand words. This picture shows the the front yoke pinned to the front of the garment, which would be Figure 16 in your pattern instructions. Any piping or trim would be applied to the yoke before this step. The same step is repeated for the back and back yoke.
This pictures shows what it looks like on the right side after the yoke is stitched to the front.
With right sides together, the yokes and the yoke linings are stitched together as shown in Figure 17. An bottom edge of the yoke is left open, so that the yokes may be turned right side out after the seams are trimmed and clipped.

The bottom opening is then slip stitched on both the front and back yoke. This can be seen in Figure 18 of the pattern instructions.
Once the yokes have been sewn on the garment is virtually done!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Answering A Couple of Questions

I thought that I would take the time this morning to answer a couple of questions that I have received the last few days.

Questions #1: Where did I get the dress form that I use for the photos of the garments?
I found in online at a couple of years ago. It is a "used" model but arrived looking brand new.

Although it is listed as a size 2, I can get most of the smaller garments on it if I don't button them.

Question #2: Did the dresses that I had overlooked and rushed to Baby Emma last week work out okay for her?

Yes they did and there is even a little growing room left! Since I am not seeing her, I am having a hard time keeping up with how fast she is growing. I will need be a little more diligent in that area! It has now been 6 weeks since I have kissed that sweet neck. Fortunately there is a visit planned for Emma and her Mommy to come to Alabama the first of April. Maybe I can hold out that long!

Question #3: How do you pronounce my name? It is pronounced "Mi-shay" and I am not the least bit offended if you mispronounce it! :)



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