Sunday, January 29, 2012

Grandda's Hat

Just for fun, I thought that I would share a few of my favorite pictures from our Arizona trip. They are especially fun to look at right now and remember how fabulous the weather was! While we were there an intense search was launched to find Rex a really cool western style hat that would also look good in Alabama. Finally we found exactly what he was looking for.

Our sweet girl was especially impressed by Grandda's new hat. She needed to touch it......

taste it.........
and wear it!

We have discovered that she is not the only woman attracted to his hat. We had barely sat down on the airplane to come home when the woman next Rex complimented his hat. Since we have been home on numerous occasions Rex has come home to tell me, " Another woman commented on my hat!" Anna's explanation is that the hat says, "I'm a risk taker and wear what I like."

What do I say? " The hat and the wedding ring always leave the house together!"

*Emma's outfit is made by pattern #103 and featured in a previous blog.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Classic Smocked Bubble

A classic smocked bubble made by pattern #115. Made from Martha's classic cotton.

Smocked with Ellen McCarn's "Ducklings."

The little guys arrival on planet earth was scheduled for Monday, I was so stressed and excited that I pretty much made the bubble over the weekend. I certainly couldn't sit still so Rex just left me alone to sew! :) A whole lot of love and prayers went into every stitch as I anticipated holding my first grandson!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Picture Smocking On A Bishop

Can you Picture Smock on a bishop style dress? Yes, but you will need a smocking design that is suitable. The smocking design that I have used for this sweet ecru dress is "Baskets" by Ellen McCarn.
The design will need to have some variation of the trellis stitch on the bottom rows so that the dress will fan out across the shoulders. And the good news is that the "picture" part of the design, in this case the baskets, will usually be small and rather simple.

Don't you think that this dreary winter weather is perfect for smocking? :)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Winter Knitting

Of course this would be Anna knitting, not me. Since the day Christian arrived she has looked forward to knitting the little guy a special sweater and hat. A small bag has been pulled out of her over sized purse off and on since September when she had a few minutes to spare. Just in time for cold weather, the sweater was completed.

Soft pale gray yarn was a nice switch from tradition blue. Brown buttons gave the sweater a rather trendy look.

And of course if you have the warmest sweater ever made by your mommy.... you will need a hat. The yarn for the hat was sent by a very special friend before Christian's arrival.

This is what the boy did when we first sat him down in great grandmother's chair for pictures. He immediately decided to launch himself over the side to see if there was anything new on my floor. Fortunately Grandda had quick hands!

There is a reason that I call him "Monkey Man!"



I have had a few questions about what knitting patterns Anna used for the sweater and hat. Anna found both on Raverly, but the sweater is by Western Sky knits by Heather and the hat is Cozy by Allison Williams.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Picot-Edge Folded Bias Collar

Like the rest of you, a fabric or trim sometimes catches my eye and begs to come home with me. I purchased the black and turquoise dot pique' fabric and the Picot-Edge Folded Bias trim from Martha Pullen Company and could hardly wait to use them for the new pattern.

I made the collar out of white pique' and used white broadcloth for the lining. First, with wrong sides together, stitch the collar and lining together along the outer edge using a 5/8" seam allowance. Trim the excess fabric away, close to the stitching line.

Next, open up the bias piece and position it so that the pique' edge is resting on the outer edge of the collar and pin the folded edge in place. The wrong side of the bias is flattened out and is not stitched at this time. By trial and error, I found it helpful to open up the bias and run a gathering stitch on the machine on the fold line. I was then able to ease in the any fullness so that the folded edge lay flat for stitching. Pin the bias piece in place and stitch over the folded edge using a small zigzag stitch.

On the wrong side of the collar, pin the folded edge of the bias piece in place and slip stitch by hand. I was able to ease in any fullness as I went along.
I was very pleased with the finished look of the collar and looking forward to adding more colors to my stash!

The website has been updated with my teaching schedule for 2012 along with pictures and descriptions of the classes! You can click here to go directly to the page.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The New Pattern Is Ready To Ship!

After many of you begging, pleading, and reminding, I now have pattern #131 in larger sizes! This pattern is as much for me as it is for you since I know that within the next year I will also need it for sweet little Emma. The pattern is a sweet little dress that buttons down the front, has a Peter Pan collar pipped or edged with lace and may be made with long or short sleeves.
A great pattern for those new to sewing or those of you who are a little out of practice.
The dress may be made with a plain front which would be great for applique'.....

or a fancier version with tiny tucks and the collar edged with lace.

Watch the next blog for the collar details for the black and turquoise dress!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Baby Daygown With Center Smocking

Since rainy Sunday afternoons are perfect for hemming and attaching buttons, the daygown in now completed! This is the final project that I will be teaching during Martha Pullen School. I love teaching how to add a little smocking to a plain pattern.

We will be using pattern #125 and the smocking design is Ellen McCarn's "Baby Bunnies." I used Martha's Heirloom Batiste for the fabric and the tatting was attached to the collar by hand. Both the fabric and tatting can be purchased from Martha Pullen Company.

If you only have a little time for smocking, this is the way to go!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Finishing Up A Couple Of Things

This has been my week of actually finishing up some projects. It sounds like a good start to a new year! Martha Pullen School in February is right around the corner so it is past time to get the projects completed. Along with the pre-day classes I have the Smocking Construction School once again. On the first day of the school the students will learn how to construct a Jon-Jon with an insert using pattern #137. The smocking design for the "Wagons" can be found in my "Beginning Smocking Book."

The second and most of the third day will be learning to construct a beautiful white bishop style dress which includes smocking and lace on the sleeves and lace on the hem. The students will use pattern #135 and the smocking design is also in the smocking book.

"Beginning Geometric and Picture Smocking" is one of the pre-day classes that I always enjoy teaching. The sailboat smocking design is an original one that I came up with for Christian that will be provided with the class kit.

The next post will be the final project for the school, which will be a lovely pale blue daygown with center smocking.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rather Smock Than Construct?

Rather smock than construct the garment? Are you limited for time or don't have a pleater? How about a Ready-to-Smock? That is what I am using in a couple of my classes for Martha Pullen's School of Art and Fashion in February. They come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, and can be ordered from Sew Beautiful.

We will be using this "Little Memories" design for the "Advanced Picture Smocking Class." What a wonderful opportunity to really learn to read the graph and make color changes!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ready For A New Year

Instead of looking back at the past year, I am looking forward. This is what the first day of 2012 looked like at my house. Bright and sunny and turning much colder. With the slant of the winter sun and the fact that I took down the Christmas tree, I am seeing dust in all kinds of new places! So to start the new year I did a little straightening in the sewing room while Rex is getting his fill of football.

My inspiration board is now covered with new things to inspire me. A few pictures that I find here and there that help to get my imagination going and fabric scraps from my stash.

Fabric has been pulled out of boxes and put out on display. Fun prints on the left and solids on the right, stacked and tagged by fabric type.

Do you have something special that you do to start off the new year?



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