Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dresses of Christmas Past


It is such fun for me to look at this photo; it is my Atlanta girls in older Christmas dresses. Mae is in the blue angel dress from 2 years ago. I smocked 3 of these dresses for Katelyn, Issa and Mae, and Mae is wearing Issa's handed down dress. If I remember correctly, the smocking if from a a plate by Molly Jane Taylor; I smocked the same design on a white dress for Mandy about 30 years ago. Issa is wearing Mandy's smocked candle dress; it may be maybe a little tired looking, but it is about 30 years old! It is so much fun to make classic styles that are timeless in their design. Who knows? Maybe someday Issa will take her little girl to stand in front of the Nordstrom Christmas trees wearing her Grandma Mandy's candle Christmas dress!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The culprit

I think I have figured it out. This would be the collar that made my son say to me, in a very kind way, that he did not like smocked dresses and did not want his daughters to wear them.

When Issa was around 2, she wore this collar over a red corduroy dress, and (to my eyes) looked absolutely precious. In hindsight, perhaps it was a bit large for her little body; I know that it will still fit her 3 years later and probably will for quite some time. If there was a slight resemblence to Bozo the clown it missed me entirely.

Regardless of the reason, he seems to have relented, and Katelyn looks sweet in a smocked dress. I probably won't be doing smocked collars for her any time soon.
Posted by Picasa

Can we eat it now, Bibi?

The only sad thing about this morning was the fact that my Birmingham girls weren't here. Mandy had a dentist appointment so I got to have Issa and Mae for a few hours and we made a gingerbread house. Thank heaven for those kits. And one little sentence made it go so much easier this year..." we suggest that you decorate the sides of the house before assembly". WOW. They had a great time and the end result was pronounced as BEAUTIFUL!
Mandy came by with their candy cane skirts so that she could get together with her UGA friends, for lunch. Ha. I wonder how much lunch they will be able to eat! We are all full of gumdrops!
These days are passing far too quickly!

Christmas on Lake Martin

Here are last year's Christmas dresses. I hate to admit that I didn't get it together enough to make one for Mae, so the little red corduroy was (oh no!) purchased. Katelyn's was a nativity scene and was also "store bought"; I always have such good intentions but I do not know where the time goes. Issa's dress is smocked with candy canes, and come to think of it, that is a recurring theme. I piped her dress with red gingham at the sleeve and neckline, and then added a featherstitich detail around the hemline because that seems to break up the vast expanse of white in the skirt, and Miss Issa does request that her dresses are long. December of last year was much warmer here in the south, and we enjoyed our time at the lake during the holidays. I plan each Christmas to get an earlier start so that I won't be rushed doing hems and buttons in time to go see Santa, but we shall see what Christmas, 2011 brings!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Where did you come from, baby dear? Out of the everywhere, into the here.

Baby Addison is getting a little pink lovey as a baby gift from Mandy. The tiny blankie has a few layers to stitch through, and these layers might shift when being embroidered.

We solved this problem by running a long basting stitch around the rectangle where her name would be, then hooped the blankie. We used tearaway stabilizer and solvy on top, then stitched the name using the anniversary font. It came out just fine, and we hope that it will be sniffed and snuggled for years to come.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas Melanie

Since Melanie is in Florida keeping her grandsons, I am pretty sure she isn't going to be surfing the net looking at my blog. Here is her Christmas present, and it was really easy to do. I used the anniversary font, and added the holly detail from the software. I hooped my cutaway stabelizer and used heavier solvy on top due to the lumpy surface of the throw. I think this will help keep them warm on these freezing winter nights!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All I want for Christmas is a towel that's hung...

These hand towels are a request from my sister Bethanne, who spends more than her share of time hanging and rehanging a towel in her downstairs bathroom that more often than not ends up on the floor. This photograph shows how we decided to solve the "dry my hands and drop" problem; I folded the top over and added a large button and buttonhole. (It reminded me of the towels that I have seen for years at church bazaars where the top corner is crocheted and a button is added.)

The top lettering is Blackboard; I added an additional underlay and raised the pull compensation to 3.5, so I am not certain why it seems to fade into the terrycloth the way that it did. By adding the sideways "the" before Hills, I did take up some room and it reduced the size of the name. I like the second monogram better, the font is Craft from the Artista software; I did raise the pull compensation and added underlay to it and the result is a much stronger effect.

I hope these towels help a busy mom and bring a smile to her face as she unbuttons it, removes it from the towel rack and puts it in the laundry!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monochromatic Monograms

I did these towels for Melanie's son and his wife, who are just about the sweetest couple in the world. I used the Blackboard font, because I was informed by someone who would know these things that it looks younger than the pretty, Empire script that I tend to use. I went into the software and changed the underlay to a double zigzag, and it gave the monogram a little more body. I just used a medium weight tearaway, hooped it, sprayed it and pressed the towel to it. I used solvy on top.

When I did Jason's khaki towels, the toobar on my computer said that the fill stitich would be a step stitch, and I knew that would be better for the larger B initial, but as it stitched I could see that it was a satin stitch. I will check with someone at the sewing center tomorrow to figure out why. Thankfully it stitched out just fine and does not appear to be too loopy. I went back and changed Debbie's monogram to a step stitich, and felt much better as it did the larger bar on the middle B.

I hope Debbie and Jason enjoy them.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Mats

Now all of my grandaughters have Christmas placemats with their names on them. Mandy's are slightly different from Rachel's; I made the lettering a little larger and I am not sure if it will show when you actually put a plate on the placemat. I used a different snowman, but all of the pictures came from the Artisa software. My goal now is to find a way to get the lettering a consistant size; the software gives the measurement in centimeters, but I haven't figured out how to allow for longer names. I am sure that some brilliant Swiss person has already figured it out for me, so I will just have to ask the right questions the next time I go to the sewing center.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mrs. Hancock, Hudson, Henreich or Hunt?

Mandy needed a last minute hostess gift for a friend, and this was a quick answer. We had used the linen towels with the red accents, and thought that it needed a little something else, so we added the polka dot bow with a tiny safety pin on the back. The H is from the Artista software, the anniversary font. It took just a few minutes to stitch out and I hope that Mrs. H enjoys her guest towel!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Christmas to Lynda

I love love love my friend Lynda. And she loves loves loves TAB of all things. (the check out girl when I bought the TAB, who was younger than some of my socks, said "What does this stuff taste like? I have never seen any one drink it!) I have watched Lynda carry her TABs to work every day in a plastic grocery bag...and that may be how she prefers it. But on the days when there is no way to keep her drinks cold, she is getting an official monogrammed TAB cooler for Christmas! She is really busy at work these days, and does not sew, so I am fairly certain that her gift will remain a surprise.

Once more, I did not hoop the top of the little tote. I hooped my stabilizer and sprayed a little 505 adhesive, and stuck it down. Worked like a charm.

So Merry Christmas to Lynda. I am happy that she is my friend.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A family of placemats

These placemats are actually the same color, but I am just not a photographer.

I wanted to show the entire placemat in the first photograph, the next one just shows the embroidery on the 3 others.

I used heavy cutaway stabilizer when I embroidered these, but I think I could have used tearaway. Regardless, I hooped the stabilizer and then dampened it and stuck the placemat to the stabilizer; I tried hooping the quilted placemat, but old age seems to have claimed my right thumb! I also used solvy on top because the quilting gave a really textured effect to the top of the mat.

I am glad that I was not embroidering on clothing. The density of the stitches on the snowman was far too heavy, it almost feels like a badge. I am so happy it is not on a little girl t-shirt, in fact...the snowman could really put my little Mae Mae in a tailspin!

Happy Christmas to my Brent's sweet family!

Posted by Picasa

Its a Christmas Miracle!

You know I love this Bernina, but today I am loving the software even more.
I have been trying to find some little Christmas designs to stitch next to names on placemats, but could only find 2 that I liked in the software.
I found 2 images that were part of a larger design, and I,YES I , deleted the part of the design that I did not want to use.

I brought in the name, then the tag with the tree on it, and I wanted to delete the tag. I called Stuart at ASC and she walked me through it, and then even with my notes, I promptly forgot what she said.

But after several attempts I was able to ungroup the design, highlight and move the tree, highlight the tag, and delete it!

Imagine the possiblities! (I think that may be part of their advertisement, but I am absolutely thrilled!)
Posted by Picasa

While Visions of Little Girls Danced in my Head!

They are just the light of my life. Period. It is so much fun to plan little dresses for these girls, and then actually have the time to make them. Time is the gift in my life now; when my children were small there was little time to sew and smock. Here are their little candy cane skirts on the runway! Notice that Issa is wearing a turtleneck (from Walmart). Somewhere in this house is a really soft size 6 t-shirt from Little Legacies in Birmingham, but for the life of me, I do not know where.

Little Sarah almost missed this Kodak moment, but I will make sure that she will be wearing matching Christmas attire for 2011!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The next Annie Liebovitz?

I am so glad to see a smile on her face while she is wearing her little jumper! This cute photo was in my email this morning!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 19, 2010

He's Coming to town!

I found some great new shops in Birmingham; it is too bad that we don't have specialty shops like these here in Atlanta. The Smocking Bird has wonderful fabrics, trims and patterns for children's sewing; the staff is helpful and they really know their sewing. The pleated gros grain ribbon trim at the bottom of the skirt came from The Smocking Bird. In the back of the store is another shop, Little Legacies, and it is full of blanks and examples of projects to stitch. Their custom embroidery is beautiful. I found the red t-shirt with the lettuce ruffle on the sleeves and around the bottom edge there. The candy cane corduroy came from a big sale table in Hancock's last summer; I couldn't decide what to do with it and the skirts were Rachel's idea. Sally, or Nanna Sa, came to help make the skirts and it was a fun afternoon for all the girls! We embroidered the t-shirt with the Santa applique from Sew Many Designs and cannot wait to see our 3 big girls in their new Christmas attire!
Posted by Picasa

Jonathan burps

I like the way these little burp cloths came out. A simple and functional gift for a sweet new baby boy!Posted by Picasa

Another jumper

This is the Birmingham version of the Bridget jumper from Bonnie Blue designs. I cut a little off of the sides, added a back center seam, and shortened it. I hope these minor changes will give it a better fit than the one I did for Mae.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not always Sunshine and Lollipops

Good Grief. I am so glad I did not put much time in on this little jumper, because as it slipped over her pigtails she proclaimed, "I don't WIKE it!" She pulled at the bows; she tried to slip her arms out of it. I patted and straightened, I hugged and smiled, but she would not be convinced. "Take this off!"
The fun part will be to see who is going to prevail. Although Mae doesn't like it, her mommy does, and I am not certain who is the most determined. It could just hang in the closet until next fall, and then maybe both mother and daughter will be happy.
The jumper is a Bonnie Blue Design, and I was told by a young mother at my last sewing class that they were cut really large. If this brown and pink polka dot is any indication, she is correct. I will cut down the blue and brown polka dot that I am making for Katelyn. I hope the reception for the jumper in Birmingham is a little warmer than it was here in Atlanta

Posted by Picasa

Twin needle sewing

I didn't have my camera so I tried to upload a photo of twin needles in a sewing machine. I guess that was a little obscure for my limited computer skills. Anyway, I got this cool photo of twin bananas instead! Who would ever guess?
I was trying to help my friend Peggy shorten some t shirts for her husband, but I have never really sewn on knits without having everything bunch up and pucker. Kathleen suggested twin needles, and wow, it was quick and easy. They were not ball point needles, but they sewed such a nice double row of stitches; I was really amazed. We just cut the shirts off, pressed them up, zipped around them once; we were done and done. Bill no longer has to play tennis in long t shirts!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Polka Dot baby gift

Posted by Picasa
It was nice to take a break from all my little dresses! I wanted to make this baby gift and I like this fabric which I had in my stash. It is a flannel and I used it as a decorative edge on the bottom of a burp cloth. For the changing pad backing I used pink chennille, which I cut to about the size of a hand towel, monogrammed the polka dot, and then sewed right sides together with ribbon enclosed on one end as a tie. I found the verigated ric rac in my box of trims, and I thought it was pretty with the polka dot. I tried sewing it with invisible nylon thread, but that was nearly impossible; it kept breaking and was difficult to use. When I sewed the ric rac to the burp pad I just used white thread and it was absolutely fine. Little girl Waller doesn't have a first name yet, so I just used her last name initial to personalize her gift.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

by bibi

Here is mae mae's jumper made from the Bridget pattern by Bonnie Blue Designs. It is the all time easiest fastest little jumper ever made. No buttons or button holes, it ties at the shoulder. I ordered the little labels on line from Name Dropper. I wanted the smallest label I could find, and they were a little pricier than the larger ones, but since I sew for little people I didn't want a big ole tag in the back of a tiny dress. The font is from my Bernina software, Rounded Block. I am going to add trim around the bottom of the jumper, but want to make sure of the length before I do that, so I will try it on Mae before I let her model the finished product. I have the blue and brown polka dot for Katelyn,cut out, embroidered and ready to sew and take to Birmingham this weekend. If Issa weren't in a uniform every day, I would have used the green polka dot that is sitting here on my shelf, but a little girl can change clothes only so many times after school and on weekends!
Posted by Picasa