Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Posted by PicasaNow this was the fastest little project that I have done in quite some time. I wish I could take credit for it, but I saw it on She has some really imaginative ideas; the project with the appliqued mustache will make you laugh out loud!

This polka dot fabric came from a shop here in Atlanta, Whipstitch, and the lining is from the ruffle on Katelyn's dress, Ellis. I literally got it done in about 30 minutes. 2 squares, each 6 and a half by 7 inches, sew them right sides together, leave a place on the long side to turn, press, then fold it in wrong side out and stitch the ends and turn. She does a much better explanation than I do, but that's the Cliff Notes version. I think I will put this one in my purse and keep it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

School Days

Oh my, what an exciting day this was! While I did not make the little jumper, I have used plenty of navy thread here lately. In order to help defray the cost of this expensive venture, her mommy asked me to alter some of these sweet uniforms. I was able to drop the waist on one so I did not have to change the hem, on a few I just moved the buttons at the waist, and on a couple I have lowered the hem using hem tape. I wish I knew a real trick for getting out the old hem crease; I have used a combination of white vinegar and steam, but I can still see a slight crease.

Wouldn't it be nice if children really liked to dress like this? Issa came home one afternoon after a few days of school, chose a favorite sequined t-shirt and jeans, bounced down the stairs, did a pirouette in the den and declared to her mommy, "I just love fashion, don't you?" I guess she will have to express this fashion sense after school and on weekends!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Laura sews, too!

Our friend Laura made this cute T shirt for her daughter, who outgrew it and passed it on to Mae. I think it is a fun idea to do for a little one for Halloween. It is as easy as embroidering on a small orange print, using a cut away stabelizer and adding bows to the candy piece after it is appliqued on the T shirt. Again, I would think that the most difficult part would be hooping the T shirt! Mae looks like she is going to enjoy wearing it!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 13, 2010

No! Bibi you did NOT grow that bottle tree!

Oh, yes, Mae Mae, I did! I planted a bottle and it GREW! She says no and off we go with our pretend argument. Who would have imagined what fun you can have wandering around picking flowers, looking at bugs, planting rocks and swinging in our backyard swing?

But back to the bottle tree. My sister, Beth, painted it and it is hanging in my kitchen. I have lots of her artwork in my home, and I am thinking about doing some pillows in linen, with appliques of some of her simple animal silhouettes in black linen. She is the artist and I am a seamstress; I am hoping to combine our talents in some way fairly soon.

If you would like to see more of her paintings, just google Bethanne Hill or go to Bethanne, or check out Monty Stabler gallery in Birmingham or Blue Spiral in Asheville, NC or Liepers Creek gallery near Nashville, TN. She is also on facebook. I admit, she is my sister and I love her, but she is very talented and her work is wonderful!

Posted by Picasa

A well worn dress

Mae Mae came by to visit after church this week, wearing a dress for the second summer that Issa had worn for two years. It was made from Sew Beautiful's Dainty Designs pattern and I just love it. I was working on it for Issa's second Easter when my Bernina began acting up and I had to take it in to ASC to be checked. I was in a panic the week before Easter and remember going to LeAnn's to finish it...she wasn't even at home but let me break in and sew!
(I just had to take this picture of Mae bending over because I love all of the embroidery around the scalloped hem. I wish I had gotten the ruffled panties but it is hard to catch Mae standing still.)

I wondered how this dress would fit as I was making it; the sleeve is not set in but cut in one piece with the bodice, but it has turned out as a simple favorite! It is almost white now from several machine washings but was actually pale pink when it was new. Issa wore it with a sweet bonnet, but there is no way that Miss Mae would stand for that!

Posted by Picasa

Ellis for Katelyn

I finished Ellis this morning for my Katelyn in Birmingham. I decided to use the bias ruffle at the bodice, but I took a little fullness out. The ribbon that I found was just a little too bright to blend well with these fabrics. I am anxious to see how the raw edge on the ruffle wears; I do like the look of it now and I will see what several washings do to it.
If you have to cut a lot of bias there is a really neat trick on Sew Mama Sew that shows you in perfect steps how to cut a lot of bias at once. I didn't need too much here so I just cut on the diagonal. This neckline is piped with the same fabric as the ruffle, but it is tiny and difficult to see in this picture.
I learned about a new (for me) tool in Nashville at the Children's Corner workshop. It is a Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool. It is made of a clear acrylic; your piping fits in a groove and you use a rotary cutter to trim your piping to a perfect 1/4 inch. I had to look awhile before I found it and finally saw it last year at the Sewing Expo in Gwinnett County.
And I loved my Bernina all over again when I did the bottonholes. 8 times down the back and I am finished! I can't wait to see Katelyn in her new little dress. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 10, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends

I'm almost finished with Ellis! I am going to take the day to look at the bias ruffle and decide if I want to keep it or go to the ribbon trim. I like the 3 fabrics together, but the simple lines of the dress might just call for a simple ribbon. I think I will see what kind of ribbon I can find today, and how the colors will blend.

It took more than a little help from my friend Kathleen to cut out the durned bodice. I needed to match the stripes at the shoulder and I COULD NOT visualize the bodice lining and those stripes. My brain just would not see it. Kathleen labeled left and right, front and back, lining and right side, laid it out and in no time I was cutting. Where would any of us be without our friends?
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bibi I love you all the way to China!

When the phone rang a few minutes ago, that is what I heard from sweet Katelyn. Here she is helping Daddy wash the jeep in her little blue applique t-shirt. I hope to finish her little Ellis dress tomorrow.
Believe me, there is nothing better than being loved all the way to China.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Everything old is new again

As I was posting the photo of this pattern I kept thinking how retro it looked. Then I found the old picture...change the neckline and fabric, add sleeves and 42 years and Voila! The same dress!
I have not yet decided which fabric to use for the bodice and which for the lining, but I think I am going to try something that I saw on another blog and now cannot return to because I don't remember where it is. Anyway, they cut 1 inch bias strips and ran a basting stitch down the middle, gathered it and attached it as a ruffle. I think I will try that with the lining fabric and see how it works. If it doesn't I can always go back to the ribbon trim.
That was big ole Alabama hair and I was feeling pretty good waiting for my date to pick me up for the Senior Girl's Dance at Tuscaloosa High!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Walking foot

I finally finished this little coverlet with the help of the Bernina walking foot. Of course, I had to take the foot back to the store because I was convinced that it didn't fit my machine, but the ever patient Marian and Margo showed me how to put it on my Artista 200. The silk fabric was leftover from the drapes, and since my husband and I work on different thermostats these days, I thought a coverlet for him would be nice on nights when I was sweating away. The toile is leftover from my bathroom shade,(it has just occurred to me that I do a terrible job of estimating fabric needed for a project) and I put a very light batting in between the layers. Trying to sew this silk reminded me of why I paid someone else to make the drapes; I know my limitations and silk slips and slides. I used the walking foot to follow the lines of the gingham silk to give it a little quilted effect, and the cotton toile backing doesn't slide off the bed the way silk would have.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WooHoo! My piano bench has a cover!

I have been wanting to make a cover for a very scratched up piano bench(from a little girl and a schnauzer 25 years ago) and I wanted my piano bench to have scallops, so it took me awhile to figure this one out. I got some fabric from the Fabric Barn, in beautiful downtown Eclectic, Alabama. The gentleman said it was linen, but I have my doubts. Anyway, it is a nice nubby cotton that I liked. So I started by measuring the top of the bench. As I worked out the number of scallops, I decided to work in centimeters because it was a smaller unit and I didn't have to fool with fractions. My mistake was measuring the length of the bench, and figuring my scallops; I should have measured the perimeter. Oh well, they fit pretty evenly.

Then I made a template and couldn't find any poster board so I used some lightweight cardboard from a case of coke. It worked just fine. I drew out the scallops using a little saucer and my blue marker, and sewed them using a small stitch, about 1.5. It was easy enough to turn and the small stitch gave me a rounder edge. After a little pressing, I felt like the most difficult part was done.
From here I cut out the top and used a little batting inside the lining. I cut some bias strips and made my piping for the top edge, then attached it to my rectangle top. I added a strip around the side of the bench, on top of the piping, to lengthen my scalloped skirt. By now I am sewing through the top piece, batting, lining, 2 layers of piping and strip around the edge. Now it was time to attach my scalloped strip to the little 4 inch skirt around the side.
I sewed from the back side so that I could use my piping stitch as a guide, and added the last piece, my scallops. I was holding my breath as I slipped it over the bench, but I'll be durned if it didn't look ok! I might go back and monogram the top, but I am thinking it might look best in the slouchy cotton without a monogram. So here it could probably use another pressing, but I think the girls will enjoy it as is. I can't wait for my next concert. Now the dining room chairs are looking a little bare...