Friday, October 29, 2010

The better to see you with my dear...

How cute is Little Red Riding Hood? It's a McCalls pattern and it went together pretty quickly. I had the hood completed before I thought of the eyelet, so I had to take the seam ripper out and do it again. I spend more than my share of time with do overs. The pinafore in the pattern was pretty involved so I just gathered a width of white fabric to a wide polka dot ribbon and then added a rectangle edged in eyelet as the bodice. It was quick and easy and Issa looked pretty precious.

Here is sweet Issa with her "I am really nervous but I will pretend I am having a good time" smile. (I have one of Brent on Santa's knee with the very same smile)
I have a feeling she is going to grow up to be as beautiful as her mommy, with a heart to match.

The IHM teachers show their sense of humor in their Halloween costumes!
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Snips and Snails

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My days are filled with tiaras, Mardi Gras beads, Fancy Nancy stories and nail polish in rainbow colors. So I was thrilled to be able to finally make a gift for a little boy! We chose a toy soldier and baseball/cap/glove from the Martha's Mini's CD; black lettering and primary colors in the ribbons completed the burp cloths.

We may not have little boys in this family now, but I am guessing that my 4 little girls will give any young man a run for his money on the softball or soccer field in years to come!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I strive for Excellence, Perfection is God's business.

I knew in my heart that I should not take out the tape measure, but I did it anyway. I normally "eyeball" where I should place my monogram, but in an effort to do it PERFECTLY (my first mistake) I thought I had better measure, draw a line with the trusty blue marker, and make sure that my monogram was even. See Red towel Number 1.

I hated it. The T is floating way too high, and I just couldn't bear to give it to Linda. Not having another fall towel, I took out a white one and used the Empire font, eyeballed the placement, and was perfectly happy with the result. See White towel, Number 2.

I gave Linda her gift, but being cursed with practical streak, could not throw away the red one, so I gave it to her with apologies. I should have used it here in the sewing room instead to dust a little. Now she will have to tilt her head ever so slightly to the right whenever she looks at her red towel hanging in her kitchen. Thankfully winter is not too far off and it will go in the box with the pumpkins, silk leaves, and scarecrows!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to Hannah!

This bag came from a package of totes that has been hanging around in my sewing room for far too long. Little Hannah is having a birthday, and it will be filled with bubble bath and toiletries, Hello Kitty treasures, art supplies, or whatever strikes our fancy when we are out shopping. A word to the wise-- The canvas bags are from Michael's and came 4 to a package, and I did not notice until too late, but the handles are some kind of plastic. The ribbon went on fine using my trusty #5 edge foot, but look out when you press it!

Today I am in my sewing room with Sadie at my feet, the sun shining in the window, Yo Yo Ma playing his cello softly, and once again, life is very very good!

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Sometimes I feel like I just am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I have been monogramming for several years, and not at all enjoying the step of removing the stabelizer from behind the monogram.
I have also been looking at this little tool hanging on the pegboard above my sewing machine. TODAY I happened to think, "Gee, maybe that will help rip the stabelizer out from behind the monogram without worrying so much about ripping...hmm." Well, guess what? It worked like a charm. Quick and easy. I bought it to turn collars, but both ends of this tool helped in the process. I hope Susan enjoys her dish towel! NO, better than that, I hope TOM might enjoy using this dish towel!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ghost feet

I like these views of my Ellis dress much more than the one of it on the hanger! I was pretty pleased with the long distance fit; I was guessing at the length. The bias ruffle frayed a tiny bit and I like the look of it even more; the colors faded a tad also and I like the softer effect. I think this dress suits her. The ghost is a big piece of old sheet, some foam rubber stuffing, with embroidered eyes and mouth. I struggled getting them on my computer, and once again Marian at the ASC was more than willing to help. Katelyn wanted to hold his hand, she declared that he was a friendly ghost, and then said she guessed she was holding his foot.

This second picture is just one that makes me happy. I got to keep my Birmingham girls for a day, and it just doesn't get much better than that.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sew News

Posted by Picasa I got this new magazine yesterday. The bad news is it is the middle of October and they sent an August/September magazine, but the good news is I think it will be a good one. I probably wouldn't have subscribed to another magazine, but Issa's school was having a fund raiser and, well, what could I do?? Say NO? Not to my little girl!

There is a cute article on a project I can do with my girls, some little gifts made of felt. Now I probably won't be making my own jeans from start to finish, but hopefully it will provide me some new ideas and inspiration when I need it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Final Day in Nashville

Posted by PicasaThis is a snapshot of our sewing room. We work closely together, for sure, but we are all on the same project so it is nice to be able to share thoughts and supplies, exchange ideas and swap stories. There are ironing boards set up around us, and another classroom in the back. Even thought things are close, when you need a bit a space someone is always willing to scoot over and offer help if it is needed. It is really great fun.

My last day, Saturday, was spent making 2 skirts taught by Trisha. Now here is another talented woman. You would think at first glance that the first skirt would be a quick project, but she took so much time with us, giving us great ideas for details to improve our sewing. I learned to cut down my linings so they don't bunch up inside the garment, and lots of tips that I will put to good use as I continue to sew for my little girls.

This skirt was the first one we worked on Saturday morning. I didn't really like the grey as much as the pink, so I reversed the two fabrics on my skirt. This is Trisha's sample, and as I am looking at the photograph it seems like the elastic on the right side of the skirt may have gotten twisted, but believe me, the skirt is perfect. period.
Mine is just about finished but I have to put the elastic in the sides and then have a fashion show with one of the girls.
The rest of the day was spent on a really nice lunch, and then learning how to do the patchwork on the skirt. Both are from the same pattern. The fabrics for the lavender skirt are a combination of corduroys and cottons, with ric rac and bias trims for accents. Again, her workmanship is impeccable. In fact, on my first skirt, Trisha had pointed out an improvement I could make on it, but I at first declined and said I would "do that on the next one". But after looking at her work all morning I couldn't help but being dissatisfied with what I had done, sooo, out with the seam ripper! Now my lining fits inside the skirt like a glove! Trisha also suggested that we get creative and use up various scraps in our sewing rooms to design our own patchwork projects. These little skirts take a very little bit of fabric.
So the bottom line for me is, I am learning from some of the very best. They have a unique combination of the vision of artists, but workmanship that cannot be matched. And we are able to do it a fun environment. So I can tell you, this Children's Corner Sewing School will not be my last!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 2 in Nashville

Posted by Picasa I did not run into George Jones, but a good time was had by all for day 2 in this little store in Nashville. I happened by it on a trip to the city with friends a few years ago, and that is how I learned about the sewing school. Talented teachers, a helpful staff and a beautiful selection of fabrics for children's clothing make it a fun place for sewing Bibi!

Friday was spent with a little more involved dress under Lezette's direction. The beautiful lawn is sooo soft, it will feel so good to wear. Our dress is made out of a blue floral; Lezette's sample is done in corals and pinks. She combined 3 separate patterns for this particular dress; it has a little peek a boo sleeve, rick rack trim and an easy rolled and whipped placket that is hidden under a pleat. Lezette has many tricks in her arsenal to make dresses that really flatter a little one. She cut much of the fabric out of the gathered skirt, then flared it slightly at the bottom for a really pretty look. The yoke has a fusible interfacing (as I was doing mine I looked down and it was fused perfectly onto the ironing board cover), and the skirt has a little ruffle with more of the rick rack trim .
I slowed down sewing considerably on Friday afternoon, so this dress will be completed at home. I'll miss my new sewing buddies as I finish it up!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Fun!

Posted by PicasaI spent the day trying to replicate this little dress that was designed and made by Lezette Thomason at the Children's Corner school in Nashville. While other classes I have taken from Lezette focused on pattern drafting, today was spent learning some new techniques.

This dress began as the Lillian pattern, but Lezette added bias bands to the neck, armholes and down the front and back. I had thought making corduroy bias strips would be a nightmare, but with her step by step guidance it was almost easy! We used a Sewline glue stick on the bias tape after we finger pressed it, and then attached it to the front and back of the dress with the gluestick before we top stitched. Quick and pins.

The bias bands on the arms and neck were done much the same way, but Lezette minimizes wrinkles by cutting the bias strip about a 1/4 inch shorter than the measured armhole opening, then stretching the band to fit.

The sewing was fun and the chili lunch was delicious, but the best part was the new friends from Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. We are all brought together by a shared love of sewing; mothers, grandmothers, aunts, an unbelievably young almost great grandmother, and a godmother. I know we were all trying to visualize our special little girls and the smiles on their faces wearing a snazzy new dress!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frost is on the punkin...

This little pumpkin dress was made for my daughter Mandy about 30 years ago. The smocking needed some repair, but other than that it was in surprisingly good shape. The fabric is a little pilled on the front of the skirt, but not so much that it is noticeable. I just remember how I struggled with the piping on the peter pan collar. It was a Little Elegance pattern, and I still have a box full of them. The proportions of today's yoke dresses seem to be a little different; this dress is cut fairly wide, but I think the look is still fresh enough for Issa to enjoy this fall!
I made so many little dresses back in the late 70's, and it is quite by accident that I have this one. I lent this and a Christmas dress to a neighbor who took good care and saved them in the back of a closet. What a nice surprise to have them recently handed over the back fence! I just wish I had done a blog 30 years ago so that I could better remember all of my little dresses and the sweet little girl who wore them! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Posted by PicasaOur proudest sewing moment EVER! Last night, Mae had to go to Children's Hospital with a bad cough, and after a steroid shot is as good as new, but her big sister Issa was quite upset that Mae was ill. Issa stayed with me and said that she wanted to make Mae a flower, went to my sewing box full of scraps and started snipping and gluing. After she was satisfied with her project, she put Mae's name on it and went to sleep. This morning we sat down at the Bernina and sewed everything in place. Simply beautiful! She used the presser foot, the touch screen, maneuvered the fabric, clipped all the threads, and helped Bibi press. Mae Mae was duly impressed!

This brings up a question that Debbie M. and I have been bouncing back and forth. Does the sewing bug bite every other generation? I don't think I ever saw my mother hold a needle, but a sweet neighbor and my grandmother taught me to knit, crochet and hem a slip. (and yes, it had to look pretty even after I pointed out to her that no one but I would see it) Another factor is that a Bibi has much more time to help little fingers snip and sew than a busy mother does. Regardless of the reason, I am absolutely ecstatic that I will have a companion in my sewing room for years to come!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bibi knits?

Well, not really, but something in the cool fall air just makes me want to make something warm, and a sweater is not quite in my skill set. I bought the yarn in Ohio a few years ago, knowing I would be visiting Aunt Marge in the nursing home. I couldn't bear the thought of sitting and doing nothing for the weekend, and I was passing a yarn shop in Salem. But the project got stuck in the top of the closet, almost forgotten. I pulled it out earlier this week, and went to Kathleen for help in getting started on a scarf. I decided to knit in some small beads, (I have done 3 already but you can't see them) and hopefully since I am posting this I will actually finish it! I made one last winter that was not quite a is in browns and greys and hangs around my neck down to my knees. It is actually kind of depressing. I am hoping this color and the little bit of sparkle will be the incentive to complete it and wear it, maybe even this winter!Posted by Picasa