Friday, March 29, 2013

A Truckload of Easter Wishes

This rather creepy looking little girl is here to wish you a very happy Easter.
My little girls won't be sporting springtime dresses this Sunday.  The early Easter just kind of crept up on me, and with a few other projects going, fancy dresses didn't get done.  Bad Bibi this Easter;  it should be the highlight of my sewing calendar!

Kathy has been more productive than I, sewing t-shirts for her little boys in North Carolina and Texas.   They are precious, of course, and they have her special touches.  So I cannot tell you just what font she used, or where she got her design and what she did to change it in her software.  But I can tell you that she uses her wonderful Bernina 830, she uses lots of stabilizer, and she has an almost limitless stash of fabrics from which to choose for her appliques.

I am on my way to my sewing room to finish up a beach towel that has a sad story to tell.  Let's hope I can repair my careless mistake!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cousins? or twins?

    Mae tried Katelyn's Seashore Sundress on this morning, so that I could check sizing and see if I needed to make any changes.  She is being very insistent.  "I want my dress to be just like Katelyn's.  Put a K on it, Bibi."  Really?  I do give in to my girlies little whims, but I imagine that this is one I will not indulge.  Mae Mae's sundress will sport an M, front and center!

Bye Bye Bear

A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat,
Which is not to be wondered at.
But do you think it worries him
To know that he is far from slim?
No, just the other way about—
He’s proud of being short and stout.
                          ~ A.A. Milne

     The blue sundress is all ready for warm weather in Birmingham, and will go in the box tomorrow to be mailed to the Magic City.   I completed this dress with NOT ONE hand stitch.  I used my serger to finish the seams on the inside of the dress and the bottom hem.  Then I used the #5 foot and a blind hem stitch to do the hem.  I had to press it a good bit to make the it lie flat, and I hope that after it is washed that it will not curl up.  I used the #18 foot, the button sew on foot, to attach the big green buttons.  It worked fairly well on these thick buttons;  I have not had much success when using the foot with thinner buttons and finer cotton.

    I decided to used corded buttonholes, they are easy to do with foot 3A and gimp, and they give the buttonholes a polished look.

The renegade bear, who was not to be seen in the bed linens upstairs, was found behind a chair, hiding in a plant, and can be included in the box to go to Birmingham.  I would love to know how he found his way into the Night Blooming Cereus, and I know one little girl who will be very happy to see her old friend.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I Want to Buy a Paper Doll That I Can Call My Own...

                        (If you remember the title of this post as a song from the Mills Brothers when you were young, well...lets just say you are not a part of Generation X.)

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.  ~Madeleine L'Engle

One part of my youth that I have not lost is my love for paper dolls.  Oliver + s has a precious design for their pattern envelopes, and I picked up this pattern at the Atlanta Sewing Center in Duluth.  You know I love the way my Children's Corner patterns fit, but this Seashore Sundress had some cute details and  I decided to give it a try.  This particular dress was a special request from Katelyn.  "Purple and pinkish flowers, and if we can't find that...Blue flowers."   We wanted a polycotton blend so that we could take it out of the wash and give it a shake, so this Tutti Fruitti  fabric  was our choice.

After cutting it out, which is somewhat of a chore for me, I did the applique K on the center front, using the Sassy Applique font.  With the Artista Designer Software I was able to topstitch on top of the satin stitch outline. (with a little help from a friend)  The easiest way was to go over to my color film on the right of the screen, then duplicate the first placement stitch and place it at the end.  It is not perfect;  I have a few pokie outies, but I am pleased with the result.

My little Birmingham girls are happily at home with mommy and daddy;  I was not quite able to finish the dress, but I will hopefully do that today.  I will send it tomorrow with her Chevron Skirt and BEAR, who is still sleeping peacefully upstairs.  Thankfully a wise mommy made sure that she has 2 BEARs and BUNNY, so my little girl is not too sad when she goes to sleep at night.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A girl's gotta twirl

In a dancer, there is a reverence for such forgotten things as the miracle of the small beautiful bones and their delicate strength.  ~Martha Graham

I am gradually recuperating from a more active than usual week.  Little Sarah and Katelyn came to visit while their parents went to Key West on vacation.  There was not a lot of time to sew, but I did have time to monogram a couple of twirly dresses for the girls.  This stairway dance gives an idea of how quiet our week was.
 I asked what color Katelyn wanted her monogram to be;  I wish I hadn't, I had my mind set on lime green and they would not be swayed from PINK. I used a ball point needle, polymesh stabilizer, another layer of tearaway under the hoop, and solvy on top of the knit.  I didn't have the slightest pucker. I used fonts that were a little less traditional, in a favorite shade of pink, knowing that they will twirl and enjoy their dresses wherever they go.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pocket T Shirt

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.  ~Charles Dickens,Great Expectations

We have been seeing the little pocket t-shirts with monograms, usually done with a chevron print.  I checked out an in-the-hoop design from one of the applique sites, but I did not just love the way it looked.  So I hard can a patch pocket be on a knit?

I had nothing in my stash of pastels and pinks that looked good with the chevron print in which I had done their skirts, so I settled on a polka dot.  No whites....all I had was red, so red pocket on red shirt it was.  I was ready to get these babies DONE.  I did 3 little monograms on the dot, little Sarah never gets a matching shirt because I can't find them in toddler sizes.

Then I just cut a patch pocket pattern from one of the many green accounting tablets that are around my house.  The same tablet that Joe uses to compose my cards, the ones on which our grocery lists are scribbled, and the ones Joe uses to  scratch his never ending TO DO lists . I centered the patch over the monogram, eyeballing the center, counting the dots on either side of the monogram, and cut it our adding a 1/4 " seam.  I cut 3 additional pockets for linings, and sewed them right sides together, leaving a little bit on the side where I could pull it through, trimmed the corners and seams, turned it and PRESSED AND STEAMED, making sure the lining didn't peek out on the sides.

The final step was carefully stitching the pocket to the shirt.  I used a stabilizer on the back of the shirt, my trusty #10 foot, bumped off center just once, and stitched it down, making sure to reinforce the corners.

Maybe the mommies will want one of my t-shirts!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ruthie again

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it. 
 ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860

I want to show you Mae's version of the little "Ruthie" pattern.  It is in the softest  pink with a black background.  This dress has a shorter yoke that gives it a little younger appearance.  Mae will also appreciate a shorter sleeve.

I like the way the pattern instructs  you to do the rick rack trim around the sleeve.  You finish the edge of the sleeve;  they recommend  serger but I just used my overlock  2A foot  which is so much easier than dragging out the serger.  Then place the rick rack on top of the  sleeve at exactly a quarter inch above the edge of the sleeve, and keep it in place with tiny dots of fabric glue. I have discovered the only way for me to be successful with rick rack is to dot glue, and then stitch it down using my # 10 foot.  After you stitch it down, turn it under and just half of the rick rack is visible giving it a pretty look.  Then do a topstitch along the edge of the sleeve.  I use the #10 foot, bump it over two spaces, and let the blade ride along the edge of the sleeve.  Here is the sleeve before the topstitch.

So here is Miss Mae in her little version of Ruthie.  I wanted to add a border of the rick rack trim around the hem but I have run out of the soft shell pink and can't find it anywhere.  Getting a photo of Mae The Moving Target is never easy, but I coaxed her into a quick shot by letting her leave her jeans and t-shirt on UNDER the dress.

Now I am on to Katelyn's dress and a special request for blue!