Tuesday, February 18, 2014

You Are My Sunshine...

Forget not the the earth
To feel your bare feet
 And the winds long to
 play with your hair.

                   ~ Khalil Gibran

I just finished Children's Corner Stella for my sweet Issa, and now it is Miss Mae's turn for a new dress.  Hers is not nearly as conservative as Issa's, and I think this will suit granddaughter #3  just fine!

I used Olive Ann Designs  Butterscotch pattern.  We have had some cute prints in the store and I wanted to try it for Mae.  Since my girls have moved to the beach and are already wearing sundresses, I couldn't  wait to finish this one.

The bows were put on a little differently than I expected, they are 2 completely separate parts.  After I had attached the first piece, I thought maybe this wasn't such a good choice for Mae, the bodice looked like a swimsuit top and I didn't really like the look.  As I read ahead though,  I saw that the bow actually went on top of this piece, and it changed the look completely.

The good (not so good) news is, this pattern comes with a pattern for the same dress for an 18" doll.  Dad Gummit!  I am tired of sewing for dolls and I don't know why, it is just not my favorite way to spend my time in the sewing room.  Oh Well, I am sure when I tell Mae,  I know what my next project will be...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Just Call Out My Name...

Louie, I think this is the beginning
of a beautiful friendship.
  ~Rick Blaine, Casablanca, 1942

As we all grow older we have great sadness and great joy in our lives.  I think we appreciate friendship even more as the years go by.  I made this project with a special friend in mind.

I imagined a quilted wall hanging, but since my knowledge of quilting is rather limited, I just forged ahead not knowing really where I was going.  Kind of flying by the seat of my pants, which is how I approach many things in my life.

I started with a piece of natural linen, used Warm and Natural batting, and used a pretty bright blue flannel for my bias and backing.  I discussed color with my resident color expert, my sister Bethanne, and got some good advice.  I drew out a tree with bare branches, a silhouette, and it occurred to me later that this is how Beth paints many of her trees.  Anyway, I like the look of the contrast, so it was a black linen tree.  I used Wonder Under to attach it to the background, a poor choice, but it is what  I found in the sewing room.


Before attaching the tree to the linen, I placed it and marked where I wanted the quote to go.  I used the new Bernina software that has a new choice of fonts, and used the Run Freehand font.  It is delicate but will hold up as it is stitched out.
                                            A friend knows
                                            the song in my heart
                                            and sings it to me
                                            when my memory fails.  ~  D. Roberts

So I attached my tree with a tiny blanket stitch, then began to cut out and sew down my wool leaves.  Next came the bright blue flannel birds with tiny felt beaks and french knots for eyes.  I tookall 3 layers to my mat and trimmed it up and cut plenty of binding from the flannel 2.25 inches wide, mitered the corners and whipped it to the back.  I finished it off with a little By Bibi label.

I wish I had done some tiny free motion squiggles to finish my design.   I thought it didn't need it but as I see it in my minds eye....it would have been a nice touch.  I hope it will hang in her sewing room next to her hand made treasures.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Small Treats

One of the secrets of a happylife is continuous small treats.

                   ~ Iris Murdoch

I almost let Valentines Day get away without sending treats to my girls.  I found 2 shirts in my stash,  went to Planet Applique to find designs that I thought they would like, downloaded them and was stitching within minutes!  It boggles an old Bibi's mind if I think about it for very long!

I am still out of a good cutaway stabilizer, but I used 2 layers of polymesh, a layer of tearaway under that, and solvy on top of the shirt as I stitched.  I used the Harrington font for the little initials on the shirts, and just let my 780 stitch away.  The envelope was in the mail by early afternoon and I hope my little girls get them in time to wear them for the big V Day!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sweet and Simple Stella

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  ~Leonardo DaVinci

I love this dress.  I have had the pattern for some time, but just decided last week to make a little dress from fabric in my stash.  I am not sure where the fabric came came from, I suspect Children's Corner, but it was so quick and fun to sew up, I am hoping my other girls will want one.

There is not too much to say about how I did the it.  I love the light blue and brown plaid that I had for the trim.  In the pattern Lizette does a great job of describing how to do the bias neck band.  After I had cut it out for the size 10, I thought it was a mistake, but she explains that by stretching it it fit, you eliminate wrinkles.  

The monogram is Master Circle; I had a few problems with
 it but nothing too noticeable.  I am out of cut away,
 so I used 2 layers of tearaway.  Since this is for Issa,
 I will probably put a fusible over the back
 of the monogram to soften the stitches.

I did have one disappointment with the completed
dress.  As it was hanging I noticed a fold line across the middle of the skirt where it is soiled as if it might have been folded for some time.  That is what I get for sewing from a stash!

The only truly sad thing about making this dress is the fact that there are no little girls in town to try it on.  I guess that means just one thing, it is time to take a Road Trip!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

4 sleeping bags for 4 little dollies

Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.
                         ~Lorraine Anderson

Gentle friends, this is the 3rd time I have written this post.  I have no idea what I have done wrong, but both times it has disappeared!  We will see what this morning brings.  I have been sewing so much these days and have a hard time getting my projects written for Bibi Sews.
My 4 girlies love to play with their American Girl dolls, so
I thought it would be fun to make 4 sleeping bags for their spend the nights and pretend camp outs.  I decided to used flannels, minkeys and cottons from my stash, and  to try to match colors to the girls' tastes.
After I had chosen the fabrics for each girl I embroidered the doll's name on the front of the sleeping bag.  The font I used was Sunshine Poppy.  I was able to choose a font, put it into the fonts folder in my laptop, then bring it into the Bernina Designer Plus software and stitch it out!

I lined up the four bags on the banister, Kit, Julie, Castle and Addy.  I see a few puckers on Castle, but using 2 layers of cutaway stabilizer kept the others nice and smooth.

Next I made my sandwiches...soft backing, either flannel or minkey, Warm and Natural    batting, and the embroidered cover.  I trimmed them up using my dreaded rotary cutter, but the   results were quick and  neat.  I usually use my trusty Ginghers, and still have a slight aversion to the rotary cutter, but the end result is so much neater and easier on my granny hands.

Now it was time to practice my not so good free motion skills.  I did squiggles and loops on three of the bags,  and on the 4th chevron I just followed the lines.  The quilting was a nice touch and made the fabric sandwiches look more like sleeping bags than just fabric envelopes!

There are many, many tutorials showing how moms and grandmas make these bags.  I know I looked at Riley Blake and Peas in a Pod.

Yards and yards of bias binding were cut next.  I cut them on the bias, 2.5 inches wide, pressed them wrong sides together lengthwise, and sewed them to the rectangles matching the raw edges.  After looking at MANY examples online, and a hands on tutorial from my quilting guru, Kathy, I believe I have finally mastered the mitered corner with all these layers.

Bows made the sleeping bags complete, and Katelyn made her Addy a pillow from a scrap on turquoise chevron!

Good night Dollies!