Thursday, February 12, 2015

Emma's Clever Charlotte Any Day Valentine Outfit

Clever Charlotte Chickadee Skirt & Raven Hoodie

Emma is one of my favorite little sewing muses.  This little just-turned seven year old is as charming and beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  It is always fun to sew for Emma!

Emma in some of the many outfits I have made for her.

This little shirt was purchased on sale and cost less than $6.  I embellished it with a pretty floral that reminds me of Monet's watercolors (only brighter).  The inspiration for the heart design is from this Pin on one of my boards on my Pinterest account.  I chose this particular print to go with a Clever Charlotte 'Raven' Hoodie that I made Emma last October as I wanted her to have more opportunities to wear the hoodie.  It was made using a gray feather-wale corduroy and an orange swirl print for the lining.   (I will post that outfit closer to October 2015 as it is an autumn outfit.)  

I really loved the short sleeved style of the hoodie and the fact that it is completely lined.  My only issue with the pattern is the way the sleeve edges are sewn...and I am working on another way to sew them.  Otherwise, the Raven Hoodie was a dream to sew.    When I made it last October, I paired it with a Clever Charlotte 'Chickadee' skirt.  Another great pattern with a completely finished (lined) interior and a perfect fit with a clever adjustable back waist.  Emma loved them so I made another Chickadee skirt in the orange/red/yellow floral lined in the same orange swirl print as the hoodie.  Emma is tall but very slender.  I made the skirt and hoodie in a size 5 with a length of a 6.


I have only the one picture of the new skirt as I deleted the folder the photos were in!  (Goodness!  I can't believe that I did that!) You can see that I used the same vintage button on the skirt (not functional) as I put on the lace top I bought for Emma to wear with the gray outfit last October.  
The very clever top-stitching on the Chickadee skirt completely encloses the last opening left when sewing the lining to the fashion fabric.

Clever Charlotte Rave Hoodie
 Check out the little hand embroidered monogram on the inside of the hood!  Sweet, right?  Well.....this was to cover up where I slipped with the scissors and snipped a tiny hole in the hood!

I hope it is hard to see where I snipped!
I'll be bringing my camera to school this week in hopes that Emma wears it to school.  I would love to be able to show you how well this outfit looks on a live model.

Blessings for a day filled with happiness!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"S" is for Sweet September's Valentine Dress

Dress Front
 This will be a 'quickie' post to share a dress I made two years ago and never posted!  I have a couple of Valentine Posts that I want to share this month so I better 'hop to it'!    I was given the printed fabric by September's grandmother to fashion into a dress that she could wear to a Valentine's Dance.  It was a warm February here in Florida and only a little white sweater would be needed to keep her arms warm when she wasn't inside at the dance so a sun-dress style was chosen.

I used a favorite 'go-to' pattern:  Annie's Sundress and Jumper by Primrose Lane.  It has all sizes, 2-12, and has a shoulder button closure view, too.  I added the sash and the hem border.  I had the perfect color Kona cotton solid to coordinate and the sweet trims in my stash.
Dress Back
Do you make Valentine's Day clothes?  Here they are often worn by children all February long.  I recently made some things with hearts for Valentine's Day that could be worn any day that I will share soon.

"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still... loves you!"

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Hope Chest Inspired Shower, Part 8: The Baby Bonnet & Bibs

 You might think that a baby bonnet and bibs would have no place at a Bridal Shower but... remember the theme of my gift to my niece!

I had determined to make my gift representative of the things typically found in a hope chest of yesteryear (updated, of course). (See the end of this post for the links to the original post and the gifts posted thus far.) This was a "Hope Chest" (basket) filled with things that I made or collected for my wonderful niece.  Along with my hope that Kelly be blessed with a wonderful marriage, I also hold the hope that Kelly and Josh will be blessed with children some day.  In  Rebekah Wilson's book, she discusses the wide variety of things that would be placed in a hope chest of 'yesterday'.  Among the items one would save/make/collect would be family heirlooms like blessing or christening gowns and special baby items.  Young girls would often make things for their future children and place them in their hope chests or the 'bottom drawer' of their dressers if they didn't have a designated hope chest.

A great resource book about Hope Chests and what goes in them.

Like the bread cloth I shared in my last post (see HERE), this gift was made using a family vintage tablecloth, this time from my mother.  When our mother died, my sister and I discovered this cloth on a shelf in her linen closet.  We remembered it from the Easter dinners my mother would host for all of us when our children were little.  It was badly stained and my efforts in getting the stains out resulted in the fabric fibers disintegrating where I worked too hard.  The rest of the tablecloth was in excellent shape so I saved it to re-purpose into something new that would have sentimental value for my sister and myself (and hopefully  our children).  Baby clothes for our children's children fit the bill perfectly!

Kelly loved this little set and was touched that it was made with something that belonged to another of her grandmothers.  
So pretty but in really bad shape.

I used a commercial pattern (Simplicity 1794) to design the bonnet and two bibs.  I love that the bonnet can be worn three ways, as it is completely reversible.  I lined the bonnet in a tiny blue and white pima cotton check.  (Another set has been cut out to make for my own daughter's hope chest.)

The bonnet can be worn with the embroidered/appliqued side showing and the brim down for shading a baby's little face.

Gingham side out.

My favorite way to have the bonnet worn:  gingham side out with the fancy side folded to the outside.
Bib #1:  The Feeding Bib
Bib #2:  The Drool Bib
I have one more post of gifts made for Kelly's Hope Chest Inspired Shower Gift and hope to have it posted after Valentine's Day.  ( I have some Valentines Day sewing to share first!)

If you wish to see the initial post about the Tea Party Shower or some of the other gifts I made, please see the links below: 

Have a wonderful day!  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Hope Chest Inspired Shower, Part 7: The Bread Cloth

"Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread"

While perusing my collection of Sew Beautiful magazines last summer, I came across an article about a beautiful hand embroidered bread cloth and I instantly knew that I wanted to make it for one of my niece, Kelly's, shower gifts.  I knew I had the perfect soft damask cloth tucked away to re-purpose into something special:  a lovely, very old, tablecloth that had been my wonderful stepmother's and had been her mother's before her!  One area of the vintage material had worn through but the rest was in excellent condition and was such a pleasure to work with!

If you wish to see the initial post about the Tea Party or some of the other gifts I made, please see the links below: 
Please click on the photos to enlarge them.
The original design in the magazine had the wheat sprays in all four corners of the cloth.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to complete this project and the others that I still wanted to do if I did the entire design, so I chose to do the sprays in just two of the corners.

I used a tiny back stitch to stitch the line from the Lord's Prayer and shadow work, stem stitch, and bullion knots for the wheat sprays.

I found a beautiful standing master butter knife in an antique store to add to this gift.

I really tried to make my handwork neat because I knew that it would be seen as soon as you uncover the bread!

I also found a triangular bread basket in another antique store that would be perfect for using with the cloth.

As I had hoped, Kelly loved the cloth and was touched that it had been made from a tablecloth that had graced her grandmother's and great grandmother's tables.  I know that when she read the tag I had prepared explaining what I had done, I felt like these special women were present with us in spirit.  I have to say that of all the things that I made for Kelly, this was the most meaningful for me.  

I hope that you enjoyed this post.  Perhaps it will inspire you to make something new out of something old!  Please join me again later in the week for another gift for Kelly made from one of my mother's tablecloths!  

Blessings for a wonderful day!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Favored Tea Cups

"I'm late!  I'm late! I'm late for a very important date!  No time to say hello, goodbye.  I'm late!  I'm late!  I'm late!"  ( Sung by: The White Rabbit in "Alice In Wonderland")

I really wanted to be on time for Sandi's party at the Rose Chintz Cottage on Tuesday but too many things got in the way.  (There were so many meetings before and after school this week that I was just too tired to work on a post.  This is the first day this week that there isn't a meeting and I don't need to be at school early.)  She is celebrating the 5th Anniversary of her Tea Time Tuesday party and I wanted to join in on the fun.  The link below will bring you to the party and you can go, too! There are always so many lovely things to see at her parties!

The Spode teacup and teapot are part of a large set I have collected over the years that was begun for me by my wonderful stepmother and my father.  When my children were babies Mickey (that's what family and friends called her) divided her service for sixteen in half and gave my sister and I each a set for eight.  The following year, she gave us each a service for four as a Christmas gift.  Over the years, I have collected many more pieces and we enjoy them for two months of the year.  They are taken down and switched out with our everyday dishes and used for all meals from the last weekend of November to the last week of January.  They will be put away this weekend for another year.  I love using them!  And I hate putting them away.  Neither my Mickey nor my dad are with us anymore.  They both loved the holiday season and had many wonderful traditions that included cutting down their own tree, big tree trimming parties, baking and decorating delicious holiday cookies, and special Christmas morning breakfasts.  When I look at these dishes, I am reminded to count my blessings.  Mickey was such a gift to us and Dad was my favorite person from my earliest memories!  How blessed I am to have had them in my life!

The tea is Four Seasons Oolong from Teavana and it is delicious!

 I have a shelf in one of my glass cabinets that houses my collection of single pretty teacups.  When guests come to visit and share a cup of tea, I have them choose a cup from this cabinet.

Underneath the cups in the very back is a very special cup.  It is so well hidden that it can't even be seen in the close-up picture below.  It is hidden so that no one chooses that one!  It belongs to my very sentimental daughter, Victoria-Rose.

 I asked her one day which was her most favorite and she choose this one because,  "It looks just like my special baby blankie, Mama!"  That blanket is loved to being threadbare and worn out but was slept with for YEARS.  In her last year of high school, it was folded up and placed carefully in her hope chest.

 The next cup is my personal favorite on that shelf.  I love the color and the raised lacy design on the saucer and on the inside of the cup.  It makes me think of lace overlays on batiste dresses.  I love the color so much, that several rooms in my house are painted with shades of that celadon green.

This next picture shows my tea station in the kitchen of the kindergarten 'pod' of my school.  I make tea to share nearly everyday.  Some days are 'two pot days'!  The corn teapot is a vintage one given to me by a lovely volunteer who became my friend.  Some of the cups are gifts and many were found by me in various shops.  Many of my 'regulars' have chosen their preferred cup that they use all the time.  I love it!
 I chose to use the cabinets above to house luncheon dishes (for teacher work days) and extra cups/saucers and sugar/creamer sets for workshops and other meetings,  They also contain teas, honey, agave, etc.

Here the pot is ready with another delicious tea from Teavana:  Strawberry Pariso.

This cup and saucer is my favorite school set and was a gift from Grace, a former student.  It is 'Butterfly Meadow' from Lenox.  It holds a little more than most of the other cups and has a great handle for my fingers.  Grace chose the cup because she knows how much I love butterflies.  She is so sweet!
I adore the little ladybird beetle inside the cup!  It just makes me smile!

I hope that you have enjoyed this glimpse into my daily tea rituals and that you will visit Sandi at the Rose Chintz Cottage.  I will be back in a couple of days with another post of goodies made for Kelly's Hope Chest Shower Gift.

Edited to link to Bernideen's Friend's Sharing Tea weekly blog party.  Today she has a wonderful post about Beatrix Potter.  Click on the photo/link below to visit.

Friends Sharing Tea

May your day be filled with blessings and fun!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Hope Chest Inspired Shower, Part 6: The Shoe Bag and Round Travel Tote

This travel set was made as part of a "Hope Chest" Gift Basket that I made for my niece, Kelly's, Tea Party Shower last July.  (See HERE for details of the Tea Party Shower, an explanation of the Hope Chest' gift project, and the first set of gifts.  See Here, Here, Here, and Here for Parts 2, 3, 4, & 5).

In checking over the photos that I made prior to wrapping the gifts, I have made the sad discovery that I didn't take pictures of some of the gifts at all and many of the photos that I did take, are of very poor quality.  I  apologize! This set was inspired by some travel bags and totes in some of the Australian magazines:  Handmades . (I am no longer able to find them in the shops here in Florida and I treasure the ten issues that I have.  I don't know if they have gone out of business like so many of my other favorite magazines.  Does anyone out there know?)  I chose lavender and purple to complement Kelly's wedding colors.   The cylindrical shaped bag (shaped circular bottom) on the left was made with a Kona cotton and a lovely piece of lawn that my friend, Jana, gave me.  It had the hand of a Liberty and was a joy to work with.  The bag contained a pair of pretty vintage edged glass goblets tied with purple and lavender ribbons.  (One of the pictures I didn't take! :(   ).  I thought that the bag could hold some of the items she would be taking on her honeymoon.
 The bag above is a divided shoe bag made with more of the Kona cotton and a piece of an antique hand embroidered and crocheted dresser scarf.
 I lined it in the lovely lawn and divided the bag with more of the lavender fabric trimmed with ribbon.  I am hoping that she really uses the bag when she travels or that she uses it to store her beautiful wedding shoes.
My shoes are 'modeling' here!

I hope that you are enjoying taking a peek into the 'Hope Chest' Basket and that you come back later this week to see the bread basket cloth I hand embroidered for sweet Kelly and her husband.  I will also be sharing a post on my favorite teacups and linking it to Sandi's Tea Time Tuesday's 5th Anniversary Party.

Blessings to you!

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us.  Psalm 67:1

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Hope Chest Inspired Shower, Part 5: The Embroidered Hankie

Something Blue?

Please click on the photos to enlarge the pictures.  Photographing this hankie was difficult!

This will be a short post about a little gift addition to the 'Hope Chest' shower gift basket for my niece, Kelly's, Tea Party wedding shower.  (See HERE for details of the shower, an explanation of the 'Hope Chest' gift project, and the first set of gifts.  See Here ,  Here , and Here for Parts 2, 3, & 4.)

I collect pretty antique and vintage handkerchiefs.  I like them all:  embroidered, lacy, colored, and printed.  I often use them in my sewing projects.  I have made many of them into lovely little baby bonnets.  This one was a soft linen with a lacy crocheted edge.  I embroidered the blue flowers and green leafy vines with a lovely embroidery thread: DMC Floche.

The following description is from this website:
DMC Floche is a twisted thread made from the finest long fiber cotton, mercerized to create a beautiful finish. This superior quality thread is especially suited for fine embroidery.
DMC Floche is comprised of 4 non-divisible strands in size 16 thread, each strand equals two (2) strands of DMC Floss. Threads can be stitch in a single or multiple plies and slide easily through fabric. During the manufacturing process, the cotton is combed, singed by flamed and mercerized creating its beautiful finish. The end result does not knot, kink or fluff and is soft and gentle to the touch.

I deliberately embroidered in the center of  only one side of the handkerchief so that it could be made over into something else.  My thought was that Kelly might want to carry the hankie at her wedding (in her purse or whatever) and that she would give it back to me to turn into a little bonnet someday like the one I made below.

I'm a lacy hankie, as pretty as can be.
With a bit of stitching, a bonnet has been made out of me.
To be worn home from the hospital or perhaps on my christening day.
Please cherish and pack me away.
Then on her wedding day, a few stitches snipped
and a wedding hankie I'll be.
And if by chance it is a boy, someday he will wed
and to his bride he can present this hankie
once worn upon his head.
 Author Unknown

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