Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Catching Up Part 4: Gingerbread Dresses

As always, click on the pictures to enlarge them.
 Yes, I am still trying to catch up on posting things I made before the Christmas holidays.  This is what happens when I don't post for two months!  I really do have to resolve to post at least twice every matter. what.  (Because there is still more to come!)

Anyway, the little gingerbread dress here is one of a pair I made as gifts for the special little ones in two co-workers lives.  This one is a size 2 and was made for the one and a half year old daughter of one of our first grade teachers.  Kayla has the most gorgeous blue eyes!  The second dress (that I never photographed) was nearly identical to this one but was a size 18 months and had the addition of a back placket and three red buttons down the back.  It was made for Coral, the first grandchild of our media specialist, who is a very dear friend.

The aprons I posted in the last post were my inspiration for these dresses.  They are apron dresses using bodices I drafted and the strap/ties from the Portabellopixie Petal Knot Dress.  The apron and skirt were just rectangles cut to the measurements the ladies gave me.  The little white blouses were made using a white on white snowflake print that doesn't show up in the picture.
 My friends were delighted with the dresses and their little girls wore them several times over the holidays.  We are hoping that they may get to wear them again next year since the knots on the bodice can be adjusted and the ties loosened in the back.
Oops!  I didn't tie a great bow here.
 Buttons, yo-yo cheeks, and a bit of bias tape make the faces.  Cute!
I hope you like them.  I could post the bodice pieces I drafted for those two sizes if anyone is interested.  Just leave a comment.  I love to hear from you!

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Catching Up Part 3: Gingerbread & Snow-lady Aprons

 I am still catching up on posting some of my December 2013 sewing/doings!

These cute little aprons were made using the Simplicity 1954 pattern.  I made the three sizes included and sized one down for a size 2 child.  They were fun to make for children's gifts and the recipients loved them!  Chloe, A.K.A. 'Alice', the beautiful model from my last post, loved her Gingerbread apron once she put it on.  (Getting it on her was another story!  She is three...enough said.)  Chloe wears a size 2 so her apron had to be sized down to fit her.  Chloe's mommy loved the apron so much,  she decided it was a pinafore and had her wear it to preschool with cinnamon colored leggings.  Adorable!  Just look at that sweet smile!
 I loved the look of the aprons so much that I wanted to try the snow-lady view but had no little one left to sew one for.  So....I sized it up to an adult size!  Here it is being modeled by my lovely daughter.  I wore it to school for our class holiday party and also on Christmas Day.  If anyone is interested in the dimensions for a grown-up version of the aprons, please just let me know in the comment section.

This apron was my inspiration for the pinafore part of my Winter Wonderland PR&P sew-along submission.  You can see more of the pictures HERE.
I'd love to know if anyone else has made these aprons.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Let's Go to the Movies!" Project Run & Play: Season 8

 Alice in Wonderland

Meet Alice!  She'd like to invite you to tea in the garden.  All her furry friends will be there, too.  Everyone will be so happy to see you there!

September 20, 2014:  I am happy to link this post to  for the Sew Many Books sew-along.  Disney's Alice movie was obviously inspired by Lewis Carrols's  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland  which has been a favorite among children's books for decades.  There are many wonderful children's outfits inspired by books in the contest and in the sew a-long.  Check them out!

My sweet little "Alice" is my friend Kaye's little three year old daughter, Chloe.  She is quite a character with a delightful blend of "sugar and spice and everything nice"!  She calls me "Miss Mouse"...We don't know why...I am putty in her hands.

The dress is a gift "just because".  When I was thinking of what to make for this week's Project Run & Play Let's Go to the Movies sew-along challenge, I knew that I wanted to make something from one of Disney's classic animated movies.  Alice In Wonderland popped into my head and I knew Chloe would make the perfect Alice.  We made sure that she watched the movie over a couple of days and her mommy made it special by making tea and serving it in a pretty china cups and saucers.  Chloe was charmed.
The dress is a comfortable "play in" dress that is meant to be worn and enjoyed.  The dress is made of white cotton sateen and a blue on blue printed cotton calico trimmed in embroidered ribbon, Swiss beading and edging, and French lace.  All materials were laundered in the washer and dryer to preshrink.
I used McCalls 6062 for the bodice and the starting point for the sleeves.  It is an easy-on and off dress without buttons or zippers.  The neckline has narrow elastic woven through a casing.  The sleeves in the pattern also have elastic but I chose to alter the sleeves.
I added Swiss edging over the sleeves to simulate a pinafore look and fancy the basic dress up a bit.
The sleeve pattern piece was shortened and beading and a gathered ruffle was added to the  bottom.  The beading is woven with white satin ribbon.  (I would haver preferred blue but I couldn't locate the right shade of blue in the needed width.)  The pretty flair at the bottom of the ruffle is achieved with hand rolling and sewing the little hem.
I added a little French lace trimmed faux peter pan collar to continue the pinafore/dress look.
Chloe had such fun with my daughter's childhood china tea set!
One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.  I added the hand cut and traditionally satin stitched teacup set and spoon to reference those wonderful moments.

This is one of my favorite pictures of our little photo shoot!  
To make the dress even more special I added some charms for more movie references.
These charms were Chloe's favorite part of the dress!  They were not part of my original design sketches but the idea just popped into my head when I was working on the teacup.  I am so glad that I added them!  Originally, there were three silver charms.   I knew I wanted to add the White Rabbit button but I didn't know where.  Putting the charms on the ribbons gave me the idea to sew the button on a different ribbon to replace the tiny silver teapot.

Isn't Chloe adorable?  I sure loved making this dress for her and seeing her have fun wearing it!

I am linking this post to Project Run and Play's movie theme sew-along challenge HERE.  I hope you will go and check out the featured designers' creations and the creations of the sew-along 'sewists'.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Catching Up Part 2: My Rosebud's Christmas Stocking

I am catching up on posts again today.  There are several things I made in November and December that I would like to share.  I hope the dear readers who check this blog won't mind.
As always, click on the photos to enlarge them.
 Two days before Christmas I decided to make Victoria-Rose, our daughter, a Christmas stocking.  The one she had was perfectly nice but it was a purchased one that didn't reflect her personality or style.   Rosebud's (family nickname) favorite colors are the more muted shades of green.  She loves vintage style and is (thank heavens for me) a very feminine young lady.
 The photo above shows the stocking cut out and bits and pieces of vintage laces that I have salvaged and restored.  The green fabric started out life as a man's pima cotton shirt.  It isn't shown here, but the lining is a red and white striped cotton.  The laces were all brown or dark tan from age and dirt and spent many hours/days in a Biz Bucket.  They are too delicate to be used in clothing because they would be washed too often and subjected to too much stress with wear.  The little broach, rose stick pin, and the charms were found in an antique store here in St. Petersburg.  The charms were cut off a bracelet that was from the 60's.  The little bee and basket were purchased many several years ago from JoAnns.
The crocheted snowflakes on our tree were made by my husband's Aunt Shirley and were given to us for our wedding.  I love them and want to learn how to make more of them!
 The  flower  basket was to honor Victoria-Rose's sweetness and the bee is for prosperity.  The broach was chosen for the red and it's star shape:  she is our shining star, a gift from God.  The rose, of course, is 'her' flower!  The ribbon above the basket and creating the "V" is silk embroidery ribbon.
The Santa behind the tag was on my mother-in-law's first tree 96 years ago!  
 The little red heart was cut from a pair of earrings that Rosebud wore a lot but lost its 'sister'.
The little elf ornament peeking out from under the stocking was one of many made for me by my godmother/aunt Janet Hughes in the 70's.  They are treasures!
I am linking this post to Sewing Mama Raeanna's Snowflakes & Lace  Linky party HERE.  Go and check out all the lovely things made with lace!

I hope that your holiday was as wonderful as ours was!  I still have a couple more holiday-themed posts to share and I am working on things for all three of the remaining Project Run & Play themes for Season 8.  Please come back and visit!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Catching Up Part One: Kitten Witch Pocket Dress & Halloween Forget-Me-Knot Dress

This was a post that I had saved in my drafts that I forgot to post last October!!

This little dress was made for Cassidy, my godchild, several years ago that I had never posted on my blog.  It is one of my favorite dresses that I have made.  I loved the kitten pocket with the free hanging body and the appliqued head/hat.  I adapted a design from one of Mary's Patterns for the basic shapes of the pocket and added the hat, bow, and apron.  You just lift the arms up and the rest of the body is a pocket!  So clever!  The dress pattern is my 'go to' pattern by Primrose Lane:  "Annie's Sundress and Jumper".  I had already made a lavender gingham peasant blouse for another outfit for Cassidy that she wore under the dress.  I just loved how this one came out and it looked charming on Cassidy.

The next dress is for Cassidy's little sister, Delaney, also my godchild.  I made this one a couple of weeks ago.  It is a much simpler design.  I am slowly getting into making more modern style dresses without the full skirts (that I adore).  It is a sweet dress but doesn't have the "Wow" factor that the other one has.  (It doesn't twirl, either.)  The pattern is a PDF pattern from Ruby Jean's Closet:  "The Forget-Me-Knot Dress" in a size 3 for a just above average sized three year old.  I am going to try it again in more feminine fabrics and trims and see if I like it better.  Don't get me wrong, the pattern was wonderful.  It was very clear, had great step-by-step photos, and everyone who saw the dress liked it a lot.  It is just me.  I like girly-girl things better. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Wonderland: Project Run and Play Season Eight

Project Run and Play's eighth season has begun with a wonderful line up of themes.  The first is "Winter Wonderland".  Perfect for the weather for most of the country right now.  Even Florida is having nippy weather!  I live in sunny Florida but we do have some cold (lower than 65 degrees F) days in January, February, and March.  We do bundle up and wear jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves because to us, It is winter and it is cold outside! Today the temperature in Palm Harbor, where I teach, was a very wintry 54 degrees F!

When I think of Winter, I think of these things:  cold, snow, blue skies, rosy cheeks, snowmen, layers of clothing, mittens, warm capes, and pretty hats. I think this outfit embodies it all!  

I had already decided to make little Miss Emma a snow-lady dress when Emma's grandmother and I were discussing what to make for Emma this winter. (Emma and her grandmother took care of my shih tzu puppy girls last summer in exchange for a special outfit. I love 'bartering' with her because I get to indulge in something I love:  making pretty things for an adorable little girl!)  When I saw the themes for this season's challenges the week after Christmas I couldn't believe that the first theme would be perfect for something I was already planning on making!  Two of the fabrics arrived from Farmhouse Fabrics on Friday, January 3 and I immediately put them in the wash.  Saturday saw me sketching ideas, ironing fabric, and choosing patterns.  That Sunday I cut all the pieces out except for the French beret.  Then it was a mad dash to sew the outfit to enter on time (8:00 PM tonight) between teaching full time and the normal family routines.  I am not a fast seamstress.  I am very careful and try to be precise when I sew so it can be rather slow going.  

The underdress is a pink pima cotton one eighth gingham with an attached white cotton slip.  I used McCalls 6062 and made changes only to the sleeves.  I omitted the elastic in the sleeves and added a band of Swiss beading and hand whipped French lace edging to the bottom.  Pretty pink ribbon is woven through the holes in the beading.


For the pinafore I used white cotton sateen, and pink and blue pima cotton gingham.  The skirt, apron, and ties are just rectangles cut to Emma's size and my vision.  The petal knot ties are from the Petal Knot Dress in "Claire" by Portabellopixie.  The bodice was drafted by me to accommodate the snow-lady face and Emma's size.  The cheeks and nose are yo-yos, the eyes are large buttons, and the mouth is wide rick rack.  All the facial features except the eyes were sewn on before sewing the lining to the bodice. 

The lined cape is one I just fell in love with!  I just love those mitten pockets and so does Emma!  The pattern is a PDF design purchased on Etsy:  "Gwendolyn's Cape" by Ruby Jean's Closet.  I love everything about this pattern except how the side seams are sewn.  I followed the pattern this time but will sew it like a man's lined vest next time to give it a prettier finished look on the inside.

The hat was added to the line up after the hood I drafted to fit the pattern just didn't look quite right.  I then thought a little French beret would be the way to go.  Now I am so glad the hood didn't work out!  I love the beret and I think it is the perfect accent for this outfit.  I used a pattern by SewBaby called the Hat Shoppe.  I added lining and the bow and button details.

I am linking this post to the sew-along at Project Run and Play HERE.  Go check out all the wonderful designs by the contestants and the sew-along 'sewists'.  This was FUN!
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