Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ashley V's Suntop and Fancy Pants

A blue bow was attached to the center of the fancy pants before I gave it to Ashley's mommy.
This was another "Thank you"  outfit for a wonderful parent volunteer in my classroom.   This cute little cross over top and fancy pants were made using patterns I have used many times and they always come out so cute!  The top was made using the same pattern as this outfit and the fancy panties were made using the Tie Dye Diva Ruffled diaper cover.  The only change I made to the pants was to use bias binding in the leg openings instead of folding them over to make the elastic casings.  After Ashley tried it on, I moved the buttons up to make it a little shorter.  I wish I had made the top reversible but I didn't think of it at the time.
Such a little cutie-pie!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reunited Vintage Linens

Click on the photos to enlarge for viewing!
 Aren't these just gorgeous?  What a lot of handwork went into the embroidery and the crocheted edging!  The tablecloth is a small one that has the hanging baskets in each corner.  It is perfect for a little tea table or to layer over another cloth on a larger one.  The four little napkins have the lovely matching work on one corner and the edging all around.  I found these little lovelies on two different days in two different antique shops!  It is obvious that they were made by the same needle artist.  The thread tension and formation of the stitches is identical.  How did they get separated? My best guess is that they were picked up by two different dealers at the same estate sale.  Perhaps they were in different boxes or set up on different tables.  However it happened, they were meant to be found by me and reunited.  They will grace my table...together!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vintage Linen Dragonfly Petal Knot Dress

 As girly-girl as I am, I am fascinated by insects.  Butterflies are, of course, my favorites but I also adore the jewel colors and lacy wings of dragonflies and damselflies.  They hover like helicopters and can fly in six directions.   They are considered lucky in China and associated with prosperity and harmony.   Did you know that they are helpful to humans?  They are eating machines!  "They can eat food equal to their own weight in 30 minutes."  They keep mosquito populations down.  There are lots of interesting facts about this wonderful insect at: .  If you have children (or you are a kindergarten teacher) you really need to visit this site.
 If you click on the photos of this Petal Knot dress you will see the cotton skirt fabric is printed with rows of dragonflies making stripes across the material.  I paired the print with lime green gingham and a vintage linen dresser scarf with the most gorgeous handmade eyelet flowers and basket.  This piece was perfect and therefore was used on my table for a couple of years.   When making this dress as a donation for a fund raiser for the music department of my school,  I remembered this lovely piece in the linen closet.  At first I talked myself out of using it because it was in such beautiful condition but nothing else would do once I saw the pieces together.   Isn't the cluny lace lovely, too?  Do click on the photos to see the long ago needle artist's beautiful eyelet work.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sweet Baby Booties from Embroidered Linens

 Cross stitch is an easy hand embroidery stitch but it takes patience and practice to make all the stitches even.  The needle artist who did this work many decades ago did a lovely job combining cross stitch, French knots,  lazy daisy, and stem stitch onto a linen dresser scarf in shades of pink and lavender.  When I purchased it about 30 years ago it had several rust stains that I could not remove in the center of the cloth.  I used it on a sideboard in my dining room with a silver tray over the spots!  Perfect!

About 15 years ago I was making a birthday gift for a friend's little girl:  a lavender gingham dress with puffed sleeves and a full skirt... when I remembered the cloth in the linen closet.  I couldn't stop thinking about how pretty it would be as the collar on that dress.  So.... it was quickly cut (quick is less painful when cutting up something beautiful) and the dress ended up with a gorgeous large round collar.  The dress turned out prettier than it would have with my original design and my friend's little girl adored the dress!   It was worn for her birthday and for Easter and many, many Sundays.  The linen scraps were saved, of course, or their would be no post today!
 I came across the linen scraps recently and I started to think about what I could make with such a small piece of embellished cloth.  Baby shoes!  I had to stop everything to trace a ballet bootie pattern from an older Sew Beautiful magazine and move the pieces around on the linen.  Then I had to sew the wee shoes up right away to see how they would come out.  The shoes are not identical but I think that they are more charming because of that.  They are lined with soft white lawn and tied with lavender ribbon.  I really love them!
Underside of the baby shoes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Emma B's Very Hungry Caterpillar Dress and Allister's Caterpillar Shirt

Photos are clickable to enlarge.
Another Eric Carle dress!

 My friend Karen has four of the most beautiful grandchildren!  I have sewn for both Emma and Allister in the past.  This little outfit was a request as part of a trade for watching my sweet puppy girls (8 year old shih tzu sisters) when we went on vacation this summer.  I made an almost identical dress before for my godchild Cassidy when she was in kindergarten and Karen loved it.  You can see by looking at the picture in the blog heading that just the ribbon and rick rack trim on the apron and the binding on the hem is different.
Dress Back
 I used the Petal Knot Dress by Portabellopixie again and four different Eric Carle prints from his Very Hungry Caterpillar line referenced in the last post.
 Allister and Emma are only a year apart and both go to my school.  Allister will be in my kindergarten class this year!  I just took a caterpillar from another of the prints in the line to applique onto a purple shirt so that he can wear it when 4 year old Emma wears her dress.
Both children will be reading Eric Carle books in their classrooms so it will be fun for them to wear their special things during the year.  I would love to see how other people have used this fabric line.  I have several more items to share soon!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chloe's Hungry Caterpillar Play Set

Bad photography!  I cut off a corner of the top.  Goodness!
 Happy Sunday!  Eric Carle books make me smile with their charming artwork and bright colors.  I am so very glad that he decided to have fabric made from some of the precious art in his books!  The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric line has been out for several years and actually was released in two different fabric lines.  They make wonderful quilts and bedding items for wee people's rooms.  He has several other lines from other books out now (The Very Grouchy Ladybug, Rubber Ducks, etc.).  Many quilt stores carry his lines and you can also buy fabric from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
This little appliqued patch is from a fabric that has lines of the food our hungry friend ate!  The patch was straight.  Really.  My set-up and photography was crooked!  
 I am in love with the bold and bright colors!  It makes me very happy to make clothing using his fabrics!  This outfit was made for a co-worker's daughter over a year ago.  Her mommy was teaching pre-K at the time and was teaching an Eric Carle unit.  She purchased the "holes" fabric and I had some of the other fabric left from another project so that I could surprise her and make it reversible.
 The pattern for both the Summer Top and Pan*ty is "Sydney" by Bonnie Blue Designs.  The pattern contains six sizes from 3 months to 3 years.  The pattern was truly very easy.
Back view of the top with the purple fabric peeking out.  Such a scrumptious purple color and taken from an actual piece of paper that Mr. Carle made to use in his collage art work.
There are several other projects that I will be showing you using The Very Hungry Caterpillar line of fabrics.  Have you made anything using his designs?  I'd love to hear about them and to see!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spring Garden Vintage Linen Sundress

     This sweet dress was was one of three dresses given to our school music teacher to use in fund raising for her wonderful choral/performing arts program.  This past spring she put on a special musical performance of Beauty and the Beast with rented costumes that cost an 'arm and a leg'!
 A  hand embroidered vintage dresser scarf was used for the bodice and apron of this size 8 dress.  The photo above shows the bodice outlined on one section of the scarf, carefully placing the pattern so that the yellow bow and the most of the flowers would show.  The skirt of the dress was a wonderful heavier weight cotton and the border, lining, and shoulder ties were a small blue gingham.
I love the Petal Knot Dress by Portabellopixie by designer Sandi Henderson.  I have used this pattern many times but this was the first time in this size.  I think the proportions are lovely and it came out well.  I sure do love using vintage linens!  I hope the needle artist who made this scarf is pleased!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hand Embroidered Dish Towel

Last July a dear friend of mine had a milestone birthday.  Several of her friends organized a surprise party for her.  It was an especially "trying" time for her because her dear husband's health was declining rapidly.  Trish is a deeply spiritual person and routinely lifts the spirits of all who know her.  One of the phrases she utters often is "All is well!  God is good!".  I made this little dishcloth for her birthday to lift her spirits a little.  The blue floral print is the top and bottom border as well as the lining for the cloth.  

 Trish had very light blonde hair when she was a little girl and bright blue eyes.  I embroidered the angel to look like her.  Trish just had another birthday and she is traveling up north.  Happy Birthday, dear Friend!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Smocked First Communion Dress

 Beautiful Cassidy Made Her First Communion

My godchild Cassidy's special day was the first weekend in April.  Her sweetness and purity was evidenced in how seriously she took this unique moment in her life and how happy the day made her.  She had an inner radiance that was a delight to behold!

Cassidy wore the dress that I made four years ago for her sister Ashlyn.  The girls have different body types but the dress looked just as lovely on Cassidy.

Cassidy is holding a sterling and mother of pearl rosary over 50 years old:  a gift from me to her.  It was given to me by my father on the day of my own First Communion and saved for a special godchild.   (All photos can be made larger by clicking on the image.)

The picture below is one of big sister Ashlyn with me on her special day.

The dress is made of satin batiste.  I used the Sweetheart Dress by Kari Mecca and a smocking design of my own.  The pearls are Swarovski crystal pearls.  The butterfly is an embellished lace applique.

 The buttons were mother of pearl and attached with more Swarovski pearls.
 More of the pearls on the tie ends.
The family four years ago with Cassidy wearing another smocked by me dress.  She looks so little there!  Time flies!  It seems like it goes quicker and quicker lately!
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