Saturday, July 27, 2013

We Have Another Winner & Pillowcases for PR&P's "Skirting the Issue"

Hello there!  I am happy to say that we had seven entrants for the Adult Patterns Give-Away detailed in my last post.
 My daughter Victoria-Rose mixed up the numbers and drew...
 NUMBER THREE!  Our winner is Maggie from Maggie's Crafting Adventures (click here).  I'll be sending Maggie her box of goodies soon.

 Project Run & Play's "Skirting the Issue"  has been having a wonderful series this month on sharing our sewing talents with those in need.  They suggested making pillowcases as well as skirts, blankets, etc.  These pillowcases will be going to an organization called ConKerr Cancer here in the Tampa Bay area.  They will be given to children with cancer when they are in the hospital and then they take them home.  I have been  making others and will do a post on an easy sewing method where no top-stitching is needed.
I found this lovely quote from Mother Teresa that I thought was lovely and I wanted to share it with you:

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving 
better and happier.
Be the living expression of God's kindness:
kindness in you face,
kindness in your eyes,
kindness in you smile."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

We have a Winner & Another Pattern Give-Away

 We have a winner!  There were 10 entrants for my first vintage pattern give-away (one was by email as she couldn't figure out how to leave a comment).  I did the drawing the old fashioned way.

As you can see in the following photo, some of these patterns are from the 1940's and 1950's and go through the 1990's.

I wrote the ten numbers out, folded them up, and put them in a teacup.

Number 2 was drawn.  Cindy from Siestas and Sewing is the winner!  Congratulations, Cindy!  Your patterns are packed and I am awaiting your email giving me your address.

 This last photo is for the next pattern give-away.  These are patterns for women and range from the 1970's through to the present day.

If you would like these patterns, just leave a comment on this post with your contact information.  This give-away will be open until Friday (midnight EST), July 26, 2013.  Each entrant will receive a number and the drawing will be on Saturday, July 27.  The package will go out by the following Monday.  Good luck!

"Little words of kindness, 
Little words of love,
Make our earth an eden,
Like the heaven above."
Julia A. Carney

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Flip This Pattern" O+S Roller Skate Dress & "Skirting the Issue"

I'm sorry the photos aren't very bright.  It has been raining for days here.  No rain this morning but it was overcast.  Click on the photos to enlarge them.
 Well, I did it.  I sewed a much more contemporary design than I normally do and in a much larger size than usual, too.  I am not sure how I feel about it.  It doesn't have embroidery, smocking, lace, puffed sleeves, sashes, or a full skirt.  It does have a little applique but that isn't my more 'finished look', either, just straight stitching so that it will fray a little bit when washed.  (If you told me, even three years ago, that I would deliberately sew something that would fray when washed, I would not have believed you!)

I wanted to support a cause and some lovely ladies at two other blogs.  Ashley and Emily over at Frances Suzanne ( have a wonderful year long sew-along called "Flip This Pattern".  Most of the patterns they have lined up are pretty contemporary but I thought that I would join in on the fun during one or two of the months.  I decided that this would be the first month due to something I read on Project Run and Play (

The ladies at Project Run and Play have an annual sewing event during July called "Skirting the Issue" where readers are urged to sew items and donate them to different charities.   They post tutorials all month for various items (skirts, blankets, pillowcases) but you can make anything that would be needed.  They encourage you to find charities in your own area to give the items to but they also give an address where you can send them and they will distribute to the appropriate charities.  I have made a couple of things and will post about them at a later time.  One of the facts mentioned on their "Skirting the Issue" fact sheet (HERE) is the need for older children.  Preschool and toddlers are usually covered.

All the above info is the reason for the dress below.  It will be given to a charity near me.  (It will go to the battered women and children's shelter.)  The pattern is Oliver + S "Roller Skate Dress" in size 10.  It seems short/slim to me so I am going to label it size 8/10.  I made it using two of Susan Winget's fabrics:  "Birds of a Feather Dogwood" and "Beautiful Blooms Apple Blossoms".
 I used the PDF pattern version.   The jury is still out about how I feel about PDF patterns.  They have their good points and their not-so-good points.
 The pattern is well written with every detail explained.  So many people rave about these patterns and say that they learn so much but I didn't come across anything that I hadn't done before.  Perhaps because this is a simple pattern.  I liked the front contrast facing and chose not to put the notch in the center because I didn't want it to compete with the appliqued flowers and leaves.  I like the small lined capped sleeves.  So many schools have dress codes that say that shoulders must be covered.  These sleeves are the next  best thing to sleeveless which is so nice in Florida.
I like the total lining in the dress and chose a soft, soft polycotton batiste in blue for the lining.  I cut simple flowers and leaves to echo the flowers in the prints and fused them with Wonder Under.  I then just stitched around the shapes with a short straight stitch.

 I also made a 'library book' bag to go with the dress.  It is lined with Susan Winget's "Beauty and Grace Butterfly Texture" in green.  Inside I put a little pocket for a library card and pocket money.  The bag and handles are interlined with a fusible stiff/thick interfacing.

I thought that some little 8 or 9 year old girl might like to wear this for the first day of school or class picture day.  As I sewed, I kept praying for her happiness and her protection.  I hope that when she wears this, she feels loved.
Linking this post to:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Children's Patterns Give-Away #1 and Vintage Finds Part #2

I am Giving These Patterns Away!

Click on the photos to enlarge them.
I have a confession to make.  I am a pattern addict.  I am taking steps to help myself.  (Even as I contemplate purchasing more patterns!!!!!)

I have been the fortunate recipient of patterns, fabric, notions, etc. from friends who don't know what to do with their mother's/grandmother's/aunt's stashes.  I have also bid on 'lots' on ebay just to get one or two of the patterns in the group.  And I must face it:   I have also purchased patterns over the last 35 years that I really know that I won't ever use.   (I will never be that size again and my darling daughter and I don't have the same body type.) I have been given more updated patterns that I like, etc. from a friend that no longer wants to sew clothing.  I have gone through my  too-many-to-count patterns and have found about 100 patterns, smocking booklets, etc. that I would like to give away.  I have separated them into several stacks in three categories:  Children's Patterns, Adult Patterns, and Smocking Patterns & Booklets.  The first set is up this week.  It contains children's patterns from the 1940's through the 1990's.   All you have to do is leave me a note with a way to contact you in the comment section.  Each name will get a number.  My son will pull a number from a hat on Friday night (July 19).  I will announce the winner on Saturday (July 20) and mail the box on Monday (July 22).

The next few pictures show some more of my recent vintage finds.  The lovely baby blanket is lined and hand embroidered.  The little pinafore has colored eyelet insertion and cute little pockets.  The baby gown has lovely lace on the bottom and rather large eyelet fabric used for the bodice.  This little dress is very sweet and I would like to reproduce it using somewhat smaller embroidered eyelet fabric.

 The next picture shows two little slips that are almost completely hand sewn and obviously well used.  The hand made tatting is so tiny and precious on the hems.  One of the dresses had a tuck put in by machine at some point in its life up near the top of the skirt and then removed to add length.  There are lots of repairs on both dresses.  Some are well done and others are rather awful.  I adore the perfect little ruffles and might use them in future creations.  The little boy's romper has a hand embroidery design that I would like to copy someday.

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to let me know if you want to have your name in the drawing for the vintage pattern collection above.

I am linking to Sew Many Ways at:

Friday, July 12, 2013

Recent Vintage Finds Part 1 and a Baby Bonnet

Please click on all pictures to enlarge them.
 I love to search estate sales, antique shops, and thrift shops (like Hospice Resale Shops) for wonderful old linens, tea cups, and other small items.  I use them in my home and I use some of them in my sewing creations.  When I discover the hand-made stitching of another woman's hands from long ago I feel like I am rescuing the piece and giving it new life. The wonderful tablecloth above is all cross-stitched in green and is in excellent condition.  My daughter's favorite color is green and she has claimed this one for herself (although it lives in my linen closet and gets used on my table until she has a home of her own).  : )

The glasses below were discovered at Hospice.  They are old but I don't know how old.  The glass is delicate and the etching is beautiful.  They were an incredible deal to begin with but Hospice Resale was having an 50% off sale on glasses that day.  I got 32 vintage pieces for less than $16!  I love using them for tea parties.
 Aren't they pretty?
 Here are two lovely hand towels that I found in an antique shop in Georgia on my recent visit.  Those are hand-stitched Madeira butterflies on the one on the right and satin stitching.  The white one you can see better if you click on the picture to enlarge it.  It is also hand stitched Madeira work.
 These linen hand towels will be made into baby bonnets some day like the one below.  It was wide enough to go from ear to ear so all I had to do was cut the length and add a casing to the back of the bonnet.
 I wanted to soften the edge of the front so I hand applied gathered French cotton lace to the underside of the bonnet with tiny stitches using fine sewing thread.  Pretty pink ribbon was attached with a blue flower button to each side.  I embroidered little lazy daisy leaves to the side of the buttons.
This next find was unbelievable to me.   Someone in the last 40 years (the fabric is polycotton, more cotton than poly) spent untold hours stitching scenes from Bambi on a crib sheet and pillowcase, probably as a gift, and the recipient didn't keep it!  I first saw this in the window of an antique store here in St. Petersburg and agonized over the fact that I had spent more than I wanted to that day already and really couldn't get it.  I told the dealer that it shouldn't be left in the window to get sun damaged and left.  It was still there (but not in the window) over a month later and had a reduced price on it so it came home with me to go in my grandmother's hope chest.  Both my teenagers thought it was cute so I know my future grands will use it.  
 The last photo shows two tablecloths, two pillowcases, hankies, and some sweet little crocheted baby shoes.  I don't believe that the blue cross-stitched tablecloth was ever used!  It cost me $6 at Hospice Resale. I think that I will use the other light blue edged tablecloth after a few minor repairs in a baby dress.
Have you 'rescued' any vintage things lately?  Isn't it fun?

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vintage Lavender for Pretty Chloe

Pretty Chloe is modeling one of her own dresses that I made before she was born.  (See the original blog with all the details  HERE. )  This was an outfit I made that another teacher purchased to give to Kaye (Chloe's mother).  When I asked Kaye to allow Chloe to model for me for the Honeycomb Smocking Dress & Tutorial for the Lost Arts of Sewing Series by a Jennuine Life (See HERE), I asked her to bring this dress set to photograph, too.  It looks charming on Chloe but a little short now so the lavender gingham bloomers show through the crochet work.  The bonnet kept blowing in the wind so I don't have a good photo of her in it.  
 Chloe loved wearing the dress and was obviously very comfortable in the style.
This sundress was made using a vintage pillowcase.  I hand embroidered flowers on the bodice in colors to match the threads in the original crochet work.
 I loved seeing Chloe in this little dress!  It made me so happy!
 I made a second pair of bloomers for her to wear with the dress in white.  It will blend more now that the dress is shorter on her.
Have a lovely day, dear blogging friends!

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Pajamas For Me Using Vintage Sheets

 I sewed something for wear!   It has been ages since I have sewn clothing for myself.  I am still amazed!

I have picked up several vintage sheets to use as fabric yardage when out looking for 'finds' in estate sales and thrift stores and they have been 'calling to me' from the closet.   I decided that I needed summer nighties and I used a pattern that has been 'mellowing' in my pattern stash for several years:  Butterick 5061.  It is one of their 'History' patterns for night clothes.  I made the pants capri length and omitted the drawstring and just used elastic in the waistband.  I used wider-than-called-for Swiss edging so my neckline ruffle doesn't stand up but I like it better that way.  I used a contrast bias binding on the neckline and like it peeking out.  I like how the border on the sheet edge goes around the leg bottoms.  This sheet was soft but also sheer so I added a white cotton lining (modesty panel...I have children) half way down the front.
 They are cool and comfy and I feel pretty in them!
 The second pair is even softer than the first but the sheet is less sheer. I used a peasant blouse pattern for the top and the same Butterick pattern lengthened for the pants.  I have a large roll of that vintage nylon turquiose lace that was given to me by a friend years ago along with two other colors.  I was so happy to use it!
 This one is even more comfortable to sleep in!  We have several Pajama Days in kindergarten at my school and I could actually wear this second pair of pj's to school and feel okay.
My daughter saw one of the sheets (sage green...her favorite color) and asked that I make her a pair, too.  Having more fun in 2013 was one of my goals and these nighties were fun to make and wear! I know that they were a LOT LESS expensive than had I gone out and bought them!

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Visit With My Heart Sister

Karen and Jana, June 2013
 I recently spent a wonderful little vacation in Georgia with my dear friend Jana.  Although my family adores her and would like to come, as well, I go alone and soak up the goodness of being with someone who is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful, people on earth!  We have been friends since we were in ninth grade and she knows my entire life story almost as well as I do.  This little 'retreat' is a gift we give each other every summer that we can.

We don't schedule very much and just take each day as it comes.  In fact, we make sure that we have time to nap every day and the 'tea parties' begin as soon as I arrive.   I usually schedule my flight to arrive just before lunch time and Jana has all kinds of goodies made up ahead to put together a quick gourmet organic luncheon when we get to her house.  But first, we have tea...beautifully brewed loose black tea that is perfectly timed so that no trace of bitterness can be found.

We talk...a lot...and then it is time for a nap under quilts and flannel sheets and pillows with hand-embroidered pillowcases.  On the bedside table is a lamp, a small vase of flowers from the garden, a stack of books and magazines that Jana thinks I might like (some with pages marked), and copies of things that she has read/researched that she thinks that my family or I might need/want to read.  There are often little wrapped presents on the table as well (dark chocolate candy, tea themed note cards, notebooks, etc.).  To put it simply, Jana spoils me rotten!  When it is time to get up, Jana brings in a pretty tea tray with tea for two and we prop the multiple pillows up at both ends of the bed and talk some more.  Now, I must tell you that tea comes to me on a tea tray in the morning, too.  Yes, I know....VERY spoiled.

We do go out on errands and often have one lunch and one dinner out at a fancy restaurant.  This time we ate dinner at a middle eastern place that was amazing.  We ordered seven different dishes and they arrived on little serving dishes to serve ourselves and share.  Wow!  Very yummy.

I made the Christmas stocking below to match the one I made for Jana last Christmas.  (See HERE.) I had made her stocking and filled it with little things for her present.  She was tickled with it and suggested that I make one for myself but leave the decorations of the stocking to her.  I was to bring this stocking with me on this visit and return with the one I made her last year.  We will now have a new tradition:  filling and sending the stockings to each other.
The stocking is made from two different (damaged) hand-made small tablecloths, linen for lining, and a holiday print for the back of the stocking.  Aren't those scallops on the edge of the finer linen tablecloth beautiful?  Every stitch was hand done!
Jana gave me her waffle maker when I told her that I had some wonderful Belgian waffles at a P.T.A. breakfast the last week of school.  Oh, my!  Who knew waffles could be so good?  I have already used it twice!
The waffles are very pretty, too, with roses on one side.
 It makes a very large waffle.  (It fills the center of a dinner plate.)  We had ours with fresh fruit, butter, and maple syrup.  Delicious!
One of the things that we make time for every year when I visit Jana is an afternoon of visiting antique shops.  I always come home with lovely vintage linens to use in my home and in my sewing creations.  The photo below is a small sample of the things I found on this visit.  (I'll be doing another post on my 'finds'!)  Aren't the two sets of matching pillowcases pretty?
Just click on the photo to enlarge.
Needless to say, I always feel that time has flown and that our visit is too short.  I look forward to this time with Jana all year.  I leave the end-of-the-school-year madness and stress and take deep, rejuvenating breaths, basking in a precious friendship with a cherished friend.  

Thank you, Jana!  

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