Sunday, April 6, 2014

"S" is for Soft & Pretty Slips, School & Showers

I confess that I have neglected this blog to immerse myself in other things... lots of happy, lovely things.  I am having the most wonderful time with my kindergarten class.  It is so much fun to watch them grow academically, socially, and behaviorally.  It is a joy to go to work everyday!  I am so blessed!

My big news is that my sweet niece Kelly got engaged to a lovely young man on Valentine's Day and will be married this August.  I have the delightful privilege of hosting her Florida bridal shower in the first week of July!  It will be a Tea Party Shower and I am having such fun planning the menu, gifts, etc.

I believe Kelly met Josh at their church and they are just perfect for each other!  He is doing graduate work on his Master's in Divinity while managing a restaurant.  Kelly will finish her Master's in Counseling this May.  She has spent the years between her BA in psychology and her current studies in counseling in the mission field, most notably with extended stays in different parts of Africa.  She is petite, caring, kind, compassionate, loving, gracious, and beautiful both inside and out.  I am beyond happy for her!

Well, I've discussed School and the Shower, now for Slips!

Dresses and skirts always hang better over an appropriate slip, whether you are 2 or 92!  I have made so many slips that I couldn't even begin to tell you how many.  The first one pictured is one of my favorites to make:  Martha Pullen's Fancy Slip and Pant*ies.  It is easy to make and comfortable to wear and the embellishments make the slip special.  My Victoria-Rose had many of these slips. One favorite one was in soft pink Imperial batiste to match a pink French sewn Easter dress.   I have seen small size versions of this slip used as a little sundress over fancy pant*ies.  This one was made a couple of years ago for the little girl of a young woman I had taught to smock.

This half slip is very quick and easy to sew.  The fullness is perfect for under the full gathered skirt of a basic yoke dress.

Here is another half full slip.  This one was made for Cassidy several years ago to wear under the lavender floral dress I smocked for her.  She loved it so much and her mommy thought it was so fancy that she wore it as a skirt!!  She rarely wore the slip under the dress as intended.

 Here is Cassidy in the lavender smocked dress.

A blessing for you:
May your life be like a 
growing freely in the 
and joy of each day.
Native American Proverb

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"S" is for Sugar & Spice: Chloe and her Valentines Day Outfit

Katy from No Big Dill is sewing through the alphabet.  She has kindly invited us to link our blogs that coordinate with the letters for each week.  (Thank you, Katy!) I'll be linking this post HERE for "S".

This sweet and spicy outfit was made for my favorite three year old:  Chloe.  She is truly 'sugar and spice and everything nice!"  All the fabrics and ribbon were from stash.  Yay!  The black and white is a piece of treasured Mary Englebreit fabric and the multi-hued pink is a piece of unknown batik.  I used the PDF pattern "The Fairy Tale Dress" from Tie Dye Diva for the dress and adapted the blouse from  McCalls #6062.  I made size 2's for 3.5 year old Chloe.
The back is taken in with the ties inserted into buttonholes in the back:  no elastic!
Here is Chloe wearing the outfit on Valentines Day in her mother's kindergarten classroom.  She is sporting a pretty new repair the one she gave herself earlier in the week!  (Sweet as sugar, spicy, and spunky, too!)  We all loved the way the handkerchief hem looks on this sweet little dress!
  (Guess why this shot is cropped!  LOL!) 
The outfit fit her beautifully!  Love that bow in the back!
Here you get an idea of just how tiny Chloe is in relation to her mom's classroom.  She is standing on a stool that lifts her up at least a foot off the ground.  The tables are set at their lowest height for the smallest chairs in the school.  The dress display dummy is a 9-12 month infant size and is perfect for the width of the clothing I make her.  Chloe is standing on the stool so that I would be able to get relatively still photos.  I did say "Spicy", didn't I?
She sure is a charmer!
She calls me "Mouse" and has me wrapped around her little finger!
Love this shot.  
This is a good shot of the front of the dress.
This is the shot before I cropped it!
Isn't she just beautiful?

Sweet as sugar!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"S" is for Sweetheart: A Valentine Pinafore for Emma

 Last week I had the pleasure of making two little girl's their Valentine's Day outfits!  This first one is for a little sweetheart who just turned six and is in my kindergarten class.  I've known her mommy since she was a little girl!  Her grandmother is my friend, Karen.  This little pinafore was made for sweet Emma to wear over a dress I made her last month.  I adapted the pinafore pattern from Love and Stitches #149 "Toddler Pinafores and Pantalettes" and used polycotton eyelet flouncing purchased at Jo-Ann's.  The ruffled butterfly sleeves are from a lovely Swiss edging I had in my stash.  I made the waist piece longer (Emma is very slender but tall.) and added the sashes.  Pink buttons close the back.
 This is the dress Emma wore the pinafore over.  Karen and I have a bartering arrangement.  She takes care of my puppy-girls (shih tzu sisters) when our family goes away on vacation and I make Emma pretties to wear.  I definitely get the best part of the deal!  My little girlies get the best care possible and I get to make a lovely little girl fancy clothes.

This is the dress I made for the pinafore to top.  It was part of the Winter Wonderland Outfit for the sew-along for Season 8 of Project Run and Play.  (See post HERE.)

 I appliqued a heart on the bodice and surrounded it with some tatting.  The little heart charm is pewter.
 More charms were attached to ribbons at the waist seam.  These go over very well with the little girls!
 Here is Emma at our afternoon Valentines Party in my classroom.  It was really cold for our part of Florida so she wore leggings and fancy socks.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day!  Our family's was full of events.  Our niece, Kelly, had a very romantic dinner and a proposal! We are so happy for her!   My husband's brother had emergency surgery to put stints in his heart valves.  (If you pray, please add Jim to your prayer lists. He is doing okay but will need more heart surgery because one of the blockages couldn't be repaired with a stint.)  And... Our daughter had a car accident on her way home that has rendered her car inoperable!  Victoria-Rose and the driver of the car she hit were unhurt as she was going less than 15 miles an hour but the ball hitch that was on the bumper of the other car really caused some serious damage.  However, we are very grateful here!  What a blessing that no one was hurt!  Needless to say, we didn't go out to dinner as planned!

 I will be linking this post up to Katy's No Big Dill blog for "S" week for her Sew All 26.  She has made the most creative things for her family to wear!  Check her out here.   I'll connect the link when Katy puts up her linking party.

I have also linked up to Sew Many Ways Sew Darn Crafty  February Theme Month linky party HERE.  Go on over and check out all the great things shared by other crafters!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"R" is for Ruffles and Rhymes

Katy at No Big Dill is hosting a Sew All 26 series.  She has sewn so many beautiful things for her children using the alphabet as inspiration and has invited others to sew along and link their posts to her blog.  (She has two guest posts up right now with lovely creations for the letter "R".  Check them out!)   I wish I could say that I have made something for each letter but I cannot.  Someday I will!  However, I remembered this dress and jacket that I made several years ago (and never posted here) that would fit this week's letter:  R.  

The dress was made for Abby, a friend's daughter, as a gift for her birthday.  I used a simple sundress pattern from one of the Big Three companies and a jacket from another pattern.  I would have to go through all the patterns in those boxes to get the numbers but there are many similar patterns in the pattern books today.  I used special fabric from Mary Engelbreit that matched the drawings in the book below.  The illustrations in this book are really adorable.  The fabric is copied from the end papers in the book.  I love this book!  I gave a copy of the book to Abby when I gave her the dress and I also have a copy in my kindergarten class.  My class loves the illustrations more than any other nursery rhyme book I have.  There is a copy in my grandmother's hope chest along with a piece of the fabric in my Grandmother's Stash, too!  

I wonder how many of you have Grandmother's Hope Chests/Closets/Drawers with things saved for hoped for precious little ones.  Are any of you saving fabric, toys, books, etc. for future little charmers?

I will be linking up to Katy's blog when she has the link up.  In the meantime you could always look at all the other Sew All 26 outfits posted on her blog.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Smocked Layette for Project Run & Play Season 8: My Signature Style

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

 My signature style is full of old-fashioned details:  smocking, embroidery, French lace, heirloom sewing techniques, silk ribbon, traditional/classic baby patterns.  This set was made for my godmother/aunt to give as a shower gift to a great niece.  It is made of a lovely shade of blue Imperial batiste, silk ribbon and French lace.

Using the Imperial batiste (fine polycotton) makes this little ensemble very easy to launder.  It can go right in the washer and dryer (inside out) on the delicate cycle with other delicate things.  Remove promptly and only the ribbon ties may need a quick pressing.
 The pattern for the tiny (newborn to size 3 months) diaper shirt and diaper cover is from Australian Smocking & Embroidery #61.  The magazine design didn't incorporate lace and was all in white but otherwise I made the outfit as illustrated there.  I used white floche (type of embroidery thread) for the smocking and two shades of pink floche for the roses.  Floche is a lovely fiber for delicate smocking and embroidery.  It is not separated by strands and is about the thickness of two strands of DMC cotton six strand embroidery floss. The bonnet was made using an old Grace Knott pattern.

I used the smocking design that the designer (Margaret Wight of South Austrailia) created for the ensemble in the magazine.
 The back of the dress has four lovely buttons that I embroidered with pink rose buds.
You can see just how tiny this little top was in the next picture.  The armholes are uniform...I just had the outfit sitting crooked on the hanger.  
The bloomers were made with a folded over ruffle on the tushie.  I added the gathered French lace and the silk bow to tie it in more with the top and the bonnet.  I embroidered another rose on the ribbon, of course.
 I smocked a simple design adapted from the smocking plate in the pattern on the bonnet.
 The silk ribbon ties were attached with more of the hand embroidered roses.
I loved making this ensemble!  I adore making baby clothes.  They are my absolute favorite things to make, especially if they are smocked and embroidered and dripping with fine materials.

I hope you liked this little outfit!  The outfit was a big hit with the baby's family and created quite a stir at the shower.  My daughter loved this whole ensemble so I know that I'll be making another one for my grandmother's hope chest someday.   I'm wondering... given the soft easy care material used in this outfit, would the young mothers you know put this on their babies?

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!
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