Monday, August 31, 2009

What happens at Camp St. Christopher...

This weekend I went with my smocking guild on their annual weekend sew-a-thon trip at Camp St. Christopher. It was an unbelievably fun time. There were 28 women, with their machines, plus 6 sergers all in one conference room sewing our own projects . Everything you can imagine was made there, including hand embroidery, machine embroidery, home dec sewing, wee care gowns and tons of frocks for children and grandchildren. Here is what I made, several in duplicate I might add...I didn't get much sleep! I was one of the last to go to bed every night! I will post the details on these items later, but I wanted to show you all the fun I had!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maja's Heirlooms' Jordan

I just finished this last night, I have been working on it for what seems like forever. That is because I made THREE of them simultaneously. These are for some pint size Wofford fans. I used black chambray, which smocks beautifully, actually.

The pattern was very easy to follow and it calls for you to completely assemble it before you smock...which I did not. It is nice to have the option though. I thought the placket instructions left a little to be desired and I figured it out on one but then could not get it right on the other two. So I just winged them and they turned out just fine.

One thing the pattern did leave out was seam finishing, I serged all of my edges but it was a little difficult around the placket. It would be best to serge the edges before you assemble the placket area and then zig zag any that were missed after you're done. I would also backsmock tightly because when you take the pleating threads out it stretches out a little. I went back and added one extra row of backsmocking where the trellises were on the bottom to hold the box shape more.

The pattern also called for snap tape which is how you finish the legs...I don't love snap tape. When I don't have to make 3 at once, I might make a long facing tab on the legs and use my snap setter instead for a nicer finish.
I might also need to get a child's dress form because I had to hang this on a tree! :)

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Monday, August 24, 2009

A Perfect Birthday for Reeser

Her Lovie Hippo dressed for the occasion...

Lily, her bestie, gave great hugs...

Couldn't take off the neighbors outfit from church, especially the shoes. I see a hand me down in our future...

Happy Birthday from Sissy

It was actually yummier than it was cute! AND it matched the invitation perfectly...

Two trys to blow them out...
Couldn't wait to lick the icing off of the candles! There was a jump castle, per Reeser's request....errr demand! The plates, napkins and table cloths were all blue, which is her favorite color. She had so much fun. What a great day it was, although I am still exhausted!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

I have been doing a ton of appliqued tshirts lately...a ton. They are so much fun and so quick on a wal-mart $3 shirt! This is a fabric from my Mary Jo trip and it has a coordinating fabric for a more complex winter top. I thought with the t shirt she can go ahead and wear it back to school, especially with this cute back pack applique!

I have been working all week on perfecting "flat front pants," where the elastic is only in the back. I haven't seen a pattern for these but I have perfected and LOVE them!

I am finally in the mood for sewing again, as fall in on the horizon...figuratively speaking of course. It doesn't feel like Fall here until Novemberish. So, for the last @ weeks I have been sewing and embroidering up a storm. I have been sewing for money a good bit too. I am saving all of the procedes for spending money at Disney World, I am going to sew as much as possible and we'll see how much I can save in 3 months!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sewing for Fishing Success

Two hours before the Captain's Meeting last week (also on date night YUCK!) Kane said he had shirts for me to embroider for his fishing team/buds. Reluctantly, I did so at the last gave me an excuse to use my "mega hoop" for the first time. I broke it out of the box where it has been since I brought Birdie home. It was a little intimidating and I actually thought I would never use it! It was pretty easy, The hoop had 3 positions and it tells you when it's time to change position.

Luckily I got them done...they caught this bad boy and wore them to the awards ceremony, because apparently they didn't wear them on the boat!

They won 3rd place overall and 1st place in their division. I am so proud of Kane! Fishing for fun AND bringing money home...what could be better! Now, if only he would share his portion...I was hoping for a trip to Disney but he isn't convinced. ;)

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Friday, August 14, 2009

A Day Care Pillow

Isn't that cute! I want one in my size for sure! My sweet friend needed a cute cover for her child's pillow as she goes to child care for the first time next month. She had a travel target pillow and I made the case. She wanted it to have a hidden envelope end so that Margaret couldn't shake the pillow out (she's a saucy little one like my Reeser!)

I was perplexed by the envelope end so I sat down to sketch and think it through. I tested on some scrap and it work great, I couldn't wait to get started and made it that very night...late! I started by cutting it out and then thought I would go ahead and monogram it...then I just had to finish it! I may do a tutorial on how to do it soon, it would be great for any child's pillow or an adult travel pillow too.

I hope it's very snuggly for her!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beach Retreat

Two weeks ago (yikes I'm slack!) I went on a beach weekend with some girl friends. This is what the view was like for two full days...awesome! It was divine, I even tried my best not to sleep in so I wouldn't miss a thing. But...
This was my view during the evenings! We had a total of 3 machines and one serger crammed into our little one bedroom beach condo! Needless to say, we ate our meals on our laps! I helped my dear friend Sugar learn how to use her machine and thread it and such. She made a pair of pants and half finished a little dress for her sweet, and only daughter. I taught my friend Claire how to use my embroidery machine, she caught on so quickly! I was impressed, she had never sewn before at all! I see a Viking in her future!!! She appliqued four shirts, three of them all by herself. I appliqued two owls for dresses that I have since completed and did a little smocking on the beach. My fellow veteran sewist Buffie did a little of her own sewing too! Dear Dena offered her expertise opinion on our color choices and kept us entertained for sure. It was such a great and productive get away!
Here is the owl that I appliqued, cutie aint she? I made this outfit because I loved this Ragsland outfit and knew I could make it for sure. It sold for $50 and I made it for $24 out of premium fabric...and mine is REVERSIBLE!!! Check out the happy pumpkin! After I stitched it out I wished I had left the face off and put a monogram on the pumpkin instead, but at least now I can hand it down. I also like being able to choose my own fabric because the ready-to-wear version was in corduroy and its too hot for our Southern Falls here.

So, what I did was use my standard Holly and Hunter pattern by Bonnie Blue. I traced out a new copy and cut the top off (adding seam allowances) of the front to make that little flat yoke piece. Then, when I cut out the bottom part of the front I pulled it off the fold about 4 inches. I used the front pieces as my pattern pieces for the lining/pumpkin side so that they would match up. I cut the back out as usual. So, then I gathered the bottom part of the front and stitched it to the yoke. Then I followed the rest of the instructions for assembly. You have to whip the opening closed at the end to be able to reverse the dress. I usually cheat and straight stitch it since it is hidden inside.
Here's what I would do differently...
1.) I would cut out the patterned (check) side first. The second cutting is a hair larger and the pattern shows up more easily when reversed. I had to trim it and match it up perfectly before stitching.
2.) I would cut the bottom of the front much wider, maybe 6 inches off the fold at least. (For a 4 and 5 size dress) There is just not enough gathering there I think.
3.) I would add some piping or ric rac at the top. It's a tad bit boring to me. A pink turtleneck can change that! :)
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