Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What fun

I stumbled upon this little cutie while suffering an attack of blog surfing sickness. Is this not too sweet? It never occured to me to want a sewing machine in a "color." But if I had, this strawberry cream color would be it. This would be a darling first machine for a young girl learning to sew. It is available at John Lewis in the UK. So it won't be coming to my house, but I just thought that was so fun and sweet. But if pale pink is too sweet for you...

how about fire engine red? I don't actually think I could sew on a red machine, pink yes, but not fire engine red. This little machine also comes in grass green, hot pink and purple to name a few other colors.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prayers for a Friend

I have often mentioned my friend's shop, BessieMary, owned by my friend Jan. Today I am asking prayers for Jan as she faces surgery tomorrow, June 30th. Surgery on her eyes in an attempt to save her sight. I am asking prayers for her doctors and caregivers, prayers for her family and of course prayers of healing for her.

Jan has been plaqued by symptoms resulting from Grave's Disease of the thyroid. Tomorrow the surgeons will attempt to save her sight from the onslaught of this disease. As a fellow stitcher, losing her sight, has always been a fear of Jan's. Please join me in storming heaven on her behalf.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sweet Smocking

Originally uploaded by pixxells
Not smocked by me. I love the color combination in this little dress. The doll is beautiful. But we know I am not about the doll, though she has a beautiful expression on her face. What caught my eye with this dress was the high contrast of the binding at the neck. Really like that.
All of my kids are home, so not much sewing going on in my sewing room. So when that happens, I am grateful it is going on in someone else's sewing room.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ribbons, bonnets, bows and waiting

Not the best picture, but you get the idea. Time to let all of these goodies go to their new home. It looks like a lot but I will admit that I had expected to get even more done. I have a few things in the works but for now this is what Mimi's closet has to offer.Not so sure why that one pink daygown in the back looks so rumpled. Its not in real life.

I will admit it will be sad to let them go but it will all be worth it to see them on their much awaited recipient.

What are you sewing faithful reader?

And thanks everyone for the good wishes for our sick kitty. He is home now and happy to be here. He doesn't get far from my side. We will cherish the days he has left with us however many they are.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dolly gets a new dress or two

First posted at Children's Corner

I fully expect to eat some crow. I have made it widely known that I am not a doll person. But....sometimes though, you do what you have to do.

A friend is chairing a doll raffle to benefit their local NICU and my local chapter is having a doll raffle as part of our annual auction in the fall. I did take the lazy way out and made two of the same dress. Lots going on around here, I didn't feel like I needed to noodle over two completely different dresses. So I didn't. 

I used Lezette Thomason's book of doll patterns, "Dolly's Wardrobe."  There is a lot of comfort in making a pattern that you are familiar with even if it is almost 1/10th the scale.

Our Samantha doll has not only been well loved be she also lost weight over the years, so the pattern was quite big on her. I did take up the dress some at the side seams, but not a whole lot. I didn't want it to fit this doll and not fit the next one.

I just used the simple smock plate that was included in the book. It took longer to construct one dress than it did to smock two of them. It is smocked with two strands of floss. 

The fabric is Heirloom Imports line pique. Smocked with aqua and trimmed with aqua whip stitch piping. I have no idea what the collar is done with. White fabric. Isn't that descriptive? It was a hunk I found. All materials are from my stash. So in my mind, free!

Here is dress #2. More of the same. I did band the sleeves with binding on both dresses instead of elastic and a ruffle. For me that made the sleeve too big. The sleeves are inserted "in the round" just as I do on bigger girls dresses. I'm not a fan of that seam hanging out the bottom of the sleeve.

I am off to pick up our sick kitty. He has been at the vets all weekend. Kidney failure. I think our time with our little old man may be dwindling. This is a picture of him a couple of years ago trying to be nosy. He isn't a very cooperative patient, so I know he will be glad to be home.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Louise's Masterpiece

First posted by Knit One Smock Too

I don't know Louise, but I will agree that this little basic yoke is beautiful. Her smocking is superb. I love the ice blue color and the beading used in place of piping. So pretty.

Curved smocking is not my strong point. I love the way it looks but haven't taken the time to sharpen my skill with it. On the to-do list with a million other things.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Something to make you smile

Originally uploaded by

Doesn't this pair make you grin? I just love the smile of the one on the right. You can almost hear the giggle.

Nothing big and exciting here. Sewed valances for the nursery. Straight serging and sewing. They look nice and mommy is happy. That is all that matters.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Best tip of the week

Not that kind of tip!
This kind:

tip noun ( INFORMATION )

a useful piece of information, especially about how to do something or about the likely winner of a race or competition
gardening/cooking/sewing tips
She gave me a useful/helpful/valuable/practical tip about/for growing tomatoes.
Our racing correspondent has the following tips for the 3.15 and the 3.45 at Newmarket (= thinks that particular horses will be the winners in those races).
I've got a hot tip for you (= I can tell you about a particular likely winner of a race or competition, or give you a valuable piece of information).
A little pearl, an idea that makes you slap your forehead and say, "I could have had a V-8!"  That is what my table mate shared with me last week whilst stitching.

If you have taken many classes you are bound to have had at least one kit that includes needles. Sometimes the needles are slipped into the instruction sheet, or attached in a little baggie. Other times they are included on a piece of fabric or felt as in this case. 

If you are like me, your work area quickly begins to look like a bomb went off, you have spread into your neighbor's workspace and you find yourself constantly "hunting" your belongings. Many, many times I have found myself searching over and over for the needles that came in the kit.
Enter Sarah, the genius! She nonchalantly suggests, "Why don't you pin your needles to the pincushion?" 
Now this may not sound like much to you, but it was a lifesaver for me! Not one time in four days did I have to hunt for my needles. 
In order for this little pearl to become a routine, the next few occasions I have to 1: remember it (That is always dicey) and 2: I have to remember to bring a pincushion with me. 
I also use a pen to write on the felt what the needles are. 

I hope this little tip is a help to you as well faithful reader.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great Louisiana Thread Pull

I am home again from Avery Island and LaBroderie Bayou 2010. Or affectionately known as The Great Louisiana Thread Pull. Had a good time. It is always wonderful to see stitching friends, have your meals brought to you and then someone else does the dishes. What is there not to love?

This year the additional teacher besides Wendy Schoen was Gloria Rivera from Puerto Rico. Gloria is also known for pulled and drawn thread work. The above picture is not lace insertion, it is drawn thread with net darning. Amazing isn't it?

This little daygown was the project for Gloria's class. Of course it is linen.

Gloria's gown has lots of little details that are so sweet. Tiny bit of embroidery inside the tucks,

featherstitching on either side of the lacey hemstitched hem.

Some other examples of Gloria's work. This is the dress bodice with the work that resembles inserted lace.

Drawn work worked on batiste. It truly does look like lace.

Another dress front. Some of these are a friend's photos. I left the charger to my camera at home. Of course the murphy's law of it would be, the battery was almost drained before I got there. So thanks Sarah for sending me some of your photos.

This photo was from my phone, so its quality is less. Wendy's project was a vintage inspired little dress with faggoted trim on the bodice. It is made from imported dotted Swiss.

A close up of the sample dress. Mine won't have the lace. It shouldn't take me long to finish it up. Not at all sure about the drawn thread work gown. It will be a bit more time consuming.

So I am back home trying to catch up on life as we await the arrival of a very important little person.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Coming Home

Baby's coming home ensemble. I had so much fun doing this. Just the sweetness of it about did me in. How can you go wrong with whisper soft pink, sweet lace and just a touch of embroidery? Pattern is Emma's Smocked Baby Dress. This pattern goes together without a hitch. I love it. I was telling Jeannie at OFB that I want to try and make a bubble version of this little dress I love it so much.

 I love the back as much as the front. Just sweet.

Anyone that knows me, or has attended convention with me, knows I have an extensive collection of mother of pearl buttons, also from Old Fashioned Baby. Jeannie's website does not do justice to number of baby buttons she actually has. Well she has less than she used to because I have a basket full upstairs.

I did a sort of modified version of one of the bonnets from The Christening Bonnet Collection. Both patterns are from The Old Fashioned Baby. Mommy isn't crazy about "fru-fru" bonnets, so this tailored version fits the bill. A tiny bit of embroidery to match the dress bodice finishes it off.

The fabric is Sea Island Diamonds from Bessie Mary. I have a serious love affair with this fabric. I LOVE tone on tone anyway, but the diamonds have a soft sheen to them that is just enough contrast. Plus the more you handle this fabric the softer it gets. It has almost a velvety feel to it after a couple of washings and handling it during stitching and construction. Jan also has it in blue. I may have to have some blue. It might be a bit pricier than you might normally spend on a yard of fabric, $22/yard. can get all four of these pieces from one yard of fabric!! There are even some scraps left. It is 60" wide so it goes a long way.

Of course an obnoxiously possessed Mimi makes a matching hanger. (I know, its a sickness.) Pattern is from Lyn Weeks but there is also one in Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue #76. The little diaper cover is also from the same issue.

Any proper young lady needs a slip. (Something all three of my girls seem to have forgotten.) The fabric is satin batiste. Again from Bessie Mary. It looks peachy in this picture, in real life it is much pinker and almost a perfect color match for the dress fabric.

I finished the arms and neckline with a shell stitch hem and just a quick touch of embroidery. I did add just a smidge of German Interfacing to the shoulder facings where I stitched the buttonholes. I have better success with my buttonholes in that tiny space when I do that. And of course some mother of pearl slip buttons.

Since the lace, buttons and patterns were in my stash I only spent $30 for this outfit. Not bad if you ask me. She is going to be so pretty in her pink dress.

I'll be home soon with pictures and report of my trip to Avery Island.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Inspiration

First posted at Mimi Pearl

Carol H treated her readers to a pictorial of her recent trip to the Georgia coast. After the western Tennessee flooding, a much needed trip of R&R. I love taking a stroll with fellow bloggers as they share about their travels. 

While enjoying an outdoor festival, Carol came upon a booth by Heather's Treasures. I haven't met Heather except through email. She seems very gracious, I would love to meet her one day, BUT what grabbed me 

was that beautiful bishop in her hand! Love it. Of course, the perfect colorway. I love how the row of pink mimics what appears to be pink piping inserted into the neckline. Love it. I think I said that already.

So after you wipe the drool off of your keyboard, be sure to visit Heather's website to see more wonderful examples of her work.

Thanks Carol for allowing me to use your photograph.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On the road again....

Its that time again. Time to visit the land of 

Live oaks,

magnolias and

Tobasco. In other words, home. At least home to my spirit. I will be attending Wendy Schoen's annual La Broderie Bayou on Avery Island, LA

I am sad that I didn't get last summer's projects finished as planned. Just not enough hours in the day lately. Oh well. I will put that out of my mind and focus on this year's projects as I sit, stitch and visit with my stitchin' buddies. I wish all of you could be there. This is my third year to go and it really is a wonderful time.

Say a prayer or three that this expected baby stays put and doesn't make me try and zoom back here unexpectedly. I won't be able to afford the traffic tickets trying to get up the highway at the speed of light.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Classic" for a reason

It is true, some things are timeless. Like Blue Plate mayonnaise, banana pudding warm from the oven, Mother Goose, patent leather Mary Janes, Peter Pan collars and lemonade made with real lemons and sugar. There is a reason they are called timeless and classic. Because they stand the test of time. This little dress is by Imperial of Portugal. It was baby mommy's first Easter dress. Here it is after having soaked in Biz for several days and a fresh pressing.

It is ready for baby's closet. You would never know it is 28 years old. Sadly like Creative Needle magazine, Imperial of Portugal is no longer in business. :sigh:

Pink tucks and lace never go out of style. This dress, baby mommy wore home from the hospital. I hadn't taken up heirloom sewing until this particular child was about 2. I obviously was drawn to it. I bought this classic Cherubs dress for our miracle baby to come home in.

Biz is amazing stuff. This had a few baby spit shadows on it. A few days in Biz and fresh as can be.

It has been heartwarming to go through the box of baby things to get them ready for this new generation. All of the 30+ year old Feltman Brothers are in the dryer as we speak.

(psst, be watching for a post with baby's coming home ensemble. In a few days, I promise.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sad, sad, sad

First posted at Gulf Breeze Daily Photo

I grew up on these snow white sands of the Florida panhandle. Many a day lounging and playing here during high school. Oil has reached here as well. This makes me sad. And a whole lot angry. 'Nuf said.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A few bullions

You know they have "Girls Gone Wild!" Well there should be a "Grandmother's Gone Wild!" Its bad enough to stitch up a storm, but when you start embroidering undegarments, you need help. :) Just kidding. Maybe.

I embroidered these onesies with just a teeny bit of stitching at the neck. The bunnies are from A-Z of Bullions.(Ignore the blue marks. I hadn't rinsed them before I snapped the picture.)

Then a few bullion roses. Also from A-Z of Bullions by Country Bumpkin. I used #16 perle cotton for both of these. Every young lady should have pretty undies for her first visit to the doctor. Didn't our mothers always tell us to where clean underwear? Well she should have told us to wear pretty underwear as well.

I only stitched two of these because the more I handled them, I just kept thinking, there is no way these are going to fit this baby. Not unless she is a tiny peanut. They are teeny. These are a 3 months size. I didn't even bother with the newborn size. I fretted over these for quite a while and kept searching for a better alternative.

I found some, in England.

Look at the size difference? Amazing. These are both the same size, but the quality and size are markedly different. I think the well known manufacturer is cutting costs. I bought the larger ones at a John Lewis department store in Cambridge. And they were cheaper! If you don't include the airfare or hotel costs of getting there. I bought several, they are washed and awaiting some embellishments as the weeks click by.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

But oh if I had the stamina

First posted by kristabenhome31

I would love to just lie to you up front. Make you believe that this was in my plans. Dreams perhaps, but not plans. LOVE it!!! I will smock just about everything that doesn't move, but even I know I could never justify this. Not when there are a zillion other things I want to get smocked and can't sleep at night for planning.

Of course it doesn't hurt that it is in one of my favorite color schemes. Pink and green. A preference that was almost obliterated when youngest daughter was in college. Her sorority colors were pink and green. So there was a lot of it around. But I must really like it, because 4 years of saturation didn't turn me off.

This perhaps would be a time when even I would use :gasp: machine smocking. No, not going to happen. More than the reason that I am not a fan of machine smocking; I HATE, (did I say that loud enough?) home dec sewing. HATE, HATE, HATE! I would be one of those fools who would plunk down hard earned money for someone else to do it. Except that the price for someone else to do it, would far exceed the value needed for a port a crib at Mimi's house.

Sigh, it is beautiful though. A girl can dream.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Sweet Inspiration

 First posted by Mona919

No this was NOT stitched by me, but I thought it was just so sweet and soft. I have no idea what that fabric is, it goes perfectly with just this small touch of smocking. There are only 4 rows of geometric smocking. It would be perfect for a Wee Care gown or a quick bishop to give as a gift.
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