Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another "Did You Watch?"

Loved everything about it. Loved this song, loved the dress on a beautiful child. What momma wouldn't want her teenager to sing to her like this?

Now we have to wait to see who wins. Who is your favorite, Lauren or Scotty?

Off to the sewing room to get a project ready for the car. The more I travel, the more I stitch. At least when I am not the one driving.

Please keep all those who have been ravaged this spring by natural disaster in your prayers. I am sure it happens most springs, but this year seems to be especially brutal.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Through the Generations

A young couple. A handsome groom with his beautiful young bride. Starting a new life, a new chapter together. I wonder what their hopes and dreams were. How they met. This picture only tells a tiny portion of the whole story. The beginning of a story that has far reaching fingers into the future. Reminds me of those photos of the ripples on a still pond.

This young couple would go on to have a family of their own. They built a life of love and devotion that would span generations. I don't know this couple. I only know that their names are Jean and Joe. I know they had a family because I was honored to use that beautiful gown Jean is wearing to fashion a keepsake for the precious baby that would be their great grandson.

He was baptized today wearing a christening gown using the fabric from his great grandmother's wedding gown. This cross is the simple motif shadow worked on the lower front of the gown.

I used the Baby Gowns Pattern from The Old Fashioned Baby as my starting point. Mom wanted a gown that paid homage to but did not copy the look of the original wedding gown. After many trials and even more errors this is the result. (Not sure why it appears to be listing to the left in this photo. Must have been the angle of a bad photographer)

The outer fabric is silk organza. The under fabric is the satin from the wedding dress. First I deconstructed the gown, a little nerve wracking to say the least. The next step I soaked the gown pieces for six days to lighten as well as try to remove the vintage "stored for a long time after being dry cleaned" smell. Even now when the fabric becomes wet you can tell it has retained some of that odor. It is not present when it is dry. I meant to take a photo of how much lighter the fabric became. Originally it was a rich parchment color. After soaking and drying in the sun, it lightened to a creamy lustrous ivory.

The silk organza was used to further lighten the color as well as to make the gown lighter and airier. Let me tell you, vintage satin is heavy! It is beautiful but heavy.

The yoke is a tucked silk organza over the satin. The piping and bias binding on the neck are the satin. Take my word for it when I tell you that silk organza can NOT be embellished with twin needle pintucks. Believe me. I stitched four different yoke pieces trying to achieve that. I finally came to my senses and used folded tucks. It has a very tailored yet gender neutral look to it. Three tiny fish eye buttons complete the yoke.


The three quarter sleeves of the silk organza also have tucks and are finished with a narrow cuff of the satin.

I wish Jean and Joe could have been there today to witness in the sharing of faith with their newest great grandson. I know they were there in spirit.

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.” 
 ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The only constant in life is change. Life around here is in a constant state of flux it seems. The question is; why does it always come at you at warp speed? 

Just yesterday I am sure, this sweet little imp stood on my bed and declared this day, her kindergarten graduation, her "very special day."  I have always said we should view the world through Amy's eyes. If we did, we would know the world was created just for us!

A mom knows within herself that her job is to work herself out of a job. I think I have almost done that. Baby girl moved away yesterday, probably for the last time. She heads for the Big Easy to start a new job, a new home, a new life.

Not sure where that little imp went but she has grown into a beautiful young woman. She makes this momma proud.

I sure hope he knows what he has gotten himself into and that the road to home is never too far. She is known to suffer from epic homesickness. He is good to her and makes her laugh, what more can a momma ask for?

We love you Aim and this one is for you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Blogoversary

Happy Blogoversary to Southern Matriarch.

She is THREE years old!!! Who would have thought it? I certainly would not have. It has been a wonderful ride.

In three years time, I have posted 236 garments, and ~100 non sewn items. Wow! I was blown away when I got to adding it up. Now the number is pretty accurate I am sure, but if you want to go through and recount for me, feel free. The next time I am feeling like I haven't accomplished much, I am going to refer back to this post.

Granted some of those items have been small, quick or down and dirty. Still, 236. Blows my mind.

And one of the things that makes it so fun, is the blogging friends you make. I have met a few in person and many through emails, Facebook and Flickr. Thank you each and every one of you for your following, commenting as well as telling others about this tiny place in the cybersphere.

Happy, Happy Blogoversary to me!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, faithful reader. Being a mom is my most treasured role. I can't think of anything I would have rather done in life. I thank God every day for the gift of the greatest kids on earth. They are my pride and joy. As well as frustration and trial! I never said they were perfect. Just perfectly mine. I hope you get to spend Mother's Day with those you love most.

The hooligans that call me mom, except for the gray headed guy in the collar, he calls me "babe". I love all of you.

“You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back.” - William D. Tammeus

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ramblings of an Empty Mind

I got nothing. I am currently working on a christening gown from a vintage wedding gown. Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of my comfort zone, but it is coming together. I will have pictures soon. You know those projects that take way longer to ruminate over than they do to stitch? That has been this one. So in the meantime some treasures I found while avoiding the task at hand.

This is a BRAVE woman. Never in a 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 years would I post a picture of my rear end with a bow over it! Besides, I would need one of those bows they show on new cars at Christmas time to be even remotely proportional to my rear end. Hers on the other hand is quite attractive in her new apron.

I have been known to spend time on less than useful projects. Next time I am accused of that I am going to send this picture to the offender. I mean it is cute, and a GREAT rendition of the real thing in felt. Just not sure what the purpose is, besides you can.
No comment. You can't make me.


These little birds made me smile.

What four year old wouldn't love these wings?

And because we know I love a christening gown, ran across this on google images. A portrait of a baby in her gown. Gorgeous.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Registration Time Again and Thank You

It is time to register for SAGA convention. I debated back and forth about going this year. In the end, the 7 year old in me won. I was afraid I would miss something. So I registered for this year's convention. If you have never been, it is a fun, fun time. This will be my 15th consecutive year to go. It is a highlight in my year. It is a wonderful gift to yourself. This year I am taking classes from Jeannie Baumeister of the Old Fashioned Baby, Susie Gay of Berryhill Heirlooms and Debbie Glenn of Love and Stitches. I hope to see you there.

And I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who came out in droves, both here and in email to sooth my ruffled feathers. Thank you for indulging my temper tantrum. I do enjoy blogging and I love my followers and blog friends that I have made. I am over my little hissy fit. Thanks so much for being there.

FYI, if you want to up your readership for a day, throw a tantrum. Kind of like the toddler in the mall screaming their brains out, everyone stops to watch even though they don't want to. :) Just kidding. Truly, thanks for the support. It means the world to me.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I don't usually give credence to "hate mail" but I felt compelled to this time. I have received a number of emails regarding my last two posts. I have been criticized for posting about the royal wedding and the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II. I have been accused of not caring about the people in Alabama. Plug your ears, I am going to holler now.


You can unplug your ears now.  I am an Alabamian by birth. I have friends and family in Alabama and all across the South. I know people who live in those hard hit areas. Of course I care, and care deeply. This is a blog people, not Fox News! This is one tiny piece of my life. There are so many areas of my life that never make it to this page. There are many triumphs, struggles, joys and heartaches I never write about. That doesn't make them less real to me. Or less important. I am insulted and offended by these emails. This is a sewing etc. focused blog. Yes, I write about things other than sewing at times but what is written here is not my life in total. Nor my heart. I am not the type of person to comment on every single thing going on in my life here or on Facebook. Do not assume what I am thinking by the tiny blips on the radar recorded here.

My heart breaks for the loss of life and property across the Southeast. They all remain in my prayers. I have spent many an hour sending emails, making phone calls, etc. checking on my friends and family. Thank you for your collective concern for those people as well. I just ask that you not assume that you know how I feel about something based on what is written here.

So we return to our regularly scheduled life of.....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another "Did You Watch"

Blessed John Paul II
18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005

Perhaps today's events don't have the same romantic appeal, but an electric one none the less. Today marks the beatification of Pope John Paul II. An event of the same pageantry and awe as the events of Friday.

There weren't gowns to see or flower girls to delight but millions of people lined the streets of Rome as well as watched around the world. The day marked the recognition of a life lived in heroic faith and service to others.

Beatification and the further process of being named to sainthood, does not "make a saint." It is the Church's way of naming what already is. An official way to declare what has already been done through faith and the grace of God. What all those of faith hope to do, to live in union with God in this life so that we too may live with Him in eternity.

In his first Mass of Thanksgiving upon being elected Pope, John Paul II spoke these words to the faithful that would become a treatise of his pontificate. "Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!"


He was a very charismatic man, a media savvy pontiff, a forgiving man, playful, prayerful, as well as a faithful man. He was not perfect as none of us are perfect. That is one of the greatest gifts of the saints. They teach us that even in our humanity, in our frailty, in our imperfections; we are redeemed and how to live a life that speaks to that redemption. They teach us how to stay the course. 

 "Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people. Amen."
                      Pope Benedict XVI
                      During the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II

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