Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can you say busy??

I am home, have been home for several days. I just haven't been able to find enough moments to string together a post for you. Bessie Mary and I  had a wonderful time at The Old Fashioned Baby Sewing Retreat. It was held at the Wesley Center in Woodworth, LA. Spent time with old friends and met some delightful new ones too.

The project was a precious slip dress featuring tucks and Swiss trim.I can't wait to finish it for our princess to wear.


The room was bright and airy as you can see. Precious samples lined the walls for inspiration. On this wall are samples from many of Jeannie's articles for Sew Beautiful.

Such as this precious pink linen and lace confection.

Or this slip dress that was in the latest Sew Beautiful. Trust me, it is even more fabulous in person. It just makes you want to squeal.

This little frothy number, makes my heart sing. I adore it! She featured it on her blog, The Old Fashioned Baby Sewing Room as well as in the magazine.

The other wall was hung with the projects from the previous retreats. Hey, Susan and Marilyn!

There was also time for scripture study each morning and evening. A great way to take a deep breath and be reminded of all of the blessings in our lives.

Jeannie also brought a small market with her. I am a sucker for those little blue cards of buttons. I love them in the bags as well, but oh those little blue cards. Does me in every time!

And would any Old Fashioned Baby Creation be complete without some precious laces? I don't think so.

Mine is not done yet, but it is close. If I can get a few minutes tomorrow, I had hoped for  a snippet of time today, I will get it completely constructed. Then all that is left is the embroidery above the hem.

Jeannie and her friend Belinda did a wonderful job with all of the details. Jan, did a much better job of highlighting the many gifts and treasures we received. I have not even unpacked my machine or sewing bag yet. Jump over to Bessie Mary's blog and see what beautiful treasures we brought home.

The best treasure was the time spent stitching, renewing friendships, renewing our spirits, taking a deep breath and being reminded of God's abiding love.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Psalms 51:10

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Discovery

First posted by Prime Montgomery

In searching for a source for a reader, I stumbled across this lovely article about Sarah Howard Stone.

I loved this "definition" the editor gives for  French Hand Sewing.
(Editor’s Note:  French hand sewing is an art used to create heirloom garments and linens to keep or give as treasures for special occasions. It imitates fine French hand sewing of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. French hand sewing, often referred to as heirloom sewing, is characterized by fine, often sheer, usually white cotton or linen fabrics trimmed with an assortment of lace, insertions, tucks, narrow ribbon, and smocking. Typical projects for French or heirloom sewing include children’s garments, especially christening gowns, and women’s blouses, graduation dresses, wedding gowns, and lingerie.)
Doesn't that sound just dreamy? It did to me. I have used SHS's patterns in the past and love both of her books.

Thank you Prime Montgomery for this wonderful article about a well loved artisan.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On the road again....

I am headed down the highway! Except there aren't any mountains on the way as shown in this internet procured photo.

I have packed up my trusted steed here and we are headed to Louisiana. My friend and I are going to spend a few days with this friend at her sewing retreat, working on this project. I will make a quick side stop to visit baby daughter in Mandeville overnight.

I hope to return refreshed from several days of stitching, laughing, chatting and more stitching. Hopefully, when I return the construction zone of my downstairs half bath will be cleared and we will once again have a 2 and a half bath home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

For a Sweet Girl

I found it; a needle! Some thread, my pleater, a pattern. I was able to wade through to my sewing room and pull together the supplies for baby's birthday dress.

Appropriately enough, it is called "First Birthday Dress." It is a design from an old Creative Needle. Nov/Dec 1999. The design is by Cindy Foose. I am using satin batiste smocked with silk floss. The embroidery on the smocking is done with coton a broder and floche. All from stash. The original design is done on voile. Lovely, but there was no voile in the closet. So satin batiste it is.

For the pattern I am using the smocked bodice dress "Powder Puff" from AS&E Issue #73. I am dying to get the embroidery on the smocking finished so I can pull those gathering threads out. I can't wait to watch it "puff" between the smocked rows.

Well faithful reader, that is what I am up to, I hope you have been able to find your way to a needle and thread.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Just a dose of cuteness

I found this on Country Bumpkin's Facebook page. Is that not adorable? I love that littlest one. She is so captivated by what is going on with the bride. Their smocked dresses are to die for. How could anyone even notice the bride with all of those darling flower girls headed down the aisle? Of course I love all that silk organza going on.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tiny Stitches

Time in the sewing room is more rare than hen's teeth these days. I found myself in the car for several hours on a recent trip to Louisiana two weeks ago. We all know it would be tough to balance a sewing machine on my lap zooming down the road. So what to do? Go back to handsewing! That is what I did. I didn't have much time to get a project pulled together for our princess, but I always have Wee Care gowns awaiting attention. No machine, so I grabbed a spool of DMC 50 wt thread in pale blue and a package of needles.  I was ready to go.

On these tiny gowns sized for a 1-2# baby it only takes a tiny bit of smocking. It took less than an hour to smock this gown. Four rows of about 40 pleats doesn't take long! I can see that my bias band did crinkle a tiny bit. :(

Since I was in a hurry I also didn't grab any trim/lace to take with me. I did have a blue marker and a ruler though, so I marked a hemline and put in a shell hem on both sleeves. Just a tiny bit of extra sweetness for a tiny little boy.


Since I was obviously going to be putting the hem in by hand I might as well make it cute. I used two strands of the same floss used for smocking to stitch the hem. Just a little bit of extra color. 

I did find 10 minutes yesterday to stitch some silk satin ribbon ties on the back. Silk satin ribbon isn't necessary but it sure drapes better than poly ribbon which has a tendency to stick out rather stiffly. Of course if I were making 1200 gowns I couldn't afford to put silk satin on all of them, but I had the ribbon in my stash so I used it.

It is pretty dry in sewing land around here when an 8" gown garners five pictures! But its all I've got right now. I am getting ready to start the baby's birthday dress and then a few other tiny things are on my horizon to make.

Faithful reader, soothe your spirit, pick up a needle.

Parting shot: Princess' Uncle Ben has taught her how to give "big hugs." Here she is practicing on Lambie. She has to be contained in a playpen in the sewing room now. Her curiosity and mobility are getting the best of us!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Someone is Stitching

First posted by flossbox

And is hasn't been me! There could be pygmies living in my sewing room for all I know. So thank you to the talents of flossbox we have some eye candy. I can almost here that little bird sing.

Life has been crazy, crazy, crazy. I did stitch up a Wee Care gown in the car last week. I will try to get pictures tomorrow. I have been so busy I have had hardly had time to take pictures of Princess. Now THAT is busy! And absolutely nothing around here to show for the busy. My want to list is as long as my arm.

Summer is in full swing here. We skittered right over spring into full blown summer. My tomatoes are budding, the hostas are getting ready to bloom and it is hot!

We are gearing up for baby's First Birthday! That loud wailing you hear? It is me. I can not even believe she is getting ready to be a year old. It is going too fast. Here she is at her first Jazz Brunch at the 5 star Commander's Palace. One is never too young to be introduced to fine dining. She loved it as much as her Mimi does.

The musicians were as taken with her as she them. The only down side to the day was that two of our kids weren't there to enjoy the day with us.

Off to bed. I have so many sewing projects whirling in my brain. If I can find a way to clear some order around here I may make it into my sewing room.

I leave you with just a taste of Sunday Brunch at Commander's Palace, not as good as being there, but it will have to do for now.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Does this not shout summertime bliss? The face of childhood innocence is a sweet girl enjoying a ride on the swings. Add an adorable sundress and bonnet and the picture is complete. She loves the swings. It is hard to believe her first birthday is fast approaching.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Prayers for a Friend

On a sad note, please pray for a blogger friend. Sara of Sara Norris Ltd and her family have suffered a tragic loss. Her oldest grandson as well as his mother, step sister and a family friend were killed in an automobile accident Monday after returning from a Memorial Day get away at the beach. Please hold them in your heart as they begin to forge a new future in the face of tremendous loss. Our prayers are with you Sara.

Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
~Rossiter Worthington Raymond

A Handsome Young Man

What a treat! Often times when you sew for others or send a gift you don't get to see the results on the recipient. What a treat to see the latest christening gown on this precious baby. Isn't he beautiful? Those eyes! He is certainly going be a heartbreaker with those sparkling blue peepers..

And not to slight his equally handsome parents. What a beautiful family on such a special day.

A faithful reader asked after the original post about the gown if the fabric from the over skirt was new. Yes, it is. The silk organza was purchased to soften the look of the heavier bridal satin. Thanks E for allowing me to share the pictures of your darling baby in his very special christening gown.
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