Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Sunday Thought

“Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
Pedro Arrupe SJ (1907-91)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Darling Party that is Sew Cute!

First posted at Pure Joy Events

A friend sent me the cutest link the other day. I just had to share it with you. It is a birthday party with a Vintage Sewing Theme. Having just had a birthday party and my daughter hosting a baby shower, we are all over party themes around here.

First posted at Pure Joy Events

Look at that cake!!! How cute is that? Who says this cute party is just for little girls? I know some grown up girls that would love this.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where I Sew

Pink Chalk is sponsoring a sewing room tour during the month of July. There is only a day or so to add your sewing room. But what a lot of inspiration there is. I added my sewing room, I hope you will add yours too. There are some really dreamy spaces over there to drool over. Make sure you stop by.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I received an email yesterday asking if Princess was always so cooperative with having her photo taken. I laughed right out loud! I often take anywhere from 25-60 pictures trying to get just a few that work. Here are a few outtakes.

Some are just crazy in between what you see and what the shutter catches.

Many are "I told you I wasn't in the mood for this!"

Even more are "I want to see that camera close up."

And the majority are a whole lot of "You just can't catch her quick enough!"

So to answer your question dear reader, NO, Princess is not always very cooperative with Mimi's camera.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Princess and Her Birthday Dress

I am still trying to catch up everywhere in life but finally I can share the Birthday dress mentioned here and here.

I love how it turned out. There are always things you wish were better but I have learned long ago as Jeannie B says "to strive for the appearance of perfection, not perfection itself."

Remember I used the full smocked bodice pattern from AS&E, Issue #73 called Powder Puff. The design and pattern adjustments are from Creative Needle Nov/Dec 1999 called "First Birthday" by Cindy Foose.

The fabric is satin batiste, trimmed with tatting from BessieMary. It is BTS-214. The threads used are floss, floche and coton a broder. The Swiss insertion used for the back placket and sleeve cuffs was also from BessieMary.

The pattern adjustments for the back yokes were a little daunting at first. For once I followed my own advice, don't try to understand, just do what it says. I would definitely use this technique again. (the bow drooped on me after it was washed. Need to figure out how to make it perk back up.)

Lap extension

Hidden Placket

I will admit to some confusion when I got to construction of the lap extension and hidden placket but after talking it over with BessieMary herself through texts, phone calls and a few laughs, it came together. The hidden placket is covered with re-embroidered Swiss insertion. So sweet.

Another cool technique was the embroidery for the back yokes. The "cable" look is achieved by alternating a stem stitch with an outline stitch. The result, cables! Who knew?

I love the little sleeves on this dress. It is called a butterfly sleeve because the two halves separate like wings.

This is exaggerated with the tulle pushed through the opening, but it gives you an idea. The openings are trimmed with entredeux and tatting.

The slip is also made from satin batiste using the same pattern is this dress. So quick and easy. Yet so pretty. I used white ribbon through the beading so it can be worn under other dresses.

Best of all is celebrating the Princess's first birthday.

Here she is in all her glory. Precious girl ready to celebrate her big day. This is before the party. Remember this is in the midst of a record breaking heat wave in the Midwest.

By cake time she was so hot and so over it all, she had cake in her slip, in mommy's lap. She was done! Thank goodness the slip was finished and was pretty. She is a smart girl, she only wanted the icing.

Thank you, faithful reader, for letting me bore you with the details. If you are here in the States, I hope you are staying cool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm Back and I Sewed

Well, faithful reader, how have you been? Life here in the land of the Southern Matriarch has been overwhelmingly busy. In the past three weeks, we have
  • Remodeled a bathroom
  • Had three rooms, an entry, a stairwell and landing painted
  • Refinished the entry way floor
  • Re-carpeted three rooms
  • Moved out one child
  • Finished two dresses
  • Reloaded three rooms
  • Cleaned house
  • Welcomed home two out of town children and a married in
  • Had family portraits done
  • Prepared for and held the birthday party of the decade which involved yards and yards of tulle; dozens of tissue paper pom poms; dozens of balloons; pinwheels; baked, decorated and bagged 80 cookies
  • etc. etc. etc.
You get the picture.  I also had no computer access for one full week of the past two while the office had all of it's furniture pulled into the center of the room. So all of that to say, I've been busy as all get out. I hope you have all been well and that you missed me. I missed you. And I did manage to sew in the midst of all that.

I finished the dress that Jeannie B taught at her retreat. Truth be told, there wasn't much to finish this dress. I had the construction of the dress 90% done before I left Louisiana. I just had to do the embroidery and buttonholes. As well as threading the floss through the edging at the hem. It really is a quick design and a treat to zip up.

I love this little dress. It is made from a dress weight Swiss batiste. The bodice is tucked with a center of Swiss insertion and lace.The beading at the waist seam is the main technique learned at the retreat.

The hem is also tucked and edged with Swiss edging. Simple embroidery embellishes the skirt above the hem. I used stem stitch for the blue and the flowers are bullion roses. Simpler than what was originally planned or even designed by Jeannie, but finished. There is something to be said for finished.

It buttons down the back with MOP buttons.

It is a darling dress, would be perfect for beach portraits. Perfect for a sweet barefooted baby on a hot summer day.

The birthday dress is also finished but I don't have pictures of just the dress taken yet. I hope to do that tomorrow.

As a parting shot, Princess right before her party.

How quickly a year has gone by!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Birthday Dress and Other Happenings

I did catch a few moments over the weekend to stitch a bit. The birthday dress is well under way. Good thing, her birthday is next week and portraits are a week from Saturday!

The front bodice is finished and

the back bodices are well on their way. You may notice a dark lump in the picture.

Just as I tried to take the picture, someone else had other ideas. A certain kitty has been feeling neglected for several days. Not only am I trying to get a birthday dress done but the house has been a construction zone.

Lots of this going on; tiling, sanding, staining etc. More about all that in another post.

Now I am off to attack this. DUST, on every horizontal surface in this house from the weekend project of refinishing the entry way floor. Painters are coming tomorrow.

We did take time to celebrate the 4th. Here is a shot of a sleepy, sno-cone discovering, pj wearing, fireworks watcher. Look at that blue chin.

A parting shot.
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