Monday, November 28, 2011

Candy Cane Lane

Candy canes are coming along. Baby Hank's insert is almost complete. It still needs some holly. I did reduce his quite a bit. The original plate as well as the pattern, call for a 3" insert of 8 rows. No newborn needs 3" of pleating on his chest.  I squeezed it much narrower and it looks like it will be much more in proportion for a little guy. I'm not real happy with the borders on the insert. I haven't decided if it bothers me enough to re-do. I did space the canes farther apart on the bishop. I think they will be cute. Have to hurry, Breakfast with Santa is soon!

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was wonderful. Around here all of the leftovers have been eaten, the last pie plate put away, children have returned from whence they came and the season of Advent is upon us. As I sat smocking last night in a quiet house I stumbled upon Andrea Bocelli's Christmas special on PBS. It is from a couple of years ago. Just delightful and peaceful as I stitched along. Below is one of my favorites from the show.

What are you stitching in preparation for Christmas? I hope you take a quiet moment for yourself in this busy season.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Flickering Light of Advent

As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world.  It symbolizes our longing, our desire, our hope.  Three “advents” or “comings” shape our desire.  We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death.  We want to experience his coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose.  And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth...  (excerpted from Creighton Univ. Online Ministries)
“Lord, the light I choose to let into my life today is based on my trust in you. It is a weak flame, but I so much desire that it dispel a bit more darkness today. Today, I just want to taste the longing I have for you as I go to the meeting this morning, carry out the responsibilities of my work, face the frustration of some difficult relationships. Let this candle be my reminder today of my hope in your coming.”

How will you "prepare" for Christmas? Will you choose to prepare in a way that doesn't include only gifts, cards, menus and lines at the post office. All of those are worthwhile and bring great joy, but they tell only a small part of the story. Take a few moments each day as we prepare for Christmas, either by visiting one of the many online devotionals such as this one on Creighton's site or by practicing this time of quiet preparation in a way that best speaks to your heart. 

Come, Lord Jesus!  Come and visit your people. 
We await your coming.  Come, O Lord.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble, 
but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven. 
~Johannes A. Gaertner

May the blessings of this bounteous season be yours, faithful reader.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! At least in the sewing room. Fabric is washed, cut out and pleated. Ready to start stitching.


Fabric is Swiss flannel, again. Smocked with Ellen McCarn's Candy-liscious. I did decide to switch up the colors and go with a more contemporary lime green for the holly as opposed to the traditional green. For the patterns, my stand-by Children's Corner bishop and Chery Williams, "Baby Bubbles" for baby brother. Fabric and buttons from BessieMary. Piping will be red microcheck. Have to get busy.

Parting Shot:

Somebody wanted Mimi to take them with her. Next time I will sneak out when she isn't looking. Daddy is trying to distract her with socks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bringing Baby Home

Friday was a good day, Baby Hank came home. Here he is resting up before his Mommy dressed him for the ride home.

Big Sister, Princess, was busy digging in Mimi's wallet while this was going on. She was oblivious to the momentous occasion.

Here he is in his coming home gown featured here. He is just too precious. One of the nurses asked if Mommy always went to this much trouble to dress her children. Princess was wearing her Big Sister jumper again. Mommy chuckled and told her yes, yes she did.

Here is a shot with his beautiful Mommy.


Ready to roll! With his hat from Jan, she was worried about his head being cold since there was no bonnet to match his gown.

This is after he has made it home and been removed from the car seat. I told you, Swiss flannel travels well. It is a delightfully yummy and snugly fabric. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it.

Life is good and full of many, many blessings. Thank you, faithful reader for all of the comments and emails of well wishes on Master Hank's arrival. They are very appreciated.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Love Grows

Master Henry James L. (Hank) was born yesterday evening. 8# 8 oz and is a doll baby! We are in love. Well most of us, Big Sister is reserving judgement for a few more days. Mommy and Baby Hank are both doing well. So excuse me for a few days while I stock up on some new baby snuggles and some big girl hugs too.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Last of the Daygown Parade


Excuse the poor pic, I was in a hurry today before I rushed out the door. This is the last of the daygowns for Master Hank. It is a simple daygown made from Imperial batiste. I had preconstructed it several weeks ago. It has since traveled all over the country waiting for a wee bit of embroidery. I put it together at the same time I did the one featured here. It also is made using Priscilla's Layette from the Old Fashioned Baby.

This is the same pattern used when getting ready for the Princess. It is a super simple and super quick gown to work up. We won't make Hank wear the pink one, but the blue one is laundered and ready to go.

It has a simple shadow work design featured in Shadowwork Fun and Fancy. Just a quick, sweet embellishment. Don't be afraid to stitch something small and sweet on a simple gown. It only took a couple of hours to stitch this slumbering moon while watching TV in my sewing room. The matching blue buttons are from Bessie Mary. Not sure why the placket is buckled in this picture. It is not in real life.

On to Christmas it is!!!! Can you say Swiss flannel and candy canes?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ready for Baby Brother

Been looking for me? I know many have, my email box tells me so. Here I am. Today is the first time I have had time to sit in this chair and post. I came home from SAGA convention to a whirlwind. Our chapter hosted Susan O'Connor for a workshop the weekend following convention and then I hosted the class attendees for dinner Saturday night. Since then I have been feverishly trying to catch up as well as finish baby brother's coming home gown. Success, for the gown not the catching up part!

I promise I will revisit and post pictures from convention as well as Susan O's visit to our chapter. But first of all, Baby Hank's Coming Home gown.

The gown marries two different designs.

The gown itself is the Summer Nighty pattern from Baby's Summer Clothes, from The Old Fashioned Baby. I have used this pattern many times before. It is a favorite of mine.
(Note: This pattern is out of print but it is well worth hunting up on ebay etc. I have used it so many times. I may need to scout a new pattern for myself. The one I have is in tatters. Most of the pieces are taped and scribbled on. I had to take the guts of the pattern out to get a picture of the pattern front.)

I lengthened the sleeve and pleated it according to the pattern directions in the Embroidered Raglan Daygowns pattern, also by the Old Fashioned Baby. I stitched a tiny buttonhole in the sleeve band to thread the ribbon through. I was forbidden to use any lace or tatting, but I wanted to be able to draw the sleeves up to fit, so this was my solution. I also pleated the sleeve header instead of gathering. A more tailored look for a little man.

The embroidery and madeira hem comes from Wendy Schoen's Madeira Baby Layette. It was an Embroidery Club selection. She no longer offers the EC but you can purchase the pattern and kit. This is what Mommy chose and we tweaked the final project.

She chose which animal toys she wanted most. So these  are the four we went with. They are all stitched in shadowwork. The scallops above the hem, are done in stem stitch.

I dallied with the idea of choosing a fifth for the center, which isn't really the center for this gown. Something about it didn't look right so I rinsed it back off.

The fabric I used is Swiss flannel. Absolutely yummy. We don't have feelavision anymore than we have smellavision, I wish we did, so you could feel the yummy softness of this fabric. The hem is also Swiss flannel. The fabric in the kit is Swiss batiste for both the gown and the hem. Mommy wanted flannel for this November baby. My initial plan was to use the flannel for the gown and the batiste provided for the hem. Well because I didn't think through the fact that I changed patterns, I cut the strips for the hem straight without realizing, with an A-line gown you need to shape the bottom to mimic the shape of the gown hem. My strips weren't going to fit.  All is okay, I love the flannel at the hem and it works.

I used the method of water soluble thread to get my pin stitching at the hem even. Stitching first by machine with the water soluble thread then coming back and stitching by hand with fine weight sewing thread. Gives a hand look that is very even and easy to achieve. Be careful when you stitch something like this. If you want your stitches TIGHT like mine, stitch under stressful conditions such as Game 6 of the World Series. I am amazed I didn't snap my thread more often than I did!

I have been trying to talk Mommy into the matching bonnet hat but so far it is a no go. His little head is going to be cold. That aside he will be a very welcome and precious star in his sweet gown. Whew, he can come on anytime now, gown is finished.
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