Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tis the Season---Mardi Gras Season

Yes it is time to think Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras season officially starts after Twelfth Night. Most municipalities start their BIG parades a few weeks before Ash Wednesday. This years Mardi Gras season is a longgg one, Easter is late and hence so is Ash Wednesday. March 5th to be exact. The Times-Picayune is featuring 58 Days of King Cake. Now that is a celebration I could get behind. I bought babies last year to make a King Cake and never got around to it. Maybe this year, just need to re-find them. On to sewing for a little man's first Mardi Gras.

Quick and simple. All from stash except for the embroidery design. Children's Corner Johnny is the pattern. A green stripe cotton is the fabric. Lined with Imperial broadcloth and piped with black gingham. Like I said, all from stash.

The embroidery design is from Lynnie Pinnie. Mardi Gras Truck Applique. I did a 4x4 size. I might could have gone with the 5x7. Oh well.

He seems pretty happy with his new duds. Momma says he is a movin' and a groovin'. Full on crawling and trying to pull up. Look out! Hard to believe he is 7 months old already.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Time for a Few Questions

  1. Anonymous asked here how much my Bernina 1130 originally cost. I think I paid around $1500 for the machine, the "free" serger and the cabinet at the time. I have gotten wayyyy more than $1500 out of that machine. At the time it was the next machine down from the top of the line. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. A top of the line Bernina goes for around $10K right now. 
  2. Karen A asked if I got those pajamas done for Christmas this year. Yes I did, see the post on Jan 15.
  3. Marian A asked here about my machine appearing to be on a slant. It is. In this photo you can just make out the two rubber door stops under the machine. This helps visualize the bed of the machine while sitting at the desk.
  4. Jane B. facetiously asked if I had already started Easter, Mardi Gras etc sewing. Yes! I started Easter back in October with a Gail Doane class. That is being worked on this week. And one quick Mardi Gras longall coming up.
  5. Here Wanda M asked about the romper pattern used for Dunkin Duckies. The romper itself was a ready to smock that I had purchased while attending Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion last February. So I have no idea what pattern was used but Bonnie Blue "Becky and Benjamin" would work.
That is all for now. Don't hesitate to ask away if you have any questions.

As couple more parting shots from Christmas. 

Do you know how difficult it is to get three kids to look in the same direction at the same time?

But on occasion you get a shot of some killer dimples!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wintertime Blues

After the chaos of Christmas, I needed to hole up in my sewing room and make something "just because." This is what I came up with. All from stash.

Princess's favorite dress is her "beautiful flower dress" made from Old Fashioned Baby's Toddler Dress and Apron. A friend made it for her last winter and it will fit all the way through this winter. The pattern is out of print but sometimes comes up on ebay or etsy. Perhaps if enough people request it from Jeannie she will reprint it. It is a great pattern. Fits great, goes together in a breeze. Mommy has to hide the dress at the bottom of the drawer sometimes or she would wear it everyday. I had intended to use one of the other newer Children's Corner patterns for a top but Mom spied this pattern and requested this dress be made into a top. So that is what I did.

I used a brush twill for the top and featherwale cord for the pants. As much as Princess loves dresses, sometimes that long walk to school is cold!

Since it was all from stash the buttons are purple instead of turquoise. That is okay. Purple is her favorite color. I piped it with SCRAPS of the corduroy. It is pieced with about a dozen strips to get enough.

The piped belt and front tab makes this little dress/top a piping hog, so piecing the bias strips it was. I did reduce the fullness of the skirt front and back by about 3" each. For a top I didn't want quite as much fullness.

Again, I used Children's Corner Parker's Pants for the pants. If you don't have this pattern, you need it. Goes together in a snap and has a great ready to wear fit to them. Sometimes pants can have enough crotch room for three people and the legs are so wide they look like clown pants. Neither is the case with this pattern. It is what I used for the pj pants. I will use it many more times I think. I have some corduroy in mind for Wildman.

I don't have a photo of it being modeled. She wore it on the airplane and Mimi wasn't much into snapping photos at 3 a.m.

I hope you have found something to work on "just because."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The 2nd Annual Christmas PJs

No these aren't the Christmas pjs from our house. I think there is even a limit to what I could ask. But wouldn't this be hysterical? No, I think more of a crime against humanity is a better description.

These are bit more tame. I used Children's Corner "Jane" for the nightgown and Children's Corner "Parker's Pants" for the pj pants. A purchased t shirt grabbed out of the dryer for the benefit of this photo.

I wasn't able to score fabric at the same killer price as last year's but cute all the same. 

Peanut had already departed with his teeny weeny pj pants before I was able to snap a good photo of them.This is the best I have, taken with my phone on the floor of my sewing room a few days before Christmas.

Merry Belated Christmas! This is not everyone. One son in law has already succumbed to the black plague (I think he was trying to get out of the photo personally) and five more adults would soon fall. Two had already come through and risen from the ashes, thank goodness or the kids would have been on their own. This moment was the healthiest anyone was for a few days. We are also missing the soon to be bride and groom. I hope you enjoyed our Griswold moment, onto bigger and better things in the new year.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Candy Cane Christmas

Let me tell you, smocking for three grands for Christmas is killer! It takes considering several different factors; smocking plate, styles, construction timeline as well as coordinating vs. matching.

Their ages range from 6 months to three and half. Since it was first Christmas for Peanut, smocking it was. The fabric used for all was a brushed cotton houndstooth check from Farmhouse Fabrics. Piping was a cotton gingham from my stash. I wanted coordinating instead of matchy-matchy. I chose blue, candy cane red and white for longevity of wear past the holidays. The smocking is various adaptations of the plate "Little Boy Blue" from Australian Smocking & Embroidery Issue #72. The #1 key to getting these finished in time for me was pre-constructing each garment before the first smocking stitch was taken.

Peanut's bubble was Chery Williams "Baby Bubbles" I used this pattern a couple of years ago for Wildman's first Christmas as well. It was also the bubble featured in the Sew Beautiful article in Issue #150 "Merry Accident" No accidents this time. Thank goodness. No time for that! This view features the closest adaptation of the smocking plate featured in AS&E. I made a narrow insert again because I don't like huge deep inserts on little ones. I made a size 6 months and it fit our chubby 19# babe to perfection. I don't have a photo of the back but it features red buttons as well. I love red buttons.

Wildman's longall is Children's Corner William and Winnie. Again. It seems to fit him best. This is a size 3 and it fit perfectly on our tall, thin little man.

I adapted the front to include a yoke with a vertical strip of smocking in the center. An idea I admit I got from an email from Children's Corner advertising their January school.  I didn't use red buttons on the front of his because I felt like that would be kind of clownish looking. I like the covered buttons better. It lets the smocking and piping stand out on their own. It is lined with the same red gingham as the piping. It is paired with a purchased turtleneck from Le Top. A friend turned me onto this brand of turtlenecks and I really like them. They wash great, shrink minimally and the collar and cuffs hold their shape and the knit fabric is yummy. I highly recommend.

Princess had a Children's Corner Carol. I had never made a Carol before and I will admit to it being a bit more challenging than I expected. I like the way it turned out though. Again an adaptation of the smocking to fit the space. It also has red buttons down the back. It looked great with her red and white striped tights and red English Sandals. She is 3 and half and I made a size 4 with some length added.

Speaking of shoes, I can't praise J-Ray Shoes in Mobile enough. They have outstanding in service. They know their products and shipping is fast. I can't count the number of shoes I have bought there. If by chance there is a problem returns are super easy. They will send the replacement out before they receive the original pair back. If you are looking for traditional and/or dressy shoes, you can't go wrong with them.

It was well worth it for this photo. Princess and Wildman look pretty happy here, but it was dicey for a moment or two. They were only staying if Mom and Dad did.

This little guy was a happy camper! Next year may not be the same. We will keep our fingers crossed.

I hope your new year is proving productive. We are in the midst of a heat wave, it got all the way up to 26 degrees. And our heat went out. Did you know you can heat a bathroom with a hairdryer? Thank goodness it is fixed now and the heat is working. It is a balmy 74 degrees in the house now. A long way from the 54 it was when we got up this morning.

Monday, January 6, 2014


This would be the guys in our yard. Record cold and one day snowfall. I even have snow drifts in my enclosed screened in porch. No matter the cold, my cozy old sweater and I are staying in. I love snow days. You get guilt free reasons to do nothing and go nowhere. I like to bake. Not sure why but on snow days I like to bake. Of course there would have to be groceries in the house in order to do that. We didn't make our "OHMYGODWEHAVETOGETBREADANDMILKBEFOREITSNOWS!" run on Saturday. They could be giving it away for free and I wouldn't go out today. Cooooold. I think I will sit and stitch instead. Have lots of UFO to finish as well as some projects on my plate. Downloading photos today to share the Christmas sewing that was done. Stay warm faithful reader.

Before we go....did you watch?

I sure did and loved every moment. Don't you love that little sailor bubble on Master George? My favorite Violetism of last night was

Love the Dowager. And Nanny West! "Harumph" is all I have to say about her!
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