Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cherries --- Again

Excuse the horrid lighting and the less than stellar press job. I was in a hurry to get these photographed before I sent them home with the children the morning we left. It is barely daylight outside when I took these photos. All excuses aside. They looked adorable on and I am anxious to see how the family portraits turned out.

I used an Italian superfine twill check available from Farmhouse Fabrics. This fabric is a dream. It reminds me of the Spechler-Vogel Sea Island Diamonds I used here. The more you handle it the softer it becomes. Luscious.

I modified Children's Corner Louise for Princess. My original thought was to make the insert white for the cherries but decided against it. I have made cherry dresses in the past and have hand embroidered the cherry leaves. This time, I decided to machine embroider them. The cherries themselves are a stuffed yo-yo from pima cotton gingham. The same was used for the piping. Poly cotton Spechler-Vogel pique is used for the collar. I did refrain from piping the armholes. Great style for a young lady who is almost six. Though I am not ready to give up on basic yokes or bishops for her just yet.

I may not have piped the armholes but I did extend the piping at the waist to the center back opening. That does mean modifying the order of construction some, but it wasn't difficult. You just have to think through your steps.

For LG, I used Children's Corner Kathy/Kelly. I didn't realize until just now, that this pattern is out of print. You can find copies on both eBay and Etsy. I love this pattern. I am sad it is discontinued. People get scared of the pleats but they are not difficult if you just follow it step by step. and Iron, iron, iron as you go. Fabric is the same Italian twill with lined pique for the collar. I almost had a catastrophe on my hands. I didn't measure the pattern length before I started, so it has a much shallower hem than I would prefer.

The afternoon after family portraits was busy with party prep so I don't have any photos of LG in her dress and could only find this one of Princess. Even more reason I am anxiously awaiting those family portraits. My goal had been to try them on them before we left to return campers to their parents, alas it wasn't to be. We would have been even later than we were if I had taken time to do that as well before leaving the house.

I did not take photos of the boy's garments. I made Children's Corner Parkers Pants (of course I did) from the blue twill with pink polos. They looked like little southern gentlemen.

I am sure these are not the last cherry dresses I will do, I just love everything about them. Even more I love the girls in them.

I hope this will inspire you to try your own St. Louis Cherry Dress.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Catching up

No, I didn't forget you. I was busy finishing dresses for family portraits, then family descended for those portraits and Nugget's third birthday party. Grands stayed, parents left and we had a very busy and hot week for Camp  Mimi. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen few photos already. It is one of the most tiring weeks of the year but also the most fun.

We go to the park.

We ride the carousel.

We ride the mini train at the mall.

That is just some of the fun we have, we also have popsicles to help beat the heat, in matching t-shirts, of course.

All in all a great time of cousins spending time together. I'm super tired right now but by next summer, I will be ready to do it all over again.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What's On the Machine?

Another round of "What's on the machine?"  I will say, getting all of these lined up was no easy feat. There had to be an easier way, but why go easy if you can work yourself into a sweat? I feel like I am still a novice machine embroiderer and there is so much I still don't know. I am am anxious to see if the vision in my head comes to fruition.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Smocked vs Banded Bishop Sleeve-Question Answered

I received an email while I was away asking a question regarding replacing smocking on a bishop sleeve with a band/cuff. I deleted the email, thinking I would be able to find the comment. Wrong, I couldn't find it. Good news is I remember that the question was asked.

Back to the question. It really is quite simple. Remember to click on the photo to enlarge.

This is my beleaguered bishop sleeve pattern piece. On the Children's Corner Bishop pattern there are markings for both the neckline gathering rows as well as the lower sleeve gathering rows. These are a guideline. To replace the smocking with a banded sleeve, I normally choose either the level of the top of row of dots (Indicated with a red line below in the photo.) or if I want it a tad longer I use the lowest row. Trace your pattern piece, using your preferred sleeve length, adding a 1/4" seam allowance along the bottom.

Cut a sleeve band if your pattern does not include one. It can be on the bias or the straight of grain. I liked the contrast of the gingham on the bias. If using a batiste or sheer fabric, I may interface the band piece. On this bishop it appears as if I used a 3/8" finished band. For that finished width, cut your band 1.5" wide. As I said, either on the bias or straight of grain. The length of the arm band will be the child's upper arm circumference plus 1.5" That length will give you ease plus seam allowances.

Here is Princess in the above banded sleeve bishop. She is nine months old here. I just prefer the smaller, shorter sleeve.

To give equal billing, here is her baby cousin, LG, at 15 months wearing the same pattern. Full disclosure; I didn't make this one, a dear friend did. My babies are so fortunate to have that village who sews for them.

I hope this answers your question. As I said, I prefer this bishop pattern for its sweet sleeve both the smocked and the banded. More of a tailored look which is my wheelhouse and both of my daughters as well.

Someone asked  what I was working on, all I will say is its cherry picking' time! Pics soon.

Keep stitching' faithful reader.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Where has Southern Matriarch Been?

No compass was needed, but I have been on the road. Twenty-five hundred miles, four flights and two weeks out of my own bed.  Like most times, it involved grandchildren. There were picnics to be had, walks to be taken, books to read, legos to build, recitals to see, teacher gifts to make and graduations to applaud.  All in the life of a busy Mimi.

I snapped photos of almost all of the garments I took with me.

LG in her Children's Corner Taylor. Happy girl. She is 20 mos old. I made an 18 month size. It fits perfect. I think the next one, I will use the 18 mos. with a 24 mos. crotch length.

Its almost cuter from the back. Who doesn't love ruffles on a hiney? I stopped Nugget right before he picked one of momma's lemons! I love the way those Parker's Pants fit though. He will be three next week and these are a size three. T-shirt is from Amazon, brand is Joe's USA. I really like them. This one had been washed a couple of times already. Not as inexpensive as some of the embroidery blank t-shirts, but holds up much better in shape and the neckline. Plus the knit is a heavier weight and stands up to being appliqu├ęd/embroidered loads better.

He was proud of momma's flower bed, you would have thought he planted it. I hear those curls are gone, momma took him to get a haircut, he is not a fan. He can no longer twirl it while he talks to you.

This girl is getting too big for Mimi's liking. Almost six years old and loves to dance.

As much fun as her recital was, this was one tired, tiny dancer. Wanted to take her flowers and go home.

I realized I had taken almost  no pictures of Wildman this time. He isn't a big fan of having his picture taken. That must explain why Captain America was only too willing to have his picture snapped!

There are no photos of the front of the Children's Corner Lillian. I have two of the back. Mimi missed her Spring Piano recital so was thrilled when the music teacher at school had all of the after school music students do a small recital.

The only other photos of Wildman. Don't stand in the way of that boy and cake! He is wistfully eyeing the cake table in this picture and complaining of being held back from his intended goal. Same brand and size shirt his cousin is wearing above. They are about the same size except for their legs. Again praise for this brand of t-shirt. His had been washed several times as well. I have purchased more in other colors. His Parker's Pants are a size four with a half inch added in length.

I did sew while I was away. Not the kind of sewing I took with me, and not a quick project either. Somehow, my "help" with the kindergarten teacher gifts grew and grew.

They turned out really cute. I learned a lot from the experience. I want to step right up and say though, I am not a quilter!! There are all kinds of mistakes and faux pas but the drawings the children made for their teachers are all that matter. The teachers loved them. The next time you tell yourself "oh that shouldn't take long", immediately go outside and hit yourself upside the head with a bat, because it will!! Much longer than you expect.

I am home now and zooming along in the sewing room. Family portraits and Camp Mimi are a week away. Stay tuned. I hope you too are working on something fun.

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