Saturday, February 27, 2010

Passing in Review

I have been going back through photos of past creations I have made. For several years, I was a member of several sewing groups on ebay and designed and sewed to sell. If you have never visited the"boutique" arena of ebay, you will be very surprised at the quality of the work offered there on a custom basis. I think most people view ebay as a "yard sale" format but there is a world of beautiful hand made clothing for children there, as well.
From this world of design and sewing, many of my ebay friends have gone on to other pursuits. Some are now fabulous photograhers, web designers, fabric designers, pattern designers, or even have their own line of children's clothing that are sold in retail stores.
The creativity in all these areas always amazed me
So, for the next few weeks, I will be showing you some photos of garments I have made over the years.
The first one is a remake of a dress I had myself as a child. I couldn't locate a pattern at the time that was similar, so I designed my own interpretation of how I remembered it.

We have a winner!!!!

Thank you to all who have posted , become followers ,and also sent emails!!!!  It has been so much fun seeing all the responses to smocking!!! I am also very encouraged by the number of you that are wanting to learn to smock!!!
The winner of the drawing is:

Kendra  of Haden News. Kendra, please contact me for your shipping information!!!

I hope this bonnet starts you off on a lifelong love of the art of smocking!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Heirloom Smocking & My first give away!!!!

I just read on the SAGA blog that February is National Smocking month!! Ironically, I am teaching a smocking class next weekend, one of the first classes I have taught in a few years. Interest in smocking is coming back around in my area, although , here in this part of the South, children still wear lots of smocked garments, well up into later childhood years.
I have smocked for over twenty-five years. One of the comments I hear is that smocking looks so hard.  In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. I have taught hundreds of people to smock and only once did I have a student that just couldn't "get it" and she happened to be an excellent  seamstress. As it has turned out, she stayed with it, determined to master the art,and has gone on to be one of the best smockers I have ever seen.
A few examples of my work:

For even more amazing inspiration I hope you will hop over and check out the blogs of some of my friends and who happen to be some of the best needlewomen I have seen!!!

Be prepared to be inspired !!!!

Now, for the give away part!!!!
For those of you who want to learn to smock!!!

In honor of National Smocking Month, and to promote the art of smocking, I will give away a pleated bonnet, finished and ready to smock. You can see a smocked bonnet that Laurie shows on her blog here.
(Unfortunately I do not have photos of a smocked bonnet of my own!!!!)
 Finished means that you will not have to do any other sewing in order for the bonnet to be ready to wear.  All that you will have to do is the smocking. My friend Laurie has some wonderful  tutorials on her blog on how to smock. A beginner can learn on her own just by watching Laurie's great lessons!!!  They are also great for the person who hasn't smocked in a while and just needs a refresher course.
So, here are the rules:
Leave a comment, follow my blog and link to this post on your blog (leave a post here with your link)
For each of these you will be entered into a drawing
(do all three, entered three times)
Drawing will be next Saturday February 27

Happy smocking!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

KitchenAid cover out of placemats

I would like to say that I spend all my time creating beautiful heirloom garments, but actually I do a lot of other kinds of sewing as well. I enjoy making things for my home on occasion, especially if it is a quick project!!
I had noticed that whenever I used my his Kitchen Aid mixer that it was always covered in dust and would have to be washed before use. So I thought it needed a dust cover.

Wanting to make this one of those quick projects, I started searching through my stash for suitable fabric. I didn't have any quilted fabrics but remembered I had a stack of quilted placemats I had bought for another project. After figuring out the measurements, I realized it would take 3 placemats. I had a set of 4 that I had bought at TJMAXX.
So, with two placemats, I lapped one end on top of the other to make a total length measurement of 32" and stitched those two together.
Then, from the third one, I cut 2 pieces to use for the end panels and made them 6" x 14". I pinned a panel to one long end and stitched it on, using a slightly longer stitch length and stitching on top of the binding. I took it to the mixer to check the fit before going on. Next I sewed on the other panel.
Took about 20 minutes!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Well-made Bed

Over the years, I have gotten very particular about my bed. You would think my being this way, I would spend a lot of time in it. However, that is not the case. For a long time now, I have been plagued by a bit of sleeplessness. I am a hyper type of person. I find it hard to sit still for very long and I am not sure if being that type of personality contributes to my dilemma or not.  Apparently, I must not require a full 8 hours of the stuff. I long to sleep in on a Saturday morning, but ususally find myself waking at 6 a.m., regardless of my schedule. The word "overslept" is a non-occurance in my vocabulary, when it pertains to me.
But I do like my bed to be perfectly dressed and welcoming, when my day is done and it is time to turn in. If I had my druthers, I would have clean sheets on my bed every single night!!!
Here are some of the things on my lists of "musts" for my bed to be just the way I want it.
  • Buy the best sheets you can afford. For me, this would be at least 250 thread count, made of Egyptian cotton sateen, and made in Italy. I have found just such sets at chain discount stores for a very afforable price. Note: do not be fooled by claims of high thread count. Unless you are willing to pay several hundred dollars for a set, the thread count on lesser sets are usually "split" rendering the set a lesser quality. You can read about that here.
  • My sheets must be ironed. Yes, you read that right!! I iron my sheets. It has nothing to do with appearance, even though I do love how they look when I first climb into bed when the bed has been freshly made. (After one sleeping, that look is all gone!!) It is all about how they feel. Ironing smooths away any roughness and brings out the silkiness of the Egyptian cotton. If I am feeling extravagant, I will send them to the cleaners and have them pressed. I even spritz a bit of starch, especially on the pillowcases. The starch helps them stay looking a bit fresher for a little longer. Also, having a light layer of starch can help prevent any stains from totally penetrating into the fibers. Notice I said "help", it won't totally prevent that from happening.
  • Never use chlorine bleach on your fine sheets. This will weaken the fabric and aid in them wearing out too soon. If your sheets are looking a bit dingy, use a product like Snowey Bleach or Biz. You can also treat them with  lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide and lay them out in the sunshine. If you have a problem with outdoor allergies, bring them in and wash in the washing machine after treating.
  • Never wash or dry your sheets with anything else, even like-colored items such as towels or socks. They will attract little pieces of lint and fuzz from both of these.
  • Another bit of indulgence is a spritz of Lavender Linen spray.  Spray your sheets and pillowcases when you make the bed or when you turn the bedding down for the night and let it dry while you are finishing your nightly routine. Only takes a minute and gives you the sweetest sleep!!
  • I always use one or two fitted sheets (usually my lesser quality sheets) over my mattress  pad before I make the bed with the good ones. I don't know why, I just do!!!
  • I also use a Down Blanket on my bed year around. It is like a down comforter except that it is bound on all sides with satin binding. I found mine at TJMaxx for about $40 for a queen size.
Sweet dreams!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy birthday Sweet Valentine!!!!

Lacey Claire Waggoner
February 14, 2009

Big Brother Holt saying hello to the new baby!!!

My how you've grown!!!!



we had a great day today!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sew Cute!!!

I have to agree with my sweet friend Martha about this project: the preparation is a lot more involved than the actual work!!!
I guess I have to admit that I was not as prepared on the entire project as I should have been , but it took me about two weeks to get all the supplies together and that made the project seem huge and overwhelming to me. (and I found myself dreading it)
But. . . .once all my little mail orders started arriving, I found I couldn't wait to get going on the jacket from Gail Doane's book "Sew Cute Couture. The bonnet is by Wendy Schoen Design and is called Baby's first Outing.
And like my friend Martha, I agree that it pays huge  dividends in adorableness for the amount of hand work required..
This little set, whhich in my opinion is more than precious, is for my granddaughter Lacey's first birthday. I think it will make her a perfect spring coat and bonnet!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

Twenty seven years ago today, Papa Bear and I were blessed with a little pink bundle that has brought us joy beyond measure.
She came wiggling and shouting into the world and hasn't stopped. Just a few of the things I love about her:

She loves the color pink
She is a leader
She wanted to be a teacher
Then she decided she wanted to be a nurse
She became a nurse in record time
She is a wonderful nurse
She has a tender compassionate heart
She adores her family
She is great with the elderly
She is a wonderful mommy
She is a wonderful wife
She loves the Lord
She is talented musically
She is disciplined
She is organized and methodical
She knows her shortcomings and doesn't agonize over them to others
She is fun to shop with
She has a fabulous sense of humor
She knows me inside and out
She is an encourager
She is stronger than she realizes
She adores babies, anybody's baby
She loves pretty clothes
She is a dead ringer for the actress Leah Rimini
She has the most gorgeous hair and chocolate brown eyes
And she is smarter and more intelligent than I ever thougth about being

This child makes me happy everyday.
Happy birthday Sweet Girl!!!!


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