Friday, November 20, 2015

Bonnie Blue Kayla & CC Lillian

These are for my great-nieces for Christmas.  Both are a-line dresses but the Kayla buttons at the shoulders and the Lillian buttons down the back.  I used covered buttons in the same blue fabric as the ruffles and pocket binding.

I had some difficulty deciding what to do with the pockets and ultimately just went with a simple pleated pocket with piping and binding at the top.  Many thanks to Kathy Dykstra for the help with that.

The ruffles at the bottom were also a challenge, since this dress is lined.  And there is a technique to turning it right side out which made it problematic for the ruffle.  I ultimately just whipped the lining to the dress bottom at the ruffles.

The Lillian buttons down the back but I totally didn't get pictures!  So sorry.  I really wanted ruffles on the pockets, and I think these turned out okay.  I have another idea for that next time that I think will work much better.  I chose not to add the pleat to this one.  I was so over these dresses and wanted to get them finished, so I can get them shipped to Illinois.

I am happy to answer any questions.  Feel free to post comments below.

Thank you for stopping by.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bath Towel Wrap

I found this adorable tutorial on Sew4home for this bath wrap and had to make it for Christmas.  This will be gifted to dh's aunt.

I found the dot terry and the cotton paisley at Joann's.  The terry is uber soft, and I love it.

I added lace to the pocket in addition to ribbon.  His aunt is very feminine, and I liked the added touch.  I weaved a small 1/8" ribbon through it.

I couldn't get my flower to look like theirs hard as I tried.  So I opted to do one I've done before and always have good luck.  Here is the link for that tutorial.  I just happened to have the right color button for the center.

I couldn't find the right color ribbon for the straps, so I left them off.  I also didn't want to have to go back to Joann's for the umpteenth time to get more fabric.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave comments or questions below.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Toddler Apron

A friend of mine has a granddaughter who is getting a small toy kitchen set for Christmas.  She wanted an apron to give her too.

We searched and searched for just the right pattern or tute.  We found some really cute ones, but we didn't get "this is the one" feeling with any of them.  But this one came very close.  There was one problem; it was an adult size.

I also found this one.  It is a child's apron and super cute, but it wasn't quite what we were looking for.  But I knew I could at least use the pattern.  I downloaded the pattern, taped it together, then cut it apart. What??

I really just needed the top part.  So I cut it apart about one inch below where the arm curve is.

I used the lower part as a guide for my ruffles.  The ruffles are all 2" wide by WOF.  I used my serger and did a rolled hem on all 4 sides.  I used my ruffler foot to make all the gathers.  I used the lower part of the pattern and cut out a big rectangle from the black fabric as my base.  I started at the bottom and stitched on the ruffles to the base layer.  I put 2 layers of tulle first (it is actually about 3" x WOF), then measure up 1" from the top if the tulle and stitched on my next layer.  I repeated this process all the way to the top. I had about 1/2" at the top left over.

For the tulle layer, I just cut 2 pieces the same size and gathered them with 2 basting stitches.  I wasn't sure how my ruffler would handle it so I didn't use it for this part.

For the sash, I cut 2 pieces 5" x WOF.  I cut one in half and stitched each half to either side of the longer piece giving me one long piece.  I then folded it in half lengthwise and stitched around 3 sides leaving a very big opening right in the center of the long side - large enough to accommodate the bodice.  This would be my opening for attaching the bodice piece.  I turned it right side out and pressed really well.

Next, I laid the sash piece fold side down on top of the skirt covering the stitching on the last ruffled piece.  I top stitched it in place.  I serged the raw edge of the skirt piece, since it would be visible from the back.  You could always cut 2 pieces for the sash and leave an opening at the bottom too and slide the skirt inside the opening.

For the bodice piece, I cut 2 pieces.  I laid them wrong sides together on my work surface and used binding to cover the raw edges.  I used the red fabric for bias.  I stitched the top piece first.  Then I stitched the side pieces using one long bias piece leaving enough length at the top to make an opening for the neck.  In other words, start stitching at the bottom of each side.

After that part was complete, I just slid the bodice inside the opening of the sash about 1/2".  Then topstitched it in place.  At this point I also topstitched all the way around the sash.

I had enough of the green fabric left to make a small pot holder.  It's just pinned to the top.

And that's my apron.  I think it turned out really well, and I would definitely like to make another one of these.

I didn't do a tute on this because I thought it would be simple enough to explain.  If not, please feel free to email or post questions below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Maja's Heirlooms Larkin - review

A member of our Threads of Love group just had a baby girl.  You can find the bishop here.  She is such a huge help to us, that I wanted to do something for her.  I chose to make matching dresses for the baby and her older sister. This is the Larkin by Maja's Heirlooms.  It was recommended to me by Kathy Dykstra.  It is a great dress for an older girl.

I found the smocking plate in issue 105, 2006 SB magazine.  There were a ton of beads in this pattern, and if I don't ever see another bead, it will be too soon!  LOL  My bullions still need a little practice, but they are getting better.

This is the back.

The sleeves are probably my favorite.  I love lace!!

See the review below for the modifications I made.  I struggled with the neckband and the back facings, so I did them the way I've always done them.  It's a great pattern, and I recommend it.

Pattern Description: Smocked dress for older girls who've outgrown traditional smocked dresses.

Pattern Sizing: 10, 12, 14, 16 (I made size 12) NOTE: the pattern runs small.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, mostly

Were the instructions easy to follow? Not as easy as I would have liked. I had some difficulty with the neckline and back facing which I address below.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is a great pattern for older girls. And it's beautiful one made.

Fabric Used: cotton batiste main fabric, cotton lining
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I chose to do a traditional neckband like I've always done on my bishop dresses. The pattern appears to fold the pleating over to the back. This really distorted the pleats. So the traditional neckband worked better for me. I simply cut the bias band to 2 1/2" to allow for the extra. She actually makes this adjustment in issue 105, 2006 SB magazine. I found it after the fact when searching for a smocking plate.

Speaking of smocking, I used the pattern in the same issue of SB designed specifically for this pattern. The tiny beads are seed beads I picked up online. They are smocked into the design rather than added later as is done quite often. I think they hold up better when smocked in. Bullions are embroidered at the bottom of the last row of smocking.

I used french lace on the sleeves using a machine technique to stitch lace to lace and lace to entredeux. I think the sleeves just needed a little something extra. The sleeves are also smocked with a tiny bullion added in the center of the design.

I didn't like the way the back facing was done. The pattern calls for folding the placket to the wrong side then stitching down the facing. I didn't like that edge showing. I chose to fold the placket to the right side, then put the facing down right side, then fold the lining placket on top of that, basically sandwiching the facing in between the placket and placket facing then flipping to the wrong side enclosing all the raw edges. Then to keep the facing in place, I ironed a small piece of heat bond in between the placket and facing.

And I put piping where the skirt front joins the bodice.  I just thought it needed something there too.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I think it's a great pattern with modifications.

Conclusion: This is a very sweet dress for older girls. It was relatively easy once I figured out some of the instructions.

This has been entered in the sewing for children contest on pattern review. 
I would love your vote.  See the badge to the right.  

Thanks for stopping by!  I am happy to answer any questions.  Just email me or post it below.


Friday, November 6, 2015

Baby Bishop

One of the ladies who helps me tremendously with our Threads of Love Ministry is expecting her second child.  I wanted to do something really nice for her, so I made her girls matching dresses.  This is the baby bishop.  I used Ellen McCarn's pattern and have for years.  It is my go to for bishops.  I used a smocking pattern I found in Sew Beautiful issue 105, 2006.  It is a pattern for Maja's Heirloom's Larkin pattern which is the dress I made for the older girl.  I'll have that one posted very soon as a review.

The pattern called for beading......lots of beading.  In fact, if I never see another bead it will be too soon. LOL  The smocking itself wasn't difficult except for the bullions.  I always struggle with those.  I also still struggle with pleating those seams. Grrr....

I added lace to the sleeves with entredeux.  It's been a very long time since I've done that!  But I found it's like riding a bike.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please feel free to ask questions or share comments.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jason Vorhees - Friday 13th Halloween Costume

Robbie wanted to be Jason Vorhees for Halloween, and this is what we came up with.  I used this video to paint his mask. (be sure to view parts 1 and 2)  The jacket came from Goodwill.  I removed the buttons and replaced them with black ones.  Then I ran over the jacket with my car making sure to turn the wheel repeatedly to really scuff it up on the ground.

That wasn't enough, so I used sandpaper and a foot file to weather it a bit more. It really doesn't show up as well in the photo though.  I used red paint for the blood on the machete that was bought from Spirit Halloween.  Total cost was less than $20.

He was happy with it, and that's all that matters.