Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stitching break......

Just taking a hiatus from stitching to do some serious gardening. While walking in the woods behind our cottage looking for some interesting wildflowers to transplant, this is what I nearly stepped on!
It was just hours old and no larger than a football. Mom was nowhere in sight, as she was out foraging, so we were given the opportunity get a couple of good photos.

If anyone ever comes across a fawn that may appear to be an orphan, it's not! Deer use camouflage to hide their young while they look for food. Sometimes Does leave their young for hours at a time, returning for just a few minutes to nurse.
Another bonus is newborn fawns are scent free making them almost undetectable from predators. The natural predators are coyotes, wolves, and humans who think fawns are orphans and need to go to the Wildlife Crisis Centre!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shirring exercise

A shirred dress or top, seems to be fashionable right now. I've even seen shirred fabric, ready to cut to size and finish the side seams and hem. So, I figured there is no time like the present to try my hand at shirring.

There are great ideas as well as how to do shirring from a segment on Martha Stewart's tv show.
There are also tutorials on these terrific blogs found here and here.

For my dress, I cut 2 pieces 19" wide and 21" long. Caitlin's chest measurement is 18" in diameter, and since the fabric will shrink by half, plus there are 1/2" side seams, I'm figuring this will fit her perfectly. (I hope.)

I used some ribbon for the shoulder ties. I also found a little blue butterfly to stitch on the front.
Click on the image to make it larger to see the little butterfly.

The problem I encountered was that elastic in the bobbin would not stitch flat. So I used a special bobbin case that accepts thicker thread. It took me better part of the day to get it adjusted properly.

It's supposed to look like this.

So while this was an easy project, it was time consuming in terms of getting the bobbin tension correct. Actually, frustrating might be a better description.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More Itty Bitty Baby Dresses

A neighbour has asked me to make some outfits to donate to the Gift Shop of our local hospital.

The Itty Bitty Baby dresses are cute, fun and quick to make so I thought I'd whip up a bunch and gift them to my neighbour, who coincidentally, is a volunteer at the Gift Shop.

I think I made the solid pink contrast too long on this one.

These are all 4 to 5 Kilograms (9-11 lbs.) sizes. Download the pattern from here.
I plan to make a few more of these for the Hospital Gift Shop.

Iva Leigh et al.

I have 2 meters of this fabric in my stash and it's been calling to me for the past couple of days.

This pattern has been calling to me as well. It's Iva Leigh by Bonnie Blue.

So I used up some of the fabric making the pattern in 12 month size.

I piped the collar in a contrast blue to match the background of the main fabric. Then piped the yoke using contrast fabric from the collar. Therefore, there are two colours of piping. I think it looks okay but not 100% sure. The pattern was easy and quick to make.

However, there was quite a bit of fabric left over.

So I made this little bonnet. The pattern is Melissa, from Petite Poche using size 2. I piped the back opening using the colour from the collar on the dress. I just love this bonnet pattern.

But there was still lots of this vintage inspired, cats with hoola hoops fabric leftover.

I got an idea to make a little cat wearing a matching dress using this pattern. I have had this pattern in my stash for years and years. "One day I'll make it" I would say to myself each time I came across it. Well, today was the day of reckoning!

I used a soft brushed corduroy for the body of the cat and instead of using beads for the eyes, simply made french knots using black yarn. The tail is striped with corduroy and pink velour.

The instructions suggest to make a pleat in the front of the dress, but I smocked it instead. Since I had already made the dress, lining and all when the smocking brainwave hit me, I found some 'Knotts Dots' ironed them on, pleated by hand (how barbaric) and using pale blue perlé cotton, stitched a few rows on to the front. It's difficult to see from my photo.

Oh, and I love the Dudley Dooright chin on the cat!

Here's the ensemble; dress, bonnet and Cat.

As for the cat fabric, there's still about .4 of a meter left. (Sigh.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Updated Classic

In the Sept/Oct. 2003 issue of Sew Beautiful, I saw this project called "An Updated Classic" by Kris Curtis.
I particularly liked the high yoke version worn by the younger girl in the photo, the pattern being inspired by 1950's style dresses.

The cut out pages have been sitting in my stash bucket of 'to-do patterns' and today, became my 'to do' day for this project.

Actually, I cut it out and smocked it yesterday, but today was construction day. It turned out well and I found the pattern really easy to follow.
I managed to foul up the collar though, and I don't know what I did wrong. However, with a little unpicking and swearing to myself, I made it work.

I was not sure about the instructions for the smocking though. The designer said to base the smocking on multiples of 8 pleats to get the design centered between the points. I couldn't make that work. So if Kris Curtis ever reads this blog, maybe she could enlighten me because I simply couldn't figure it out. Just the same, I managed to make it reasonably balanced and centered.

Here's the front a little closer. I whipped some matching floss on the piping and added lace as well. Perhaps that's where I went wrong with the collar prior to the unpicking and swearing episode.

I added some embroidery flowers on the front, just as in the photo in the magazine.

Here are all the pages in the magazine article, minus the pattern that was also included.

Here's where I got confused with the multiples of 8 pleats instructions.

Here's another method to construct the front that allows the smocker to simply do the whole row omitting the multiples of 8 pleats counting.

It was this picture that grabbed my attention in the beginning. I just love the look of that little blue dress.

Here is my version again. Size 12 months.
Oh, and I put the remaining bit of lace that matches the collar on the double hem.Half of the peach fabric is used up, all of this style of lace, almost all of the white mini-piping, most of the peach thread and I finally got to make up this pattern.