Saturday, November 27, 2010

Third Christmas dress completed.

Using red velveteen, although it looks a little orangy in this photo, dress number 3 is completed.

I wasn't too sure how to apply the white fur strip so I just pushed aside the fur and using a 1/8 inch s/a stitched it down.  However, I think I might have to send a lint brush along with the dress because the fur is sticking to the velveteen just like dog or cat hair!

Ironically, this Santa inspired dress is sitting exactly on the 45th parallel which is half way to the North Pole.

The pattern used was M5964, size 1.  It was easy but because I didn't have a red zipper I made a placket in the back skirt and buttons on the bodice back.   Truth be known, even if I did have a zipper I might have still gone the button route because working with velveteen is tricky.  But making the placket sit flat was difficult given the bulk of the fabric.

The sun is low in the sky these days so getting a good shot is proving difficult.  Well, that and the fact that I'm still learning about light, angles and photography in general.  This photo gives a more accurate colour of the fabric.

Black bucket in background is the ash bucket and it's full!

Over 17 cm (6") of snow fell last night. The first snowfall of the season. Now I'm really in a Christmas sewing mood!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Second Christmas Dress completed.

This dress went together quickly.   It's a thin cotton so grandbaby will need to wear a warm turtle neck underneath and a pair of woolly stockings.

It's a size 12-18mos using the Bubble Dress pattern from Oliver + S.

I added mini piping around the neck, arm and waist area.  I think that detail makes it look even better.

For fun, I quickly whipped up a fabric poinsettia flower using dupioni to add a little colour.  The flower needs to be made from felt, which I have run out of.  I'll be going to town sometime next week and I'll pick up red and green felt then.  But at least I can get the idea of what a flower on the front will look like.  The centre of the flower is a small jingle bell.

Detachable red felt flower would be better.
Two dresses down, several more to go!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Christmas dress completed.

This is a pattern I've wanted to try out for a long time.  So this week, I found time and using this pattern made a Christmas dress for Catlin.

This plaid cotton has a thin thread of gold throughout giving it a little sparkle.  There is green in the plaid too, so I matched it with the green ribbon on the hem and cuff.  I didn't put piping on the waist though and I wished I had.
Next dress will definitely piping at the waist. And as I look at the photo again, I can see I need to touch it up with the iron.

Overall, the photo hasn't turned out well at all.  It's overcast here today, -2 oC and wind gusts of 40 km/h so getting this shot was difficult.

I found a Christmas bell that I thought Caitlin would like to wear with the dress.

One dress down and several more to go!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'd like to buy an Owl.

The smocked Owl jumper is finished. It went together quickly and while I didn't follow the rule "not suitable for obvious diagonals" it looks okay.
With the leftover fabric I made a toy Owl.  The pattern came from a wonderful blog called Hammer and Thread.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New project underway.

I'm working on a smocking project for Caitlin.  She likes Owls, and while I'm not that keen on picture smocking, Owls it is!  Her mom liked this design plate.
I cannot find small buttons in my stash for the eyes though.  I thought about glueing on googly eyes, but they might come off in the wash no matter what the glue instructions say.  Beads will have to do. Maybe sequins and a seed bead.

Photocopy the design plate in case the original gets lost ... like mine did!

My daughter doesn't like fabrics that have to be ironed.  So making smocked dresses has been a challenge. For example, I made Caitlin a lovely smocked dress using the Baby Carriages plate, on white Dimity which isn't exactly a discount fabric. Anyway, she washed it after one wearing but because she didn't iron it, it hung in the closet and now Caitlin has outgrown the dress.
I also have to factor in our cold winters so the fabric has to be warm but apparently toddlers shouldn't wear wool.
My daughter selected this brushed cotton (flannel) and while in my opinion it needs to be ironed, she might be able to wash, dry and hang it up right away with minimum wrinkles.

Why wasn't my daughter born with an iron in her hand like I was?

I think the colours of the Owls, branches and leaves will work well with the colour of the fabric.  And aside from a few finishing touches and the Owl eyes, it's almost complete.

Maybe 3 hours of work yet to go, plus 2 hours selecting the perfect eyes from the bead box.

In my children's pattern stash bucket I found this gem that I've been anxious to try out.  I plan to make it in the jumper style and of course minus a collar.
When discussing the style of dress with my daughter I suggested a jumper and she confessed she didn't know what a jumper was. Did I give birth to her?

It will need an off white turtle neck underneath.
Well maybe I'm just living in the past.  Jumpers. Smocked dresses. Irons.  Just the same, I'm enjoying sewing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back in the saddle again.

It's been ages since I've turned on my sewing machine. The past spring, summer and fall has been fantastic weatherwise and it was a wonderful opportunity to get some landscaping and outdoor improvements done.

However there are light flurries in the forecast for next week and darn it if Santa Claus isn't coming to town also next week.  Time to hunker down in front of the sewing machine and get the many outstanding projects under way.

First project is an Advent Calendar.  Since our Caitlin is lactose intolerant, her calendar needs to be filled with little toys in place of chocolates.

So my husband and I went off into the woods and found some branches to make a miniature tree.

Spring project: sprinkle grass seed in front of new deck.

And on the miniature tree branches, I've hung 24 little stockings all made from scraps of fabric to match my daughters interior; chocolate, deep gold, sage green and off white.

I used my embroidery machine to decorate some of the stockings but mostly used pieces of trim, ribbons and buttons to decorate.  As tempted as I was to buy some Christmas fabric, I showed great restraint using only fabrics from my stash.

A north wind was blowing off the lake making the stockings dance!

I filled each stocking with a little toy such as a wind up caterpillar, bug box, bubbles, spinning top,  small animals bath toys and more.

So the first project since the spring has been accomplished.  There are lots more to go and lots of fabric from the stash to get used up!