Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another one bites the dust.

I started this picture smocking project sometime around 2002 or 2003. I got the design plate from an issue of Sew Beautiful that I cannot find in my messy sewing room at the moment.

When I completed this front panel, I put on some bias binding but did an awful job. I tossed it into the UFO box, probably planning to re-visit the project and get the binding on correctly.

Well, yesterday I did re-visit it and after unpicking and re-stitching several times, in the end it was still an awful job!

I put the dress together in spite of the puckering and crunched pleats.

Oh what the heck. When grandbaby wears it, I doubt those around her will notice. It's 12 month size.

I found some pretty little daffodil buttons. Unfortunately, I couldn't find thread to match the dress exactly. I figured I had made enough errors, I might just stay on the same track.

I liked smocking this design plate. I just love daffodils. They are just about the only plant around here that the deer won't eat.

The UFO box is getting empty!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Return from the drawing board

I went back to the drawing board for my Muskoka Tea Cozy, altered the pattern and came up with 3 different sizes.
What I did was slightly round the bottom edge, so when the cozy went on to the tea pot, it would flare out and not in.

These are the 3 sizes of tea pots I use, and probably the same size most people use.

Then I went back to my stash looking for fabric that typifies the area I call home. Home is in the woods, 'cottage county' as it's known.

This one fits the medium size tea pot that hold about 3 cups of tea.

This one fits the largest size that holds about 6 cups of tea.

I used a shirt for this one. The rest of the shirt got used for a jacket for the dog. This was leftover and fits the largest size tea pot.

But there was a little bit of the plaid flannel left over, so I made a cozy for the small tea pot that holds 1 cup.
Then I got carried away and made a little felt pendant for a small tea cozy.

Then I got an idea to put a little pocket on a tea cozy that would hold several tea bag sachets making the tea cozy a fun gift to give someone.

So now I'm going to churn out a whole bunch of these tea cozies, set up a stand at the local farmers market and sell them. I can feel a major dint in my stash about to occur!

The hardest part about these tea cozies was finding a small and straight piece of birch to act as a handle.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Surprise for Sarah

Despite having just about every sewing tool, several sewing machines and a huge stash, neither of my daughters have ever been interested in sewing.

So it was music to my ears when my eldest whom, after several years of wedded bliss, asked me to show her how to smock. (I just knew a grandbaby might be forthcoming.)

I pleated up some cheap poly/cotton and she selected the smocking plate 'Amanda' by Little Stitches and away she went!

Unfortunately, she never finished the project and it ended up in my UFO box where it's been parked for the last 2 years.

I dug it out yesterday and finished the dress for her. Thank goodness I did because her baby is almost a year old and this dress is 6 months size. I stretched and blocked the front as best as I could and took only 1/4 inch seam allowances hoping to make this dress somewhat larger.

Here's her first attempt at smocking. I think she did a good job, especially with the bullions as they can be quite intimidating.

I touched up her smocking with some green leaves.

I made sure there was a big sash bow on the back just like I used to put on her smocked dresses. (The wind is blowing the collar upwards. And yes that's snow in the background that just won't melt.)

So I think Sarah will be surprised to see her first attempt at smocking finished and looking so pretty.

And I'll be surprised if it fits grandbaby!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Another UFO finished

Perhaps is was sometime in 2004 I cut out, pleated and smocked this little dress called Frannie, and left it in the UFO box to be constructed.

Today was the day for construction. Surprisingly, it went together rather quickly. Why did I wait so long?

I found the instructions rather difficult to follow. Maybe it's because I have my own way of constructing a dress like this and I would have worded it differently had I written the instructions. At any rate, I figured it out.

Here it is under different lighting.
It's a size 6 months, but I'm sure it will fit Caitlin who is almost a year old. If it does fit her, I'll make some little bloomers to match. I have just enough fabric left over to do that.
I didn't put the pocket on. It seemed to large for the scale of dress. It's cut out and ready to go if Caitlin's mom wants the pocket put on though.

I really like this fabric. There is something about a small print that is appealing to me.

I made my own piping from leftover pink broadcloth and it matched the little flowers and floss perfectly. In my stash of buttons I had only 2 that matched each other as well as the fabric. What are the odds of that?

Close up of smocking and piping. Good match, eh?

Busted: 2 buttons, some broadcloth, some yarn that I've been using for piping cording, and 1 more item in the UFO box.

There's still a long way to go.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

UFO Finished

There was an almost finished size 2 smocked dress project sitting in the UFO box. All it needed was a few more rows completed and then put the dress together.

It is made from a lovely Voile that I bought years and years ago.

I began this project pictured on the front cover of AS&E called Ming Blue back in 2003.
Therefore, the dress was cut out, pleated and partly smocked 7 years ago!
Well, since there's no time like the present, plus I'm trying to bust not only my stash but UFO's as well, I decided to finish the dress.

This project turned out to be a time consuming and frustrating task!

First of all, there wasn't enough fabric for the front button band. So I had to make a join which is obvious. But I'm hoping Caitlin will be too busy whirling and twirling, that no one will notice the seam.

Then I couldn't find either a pink, green or yellow fabric suitable to make piping. So I resorted to using yellow ric-rac which ended up being too heavy on the Voile and made it pucker on the front button band.

The smocking stitches weren't particularly good either. I must have been an awful rush when I smocked it originally.

But the worst part was I just couldn't find buttons that matched. While I probably have a trillion buttons in my stash, okay, maybe not a trillion but it sure seems that way, there weren't 6 matching buttons in pink, green or yellow. I went to a few fabric shops seeking out buttons to no avail.

Then I came across this self covered button kit buried deep in a box of snaps, hooks and eyes.

And originally, they were only 39¢. What a bargain.

Well, I got the dress finished. Although I wasted a lot of time trying to get it done.

The tally now is 1 UFO finished. 1 card of yellow ric-rac busted. 1 card of self-covering buttons busted. This doesn't seem like much at all!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Easter Bonnet

Last month I made Caitlin an Easter Coat from a wonderful wool called Doctors Flannel. The coat fits Caitlin perfectly, however it needs a bonnet.

I've made the large scalloped brim bonnet from this pattern before, so I decided to make the view that has the little tulip on the side, minus the tulip.

I had just enough of the Doctors Flannel leftover for the outside of the bonnet. I made size large.

For the last two nights of the Olympics, I sat in front of the TV and stitched the same bunny and flowers on the bonnet that I put on the coat.

It's difficult to photograph a bonnet, so I stuck it on a fence post and it seemed to work well.
Then I dropped my camera in the snow and the lens got covered in ice.

So I moved indoors and the pepper mill became the bonnet stand. I wish the brim was larger like the scalloped one is.

Thankfully, my lens thawed so these photos came out clear. I stitched the back during the final men's hockey game.

And thankfully, Canada won. WOOT!

And thankfully all the Doctors Flannel (in this shade) in my stash is busted!

O+S Tea Party Dress

I'm loving patterns by this company & designer. The patterns I've done thus far are easy, instructions are clear and are size accurate.

When my children were little and I made them clothes, it was always hit and miss if an item would fit properly when finished, despite frequent fittings.
Too bad this pattern company wasn't around then!

I love the bell shape of this dress and the curve of the bodice.

I made it in a size 18-24 months. The only thing that was time consuming was making the piping. That's not news.

I serged all of the inside seams and the bell shape stayed in tact. The stitch length on the serger was set at 2.

Because the fabric pattern was busy, I didn't top stitch on the skirt part, just the bodice.

I love the hem facing. When I sewed for my children back in the dark ages, hem facings were unheard of. Well, at least I never heard of them.

Next time around with this pattern, I won't select a fabric that needs to be lined up. You'd think after making a zillion outfits over the years, it would have occurred to me that a fabric with obvious diagonals/design/checks/plaid needs to be lined up. Apparently, that whole rule eluded me until I started to cut it out and realized things were askew! The bell shape of the dress didn't help either, but I think is looks okay.

I have some beige linen in my stash that I would like to use the next time I make this dress. Maybe put some redwork stitching on the skirt part, red piping and red top stitching.