1st Birthday Dress

birthday dress

Made 11 years ago,this first birthday dress was for now 12 yo granddaughter Laurel. Of course,  I still love sewing for her.

It’s birthday time for our older granddaughter, Laurel, so I’ve been spending some time reminiscing about her birth and infancy.  So here is a re-run of a post about her first birthday dress.

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Laurel was our first grandchild, and a girl at that.  Our son had been married for 9 years and our daughter was still a single career gal. After nearly 15 years of Granny Lust, mitigated only by gathering fabric, patterns and trims for my Grandmother’s Really Hopeful Chest, I was ready to sew as a genuine Nana.

That first year went by so quickly! Smocked daygowns and bonnets, embroidered diaper shirts and onesies, monogrammed bibs and baby Gator duds flew out of my sewing room.  It seems that for almost 12 months, I did nothing but sew and snuggle that baby.

 

birthday dress cf

center front embroidery

 

As her first year drew to a close,  I did manage to pull myself away from the enchanting child long enough to make her first birthday dress. Of course, it was made with my finest Swiss batiste, carved pearl buttons, treasured Maline lace and other hoarded trims.

The dress was made from a simple A-line pattern– which one I cannot recall. Perhaps it was from one of Nancy Coburn’s books or patterns from Gingersnap Designs. She usually offers a sloper with suggestions for adding lace insertion, tucks, etc., turning the home sewer into a designer. I love her books, patterns and all of Nancy’s things.

 

tucks

 

Five 1/4″ tucks were added to the shoulders, to give the dress some added fullness.  The tucks were pin stitched in place, which was to be expected, given my penchant for hemstitching wherever and whenever possible. The lace insertions, too, were all secured with pinstitched.

 

hem center

 

The embroidery designs were taken from two of Martha Pullen’s collections, Little Pleasures and Bullion Roses, edited, recombined and rearranged.

 

sleeve

 

The puff sleeves are inserted with entredeux.  Lace insertion is placed horizontally and pinstitched in place, just below the tiny embroidery design.   Fancy entredeux is used for beading for the 1/8″ pink satin ribbon.

 

back buttons

 

 

The arrangement of the 4-hole buttons and the embroidery between the buttonholes pleased me especially. I liked the way the carved pearl  buttons become a part of the overall design, rather than just a utility closure.

 

back hem

 

Hand stitched French knots were worked in the holes of the buttons, as well as nestled in the machine embroidered flowers. My wise friend Suzanne Sawko always says that a little handwork in the midst of machine embroidery elevates the entire project. I have to agree.

 

slip

 

The little slip is simple, buttoning at the shoulder and echoing the scalloped hem and embroidery designs on the dress.

As I look at this tiny dress and compare it to Laurel’s strong, 6 year old body (12 years old now!!!!), I am reminded again at just how fast the time passes.

 

Whispering Daydreams–New Fabric!

Violette Bleues pattern by Petite Poche. Whispering Daydreams ultra-lawn fabric from Spoonflower.

 

I love fabric, you love fabric, we all love fabric.  But with experience we become more selective about what we choose to sew.  Of course, everyone appreciates the beauty of Swiss batiste, linen, silk, Liberty of London tana lawn, Swiss pique’ and more.  Most sewists praise Michael Miller, Tula Pink and easy care Imperial.  But now I have a new love.

Even though I’ve been on a fabric starvation diet, Nancy Lee Moran’s hand drawn fairytale toile, Whispering Daydreams,  had me from hello. I can hear it whisper…”shhh… Pippi Longstocking’s gone heirloom!”

Seeing that scrappy, pigtailed girl and her fantasy companions portrayed so delicately just delighted me.  The print is pure innocence and set me to daydreaming.  Teamed up with the tiny, fancy dot, also available from Spoonflower,  garments for 3 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose danced like visions of sugarplums in my head.

Available in lavender or blue, in three sizes, and in an array of fabric choices, the smallest blue Whispering Daydreams‘ ultra-lawn was my choice. CORRECTION:  The MINIATURE size (2″ figures) was  used.  Of course, I couldn’t wait to lay hands on it.  When I opened the package, I was not disappointed.  It truly is a fine lawn.

I’ve always been curious about fabric and its designers.  Have you read the story behind Michael Miller?  Sarah Jane? After getting acquainted with them, I have wanted to explore the origin and designers whose fabrics call to me.

Reading up on Nancy Lee Moran, this fabric, and looking at her Pinterest page, I discovered that she had collaborated with b.b. flockings.  Whispering Daydreams includes some of b.b.’s dolls and drawings from her stories.  Step into another world by visiting b.b.’s blog.  So interesting!

I hadn’t decided on a pattern before ordering yardage.  Finally, I chose the Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen) Violettes Bleues pattern, which pushed me off my no-more-patterns wagon.  (I have been  riding –and falling off–several wagons lately.)

whispering bodice plumbago xx

Bodice with puffing is just one front piece, with gathers held in place by bias.

 

What a sweet and easy pattern this is.  For the dress, there are only 3 pattern pieces–front, back and sleeves.  There are no buttons or buttonholes.  I love the Madeira hem, but for a more casual look, that is not necessary.

My only complaint is that it does not go beyond size 3.   Vivian wears a 3 now so I won’t be able to use this when she sizes up.

 

violettes_blue sizes

 

It’s hard to see in the photo, but the background of the dot fabric includes very, very subtle gray squiggles.  They add a nice bit of texture to the pattern.  After cutting the Madeira hem, there was not enough left for the Violettes Bleues bloomers.  Children’s Corner Jackson has a nice little pair of bloomers which I like and have used before.

CC Jackson

 

It requires much less fabric, so I went with that.

 

CC Jackson pattern was used for the bloomers. Bias binding finished the legs.

CC Jackson pattern was used for the bloomers. Bias binding finished the legs.

 

It took a long time to select the fabric for the bias binding and trim above the Madeira hem.  At least 12 blues in my stash were rejected, so I made a trip to the fabric store to buy this blue.  I experienced significant guilt for being so fussy and again falling off the no-more-fabric wagon, but Whispering Daydreams deserved the right trim.  Oh well.

The original plan was to pinstitch the Madeira hem using the same dark blue thread as the binding.  You know how I love pinstitch! But even that strong blue did not offer enough contrast between the two light-background prints.  Spaghetti bias, made with my Fast Turn tubes and helpful Tiger Eye  was used to outline the scallops.

 

Madeira hem accented with spaghetti bias

Madeira hem accented with spaghetti bias

 

Having used spaghetti bias to echo the scallops on Vivi’s Christmas dress  (scroll down the post to see  scallops), I decided to use that technique on this dress.   I learned all about spaghetti bias and applying it with temporary glue in a great class with Kari Mecca.

 

Easy bias ties close the back.

Easy bias ties close the back.

I think Vivi will like this dress.  She is a big fan of easy on-easy off.  Her mother will appreciate the quick ties at the back rather than buttons.  All  the blues in the print will compliment her big blue eyes.

 

V face on CR

 

So my recommendation is to check out Whispering Daydreams and Violette Bleues pattern.

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Readers’ Easter Sewing

Big announcement coming in the next few days!

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Annette Poole

 

Ahhh…Easter dresses!  Thanks to Annette Poole for this photo of two adorable girls in their finery.  The checked dress is silk dupioni cut from Sew Beautiful’s  Pascale pattern, size 3.   I made a Pascale  Christmas dress for granddaughter Laurel Cade when she was 9.   That is one of my favorite patterns because it is so versatile.   As a matter of fact, Maggie Bunch has a post on her blog dedicated to the versatility of Pascale.  Check Maggie’s blog for variations and insight into Laura Jenkins Thompson’s excellent pattern.

There is something so sweet about checked silk dupioni.  I think it’s a charming combination of the elegance of silk with the innocence and playfulness of gingham.  With the smocking and excellent construction Annette has made  a special  heirloom. I love it.

The older dimpled darling wears a smocked dress of floral cotton  The pattern is Flora from Perfect Party Dresses, size 10.  The lavender smocking coordinates so sweetly with the little girl’s dress.  This is a great look for an older girl.  She certainly looks happy with it.

That’s a lot of beautiful smocking and sewing, Annette.  The dresses and  the children are beautiful.  Thanks for sharing.

Shirley Boyken sent a photo of this cute little purse.  I know of at least one preschooler who would love this. It will be added to my to-do list.

 

Jelly Clip purse2

 

Here’s what Shirley had to say about it.

You asked for Easter sewing pictures….I don’t think this exactly qualifies, but nevertheless I did finish it just last week and thought you might enjoy knowing about these cute little purse handles. And who of us girls can’t use another purse?? The handles come in a variety of neat colors and also come in 3 sizes. They are called Jelly Clips and perhaps you have seen them. One of the little girls that I sew for, had a birthday last week so I made her this little purse using the medium sized clip. Basically you sew a little pouch, complete with lining and then you glue it into the purse frame. It was pretty easy though I agonized over the glue part but it turned out to be a quick fun project. 
Shirley also sent pictures of two other gorgeous projects.
HY dress4
Shirley said:
Last weekend Hope Yoder was here in Mesa doing an event and it was fun for me to share with her a little dress that I made from one of her articles in Sew Beautiful from 2009. it’s the little dress that is an embellished blank and I just love that little dress. am sending a picture that I’m sure will jog your memory. I apologize for not pressing it first…..it doesn’t look nearly as wrinkled in real life as it does in the picture….ugh!
Church Hardanger1
 
I stitched feverishly on a Hardanger project that I plan to give to the church that we attend in MN so that took up all my precious needlework-sewing time these last few months. I’m also finishing up another Hardanger project so when that is done…..it’s time for some smocking. I’ve been wanting to do one of Gail Doane’s little dresses……the black bishop with matching jacket so that’s next on the list. 
Shirley is one productive stitcher!
I was hoping more Easter projects would be sent in, but these are great shares.  Reader project photos are welcome any time.  We all love to see what other stitchers are creating.  So please send some pictures!
I’ve got some pretty exciting things going on here.  Big announcement coming soon.

Star Wars Party Favors

 

black tp front

The black and white bags were made from scraps, left over from this super hero cape.

 

Sometimes you can learn something that seems rather inconsequential at the time but, in fact, it turns out to be a pretty big deal.  That’s how Mary Lou Nall’s “inconsequential” teepee bag project became one of the most useful  sewing tidbits I have ever picked up.   I still have the bag I made in that class more than 30 years ago!

 

This grubby bag lives in my pleater box and holds my pleating supplies--screw driver, extra needles, small scissors, marking pen, etc. I guess I should wash it.

This grubby bag lives in my pleater box and holds my pleating supplies–screw driver, extra needles, small scissors, marking pen,needle threader, etc. Apparently, it’s long overdue for laundering.  I guess I should wash it.

 

I’ve raved about this before, but I’m compelled to it up again, since I’ve just made 38 more as party favors for grandson Alastair’s 7th birthday.

 

38 Star Wars bags for party favors

38 Star Wars bags for party favors.  Zipper and ribbon color is varied which makes it a little easier for children to identify their own personal bag.

 

Sometimes I wonder just how many I have made in these 30 years, but the number must be in the hundreds.

All 38 bags were made from scraps, leftover from other Star Wars projects.  I keep a hefty supply of ribbon and zippers on hand in all colors and sizes so I have all the supplies at the ready.  And that’s a good thing, since Rebecca and I decided Thurs. afternoon that these would be good for Saturday’s party.

 

star wars tp blue front

Scraps from a Star Wars pillow and lampshade were used for the blue bags.

 

The children loved them.  Of course, they were filled with some treats, but the bags were kept close even as the kids climbed on the playground equipment.

jungle bars bagXX

Even on top of the bars, this youngster clutched his bag.

 

No child wanted to put his down.

 

climber bagXX2

holding tight to his Star Wars teepee bag

 

A big time was had by all.  90 cupcakes and drinks were just what Alastair and his guests needed after their vigorous workouts on the playground.

 

Alastair's red face matches his red shirt.

Alastair’s red face matches his red shirt.  Choosing just the right cupcake was a serious decision–which color frosting, which color m&m, which had the most frosting, etc.  My sweet, thoughtful Rebecca, Alastair’s mama, even made a gluten–free cake so one child could join in the celebration.

 

Vivian Rose saw the cake simply as a carrier for the frosting.

 

V eats frosting XX

 

The teepee bag pattern is so versatile.  Enlarged, it was a children’s sewing class project that introduced junior sewists to quilting with a small project.

 

A 10 x 20 " piece strip quilted made this bag.

A 10 x 20 ” piece strip quilted made this bag.

 

At a market, Lezette (need I say Thomason?) had these little bunny pincushions made of Liberty scraps.  The design is the same, but the pincushion is stitched closed instead of zippered.

bunny pincushion

 

Once, at a sewing store where I was teaching, a small Christmas tree was on the counter with itty bitty tp bags hanging from it.  When machine feet were purchased, usually by a husband for his wife, the foot was put into the bag as a wrapping and then hung on the tree at home.

When attending a sewing machine class, I pack the small supplies such as feet, fray block, snips, threads and other notions  in  this bag.

 

sewing tpxx

 

It takes about 10 minutes to make a plain bag.

Check out this simple pattern and whip up a handy little bag.  If you’ve ever made one, I’d like to hear about it or see a picture.

 

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For the Boys

He asked that his face not be included. That's a shame because he is so handsome. But I respect his privacy.

Grandson Robert, 10 yo, embroidered this fleece poncho on my Brother Dream Machine.

 

Shops, internet and sewing groups inundate us with beautiful and adorable projects for our girls.  Items for the boys appear far less frequently. Yet we want to shower them with the same love stitched into items made for our girls.

My friend Judy Day faithfully and thoughtfully includes something for her grandson in packages she sends with garments for her granddaughter. See one example in her Even Steven post.

When our delightful 10 yo grandson Robert spent the night recently, he spent a lot of time cuddled up on the couch, wrapped in a fleece throw.  March Madness was well underway, watched intently by Robert and his Granddad.

As Robert trekked into the kitchen for a drink refill, with his blanket dragging the floor and slipping off his shoulders,  Sonia Showalter’s poncho   came to mind.  That’s just what Robert needed!

He agreed it was a great idea and wanted to help.  The technology of my Dream Machine fascinates him and he always asks a lot of questions about its capabilities.  In my experience, kids love sewing machines.  Robert chose a dragon from the built-in designs.

 

R dream dragon

 

The throw was purchased on clearance somewhere a while ago.  I didn’t measure it, but size is not a big issue with this sort of garment.

When asked if he wanted to take his poncho home or leave it here, he said he would take it home and bring it with him when he visits us.  Maybe we’ll make a second one to keep here.

Robert is a big sports fan and  had attended a Stetson University baseball game with Granddad the night before.  It occurred to me that with a team logo or even a sports design, this would be a great accessory for cool weather sporting events.

Sonia’s machine embroidered poncho pattern pattern is also available in adult size.  My daughter and daughter-in-love might each enjoy one of these for cool days at the boys’ soccer and flag football games.

I was so glad to find a project that Robert liked, that Robert will use, and that Robert made mostly by himself.  And I was glad to have him all to myself for a while.

What projects have you made for your boys?

Penny for Vivi

Penny by Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen), size 3, is ready to be shipped to granddaughter Vivian.

Penny by Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen), size 3, is ready to be shipped to granddaughter Vivian.

 

This little summer dress is finally finished.  It’s progress was interrupted by a variety of issues, all outside the sewing room, but now  Penny  has been removed from my UFO list.

 

bodice back

 

I have always loved this pattern and finally got around to making it.

 

nNBst-CloKs-pdtFX-WSPennyI always favor projects with Madeira applique’ and to my eye the best feature is the bodice back.  But I doubt I could convince 3 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose to walk backwards to show it to best advantage.  Then again, she is usually on the run, so I guess the front and back have equal opportunity to be viewed.

 

bodice front

embroidery is from Custom Keepsakes

 

Liberty of London tana lawn was used for the Madeira borders which look so crisp against white Swiss pique’.  Whipstitch piping makes a nice trim with this print.  Actually, whipstitch piping is a nice trim for almost anything.  I love this stuff.

 

Madeira hem 2

 

I know my daughter will love this dress for her little daughter.  But will Vivi like it?  Her personal fashion statements are heavily influenced by My Little Kitty.

 

V rocking

This is how she rolls. Can’t you almost hear the music?

 

Easter Dress: Disaster Averted

Easter dress for 3 yo Vivian Rose

Easter dress for 3 yo Vivian Rose.  The pattern is Children’s Corner Betsey.

Okay, I’m done whining about missing out on Easter with the grandchildren this year.  As I mentioned (or wailed) in the previous post, this year’s Resurrection Day garments remain undelivered.  And no, that is not the disaster to which I refer in this post title.  There is no recovering that missed celebration. But the Easter dress suffered a real near disaster which I dodged, more or less.

 

27" wide with 10" embroidery

27″ wide with 10″ embroidery

 

First, the details of this dress.  The gorgeous fabric, a 27″ Swiss embroidered flounce purchased from Farmhouse Fabrics, has languished in my sewing room armoire for many years.  It was meant to be used for granddaughter Laurel, who was too small at the time to use this length.  The embroidery extends 10 inches from the hemline.  Then, like so many other projects, it was pushed down on the “make soon” list.

Now with 3 yo Vivian Rose in the family, this beautiful fabric’s day in the sun has come.  Though it was a late start, the smocking was well under way before disaster struck.

Thinking to use my time wisely, 3 days before Easter. I brought the dress along to the hairdresser’s and did some smocking while my…uh…color enhancement set.   BIG MISTAKE!!!

 

stain

ugly stain

 

Janice Ferguson’s custom color #1234 was smeared on the dress.

Scan-3

 

Of course, the purpose of hair color is to be permanent.  And believe me, on Swiss cotton it is.

But I came up with a fix of sorts.  Due to the elaborate border embroidery, the dress was cut with no side seams to match, leaving only the center back open.  Since there is a lot of leeway in the fullness of a bishop, I had added a few extra inches to each  side of the back for ease in matching the borders at the center back seam.

The stain was 8″ from the back edge.  The offensive custom color #1234 was cut away and the two backs stitched together, the seam trimmed and rolled and whipped .   Just a few painfully tedious hours later, the pleating threads had been retied and the back seam was moved to the left of center.  But I was able to match the border nearly perfectly.  I hope that match and the fullness of the garment distracts from the jerry-rigged solution.

 

Would you notice this on a galloping horse?

Would you notice this on a galloping horse?

 

The buttonholes were made on my Brother Dream machine on the embroidery side, in the hoop.  I love the ease and accuracy of hooped embroidery for buttonholes.

Overall, I am pleased with the dress.  My initial vision was for the smocking to be a simple diamond pattern in white with blue flowerettes adding a bit of color.  I soon realized that the smocking could mimic, if not duplicate, the Swiss embroidery and went with that.

 

sleeve smocking xxx-001

 

It was fun to make up the pattern as I went.  Well, it was fun until the stain disaster.  But good times resumed after the remedy.

Of course, big brother Alastair had to have a matching bow tie.  I have used this great on-line tutorial for several ties for him.  They are quick to make and comfortable to wear.

 

bow tie 1-001

 

And, once again my excessive fabric stash had just what I needed.  This linen is a near perfect match to the blue flowerettes in the Swiss embroidery.

The linen has an interesting history.  Long time readers might recall an earlier post about a genuine, certifiable fabric hoarder.  You have to scroll down through several feet of text and pictures to get the story I want to share  (“LACE”) but it is a fascinating account of one lady’s obsession.  A little research  into her family background would probably turn up a genetic link to me.

This is how she labelled every fabric.

This is a handsewn label.

This is a handsewn label.

 

No doubt there will be other upcoming occasions for these Easter garments to be worn.  In fact, on a recent family cruise, 7 yo Alastair wore his Christmas bow tie at dinner.  Isn’t he a dapper little fellow?

 

A dines cruise

 

No reader Easter outfits photos have yet shown up in my in-box.  Please share!  Send to NCcabin@aol.com.

Not the Easter Outfits I Planned

I hope the egg dye on Alastair's fingers had dried before he laid hands on Vivian Rose.

I hope the egg dye on Alastair’s fingers had dried before he laid hands on Vivian Rose.

 

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter.  It’s not all about the clothes, I know, but for most of you readers and for this Nana, it is SOME about the clothes.

Robert Burns described my Easter ’16 when he wrote,”The best laid schemes of mice and men (read “Nanas”) gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain…”

That is not to say that my guy and I did not experience the sacred joy and meaning of Easter.  So I can’t say that I experienced “nought but grief an’ pain,”  but there were some regrets.

We had planned to join our daughter, Rebecca, and her family to celebrate Easter Suday with her in-laws, who are dear friends, across the state.  But a monkey wrench was thrown into our plans Saturday–the very day I finished Easter duds for 3 yo Vivian Rose and 7 yo Alastair–the very outfits I was to deliver Easter morning to them.  (Yes, I cut it close.  I always do.)

So Rebecca scrounged through Vivi’s wardrobe and pulled out this old bishop, which has been around the block about as many times as the mailman.  Still, it is presentable if not new.

BroBishall1

The ME designs are yours for the asking. Just leave your request in the comment section.

 

Alastair had no matching bow tie so he attended the early morning egg hunt at the family friends’ waterfront home in a nice golf shirt.

 

Vivian is pleased with her clutch of eggs.

Vivian is pleased with her clutch of eggs.

 

Like last year, it was a grand affair, with lots of children.   When I saw photos of the children dyeing eggs, with Vivi not wearing this year’s dress, some of that regret was washed away.  Her actual dress for Easter ’16 is a smocked bishop made with a 27″ wide, beautifully embroidered Swiss batiste piece.  This might have been the last hurrah for that old bishop she wore, though no egg dye shows up in these pictures.

 

 

V paints

 

Later, they were off to their paternal grandmother’s house, where they hunted more eggs and worked up an appetite.

 

V A front

 

Oma and Opa are great cooks and had prepared a fabulous dinner for their large family–minus Bob and me.  Boo hoo!  We always have such a good time with them.

 

C A dinner

 

After two beautiful Easter celebrations the children and their parents headed home.

Apparently, that gap-toothed boy was not drinking milk.

Apparently, that gap-toothed boy was not drinking milk.

 

So what if the children were not dressed as I had planned?  Vivian looked a lot nicer and a lot happier than she did wearing last year’s disastrous creation.

 

VR dress crying CR

 

My next post will include photos of the outfits I thought they would be wearing.

So what about your Easter sewing?  Please share what you have made.  E-mail photos to NCcabin@aol.com.  I’d love to see them.

Rheeta’s Sweat Shop ’16

Rheeta

This is last year’s photo of Aunt Rheeta sewing on my beloved Brother Quattro. She is loving this year’s upgrade to The Dream Machine.

 

She was at it again.  My dear Aunt Rheeta arrived from frigid Indiana for a 2-week vacation in the warmth and sun of central Florida.  Unfortunately, she landed on a cold, rainy day and the weather hardly improved for the first week.  She  wore a polar fleece pullover every day so I did not take a picture of her at the sewing machine.  I’m pretty sure the Florida Bureau of Tourism blocks such photos from the internet.

We were so, sew busy!  After she expressed interest in touring historic DeBary Hall,  I said I would love to take her.  Then she decided that she would rather keep on sewing!  That’s my kinda gal!  Sew, we did!  In fact, we were so busy  that we didn’t take time for a current photo of her at my new Dream Machine which she loved immediately.

Aunt Rheeta arrived with her suitcase tightly packed with projects for us to work on. At the top of her priority list were a few graduation gifts for her granddaughter, a rising freshman at Texas A&M.

ATM

We didn’t worry about the wrinkles because the fleece was soon to be tightly packed in Rheeta’s suitcase. Time for a dryer tumble later.

Adriana will use this polar fleece throw at football games.  Rheeta made an identical fleece for Alexa, Adriana’s  older sister, a rising junior also at Texas A&M. That stadium blanket has seen 2 years of heavy wear. It’s likely this one will be just as useful.

Then Rheeta embroidered dishtowels.  As Adriana will be sharing an apartment with hometown friends, these instructive kitchen linens will be  loving reminders from her grandmother. Each of these dishtowel designs are from OESD’s  Hand Lettered Sayings  collection.

 

Adriana could learn to cook and eat few of the staples of a college student's diet.

The suggestion is that it’s possible for Adriana to learn to cook, improving the standard college student menu. And she will surely achieve some things that seem impossible.  That’s what her Meemaw is telling her.

 

“Dream big” is always good advice to a young lady at the start of her college career.

 

Dream Big no pbj

 

And finally, a reminder that Adriana’s  sister is nearby in the same apartment complex.  They always have one another.

 

SisterXXX

A matching set of dishtowels were made for Alexa’s apartment.  Rheeta and I agree that dishtowels make a great gift anytime.

This was just the start.  Other embroidery projects include a batch of 9 stocking she had offered to embroider with family names for a friend.  A dear friend.  A friend who is just getting into sewing and is preparing for next Christmas when a large family gathering will be held at her home.  These were beautifully constructed.  This is a gal who plans ahead!  She did such a good job that I expect she will make many more lovely things.

It always touches me when a more experienced sewist lends a hand to a younger one.  I won’t disclose Aunt Rheeta’s age, but she has lived through more than 8 decades.  She has a LOT of wisdom.  And she has offered encouragement and shared her sewing skills with a novice.

Embroidering the names on the circular cuffs was made easier by the technique I discovered when I was personalizing ready-made stockings before last Christmas.  Here are just a few of Katie’s stockings.

 

for the family dog

for the family dog

 

Pai MaeXX

 

Then Rheeta embroidered a cosmetic bag, 3 dishtowels for her own kitchen and one for a friend who was dog sitting Rheeta’s beloved apricot poodle, Molly.  The towels are also from All About Blanks.

 

This cute design is from Embroidery Library.

This cute design is from Embroidery Library.

instant humanXXX

For sorority granddaughter Alexa, she embroidered a Greek lettered koozie.

 

great burlap koozie from All About Blanks

great burlap koozie from All About Blanks

 

Finally, the day before she flew home, two rocking chair cushions recovered.

 

Rheeta's rocker before it's new look.

Rheeta’s rocker before it’s new look.

 

The chair after it's new cover.

The chair after it’s new cover.

 

I’m just finishing up Vivian Rose’s Easter dress.  How close can I cut it and still finish in time?  This is risky.

Are you all finished with Easter sewing?

Free Bunny Trio ME Design

free bunnies design

construction, embroidery and other details of this dress are posted here

 

As we all know, bunnies are very popular motifs for Easter.     I like this design because it is extends seamlessly into spring and summer without screaming Easter.  Once again, it is being offered as a free design for you busy readers who might not have asked for it when it was first posted.  The directions have been revised and enhanced, I hope.  So if you already have the bunny trio, feel free to ask for the new and improved version.

 

3 bunnies BR

The bunnies are composed of two machine made yo-yo’s, applique’d ears and a pom pom tail.  If you would like this sent to you, leave your request as a comment below.  It will show me your e-mail address, but will not be made public.

I’m busy, busy, busy with Easter sewing and expect that many of you are as well.    It’s not too late to stitch this out before March 27 on a little garment.

Let me know what you are sewing for Easter.  I’m getting started very late this year.

f4518a739b7454b3f8a72d9669374273Sure,  that’s me, wearing my pearls as I sew.  Yeah.  Umhmmmmm…But it’s true there’s not much cooking or cleaning going on around here.