ABC Preschool Shorts Set

Children's Corner Charlotte pattern

Children’s Corner Charlotte pattern


This swing top and shorts set was made for 3 yo Vivian Rose’s back to school wardrobe.  The pattern is Children’s Corner Charlotte and I love it!

CC charlotte


It is such a versatile pattern.  A cute print could carry the day or a solid fabric with machine embroidery would be just as sweet.

The crayon/ ABC print is a luxurious cotton twill lined with yellow gingham.  That same gingham  is also used on the shoulder ruffles and spaghetti bias on  the shorts.  Piping was added around the armscyes.



The crayon embroidery design can be found at Embroidery Library.


The shorts are embroidered with crayons from Embroidery Library.  Spaghetti bias is stitched over the machine hem.  The bow is held in place by a small square red button, which seems to have flopped down.

It was such a pleasure to make this outfit.  But I was so disappointed when Vivi’s mother reported that her opinionated little miss refused to wear it.  As things stand now, her fashion statement requires “kitty cats,” rainbows and or hearts for all garments.  Nothing else will do.

My daughter prevailed at last and Vivian Rose wore the dress on Friday.   This shot of her in the school parking lot shows a happy little preschooler  climbing out of her car seat.  She was too eager to get to her classroom to  complain about the outfit or stop for better picture. But maybe she really does like Charlotte.   Sure.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


Vivi in car


I guess I’d better look through my fabric and design library for kitty, rainbow and heart designs.  If only Vivi could be persuaded to wear the garments I had planned, and for which I have yards and yards and yards of fabric with no-kitty cats, no rainbows and no hearts.  I guess there is no Liberty in this year’s wardrobe.  Oh, well.  She is so darn cute that I will get more fabric.  What a hardship ;-).

Coming up next—Little Shrek’s christening gown remake.  I will see him next week!!!!! Now I’m doing the happy dance!


Finding Dory~Another Fun Disney Dress

image 1 close finished p

My step-by-step tutorial for this dress is posted at Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog. Please take a look and leave a comment . I’d really appreciate your feedback.


It seems like forever since there has been a new post here, but My! Oh! My! have I been busy!  Highlights include time in NC with family, a week at home with 2 younger grands, including hurricane Vivian Rose (good news,  we have finally recovered. Whew!), several days of sewing with the two older grands and so much more.   It’s been a wonderful summer.

But I’m back in the saddle now and have a really fun little project to share with you.  I do believe this sweet child’s dress would qualify for the “Modern Projects for Old Fashioned Nanas” category.  Don’t you?

It started with this cute pattern


and the Finding Dory machine embroidery designs at  The fabrics are a solid soft aqua Swiss cotton pique’ and a blue Disney Finding Dory quilting cotton. Continue reading

Alice Tea Linens Tutorial

image 1 panned set all shadowed

This child sized tea linen set features Alice in Wonderland characters.  With the heavenly scented Confederate Jasmine in full bloom on my front porch, a sweet tea party could be held, if only I had a few grandchildren in house.


Making this linen tea set was such a pleasure.  The project and accompanying tutorial were just posted on Brother’s Stitching Sewcial  blog.    This is especially timely with the recent release of Disney’s new movie, Alice through the Looking Glass. A whole new generation of children will meet the characters through this movie.

The tutorial includes .pdf downloads for the corner templates (a smaller one for the napkins and a larger one for the tablecloth).  It also includes a link to download the zig zag feather stitch which I created in My Custom Stitch,  available on many Brother machines.  I find this stitch useful for many projects–baby bonnets,   baby shawls,   blankets and more.

If your machine has this feature, you might want to download the zig zag feather even if you are not planning to whip up an Alice tea linen set.  Instructions for getting this stitch from the download to a memory stick to your machine are included in the tutorial.

When I began this project, my biggest challenge was to select the designs from  the 13 designs available at   Somehow, they would be have to be color coordinated with sweet Alice’s dress because the Madeira tablecloth corners just had to be blue.



Alice napkin close


Finally, I decided that the napkin corners would have to coordinate with its many colored embroidered characters. Continue reading

Baby Shrek’s Christening Gown~A Work in Progress

Now this is FUN!  And even more than that, it’s a meaningful challenge.   For a family friend of more than 40 years, I am lovingly adapingt a 100+ years old family christening gown.  Requiring many special considerations,  this baptismal robe is for an especially precious baby boy.


UFO bodice

UFO bodice + one sleeve


His mother, whom I have known and loved since she was 4 years old, grew up a mile from our home.  Her parents are two of our dearest friends.  But now this young mother  lives in New Zealand with her French husband.  They were blessed with this beautiful son after many disappointments.

beautiful Baby Shrek

beautiful Baby Shrek


His parents want him to be surrounded by family and close friends at this milestone in his life.  So in a few weeks they will be making the long trip from Down Under all the way to Florida, then on to France.  Their son will be christened at one of these locations.

Here is the complication.  The heirloom family gown, like most, was made for a 0-3 month old baby.  But this baby will be 9 months old when he is baptized. Continue reading

Kid Sew Monogrammed Scarf

R quattro 2xx


Our 11 yo grandson, Robert, gets such a kick out of machine embroidery.  He is very, very savvy about technology so my Brother embroidery machines fascinate him.


R quattro 3a xx


Recently, he monogrammed a polar fleece scarf for his mother, thoroughly enjoying the process of selecting, setting up and transferring the design to the machine.  Curious about the need for water soluble stabilizer on top, about why  we don’t hoop polar fleece, about how the machine knows which hoop is in place, etc. etc. etc.

He even made some design decisions, choosing to alternate the fill and outline colors between each letter.

R finished scarfxx


But he really wants to know just how the machine does what it does.  I just tell him to be grateful for its capabilities and DO NOT TRY TO TAKE IT APART!!!  If he tries, I threaten that I will cut his hair while he sleeps.  I almost wish he would make an attempt so I could shear those blond locks.

Straw Hats and Frog Pee

B hat stand

Rebecca’s hat


Embroidered straw hats seem to be turning up everywhere–at the beach, in the park, even at church.  Stitching them must be tricky, I thought.

But while shopping, I spotted two nice hats marked way down and thought, why not try?  If I ruin  them, the loss is small.  If they finish nicely–well, great!  Our daughter would like one.  She always wears a big hat when she hits the beach with the children and they go very often.   So with two hats taking up room  in my crowded sewing room, I thought it was time to have a go at it.


The monogram is from Loralie's Loralesque collection.

The monogram is from Loralie’s Loralesque collection.


Just an hour or two before Rebecca arrived with her two children and her good friend Zahra with her two, I decided the time had come.  (Remember Dr. Suess’s Marvin K Mooney?  “The time has come, the time is now, just go go go. I don’t care how.”  I read that book  at least 500 times to my son and can quote most of it verbatim even now.)

I recalled that there was a tutorial at Embroidery Library about embroidering on straw hats.  It’s a GREAT tute.  After reading through the comprehensive instructions, the hats met my Brother Dream Machine which performed flawlessly.  In a very short while, I had a hat ready for each of the young mothers. Continue reading

One FF Cat with One Finally Finished UFO

FF (formerly feral) Rusty with CC Jane for Vivian Rose

FF (formerly feral) Rusty with FF (finally finished)  CC Jane for Vivian Rose


This little outfit has been sitting at the back of my cutting table for almost a year now.  Why?  Because after embroidering the tricycle I thought a lighter pink applique fabric would have looked better.  I got as far as cutting out another front, but never got to the re-embroidery.  So it sat. Until last week.


allegria bodice

Children’s Corner Jane, one of my go-to-patterns for wiggly Vivian Rose, with an added angel sleeve ruffle. The pattern is so simple, perfect for embellishing one way or another.

When I took it outside to photograph because the lighting is so much better, my ever-loving, always-seeking-affection feline fella Rusty jumped into a pot of geraniums to be near me.  It was a cat photobomb. But I  just kept shooting as sunset was approaching.

Some readers might remember this photo of grandson Alastair with kitten Rusty, who was discovered with his recently feral mama in our old vacant chicken house.  That was in an earlier post, Sew Lucky, Sew Beautiful, .

Alastair and tiny Rusty kitten

Grandson Alastair is wearing his Big Brother shirt and holding tiny Rusty.   Mama Alina is keeping close to her kitten. He never was camera shy.


A most unusual cat, he has grown up to be as social, loving and attentive as any dog we’ve had.


Rusty tail w dress

Continue reading

Tsum Tsum Toddler Outfit

Simplicity 1475 with Brother Tsum Tsum embroidery

Simplicity 1475 pattern with Brother’s Tsum Tsum Disney embroidery

Tsum Tsum? “What’s that?” I said when Brother asked me to create a project using the new collection of Disney Tsum Tsum embroidery designs.  So I did some research and this is what I learned.

According to Wikipedia:  Disney Tsum Tsum is the name of a range of collectible stuffed toys based upon popular Disney characters….. The name is derived from the Japanese verb tsumu meaning “to stack”, because the toys are designed to stack on top of each other, forming a pyramid shape………[1]

For a toddler’s grandmother, this is important information!  Since my first grandchild came of age recognizing commercially promoted characters, it’s been a steep learning curve for this Nana.  I’ve struggled to become conversant  about Wiggles, Backyardigans, Pokemon Ninjas and more.  Now it’s Tsum Tsum which covers Disney characters  from Frozen to Mickey’s Gang and still more!  Whew! Continue reading

Summer Camp Sewing

items embroidered for Alastair's summer camp

items embroidered for Alastair’s summer camp


MY-OH-MY!  This summer is just flying by.  Among other activities, I have been busy embroidering gear for our 7 yo grandson Alastair’s first sleepaway camp experience.  Each item in this huge pile carries the camp logo.

I have to say again how much I love machine embroidery for so many reasons.  Saving money is just one. Participating in his camp preparations is another.


Watitoh entrance


A long list was issued with required “logo-ed” screen printed items, such as a minimum of four $17.99 tees from the camp store.  After getting approval for the substitution of machine embroidery over printed, Alastair’s clever mama (my darling daughter) ordered blanks for all required gear and much more.  At a 24-hour, on-line flash sale, she purchased his things for less than $70 from the same manufacturer as items from the camp store.   Meanwhile, I got to work preparing the machine embroidery design. Fortunately, it is a simple logo. Continue reading

Nana’s Nursery Closet Sale #15



Yet again, it’s time to move things out of the nursery closet to make room for new clothes for the grandchildren.  Take a look.  You just might find something you can use.

TO MAKE A PURCHASE: If there is something you would like to buy:

  • 1.  Specify the item number and leave your request as a comment at the end of this post.
  • 2.  Your e-mail will be visible to me but not to other readers.  I will correspond with you privately for payment information.
  • 3.  Payment may be made via Paypal or personal check.  Shipping will be added to all prices.  Insurance at buyer’s discretion. Just let me know at time of purchase.
  • 4.  If you have never before posted a comment, it will not visible until I have approved it. After the approval, all of your comments will be posted immediately.
  • 5. Or send an e-mail to me at with the specifics of your chosen purchase.
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lace Tape Christening Gown, $85. Swiss batiste, lace tape, tatting, entredeux, pintucks, feather stitching. Read more Lace Tape Christening Gown.

#151~~~Lace Tape Christening Gown, $85. Swiss batiste, lace tape, tatting, entredeux, pintucks, feather stitching. Read more Lace Tape Christening Gown.


$18 forsize 2 pink microcheck bishop smocked with watermelons. Angel sleeves are edged with baby heirloom lace. I did not make this--it was a gift. But it is well made and in good condition.

SOLD pending payment #152~~~$18 for pink microcheck bishop smocked with watermelons. Angel sleeves are edged with baby heirloom lace. I did not make this–it was a gift. But it is well made and in good condition.


$20 green corduroy boy's smocked Christmas Romper, 3 months. Worn once. New, never worn, forest green featherwale corduroy with picture smocked insert.

#153~~~$20 green corduroy boy’s smocked Christmas Romper, 3 months. Worn once, forest green featherwale corduroy with picture smocked insert.

Continue reading