Category Archives: clothing

Family Cruising

How’s this for a Cozumel tropical paradise?

It’s been way too long since a new blog has been posted but I’m trying to catch up. To say we have been busy is a gross understatement. But let me tell you one of the many events that have kept us running– our wonderful Royal Caribbean cruise with our daughter and family. There are some sewing projects to see but lots of fun to report.

I had packed a bag of smocking projects which I expected to complete while enjoying the view and sea breeze from our balcony. Some smocking was done but I packed way too many projects with way too many great expectations.

My good friend Carol, our daughter’s fabulous mother-in-law, was with us and had the same idea. She knitted and I smocked. So we sat and stitched, but only for short periods of time.

There were so many activities. Vivian Rose wore “Nana clothes” every day. Here she is leaving an activity wearing a bishop Easter dress from a few years ago.

The dress was generously sized for her two years ago and desperately needed a tuck under the arm. It still needs the tuck and the only other fitting problem its short length. Regardless, she loves the dress.  I really need to make those tucks. Why she is wearing her backpack under the dress is a mystery to me. She wore this dress to dinner one night.

For dinner each night she was dressed in smocking. This dress was made for her mother 30 years ago and was worn by cousin Laurel before Vivi for a few years. Now it’s another one of Vivian’s favorites. It’s still in perfect condition, another hurrah for Spechler-Vogel’s Imperial batiste Continue reading

Summer Yo-Yo Frock

This is my latest creation for Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial. I must say, this is one with which I am almost completely satisfied. That rarely happens!

Isn’t that back cute?

I do regret not noticing that Farmhouse Fabrics has gingham buttons. I would like to have used those instead of the MOP pink ones as shown. But then again, maybe not. I’d have to have them on hand to compare.

These are the bloomers.

The little garment, size 24 months, was inspired by Kari Mecca’s Yo-Yo and Buttonholes Bubble pattern https://karimeccasblog.typepad.com/my_weblog/yoyo-buttonholes-bubble-pattern.html which appeared on the cover of Sew Beautiful magazine summer, 2009. Continue reading

How-to: Garments for Ghana

Required disclosure: I am a paid Brother Ambassador. Not required: I absolutely love Brother Machines.

Several readers have written asking if they may participate in the Garments for Ghana project.  Others asked how our project operated so they might do a similar event in their own community. When I mentioned in response to a comment on this topic that I might write this post, at least one promised that she (sweet Sandee) would not find these details boring. I hope she is not the only one because I am going ahead with this.

Before I began, I was given some direction from the mission team leaders. The request was for bright colors, since the landscape there is pretty bleak. We did that. Check.

Second, there must be no buttons or closures that might break or need replacement. Such replacement is not an option for mothers in these areas. Check. Elastic at the neckline was the only closure notion. I know elastic gives out after a couple of years, but I expect these garments will be worn out long before the elastic is.

Third, in many African nations and apparently in Ghana, bare shoulders for girls and perhaps adult females, is taboo. So we needed some sort of sleeve. Check. I did notice early on that many photos of pillowcase dresses for Little Dresses for Africa showed the girls wearing a tee shirt under their dresses. Now I see that the site offers a free pattern that has a sleeve, much like the pattern I used.

Fourth, each garment must be marked with its size. I had a bag of labels for sizes 1-5 and for the others I embroidered sizes on grosgrain ribbon in the hoop. Ladies who worked from home used a sharpie to write on ribbon, which like the others, was tucked into the elastic casing at the back. Continue reading

Garments for Ghana

This is the first of 7 clotheslines that hung from the walls in fellowship hall.

Required disclaimer: I am a paid Brother Ambassador.  Not required:  I genuinely LOVE Brother machines.

UPDATE:  The first picture is in from Ghana!  Though this little girl is not needy, I think she is the daughter of Ghanese pastor who hosts the mission team.  Gayle had said this child would be given first choice.  She certainly looks pleased. Her father reported that she didn’t want to take off  the dress and slept in it!

 

What an exciting, satisfying project this has been!  Since the end of Feb. a group of ladies and 4 children of River City Church, EPC, have gathered every Thursday to sew for the needy children of Ghana. Our goal was to make 100 garments. We finished the last week in May with 76 dresses and 44 pairs of shorts!

Getting started with basic instructions.

 

Starting a pair of cargo shorts.

Our efforts were in support of this summer’s second medical mission trip to Ghana, led by a church member Dr. Lyle Wadsworth and his nurse wife Gayle.

NOTE:  Please excuse the wrinkled dresses.  The garments were pressed before being hung on the clothesline. But after being packed for shipment to Ghana, many were unpacked to be photographed.  It was just too time consuming to iron all of them.

Overturned yo-yo’s created puffy balloons. The teepee bag covers a runaway balloon.

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What has been keeping me busy!

My goodness but life has a way of keeping me busy and away from writing blog posts! But I have been sewing. Here us a sampling of some of my projects.

I found this heart headband slider as a freebie (for a short time only) for Valentine’s Day at Tattered Stitch. It makes up quickly and was a big hit with my granddaughter 6 yo Vivian Rose. She wore it to the family’s special Valentine breakfast and then to school.

Vivian Rose at the family’s special Valentine breakfast.

It was so quick and easy to make that I made 18 for the little girls at church. They were delighted. This is just the first batch I made.

Then Aunt Rheeta made her annual pilgrimage to Florida to escape Indiana’s bitter cold winter weather. She sewed and sewed, making 10 mug rugs. Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of all of 12, but she made a set of 4 hunting themed mug rugs for each of two of her sons, one more feminine design for her daughter and one for her house/dog sitter.

Then she made these two for Joanne and Kyle, parents of precious baby Bea. She said she has been praying for them since March so they almost feel like family. She went to our Bible study group at their home and was so pleased to meet this lovely couple and spend time with darling Beatrice. Kyle loves to hunt so one is for him and the fall print seemed to go well with Joanne’s home decor.

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Back at Last!

First, let me wish you a happy Valentine’s Day! My latest post at Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial is all about embroidered cards, specifically Valentines. I wish you all joy and happiness on this special day of love.

The tutorial gives all the ins and outs of embroidering cards, from choice of cardstock size and attaching embroidery. Check it out and please leave a comment at Stitching Sewcial if you find it helpful or inspiring. Here are a few of the other samples. Details of each are included at Stitching Sewcial:

The front embroidery is covered and inside text is Minnie’s quote. It reads:

This one is for our 6 yo granddaughter. The inside text reads, “Vivian Rose, you are our favorite princess.”

More are posted. I had a hard time stopping, since these are so much fun to make.

But much more has been going on since I last posted here at Janice Ferguson Sews. Of course, Christmas was pure joy, with both of our children joining us with all four of our precious grandchildren. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Many gifts were stitched. Mug rugs caught my attention and I made several for my daughter-in-law, but didn’t manage to get a photo. These are so much fun and make great gifts. She is our nature girl and really liked the apron I embroidered for her with this fabulous bear from Urban Threads. Continue reading

Christmas Fawn Daydress

Christmas is just around the calendar corner and it’s rush, rush, rush for me and many of you.  I’ve just finished this Swiss batiste dress for Baby Beatrice.

I’ve written in earlier posts about Baby Bea, our new granddaughter via our church. Neither of her parents’ mothers is living,  so months before she was born they asked me to be her official Nana.  That was a happy day!  And, of course, she is a doll, just now 4 months old, which for me has been at least 120 more happy days.

Her daddy is an avid hunter, especially for deer. Bea’s little daydress is a reminder NOT to shoot Bambi or his antlered  father.

But back to the dress……the pattern is Old Fashioned Baby‘s Baby Daydress.

 

 

Like all of Jeannie B’s patterns, this one is a delight to sew and offers several design options.  I love the Scriptures and embroidery designs she places in the blank space around the pattern pieces.

 

 

 

The shadow work fawn is from Joy Welsh’s Applique for Kids.  It stitches just beautifully with her instructions.  The greenery beneath the fawn was extracted from another design which I cannot recall right now.

 

 

 

The holly at the neckline is another design whose origin I cannot recall.  I need to keep better records of what I embroider.

 

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Lacey Heirloom Bonnet

When I did my stitch rehearsal for the flowers, I couldn’t decide if I preferred the lighter or darker pink. So I alternated them and was pleased with the result.

 

Who can resist gazing at a baby in a bonnet?  The site warms the heart of every mother, grandmother, auntie or friend.

The pattern for this linen confection was included in Simplicity 8024, though it was modified greatly.   The addition of lace, embroidery, hemstitching,  and sculpted antique pearl buttons on the ties removes this from the realm of boy caps.  Embroidery floss was woven through the hemstitching holes to add a little more color.

 

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Bees for Bea

 

This is longed for and long-awaited baby Beatrice, whose name means “she brings happiness.”  And she surely has!  Our church, family and friends prayed long and fervently for her safe arrival into the loving arms of her adoptive parents.

The afternoon of her baptism a few Sundays ago, friends hosted a barbeque for the entire church and other family friends in Beatrice’s spacious country back yard.

This sign greeted guests.

 

Did I mention that the theme of Bea’s nursery is Winnie the Pooh? Can you tell?

 

Of course, it was HOT!

I made the smocked bee sundress for Bea, complete with bloomers and a hat. She is  tiny, born 2 weeks early at just 6 lbs. Even the newborn size is huge on her. But babies grow and there is still plenty of steamy summer weather left here in central Florida.  It should fit her soon.

Using black on such a tiny baby gave me pause.  But there is no way around it when you are dealing with bees.  The picot edged bias softened it a little but I much prefer white or pastels for newborns.

At the top of her hat sits an adorable little bee which I found on the facebook Smocking DeStash site.  I bought 20 because I knew there would be many opportunities to use them for Baby Bea.

 

This country barbeque in a huge yard with pet goats and chickens was just the sort of fun children love. Still, they needed a few special activities. So while they were eating I discreetly hid bees all around. Continue reading

Church Dress for Beatrice

OFB Smocked layette dress pattern on white Imperial batiste.

At last Baby Bea’s church dress is finished. So many things I wish I had done differently, but it is done. The pattern is OFB Smocked Layette, made from white Imperial batiste.

I used this pattern with the little bit of smocking because I wanted to focus on the cross embroidered trim at the hemline. It would have looked better, I think, with short sleeves.

Because the cross embroidery is Swiss, I felt compelled to use Swiss for the other trims. Do you ever mix heirloom laces with Swiss on the same garment? I’d like to know your opinion on that.

The tiny Swiss trim at the neckline and smocked sleeves should be short enough to avoid irritating her delicate newborn skin. It has a built in entredeux stitch so I wove that with floss to add a little color higher on the daygown.

The cross trim at the hem was 6″ wide.After attaching it to the entredeux beading there just seemed to be too much blank space. So I removed it, trimmed the cross piece to 4″ and rejoined it to a new piece of entredeux beading, threaded with pink ribbon.

It still looked to plain so I added twin needle “shadow work” in pink on either side of the beading.

This is the first bonnet I have ever made with the ruffle behind the smocking. I’m not sure I like it, but Bea is so tiny, just now 7 lbs. that I thought the ruffle might obscure too much of her precious face.

The twin needle work was repeated on the back of the bonnet near the drawstring ribbon.

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