Category Archives: party accessories and ideas

Beauty and the Beast Spa Wrap

 

This cute spa wrap isn’t green, but there is a bit of the color in the trim.

 

 

What a fun little project this is!  My older granddaughter loved her monogrammed wrap and  those I made for her Spatacular 8th birthday party guests.  There was also one for each girl’s American Girl doll (see that tutorial here).

Laurel would love one with the Beauty and the Beast design, available from iBroidery.com for Brother Disney embroidery machines.

She is our little drama queen, but not in a bad way.  Laurel has been performing in local stage productions since she was 7 and acting as narrator in Beauty was one of her favorite roles.

 

 

It was performed to sell out audiences for two weeks at our beautifully restored vintage 1921 Athens Theater in DeLand.

 

As girls get older, it is more challenging to find projects that they will like and use.  This spa wrap fits the bill perfectly, whether or not a young lady performed in Beauty and the Beast.  Give it a try!

I’d love to see pictures of your finished spa wraps.

 

 

Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

napkin panned AliceCR

 

It’s busy, busy, busy in the sewing room.  My current project is an Alice in Wonderland linen tea set and I’m loving every minute of it.  The new Alice designs at Brother’s iBroidery.com got me so excited that I had to make this.  Soon there will be a tutorial for the project which includes a 30″ tablecloth, and 4 napkins.

Baby tatting edges the Madeira applique’ on each corner of the tablecloth which features a Brother My Custom Stitch zig zag feather stitch.   The same corner embellishes each napkin.  All four sides are pinstitched.

Along with Alice, the tea party guests include the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts,  three different Alices, TweedleDum and his twin TweedleDee.

 

napkin panned White Rabbit

 

I love having tea parties with my grandchildren.  It’s a great situation for talking about manners and etiquette, proper table linens and more.   There’s nothing like cookies to motivate a child to hang around the tea table and chat.

Laurel started partying when she was very small.  As she grew older and we had a little tea time break during the 3 years I homeschooled her and her brother.  I even managed to work the Boston Tea Party into the conversation.  It was just too good an opportunity to miss giving a little history lesson.

 

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We often tea partied on the back porch. Apple juice and cookies were always served.  For more photos and info about this set click here.

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Rebecca’s Home Garden Wedding

Guests gathering before the ceremony.

Guests gathering before the ceremony.

 

With all the upcoming June weddings, I thought you might enjoy our family’s adventure preparing for our daughter’s nuptials,  as well as all the sewing I did for this important event.

10 years ago Rebecca and her Louisiana-born fiance traveled each corner of the county exploring venue options for their Cajun themed wedding.  After checking out virtually every possible location, the groom-to-be said he would like to be married at our home.  (dab, dab, dab my leaky eyes!)

We had almost 10 months advance notice so my husband and I went into high gear to spruce up the house and garden,  get the preacher and musicians on board, hire a photographer, rent a tent, etc. etc.  Meanwhile, the bride and groom-to-be were living and working across the state where they met.

For months we sweated in the yard by day

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and I sewed in the house all night.  I sewed and sewed and loved every minute of it.

Table toppers were made for the cocktail hour before the vows were read.  Guests sat around the pool and at the side garden enjoying hors d’oeuves.

seating in the side garden

Seating in the side garden.  Under the floral square is a pink twill square, much brighter than shown here.

The edges were simply serged.  That’s no big deal but, trust me, with 15 pink twill and 15 pink floral toppers, each 60″ square,  that’s a lot of serging mileage.  And there were more to be done.

 

guests seated around the pool

guests seated around the pool

 

For the reception dinner tables, 14 gold toppers were made, not to mention those made for the serving tables.  More miles of serging!

 

gold table toppers for the reception dinner

gold table toppers for the reception dinner

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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. Continue reading

Star Wars Cape and Vader’s Wedding Death March

 

cape all2x

Are your friends and family as Star Wars star struck as mine?  I was so busy with projects inspired by The Force Awakens  that I have gotten a very late start on grandchildren’s Christmas clothes. For a number of reasons, the dress for 3 yo Vivian Rose and bow tie for 6 yo Alastair are not specifically Christmas, so they can still be worn after their December 24th delivery.  The next post will  include photos and details of the “holiday” clothes.

But back to Star Wars. This super hero cape was posted some time ago for a few hours, until I discovered that I had accidentally added the watermark for granddaughter Laurel’s SewAmazingGifts Etsy store.  So the post was removed.  But I cannot remove the watermark, which is the point of a watermark, I guess. So I am now  reposting it.

Though my blog is titled Janice Ferguson Sews, Modern Projects for Old Fashioned Nanas, this modern project is not my style.  But Star Wars is a hot topic now, as Star Wars fans eagerly await the the Dec. 18 release of The Force Awakens movie.  These fans include boys and young men (and some not so young)  in my family.

With that in mind, I’m on a Star Wars roll which began with this cape.  I choked a little, working on fabric soooooo far from Swiss batiste, though  the quilting cotton is very nice quality. The trims and embellishments–plastic buttons and metal snaps–are 180 degrees from the heirloom laces and MOP buttons which I prefer.  But I stitched my way through, anticipating the grins on fan faces.

The free pattern is from Nancy’s Notions.  It’s quick and can easily be embellished as much or as little as you like. Nancy offers so many free projects and, of course, wonderful products for sale. Continue reading

Only for the Love of Grandchildren

Apparently,  there is no limit to what we will do for our children or grandchildren.

 

Pokemon ninja headbandss

 

I can’t believe I’ve just made 43 Pokemon Ninja headband birthday party favors for sweet grandson Alastair.  That’s LOVE!!!

Now 6 years old, he and most of his friends are  smitten with Pokemon characters. The headbands are embroidered with four of the all-important “energy symbols.”

 

party ninjas

Alastair is the little guy standing with his hands in his pockets.

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Christmas Apron How-to

apron

Don’t you love my vintage painted sifter and the kiddie sized rolling pin?

It’s time to bake everyone’s favorite Christmas cookies.  Children love to “help” though even with youthful assistance, really delicious holiday treats CAN be made.

We all know that if you start too early, the goodies are all eaten up before Dec. 25.  (Be sure to read the cookie storage tip at the end of this post.)  “Helpers” often love to be “tasters,” and require great quantities of cookies to be certain they are fit to serve.

A special child’s apron, whether plain or gussied up with embroidery, will make the experience even more fun.  Plain, personalized or embellished with embroidery–whatever–a child will love it.

Here’s how this one was made. Continue reading

Wedding or Holiday Chair Backs

 Another wedding repost.  Quick and easy to make, these chair covers could be embroidered for birthdays, Christmas or other holidays.  Any event that calls for a guest’s special recognition is a good reason to whip up a few.

The BRIDE and GROOM chair backs lived with the trunk show samples I displayed when I taught classes.  At every event, they got a lot of positive attention, with students measuring and making notes on the construction.  

Have you ever made chair covers?  Please share pictures.

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Sewing for a wedding is just about as much fun as sewing for babies.   It’s like the prelude to grandchildren. Continue reading

Slumber Party Pillowcases

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Laurel, out of the pool and ready for birthday cake

 

Granddaughter Laurel recently celebrated her 10th birthday at a resort hotel.   Five of her closest friends and a few mothers had a big time enjoying all the activities and amenities typical of a resort hotel.

 

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For party favors, a pillowcase was embroidered for each girl.  I have been reluctant to post these photos because there is sooooo much puckering in the embroidery.  It was caused by operator error–my use of  inadequate stabilizer.  But the girls were absolutely non-judgemental and seemed to love their personalized gift.

 

six pillowcase party favors

six pillowcase party favors

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Celebration

NOTE:  Several antique baby dresses and other items will be posted for sale Wednesday morning. 

“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.” Leviticus 19:32

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All set up and waiting for the 11:00 service to be over (faces obscured because I for got to ask permission to post).  Gold  table toppers and table numbers were left over from our daughter’s wedding.

Today at our church there was a gala luncheon celebration for members of our congregation who are over 90 years old.  Sponsored by the deacons, this was an especially lovely event!  Twenty-two of the 46 eligible members were in attendance with their family and friends as guests. Almost 125 dinners were served.

Bob and I were both busy serving, so this is the only photo that we took.   After our church photographer posts photos, I will include more.  Fellowship Hall really did look very festive.  The theme was “fall,” though I thought for an event with so many elderly guests, “Don’t fall” would have been a better choice.

As each honoree entered Fellowship Hall, a boutonniere or corsage was pinned on and a photo taken.

The lady on the left, above, decided the honorees should have a goody bag as a sort of party favor.  On her own and with the help of her 11 yo granddaughter, she filled gaily wrapped bags with a word search booklet, a Bible scripture bookmark, a picture frame for the photo that was taken today, some hard candy, and a daily devotional booklet.  Each honoree was also give a souvenir booklet with a bio of each of the over 90 members.

I was in charge of decorations and was pleased to be able to reuse many things made for our daughter’s wedding and– much to my dear husband’s dismay– still stored in our garage.   Twenty gold table toppers, some sheer and some tapestry weight, were placed over the green cloths and the embroidered table numbers were once again put into use.

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at Rebecca’s wedding— same tapestry table cloth, same gold chargers, same embroidered table numbers, same linen napkins

When the table numbers were made, I knew it was a lot of time spent on a small detail, but Rebecca and I both liked the idea.  Since the wedding, these same numbers were used for four Mother’s Day teas at the church of my daughter’s mother-in-law and then for the wedding of a sweet family friend.  And in the next year, they will be used again for the wedding of another family friend.  So the numbers have been put to good use. Continue reading