“It’s done! She’s ours!”

the happy family

 

That was the text that brought me to tears.  Newly adopted Baby Beatrice, who was expected to be delivered at 30 weeks,  was born at 38 weeks weighing a whopping 6 lbs. 14 oz!  My prayer that she would never need either of the the preemie isolette shirts I made was answered  The sweet blue ribbon shirt and  the gingham duckling shirt (thanks again for the design, Lisa) were donated to the NICU at the hospital where she as born.

There were many twists and turns which made the success of the adoption very iffy.  Only the grace of God and a multitude of prayers saw this to completion just late this afternoon.    From North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington, New Hampshire, Alabama, Texas, Arizona, of course, Florida, and many other states as well as New Zealand, prayers were lifted that this baby would be delivered into the loving arms of her parents.  Now Beatrice has made her family complete. Continue reading

Magical Parade Dress

This sweet little dress is my third Ode To Joy from Maggie Bunch’s Sew-Along.  What a great class and what a perfect little dress!  The length was for a tunic, but Maggie’s pattern is so adaptable that I added a wider border at the hem to make it a dress.

Can you see the “prince” is riding a unicorn?

Who doesn’t love Sarah Jane’s truly magical prints for Michael Miller?  Many are borders, with the the fun part running along the selvage.  That allows for two 22″ widths of delightful borders. Most have coordinating prints that can be used for the hem, sleeve and neck binding.

My first Ode to Joy was poorly made, as I was in a hurry and did not read the directions carefully.  But I loved it anyway and so did my then 4 yo granddaughter.   MM/Sarah Jane’s “Swan Lake” print,as shown, is still available.

 

 

Notice how nicely the smocking lies across the bodice.  On the Magical Parade dress shown at the top, I brought the smocking to a point at center and the control was lost.  The skirt ripples.  How many of these will I have to make before I pay close attention?  I’m a slow learner, for sure.k

My second OTJ, again made in a hurry, had the neckband applied incorrectly and it rippled.  The sleeves were left ungathered which gave a look I liked.    Again, the straight across smocking along the bottom row kept the bodice flat–flexible but flat.  The whimsical cat print is my cat-loving granddaughter’s favorite.

 

Maggie B’s Ode to Joy dress

 

Maggie’s on-line class is very comprehensive.  She  take beginners from pleating (though she will provide pleated kits for novices without pleaters), to construction to smocking.  If she offers it again, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

So the pink and gray gingham Magical Parade at the top is my latest creation for 5 yo Vivian Rose, though I have purchased yet another MM/Sarah Jane border and companion print to make another.  Little girls love it because it just pulls over their heads, no buttons to deal with.  Mothers love it because little ones can dress themselves easily, no muss, no fuss.  And I love it.  Can’t you tell?

 

Hostess Gifts

 

These towels were a hostess gift to an incredibly generous couple at our church who recently returned from a medical mission trip to Ghana.  The doctor and his nurse wife invited a group of friends for dinner and a slide show of their experiences.  It was an amazing evening in so many ways!

But first let me tell you about the towels.  I have expounded in earlier posts on the suitability of dishtowels for gifts.  They are always the right size, always useful, and even if the recipient does not like them, they needn’t be displayed.  It’s not so small as to be insignificant like thisnor so extravagant as to make the recipient feel beholden as this would.

With these considerations in mind, I thought a set of dishtowels would be just the right hostess gift for a delicious dinner and a most entertaining evening.

Several years ago when my daughter and her husband toured Africa, they brought me a few yards of African fabric, made in Tanzania.  At the time I wondered if I would ever find a use for it, but AHA!  It was perfect for this applique and the towels. Continue reading

Summer Picnic Dress

Originally plain white with drawn thread work at the hemline, this versatile dress from All About Blanks can become something very special. Adding a shirt makes it suitable for chilly, windy kite-flying days.

 

This “blank” linen/cotton blend dress from All About Blanks is, indeed, a blank canvas awaiting embellishment. With embroidery, ribbon and topstitching, it steps out from “blank” into the realm of special.

Its patriotic kite and images of sunshine and water seem to broadcast and celebrate the joys of summer.  For a picnic, family  reunion or any such occasion, a little girl would be the center of attention.

The embroidery design is from Brother’s embroidery site, ibroidery.com.  It is so sweet and versatile, capturing the magic of childhood summers.

 

Brother’s ibroidery.com design BIC-MTGSAS008

Another little touch was swapping out the white utility buttons with  eye catching red ones.

 

 

A complete tutorial post for this project is at Brother’s blog Stitching Sewcial.

*Required disclaimer:  I am a paid sewing consultant for Brother.

 

 

Duckling Preemie Isolette Shirt

 

Another preemie isolette shirt is finished and delivered for soon-to-arrive Baby Beatrice.  Her adoptive parents are now 5 states away from home awaiting the birth.  It was planned for her to be delivered via C-section at 30 weeks, due to the birth mom’s earlier pregnancy complications.

The good news is that Baby might not need this or the other diaper shirt I made for her! At almost 36 weeks in utero, she may be bigger than the 4-5 lb. size of these garments.  That’s something to celebrate!  Our church has been praying and eagerly waiting for this lucky baby to be delivered into the arms of her fabulous parents.  We can’t wait to see her.

I really, really like this pattern by Nancy Coburn of Ginger Snaps Designs.

It come in several  sizes from micro-preemies all the way up to regular size newborn. Recommendations are included from NICU nurses for this sweet, specialized sewing.   Variations of  the single fabric design are included, such as this one made from two tiny scraps of pique’ and gingham.

 

 

The darling vintage duckling embroidery designs are from MommysApronStrings Etsy shop.    They stitch out beautifully and are perfectly digitized and proportioned for this little diaper shirt as well as other children’s projects.  There are several other charming designs that I will be using for future projects.  The “buttons” were also machine embroidered before the soft velco  was sewn to the shirt at the front and shoulders. Continue reading

Wrapped in Love

Swiss flannel with pinstitch joining lace to fabric. Pinstitch is woven with pink perle cotton.

 

I can’t seem to stop thinking about Beatrice.  She is the soon-to-be-born, soon-to-be-adopted baby girl whose waiting parents are active members of our church.   So I sew.  When she is in their arms, she will be wrapped in love, with or without this shawl.

Soft, luxurious Swiss flannel is perfect for any baby.   Especially here in Florida where winters are usually moderate, a tiny one dressed in this fabric can go out on the town without being bundled in a parka.  The blanket coordinates with a bonnet and smocked daygown featured in earlier posts.  I hope to duplicate them for Baby Beatrice.

Pinstitch and Swiss flannel go together like peas and carrots.  The holes were perfectly clear and clean, as always, but were woven with perle cotton because I wanted a little more color near the perimeter.

 

 

The lace edging is my favorite blanket trim as it can withstand heavy laundering and still flaunts its heirloom ancestry.

Six inches from the lace is a zig zag feather stitch frame, interspersed with embroidery. That stitch is worked in soft green, but I was unable to get a good scan of it.  It shows up clearly in this photo from another project.  With 30 wt. cotton thread, it works up nicely.

 

 

This stitch is one I designed several years ago in Brother’s exclusive My Custom Stitch feature.  If you have a Brother machine which includes MCS, I would be happy to share it with you.  Just leave your request at the end of this post.

 

Continue reading

From Sea to Shining Sea

 

My latest blog post at Brother’s Stitching Sewcial is up, named From Sea  to Shining Sea.

Yes, the embroidery design Born in the USA  is crooked and I just now noticed!!!!!  Oh, dear,  I was so focused on the concept of “sea to shining sea” –from the Statue of Liberty in NY to the Golden Gate Bridge to the Lone Star State of Texas,–that I was oblivious to the skewing.  Sigh….

Anyway, the design is darling and so appropriate for Independence Day.  There is plenty of time to whip this up before the celebratory parades, picnics and pyrotechnics.

With white shorts embroidered with a starburst,  a child is a walking, talking poster for patriotism.  I just love this.

 

 

A detailed tutorial and more photos are posted at  Stitching Sewcial.

Have you stitched any July 4th outfits for the little ones in your life?

And now for the requisite disclaimer:  I am a paid sewing expert/consultant for Brother.  And I love it.

 

 

Preemie Isolette Shirt

 

In an earlier post I wrote about a special baby soon to be adopted into our church family.   Due to the birth mother’s previous pregnancy complications, little Beatrice (adoptive parents have already named her) was scheduled to be delivered at 30 weeks the first week in July.  That would make her what is called a micro preemie.  Sooo early!

The good news is that the pregnancy is going well enough that this delivery date may be postponed until either mother or baby is in distress!  I read somewhere that every day Baby is in the womb translates to one less week in the NICU.   Since it seems very likely that Beatrice will spend some time in that unit, I felt the need to make something for her during intensive care.  As my sewing friend Catherine said, “This is probably the first garment you have ever made that you hope will never be worn.”  That was my almost constant prayer as I stitched this.

 

Ginger Snaps Preemie Isolette Shirts I (I hope she will design another pattern II) is lined and comes in 4 sizes. It’s a great pattern.

 

Using Nancy Coburn’s Ginger Snaps  Preemie Isolette Shirt I  pattern, I’ve made this one in the 4-5 lb. size as opposed to the smaller pattern sizes included. That’s my personal positive attitude at work,  knowing that a 4-5 lb. Baby Beatrice will be home sooner than if she needs a smaller size.  Truthfully, I hope she never wears this and comes home as a bouncing baby girl of average size.   But just in case……   And if she does not need it, the diaper shirt can be donated to the hospital for another NICU baby.

So much fiddling was done with this tiny lined shirt.  It has been said that you can make one in an hour, but I surely cannot.  By the time I selected the fashion and lining fabric and adding finishing touches it took me much longer. Continue reading

FREE Heirloom Baby Dress Sew-Along

Heirloom Baby Gown Sew-Along presented by Brother International Corporation

 

Classic Sewing Magazine  is offering a FREE Sew-Along.  I made this sweet little dress/daygown for Brother’s submission to the magazine and it is being offered to you. The instructions have been broken into 4 lessons.

Written for beginners, it also includes tips and suggestions that might be useful for experienced heirloom sewists.  Techniques such as lace insertion, lace shaping, pin stitch, joining gathered lace, etc. are included.

The first two lessons have been posted so go sign up!  You must be signed up to get notification of the next lessons.

I do hope you will join us.  Just click on the link in  the opening photo and you will be taken to the site to sign up.  The sleeves on this pattern (Simplicity 8024) are just precious.

Let’s sew along!

 

 

Pooh and CC Charlotte

Children’s Corner “Charlotte” pattern embroidered with pooh in Field of Flowers at ibroidery.com

This project was posted at Brother’s blog, Stitching Sewcial. A step-by-step photo illustrated tutorial can be seen there.

Pooh and a Field of Flowers Tutorial

It’s a cute, cool and comfortable outfit for summer.  Children’s Corner Charlotte is one of my favorite patterns–quick and easy, fully lined and a blank canvas for unlimited embroidery or applique’ designs.  I’ve made several and each is well received by my granddaughter.

 

This is a size 4, which was required to fit the large embroidery design.  Even so, the tunic had to be lengthened 1.5″ so the blue butterfly would fit under the arm.  Of course, a smaller size could be made by leaving off the butterfly.

 

White cotton twill was used for the top.  The lining, shoulder ruffles and capri ruffles were cut from a pretty floral lawn that just happened to be in my stash.  It was a near perfect match for the embroidery.

Red Kona cotton is  used for the capri, the pattern for which was included in the the Charlotte.

 

This is an in-progress construction photo, but it shows the bees on the capri leg.

 

A fun detail was added to the buttons by attaching each with a thread color in the embroidery.

If you click on  the picture, the link will take you to the blog post.  I hope you will find something interesting there and perhaps leave a comment.

Happy summer sewing!