Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vacation Time

We finally made the long awaited trip to South Korea to visit #3 son. We had a wonderful time trying to do and see everything in Seoul, and even got to watch him teach the younger kids. They were soooo cute!

Seoul is a beautiful city and had some great museums and fantastic food.

The people were also extremely friendly and since most signs are also in English, Rex and I managed fine on the days that we were on our own. I was telling #2 son last night that every time that we were out on our own that people would stop to see if we needed help with the map or subway. #2 son said that no one ever offered to help him because he is young and looks military that they thought he knew what he was doing. We decided that for once, looking middle aged and confused paid off!

Did I take any sewing? At the last minute I packed a white pleated bishop for the expected grand baby and was able to get it almost entirely smocked while hanging out in the motel room.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Vintage Dress Lesson 3

Now for Lesson #3 of the Vintage Dress! I redrafted the sleeve for the dress to take out a lot of the fullness, so that it would have a more vintage look. I started by tracing off the sleeve pattern onto tracing paper, then drawing two lines down the center 1" apart.

I then folded the paper along the two lines, folded it over and taped it in place. I drew long dash lines along the bottom of the sleeve where I wanted to take off 1/2". My blue plastic Flexy Curve was used to draw curve at the "new" bottom edge. It curves up 6/8" at the highest point from the bottom edge. I then took 1/2" off the top edge of the sleeve and cut out my new sleeve pattern. These were the measurements that I use for a size 24 month. They will need to be adjusted slightly for smaller or larger sizes.

I add 3/8" to the sleeve band to accommodate the new sleeve. It turned out perfect!
Wait to sew up the side seams if you want to add a sash, which will be covered in Lesson #4!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Mom, Can You Do Me A Favor?"

All 4 kids are grown and have been on their own for a few years, so I rarely get request for help anymore. I love that they all have good educations, good jobs, and can handle everything themselves. Our third son, teaches English in South Korea, so he occasionally has something come up that he needs me to check on from here. Over the years this has ranged from medical advise to travel Visa information. So, my heart skipped a beat as I opened his e-mail and thought, "What now?" Imagine my relief when I read........

"Can you bring a copy of "And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street" when you come? We don't have it in the library and I know the kids will love it!

Bring it? Are you kidding? I can still quote the whole thing! I did go out and purchase a new copy since I am not about to part with the one I read to my kids. If things go well I might even get to read it to the class!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Vintage Dress Lesson 2

We are now ready to attach the front skirt to the yoke. All of the old patterns that I have attached the skirt by slip stitching by hand...I knew that I needed to come up with something else! Once again "Wonder Tape" came to the rescue. I used a fabric marker and drew a line 5/8" from the bottom edge of the yoke. This is the seam allowance and where the stitching will go. Stitcky side down, I stuck Wonder Tape slightly below the marked line. Peel off the top paper layer of the Wonder Tape. Carefully matching the yoke and skirt center, lay the smocked area of the skirt on top of the tape, so that the top row of smocking lines up with the marked seam allowance. Take time to double check that the centers match, and that the pleaters are spread out evenly. It is easy to pull the skirt away from the tape and reposition if needed.

Although this part made me a little nervous, I was successful on the first try! Using light weight machine thread to match the main color of the fabric, straight stitch right below the first smocked row. Once everything is completed this stitching line is hard to see!

I should have taken more pictures at this point, but I got excited that the sewing was going so well and forgot, so you will need to use your imagination......sorry about that! :) We now need to get rid of the Wonder Tape. Although it will rinse out in cold water, I chose to just pull it off by hand. I turned the garment to the wrong side and gently separated the bottom yoke edge that was "taped" to the skirt and pulled the Wonder Tape off. You will also see that the smocked top edge of the skirt extends into the armhole. Baste this extended edge of the skirt to the armhole edge and them trim away the excess fabric. On the wrong side, press the bottom yoke edge up toward the yoke.

You are now ready to continue sewing the dress. Stop when you get to the sleeves! For next weeks lesson we will redraft the sleeve.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Pattern And I Are Both Vintage!

When I started the vintage dress several weeks ago, I had a vague memory that this might have been like a pattern that my mother had used for me as a baby. She passed all of her patterns to sewing friends years ago, but for some reason you never forget them! The day that the first "Vintage Baby Dress" blog posted she called to say, "My heart fluttered when I read your blog! Your 1 year old Birthday Dress was made by that exact pattern and the picture is in your album!"

Sure enough, there it was. This picture will be 50 years old this January and as I write this it has just occurred to me how special it will be to get to make a 1st Birthday dress inspired by the same pattern for my first granddaughter next year!!!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My New Favorite Toy

That would be my Sewline Fabric Pencil and Eraser that I bought from "Sew Beautiful." It is like using a a mechanical pencil for fabric and includes a little pack of refills which can also be purchased separately in different colors.

The pencil draws a nice crisp line that easy to see. The eraser is handy for when you make a mistake tracing your drawing. The pencil marks wash out in cold water. Remember not to iron over your marks!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Vintage Dress Lesson 1

Here we go with lesson 1! I used pattern #131 for my vintage dress. I started by cutting the skirt front according to the directions and pleating 6 rows. The top row is 5/8" from the raw edge.

Next, I "whipped and rolled" the lace edging to the top raw edge of the skirt. The skirt front for the size 24 month is only 36" wide and I had a piece of antique lace that was the perfect size!

Following the pattern instructions, pull out 5/8" of pleating on each end of the skirt. Count the pleats (these are the "hills") and pull out one row of pleats if necessary so that you have an even number. Mark the center "valley" with a fabric marker. Measure the bottom edge of the front yoke. Draw up the pleating to match the bottom edge of the front yoke and tie off the pleating at each end. *It is always better to tie of a little long than short.

Now you are ready to smock! I smocked cable rows on Row 1 and Row 1 1/2. Row 2 1/2, Row 3, Row 3 1/2, Row 4, and Row 4 1/2 are all half step Baby Waves.

Enjoy you smocking and next Friday we will attach the skirt to the front yoke.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Revised Embroidery Book

The same great book, but new and improved! All the classic stitches are still there, along with the Eyelet and Blanket Stitch The illustrations and instructions have a cleaner updated look and there are several new pages of embroidery designs.

This picture shows a small portion of one of the new designs. It is the "Sweet Dreams" pillow for the embroidery class at Martha Pullen's School of Art and Fashion 2011.

All "Heirloom Embroidery Books" shipped from the website are now the new and improved version!

*Vintage Dress Lesson 1 will post this Friday!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More Baby News!!!

Within 24 hours of Ben and Tiffany calling us to let us know that they will be a adopting a baby girl in December, Anna called to say, "Guess what! I'm pregnant!" She and Jason are thrilled beyond words and Rex and I are overwhelmed by the news. I think "Nana Shay" as I am being referred to, may need to go and lie down......

*For those of you who have been advising me to start a "Grandmother's Hope Chest", how right you were!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baby News!

Many of you know that we have been waiting for adoption news from our oldest son and his wife. This will be our first grandchild, so the waiting and the unknown has been trying to say the least. When they announced their decision to adopt I celebrated by buying the fabric for a baby quilt. When all their paper work was approved I completed the embroidery and pieced the quilt. I struggled with whether to go ahead and begin the hand quilting or wait until things were more definite. Knowing that life can change quickly, I decided to go ahead with the quilting and pray with confidence that God has a baby for this special couple!

Yesterday morning as a I Rex and I were starting our day of "Labor Day" yard work, I told him that I had the most vivid dream that Ben and Tiffany had been matched with a baby. I debated whether to call Tiffany and tell her. Having not ever been in her situation I didn't know if she would be encouraged (I am not known to have prophetic dreams) or would she just think I am plain crazy? While we do e-mail on a regular basis, with them in Arizona and us in Alabama our phone calls usually happen on Sundays. When our phone range about lunchtime on Saturday and I saw Ben's name on the caller ID, I almost couldn't answer it! I kept telling myself to calm down, he is probably just calling to talk football with his Dad. The call went like this, "Hi Mom........we're just hanging out and watching football.....and by the way, we have a match!" Good thing I was sitting down! Just like his Dad, he slowly began to give me information and a few details. I finally couldn't stand it anymore and told him to put Tiffany on the phone. I needed to hear major over the top excitement that only comes from the Mommy!

Baby is due December 1st, and let's just say that I don't have to worry that the quilt looks to "girly!"

We would appreciate your prayers for a healthy pregnancy and delivery and that all will go as planned.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Vintage Baby Dress

While going through my collection of vintage sewing patterns I came across this one for little smocked dresses from about 1960. Although it is hard to tell from the picture, the smocking had lace sewn to the top of the pleated piece and was stitched on top of the yoke to leave the lace showing.

The red and green floral print is a cotton Lawn from Fabric Finder's, the lace is an ecru antique lace from my stash and the pattern is adapted from #131.

I also redrafted the sleeves and added a sash to give achieve the vintage look.

This was such a fun project for me creatively, that each Friday in September I will be be sharing the steps for this little dress on the blog.



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