Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ducks For Christian

If you have been reading the blog for awhile, you are familiar with this diaper shirt and cover. It remains one of my favorites and was made when there were no grand babies in the near future. It was one of several outfits that I took to Anna before Christian's birth and said, "Use what you like and return what you don't to me. My feelings will not be hurt, dress YOUR baby as you like." So, a couple of weeks ago when she said, Guess what Christian wore on my birthday picnic to the botanical gardens", I was more than a little pleased!

Daddy has been teaching him to stick his tongue out. Those boys! LOL

Don't you just love fat baby hands and fat little arms?


Monday, July 25, 2011

A Little Photo Shoot

Life is finally getting back to normal around here. Or the "New Normal" as Anna likes to call it. She is now feeling good, so she is back to working for me one day a week. I need her help for my many computer questions and I desperately needed some baby time!

I told Christian that since he is such a distraction, he would need to earn his keep by doing some modeling. He was very cooperative until he got hungry. His first outfit is the new Jon-Jon pattern #137.

We discovered during photographing that if Anna said "Rubber Ducky" which happens to be his bath time song, he would smile! Wow, did we ever have fun with that.

He looks excited about the next outfit. Doesn't that look he gives his Mommy just melt your heart?

*I will be busy the next few weeks with Martha Pullen School, #3 son coming home from South Korea for a visit, and a trip to the beach. During that time I hope that you will enjoy the pictures from our photo shoot.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Free Smocked Elephant Design

Here is the FREE smocked elephant design! Inspired by a box of animal crackers!

The Jon-Jon is made from white pique', lined with white Imperial Batiste and trimmed with red and white gingham piping.

I was able to cut the Jon-Jon out of a really odd shaped scrap of fabric, so once again I consider this outfit free.

* A word of caution, the elephants have quite a few half stitches, so you will need to be familiar with them before you start. My "Beginning Smocking Book" explains half stitches.

***A printing error has just come to our attention in several of the Beginning Smocking Books. If you have purchased a book and the center color pages are missing, e-mail me at and I will get you a new copy in the mail right away! Be sure to include your name and address in you email. Sooooo Sorry!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Smocked Elephants for Christian

Since "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" I thought that I would share a few pictures while constructing a smocked Jon-Jon. The smocking design for the elephants are mine and will be available on the blog shortly. Anna and I wanted them to look like animal cracker elephants, but are going to let her husband think that they are University of Alabama elephants. Please don't tell him!

The first picture shows the smocking completed and pinned to my lace shaping board. I then took my two pieces of piping which are cut the length of the insert guide and matched the center of the insert and the piping. After I am satisfied that I have evenly distributed the pleats, the piping is then pinned to the insert. I then stitch the piping to the insert using a stitch length of about 3.0 or 3.5, being cautious not to let the pleats shift as I stitch.

This picture shows the top of the insert pinned to bottom of the top yoke with right sides together. I carefully matched the centers and then used my ruler to make sure that I will end up with a 5/8" seam allowance. *Although the fabric is white pique' I had no trouble seeing and feeling the piping through the fabric.

Last but not least, I used my cording foot to sew as close to the piping as possible. If you do not have a cording foot, a zipper foot works well.

*Do you know what the hardest part about doing a tutorial blog is? Remembering to take the pictures as I go! I have to set the camera on the tripod so that it is in my way to remind me that there is a bigger mission going on here. :)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Rigsby the Robot" Jon-Jon

I just had to share what my friend Suzanne Shelton, owner of "Olivia Anne Designs" did with the Jon-Jon pattern! The robot applique' is part of her Ready-Set-Applique collection. Suzanne has a special talent for putting bold color fabrics together. I also love what she did with black and white piping and the large buttons. Without a doubt Christian will be needing a "Rigsby the Robot" Jon-Jon.

* And what am I doing right now? Getting ready for Martha Pullen School which is NEXT WEEK! Trying to clean up the sewing room as I pack my stuff, leave the house in good order, cook a few meals for the freezer, and preparing a couple of blogs to launch while I am gone. Hope to see you there!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Play Clothes For Emma

No sooner had a I told Rex that I thought that I needed to cut back on the sewing for the grand babies, because "They don't need a thing" Emma's mommy e-mailed to let me know that she is out growing everything! First thing I did was go through the Trunk Show to see if there was anything in the appropriate size.

This playsuit made by pattern #123 is on oldie but goody. If you have taken Picture Smocking from me you will recognize it! The smocking design is by "June Bugs Designs." Their graphs are very clear and easy to read.

I made this sunsuit #132, a few weeks ago out of scraps from an earlier project. Any outfit made from leftovers is considered free. So the cost of the outfit was the cost of the two buttons!

I thought that I would give you a peak at my new design wall. Staging garments for photos in my small room is always a challenge. Anna came up with buying cheap pictures frames, both had very ugly prints in them, painting the frames white and hanging the garments in the center. Doesn't it look artsy? Apparently Anna is very creative in the middle of the night while up feeding "Chunky Monkey."

*The dress on the left is made by pattern #116.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Quick Diaper Shirt With Bullion Embroidery

We discovered really fast that Christian is most comfortable in diaper shirts, so at his request I got busy on another! How could I resist? The fabric was already in my stash and he is already such a boy that he needed a manly print. Once again Rex asked if I had cut up one of his shirts! "No dear, but you have one that looks a lot like that...."

Since Christian is working on growing a double chin, I cut the neck slightly larger. I was able to make the shirt in one afternoon, do the handwork that evening, and the Bullion frog the next morning. Now, that is what I call "Nana Sewing!" The frog is from "Australian Smocking's A-Z Bullion Book", which happens to be one of my favorites. If you have not tried Bullion animals, they are extremely quick and easy. This little frog took me less that 15 minutes.

*These pictures are about 2 weeks old and Christian now 7 weeks old and weighs 11.5 lbs. The boy is getting plenty to eat! He is not a red head yet, although we are all hoping!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Smocked Watermelons

Our little Emma is getting to be quite the big girl now! Sitting up all by herself! I asked her not to grow too fast, but apparently I have been ignored.

Christian was about 3 weeks old when I looked at him one morning and said, "Listen buddy, Nana NEEDS a sewing fix!" He decided that I could go home for a few days for break. On the way home I stopped and picked up green gingham with a project in mind. The next morning at 6:30 I was redrafting my bishop in pattern into a bishop bubble with angel sleeves.

I had Ellen McCarn's "Watermelons" smocking design in my stash which I made a few changes to. After getting to smock and sew for a couple of days, I felt like my old self again and was able to stick a new outfit in the mail to Arizona.

We refer to this picture as "Yoga Baby". Don't you wish you were this limber?



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