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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Goodness, I've not posted for so long!   Here are some of the more recent things I've sewn.
Eva wanted a dress just like June's (Little Einsteins) so this is what I did on my birthday!   Created it.  I'm working on the ballet slippers now. 
This is one of SEVERAL outfits I made for a co-worker's baby.  I wish I had snapped pix of all of the outfits.  All the women were raving over the outfits and telling me I should open a webstore and sell these.      ...a very nice, feel good moment for me!

Embroidery work.  I do love my new Babylock embroidery machine!   It's so much fun.

Using my embroidery machine for the first time....more p.j's!
Audrey's christening gown...I'll find the pix of her wearing it.  Looks much better.  : )

more p.j's. - always a staple sewing project
Unders for the kidlets.  : )

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some favorite, fun photos from our last trip to Spain. I'll try to get more posted. This last one cracks me just have to wonder what Adriana is thinking.

I hope Chanda likes this style and fabric she is getting one of the two sets shown for Eva. I didn't have the leggings completed at the time Mariksa tried it on. They are styled to end just below the knee. Pedal pushers? Now I have to figure out what to make for sweet little, with Vander Leest thighs & butt Adriana ::wink:: (Chanda knows what that means...the poor little girl. I'm thinking a simple knit dress that is a bit shorter (more baby length) with a ruffled bum diaper cover. What do you think Chanda??

I've made this simple (in design) tee-dress 5 times now. It's so easy to do and of course, I had to change it up a bit. The pattern has you using just one fabric for all the pieces. Not me. I had to cut it apart & add in a 2nd fabric. I am thinking about some other design changes'll have to wait & see what I come up with.

Here is the dress in it's "original" 1-fabric style:

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Bermuda Shorts
Mariksa has her play area next to where I have my sewing "studio" set up. She actually has more space than I, even though some may beg to differ. Anyway, typically she does her thing (dance, play school, play house, read, do arts & crafts, WATCH TV, Watch videos, mess around with the train tracks on the train table, do Hannah Montana impersonations, do Cheetah Girls impersonation, practice for her debut on American Idol, play dress up - anything from Power Rangers to Belle to a vampire & I do mine -- sew.

On occasion she shows great interest in what I am making, especially in the art of it all as she really likes arts & crafts. Her art teacher at school has recently gotten her into modeling with clay. Mariksa really enjoys it. She's totally in to sculpting with different tools and everyday objects. This week she brought home the coolest clay turtle she sculpted & painted totally on her own. Her teacher told her it was the first time she let a 1st grader start working with clay.

This past week when I created the new pattern for my blouse out of the old blouse & then drafting & adjusting a new pattern, Mariksa was quite interested in how it all worked. She asked a lot of questions & watched me intently at times. She said it was kind of like clay. (Yeah, I guess it is, especially when you realize one has to work around a lot of lumps and bumps on me!)

I drafted a simple pants pattern for Mariksa Tuesday night & made up a pair of sleep pants for her. When completed, she commented on how I must be really good at art because she just can't figure out how I can make all this cool stuff sometimes. (Wow. What a great compliment!) Anyway, she decided she wanted to make some pants herself. I helped her make a simple bag once, but this is the first time she's been interested in making an article of clothing. She even reminded me that she was almost 7 now and I told her when she was 8 years old I'd teach her how to sew. So her logic is 7 is really close now and 7 is also close to 8; so she can learn now. Who was I to argue?

So last night I traced the pattern for her on a fabric of her choosing (leopards!!) and I did all the ironing, but she did the rest - carefully cutting out the pieces; learning how they go together to curve around & fit the body; serged the edges of the waistband & hems; serged up the seams, sewed the hems in place, sewed the waistband down, cut the elastic to fit her waist, stuck a safety pin in the elastic (and her finger in the process!) and then "threaded" the elastic through the waistband, sewed the edges of the elastic together, added a size tag (7!) and then closed up the seam.

VIOLA! Her bermuda shorts. And was she ever proud! She had me make a collage of the photos & print it off so she could take that with her to school to show she indeed, made the shorts she wore to school today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Blouse

I had this white blouse hanging in my closet. Well it used to be white. Really nice & white. It had yellowing under the good ole armpits and a few "faded spots" where obviously I'd spilled something & tried to remove it. Even without those flaws, I didn't much like it as it had a very tight, almost choking, neckline and it was tight in my tummy. (Years of too much soda pop and not enough water aerobics!)

Anyhoo, I've been reading up on pattern design & alterations. I decided I would test my new found knowledge by carefully taking apart the seams of this blouse & re-drafting a pattern to my liking using this as a base. I wish I had taken a picture of it (on me) before cutting it apart, but didn't think about it until I was quite well into cutting.

Using my very sharp, scalpel type seam ripper I removed all the hems, side seams, removed the sleeves and even the bias trim. Note the bias trim was simply turned under & looped under. Great idea for simple button loops at the neckline.

The surprising thing about this experiment - other than I was ACTUALLY ABLE to succeed at making a new top that FIT was the POOR quality of workmanship on the original blouse. The front piece was not even from side to side, the hem line varied by a whole 1/2" and the bias trim wasn't even all the way around. Wow. Last time I criticize my sewing!

After carefully taking all the pieces apart, I ironed each piece flat and then started drafting a new pattern using these pieces as a starting base. The original blouse did not have bust darts. I added them which meant major changes in the pattern. Then I lowered the neckline and made the shoulders narrower. When I added darts, I put them in the arm hole seam versus the side seam. This meant I also had to adjust the upper curve on the arm pattern. Thus I ended up making, trying on & adjusting 3 muslins. (Muslins are 'sample garments" made from inexpensive muslin fabric - so one can test size and fit.) Each time I had to go upstairs & stand at the bathroom mirror with pins and a marker in hand trying to look in the mirror and make the alterations by pinning & marking where appropriate. Not an easy thing to do! I was constantly marking in the opposite direction - simply because everything in backwards when you look in the mirror. And I managed to poke myself umpteen times with some very sharp pins. (I'll have to put one of the muslins back on & snap some shots. Actually the 3rd muslin was so comfy to wear, I ended up slipping it back on when sewing & left it on until I went to bed. I know -- a bit nutty, eh?)

It took most of the afternoon & evening for this project. However, I am quite proud of myself and I did it!! I got up Monday morning early and put it on. I decided I still liked what I did, so I snapped these shots before taking my shower. (See...flat hair!! LOL) I decided to wear it to work. During the day, two people commented - "nice blouse" and "that's a neat color on you - is that new?" I finally asked one co-worker if she could tell it was handmade. She said I did an awesome job as she had no clue it was handmade. SCORE!!

I have this same silky type fabric in other colors -- sky blue, teal, pink, a silvery-gray, black and white. Now that I have the base pattern figure out, I will make up some more blouses, but vary them a bit in the neckline and maybe even sew some pintucks in one of the fabrics before cutting out the front piece.

See - it's a very small round neckline. Not very comfy for me. (I drew the circle for the pix.)

I am proud of me!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Woo hoo! A little barette that has stayed in her hair for more than 24 hours. Oh how she tugs & tugs to get her little topknots out.

You can see who Kelsi bonded with....immediately!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 2007 Independence Day

We went to fireworks display last night. Since when did all the cities change fireworks to be July 3rd instead of the 4th. Even the really big Des Moines show was on the 3rd. The 4th is reserved for "the rain date".

I made this outfit earlier this year in size 5 & sold it on eBay. Chanda saw it and wanted one for Eva, size 18 mo. I set aside the fabric but just did not get around to sewing it. Last night, I thought, this is nuts...just go sit down & get busy. So from 11PM - 3AM I cut, measured and sewed. It's DONE. Hopefully I won't procrastinate the actual mailing. Come to think of it, I have probably about a dozen outfits to mail her along with an assortment of other things.