Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Looking Back in Time

The First Dress for my First Granddaughter

My first granddaughter was born in May, 1989.  In the spring of 1990, my daughter wanted to enter Nikohl in a baby contest.  I was receiving the magazine Sew Beautiful, and on the cover was the following picture:
I wanted to make the dress in a size 18 months for her for the contest; however, there was no pattern available for me to purchase.  So I set about copying the picture and making the pattern in a size that would fit Nikohl. 
Later in the year The Bunnykins Heirloom Sewing Collection came out, and the dress was one of the patterns, but it started with a size 5.
Here is the pattern book:
At that point I had already made the dress, and here are pictures of the one I made:
 The bodice yolk with the shadow embroidered roses and rabbits.

The hem with the shadow embroidery on organza circles, and the entire hem in French lace and entredeaux.
And the completed dress.
The end of the story is that Nikohl hated the dress when we put it on her, and she screamed her head off.  Needless to say, she did not win the contest, even though we were totally convinced she was the most beautiful child in the group!
The finale of the story is quite comical.  Two years later she had a baby sister, and when Becca, the baby sister, was two years old, I made another heirloom dress for Nikohl, put Becca in the Rabbit dress that I had made for Nikohl, and took them to get their picture taken.  Nikohl then cried because her sister's dress was prettier than hers!!
This is the picture of the two of them in their heirloom dresses the day of the photo shoot.  And I must add that it is my most favorite picture of the two of them.  They are now age 24 and 22.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Summer Clothes

Fun Times in the Summer

     For many years I have been working as a court reporter all year around.  This summer I have taken the summer months off work.  I now find that I have very few, if any, fun summer clothes.  I have "go to work" clothes, "hang out around the lake" clothes, "work in the garden" clothes - well, maybe I should call those "rags."  It is time to update the summer wardrobe, for sure.  
     So, I will start with some fun skirts and tops. 
     Several months ago I was surfing Sandra Betzina's website, www.powersewing.com, and found that I loved many of the things she designed, taught, showcased.  She had one skirt pattern that she had designed that I truly believed I would never make, as it simple did not fit what I thought was my style.
     However, on a recent review of her patterns in Vogue's Pattern book I found that I rather liked the skirt, and decided to give it a try.  Guess what?  I LOVE it.
     It is Vogue's V1292.
     I made it in a cotton knit, and because I didn't have enough material for the skirt to be cut on the normal straight grain, I had to cut the side panels on the cross grain.  Of course, the fabric did exactly what I figured it would do.  It began to hang out and ripple.
     So, to save face, and the wearability of the skirt, I hand quilted the stripes in the side seams about every third stripe.  It created a subtle gathered effect, which, actually, is quite nice.
      Once the skirt was completed, I realized that for the bottom flunce to truly show itself off, it needed to be in a fabric with more structure; therefore, I will make the skirt again in a heavier fabric, once I find a fabric that I like and think will work up well with this pattern.
     But, I do love the skirt and have worn it many times already, and it has only been finished for a very few days.

     I had the top that I am wearing with the skirt, but I do have a top cut out that I paired with the skirt material, so will pass that on when I get it completed, as well as several other skirts and tops for my fun-filled summer to come.

Monday, June 3, 2013



Oh, my, I have definitely not lived up to my plan of posting at least once a month, and had actually hoped to post once a week.  But I do have a good excuse.  I closed up my work apartment in Bloomfield, Connecticut and am taking the summer off from court reporting.
So, as I was busily getting the pots on my lake house deck planted and ready for summer, I realized that I was wearing a pair of cropped jeans that I had embellished many years ago.  Nancy Zieman, www.sewingwithnancy.com, has several videos on line of projects and ways to make or embellish what you have bought in a store.  So here I am in my fancy, wear to garden, store bought, embellished jeans.  I think I embellished these jeans because they had a hole in the front and I wanted to cover it!!
    So here they are:
And you can see I am busily planting away, which is why the above picture shows some dirt on the pants.  Not to mention my husband/photographer simply could not seem to get a close-up shot of the jeans.  So sorry, but hopefully you get the idea.  There are little squares of fabric placed all over and sewn on with a button in the middle.  Then I cuffed them with a gingham plaid.
Here is a nice summer dress that I made to wear in the evenings.  It was made originally to wear out to dinner at a sailing resort in the British Virgin Island, The Bitter End.  Bathing suits and coverups all day, and a nice dress in the evening.  This one is made of cotton knit with fish appliques.  I ruffled the edge of the overlay on top and the edges of the sleeves simply by stretching the fabric as I sewed a very tight zigzag stitch over the edge.


This is to give you a peak at the flowers now that they are planted.  I will try to remember to post them later in the season when they are full grown.  Also, the wall hanging is a piece of driftwood that I found on a hike in Connecticut.  It is so perfect for a lake house!!


And last but not least, if you are an Ohio State Football (Buckeye) fan, you will appreciate our hanging in with the flowers.  Our son, granddaughter and grandson graduated from OSU, and our grandson played football for OSU and not plays for the Patriots.  So we are major OSU fans!

That's it until I post again.