Monday, April 13, 2015

Its That Time Again-

Time for the Cardinals Home Opener. If folks had their way, it would be a school holiday and a day off work. Judging by the news coverage of downtown, a LOT of people called in sick today. Its a viral sickness called "cardinalitis".

As much as everyone wants to see those boys on the field, they come for these boys as well. If *AmBev ever tries to get rid of the clydesdales, their will be a city wide revolt.

Its not Thursday but here is a throwback anyway. This sweet boy is three and a half now. He still knows what team to root for.

Enjoy another season of great baseball! And lets hope we make it another post season winner.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Let's Pretend

Let's pretend that for the past 9 months that I have been totally on top of things and posting regularly as is always my intention. Don't know about you but my mother always said the road to h*ll was paved with good intentions. I do have the best of intentions. The truth of it is, you can't sit in this chair and sew at the same time. If I could, oh the things I could show you! And the past many months has seen a LOT of sewing done. For my son't wedding alone I already shared it was eight weeks of straight sewing. Since the first of the year it seems to be pretty much the same thing. That is okay. It is what this Mimi does.

If the last several months have seen lots of sewing, the past few days have seen lots of file transfer. When you take as many photos of the most beautiful grandchildren as I do and almost as many of different sewing projects, you end up with an astronomical amount of photos clogging your disc space. Astronomical as in thousands. Suffice it to say, my desktop mac was unable to do anything because I had no room. Another frustration that had me spending less and less time in this chair. For several days now I have been transferring files to free up some disc space. It will take several more days to finish this task. I wasn't kidding when I said thousands. After that is completed perhaps it won't take as long to accomplish something if my computer can run at a more optimum speed.

I have been able to edit some photos, albeit poorly of baby Leighton's coming home dress.

My daughter wanted to replicate the dress that she wore to come home from the hospital. This dress was completely done by hand from Swiss batiste. The embroidery is very "rough" but I loved it and loved my baby wearing it. 

The original was made from this pattern. This is the only pattern by this designer that I have ever seen. There were lots of things I liked about the original and some things I wasn't as crazy about. I wanted deeper pleats on the back and I was never a fan of the sleeve shape.

So I decided I would combine parts from a pattern I love the fit, the back and the sleeve shape. Old Fashioned Baby's "Emma's Smocked Dress".  It has recently gone out of print, so be searching your favorite shops now to find what they still have in stock or resort to eBay or Etsy. It is a great pattern.

This is a pic of the bodice. When necessary, punt. The copy dress is made from Swiss flannel in place of batiste. This inserted entredeux at the neckline was IMPOSSIBLE to accomplish by hand. The Swiss flannel doesn't behave the same as batiste. It frays and won't roll and whip by hand like the batiste does. After three attempts, I decided to take another route. I did the roll and whip by machine. That left a rather unsightly ending to the entredeux in the center. When in doubt? Cover it with a bullion rose. If I hadn't told you, you would never have known that I had modified the original embroidery plan. I am all about full disclosure you know. :)

This is the back I love, buttons all the way down the back and has antique mother of pearl buttons. Also purchased from The Old Fashioned Baby. And you can see that sweet sleeve shape. Also this shows the contrast in color. Pink Swiss flannel is a soft muted pink as seen against a pink cradle sheet here.

I also did the Madeira hem a little differently than the original. The original has you turn the hem towards the front and stitch. Swiss flannel does have a noticeable right and wrong side to the fabric. So to achieve the same look, I added a hem band and stitched it in place with a pin stitch. The hem is also accented with bullion roses all around. Also by adding the hem band that was cut on the bias, it eliminated the little tucks at the hem from trying to ease in the fullness on an a-line skirt.

The finished dress. Soft sweetness in pink with white embroidery. Even better,

on our littlest Princess. Doing what she likes best, to be held. As I catch up on posts, she is going to grow up fast right before your eyes. She is six months old now.

FYI- a friend has a new blog. Berry Hill Heirlooms. Jump over and visit. Tell her I sent you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Playing Catch-Up-Getting Ready for Baby

I am still trying to catch up on all the sewing this past fall. I did attend SAGA Convention in September before traveling to New Orleans to await the arrival of our newest blessing. Luckily before I left I was able to finish up this pair of garments. Big Brother needed something to wear to the hospital for his first meeting with Baby Sister, didn't he? Of course he did!

I used Children's Corner "Johnny" for his long all. Fabric is a poly/cotton from the stash closet. I have no idea what the fabric is. The embroidery is from Applique for Kids, I used the machine embroidery/applique for Big Brother and the coordinating shadow work design for Baby Sister. Shirt is also from Johnny out of Imperial broadcloth.

It seems I didn't take a picture of Baby Sister's gown by itself. I used Embroidered Raglan Daygown from The Old Fashioned Baby for Sister's gown. To coordinate with Brother, I used the same poly/cotton blue for a hem treatment. The rest of the gown is poly/cotton Imperial batiste. In hindsight, I wish I had removed the hem allowance before adding the bottom band. It makes for a really long daygown. To eliminate having to hem the gown, I made a double band and attached it to the gown, sandwiching pink gingham piping at the seam.  All in all a sweet set, but not as sweet as:

when seen with these sweet faces. This is as close as we were allowed to get at first. He was having none of that posing business.

After some cookies we were able to coax a finger touch, She probably wishes he had stuck with that. Three months later he hugs, lays on top of, pokes her eye, and tries to show her how a friendly slug up side the head feels. All those other signs of "brotherly love". These days a crib and playpen aren't just places to rest but places of protection as well.

Stay tuned, more to come.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New; Year That Is!

Yes, it has been awfully quiet here of late but I couldn't let the new year begin without a re-cap of this past year. Once I do, you will know why I have been so quiet. I have been sewing, sewing, sewing.

I promised last year to do better here faithful reader and I failed miserably. So sorry. I have lots of reasons, even more excuses but know that you were often on my mind.

I hope you have had a wonderful holiday. We sure did. Since I posted last there have been big changes in our family.  Let's get to that year in review.

If you don't "track" your productivity through the year, I encourage you to do so. You will surprise yourself. Every year it boggles my mind. And I don't have photos of everything.

  • Seven muslins
  • Six embroidered diaper covers
  • Five button on suits
  • Four heirloom flower girl dresses
  • Four dresses
  • Three doll dresses
  • Three smocked bishops
  • Three machine embroidered "Camp Mimi" shirts
  • Three pair of pants
  • Two smocked shortalls
  • Two smocked Wee Care gowns
  • Two boy's peter pan collared shirts
  • Two embroidered longalls
  • Two hand embroidered baby dresses
  • Two slips
  • Two machine embroidered hairbow keepers
  • One voile jacket to match bishop with 77 tucks (I'm sure it had to be more than 44)
  • One romper with diaper shirt set
  • One machine embroidered daygown
  • One long sleeved top
  • One peter pan collared blouse
  • One nightgown
  • One boy's monogramed shirt
  • One shadow work wedding hanky
  • One heirloom bridal garter
  • One machine embroidered layette set of bib, burp and blanket
  • One machine embroidered "purse" to match "Frozen" dress.
  • One quilted sewing machine mat with machine embroidery, and pockets

For a total of 64 items.

Some of those items are deceiving. Those four flower girl dresses and three ring-bearers of 2 button on suits, one pair of pants and one monogrammed shirt took eight straight weeks of non stop sewing, 8-14 hours a day, that involved seven muslins from adapted patterns, seven self drafted collars, yards and yards of lace and entredeux, overnight mailing, road trips for fittings, one of which happened in a Chic-Fil-A bathroom; another a shopping mall bathroom, Face Time phone calls and photos. An undertaking to say the least. It was stressful but oh so worth it. They were precious! I can't wait to show you.

Add to this:

  • Three sewing workshops
  • Teaching two chapter programs
  • Hosting a couple's shower for 40
  • Hosting three little campers for a week of the First Annual "Camp Mimi"
  • SEVENTY-EIGHT days away from home, none of which involved travel abroad this year but did include two weeks worth of home remodeling (not my home), two bridal showers, three birthdays, one first day of school and two very big things:
  • A Wedding!! Our son got married in mid-December in New Orleans. All of the kids are married now. ::sigh::
The New Mr. and Mrs.

  • Drum roll please.................. A new little princess, also born in New Orleans to our youngest daughter in October.

Merry Christmas from our newest gift from heaven, Miss Leighton.

So you see, life is busy, busy but oh so worth it. What do I have on my plate for next year? Two christening gowns, clothing four little ones for Easter, birthdays and Christmas and I am sure lots more road trip time. I think I need a new car.

Let's ring in the new year with hopes and dreams of good things to come. I've seen this all over facebook and pinterest today. Doesn't matter if it is being overly used, because it is a great food for thought.

Happy New Year faithful reader!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Quick Lil' Sumthin'

Do you know how sometimes something becomes unavoidable? Well that was my stash closet in my sewing room one day. I reached for something and the shelf came out of the wall. I had been digging and re-stacking things in there for months. Of course things like this happen when you have no time to deal with them. This was no different. So with the shelf out of the wall and all of its contents in the floor I had no choice but to straighten it up.

Unfortunately this is one of those situations like when you reach up to clean one spot on the window above the kitchen sink, the next thing you know you have washed all the windows, taken down all the curtains and don't know how it got be dinner time when you weren't looking. Picking up the fabric from one shelf that fell became straighten up every shelf!

The top picture was the ensuing mess that needed to be addressed after I drug it all out and cleared the floor of the closet.

There is ALWAYS a silver lining to every catastrophe. In dragging out the mess and clearing the closet floor, I unearthed a set of blanks I had bought a few of years ago from Sew Beautiful. It was a bib, a burp cloth and receiving blanket. Treasure!

Since we have a sweet new Punkin' Pie on the way, I quickly stitched them up to take with me when I made one of those trips south to help paint my pregnant daughter's new house. Excuse the lousy cell phone picture, I gave them away before I could get proper photos taken. Punkin's nursery is going to have a flamingo theme. Do you know how hard it is to find flamingoes that aren't either too grown up, or too cartoony looking. I settled on this simple design from Embroidery Library. The font is Santa's Sleigh from Jolson's.

So my not so good day did unearth a treasure to be quickly stitched for our new girl arriving soon. See I told you I had been sewing.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

After an embarrassing number of emails asking "Where are you?" I knew I had to take a minute to post. Thank you all for worrying about and missing me. I promise I have been sewing, I just have not had a moment to tell you about it.

Since my last post I have driven 2,105 miles, flown on 5 different airplanes covering the same number of miles a second time, celebrated a birthday, hosted a couple's bridal shower for 35, held "Camp Mimi" for three of the cutest campers you ever saw, painted a laundry room and bathroom, celebrated a first haircut as well as a first day of school, sewn countless hours, cleaned and straightened my stash closet as well as cooked and done laundry. Yes, I am tired but I am sure no more tired than anyone else. Just meeting myself coming and going.

I am getting ready to hit the road again soon. This time I will only cover 1,600 miles. The hard life, what can I say? No, it is not, its just the life I have right now.

Before I hit the road again, I do have several posts to share with you. I will leave you with a cutie modeling her birthday dress. The cherry dress for her and Bitty.Baby. were a big hit.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Princess

Wow, how quickly the time passes when you are having fun! Princess is 4 today! Everyone gathered round for the birth of the first grandchild. Ever. Or we acted as if it were so. Marveled at every squeak and sigh.

Every move was documented. Hundreds of times.

You had a fashion sense early on posing as a ballerina your first Halloween. She still rocks this tutu four years later. This girl can get some mileage out of a wardrobe.

Such a happy girl.

You even dined in some of the finest restaurants. Here you are at your first Jazz Brunch.

Before we knew it, it was time for your First Birthday.

Then baby brother arrived. You weren't too sure. Now you are as thick as thieves.

Bubbles! Your second favorite thing after books. And books. And more books.

A close third is a slide. Oh how you love to slide.

You couldn't have been sweeter in your flower dress with Nanny Aim.

Growing up to be such a big girl.

And quite the little Diva.

A real party girl.

Your first day of school. A tough time for everyone. Not sure who cried more.

You have grown up so much. You love princesses, castles, dresses, *&Frozen, reading, being the boss and pink! Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

With a Cherry on Top


Princess has a birthday coming up next week.  And Mimi had a birthday dress to make. I have written about the "Cherry Dress" before here, here and here. It is much beloved where I live and an iconic symbol of the St. Louis Women's Exchange. This year's birthday dress came about in a convoluted way.

Available at Pauline Books

For Easter I had given all the grands a sweet little board book. In there is a picture of some friendly animals having a picnic. Featured front and center of the picnic was a chocolate cake with cherries on top. Every time Momma mentioned her upcoming birthday, she immediately announced she was having a chocolate cake with cherries on top. It took some serious detective work on her mother's part to figure out where this idea came from. She would not be swayed that she was having said cake for her birthday. So when faced with an unrelenting soon to be four year old, Momma did what any mother would do, she decided a cherry birthday party was needed. So that is what was requested.

Children's Corner Inc

I used a well loved classic pattern, Children's Corner Kathy Kelly. This was one of the first Children's Corner patterns I ever bought. I made kelly green dresses for my two oldest girls the Christmas they were 2 and 5. That two year old is Princess's mother.

I substituted a peter pan collar for the lace or round collar to replicate the St. Louis dress. Ignore my "model's" uneven shoulders. I keep telling her to stand up straight. The dress is blue/white seersucker with poly/cotton pique for the collar and cuffs all piped with pink gingham piping. The cherries are three dimensional made from the gingham and stuffed with polyfill. The leaves are embroidered with two strands of floss.

I love pink and blue together. I did interface the button bands and placket lap with a bit of german interfacing. Like me, if it has been 30 years since you put a placket into a box pleat, Lezette Thomason's video on Youtube is invaluable.

Because I am a grandmother who has lost her mind---

A matching dress for Bitty Baby was also made. It did turn out awfully cute. I followed a friend's suggestion to make the chest a tad larger for Bitty Baby. I will let you know how it fits. I did use buttons for the dolly cherries instead of the three dimensional ones. Since I was on a roll---

Two more doll dresses were made. One is for our local chapter's doll auction in November and the other is for an auction at the Miracle Bash to benefit Huntsville Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The two additional doll dresses were done in the traditional white with red trim. Since I was making cherry dresses I figured I would knock these out while I was on a roll.

I sure hope Princess likes her birthday dress with dolly dress to match. I plan on enjoying a piece of that chocolate cake with cherries on top. I will let you know how it goes.

What are you stitching on faithful reader?