Friday, September 28, 2007

Treasures, Part 4

These two dresses remind me of "back to school" outfits, and I intended to post about them back in August when we started school. It didn't happen. :-) Both of these dresses are once again something I pulled from the closet---treasures from the past.

I made the blue chambray dress for Heather in 1995 using a Kay Guiles pattern called "Elissa." The only picture I have of Heather wearing the dress was taken at a birthday celebration, and the snapshot is not that good.

The apple dress below was made in 2000 and is "Lee" from Children's Corner patterns. The piecework inset pattern "An Apple a Day," is also from Children's Corner. This particular dress was fun to make, and the paper piecing inset was something new for me. I loved how this dress looked on Katie when she was 11. Unfortunately, Ellen, who is now 11, won't wear the dress. So much for a "classic, never-go-out-of-style" pattern.

I've enjoyed rediscovering these dresses that I sewed so many years ago. There are several more in the closet that I hope to write about soon. One thing I have learned from doing this is that it's important to take pictures of my children wearing the creations I've made for them to wear. I'm finding that I didn't take very good snapshots, or very many snapshots, of my girls wearing their made-by-mama clothes.

That is one impetus I had in deciding to write out these special dresses---to have a journal or record of sorts of some of the dresses I spent so much time in making. I would highly encourage those of you who sew for your children or others to keep a record of what you sew and to take lots of pictures! It's something I wish now, that I would have done back then.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

County Fair Fun

I always enjoy entering sewing items in our local county fair. And I love to walk around looking at the textile displays to see what other people have been sewing and knitting. I feel so honored this year to have received 6 blue ribbons on 9 of the items I entered, including 2 "best of show" ribbons. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the "woolen article" trophy that I received for my blue socks, but someone did suggest using it for a bookend. :-)

One thing I've never done is to enter any sewing projects at the state fair. Our state fair is going on right now, and I hope to visit it one day next week. I'm sure to find lots of inspiration for future projects!

Oh, take notice of the sweetest baby ever---my grandson! Doesn't he have beautiful eyes?!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A couple quick projects

A peek at what I've been doing in my sewing room...

A new clothespin bag for the clothesline. Not that I hang out clothes that much, like I should, but it looks pretty anyway. =) Made from vintage garage sale fabric. Squash yellow with little white roosters and milkmaids covering it. The curtain in my kitchen is made from the same fabric. It's a lot of fun.
A tweedy and velvety clutch purse for a friend's birthday present. I'm happy to say she was as excited to receive it as I was to make it. The super awesome tutorial I used is here.

And of course, my two favorite boys! They are the best!

Cheers, Jessica

My review of Simiplicity 4111

This top is from Simplicity's "Built By You" line of patterns. Most of them are really over the top trendy (in my opinion), but I thought this one was kind of fun. A little on the bold side for me, but it's fun to be trendy sometimes. =)

I like the went together easily and quickly. I made the size 6 and thought it was a good fit. The underarm seam sits high and close, but not so much that I can't wear it. I just have to be careful not to rip the seams when I pull it over my head (it's a pullover style).

I did make a few changes...The neckline is very low...I raised it 3 inches just for some modesty, and I think it still looks good without being so revealing.

The sleeve hems are finished with elastic. Yuck! I just gathered the bottom edge and sewed in to a 3/4" wide band instead. I like the band a lot better then the recommended elastic.

Total cost: $3
$1 for the pattern and $2 for cheap Walmart fabric. Thread, buttons, and elastic came from my stash.