Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sew Beautiful #145

I have been waiting for the newest Sew Beautiful to be up on their web site before posting these pictures.  It is still not up but I will go ahead.........

This is my latest creation in the magazine. I absolutely love this photo!

If you have your issue, you may notice that the title of the design is different from this photo.  When I am creating a design I usually give it a working title (or two) so that when I am exchanging emails with the Sew Beautiful editor we are on the same page.  One dress a couple of years ago had the working title of "The miracle dress" because it was a miracle that it got finished.

The title "Plum Wonderful" got ditched after we realized it sounded like a dietary aide! :-)

This is the cover of SB #145.

Just to give you a little detail on my design process, These were two of my rough smocking designs.     Last summer when I was down at Huntsville for the Martha Pullen's school.  Kathy B and I  spent our lunch time doing a show and tell. 

I showed her my designs and she showed off new fabrics and ribbons.  That is when we realized that my bottom smocking design looked like some fabulous maroon ribbon that they had just purchased.  Kathy knows that I love all things maroon! Gig em Aggies :-)

 We put it all together to create this!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween Skirt

I have been sitting on my hands waiting to post this skirt, but I had to wait till it was shipped to my granddaughter.  I did not want her mom to see it on line first.

This was just basically rectangles with an elastic waist ........with a little trim  added for fun.

 The side seams of the bottom skirt (striped fabric) are sewn together and pressed open.  I then marked the line for the  orange ruffle.  The orange ruffle is 1 1/2 times the width of the skirt.

At first I did not have the black band on the bottom but the skirt looked like it needed an anchor.

The rick rack  is bright lime green (even though it shows up as yellow in the picture). I attached it by hand stitching the points.  I have a pet peeve about rick rack that curls up after it is washed.  I wanted to add beads to the rick rack points but decided to wait on that design feature until she is older.

To form the waist band, I pinned the right side of the top skirt (purple cats) to the wrong side of the bottom skirt(striped fabric). Matching up side seams of course.

Stitched around the top with a 1/2" seam allowance.  I then trimmed the seam allowance down to 1/4" and turned the top skirt to the front and press.

I used 1 inch buttonhole elastic so  the waistband casing is  stitched 1 1/4" down from the top edge and then top stitched 1/8".

I did not take a picture of it but there is a growth tuck hiding under the orange ruffle.

Now to wait for photos of her wearing it!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Elmo- Monkey Girl skirt

I am so excited about my friend Sivje Parish making her Sew Beautiful Magazine debut! She worked with me on an article called "Skirting Around"  You may know her through her blog Goose Girl Sews.

This is the cover of Sew Beautiful Issue #144. It should be in your mailbox in the next couple of weeks.

One of the skirts  Sivje made for this article is from her "Monkey Girl" Skirt epattern

After we had finished the article for Sew Beautiful, I wanted to make one of these skirts for my granddaughter.   She is now about 18 months and loves Elmo!

 I found a Sesame Street fat quarter bundle on line at the Fat Quarter Shop.  The pattern calls for just 4 coordinating fat quarters so I had more than enough.

Here is my Elmo version of Sivje's "Monkey Girl" skirt.  I made a size 2 and used Buttonhole Elastic in the waist and added a growth tuck at the hem line so that the bottom band looks like floating hem.

This is my favorite part of the skirt...bloomers!

Of course being the ever indulgent grandmother that I am, her Bitty Baby had to have a matching skirt.  I reduced the 6 month pattern on my scanner until I had the right hip measurement for the bloomers. The t shirt was just something I put together using an old red t shirt of my daughter's

Her Elmo skirt is well loved and better yet it gets worn!

Congratulations Sivje!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Design your own smocking plate" Challenge

I have been playing around with a smocking design and realized that there are several different directions I could go with the design. I have finished my design but am curious to see what you could  create!

Okay, you are looking at the basic design...Do you imagine Row 1-1 1/2  and 10 1/2-11  as a border?  Maybe you like the combination space between Rows 2 1/2- 4 1/2.

Can you picture in your mind adding some step trellis stitches to connect two different rows? Do you see negative space as the focal point of the design or something bolder?   Do you see hearts or stars?

Okay here are my rules if you choose to follow this challenge. ( I will not hunt you down if you don't!).

  • You may only add to this design.
  • You may change the center point of the design if you want.
  • Color choices  and thread counts are totally up to you!
  • If you send me your finished design I will post them to my blog

I can't wait to see all what you come up with!~janet

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I want to show you something that made me laugh today.

Most of you know I do some work for Sew Beautiful Magazine.  I am usually working from first draft patterns. This patterns do not come with any directions.  I am the tester, the creator, the guinea pig.  So while I am constructing future masterpieces (I hope) I am making notes, in my note book and on the patterns.

I am working on several articles for future issues of Sew Beautiful and I needed to dig out the "Natalie"  sleeve pattern.

On the pattern I wrote to myself..... This is a flat cap sleeve. Do not join ends together. "BTDTDDA".

Can you guess what that stands for?

Been There, Done That, Don't Do Again. (dummy) :-)

 It is alway good when a past mistake or frustration can bring a smile. I pray that you can look back and laughs at something today~ Janet

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Red Pin

Just a quick sewing tip before I head back to the grind stone.

90 % of the glass head pins in my pin cushions are white. Somewhere along the way I picked up a package of glass head pins in a variety of colors. I know you are saying right now "Okay, but what is the sewing tip?"

I have found that it helps me if I place a colored straight pin in the critical areas that I am pinning together. In this photo my critical point is a seam line of a waist band that I am matching to the seam line of a skirt. This reminds me to slow down and pay attention and get it exact.

I hope you have a great day! ~janet

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Button It

Well, I got my daughter's Easter shoes exchanged. They had another pair just like them! :-) I guess someone was having a little fun.

Besides the shoe mishap on Easter, I also had the oven go out. Worked fine Saturday morning for breakfast but died around dinner time. Thank goodness we had our family get together the weekend before.

The oven got hit by lightning a few years ago , unfortunately it did not damage it enough to get a new one, but it did cook a little hot after that! :-)

You know what the worst thing about having your oven go out? You have to clean the darn thing before the repair people come out! Well, I guess it needed cleaning anyway. I found some wonderful homemade oven cleaner recipes on Pinterest......but that is another story.

So while I am waiting around for the repair people (they gave me a narrow window of somewhere between 1-5pm) I wanted to show you the way I finish button hole elastic.

For those who don't know what button hole elastic is, it is elastic that is made with little button holes down the center. Instead of securing the elastic inside of a waistband, you sew a button on either side. This allows you to adjust the waistband of children's clothes.

Button hole elastic comes in black or white and in 3/4" or 1" wide. I use a lot of this stuff so I buy it on line by the roll.

There are two purposes of finishing the ends of the elastic. One is you don't want the elastic to ravel. The other is the end finish treatment will help prevent the elastic from being sucked into the waistband if it gets unbuttoned.

Note: If your end treatment is extremely bulky you may find it better to run the elastic through the waistband first then finish the edges.

I like to use 1/4-3/8" ribbon or twill tape to finish the ends. You could also use a strip of matching fabric. The selvage edge would work great. The length of the ribbon/twill tape needs to be at least twice the width of the elastic. I am showing you 1 inch black button hole elastic for this tutorial. My orange ribbon is 3/8 inches wide.

The first step is to trim the end of the elastic. I want the length from the first button hole to the raw edge be at least twice the width of the ribbon. I center my ribbon and secure with straight pins.

With a narrow zig zag stitch I stitch on the edge of the ribbon.

I then trim the elastic to reduce the bulk. I don't want the trim too close that I have to worry about the elastic raveling.

With a piece of Wonder Tape I fold down one end and secure it in place.

I folded the other side down and trimmed it a little so that the ribbon overlapped. I remove the paper back and secure the other side down. The important step here is to try to line up the top edge neatly.

The end is then folded down and secured with pin.

I figured it was easier to show you my Bernina sewing machine settings.
  • I have a Ball Needle in my machine (it helps prevent skipping).
  • My needle is set all the way to the left so it lines up with my foot.
  • I have set the stitch to a zig zag with the width of 1.5.
  • It does not show here but I also set my needle into the down position.

I am going to start out with a zero length so I can tack my ends.

After about 3-4 stitches in place, I adjusted the length to 1.5 and stitched across. I ended the stitch by adjusting the length back to Zero to secure the stitch.

And it is done. I now just need to repeat the process on the other side.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Goody two shoes

Happy Easter!

I hope every got all their smocking and sewing finished and are having a great Easter!

LOL! I just had to show this picture of my daughter's Easter shoes. We are rushing around getting ready for church. I took her new shoes out of the shoe box and told her to hurry up.

Needless to say, she wore something else to church!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

First Birthday

Today is my granddaughter's first birthday! Wow, time has flown by!

Instead of my desire to make a frothy 1st Birthday dress, I toned it down to something she would really wear more then once.

This is a size 1 Children's Corner Mary Dee. The fabric has been in my stash for years waiting for the perfect "Let's Party" dress. The dress is piped in royal blue. I love this pattern and have used it numerous times.

Here is the back view. I used slightly larger buttons ( This is based on my experience of getting this style of dress off my daughter when she was one). The yoke of the dress has been lengthened by 1/2 inch to accommodate a long torso granddaughter.

She wore her balloon dress to open presents and play. She then had a costume change before she got to eat/wear her cake! :-)

Happy Birthday Cupcake!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Baby Shower Gift

Sometime in March our family is going to be blessed with a great niece! This has been a long awaited bundle of joy.

Well, tomorrow is the first of many baby showers. I made this little dress from Jeannie Baumeister's The Old Fashion Baby Embroidered Raglan Daygown.

The fabric is Swiss Flannel from Martha Pullen and Company

I tweaked the embroidery design a little. Instead of lazy daisy I added bullion roses. It just fits the new mother's personality. The embroidery colors match the flower girl dresses I did for her wedding.

I still need to make a matching bonnet but that will have to wait till next week.