Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Love at First Sight

When I first laid eyes on this yarn I fell in love. Smitten. Head over heels. Be still my fainting heart!

Okay, so I'm being a bit dramatic here, but seriously, what do you think of this yarn? Isn't it pretty? Oh, so luscious! The bright, cheery colors make me smile. :-)

I'm going to knit Emily a cardigan sweater in a size 3 (she's wears a size 2) because I'm such a slow knitter and I want it to still fit by the time I finish it.

Another project. Ha, I really don't need anymore projects. But what can I say? I'm in love!


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ready to Smock

Well, I'm almost ready to start smocking Emily's Easter dress. Today I traced my pattern pieces and prewashed my fabric. Now why did I buy 100% cotton fabric? It will always need ironed. What was I thinking?! :-)

I have not yet decided on the smocking plate yet, but I think I've narrowed it down to two. Sometimes I wish there was an heirloom sewing shop in town or in the city just so I could browse the smocking plates, patterns, and laces. As it is, I will be purchasing my lace and trim online without the satisfaction of being able to see and touch it beforehand. I decided to choose a smocking plate from my collection (mostly purchased on clearance when a sweet lady in Denver sold her business).

I also dug out my pleater, a Sally Stanley, purchased in 1995 by my sweet husband for Valentine's Day, and a total surprise to me. He ordered the pleater from Linda's Silver Needle in Chicago, another great place that is no longer in business. (I still have a mug that Linda gave me when I visited her shop on our way through on vacation). I found out today that Sally Stanley pleaters are no longer being made which is too bad. Mine has been a great pleater and I've never had problems with it. I should probably buy a spare set of replacement needles for the pleater....

Tomorrow I will decide on a smocking pattern, and I will pleat the skirt front and the sleeves so I can begin smocking. I so enjoy hand work, and I'm looking forward to working on this. It's been too many years since I've smocked. Joy, joy, joy!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cowpoke Bag

From several old pairs of jeans and the scraps leftover from the Cowpoke quilt, I made a zippered bag for Jessica. I like the bag so much that I've already cut out another with different fabric. This bag measures approximately 11" × 7" × 4" and would make a great purse or tote bag for a take-along knitting or sewing project.

The pattern I used was Vogue 8098. I like the fact that this bag has a top zipper closure and also a side pocket with a zipper. I did not put the cell phone pocket on the strap, and I added an extra pocket to the back side. If you look closely, you can see a snap in the center of the pocket binding. I just love my snap press (it's not just for diapers)!

The pattern instructions called for cardboard in the bottom of the bag, but because I wanted the bag to be washable I used a piece of plastic canvas instead. I don't think the plastic canvas is stiff enough for my liking, however. Can anybody tell me of a washable alternative to cardboard that would provide the stiffness of cardboard?


the finished bag

Vogue 8098

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jessica's Baby has Arrived!

I'm so excited about my new grandbaby and just had to share with our readers here. After a long and hard labor, Jessica safely delivered a healthy 9 pound baby boy! His name is Jackson Elliot, and he will be called Elliot.

I'm sure that Jessica will want to post pictures when she gets back on her feet, but for now you can see a few at www.victoryhill.blogspot.com.

until later....

Friday, February 09, 2007

Frugal Fridays--Decorating the Nursery

A couple weeks ago, my sister Katie came over and helped me finish the painting and decorating in the nursery. I was so pleased with how our walls came out that I just have to share some pictures!

We had already painted 2 of the walls in the bedroom a medium blue, and the remaining walls white and lime green, but they just needed something else, especially since I didn't have a lot of decor type stuff to hang up. To finish the look, we used foam stamps from Michaels and stamped star galaxies here and there on the walls in a navy blue paint.

I was very pleased with how little time and money we had to put into finishing his room. The stamps and bottle of paint were under $1 each, and the curtains were made using $1 fabric. The total spent on the walls, counting the 2 gallons of colored paint was only around $35.

For more frugal Friday tips visit Crystal's blog.

Curtains for the baby room

Well, I'm 39 weeks and our baby is not here yet...hopefully he'll come soon! In the mean time I've been busy...sewing curtains for the nursery! I was so pleased to find this fabric at Wal-Mart on the $1 a yard table. It is a medium weight decorator type fabric, and the green color was a perfect match to the green paint we have on one of the walls.

Basically I made these curtains from a picture I'd seen--I didn't have a pattern. I measured the length of the rods and after determining how long I wanted the valences to be, I then added additional inches for the side and bottom hems, the casing, and the center box pleat. I then cut the fabric and began the process of hemming all the sides, sewing on the ribbon trim, pinning in the box pleat, and making a casing at the top for the rod. Long boring seams, but they are done now, and I'm really quite happy with the finished product!


Treasures, Part 3

Treasures from the Closet, Part 3

This little white dress was smocked in 1996 using the Ashley/Corey pattern by ABC Kids. I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but I added little glass beads to the row with the bullion roses. The bonnet pattern came from English Smocking by Children's Corner, one of my favorite instruction books for basic smocking. I bought this book from a thrift store and have found it to be a great reference book.

My doll baby, Ellen, was 6 months old when this picture was taken in 1996.

I'm still in the planning stages of the dress I want to smock for Emily for Easter this year. More on that to come....


Friday, February 02, 2007

Treasures, Part 2

Treasures from the Closet, Part 2

I smocked this little baby bishop dress in 1995 when I was expecting Ellen, my 4th daughter. I can remember working on the dress, anticipating with joy the baby's soon arrival. This was the first bishop-style dress and I was pleased with the outcome. When the dress was finished I also made a matching bonnet and coordinating slip. Unfortunately, I cannot find a picture of Ellen wearing the dress.

The dress and bonnet are made from a rosebud poly/cotton print. Bullion roses are embroidered on the smocking and on the bonnet. The batiste underslip is a simple pattern that I used to make in every size as needed for my growing girls. I shadow-embroidered the bow and bullion roses at the slip's hemline.

The pattern I used was "Wee Care Gown or Sacque" by Stitches of Love in the newborn size. I don't know if this specific pattern is still available, but a similar pattern can be found at smocking.org to be used for the express purpose of sewing for babies who have died or are about to die. Today many smocking guilds across the nation have adopted the "Wee Care" service project of sewing and smocking these gowns for premature or stillborn babies. Someday, I also would like to make more of these gowns and participate in the Wee Care program.