Friday, January 27, 2012

While I wait

Thank you all for your help on the dress.  I have made the changes now it's just wait for another fitting.
So while I wait I thought I would share a little winter.  There is just something I really like about snow.  The trees look like they have been sprinkled with magic fairy dust.

The dogwood tree has the look of being in bloom with beautiful white flowers.  I love summer, but there is something so special about winter, with all it's draw backs,  there is also such a quiet beauty.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Step two and we have a problem

Trying to sew for a plus size little girl is bringing problems.  Yesterday was finally try on day, with the snow and ice we choose when and where we go out  and trying on a dress was not high priority.
This is where we are at now.  I need advice, the front fit perfect, the princess lines down the front were perfect.  Then, I got to the back, the zipper is not in, but I pinned it as to where the zipper will be and oh my, she has a sway back, which lead to the fabric wanting to pucker at the curve of her back.
I am not sure what direction to take to correct this problem.  I have plenty of seam allowance to play with but then is that the direction I should take???
Calling in the experts.
Oh, and I haven't gotten rid of the lamp yet but do have my eye on just the lamp I want to replace it with.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bonnet Stand by Betty

I was given a couple of smocked bonnets and it reminded me of this post made by Betty as I need to make a couple more bonnet stands.  Thought it was the perfect time to share this with all of you.
Bonnet Stand How To
By Betty
Supplies: You will need a base, dowel, craft paint, foam ball,
tulle, ribbons,and silk flowers. Colors of your choice.

After drilling a hole in the base to fit the dowel, it
should fit snug, or you could glue it, or a screw from
underneath into the dowel. Paint it, the craft paint
dries in 1 hour (I gave it two coats). You will need
to carve a hole for the dowel, a paring knife worked
for me.

I stretched a section of panty hose over the ball
(just to tone it down some), and straight pinned near
the hole then trimmed excess away. Next I put the
tulle over and gathered it to the base and wrapped
sewing thread around and tied.

Trim the tulle, add ribbons and flowers.

TA DA FINISHED Very quick and easy but will use more
color next time. Betty

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Designer Kathy Dykstra

Kathy always inspires me with her designs, she has such a vision to take pattern or idea to a whole new level.  When I saw this one I had to ask her if I could share it with everyone and also had to ask if it was alright to copy.   I am really good at doing a copy of something, it's coming up with an original idea I am not good at.
I am not sure my version will turn out as cute as hers, but I am going to try.

The embroidery design is from digistitches.   They have tons of cute designs.  So off to find a pattern and get busy. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Let it Snow

I think sometimes we forget to look at the beauty of snow.  Yes, it is cold and slippery and wet, then again it carries with it such a beauty.   The snow comes alive when the sun shines on it, giving off sparkles like a yard full of diamonds.
The trees take on a completely different look, somehow the branches seemed transformed into a work of art.

Little garden spots look like they are ready for the winter fairies that I know live in my garden.

Then there is the fun of watching a little dog try to stay on the trail she made.  Hoping she can find her way back to the house.   Wonder what snow looks like to dogs?

So as I sit by the fireplace, sipping my hot chocolate and doing some smocking I will enjoy my snow day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Choose Joy

I took the title choose joy from Ashley of lil blue boo.  I do not know her personally, only from following her blog and face book.  For those of you who do follow her and maybe even know her, you know she is battling cancer.  This wonderful, beautiful young mother has shown so much courage and is such an inspiration to me I was hoping that I might be able to do a little something for her.  I can not have a bad day anymore as that just makes me feel guilty.  What do I have to complain about??? Nothing compared to what others go through.
In her last post Ashley thought of the idea of a bald Barbie.  How great it that?  Why hasn't anyone else thought of it?  Many little girls are going through chemo or their mom's, aunts, neighbors might be fighting this horrible disease and what better way to cope then through a doll.
I do not know how to do a write in campaign but I am going to figure it out, because I think Mattel needs to know there is a need for a bald Barbie.
I thought maybe some of you would want to join in and pass the word that we need a bald Barbie.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Step One

First step in sewing for Kylee was to get measurements.   Then move on to the fun stuff of picking a pattern and fabric.   When Kylee dropped by for her measurement session, I had her shop my stash,  this gave me a chance to see what she liked because if I asked I got an "I don't know".   I think she was a little shy about telling me, because she soon spotted a fabric that she loved.  I know she loved it because she pulled it off the shelf and walked around with it for a very long time.
This is the fabric and pattern picked out by Kylee. It is a pattern designed for plus size so that should make this first project a lot easier then re-doing a pattern.
The next step was to make a muslin from the top part of the pattern, the neckline and arm is where there would be fitting problems.
So now decisions are to be made.  Do we do the bottom ruffle in matching fabric?  Maybe a contrast fabric?  What should I do for trims, I am leaning toward rick rack I think it is more playful then ribbon for this dress.  Then we have the jacket, again should it match?  Maybe sew more then one jacket for a change of looks?
Lots of things to think about.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I hear that a lot from young mothers, I think it means "are you kidding me"? You know, when the kids do something unexpected.  Well, right now I am feeling a bit of "Really?"
 I am in challenge overload and do not know where to start, so I am not starting anything.  My friend Ole, gave me a challenge last week of designing a Christmas stocking using smocking but not on the cuff as we have all seen done, but incorporating it in the stocking itself.  Thank goodness she did not put a time limit on it.  Still the idea floats around in my mind taking up needed thinking space.
The next challenge I have is to design and sew for a little, sweet plus size girl.  I am finding no help from the commercial patterns, maybe one or two patterns is all I can find and they are better then what is on the store racks but not what I picture a little girl being able to wear that is fun and perky.  So, that is taking up the little space I have left to think.
She needs perky and something that says young and fun.  She needs something with her initials so she feels special. 
Any ideas?  Do any of you sew for a plus size little one?   I think once I get the basic concept about what works I will be on my way but right now I am just lost.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Buttons, Snaps or Dreaded Velcro

While you are smocking on your insert, it is time to give closures some thought.   I like using snaps and for the button look I sew a little button on top of the snap.  Now, there are places where only Velcro will work but if I can stay away from Velcro I will.  The stuff sticks to everything in the house, almost like the Velcro is a magnet for lint, dog hair, and also sticks to dolly's hair.

Genine posted this topic on ES and I would also like your thoughts on the subject.

I do have a question for the mums and grandmas on the board ...

I've been asked by two customers why I put buttons and skirt seams on the dolls clothes, rather than leave the dress open and use velcro all the way down the back or the front. I am told by these customers that "children don't know how to do buttons these days". 

My question about this is "Why not? Why are people bringing up their children not to use buttons?". Surely every baby/toddler has a busy book with buttons, zips, snaps, shoe laces etc in it? 

Bearing in mind that the AG dolls are aimed at, say 8 year old girls, why would a child need ALL their dolls clothes to fasten with velcro? How can someone not be able to use buttons by the age of 8? 

I can totally understand a child of 5 not having the manual dexterity to find buttons and buttonholes easy, but a child of 8? Is that normal? Yes, buttons might be fiddly, but practice makes perfect! Surely by the age of 8 a child can button up their school shirts and tie their own ties? At the age of 5 I had to dress myself for school or go to school in my nightdress, so I learned about buttons very quickly! Mind you, we do wear school uniforms in England, and even very young children may have to wear proper shirts and ties for school, although these days the ties are usually clip ons for safety reasons. 

If you're going to answer this one, please bear in mind that I don't have any children! lol. 

For the record, wherever possible I do provide an alternative fastening method, but sometimes only a button will do! 

Rant over! :rotflo: Seriously though, I do want to understand this "no buttons" situation so if anyone can shed any light on this I'd be grateful!

Have a wonderful day everyone. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

My New Project

I have fallen in love with sewing doll clothes.  I have come along way from saying never will I sew doll clothes, to it being one of my favorite items to sew.  After all, they are double loved when complete. Dolly loves them and the little girl getting them for her doll also love them.
So, with that said, here we go!   I could hardly wait to get to the smocked version of Genine's pattern Lucy.
I love the smocking plate, so will be doing that.  Do you notice the tiny print used for the dress? It is something you always want to be aware of when sewing doll clothes, large prints can just overwhelm a doll.

First, I need to get my insert pleated.  Oh boy, sometimes working with small pieces can be a challenge. So I pull threads on both sides of the insert piece to try to get the piece as straight as possible.
I only need 1 7/8 inch piece for the insert.  So again to get it as straight as possible I will cut along the thread marks with a rotary cutter .  You might wonder about my rotary cutter, yes, your right it is very, very old. I think I got it when they first hit the market.  it work's!!!
So now I have my strip, I will press it then on to the pleater.
For doll clothes, you will pleat using half space rows. I usually do not leave extra needles in the pleater but I wanted you to see the difference between full space and half spacing on your pleater.
Now, I am going to guide my piece through the needles. Something different again is, usually you would roll the fabric on a dowel to keep the extra out of the way.  With such a tiny piece I find it easier to just guide the fabric through slowly, with out messing with a dowel
So there I go-- I have started the smocked version of the Lucy.