Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Liberty Love

Sometimes fabrics just speak to you.  This Liberty print says it all to me - love it!
The under dress is all ivory PERFECTLY matched laces and batiste.  I have to give a big shout out to Capital Imports and Farmhouse Fabrics for providing these beautiful materials.  We all know there are many, many shades of ivory, some which look good together, and some which REALLY don't.  This can be a big frustration when planning a project with multiple laces and fabrics.  Thumbs up!!!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another Capri Set

I'm been having a bit of fun making capri sets that incorporate heirloom techniques in the small size manageable format of  a swing top and pants - not yards and yards of full skirts and ruffles.  This one has a bit of hand embroidery, button centered cast-on flowers connected with a chain stitch, an interesting two color entredeux edge trim, and lots of  French bias bound edges.

The interfaced pockets have an embroidered, entredeux trimmed flap and are bound with 1/16"  lime microcheck.  I like to prefinish my bindings to the exact length needed, using a technique that angles the ending seam allowance away from the final finished edge.  It gives a much cleaner, less bulky finish than trying to tuck the binding end seam allowances in at the finished edges.  I prefinished the length of the bias bindings on the neckline, pockets, and lower edge of the swing top.

The edges of the pocket flaps, mock front yoke, and ruffle sleeves are finished with entredeux which has been trimmed and embellished with a cross stitch and running stitch in two contrasting colors.

The top  fabric is petite point pique and is fully lined with Imperial batiste. The cuffed, reversible capris are fine line navy pique reversing to microcheck.  This will be a new class project for 2013 in sizes 3-6. 
I'm trying to step away from the traditional pastel pink/blue/ green color palette that is so lovely to work with but often over used.  I'm making this set up in an alternate color way of aqua pique and orange microcheck. I don't think I've made anything orange in my entire life - well... maybe in the 70's but I can't be held responsible for that.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Farmhouse Fabrics Project for 2013

This is a photo of the first version (kind of a trial run) of the project I'm planning for Farmhouse Fabrics next year.  The cotton batiste underdress/slip could stand alone with a sash as a beach type dress of it could take on a very formal look worn under a velveteen or corduroy dark colored a-line jumper.  I love the look of  it paired with the smocked  floral cotton lawn jumper.

The smocked jumper slips on over the head but has plenty of tricky construction points with all the piped, curved, French bias bound edges.  The underdress/slip, as mentioned in my earlier post, includes lots of  1/8" tucks, Swiss and French laces, and a cotton netting collar. 

I can't wait to start on the real deal - all ivory laces paired with my personal favorite fabric to sew on - Liberty Tana Lawn.  The print I have chosen to use is from their classic collection and is called  'Bourton'.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Mountain

The change of season never fails to take my breath away in this beautiful wild place.  I'm lucky enough to be able to walk out my back door and be here in less than eight minutes.

Favorite all time quote -
" Run the mile you are in"

This is a little look at the project I'm working on to teach at Farmhouse Fabrics in 2013.  The lacy underdress/slip has lots of Swiss and French laces, 1/8" tucks, and a tucked netting collar.  All the things that make my heart go pitter patter.  The smocked jumper which can be worn over the underdress should be ready by next week.  Stay tuned.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Something In the Middle

This next set sits somewhere in the middle between a fancy dress and play clothes.  It's dressy enough for many occasions but kid friendly enough for everyday wear.

The swing top and capri pants are made from 100% cotton pique - probably one of my most go to fabrics.  It's lovely to work with, is durable enough to hold up to what most kids dish out, and washes very nicely.

The swing top has 5, 1/4" released tucks across each front overlayed with a block of joined Swiss insertions and beadings. 

The same tucks and Swiss insertion block is repeated across the back of the top.  The angel sleeves are trimmed with coordinating Swiss edging.  The swing top has a partial lining to allow for a nice finish around the arms eye. 

The bottoms of the swing top and capri pants are finished off with the Swiss beading and Swiss edging joined to look as one piece.  This will be another of my class proposals for the Martha Pullen School in 2013.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Is There Still Room for the Traditional?

I think I am a dinasaur.  I think the little girl sewing world might have moved to a place I just can't go to.  Don't get me wrong - I think alot of it is quite charming but it's just not me.  I'm stuck on the traditional.  I keep pondering the possibility of William and Kate producing a royal daughter and the possibility (the quite real possibility) of Kate choosing to dress her in a very traditional style.  I think it would make people like me instantly 'cool' again.  Just think, everytime you looked at the cover of a People magazine there would be a little girl in a traditional smocked dress.  Now that's progress for us dinasaurs.  Let me know what you think about this.

So, in the spirit of the traditional I have a few photos of another project I will most likely propose to teach next year at the Martha Pullen school. I love ( repeat LOVE!) real dotted Swiss. It has a beautiful hand, is quite wrinkle resistant, and washes beautifully. Anyone born in the 50's or 60's will surely have a memory of wearing a dotted Swiss dress.

I picked the dots out of the fabric in the area to pleated. It leaves you with a nice plain surface to smock on.  I also interfaced the area to be pleated with a lightweight fusible interfacing.  The dotted Swiss is very fine and pleats down to almost nothing.  The interfacing adds fullnes to your pleats and makes it much nicer to smock on.

The teardrop collar is made from plain white Swiss voile and trimmed with shaped premade robin's egg microcheck spaghetti bias.  The two bias edges are joined with a hand 'bridging' stitch.  A few cast-on stitch posies help bring some of the pink in the smocking up into the collar. 

I'm very lucky to have daughter's who still will dress their daughter's in traditional style dresses.  I'm counting on Kate to help bring some of this back.  But, even if she doesn't, I'll probably stay right where I'm at.

P.S.  Happy Canada Day!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Little A-Line Skirt (with lots of details)

This is a completely new project for me and a bit of a departure from my usual traditional smocked dresses.  The skirt is made from white Spechler/Vogel waffle weave pique and fully lined with Imperial batiste.  It has a lap zipper on the left side seam and an all machine microcheck bias waist facing that allows for button hole elastic across the back of the skirt for a custom fit.

The piped microcheck belt is held in place with four turned bias belt carriers and forms a bow at the front when tied in a knot.  The belt also helps with a custom fit on the skirt.

The hem of the skirt is a 1 1/2" bias cut pleated band.  I used a new (to me, at least!) little gadget, borrowed from the home dec world, for making the 1/2" pleats and it worked like a charm.  I'll be using this clever little thing on lots of other projects in the future.  It also comes in a 3/4" and a 1" size.

The simple to construct microcheck peasant blouse buttons down the back and features a scoop neckline with a smocked ruffle made from petite point.  The long straight edge of the neckline ruffle provides a good place to perfect the use of your dreaded roll hem foot.  I fiddled around a bit with mine, trying different size roll hem feet (ended up with the 3mm one) and different needle positions.  I was VERY pleased with the final results.

I can usually tell if I have travelled in the right direction by my granddaughter's reactions to new projects and I am happy to report that this one has passed the 'Hailey' test.  This will be one of the projects I will be teaching at Sewing At the Beach in January of 2013.  You can check out their website at www.sewingatthebeach.com.   The new information for 2013 should be up in early July.

The next series of photos are another take on this skirt.  This time I paired it with my little tailored jacket with bound patch pockets and collar.  The cotton knit tank top is bound with premade microcheck picot edge folded bias from Martha Pullen.  The fabric flowers are made from a 3" by 13" strip of fabric.  This will probably be one of the projects I submit to teach at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion in 2013. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Still Making Floofy's

I think I might need a twelve step program to get me to stop making floofy skirts.  I love them.  This set is a size 7 and is intended for my granddaughter Hailey next fall.  I inherited a VERY LARGE box of beautiful novelty yarns from a generous friend who was in the process of moving and these turquoise and purples just jumped out of the box at me. 

If you are new to knitting this might just be the project for you.  All you need to know is a finished waist and a finished length measurement.  The skirts are knit on circular needles and worked from the top down.  You pick and choose when to throw in a new color or texture yarn.  The skirt is held up by an I-cord run through knit in eyelets on the waistband.   

The jacket is made from washable 100% wool and is fully lined with a purple silky lining.  It has some nice menswear details with a shaped two piece sleeve and small shoulder pads supporting the shoulder area.  I completely interfaced the wool with a lightweight fusible interfacing before cutting the pattern pieces and it gave the fabric a beautiful firm hand.    The I-cord five petal flowers are a fun addition to coordinate the jacket with the skirt.  A knitted hairband should be just the right touch to keep this soon to be seven year old fashionista happy.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Smocked Dress and Jacket - Two Ways

This is my new project to teach at Farmhouse Fabrics this year,  I will be lucky enough to go there three times in 2012.  If you love nice fabric, interesting laces and trims, millions of buttons, and almost anything else related to sewing a trip to Farmhouse should be on your bucket list.  For a little taste go to www.farmhousefabrics.com.   The first version of the class project is quite formal - a floral brocade mandarin collar jacket paired with a smocked and beaded silk dupioni dress.

The second version is a floral print featherweight corduroy paired with a Swiss flannel smocked dress.  The corduroy jacket is completely interlined with 'baby' interfacing to give it some additional body.   I don't ever make anything brown so this was a nice change for me.

I've already got ideas for several more combinations which is always a good sign to me.  I hope this will be a versatile pattern that will work up well in many fabric combinations.

Teaching Schedule for 2018

6-11 Sewing at the Beach
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
contact: www.sewingatthebeach.com

22-26 - Private Class

19-23 Teaching Studio
St. Louis, Missouri
contact: v-keller@sbcglobal.net
(or text 314 974 7561)

7-8 Bewitching Stitchers
Boston, Mass
contact: peg_round@yaoo.com

10-14 Children's Corner
Nashville, Tennessee
Contact; www.children'scornerstore.com

20-22 Bewitching Stitchers

30-June 2 Private Class

4-9 Private class

23-27 Private Class

7-8 New Orleans/Baton Rouge SAGA
contact: janelbriscoe@yahoo.com

17-23 SAGA National Convntion
Winston/Salem North Carolina
contact: www.smocking.org

4-10 Beating Around the Bush
Adelaide, Australia

29 - Nov 2
Teaching Studio
St. Louis, Missouri
contact: v-keller@sbcglobal.net
(or text 314 974 7561)

6-10 Private Class

I have several open dates in 2018 for private or public groups.
For teaching information, a current class list, and available dates, contact gaildoane@hotmail.com