Saturday, June 30, 2007

Smocked Sundress

My latest project in a smocked sundress using a pattern from Issue #58 of Australian Smocking & Embroidery Magazine called "Miss Daisy".

This dress was made for Mia, a little girl from Taiwan being adopted by friends who will be traveling to Taiwan soon to bring her home.

Like many smocking patterns, the bodice pattern is included but for the skirt, button band and sashes the pattern is a list of measurements for rectangles. For example, size 1 requires two rectangles 16 3/8" by 19 3/4" for the front skirts and one rectangle that is 14 3/8" by 27 5/8" for the back skirt.
Here is a picture of the front pieces pleated and a link that shows the pleating process.

I used the lady bug in from this smocking plate and made the rest of the design using cable and trellis stitches around it. his picture is from "155 Smocking Designs" by Theresa Santoso. Smocking designs also come in individual "smocking plates" which consist of one sheet of paper with a picture of the design, instructions and a graph showing placement.

Here is the pattern piece with the one lady bug smocked. Here is a link that gives detailed smocking instructions.

Here is the the completed dress. It buttons down the front with fabric covered buttons and ties at the shoulders. The piping was made from some red fabric with black dots that I had and placed between the bodice and front skirts. I used two rows of the cable stitch in red along the top of the design and black thread for the trellis stitches used for remainder of the rows of smocking around the lady bug.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dedication Gown

I love traditions and special occasions and what could be more special than the dedication of a child to God. This dedication gown was made for friends who adopted their second daughter, Ava. It is made from imperial batiste and inspired by a picture from a Strasburg children's clothing catalog. Batiste is great for smocking and very soft against a baby's skin. I started with a basic bishop style pattern and lengthened it. The smocking along the neck and sleeves is a simple goemetric design using white embroidery thread. Along the hem are several rows of tucks. I also made a slip from the same fabric to go underneath.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pleats, Pleats and more Pleats

Adding your own touches to an existing pattern, combining patterns and putting coordinating fabrics together can make a basic pattern unique.

Here are a few samples of how adding pleats to a pattern can change the look.

The first outfit is made from New Look Pattern #6473. I shortened the pants a little and added long pleats in the same fabric as the top. Using the stripes in the fabric made it easier to make the pleats equal.
For the dress I used McCall's pattern number M4422. I replaced the gathered ruffle directed by the pattern and used pleats instead.
Both of these were made using my basic Annette sundress pattern. By adding straps instead of loops and a row of pleats along the bottom. I shortened the dress in the first outfit and added capri pants.
I like lining things when possible. The two dresses as well as the hot pink top are fully lined.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

8 Random Facts about myself

Morning Song tagged me for "8 Random Facts About Myself". Here are the rules.

The rules are as follows:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own post about their eight things and post these rules.
4.. At the end of your post, you need to choose eight people to tag and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are my random facts:
1. I am addicted to Blue Bunny Fudge Bars. I buy the pack of 20 from WalMart and eat several at a time. I also alternate for Blue Bunny Banana Pops when I want something a little different.

2. I'm allergic to alcohol. I get red from the neck up, ears get hot and I get nauseous when I drink anything with alcohol in it, even Nyquil.

3. When I was in high school (the 70's), long straight hair was "in". My hair was long but wavy so I would roll it using vegetable cans to straighten. We would remove the top and bottom, clean it up and roll our hair with them. My hair was thick so sometimes I would sleep with these cans and since they didn't have holes in them, the hair took a long time to dry. If only someone had invented straight irons back then.

4. My name is Nanette, my twin sister was Annette and my mom is Antoinette.

5. My twin sister and I were married 6 months apart and had our first children (both girls) 6 weeks apart.

6. I wore a pin on my clothes in school with an "N" on it and my twin sister wore one with an "A" so the teachers could tell us apart.

7. My favorite flavor of Starbucks' coffee is white chocolate mocha. (By the way, the tall with whipped cream and whole milk has 13 grams of fat).

8. I love all kids but for me there is something about Asian babies that I just can't resist. I just think they are the cutest. I've "adopted" an Asian girl in an orphange in China through Half the Sky Foundation and get updates on her quarterly.

I haven't been blogging long so don't have very many blogging buddies. Here are a couple of bloggers I read regularly and one I came across on Aimee's blog.

1. Aimee (she got me started blogging)

2. Oh Amanda (always interesting and fun reading)

3. Penless Thoughts (I saw her blog from comments on Aimee's)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Annette Sundress Pattern

Here is my latest project using my Annette reversible sundress pattern. This one was sold to a friend for her granddaughter. The fabric I chose is multicolored ladybugs on a white background pique print. I found some matching red ribbon with black dots at Hobby Lobby for the ties. The loops are also made from the red fabric used on the reversed side.

The flower is made from the red with black dot pique used for the reversed side. I covered a button with one of the ladybugs from the print for the center with a pinback sewn on the back for ease in removing when the dress is reversed. These pinbacks can be purchased at a local craft or discount store and hot-glued or stitched securely to the back of the flower.

Here is the reversed side. You can't really tell from the picture but there are black dots on the red like the above flower. I chose to get the black ribbon for this side. Generally, I only have one color ribbon ties but thought the solid black would look better on this side.
For the flower I used black pique and the coordinating red for the button. I added a few ladybug buttons I had to the flower for a special touch. Another pinback was sewn on the back of this flower.
This pattern is so easy and fun to do. Soon it will be available on as an epattern. It will be in sizes 1/2, 1, 1 1/2, 2, 3 & 4. It includes lots of colored pictures with the instructions for clarification. Also included is the flower pattern in two sizes with instructions. I'll post a note when it becomes available.

Monday, June 11, 2007

California Trip

Here are some pictures from our recent trip to Sacramento for the NCAA Track & Field Championships. We were able to do some sightseeing while we were there.
This is Old Sacramento. We bought some taffy from a store that had barrels and barrels of it in lots of different flavors. Licorice was one of my favorites.

There was an outdoor market at the entrance to the mall and near Old Sacramento that had some beautiful cherries, blackberries, peaches, strawberries, vegetables and bouquets of fresh flowers for sale. There was also pistachios with different flavored seasonings. We liked the garlic/onion and ranch.

This cherry tree with big ripe cherries on it was growing in the landscaping between the shopping center and hotel.

We took a drive to South Lake Tahoe for a few hours. We all loved it. The lake was clear and the scenery beautiful. We sat by the lake and relaxed under a thatched tent sipping drinks. The breeze off the water was very cool and comfortable. The water was very cold. I think I would enjoy a vacation there.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Another familly update

My oldest daughter found out this week that she was accepted to the accelerated nursing program at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge. Yeah!!!!! It is a fast paced 10 month program that would normally take 2 years to complete and at the end she becomes a nurse.

NCAA Track & Field Championship Update

We're back from Sacramento for the NCAA Track & Field Championships. Betsey's event was scheduled for Thursday at 6PM but was postponed till about 7:45PM. Her first throw of three during the meet was 157'8" which is her best throw ever. This throw broke the school (Southeastern State University) record that Betsey has held for the last few years. Up till the third throw, she was in the running for finals but two girls threw a little farther knocking her to 14th place. The top 12 went to the finals on Saturday morning and the top 10 United States athletes are considered All American. She missed this title by one person. Even though she didn't make the finals or All American, her throw qualifed her to compete in the USA Championsips in Indianapolis in a couple of weeks. Only 18 athletes from the javelin are able to go to this competition. She hasn't decided whether she will attend this meet or not. This is an individual competition and would not be sponsored by the university. We were very excited about her performance at the meet. She went in ranked at 27th place and placed 14th with a personal best throw.

Here is a link to the article the local paper ran before we left and the update after we returned.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Handkerchief Bonnet

Here is a very easy special gift for a baby. You use a dainty handkerchief to make a bonnet. This one was plain white so I added a embroidered flowers on the corners. You can use bought handkerchiefs, vintage ones or make one from linen or batiste. All you do is fold the handkerchief almost in half leaving the rows of lace next to each other to frame the face. After it is folded, you stitch along the fold leaving enough room for the ribbon. Insert the ribbon through the casing you made and tie tightly gathering it into a circle and forming the back. For the ribbon ties, you can make rosettes with the ribbon or a couple of folds and attach to the front corners. Add the following poem for a great gift. Here and here are a couple of links I found that had other versions of this bonnet.

I'm just a lttle handkerchief,
Quite square as you can see.
but with a stitch or two they made
A bonnet out of me.
I'll be worn home from the hospital
Or on the christening day
then neatly pressed and folded
I'll be carefully packed away.
On her wedding day a bride must have,
Traditionally, something old...
Good Luck, good health and happiness
It brings her so I'm told.
Then what could be more pleasant
Than to unpack little me
To snip a stich or two and find
Her handkerchief I'll be.
And if I'm first worn by a boy
He'll surely someday wed
Then he can give his lovely bride
This hanky once worn on this head.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance

Now that Lost is over for the season, my new favorite TV show is– “So You Think You Can Dance”. This is the third season and I can’t wait to start seeing the individual performances. My favorite style to watch is hip hop with Shane Sparks choreography. Mia Michael's is another very talented choreographer featured on the show. She choreographs mainly the modern pieces. The main judge, Nigel, isn’t quite Simon from American Idol but has made some ugly remarks to some of those auditioning. He doesn't have sympathy or patience for those that audition with very little, if any, dancing abilities. Just like American Idol - you wonder what some of the contestants are thinking. Mary Murphy is one of the 3 judges and can be very entertaining with her occasional screams, hi pitched voice and hearty laugh. It will be interesting to see who makes the final 20 this week.