Sunday, July 29, 2007

Smocked Cap Sleeve Bishop

This was made from a basic bishop style dress pattern with a cap sleeve. I wanted a fabric that was soft and suitable for an infant for this bishop and found this cute fabric with rows of colored bows.

Bishop style dresses are great for very small girls. Without a defined shoulder and sleeve they can wear them a little bigger and it isn't as noticable. With the style and the large hem, the dress can be worn for a longer period of time.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Daisy Pictures

I love taking pictures. So many times I missed out on photo opportunities because I didn't have my camera with me. A couple of years ago I purchased one of those small digital cameras that I keep in my purse. It's come in handy on many occasions.

I've been taking alot of flower pictures. I am going to pick a couple of my favorites and frame them for my bedroom. I'm also working on covering a headboard with fabric. I've covered chairs before but not a headboard so it should be a fun and interesting project.

Here are some close up daisy pictures I took. I've accumulated quite a few flower pictures but still want to take more before I decide which ones to frame. I particularly like the close ups and pictures of flower parts.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sundress w/Smocked Insert and Bow in Back

This is a free pattern from Sew Beautiful Magazine- Issue #93. Each issue has a fold out in the center with free patterns for items featured in the magazine.

You can see in the pictures below how the backs overlap and tie in a bow. The pattern was fairly easy to put together. It does require a buttonhole under the arm on one side to thread the sash through.

I have made 10 - 15 of these sundresses in all types of combinations from this pattern. Further down are some pictures of two of the ones I made. Their are a couple of different styles that come with the dress. One of them has a border along the hem of a coordinating fabric. And for those who don't smock, their is a style that has a plain bodice instead of a smocked insert. I wish I had pictures of some of the others that are more colorful but you can see from the magazine how cute it looks with the bright fabrics.

This is the other version without the smocking and a collar.

This is one with the plain bodice and band along the bottom.

This is the white one I made with a touch of blue smocking and blue piping above and below the insert.

Smocked Bonnets

Smocked bonnets are fun and easy to make and a great beginner project for someone learning to smock. Here is a link to some instructions I found on the internet. My instructions used on these came from a book I got when I took a smocking class years ago.

For the front edge of these, instead of lace, I used a rolled hem. The rolled hem adds another handmade touch to the bonnet. All of the items pictured are made from white Imperial Batiste. I like using this fabric for infants because it is so soft next to their skin. The ribbon rosette is just a short piece of ribbon sewn together to form a circle. Then add a gathering stitch along one side and pull up to form a flower. Hand sew it over the edge of the ribbon ties.

These last two pictures or of a matching bishop and bonnet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sailboat Bubble with Smocked Insert

This smocked outfit was made using a pattern out of one of the Australian Smocking magazines. On this patten an insert is smocked separately and sewn between the bodice and body of the suit. A insert is a good way to try smocking since the piece is separate. You can also use a pleated piece like the one used on this outfit to practice smocking stiches before actually doing them on an outfit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Three Piece Outfit Using Vogue Pattern

This outfit was made from Vogue for Me pattern V8060. The jacket, top and pants all have rows of tucks. The jacket was made from white pique, lined with blue broadcloth. This pattern also has a dress version with an angled hem that is interesting. I haven't tried that one yet.

I've used the top pattern on several other things I've made without the tucks. I don't have alot of experience with Vogue patterns but liked this one.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway

Thank you all who stopped by and played along with the Giveaways.

And the winner is...........

Laura Williams said...
Please enter me into the drawing! Thank you!
July 23, 2007 11:31 PM

You have till Friday - 7/27 at 5PM central time to comment. I'll pick a name after that and will email and post the winner.

I'm trying something new and getting on board for the Doggy Days Giveaway sponsored by Rocks in my Dryer and here are the rules if you want to join in.

I'm giving away the dress pictured below. It's a Size 3, reversible sundress with a detachable fabric flower and ribbon ties at the shoulders. Frog print on one side and lime green with white dots on the reversed side. The pattern I used to make this dress is my new ePattern "Annette's Reversible Sundress" recently listed on You Can Make This website.

The winner will be picked from a random drawing Friday, July 27th of all comments on this post. Please, only one comment per person. Even if you don't have a blog, leave an anonymous comment with your first initial, last name. I'll put a post with the winner and then you can email me with your mailing address.

I will cover shipping to anywhere in the US. If you are outside the US and want to participate, I will pay up to $5 towards shipping to get it to you if you should win.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Garage Sales

Here are pictures of all the stuff we had at our garage sale Saturday. Most of it belonged to my two nieces and ranged from items new to stuff that was 40 - 50 years old. We had some dishes and glasses that were collected from Winn Dixie. You would collect stamps and fill a "booklet". Once it was filled, you could purchase dishes, glasses, etc at a discounted price. The idea was to continue doing this until you had the whole set. There were also "green stamps" that were collected back then for cashing in for merchandise. I guess I'm showing my age here and the "young" readers won't have a clue what I'm talking about.

When we decided to do a garage sale, it seemed like such a great idea. I hadn't had one in so long, I'd forgotten that it is also involved much work. We purchased signs, tags and put an ad in the paper. We had to box everything and move it to the "garage" we agreed on. We had to arrange and price the merchandise. That meant borrowing tables and a truck to get them there. We decided to make it only Saturday from 8am to 3pm. Customers came by Friday night while we were pricing and Saturday morning as soon as we opened the garage doors (7AM). It seems to be a trend for seasoned garage salers to either ride by the night before and ask for a preview or show up very early on garage sale day to have first choice of the "best" stuff. Of course, no matter what price you put on the item, customers want to know what you will take for it or offer less, sometimes much less. When it was all said and done, we packed up what was left and dropped it off at a charity. After all that, we collected around $250 - $300. This doesn't include the cost of the ad, signs and tags. Also, we ordered pizza Friday night and picked up fried chicken Saturday. For this one, I'm not sure if it was a financial success for all the time involved but I think the best benefit was all of us spending time together. My two nieces, middle daughter, her friend, my mom and dad and myself spent Friday evening and Saturday together.

For those who either give garage sales or attend them, you could probably offer some advice and tips on being a success at it. I've been told about and have seen some great bargains found at garage sales. I keep saying I'm going to find someone who knows the "tricks" and follow along some weekend.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mixing Bright Fabrics

I used an adapted version of Vogue For Me pattern #V8060 for these tops. I excluded the tucks and added the ruffle. I wanted to line the tops but wasn't sure if I would have enough of the print fabric so I used some soft white fabric I had in my stash (It was either broadcloth or batiste).

I used a basic capri pattern and added two rows of ruffles along the bottom for the pants. I went through scraps of fabric I had to get some bright coordinating pieces for the bows and ruffles. The purple and pink dots pieces were also used for the fabric flowers.

This outfit is basically the same idea. The only difference is I added a bow from some trim at the center of the collar.
Instead of the ruffle along the hem of the pants, I chose a border of the fabric the top was made of and a fabric flower on each leg. On this one I added some small bug buttons on the fabric flowers on both the top and pants. A matching headband with one of the fabric flowers was also added to complete this outfit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Look Pattern

The two outfits were made from New Look Pattern 6394. It's a simple top with slits and bloomers to match. Both were made from view A without the trim. I added some bows at the top of the slit on both. Also, with the blue stripe and a white bow, I made a matching headband.

The blue was lined in the stripe fabric.

I used this print on several different patterns. It was also purchased from Hobby Lobby. I lined this one in a lime green. Later I'll post a couple of other outfits made from these two fabrics plus some other scraps I had.

Monday, July 16, 2007

T Shirt Memory Quilt Project

I'm starting a new project. My niece has a large selection of t shirts from her dad who passed away five years ago. We are going to make 3 memory quilts from them. Most of the t shirts are about drag racing which was her dad's hobby. Two of the quilts will be for my two nieces and the other is for a good friend of their dad's who has been like a substitute father

Here are the stacks of t shirts. We separated them into three groups for each quilt. I looked at a couple of sites online to get some general instructions. Here and here are two of the sites.
Since there are a couple of tee shirts with large graphics, we are going to mix up the sizes of the squares. I will try to keep the rows the same size but the squares on each row will be different. This is something new for me so I am hoping it will turn out like we imagine. Per the instructions, we cut one of the t shirts and backed it with medium weight fusible interfacing. Then we cut the piece into a rectangle. I know they are supposed to square but we decided to try it this way.

Here are the first three blocks for the quilt which will be one row. For the one on the left we are putting part of a t shirt on top and a towel on the bottom so that the overall size of the rectangle is the same as the other two. The top has their dad's name and the bottom is a towel with "In Memory of Dah-Vee". His name is David but everyone called him DahVee which is the french pronunciation of David.
This project will probably take time to complete but I'll post updates as it progresses.
Any helpful hints, comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Phoenix Trip

I attended a computer conference last week in Phoenix and scheduled an American Airlines round trip flight a couple of months ahead of time. The flight was scheduled to leave Baton Rouge at 10:30 AM. At 10:00AM when we arrived at the gate, we found out the flight has been cancelled then I get a call on my cell phone saying the flight was cancelled and they booked us on the same flight "the next day". I got to an operator and told her that wasn't good enough. She asked if we could get to Lafayette (I said No), she suggested another flight that didn't leave until late that afternoon and we didn't know about a connecting flight to Phoenix. Finally the lady in Baton Rouge got us on a 12:10 Continental Flight through Houston instead of Dallas. She then scheduled us on a US Airways flight 4 1/2 hours later. We finally got to our hotel in Phoenix at about 8:30 - 12 hours from the time we left Baton Rouge. What a looonnng day. It would be nice also if airports were more consistent on the rules about liquids. The airport in Houston required that not only should they be in a quart size bag and under a certain size, you had to take the quart bag out of your suitcase and put it in a bin separately. For the flight back, there was another flight to Baton Rouge from Dallas that was delayed and left 30 seconds before we did and arrived in Baton Rouge 30 seconds before we did. When we landed, we found out there wasn't enough staff to accomodate both the flights at the same time, so we had to wait on the runway while the other plan deboarded, loaded the next flight and left. While at the convention we heard about similar problems with flights. I wonder if this kind of situation is common on all airlines or only some and if it happens alot or not.

Anyway, enough about the frustrating flights. The conference was at a beautiful resort hotel called The Phoenician. The area was beautiful and the service great. It was one of the hotels where they turn the bed down and leave chocolates by your pillow. Also they had some great eucalyptus and grapefruit toletries from their spa in the room.
I had a tip from others that if you take these bottles out of the bathroom, they were replaced everyday. I came home with some of the bottles for myself and coworkers.
They had fresh flowers in vases and bowls throughout the resort along with pieces of art and lots of cactuses and bromeliads. It would be great to stay at places like this for vacations and any other travel. It's nice being pampered once in awhile.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Living in the Moment

Here is an article by Ana Quindlen someone recently emailed me. For those of us that have grown children, so much of what she says rings true and for those who have young children, this is a great reminder to live in the moment with your children.

Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author
All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I
take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two
taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same
books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in
their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me
laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and
privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who,
miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food
from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for
the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep
within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of
the past.
Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now.
Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling
rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education,
all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things
Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you
flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught
me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the
well-meaning relations -- what they taught me, was that they couldn't
really teach me very much at all.
Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, the n
becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it
is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to
positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice
and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.
When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on
his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my
last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research
on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting
certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to
trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years
ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child
development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants:
average, quiet,and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an
18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat
little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he
developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year
he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine.
He can walk, too.
Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes
were made. They have all been enshrined in the, "Remember-When- Mom-Did
Hall of Fame." The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language,
mine , not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I
arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible
summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the
classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you
get wrong?". (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at
the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without
picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not
allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I
But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while
doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly
clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There
is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in
the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish
I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they
sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night.
I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing:
dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more
and the getting it done a little less.
Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and
what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought
someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I
suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in
a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be
relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over
the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three
people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to
excavate my essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I
was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a
while to figure out who the experts were.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Frannie Baby Poodle Play Suit

This is a playsuit made from a Children's Corner pattern called Frannie Baby. It has a casing under the arm with a tie so it can be adjusted to fit. The fabric was purchased from Hobby Lobby. The black and hot pink poodles were so adorable. I used the coordinating print that has hot pink hearts and white paw prints on a black background for the bloomers, ties and a barrette.
The barrette was made using the fabric flower pattern featured in my Annette Reversible Pattern ebook which will soon be available on I added a heart button to the center and sewed a barrette on back.

Here is the Frannie Baby pattern cover. This pattern also comes in toddler sizes.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Girl's Night Out

Tuesday night I had the opportunity to spend some time with some of my girlfriends. Everyone gathered at my house for barbeque and female bonding. We had beef and shrimp kabobs, sweet potato crunch, green salad with feta cheese and roasted sugared pecans, fresh blueberry pie with ice cream, potato salad, chips and dip along with lots of great conversation, laughs and fun. My niece brought her Wii game over for some entertainment. I didn't get to play that night but have been giving it a try the last couple of days. Boy am I sore!!! Also, I am not very good at any of the traditional sports - bowling, tennis, baseball and golf but did great on the boxing. I guess those karate classes I took helped with that. As part of the game, you can take a Wii fitness test to see what your Wii age is. The first time I took it, I was age 80. ugh! I tried again the next day and it dropped to 64 (better but still not very good). Since I can only take the fitness test once a day I'll keep trying till I have to give the game back. I've never been a big fan of video games but this one is alot of fun and at least you have to move around.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

God Bless America!

Fourth of July reminds me of so many things. There are the traditional barbeques, fireworks and vacations but this day represents so much more. I recently read a couple of books to help me in an effort to become more aware of what goes on in our world. One was Left to Tell about the Rawanda holocaust and how 8 women spent 3 months in a bathroom hiding while their relatives and friends were being slaughtered. This is a true story of a horrible tragedy and a inspirational story of faith. Another couple of books I recently read about Afghanistan are "Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Sons". Although the characters were made up, the story could be true. Reading these books gave me a bigger appreciation and awareness of just how blessed we are to live in this country. There are so many people that will never experience what we take for granted like running water, indoor bathrooms and just a roof over our heads. We have cars, jobs and access to just about any kind of food or drink we desire. We have access to health care, education and numerous programs and options if we have a special need. We are free to come and go as we please and speak our mind. Of course, all of this came at a price. Many have sacrificed for all of us to share these freedoms. I salute and thank all those serving, have served and members of their families for their sacrifices to keep this country free. In appreciation for all we have and to honor those who sacrificed for our freedom, I encourage everyone to consider doing something to give back, whether it is helping someone who lives next door or on the other side of the world, through donations, volunteering or just a kind word.
"We are blessed to be a blessing"
Happy Fourth of July