Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2 Years Old Today!

What a year this has been for me!
I counted up all the outfits I have sewn up and I made 37!
I tested a pattern for Ellie Inspired and Laura is working on more for me to test!
One of my dresses was in the letters to the editor at AS&E.
I won "Curator's Choice" in the Hoffman Challenge.

Taking stock once a year helps me see that I've accomplished lots. Almost one every 10 days.

I talk alot about making "princess clothes" for little girls. With all the yucky this world has, I love to help a girl start on the road to "I am beautiful". So many woman do not feel good about themselves. I hope that my sewing for a little girl and her feeling good about herself can start a lifetime of that. Sometimes, it only takes one person to take an interest in a little person. So every girl should feel like a princess and every woman should feel like a queen at some point in their life. So all you ladies, here's a tiara for you to wear.

Celebrate yourself and your accomplishments! Even if they are very small ones. A bunch of little ones can add up to something big. Don't downplay yourself or let anyone else make you feel less than you deserve!
I want to thank everyone who posted a comment about the challenge dress, you are all wonderful, wonderful queens!
Happy smocking!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Dress Won!

Hey Everyone, my dress for the Hoffman Challenge won "Curator's Choice". I prize is fabric. Yah, I know, that's such a hardship for a fabric lover!
I won't know if my dress was chosen for the traveling exhibit for a few more weeks, but I'm flying high right now that my dress actually won a prize! So I'm tooting my own horn. If you win something, celebrate it!
If you want to see the professional photo, here's the link:

I hope the dress gets to go on tour. Since it was made using "Alice Blue" from Ellie Inspired, that would be great for Laura's business.
I'm still working on my back-to-school dress for the fair. It's kind of slow going since I usually only sit at the sewing machine on my days off, which are Sundays and Mondays. I'm currently working on the hem border.
Happy smocking and congrats to me!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Back To School Dress

Here's what I've spent the last couple hours on today. I hand-stitched the ricrac on the collar pieces. I'm thinking I need to also add some to the belt, sleeve binding and skirt border. Just have to see what emerges in the following week. I'll post the issue of AS&E with the finished dress.
Last night at 9 pm I get a phone call from one of the girls from work. She's in panic/stress mode. She was working on a skirt for her adult niece. All the measurements were taken in the correct place of the body. But the niece was planning on wearing the skirt down around her hips. So of course, it didn't fit. My friend was fit to be tied, so I said I'd be over in a few minutes. After getting to her house, she asks if I would finish it for her, because she can't even look at it anymore she's so stressed. I said yes, of course I'll help you out. Only took a few hours to finish stitching up.
I do have a complaint. Not about my friend, but what's up with girls wanting to wear everything at the hips now days?! I just don't understand it. I suppose that's because I'm not built that way. I need to have skirts/pants/dresses sit at my waist. And these girls who have wear things too tight and get a muffin top along with their low rise pants?! What's attractive about that? I suppose it goes back to women should dress like women, not men. And little girls should dress like what they are . . . . little girls, not young teenagers.

This is a neighbor's kitty. He's been visiting us alot in the past 6 mos. We are loving to him and the owners are not nice to him. So he comes to see us 3 to 4 times a day. He's a very talkative kitty and after loosing our kitty last November, I think we needed him as much as he needed us. We buy food and treats for him and pet him as much as he wants. As you can see, he even comes in our house. I don't understand how the owners can be anything but nice to this kitty. He's the sweetest cat!

Happy smocking everyone!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Copied a Dress

Well, here's the finished dress I promised everyone. I first saw a similar dress on Pinterest. A wonderful place for inspiration! Although, I have to say, I don't know if I need help in the inspiration dept. I think I have more than enough plans for dresses in my head. But what the heck, you can never have enough inspiration! This was the first time I've tried folding the fabric over before putting through the pleater. Don't know if I will ever do that again. Not saying it doesn't make a lovely ruffle at the top and I do LOVE ruffles! But having the that part folded over does make it bulky and a little hard to go thru the pleater. I think I should have put some French Fuze on the back of part of the piece of fabric. Well, live and learn! This was kind of an experiment to see if I could copy a dress. Another problem I had was the top of the ruffle wanting to poof out, so after sewing the insert into the dress, I went back and stitched yellow hand-quilting thread back thru the pleats on the back to keep the smocking from stretching out. I'm a much happier person now.

Here's the original dress I saw on Pinterest. I'm sure you can see why I couldn't resist! I used McCalls 6020 and made a size 7. I had barely enough fabric to make a 2 inch hem. I usually like to do 4 inch hems, but sometimes you have to compromise a little. My hairdresser's granddaughter will love it!

As you can see, I added bling. I was thinking to add a white sash like my inspiration dress, but when I put white up it . . . . YUCK! Fuchsia it was. So the hunt through the fabric store began. I tried ribbon, but we didn't have any at my Hancocks, but not a ribbon of the correct color was to be found. I saw this perfect colored taffeta and didn't care it is a stretch taffeta either. I figured "why look any longer when I found the perfect one". Oh, I used some fabric from the garage sale I went a few weeks ago to make the piping and covered buttons. Matches perfectly!

I think I need to add another sash keeper to make the bow stay put. Either or the next time I make a similar dress, make it so I have taffeta in front and organza in the back. You get a nice poofy bow w/o a huge knot in the middle of a princess' back. But I have to remind myself this was an experiment to begin with. I wanted to see if I could make a copy and I think it was a success!
Then next think I started smocking is one that is bargello smocking. Never done any of that, but I always wanted to try that, so here goes. Well, I think I've talked your ears off enough for this post. Happy smocking everyone!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hoffman Challenge Dress Finished

I sent off my finished dress for the Hoffman Challenge today. I have to say; I'm not a very patient person. I won't know anything til the end of August on how I did or if I won, which is kind of frustrating. It's definitely worse than waiting to see what ribbons I get when going to the fair. I just heaved a giant sigh. Let the waiting begin.

Sorry this pic is on the blurry side. Must have got too close. Anyway, I asked Laura over at Ellie Inspired if I could use her pattern "Alice Blue" for the contest; she was so gracious and said yes of course. If this dress wins, that will be a big coup for her patterns!

I had a hard time picking out the buttons, I'm such a perfectionist sometimes. But especially for this dress! Since they are iridescent, they pick up all the colors of the dress. I did change from ties to a belt for this dress. That didn't come in the "Alice Blue" pattern, but I think it looks nice with the belt and little princesses don't have a ouch in the middle of their back wearing a belt. After all, when you make princess dress, you want the princess to be comfortable wearing it. I made a size 5. Don't have anyone in particular to give it to, but I may want to hang on to this dress for awhile and enjoy it.

I have another dress to share with you tomorrow. I just need to finish the hem and sew a sash for it. It's it fuchsia and yellow. I saw it on Pinterest and was so taken with it, I just had to stitch it up. Of course I think mine is better, cuz mine has bling on it! The original was hanging in a shop window. Now to get busy with the rest of the fair sewing. Turn in day is August 21, not very much time.
Happy smocking everyone!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sneak Peak

Smocking is finished on my Hoffman Challenge dress. I used Sulky thread to do the smocking. I'm so glad I had Thread Heaven, it made smocking with rayon thread much easier.

Here's the embroidered portrait collar for the dress. Now to trace off pattern pieces and get the dress cut out. I need to get it sewn together and send off. After that, it's on to get things done for the fair.
I've helping a lady, Susan, with her granddaughter's christening gown. She lives in California and we've been corresponding through email, Facebook and by phone. I think she will do fine even being a novic smocker.
Happy smocking everyone!