Archive for December, 2011

Most of the embroidery designs on the market seem to be for quilts, other linens, or modern clothing.  I have been looking for designs that will adapt to the traditional peasant blouse format with an attractive ethnic vibe.  Here are some I have found:

This image, from the Oregon Patch Works site, shows most of the components available in the Gypsy Feast set from Enigma Embroidery.  This is the set I used for the lavender girl dress I just finished.  I look for photos of Mexican blouses and use them as guides on the combination of the designs.  http://www.oregonpatchworks.com/items.php?did=55784&pid=103464

This one, called Fancy Flower Corner, is also from Oregon Patch Works by designer Wind Bell Embroidery.  I would set these on point, wide end toward the neckline, spaced around the neckline.  http://www.oregonpatchworks.com/items.php?did=134674&pid=134982

This one from Oregon Patch Works by designer Wind Bell Embroidery has really caught my imagination.  It has a slightly Aztec/Art Nouveau feel to it that I love and can be combined in many ways.  Plus, the colors they used are great.  http://www.oregonpatchworks.com/items.php?did=134674&pid=135644

I’ve never had anything but good results ordering from Oregon Patch Works, and am not associated with them in any way.

Today I was at the Joann sale buying a few patterns including Vogue 1250 which I have heard so much about.  It seems to look great on women of all sizes, so it is worth a try.  I would love to have a nice dressy dress or two in the closet so I didn’t have to panic every time I have to go to one of the spouse’s office functions.

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Too bad this dress is hard to photograph today, because it is one of my favorite little girl dresses that I have sewn.  I used a turquoise embroidery thread to hand embroider the blanket stitch around the yoke and at the top of the pockets.

The puffed sleeves have elastic casings.  I used bias bars to make the casings which is easy and produces a nice even casing.  Here’s a tutorial showing how to make bias strips with bias bars:


My sewing machine did not like trying to make buttonholes on this fabric, and produced very sloppy-looking  buttonholes.  I covered up the mess by embroidering over the buttonholes with buttonhole stitch to match the edging.

The dresses will be on their way to my niece today along with a useful white cardigan sweater.  Now that I am done sewing kids’ clothes, it’s back to the regular sewing routine.

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This one turned out very well, but whether or not Miss Opinionated will like it is up in the air.  If not, I can always donate it to another little girl from church.  I managed to sew this out of the textured fabric without destroying the texture the way I have in the past, so it should wash and dry wrinkle free.  The pattern is McCall’s 6238 with the sleeves lengthened about 1 1/2 inches.

Notice how my ribbon bow looks much better.  I used this method:


It’s a little more work than just tying a bow, but it certainly is an improvement over my usual crooked bows.  I always hem the ends of the bows  so that they won’t fray away.

I also finished the purple dress, and will show that one tomorrow.

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Sneak Preview

Almost done with this one.  Just need to add the white bow, buttons, and hem.

The next dress will be a little Mexican Peasant Dress.  The fabric is lilac broadcloth, and the embroidery is almost finished:

It’s overcast today so the colors are a little  off.  This embroidery goes on the yoke, and right now I am cutting out the pockets and getting ready to put a motif on each one.  The yoke and pockets will be edged with light turquoise buttonhole stitch.  The embroidery design is Gypsy Feast from Oregon Patchworks.


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This pattern has all the features I like – the flared skirt that requires no gathering and is very “twirly”, sleeveless or sleeves, and a button back closure.  The fabric I am using is one of those textured fabrics that tries to look a little like seersucker and is often on sale at JoAnn.  Unfortunately, if you press this fabric with a hot iron, all the texture will press out.  I am using the ‘syn’ setting on the iron and doing finger pressing, which this fabric takes very well.

The embroidery design was a single flower motif with rows of concentric colors, but I changed all the inner colors to white to match the flower in the print.  I was originally going to use the lace I made on the machine, but I had the inspiration to use ric rac while I was sitting in church, obviously not attending to the sermon the way I should.  What can I say, my mind wanders, and I get some of my best ideas in church.

I have to incorporate ribbon somehow, as my niece loves bows and ribbons, but I will put that on last.  I make up 3 or 4 dresses, but my niece has very definite ideas about what she likes, a personality trait I approve of in a child.  I have had my fill of wishy washy people so my niece amuses me with her fashion sense and strong opinion, even if there is no predicting what she will like or not.  Anyway, sometimes I will have a rejected dress left over, and I found out that there is a young mother in church who has a little girl the same size who actually has the same first name as my niece, so she is eager to take the ‘rejects’.

This is a busy month for us because, in addition to the holidays, we have 6 family December birthdays.  Makes you wonder about the month of March.

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I’ve had this pattern for a long time.  The little girl I used to sew dresses for using this pattern is now in college.  Now there is another little girl in the family, so I am getting out my dress patterns and having fun sewing up some dresses.  This dress uses up a yard of knit fabric from the stash.  The color is an apricot pink scattered with slightly sparkly stars.

Because my niece lives in the Midwest, I have to get her measurements by email and can’t try the garments on her.  This knit is not very stretchy and sews easily, but I wasn’t sure the neckline would fit over her head.  To make sure, I put a little opening in the back and found a button that echoed the star theme:

The loop that goes over the button is elastic cord.

The front is trimmed with ribbon and beads.

A little sparkle always appeals to little girls.

Here are the fabric and trims that are going to be used for the next dress:

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