Friday, March 26, 2010


Love those fancy pincushions on the net. I made this one with a crochet trim I was working on. I found these little blue buckets at Michaels. There's room under the pincushion to store some snips, thread, wax, my mini bottle cap pincushion, etc. When I was in New Bern, NC I found some long glass head straight pins. (glass heads don't melt under an iron)

Check out these felt pincushions here. If you have a beautiful pincushion you've made, send me a pic, I'd love to see it.

I am still working on the microcheck dress. Concentrating on embroidery is intense but relaxing at the same time. There's just nothing like being climbed on, hair pulled, and trying to maintain a decent stitch while my toddler jumps on the bed I'm sitting on. She even managed to grab a hold of the organdy collar last night along with my mini pin cushion and stuck pins in the collar. I was stricken with horror, thinking she had snagged the organdy. Thankfully, it was fine. I'll post the collar when it's done.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Simple Blouse

Very Easy Vogue, 8392

Extremely easy blouse, except for the french seams ( not necessary). Last fall, I purchased some fabric that was left over from the summer. It was very cheap. I liked that it was partly sheer. I whipped this up quick, too quick. I have 3 colors. I really like the ruffle sleeves, just don't know what I would look like in it? Chiquita Banana? I adore romantic blouses sewn with laces and embroidery. One day, I will make the time to make a romantic blouse for myself. Maybe soon.

I have plenty of fabric left and I may make Eliana a "fairy" play skirt. She keeps asking me for a "tinkerbell" outfit.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Smocked Bubble in Varigated DMC Thread

Taking care of a sick child today. Since I don't have anything ready that's current to post, I thought I'd post her coming home from the hospital pic. I crocheted this blanket and smocked bubble for her. The thread for the bubble was a DMC thread that was varigated in lavender. The dark to light of the thread added another dimension to the basic smocking stitches. I had crocheted baby booties but her feet were too tiny for them. The pattern for the bubble is a Children's Corner pattern. After she was born, it took me months before she would give me enough time to sew anything again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tea Pot Jacket

Vintage 80's pattern jacket, butterick 6806

I enjoyed screen printing. I will do it again. I added

little rhinestones to the jacket. I don't think I really

liked the effect of serging all of the edges and then

zig-zagging it together. She really likes it, she says she

is going to have tea with the Mad Hatter.

I am still embroidering a collar for her microcheck


I am not happy with a few stitches and may have to

pull some out.

I tried to embroider while talking during

ballet class. That didn't work too well. I have to


I have learned a few things about my serger.

When a thread breaks in the loopers, you have to

pull the needle threads out of the switch plate and

to the back , behind the foot. If anyone has any

tips on serging, please send me an email, or


Friday, March 12, 2010

Screen Printing and Hand Carved Stamps

Missing sleeve, still under construction

First time Screen Printer

I am screen printing on a denim jacket I had cut out in the Fall. Yes, it took me that long to finally construct it. We are tea party crazy over here. I did a freezer paper stencil ( tutorials all over the net) , then screen printed in multi colors,then covered it in fabric glitter.

Serging the edges with "rainbow" thread gave me a different way to look at constructing because I didn't want to hide the seams. I am not sure if I will like the finished product, but it is giving me practice in screen printing and serging.

Making mistakes Serging

I am serging on knit, I needed to adjust, but found I liked the loopy, ruffly edging. So, I left it.

Another look at my shadow work in progress

Some Hand Carved Stamps I've Made

So much fun to carve out these stamps! I could do this all day. I ordered them from Dicks Art supply and also a carving tool.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Simplicity 3856 & Children's Corner patterns

I turned 38 yesterday. My Best friend sent me this birthday card, isn't it sweet? That's me and her, the brunette and the blonde.

Lots to blog about today


The smocking is coming along, slowly but surely. Now I am working on the organdy collar. I decided not to go with the collar on the pattern, but to create my own. I drew a design on

tracing paper after tracing the dress yoke.

Next, I made a denim skirt using Simplicity 3856

I made the gores larger (1") for added fullness. I left the edges raw. I like the look of denim after washing and it frays. This denim has tiny multi colored sequins all over it.

The blouse is a Children's Corner pattern. I made a Hello Kitty bow to match. Of course, I had to put the crinoline I made from a vintage pattern (see older post) under it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Leprechaun Catcher

Here, little leprechaun.......

O.k., here's my idea. Leave a leprechaun trap out with a tiny pot o' gold. He pays the vacation rental fee (money or money candy, etc..) placed in side the little house on St. Patty's Day for my 2 year old to find. Maybe he took the pot o' gold with him.

Wanna make your own Leprechaun trap? Here's how.....

(send me pics of your leprechaun vacation rental

Coffee creamer with a pipe cleaner handle, glued foam squares (for filler) topped with some gold beads glued down. Another idea: You could make the pot o' gold into a little necklace, loop ribbon around the handle.

Please excuse the blurry photos.

She likes it as a necklace for fairies also...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beach Pillow

It's cold and rainy today and I have the sniffles. (still smocking) I miss the warmer weather and the beach. Don't get me wrong, I am not a summer gal. I don't like it when the Carolina heat is more humid than the inside of a dog's mouth. It's just that a few weeks back we had some nice days. I went to the beach to collect shells the other day. It was a little chilly, which was great because hardly anyone was there. I said a prayer to the Lord that I would find a sand dollar. Then, there was a perfect sand dollar lying there in the sand for me. I love it when He answers quickly.

I wanted a decorative pillow for my slipcovered couch. So, I cut out stamps of ocean animals and shells. The idea came from Genine's Art Blog (check it out on the right side, "blogs I like", she has a tutorial). I mixed acrylics with a fabric paint medium and painted it on the stamps. I used some fabrics from shirts and jeans and cut out circles to stamp. Then, I sprayed a fabric adhesive onto the back of the circles so they would stay in place when sewn. My machine has decorative stitches but a regular zig zag or would work, just switch thread colors to add interest. A watercolor I had done became central to a collage that I scanned and printed onto fabric. An old hymn, "Sail On", is in the lower left corner. The little blue net under the crab I crocheted.

There are several ways to print onto fabric and there are tutorials on line for making your own transfer medium. I just used sheets of printer fabric I bought from Hancock's at 50% off. I stitched the fabric print on the canvas and placed the fabric circles randomly around.

The collage is here for you to use. you can print it onto fabric, or paper

to use as you like. (An apron, table runner, seaside bag are some other ideas). Please, do not post it on your site, without my permission. Links, though are welcome.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Still Smocking

After sewing frantically by machine, smocking seems slow. It goes even slower when I make a mistake and have to pull out stitches! My little girl is so excited. She wants to wear it now, I can't smock fast enough for her. The boring task of back smocking is a necessity that I dont look forward to doing. (back sm0cking ... that is when you smock the back of the smocked piece so that the pleats stay in place.) BUT, I do find it relaxing about as much I find crocheting to be. I"ll take a breath and try not to feel hurried.

My smocking teacher was Charlotte Butler, of ,"The Ghent Needlecrafter" in Hampton Virginia. The year was 1997, and she closed shop that same year. She had a beautiful shop and I used to drool over her creations. One dress in particular had little cherries shadow embroidered on a white batiste dress. She said all 4 daughters whore it, if my memory serves me correctly. My 2nd daughter was just a tiny baby. My first project was a christening gown for her. I use a pleater my mom bought years ago, a small Pullen pleater. I would love to have a large pleater to create larger smocked yokes.