Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Christmas Day Dress

This girl of mine, she is my muse. . .
I could not stop sewing for her if I tried.

Therefore, she has more Christmas dresses this year than any little girl needs.
You may remember the apron dress? Technically, that was last year but I made it big enough that she could wear it again this year and she did.
Then there would be the silver "test" model dress.  You know, the one with the too small neck? Yeah, I fixed it.
But all along this little purple number was the one I intended.
This time the neck fits. Thankful I made a muslin.
The pattern is the Sara dress by littledresspattern on Etsy. The fabric is a beautiful satin that I found at JoAnn's.

My cell phone photo doesn't do it justice but I don't carry my big camera to church--even on Christmas day.
I used the wrong side of the satin for the bow around the neck and for a band around the bottom. I think it's just the right amount of sophisticated detail.

She has lovely purple shoes that are just perfect for this dress.
However, when you are four there is no pair of shoes more perfect than the one that glitters.
My beautiful girl was thrilled.
She said, "Mommy, everything I am wearing today sparkles! It's like I'm going to a wedding. I look like a princess!"
Yes dear girl, you are my little princess.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sewing Gifts for Me!

I got a BUNCH of sewing related gifts this Christmas.
It's so exciting.
You know I MUST be thrilled if I am posting a photo of myself. I never do that.

The quilting book and Gingher pinking shears are just two of the things. I got a new 1/4" foot for my machine that I can't wait to test out and a new (larger) thread rack, a point turner, some marking pencils, some quilt basting pins and some binding clips.
All things that will make sewing. . . and quilting in particular. . . more efficient.
The most exciting thing for me was this quilt frame. I love to hand quilt but I have been using a large embroidery hoop to hold the quilt as I work and it's just not the easiest method.

This frame is light weight. It sets up and tears down easily and it isn't so huge that I need to devote a whole room to my current project.
Now that I can stretch my quilt all out and work on larger sections at once I feel like I'm getting so much more done! It's really exciting. I have been working on this quilt forever and I'm just dying to see it finished!
More than anything, I'm excited to give it to it's owner!

I also got a tripod for our camera so I am hopeful that my photography will improve a bit. I'm thinking about building a light box for photographing smaller projects, but at the very least, it will help avoid the inevitable wiggle of my hand when trying to take project shots.

It was a good Christmas for sewing.
Did you get anything exciting and crafty?  Does your family support and encourage your habit like mine does?  I am blessed, for sure. So very thankful.


Christmas nightgown. . . err. . . dress. . .

I am hopeless.
Really. . . how many Christmas dresses does one girl need?
In my defense, however, this one started out with the intention of being a Christmas nightgown made of the scraps of Christmas fabric I had laying around.
As I worked on it, it became clear to me that this was way too cute to be slept in.
Plus, the quilters cotton is just too stiff to be comfortable for snoozing.
Or so I thought.
It didn't stop the Bug from falling asleep halfway through Christmas Eve service.
The pattern is the Little Lizard King's Elizabeth Claire dress with the long sleeve option.
I love the bell effect created with the elastic halfway down the sleeve.
The skirt is less full because I was working with small amounts of fabric.  I should have pieced more in because it did not meet the Bug's twirl requirement.

In my defense, I thought I was sewing a nightgown and it just morphed into a dress. Twirling is less important in a nightgown.

I hope you all had a very blessed Christmas.
I'll be playing catch up here this week, posting gifts that were made and couldn't be shared, plus the real Christmas Day dress. . . yes there is another one. . .


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

AMH Artist Tote

I suppose you are wondering where we've been?
Making Christmas gifts, of course!
It's ironic, isn't it, that the two most productive sewing weeks of the year are the least productive blogging weeks?  But secrets must be kept.

Thank goodness for family Christmas gatherings the week before Christmas! I can spill the beans on this gift now and not have to worry about spoiling the surprise!
This ah-mazing bag was my gift to my sister. The pattern is the Art Student Tote from Anna Maria Horner.
When I pinned it on my "Project Inspiration" board she commented that she loved it and I knew this is what I wanted to make for her. She and her husband travel a fair amount and I thought it might make a nice, roomy carry on bag.

The fabric is from the Modern Meadow collection from Joel Dewberry. I knew the color combination was perfect for Michelle. And how gorgeous is that Dogwood print? I just love it.
While the front of the bag has two zippered pockets, the back is fairly simple and shows off the fabric quite nicely I think.
It was also a great spot for one of our 402 tags. Man I love those.
I need to get in the habit of using them. . . most of the time I forget. But it adds such a nice touch I think.
It was hard to get a picture, but this beast of a ginormous bag has an extension panel inside that can be pulled out in case you need to carry more "stuff".  It is amazingly roomy. Almost over the top roomy.

I am so happy with the finished result.
The process? Well, that was a little rough.  I found the pattern slightly difficult to follow. It was more like a traditional paper pattern than the very detailed, photo heavy PDF patterns that are so prevalent and I have been accustomed to.

And for some reason, I just had a lot of construction "issues".  I realized late in the game that I had two different colors of D-rings. I decided to just go with it, not knowing when I'd get up to JoAnn's to get more but then I hated it. So I made a special trip up to JoAnn's. As I was replacing the mismatched rings I stuck myself HARD with a straight pin that I had some how sewn in between the outside fabric and the lining. Ugh. So I opened up the lining seam and fished around until I found it and could pull it out.

But it was worth the drama to see the end result and the look on my sister's face when she opened it.