Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dreaming of spring

So just when I thought it couldn't snow did.  I think it was around four or five inches but I had already hoped that there would be no more until next year.  Anywho I have been working on spring/summer dresses for AJ and here are a couple of them.  The first one is not a great shot but I thought it shows the contrast between my dreaming of spring and the reality outside our doors.
This is a better shot.  The pattern is a free pattern from Oliver + S Patterns and is called the Popover sundress.  I made one last year too and I think the pattern goes up to 6 or 7 years old. 

This dress is from the blog Made by Rae and is the enlarge 2-3T size of the Itty Bitty Baby dress.  I think its going to be a little big on AJ but she always surprises me by how fast she grows. 
And lastly these are some of the artisan loaves I've made with my new bread book.
They are just as good to eat as they look!  We like to eat them with olive oil, balsalmic vinegar and crushed up spices.  Yum! 
Oh yeah, and I have to mention that I won the contest on my lovely sister's blog Cotton Pickin Fun.  I can't wait to get my hands on my prize!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hand embroidery and a magazine for my sista!

I've had an old magazine for some time now that I wanted to copy for my sister.  She makes cute pin cushions that look like mice (look at her mice pin cushions here: Holly's pincushion mice) and everytime I see this magazine at my house I think of her.  Well my thrift store karma was good to me again and today I found another copy of the magazine for 5 cents!  I could not believe it when I saw the magazine, to find it once was cool but to find it again means that it is meant to be!
So Holly this magazine is coming to you!  It may take me a month to get it off but its coming!!!
Also since my machine is at the "day spa" for a little well overdue pampering (the poor machine, I've been rough on it, especially, I think, when I made a ton of cloth diapers for AJ about a year ago) I've been working on some hand embroidery.  These particular bags I hope to make into pencil pouches with bright, colorful zippers. 
I've really enjoyed sketching and coming up with simple, everyday objects to embroider.  They are embroidered on natural linen.  The fabric next to it is some vintage decorator fabric.  Well its naptime for my tidbit so gotta go!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The state of things

I took my sewing machine in for a tune-up.  I'm pretty sure it was overdue, it just wasn't as quiet as it used to be, there was a subtle grinding noise around the motor and when I opened it to clean it two weeks ago it was caked in (and I mean c-a-k-e-d) in lint.  That was the first time I'd ever opened it to look down in its depths.  So in the mean time as I wait for it to be tuned I have been pulling out a ton of my fabrics and cutting out patterns for AJ for this summer and cutting out items for possible consignment.  So this pile has gone up and down and up and down for the past few days.  Its the way I brain storm for sewing projects.
It has grown since this picture and is about double in height now.  Some of the fabric in question is some vintage print curtains I thrifted.  I love the agrarian nature of this print and I love looking at the detail.  The fabric is slightly bleached from use but still in great shape (it must have some polyester in it to still be so tough).  I usually put any vintage fabrics I find through the ringer to make sure they are up to repurposing.  They get a good wash in the washer and then a good tumble in the dryer.  Plus, a little confession, I usually pull on them a lot at the thrift store to see if they appear tough.
Isn't it adorable!?  Very Grandma Moses if you ask me.  Well I hope the state of your sewing endeavors are faring well in your neck of the woods! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One more sweater and vintage fabric shopping bags

This is the latest sweater in my sweater refashioning experimentation.  I am having a hard time deciding if it is cute or tacky...hhmmm and I can't decide if I look totally granny in it?  Anywho its wool and I have an affinity for natural fibers and warmth so it meets both of those requirements.  This is the before and I really wanted to convert it to a cardigan and cover up the Ralph Lauren emblem.
And here is the after:
The leaves are cut from a wool felted scarf that had some moth holes in it.  If I had it to do over I would space the leaves better, my goal was to cover the Ralph Lauren emblem. 

I've also been working on some shopping bags that fold up into a nice square.  This one was sewn from a vintage sheet. 
This is what the bag looks like when folded up.
It folds to about 5 by 4 inches wide and long and that is a vintage button to boot. 
Here's another shopping bag made from vintage Waverly fabric.
I handstitched doilies to some of the bags.  I enjoy using these bags to cart library books back and forth to the library and I keep one in my purse for small purchases.  The aesthetic quality of bags like this motivate me to use them even more than the homely ones we use for groceries.  And of course I love love love the vintage fabrics. 


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What we've been doing these snowbound days...

This post isn't about sewing but it is what AJ and I have been up to the past few weeks. 

After being in Missouri for five years I have learned a thing or two about how to survive snowbound, gray days...I've learned that a.)  its helpful to get at least a little exercise consistently,  b.) take your vitamins (especially D since the sun isn't out very long and you probably don't want to stand in the 14 degree wind to get a few rays), c.) open the blinds/curtains even when there is a little sun, d.) you have to just get out in the snow and drive like an old lady to get where you're going because if you don't you will get cabin fever and that ain't pretty and driving like an old lady is preferable to cabin fever, e.) you have to layer, layer, layer and sometimes it may require you to even wear pantyhose as an added layer (but beware when you go in a store you will start to sweat.)  These are a few things this Alabama girl has gleaned since living in what I sometimes lovingly call "the artic tundra." Here are a few pictures of some other things we've been doing to survive...

We potty train...she has double the amount of stickers now! 

We wash dishes...or Polly Pockets...

We bake a birthday cake with our new mixer...

We bake breads and bagels out of this book...

Look out the kitchen window to see where the snow drifts have settled...and if all else fails...

And if all else fails...try standing on your head!