One of the fun things about having a grand-daughter is sewing dresses for her and her American Girl Doll.
Her birthday is around Easter and so I made her a bunny for herself with a matching dress and a bunny for her doll with a matching dress—and of course a dress for herself and her doll. Doll Clothes require skill and patience. An 18 inch doll is easier than Barbies—and dolls don’t complain if a seam is sticking them someplace.
I took along some patterns I had so she could choose her next dress—and she chose all of them—but with lots of pockets.
so what exactly am I doing with a dress form? Particularly since now my usual dress is sweatshirt/long sleeve t-shirt or short sleeve t-shirt and blue jeans depending upon the weather?
It seems that several months ago I signed up for a class with Joe V who dresses stars and starlets and offered a class on how to fit clothing at the Houston International Quilt Festival. I was encouraged by my four dearest friends to ‘go for it’ and so I did.
The box arrived several weeks ago and stood in my hallway glaring at me and daring me to open it. On New Year’s Day I opened that box and dove in. The directions must have been translated from Chinese or something as the grammar was a bit odd. My husband had to help me at one stage and here she is.
Now please be proud of me. I put my camera on the tripod and set it up to take timed photos.
What will be my first project? She needs to be padded (slightly) and then a cover made. And then, I have a huge basket of ‘fashion fabric’ to experiment with.
I missed last week’s photo assignment of doing a mirror montage. We have had a dreary week with rain and more rain and some of my neighbors have wondered about Noah’s Ark. Due to the drainage projects in Beaumont we have not had a lot of local flooding as we usually do although I did not venture out on the usually chest high water areas. Today I was finally able to mow most of the yard although there was still standing water in many places and the tires of the riding lawn-mower left lovely tracks everywhere I went.
I had grand dreams when I read the assignment of possibly getting a photo of the spaghetti bowl of roads in Houston–but opted against when I saw the videos of the water everywhere–reminiscent of Tropical Storm Allison which created havoc in Houston for weeks. Then I thought about a nice country road–but not when they are full of mud; and so I ended up with a photo of my mailbox.
I have always loved mailboxes. It was a window into the world. My father had a mailbox mounted on a board that he would stick into the snowbank as the regular mailbox was buried under many feet of snow; he would remove it before the snowplow arrived. Sometimes he didn’t time it just right and the snowplow driver would stop, come in for a cup of coffee and some cake while he chatted with Dad. Dad would walk out to the mailbox, pull it out and the driver would go on his way and Dad would replace the mailbox.
Now as I think back on it, I think the snowplow driver used it as an excuse==as did Dad for a bit of gossip and a place to warm up for a short time.
One year, a wren made her nest in that mailbox and the mailman would drive into our driveway and hand us the mail rather than disturbing that wren. When her hatchlings were ready to fly, Dad made sure the mailbox had a firm closure so she could not return.
Then there was the time Mom ordered her baby chicks and they arrived by mail with the mailman calling ahead to see if she would be home so he could deliver them, altering his route so those chicks would be the first drop of the day.
I think there are still places in the country like this–
How does anyone live without a John Deere Sweater?
I used a jacket pattern I’ve had for many years and knit these sleeves. Nice, warm, and comfy.
This panel of fruit ladies called my name during a end of the year sale in Livingston Texas and I decided I needed to have it. I’ve never seen it made up into anything but I was determined to use it.
I used a short sleeved T-shirt as the base as I wanted something light weight and added some additional fabrics for the sleeves. It is a nice lightweight jacket to wear in air conditioned offices.
This is one of the first jackets I made. I used a sweatshirt as the base and added a skewed applecore. I don’t remember exactly what it was I intended to do with it, but it had lingered in to UFO box for awhile and it was time to move on. So I put it on this sweatshirt–I did not take the sweatshirt apart. there was a lot of pinning and I turned under all the edges by hand and then sewed around everything. The last part was an entire spool of red glitter thread. I ran a few straight strips through for additional interest.
It was not easy working down those sleeves but not impossible with a small arm on my sewing machine—and I wasn’t doing a particular pattern that needed to match.
My mother was a quilter and like many more ambitious with ideas than she could finish. In her quilting stash, I found a group of half-hexies, some pieced into whole hexagons, some just cut out. I sewed them all together and placed them on this hooded zipped sweatshirt. The challenge here was to work around those pockets. I did not take this sweatshirt apart but did a lot of pinning and some hand-work before stitching the hexagons in place. It is a nice casual jacket, perfect for our usually mild winters and a nice warm place to stick my hands.
My best friend’s daughter brought me a small kit of Liberty of London squares with hexagon papers in London. Each piece was different and rather than having them sit in the box I decided I would display them on the denim workshirt. The shirt came from a local lumber-hardware store. The hardest part was figuring out how to place the hexagons on the pocket while still retaining the use of the pocket. I’m not sure why that was important as I rarely use this type of shirt pocket for anything. I wear this as a short sleeved jacket over a long sleeved turtleneck or T-shirt. the pieces are appliqued in place with a heavy black thread and I did not take the shirt apart–making for somewhat challenging sewing.
My normal attire is blue jeans or cargo pants with a long or short sleeved Tshirt depending upon the season. Occasionally, though, I do need to wear something a bit more spiffy. Over the next few days, I’ll be showing some of my creations.
The first is a jacket made from an exquisitely pieced gray and pink triangle quilt I bought for $5. Unfortunately those precise seams were exactly 1/8 inch, too small for me to think they would last long in a quilt. And so I turned it into this jacket with matching purse. The base of the jacket is a sweatshirt I cut apart and then resewed the seams;bound the neck and added some yo-yos for detail down the front. The purse is a recycled bag that was a misprint for the Denver SAQA convention. I wear this to church and other formal occasions.
The quilting was quite simple–just follow the lines of the piecing. The inside of the purse flap shows the piecing. I had a few small pieces leftover for backgrounds for a small art piece that was donated to Alliance for American Quilts last year.