Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Shadow work motif II

I used the other cotton and embroidered the motif on it yesterday, and it came out so much nicer. The pink bow is a little more shaded; I also switched the pale minty green for a more spring green color. I'm not sure which I like best, but I think I'm going with the spring green for now. One thing for sure, when I bought my magnifying lamp a few weeks ago it was one of the smartest things I've done in a long time. The only thing that would make it better is if I had gotten one where the actual magnifying surface was a bit bigger.
I don't know why my pic is sideways; sometimes it's just that way.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New links, NYC, and beautiful cotton

I was at work last night, putting stuff away, and when I went to get what was laying on the cutting table, I saw it was the prettiest, silkiest 100% white cotton solid that I've ever seen in the store. It was very lightweight, like a batiste; it was part of one of the designer series of fabrics. There was only 4 and 3/4 yds left on the bolt. I had a 1/4 yd cut, and I put the rest of it away and I will buy it tomorrow.It's only $4.99 a yd! I would have gotten it last night, but I didn't have enough money. It's so much better than the voile, it's more stable but still sheer enough that the shadow embroidery will work. I was so excited when I saw it, I don't know how I missed it before. Holly said she thinks there is some in blue and pink, too. I didn't look, but I will tomorrow. I don't need 4 1/2 yds, but I'll just put what I don't use in my stash. It isn't heavy enough for the coat and bonnet, I'll still have to order the broadcloth for that.
Siobhan is going to NYC on the 5th and staying with Melissa til she and Gregory come out on the 20th. I'll miss her while I'm getting ready for Christmas, but she will have a really good time so I'm glad she's going. Melissa said there are a lot of studios where she can rent space by the hour so she can make some pottery while she's out there. And I'm going to make John do some stuff with me. We won't have kids around forever, and we don't do much together, so we can while she's gone.
I added a couple of new links, both having to do with sewing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Shadow work embroidered motif

Well, here is the motif I decided on. I've never done shadow work before, and I think this turned out pretty good for a first attempt. The right side of the bow is definitley better than the left; I can see how much nicer it looks after I got the hang of it. I haven't done bullion roses in years, and this one looks ok, all things considered. I will just make this the center back motif; I need to make 10 altogether, one in each scallop. I decided on a very pale palette of colors, the darkest is the pink I used for the bow, and except for the outline on the front you never see that darker pink. It's kind of hard to tell in the picture that the yellow is little daisies, and there are not quite white French knots to make the wreath shape at the top. I'll have to adapt the pattern for the bodice, I might just do the bow with one bullion rose underneath it, or I might do a vine across the bodice with bullion roses and daisies spaced along it; that's what I'm doing for the bonnet. I realized that I will have to make a slip, too. I could use white muslin, I have enough of it, but I think I will just wait and order some white cotton batiste from here: I have ordered from them before and the prices are really good. I'm ordering the cotton broadclth for the coat and bonnet from them, too. I've been watching E-bay for some vintage trim, I figure if I get about 20 yds. of a gathered 1/2" lace it should be enough. The pattern calls for 6 3/4 yds for the dress, 3 1/8 yds for the coat and bonnet, and 4 for the slip, but that's for flat lace that they have you gather yourself. I figure if it's already gathered I'll probably need only half to 2/3rds that amount. But I'll get 20 anyway and then I'll have plenty to do the blanket if I decide to make it.
We have had unseasonably warm weather, it's been in the 50's. I have my sewing room window open and the birds are singing outside. It seems more like spring than Christmas. It's supposed to get really cold on Thursday though and snow. I hope it does, I can't get in the Christmas spirit while it's so warm out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Am I crazy or do I just have too much time on my hands?

I finished the American Girl outfit I was working on and it turned out cute; I'll take pics tomorrow and get it listed. I'd like to get as much stuff sold as I can, my goal is to buy a Bleuette, I already have one picked out.
In the meantime, I've been looking at this little christening set to make for Tiny Tears for awhile. It just so happens that I have 2 yds of a nice white voile, and I am going to make the dress at least out of that. I am also going to embroider the contrasting band, which is where the crazy comes in. It's about 4 inches wide and goes around the entire skirt. Of course I will probably have to embroider the bodice too, or it won't look nice. And the bonnet. And if I make the coat (which I probably will, I found a source for 100% cotton broadcloth for cheap on the internet) I will have to at least embroider the cape part. And I may make a little blanket out of the broadcloth, too, and embroider the corner. And I need to find some really nice lace, I've already started looking. It will take a very long time to do this, I think; I haven't even started to look at possible embroidery patterns yet. I'm glad I saved all the pull-out sections from my Sew Beautifuls.If it turns out really nice I may be able to sell it for a lot, and if I can't, well my Tiny will have a beautiful ensemble that I can put on her for Easter or whenever. I hope it sells though, it could go a long way towards my Bleuette. I have a Chatty Cathy coming, I won her on E-bay the evening before Thanksgiving. It has been a really nice holiday weekend, the only thing missing is Melissa and Gregory, but they will be here in less than a month. Yay!

I Hate Blogger

I tried several times to post pictures here when I wrote the other day and finally I just gave up. I'm trying again this morning. I actually finished the little dress now, so I am including a picture of it as well. It is being modeled on my Effanbee Babay Dainty, she is a bit too small for it, so the dress looks too long and big on her.I didn't make the cape, I will eventually. Maybe later in the week. Anyway, here are the pics from the antique pattern. I also made and listed on E-bay another Tiny Tears outfit, and am currently working on an 18th c. Christmas for my American Girl. I really like making doll clothes, it is a lot of fun even if it really serves no real purpose.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Antique Patterns

I have been busy with the doll clothes recently. I ordered a reprint of an antique pattern from, I've ordered from them before and have been very pleased. The patterns are printed on nice heavy paper and are nice clear copies. The pattern I ordered doesn't have a copyright but the style is from the late teen's/early twenties. Working with those early patterns is not easy, they have very scant instructions, and very few diagrams. There were only 3 for the dress I'm working on, and one for the slip. The pattern pieces have nothing printed on them except the pattern piece number and the occasional construction notch. There are cutting layouts, and they have to be looked at carefully to understand how the garment should be cut. I had a lady come in the store the other day and she had to buy more fabric because she hadn't cut a piece on the fold even though the pattern piece was clearly marked CUT ON FOLD. She admitted she was a new sewer, and new sewers do make mistakes like that. However she would have been lost looking at the pieces for this little doll set; there was a definite assumption by pattern makers of the day that the person buying the pattern had some prior sewing experience, as well as a lot of common sense. I admit I changed some of the construction methods as I went along just because I know of easier ways to do some of it. Anyway, I am posting some early pics now, I can't finish the ensemble til I get some ribbon rosettes (the pattern says to make my own, but I've tried half a dozen times and am admitting defeat!) and a lining for the cape. I'm making it from red velveteen and I was going to line it in red taffetta, but now I'm thinking cotton would be better and I don't have a big enough piece.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have some things to do today to get ready. I am making cranberry sauce from the recipe I used last year; Siobhan loved it and has asked for it again.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Vintage doll clothes

I am still working on doll clothes, I made another Christmas ensemble for Tiny Tears, this one is 5 pieces, and I made a dress and combination for a 14 inch Patsy type doll. I have a reprint of a pattern from the 1930's that I used. It was really hard to work with, very different from modern patterns.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tiny Tears Christmas Dress

I just listed this on E-bay. I think it turned out so cute, I kind of hope it doesn't sell because my little Tiny Tears looks so cute in it! I made the tights too; it was my first attempt at making tights, and they did not come out quite as nice as I had hoped. I didn't use a pattern, I just cut off part of a leg sewed across the bottom, part way up the center and back down across the rest of the bottom. I then cut between the two lines of sewing to make two legs. I also made a casing at the waist and slipped some 1/8 inch elastic in there. Anyway, they are still a bit loose, and the crotch is kind of weird. I have a pair of tights that I bought and I think I am going to try and make a patern from them.
I was in Salvation Army yesterday and came across a crewel embroidery kit of a butterfly from the 70's. It was started, but not much was done. It had all the yarn, a hoop, a needle and the instructions. I had seen a bag made with a piece of 70's embroidery, and it looked really nice, so I snatched the kit up and am already half done. The colors aren't my favorite, but that's ok, I still think it will sell when I finish the bag. I'll post pics when I do.