Friday, April 29, 2011

Help For Alabama

I am sure you have heard of the 
devastating tornadoes that have pummeled 
the southern states this week.

Many communities were totally decimated 
by the category EF5 tornadoes.

One of those communities is 
called Pleasant Grove and 
is where Samantha Caffee, 
of The Handmade Dress lives and works with her family. 
Sam sent these photos from her iPhone.

Samantha has 4 children, including a new baby
and her husband, Ben, is an EMT. 

This is Ben. 
Ben and many others have been working tirelessly,
around the clock, searching for survivors,
and pulling the deceased from the wreckage.

(This is a photo taken near her town, but I am not sure
who took this one.)
Thankfully, Sam and her family are safe. 
But many, many in their community completely lost
their homes and many lost their lives.
Ben's brother and sister-in-law gave birth to their
brand new baby girl yesterday.
They named her Zoe, 
which means "life" in Greek. 
How perfectly fitting for such a beautiful gift.
But their home was completely destroyed.
They lost everything they owned.

Many others in their town have lost everything.
The post office and bank are destroyed.
People do not have even the basic 

I know I want to help!

to get through to Sam to find out how we can help.

Sam suggested gift cards. 
Her community has both a Walmart and a Target.
Gift cards are better than checks as they can be 
used immediately, instead of trying to cash a check.
So many people have even lost their 
wallets and all their id cards!
You can send gift cards to be given to
any family in need,
or you may specify that they go to
Daniel and Christina if you want them to be
for Baby Zoe.

You can send care packages filled with all 
kinds of goodies. 
Everything is needed:
shoes or flipflops,
snack foods,
baby items,

Please only send new items 
and if you want to send handmade items
I am sure they would be very much appreciated.

Encourage your children to help you.
Ahnalin is making a picture because she
wants to be a part of this.

Samantha has suggested that the donations
be sent to her church,
which has become a shelter for the community,
where they can be distributed to any who need them.
Sam's father is the pastor of the church and
the church treasurer, Linda, has agreed to be the
liaison for these gifts.

New Life Fellowship
C/O Linda 
3519 Gilbert Drive
Hueytown, Alabama, 35023

One other way you can help is this.

Today, through Sunday night,
all proceeds from
E-patterns these designers and more,
(including me!)
purchased through
go completely towards relief
in Alabama.

You will get great patterns,
and you will be directly helping those in so much need.

Please help these families.
Prayer for them,
but give too. 

Thank you all.

In His Grace,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Smocked Easter Chicks for Ahnalin

Happy Easter!
I pray the Lord blessed you, 
and revealed Himself to you today.
My beloved Hot Rockin' Hubby
introduced one of his original 
songs to our church today,
and it made me cry. 
I am so grateful for the gift that
Jesus willingly gave for me and you.

Today was a different kind of Easter for our family.
We celebrated without our India.
She had to work this afternoon,
so she was able to attend a church in Anaheim.

But I miss her so much.

And Ahnalin......

She requested a yellow Easter dress
with puffy sleeves,
a collar,
a full skirt,
a big bow,
and baby chicks smocked on the front.

I had not made her a smocked yoked dress 
for awhile and she really wanted one badly.

She found one in a Sew Beautiful magazine
and really begged. 

But I always have to do my own thing!

And I wanted to use things from my 
sewing stash, 
rather than head back into those
gardens of temptation, 
known as "fabric stores."

The pattern I used was 
Love and Stitches #151
Toddler Yoke Dresses I
by Debbie Glenn
in a size 5.

The fabric was a bright butter yellow
cotton/poly batiste from my stash.
It is VERY soft and VERY translucent!

The smock plate I used as a base
was Ellen McCarn's "Chicks"
but I made a lot of changes in 
the stitch design and really 
brightened up the color palate.

At 1:30 this morning,
I sewed the growth tuck hem.
Yes, I know that is a super easy, cheesy hem
treatment, but it is my favorite. 
And for wild and crazy girls,
it stays sewn nicely!

When I finally finished the dress,
I realized how see-through it really was.
So I quickly sewed up a simple half
slip and attached some gathered eyelet
from my stash.

Sorry for the blurry shot, but
"It twirls GOOD!" 

As soon as we got home from church
and brunch, she ripped off her socks
because she can't stand them!
And, she is rather vain about
the color of her legs contrasted
with the white shoes, 
regardless of the fact that her legs
and feet are constantly banged up with 
scratches and scars from her wild antics. 
She is SO PROUD of those shoes,
because they have a little heel!
And I didn't notice until just now,
but I got a lovely shot of the 
neighbor's gas meter, 
in the background.
Silly me. 

The dress was completed
at 2:00 AM.

The strawberry stain on the sleeve
appeared just 12 hours later at brunch. 

Oh well. 
She LOVES her dress.
And I LOVED making it for her.
I actually tried to talk her out of 
a smocked dress.
But she won when
she told me 
"Mama, I am 6 years old!
I may not want a smocked dress when I am 7!

Now, I am starting on her
dress for her piano recital!

I pray you all had a wonderful 
blessed Easter.
Even if your Easter was 
"different" this year, 
like ours, I pray you had
a time of reflection and joy.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Feed The Birds and a Dress To Cherish

She is quite the crafty kid!

She begged and begged
to paint a birdhouse for the tree in our front yard.

Oh, and yes! 
She IS wearing a 
made in the super simple
"Crafty Kid" style.
And yes!
You CAN make one for your own crafty kid!

(Commercial over now!)

She hung it in the tree
and then it took this slow poke mama
about a week to remember to buy birdseed.

But she wanted to fill it herself.

She is so excited!
I wonder when we will have 
our first birdy diners.

And do you remember the little dress
I was making for my precious niece Cherish?

Well, I finished it in true Goosegirl fashion!

You see, we decided to go for a short visit to 
Sparks, NV to see my parents
and then Grass Valley to see Don's parents
last weekend. 

Rather spur of the moment, really.

And I was not finished with the dress.

So, I packed it up and finished sewing it at 
my parents house!

I am now kicking myself that I did not take 
my little dress form so you could see 
this little dress better. 
The lime green seersucker
is so fresh and light
and I love the fuchsia rick rack and 
embroidery thread.

I wish I could be with Cherish and 
her Mommy and Daddy
this weekend, the day before Easter,
when she will be dedicated to Jesus.

I am still working on the smocking for 
Ahnalin's Easter dress.
I tried to talk her into a dress
to match Cherish's dress.
Well, she reminded me that 
she is 6 now and may not want
smocking when she is 7 
so this may be her last smocked Easter dress!!!

I pray the Lord is blessing you this Holy Week.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whatever Is Lovely

  Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, 
whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is admirable
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy,
think about such things. 
Philippians 4:8

I love this verse. 
I learned it when I was a young girl
in my church' girls club
that was our version of Girl Scouts.
We were the "Missionettes".

I have thought of this verse a lot this week.
Let me explain......

Do you see how pretty my blog looks now?

My extremely talented and amazing friend
created my new header and other goodies
on my blog.
Yeah, I am pretty much in awe of her. 
She is a GENIUS!

So, last Friday,
we were chatting on the phone 
because she had called to tell
me to look at what she had done for me.
During that phone call, I manage to drop
a sewing machine foot down my heater vent,
as well as spill something all over myself.
We were laughing about how crazy stuff
happens to me during our phone calls.

But then, 
my wonderful Hot Rockin' Hubby
called me on my cell phone asking 
me if I had set up a certain payment on 
I told him no and then what we realized
next was really crazy. 



So, I got off the phone with Dawn,
after going completely nuts about how awesome
my blog looks,
and tried to see what to do next about the hack. 

 Don came home and we had to head off to the
bank to close accounts, open new accounts,
change passwords,
 stop payments,
and try to contain the mayhem. 

Friday was the day that I was working
on finishing Ahnalin's dress for the talent show.
This all happened before I got 
the buttons and buttonholes done,
which was why I had to sew her into the dress!
But then you can read all about that

So, this whole week 
has been spent dealing with 
all the stuff that goes with 
a hacked identity. 


 On Monday, I cried 
a lot and thought some pretty ugly thoughts.
I probably said some ugly words too.
Some of my Facebook statuses were
downright cruel and angry.

I am having to make the minute
by minute decision to 
keep my heart pure
and my thoughts on what is

Whatever is lovely....

SO, I decided to think 
of some things for which 
I am grateful this week.

First of all, I am 
My header makes me smile so much!
Thank you so much my friend!!

I AM very grateful for my family
and my friends. 

 But really, 
I am VERY thankful this week
for good coffee! 
Peet's is the best!
When I was a young married girl,
I worked as an interior designer
at an upscale furniture store in
Menlo Park, CA called Traditions.
Our store shared a wall with
one of the oldest Peet's Coffee shops
and they roasted their own beans daily.
The smell of Peet's coffee reminds me
of my early days of marriage to my love.

I bought myself these flowers
at Trader Joe's on Saturday
and they have been smiling at me 
from my kitchen counter ever since. 
They are lovely.

Lavender scented spray starch!!
You see, I LOVE ironing!
I love my iron!
I love to make ironing board covers.
And lavender is my favorite
So what could make my favorite chore
even more wonderful?

This is a dress I am working on for 

my precious niece Cherish.
The colors make me happy 
and I really adore striped 
seersucker for Spring and Summer.
This makes for Happy Sewing.

And then this is my favorite song
on my new favorite CD.

none of these things
are as wonderful and 
amazing as my beautiful family,
my dear friends,
or the gift of Salvation.

But they are the lovely things that 
are making me smile in a very hard week.

I know this is kind of an all-over-the-place 
blog post. 
It's kind of where I am at right now!

But I must get back to my sewing 
so I can show off Cherish's new dress 
when I get it done.

If you are having a hard week,
I encourage you to take some time
to think of whatever is lovely in your life.
There are small kisses from heaven 
that are so personal,
sent just for you,
that no one else may understand.
But think of them with gratitude,
and smile. 

Happy Sewing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Flower Power And The Talent Show

Do you ever find a fabric that you love so much,
that you are terrified to cut into it?

For me, that fabric
was Loopy Vintage Floral 
from Jennifer Paganelli's Flower Power line.

Oh my!

I had ordered it from Myrinda, at
The Fabric Hound
over a year ago!

But, you see, Ahnalin had auditioned  
for the school talent show. 

And she NEEDED a new outfit!

And of course, when she "went shopping"
in my fabrics, 
I could not really say "NO!"

So, I cut into the fabric.

And I am so glad I did.

You see, she had decided to sing
"Castle On A Cloud"
from Les Miserables. 

And the last time she had performed
this song had been for
"Showstoppers", which was 18 months ago.
And in her mind, she had to wear the same 
style outfit.
So, that meant another
peasant blouse, jumper dress
and pantaloons.

But the last outfit did not
have pockets, so I decided to add some special 
pockets this time.
These treasure pockets were what I 
showed you in the "Sneaky Peaky".

I also added some vintage rickrack in 
the exact color of gold of the flowers and 
butterflies in the print.

And yes, I bound the seams in
the contrasting color of the same print.

Ahnalin will not wear "tutus", 
which is what she calls tulle of any kind,
unless she is performing in a ballet recital.
So, she asked that I make a big ruffle on her
blouse so it would make the dress full.
I love the look of the blouse over the pantaloons.

And I love her. 

We managed to find ballet flats
in the exact color of fuchsia at Walmart
for $7.00 and the hat....Target Dollar Spot!

So, you are probably wondering what these
pictures have to do with the talent show, right?

Well, you see......

I wanted some nice pictures of the outfit
once it was finished........
and the talent show was Friday night.....

And the dress WAS NOT FINISHED!!!!

So, I sewed her into the dress last night,
without buttons and buttonholes,
and bribed her with "feeding the ducks"
to get the photos today now that it is finally done.

Here she was, nervously waiting for the show to start.

Now, let me preface this video by saying
that she had rehearsed the song with Daddy
playing on the piano at home and did beautifully!
But the school only had a little keyboard that was 
not hooked up to the sound system. 
She could not hear the music.

But, my beautiful girl bravely
 asked to start the song over.

I apologize that you will hear
my voice trying to help her find the key.
I did not realize I was doing it,
but I am SO PROUD of my baby for doing her
best, even with difficult sound and not
being able to hear her Daddy play.
She eventually found her way in the song
and finished strong.

I am so so so proud of my little one.
And I am so happy that I finally got
up the nerve to cut into this beloved,
beautiful fabric.
My beloved, beautiful girl wears it so well.

Thank you for indulging me with
all these pictures. 
I won't even tell you how many I took!

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Little Sneaky Peaky

Guess what I am sewing!

You see, Ahnalin 
is singing in a talent
show at her school on Friday,
she must have a new 
something special to wear........

Happy Sewing!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fool-Proof Ironing Board Cover (Really!)

Does your ironing board cover look like

Are you ashamed to iron
your lovely new creations on your old, ugly,
stained, torn, ill-fitting,
and otherwise NASTY 
ironing board cover?

Well, help is on the way!


This is NOT an "Uber-Crafty, County-Fair-Blue-Ribbon-
Winning" Ironing Board Cover tutorial.

Not at all!

This is an
"ACK! I can't stand it anymore and 
I have less than an hour to kill and
I need to make something to assuage my
nasty ironing board guilt" 
Ironing Board Cover Tutorial!

Here is what you need:

1 5/8 yard of cotton fabric
1 5/8 yard of Insul-Bright 
4 1/2 yards Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape
(I used scraps, so they are not even matching!)
2 1/2 yards 1/4" elastic
2 safety pins
and of course your regular sewing pins, thread,
scissors and sewing machine.

Grab your ugly old cover and lay it on top
of your new fabric lengthwise.

Cut around the old cover. 
Mine was MUCH TOO SMALL and slipped
off my board constantly, causing 
extreme frustration.
So, I cut my new cover about 2 inches larger all around.

Starting at the flat end of the cover,
pin the bias tape all the way around the cover.
Just wrap the bias tape right over the raw edge.
Make sure your pins are going in the direction 
so you can pull them out as you sew,
rather than stabbing your fingers as I often do.

DO NOT OVERLAP the bias tape
here, as this is your opening for feeding
through your elastic.

Using a medium ZigZag,
stitch the bias tape onto the fabric,
with the left side of the stitch on the fabric
and the right side on the bias tape.

Using the zigzag insures that
you will not miss the underside of 
the bias tape if your stitch is too close to the edge.
Stitch past your starting point and back stitch a few times
to make sure it will hold tightly when you start
feeding the elastic through.

 Attach a safety pin on both ends of your
elastic and start feeding one end
through the opening in the
bias tape,
which is two different colors in my case!

Make sure you pin the end of the elastic to the 
fabric with the other safety pin. 
This way, as you are feeding the elastic through the 
bias tape casing, it will not pull all the way through, 
causing you to yell nonsensically and throw 
your project across the room.

Once you have fed the elastic through, 
and adjusted the gathers,
you will have 
a little pile of fabric that looks like this.

Once again, grab that nasty old
cover and now lay it on the Insul-Bright.
I kept mine folded and cut two layers
because I like my ironing board really padded.

I cut about 3/4 of an inch all the way around,
so it was smaller than my new cover,
but bigger than the joke of a cover I had been using.

Now, put your new padding on your ironing board,
and fit your lovely new cover on top!!!
Grab those elastic pieces and PULL!!!!

Knot them good and tuck then into the 
cover underneath the board.

Oh, such a relief!!!

And since I have no storage at all
in our new house, I keep my 
ironing board behind a chair, up against 
the wall, when I am not using it.
Doesn't it look so much nicer than
the nasty old one?

Now, grab your old cover,
wad it up and
throw it in the trash,
all the while singing
and dancing to some guilty pleasure
pop song.

And in case anyone was wondering,
yes, this is some of my beloved,
hoarded Mary Engelbreit fabric
that I have been petting and loving
since 2003. 
It makes me happy to see it,
so I may as well be happy when I am ironing.

So, not my usual perfectionist sewing, I know!
But I truly could not stand that old cover anymore.

You can do this too! 
No fooling!

Happy Sewing!