Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Madison's Birthday Dress

Once again it is birthday time for
one of my favorite little fashionistas!

For the last 4 years,
a darling little girl named Madison
has requested a very special dress for her birthday.

Last year, when she was 6, Madison
requested an "Olivia" themed dress.
More pictures of this dress are HERE.

And when she was 5, 
Madison requested a Tinkerbell themed dress.
More photos of this dress are HERE.

And this was the very first dress I smocked
and constructed for Madison, 
when she was 4.

Each year, Madison chooses her theme,
color, and other details and then I get to create
a dream dress for her.

Madison's mommy sent me a picture of the
design that our little designer had chosen.

Because there are no smock plates 
(smocking stitch pattern)
for this kitty, 
I had to figure out a way to 
smock this design. 

Just like last year, 
I ended up smocking free hand.

Madison requested Hot Pink 
as the color of her dress but left 
the rest of the design up to me.

I loved the contrast of the black 
outline in the design,
so I chose to use black for her name
and for the rick rack as well.

And like last year, 
I sewed a row of tulle to
the attached petticoat
to add a little bit of fluff to the skirt!

And I found the most fabulous
hot pink sparkly buttons to match the fabric
just perfectly!

And of course,
because we all know of my passion for rick rack,
I had to add some to the skirt......

 And the sleeve cuffs.

of course,
because the attached petticoat
is sewn to the lining of the bodice,
there are no scratchy seams visible.
(The color is wonky in this photo!)

And it had to have a
Sivjegoose label too!
While the measurements
are customized to Madison's actual more petite size,
I chose to put a size 7 tag
inside because this is for Madison's 7th birthday!

I can't wait to see pictures of the birthday
girl in her dress!!

Her mama told me that Madison is considering
being a dress designer when she grows up.
I think she will do a marvelous job!

Happy Birthday darling girl!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100

Make a JOYFUL noise unto the LORD
All ye lands.
Serve the Lord with GLADNESS.
Come before His presence with SINGING.
Know that the LORD, He is GOD.
It is He that has made us and not we ourselves.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING
and into His courts with PRAISE.
Be THANKFUL unto Him 
and BLESS His name.
For the LORD is GOOD.
and His TRUTH endures
for ALL generations!

This was one of the first chapters of scripture
that I memorized as a child.
I think of these verses often
and they remind me that even in 
difficult times,
I have SO MUCH! 
So being thankful is so much 
easier when I remember this.
I love to sing my Thanksgiving to the Lord
and this is a favorite hymn of mine.

I am so very thankful for my beautiful family.
I am thankful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country.
I am thankful for a variety of healthy, delicious food.
I am thankful for the gift of creativity.
I am thankful for loving and fun friendships.
I am thankful for the gift of music.
I am thankful for the beautiful rainbow of color,
evident both in people and in nature.
And most of all,
I am thankful that God loves me
so very much.

I pray that this Thanksgiving,
you enjoy love and bounty and blessing.
I pray that you bless others.
And I pray that you rejoice in 
the creativity that allows
us to share in the joy of our Creator.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A New Slipcover for Goosegirl's Sewing Chair

Way back in February,
I posted this picture.

I blogged about it HERE.

Well, I am sure I have told you 
that I have major Sewing A.D.D.!

But I FINALLY finished my chair!!!!


When I originally had the chair made,
I was working at a furniture store in 
Nevada City.

I wanted a sewing chair that had a ruffle!

The manufacturers laughed at me!

So for years, I put up with my
cute, but boring red checked chair. 

It started to wear out and look awful!

I said for years that I would slipcover it.

But then I always got sidetracked and
put it off.

I have been a bit bummed out lately
and kind of feeling sorry for myself.

Don used to tease me that when I got
depressed, I would start painting things yellow,
to make my own sunshine.

I now have my very own chairful of sunshine!

This is the back. 


I know it looks like a dress.

I made covered buttons........

And they match the custom piping.

And I fussed the back all up
just the way I wanted it!

And I love every detail about it.

And everything came out of my stash!

I had purchased these fabrics
to decorate our living room
in our home in Lake Bluff, Illinois
back in the 90s.

So yes, they are maybe a bit dated.

But I love them 
and they make me feel happy.

My sewing area is in my kitchen. 

This was probably intended to be 
the breakfast nook

So my space is VERY LIMITED.

Those curtains underneath the table
hide my clear plastic shoe boxes
that hold all my notions. 

I also have my smocking pleater,
my floss box,
some fabric and current projects,
and other things.

Most of my fabric is actually stored 
in the garage.

Ahnalin's little Hello Kitty Janome
stays set up right next to my Janome,
so we can sew together.

My other machines are in the garage too.

I grabbed my old bookshelf
and put it on the sewing table to hold
my antique spools.

I use the spools for my elastic,
piping cord, 
rickrack and other trims.

This is a vintage spice rack that I painted
with some leftover craft paint.

I think I want to repaint it yellow,
or maybe a paler aqua.

And the Mary Engelbreit print
desperately needs to be framed.

It is signed by Mary!

But it will go on the wall right there.

I painted this at a pottery painting 
workshop with my girls on Ahnalin's birthday.

I sew much better than I paint, 

I took photos of most of the steps 
while I was making the slipcover,
so I may post them soon.

But I am so glad that I finally 
finished my chair and fixed up my sewing area.

It feels like a huge gift to mysef!

I need to get back to my smocking now!

Happy Sewing!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Simple Corduroy Skirt For My Girl

So my girl was on another design kick the other day.

She pulled this remnant of black,
white and pink corduroy out of the stash
and requested a pleated skirt
to go with her new hat.

And it had to "Swish" too.

I found an unopened roll of this black
and white ribbon and used every inch of 
it to trim the yoke and hem.

And do you remember this dress from THIS post?

Well, Ahnalin wanted the same effect
on a long sleeved shirt
that just happened to have a stain in front.

The ribbon hides it perfectly!

And the shoes, 
well, I love them!

This picture makes me laugh!

Between the hot pink sweater and hat,
and the standing-on-one-leg,
I think she looks like a flamingo!

And then I started to play with the Black and White
feature on the camera.

And I love this one too!

Can you tell I really want to learn
to take pictures? 

She wanted to swing on Daddy's arm
and is still just short enough to do it.

And then she put her boots back on to
ride her scooter home.

But she reminded me that we had not taken
the "Classic Ahnalin" pose,
so she remedied that!

As to the skirt,
well, I did not use a pattern.

It was just a less-than-a-yard
remnant and math.

If there is interest, 
I may write up a quick tutorial 
for this super quick skirt.

But my projects for today
include smocking for a favorite client
and finishing the slipcover for my sewing chair.

I find that with the tendonitis in my hands,
that I have to take breaks from smocking
and do other types of motions for a bit.

And then I can go back to smocking.

I will have pics of the chair hopefully tomorrow!

Thank you all for your prayers for my hands
and for my India. 

She will be having surgery in January on her foot,
so she is off dancing for a while. 

Off I go to sew and smock!

Happy Sunday and Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just A Striped Corduroy Jumper For Autumn Days

Ahnalin has been begging for some 
new corduroy jumpers for Fall.

She had been stash diving in my 
corduroys and found this purple stripe 
and she wanted it!

You see, back in September,
when we had to admit that 
sandals, Crocks and flipflops,
were not going to get her through the school year,
she fell in love with these purple boots!

This was followed by much begging,
and many promises of being a precious,
perfect, angelic child every minute of the day.

Well, I bought the boots for her. 

She wanted a corduroy jumper 
with pockets ( for collecting rocks
and stubby pencils)
and she wanted lace on it.

On one of our many trips
to Joann Fabrics,
she begged for this pattern.
And because it was on sale for 99 cents,
she got it!

I bought the corduroy a long time ago
from Walmart and I bought the lace
recently from Fabric Hound.

The buttons are from my vintage
button stash. 

She wanted to hold her McGuffey Readers
while I took pictures because
they match the fabric. 

This is one of her
"Duh Mom!" looks
and she was very ready for me to 
finish taking pics so we could walk to school.
She HATES even the thought of being late.

And, of course,
we must have the Classic Ahnalin pose 
to finish it off.

So, a bit about the pattern.....

It runs quite large. 
I wish I had purchased the smaller
size range because I probably 
should have made a 4 
and lengthened it to the size 7.

But the pattern packet included 6,7 &8
so I cut the 6 in a 7 length. 

The pattern goes together quickly
and is easy to wear for my girl.

She is already planning the next jumper out
of this pattern.
So, I say it was a success.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dueling Rapunzels

Once again, 
my princesses have chosen
to dress up as the same character 
for Halloween.

Do you remember when they both
wanted to be Alice in Wonderland?

You can see more pictures
of those costumes HERE.

But this year,
they both wanted to be Rapunzel.

Now, you will notice, 
in the above photo, 
that neither girl is wearing 
an enormous blond wig.

Well, India made one for herself.
It was beautiful!
But it wouldn't stay on her head.

So, she is holding it on in these pictures.

Oh, and I finally took these photos
yesterday, after both girls had
worn their costumes several times.

Yeah, bad photos.

I have to say,
these costumes frustrated me!

I made each girl's costume differently,
based on their preferences.

India, with her love of corsets,
got a boned and very structured
bodice for her top.

I used McCalls 4107 and added sleeves and a front panel,
as well as lace, to make her top.
I had to re-cut the bodice because the original was much too low.
India's daddy would have put her up in Rapunzel's tower
before letting her out of the house
in the original low cut bodice!

We found every single fabric
for these costumes in the Red Tag
area in Joann's Fabrics. 
And they were all 50% off the Red Tag
price when we bought them.
Nothing was over $3.00 a yard.

The fabric for India's skirt and upper sleeves
was a polyester crepe.
I really struggled with the colors and fabrics
for these costumes, because I wanted
them to really look like Rapunzel's in 
the "Tangled" movie.

That wasn't going to happen for us,
so the bargain bin worked fine!

I was rather obsessive
about the sleeves.
I liked how they were close-fitted
and appeared to be knit.
So I found this nylon tricot knit
for $1.00 a yard and it worked perfectly!
I drafted the sleeves to fit 
the armscyes and then then cut the lower
sleeve to India's specifications.

I used a gorgeous polyester and metallic
tapestry brocade for India's bodice.
This is actually the back side 
as it showed more of the purple
and pink colors and was less glitzy.

This is an awful picture,
but India painted on the skirt designs
with paint pens. 
I tried to machine embroider the designs
on the skirt, but it didn't work out.

But I think her designs were lovely.

I used Butterick 5421 for the skirt, 
but I cut the skirt larger,
so I could add pleats, and 
added a waistband.
I was not thrilled with how badly
the crepe wrinkled, 
but then, I had to remind myself 
that these were costumes 
and my girl was happy with the result.

For Ahnalin's costume,
I used Simplicity 2065

But, as usual, I made alterations.

First of all, I cut a size 4 around
and a size 7 in length.

The pattern called for organza for
the lower sleeve, and the overskirt.

Well, as above, I preferred the look of
the knit sleeve, so I used the tricot.

And Ahnalin absolutely refused
to allow anything "itchy" in her costume,
so there was no organza or tulle
allowed anywhere near her.
And, she reminded me, 
that the "Real Rapunzel" didn't have
a poufy skirt!
She had a "swingy skirt". 

We found this great embroidered border
lace yardage in the clearance section for $2.00
a yard, and it was relatively soft.
So we nabbed the last 2 yards they had.
This is actually pretty different from the
"Real Rapunzel" dress, but she liked 
the sequins and it saved me some
time, so we went with it!

And besides that, it twirled well.
I loved the pale lilac sparkle satin
I used for the underskirt.
It had a tiny bit of lycra in it so it 
draped very nicely. 
$2.00 a yard was nice too!

The lace was something that I have had in 
my stash since high school!
I think I have actually used the last of it now,
but it was perfect!
Did I mention that I am crazy about these sleeves?

Aw yes, the Classic Ahnalin pose! dye in Halloween candy!
Thankfully she is not affected by blue!
Most of her candy was thrown out
due to her issues with corn syrup 
and red food dye. 
But she was livin' it up with the blue!

Oh, and a note about the lack of
a long blond wig......
she refused.
She said a wig would make the costume
"too obvious". 

I wish this wasn't fuzzy, 
because my dueling Rapunzels were
so cute together.