Friday, May 24, 2013

Ahnalin as Jane Austen

We love Jane Austen.

When Ahnalin had to choose a 
"Famous dead person" 
for her 3rd grade "Live Wax Museum" history project,
she chose to do her report on our beloved novelist.

Well, I must be honest here......


Ahnalin loves beautiful dresses and 
playing dress-up with her dolls.

She told me that she was considering
doing her report on Walt Disney or Lucille Ball.

Walt Disney lost out because she didn't want 
to dress up like him for the wax museum.

Lucille Ball ran a close second,
because she would have had fun portraying her
and she adores "I Love Lucy".

But in the end,

(All right, it wasn't really a contest, but Go Jane!)

And that meant that mama needed to get busy
making a regency style gown.

And Ahnalin suggested
(well, more like agreed to....)
a smocked empire style. 

As research, (cough cough)
we watched most of my BBC versions
of Pride and Prejudice, 
Sense and Sensibility,
and Persuasian.
 I suggested Mansfield Park
and Northanger Abbey,
and had to watch them on my own time (again)
as she felt she had enough of a feel for the times.

We actually did real research on Ms. Austen,
but the movies were my favorite part.

Two of Ahnalin's favorite findings about
Jane were:

1. Jane's father was a minister just like
 Ahnalin's daddy has been.

2. Jane was proud of her stitching and
handiwork skills, just like Ahnalin.

The dress fabric was rather see-through,
and she wanted a new petticoat,
so I cut a quick yoke style bodice
and long skirt out of some cotton muslin from my stash.

She was practicing her posture with a book on her head
in this picture.
Goofy girl!

I found just enough cotton lace in my stash
to trim the neckline and armscyes. 

I added a long embroidered cotton batiste trim
to the hem of the petticoat.
I had planned on enclosing that seam in a
growth tuck, which is my oft used hem treatment.
However, Ahnalin wanted it to be left
as long as possible.
So we left it alone.
Her plan is to wear it as a nightgown
after the wax museum project was finished.

Ahnalin kept cracking up while Grandma Barbara was
taking pictures from one angle
and I was taking them from another angle.

Yes, there it is.
My favorite cheater hem style.
But I do love growth tucks.

And the long petticoat is peeking out.
And how cute are those pink ballet flats.

I truly love the fabric I used for this dress.

It is "Juliet-Coco" by Anna Griffin,
and can be purchased at the Martha Pullen Company. 

I drafted the pattern and designed
the smock plate based on various
gowns from my favorite
Jane Austen movies.

And, well,
you know I had to include smocking!

I am working on the pattern for this dress
and it will include the smocking design.

Ahnalin wanted you to see her hair.
She knew exactly how she wanted it to look.

The back of the bodice is simple and pretty.

I like the lace of the neckline of the
petticoat peeking out.

 I had not stitched the grosgrain ribbon
in place so it fell off when Ahnalin
was frozen in place at the school wax museum.
But it probably looks more authentic without it.

 She got tired of being frozen in her standing pose,
so she sat down and read her "prop".

Good thinking, my brilliant girl!

I am so proud of my little one
for working so hard on her Jane Austen project.
Her research paper was very well written
and she enjoyed the process.

And I am so glad she gave me a good
excuse to create a regency style gown for her.

Now she wants one for her American Girl doll.
I guess I had better get busy!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Martha Pullen Love Of Sewing Retreat

I finally got to meet Martha Pullen !!

And she is wonderful and hilarious 
and I almost cried because I am 
such a giant fan!

I asked her to sign my my article in
Sew Beautiful magazine
and now I am going to frame it.

If you ever get a chance to 
attend any of her retreats
or seminars,
I hope you get to hear her "Spanx" routine.
OH MY!!!
So funny!!

But more importantly than her hilarious stories,
she generously shared her business philosophy
and love of heirloom garments.

I was so happy to take a serger tote class with
Kathy McMakin!

I am smiling so hard, 
my eyes are almost completely invisible!
She taught some incredible serger 
techniques and was so friendly!

The next class I took was for a wallet
made completely "in the hoop".

I love my sewing machine,
but oh my!

We all created these wallets on the Babylock Ellissimo Gold 
Embroidery and sewing machines.
What a blast!!
These are amazing machines!


Martha taught the class on lace shaping.
It really is so fun and much easier
than it looks. 

one of Martha's licensed teachers,
in this class, 
where she was assisting.
I was beyond thrilled to find out that
Alicia is practically my neighbor in my new town!

I also was so excited to take a serger Hipster Bag class
Oh my goodness!!!
Missy is incredible!!!

She has fabulous patterns and videos
and she completely got 
me excited about sewing with sergers.
I have two older sergers but have been
pretty unimpressed with them.
I am definitely going to save up for 
a new Babylock serger now!

This is the Hipster Bag we made
in Missy's class. 
She taught us how to make a "Fancy Band" 
and even how to put in a zipper
on the serger!

Ahnalin has already tried to snag this little bag from me.

This is a table folder we made using
a "Sashiko" machine. 
I love it!

I didn't finish the serger tote, 
but I am almost done with it.

This event was sponsored by
Meissner's Sewing Center,
which has 3 locations in the Sacramento area.
The Meissner staff is incredible!
I signed up for their mailing list
so that I can hear about events in the future.
I plan to attend a Janome seminar
at Meissners  this summer.

All in all, this retreat was a fabulous gift.

My parents and my Hot Rockin' Hubby knew
how badly I wanted to go to this
retreat and they worked together to make it happen
for me. 
 I am so incredibly grateful!

I have never been to anything like this retreat before
and it was a treat from the second I arrived
until the last second. 

I think I am hooked. 

time to get back to the real world!

I have to make a costume for
Ahnalin for "Pioneer School" by Wednesday.
And pictures will soon be up 
of Ahnalin as "Jane Austen" 
for her 3rd grade history project.

I had better get busy.

Happy Sewing!