Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Hundred Items!

If any of you have been reading my blog for well over a year, you may have remembered that at the end of last year, I decided to keep track of all of the items I've sewn in one year. Now that today is the last day of 2008, I pulled out my little notebook that contained a recorded copy of each thing I sewed in the sewing room this past year.

Keep in mind that I was gone for 4 months out of the year, and so who knows what the final tally would have looked like if I would have been home. I semi organized it into sections with several different things in one section (ie, under Regency, it includes gowns, robes, stays, spencers, etc). You can see what I like to sew the most. =)

Aprons - 35 items

Basic clothing - 12 items

Edwardian - 3 items

Other - 3 items

Peasant Shirts - 17 items

Regency - 12 items

Tote bags - 18 items

And if the calculator worked right, that makes for a grand total of 100 items!

It actually came to 99 this morning, and I decided, "Oh, why not make it an even one hundred..." so I sewed up another toddler's smock before lunch:

This one I think could pass for either boy or girl! Yes, it's up in the shop...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Sunshine Smock

This is what I've been doing this morning:
A few posts back, I shared a picture or two of the little smock/apron that Grandma gave me. I was inspired to make a pattern off of it and make a couple up. As usual in my sewing, I didn't make it identical to the pattern. The ties on the original were fabric, and the rick rack was really tiny and all I had was the standard size, so I used less on my copy.

I'm still very happy with the way it turned out. I even named it after Grandma's childhood nickname, "Dode."
And since it such a cute and cheery style, I'm calling it: Dode's Sunshine Smock.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Coming back to life

For several months the sewing room has been deadly quiet, but now that Erin is back from being a nanny out of state and I'm home for a little bit, it's fun to walk into a sewing room with projects on the table, bits and pieces of fabric and thread in the trash can, the room warming up because of the iron being on ... it seems to give me some renewed inspiration to sew. =)

Perhaps you saw that I added a tea cup apron and a country blue plaid apron to my shop online. I actually was quite motivated today and completed both of them with lots more time to work on something else. But now I'm trying to decide what I should work on next. =) More aprons? Or maybe sew up some peasant shirts or tote bags? And I can't forget my stash pile either. I'd like to work on that pile next month.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas away from home?

Well, I just may be spending my first Christmas away from home. Having been staying with my grandparents these last few weeks have been a treasure, however I had no idea how difficult it would be to try to fly back home around the holiday's. Here in the east, we've been having lots of winter weather (probably close to a foot of snow) and we're supposed to get another 8-10 inches of it today and tomorrow. Unless I can get a flight out of here, I will be spending Christmas away from home.

But I am reminded that where ever I'm at, I can celebrate it. Christmas is not about presents, looking at lights on Christmas Eve, family gatherings and parties. Not that those things are necessarily wrong, but Christmas is about Jesus. It's about celebrating and worshiping HIM, and we can do that whether we find ourselves with our family or alone.

May you all have a wonderful and Christ-filled Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A craft fair and a 1930s childs smock

Last weekend the churches school hosted a craft fair (remember me mentioning it?) and here is our table there. I shared it with Grandma and a lady from church. Can you see some of my items there on the left? I brought aprons, tote bags, and tatted bookmarks. Because of the heavy snow we had that day, "people traffic" was very slow and I only sold 2 aprons.
Today we are putting up the Christmas tree and putting out some more festive decorations, and as Grandma was going through the cedar chest in the spare room (my room at present, but oh how I love to sleep in spare rooms!) she came across an apron/smock that she would have worn around 2-3 years old.

The fabric is still clean and crisp, although there is a nickel sized tear/hole in the front. The sweet rick rack, and the small pocket for little fingers just wins my heart. Not to mention that it is a precious gift to me from Grandma.
Do you smell a new vintage design for the shop? I do too...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Wool Plaid Traveling Skirt

When I was at Denver Fabrics last summer, I saw a lovely wool plaid there on the clearance tables and thought that it would make for a lovely bias cut skirt. Unfortunately the squares aren't perfectly squared and I didn't have enough yardage that my pattern called for anyway, so I just made it into a simple a-line skirt with a side zipper.

It makes for a perfect traveling skirt. Especially when you travel in the winter months and have to fly in cold airplanes! I simply wore a white turtleneck and a black wool peacoat (is that what they're called?) along with it, but I think it would look smart wearing a grey vest with it and maybe some comfortable old-fashioned heels, would it not? =)

Monday, November 24, 2008

One week left!

That's right, in about a week, I'll be back in MI to spend a few more weeks with my Grandparents. And did I mention at all that Grandma and I will be having a table at a local church craft fair? She's making some Christmas pillows, and I'm taking my shop items with me to sell.

So yes, if there is anything you're wanting to purchase for yourself or as a gift, you just may want to get it now seeing that you may not see it back in the shop when I return a few days before Christmas.

And too, if you order anything this week, you get free shipping!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marianne's "Wild Flower" Dress - EDITED

"I've always preferred wild flowers!"

quotes Marianne Dashwood from the 1995 Sense & Sensibility

And I am currently working on a dress similar to the one above. I've long admired it, and searched high and low for some fabric that would resemble her's and this is the closest that I could come up with.


It is done! =) Take a look at more pictures here. Yes, I'm poorer than a church mouse right now, so I'm having to sell it. Believe me, I'd keep it if I had money growing on trees!

I could have done it in the Elegant Ladies Closet pattern for a more authentic look, but the majority of people who buy my gowns on ebay do not have period correct stays, and with this dress pattern, regualr foundations work fine. And besides, I altered the basic pattern quite a bit in the neckline area to resemble the ELC pattern.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

1970's Halter Style Apron

Remember seeing this patter that I bought while out in MI? Seeing how immodest it would be by itself, I thought that with some altering and adjustments, it would make a really cute apron!
And this is how it turned out! I think I just found another favorite apron pattern. ::grins:: Not only is is fun and flattering, it is really an easy apron to put on since you don't have the fuss of shoulder straps to mess with.
Now if it was made into a blue toile fabric, I would have kept it. Hands down. But since this fabric isn't me, I put it up in the shop this morning. However, I still didn't want to take it off (one has to try stuff on to see if it fits!) when it came time to take pictures. =)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Busy as a bee!

If you have been watching the shop, you've probably seen the three new Gracie aprons that I've added in the last few days ... one being a 1930's reproduction looking fabric of a cheery yellow and blue, the other being a sweet old-fashioned green and pink rose calico, and the newest being made out of a fresh blue and white paisely.

Next on my "to sew" list is an Emmeline apron, trying out a 70's style apron, a Marianne Dashwood looking Regency dress and maybe a robe to complete it, and well, that's just for starters. I haven't even opened my fabric bin to see my stash yet!

What's on your "to sew" list? =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Seamstress is Back!

And so is the "Gracie" apron! I've already listed this one in the shop...

...Stay tuned for more to come in the next couple of days in bright fun fabrics, and sweet old-fashioned fabrics!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Vintage Inspiration

Grandma and I went antique shopping yesterday afternoon, and I could help but share a picture of my finds that I paid only a total of a couple dollars for.

The one is a girls sailor dress pattern (from the 40's I think), the other is a rather immodest 70's halter-style dress but I was thinking it might be fun to try to redesign it into a 70's inspired apron. Oh, and when I came across a box FULL of vintage red and green buttons for only 15 cents a piece, I had to buy a few.

Looking forward to taking these home with me in a few days and see what I can do with them. There is nothing like getting a little boost of vintage inspiration! Stay tuned. =)

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Oh! Why hello my friends! Despite what you may think, I have not forgotten about my sewing blog, or the dear ladies who read it. Truth be told, I have just been busy, busy, busy! Today Grandma and I are preparing the house for some retired missionaries who will be staying the weekend with us. They are staying in my room, and so I'm cleaning it up a bit, I have my bathroom to clean, and also help prepare for tonights dinner (it's more like a feast!) and tomorrow's breakfast.

As much as I'd love to sit down and share more with you, I must be running. You'll hear back from me in a little more than a week when I am back in my sewing room, however. =)

Until then...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

High Society

Yesterday afternoon, a dear older woman who I have known ever since I was a little girl, who everbody in my family lovingly referrs to her as "Grandma Brown", picked me up from Grandma's house to spend the afternoon and evening with her.

For lunch she took me out to this delightful little cafe that serves lunch, desserts, and of course, tea.
Everything about the place was darling. Yes, even the menu. ::winks:: Goodness, I wonder how she knew that I love all things British/English?!
We had pumpkin soup and an apple slaw salad. I also chose to have tea with my meal. One has to have tea in a tea shop, right?! I was so tempted to order some crumpets too, but since I wasn't the one paying for my meal, I wanted to be careful with what I ordered.

The booths appeared to be old church pews or something. I had to take a picture. =)

Me outside of the tea shop. The buildings in the area were built in the mid-1800's.

Ah yes, and in other news, today I did a little fabric shopping. =) I got some really cute prints for aprons. And the details of these fabrics are going to be a secret for just a couple more weeks, and then you all can see them made into their finished products. I think you'll love them as much as I love the fabric!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Apron Name with a Twist

Well, I know you all have been dying to know what name has been picked for my 1930/1940's apron design. Of course we had voting, and then pick-your-favorite-out-of-these-three thing, and they all tied. SO, what to do?! =)

A brilliant thought came to me. Why not let my Grandma break the tie who was born in that era, is lovingly fond of her era and speaks of it with a twinkle in her eye. So I asked her, and her favorite was:

Grace! =)

But then she said, "Or, you could name it Gracie." And when she said that, I thought that "Gracie" would fit this apron perfectly. I loved it! It sounds so much like that era, with sweetness and yet personality.

As a few of you have so kindly written to me (my apologies; I haven't had much time for writing notes of any kind!) in asking if I will be offering patterns of this apron design. The answer is yes, I hope to! At this point I am considering the option of selling them as paper patterns or an e-pattern that you can download right away.

Honestly, I don't know anything about going about either of the two options, so if you have any info, or perhaps a strong opinion for or against, I'd love to hear from you! =)


And as for the other news that I wanted to share with you, I will be back home for a couple of weeks which means I'll be sewing up a storm of aprons for the shop! I will be returning to Michigan however, so there is only so much one can sew up in 2 or 3 weeks. =) If there is anything is specific that you're looking for, for yourself or as a gift, let me know and I'll do my best to meet your needs!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stay Tuned...

Stay tuned for an announcement that you might like, as well as how we decided the name for the apron!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The art of Pie Making

Nobody can make a cherry pie like Grandma. Mama is always requesting one when we are together. Last night, her brother (my uncle) came into town for his job and will be spending a couple of days here. One of the first things he asked for, being a keen listener myself, was a cherry pie. =)

A few years ago I got her recipe, along with her pie crust recipe that turns out so perfectly delicious. This morning I was glad to have been able to learn a few more secrets and tips from her in the art of pie making.

Here is the top of her crust. Her mother, my great-grandmother, always did this design on the top of her pies. =) I had to take a picture of it, so I could attempt to do it back home.

She showed me how she does her edges too, which I'm so glad for. In times past, I'd just lay the top one on, and then press it down with my thumbs, but seeing what she does adds a step further to making it look so nice.

The masterpiece out of the oven. Getting hungry yet? =)

Grandma had some left over pie dough, so on a whim, she sliced up some apples, added sugar and spices...

She said, "Fold over the dough and patch it when you need it." Add a crumb topping and it's ready to go in the oven!

I'd take a picture of the finished result, but it's still in the oven ... and smelling oh so good!

Perhaps these pictures will be in inspiration for you to get into your kitchen and fix up a special treat or two for your family. Don't forget to don an apron! =)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1940's Apron name Finals

Thanks to a blog reader for reminding me about my apron-naming-project! So many wonderful names were submitted that it has been impossible for me to randomly choose one!
So we'll have one more poll. I have chosen three of my favorites, and so leave a comment with your #1 choice out of the three, and which ever name has the most votes will be the one used for selling the aprons and hopefully patterns too!
So what will the name for this design be?



or Grace?
Only the person(s) who submitted the chosen name in this first post, will receive a free pattern if and when then are made.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Shop is back open!

Since sewing is not on my agenda while I'm gone , I couldn't stand keeping my shop closed, empty, and forlorn. There has to be something "alive" you know, in the handicraft and creative part of me. So I activated the items again, but since I don't have possession of the items (except for the Musician Tote) you may want to read my shop announcement for shipping details.

Off to keep the musician part of me vibrant and alive by practicing violin... =) It's sort of like sewing, one just can't stay away from it (music)! I'm truly loving it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Primitive Signs

Earlier this week I was delighted to hear from a long-time friend of mine, and she wrote a little note to say that she was opening up an etsy shop.

I tell you, this girl is really good at what she does! Their whole family of 14 children all have amazing gifts and talents for the Lord. Elizabeth is 16, I think (correct me if I'm wrong!) and she's been hand-painting signs and selling them for a couple of years now.

Each one is different, unique, and shall we say: just plain cute!

Take a look at her shop that is brimming full of these darling and affordable signs!

a Taste of Home

Today Grandma is baking a German Chocolate Cake for Grandpa Fred's birthday today. She didn't use a recipe from scratch or from my Great-grandmother's recipe box shown above, but I liked the way the two looked together.

Grandma said that the medal box and all the recipes inside can be mine. Whether that means now or someday, I'm not sure, but it gets me excited to see it packed full of family recipes and secrets. And take a look at the cute medal box! I love it, love it, love it!
And after returning home from being in Indiana for ten days, I did some ironing this morning. "Pressing off" as Grandma calls it, is fun when you use a toile covered ironing board!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Vintage finds in the ceder chest

Ahh... It's good to be unpacked and settled now. Clothes are hung up, things tucked away in a vintage dresser that my mom used as a little girl, the antique lamp that I just adored as a child (you see, you turn it on and off with a vintage looking key that clicks in a very special way). Grandma's home is definitely my home-away-from-home.
This morning we got on the topics of antiques, vintage items (you should see a gorgeous fur jacket that she has! It is "pinked" (did I spell that right?) so it would be of a expensive quality fur. A dear friend of hers gave it to her years ago, and it is in mint condition. Grandma said she wouldn't wear it since nobody wears furs anymore... ), and other fun topics.

She opened up her ceder chest that is at the foot of my bed that is packed full of table linens of embroidery, cross-stitch, crochet, lace. You S&S ladies would go NUTS. =D

We got on the subject of aprons (hmm, how would that happen...) from vintage patterns. And she went back to her closet and brought a bunch of her vintage patterns that she's had that she hasn't wanted to throw out. Of course I commended her for that. =)

She had a story to tell with several. The one below was one she used for my aunt's wedding in the 70's. I was intrigued by how slimming they looked, though the neckline could use a filler.

Grandma disappears again only to bring out the very dress she wore! The dress is made out of a beautiful mint green satin and the jacket out of a gorgeous lightweight dark green velvet. I asked if she used the size indicated on the pattern. And she did.

She let me slip it on, and I was amazed at how well it fit. She was (at the time) an inch or so shorter than me, and was a little bit bustier than I, but overall, it was a good fit. Grandma said that I could have it for recitals if I'd like! Of course I was elated! It may not be "really" vintage only having been made in the 70's, but to have something that my Grandma wore is special to me.

She even pulled out a half a dozen other patterns that she said that I can have! These two were my favorite out of the bunch. Love the dress with a collar that looks sorta 20's inspired, and that gingham smock/apron on the left!

I have a feeling you just may hear more about sewing that I had realized, as I was informed this morning that a lady who goes to Grandma's church is interested in having she or myself teach her daughter how to sew.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

An explaination of sorts

As I alluded to the fact a couple months ago, I am now living with my grandmother in the midwest, and will be staying until the holidays.

Unlike a sister of mine who is currently staying out east, who took her sewing machine and serger with her, I kept things simple and only brought my tatting in the way of handicrafts and domestic arts. =)

So if you hear from me during my stay here, it will probably be on topics other than sewing like picking apples in the orchards, practicing violin (my main reason for being here is to study under someone in the area), a few pictures, and the like.

Until next time...

Monday, September 01, 2008

70's Wrap Apron

I think I'm addicted to making and wearing aprons...

I'm probably addicted to rick rack too...

I'll help you get addicted to aprons, by adding it to the shop...
Now aren't I nice? =P =)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The new design in an old-fashioned rose

This apron will be available later this afternoon.

You can still submit a name for this new design here at this post! I'll be accepting names for awhile. There are some great ones already suggested!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Name this apron!

Okay! I am tired of calling my aprons by their era. I think they need names for either my etsy listings or if I decided to produce patterns of them. We'll be having "a naming contest" for each of my aprons that I sell, and your more than welcome to recruit your blogging friends to help me out with this!

Three things to keep in mind:

1. This is a 1940's era apron (more pictures here and here) and so it should have a popular 40s era name

EDITED to add: It is also nearly indentical to a vintage 30's apron pattern, so popular 30's names are welcome too!

2. Leave your name idea in a comment and comment as much as you want with ideas

3. If the name that you picked is randomly chosen, you will receive a free pattern of the apron you named! (ie, if they end up getting produced!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vintage McCalls 4663 - 70s Stripe Shirt

There are alot of 70's patterns out there that just look a little weird, but some of them are really cute, and I liked this pattern when I saw it on ebay awhile back. This week I finally got around to making a top from it.
I decided to use up the rest of my stripe material that was originally just going to be for totes. =) Since there wasn't enough for the long sleeves, I opted to use the shorter sleeves. Not wanting them as the pattern showed them, I shortened them some and added an elastic casing.

Over all, I like the pattern. I took in 2 inches on each side after I sewed it up ... it was so roomy it would have made a perfect full-trimester pregnancy shirt! =) It still is quite blousey in the middle of the shirt, so I'll probably add some fabric or ribbon ties in the back. Since the back has a gathered yoke like the front, I would think darts would look a little funny, maybe?

But I like it enough to put my Emmeline apron over it. My only issue then was that I had to make sure I didn't get it dirty when baking in the kitchen this morning! =)
I made some Apple Nut Muffins. They are pretty much the only muffins I make anymore; they're that good! All I do is add an apple (pared, peeled, and chopped of course) and some cinnamon to my favorite batter, and then make the topping of brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped walnuts.

Monday, August 25, 2008

An apron for Cheri

I finally have been able to sit down and make an apron from this Emmeline Apron pattern. When I first came across it a few months ago, I immediately bought a pattern. But with sewing things to sell, making an apron for myself was at the bottom of the list, even though I have been needing some due to parting with a few favorites recently that I have had for years.

This apron is completely reversible and the straps can be tied in the back or front; either way!

This apron will be too much fun to wear! The pattern instructions were right. I'm not going to want to take it off! =)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just a quick reminder...

Ok, I won't say anything more of etsy for a long time, but thought that I'd make a quick reminder that I will be closing it up just while I'm away since I really don't want to take all those items with me.

And if I can do it, I'll be sewing up a couple aprons tomorrow to add; one 30's and one 50's. Keep your eye open for them. They are very cute fabrics with vintage rick rack and buttons.

1904 Girls Edwardian Tea Dress

I often keep my eye out for the American Girl dress patterns on ebay, and for the first time, I finally won one for a pretty good price. I'll still be searching for "Felicity" or "Kirsten" ones, but to get a "Samantha" one was fun.

So this week I dug out some tropical breeze fabric that was left over from my modest apparel business, made a few alterations, and finished it last night!

I want to make a green sash or get a green ribbon for the waist (rather than having a v'd belt as the pattern requires) but all I have currently is a piece of black ribbon, so for the pictures, I put it around the waist.
I even thought it would be lovely with an antique battenburg lace collar that I bought off of ebay years ago. The dress reminds me of something worn on Anne of Green Gables or the Road to Avonlea series. =)

So unless a reader absolutely has to have it, I am going to tuck it away for my own little girl someday if the Lord chooses to bless me with children. Yes, it may look very 80's style, but who knows by the time it's worn, perhaps the 80's style will be "in"! Regardless of styles and current fashions though, I just adore old-fashioned little girls clothing!