Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ethel's Strawberry Patch

"We just told you, Father. We were berry picking!"
"...It's, uh, to early for blueberries."

"They were strawberries!"
"Well, it's been so cold lately they've turned blue!"

Perhaps a favorite line of berry picking in classic films. (From "The Sound of Music" if you couldn't guess!)

Last evening I finished up my 2nd-to-be-made Ethel apron. The design is from this vintage apron I found on etsy two years ago, and when I made the first one it was sold within a couple of hours I think.

Goodness me, though!! I forgot how much rick rack it takes to sew one of these. This style seems to be more work than the others too since every piece or fabric edge has to be serged and then sewed down with rick rack. Either way, though this does take a bit moreof everything, I think I'll try to sew this style as much as I do the others. The sizing is more of medium/large, but it is oh-so-flattering for a fuller figure.

See more pictures for yourself!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shirley Poppies & Bees

Two years ago my family brought home a huge tin full of wild flower seeds from the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. This spring I attempted to plant every kind of seed that it contained (no, not all of the seeds, but a couple of each kind) and several came up, but I had no idea as to what was growing other than recognizing the cosmos and shasta daisies.

I had at least three good size plants to transfer into my flower garden, but they have been a mystery to me up until this week. I now have some Plains Coreopis blooming in vibrant color and just this morning I learned that I have Shirley Poppies in the most gorgeous coral color you could imagine:

A week or so ago I learned that I was growing some kind of poppy (as I have another variety of white and yellows blooming) by recognizing the prickly head, but it wasn't until this morning when I was out watering that I noticed this beauty. The plant was bending down from more heads ready to pop into glorious splendor, so I made sure to stake them.

My "bench garden" is bursting with more color from delphiniums, zinnas, primroses, salvia, and a blooming bush (can't recall the name!) that the bees are just loving. They are quite busy this time of year, I think!

I am as well, and have a couple projects on the table to accomplish this week. You'll see a couple in the shop here soon. Oh, and which reminds me: A little bee told me that all half aprons will be on sale for $10 each this Saturday, so mark your calenders! :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June: A Cloudless Sky

"A cloudless sky; a world of heather,
Purple of foxglove; yellow of broom
We two among it, wading together
Shaking out honey, treading perfume.
Crowds of bees are giddy with clover,
Crowds of grasshoppers skip at our feet,
Crowds of larks at their matins hang over,
Thanking the Lord for a life so sweet."
Jean Ingelow

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Crazy about Rick Rack!

I suppose it is somewhat obvious that I like rick rack. The stuff they make nowadays is okay, but I love, love, love the vintage stuff. It's more cotton than polyester, it's soft, and comes in so many fun color shades. The packaging is even fun!

While matching some colors to some fabrics today, I discovered that I had a package from J.C. Penny's.

Did YOU know they used to make rick rack?

I didn't either.

Well, like I said, I've come across a few more smaller yardage pieces in my fabric stash that were measured to perfect lengths for some vintage-inpired half aprons. I've gone crazy with the rick rack. I have two up right here and two more will follow in the next day or so.

Off to go have some more fun!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tote in Toile

If you like totes, but are not toting around a little one on your hip you just might like this one! A few years back I made totes for the shop on a regular basis and I've gotten requests to bring them back. After all, the ones for only a dollar or two sold in nearly every grocery store are not sturdy nor do they wash up nice.

Maybe I'm a bit bias, but the ones I make are made out of cotton fabrics (which wash up wonderfully), and often will be made with a home-decor weight fabric which gives them a stiffer body.

If you like blue toile, you'll like this one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beatrix Potter Totes for Mama's

Today I spent my day with little critters. Well, not real ones, but the ones that Beatrix Potter made alive in her books for children. Going through my stash I came across some fabrics that I made into children's aprons years ago and there was just enough of each to make into totes for those Mama's out there who find totes helpful and also sweet in style.

Though they were made to compliment each other they were listed separately in the SHOP, but if you'd like to purchase both I'll create a special listing and give you a $5 discount.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Jewelry Organization

It started with a plastic bag, and before I knew it, I had several tiny plastic bags (probably used for small craft beads, but it worked!) for necklaces and kept my earrings on their earring cards. All of which were held in one large bag.

For awhile I had a metal stand from the thrift store that held many of my necklaces, and the earring cards fit on perfectly. The only problem? It made my the top of my desk look quite cluttered. So back into the fabric bag they went.

This week I was paid for sewing jobs that I did this spring and used some of that money to buy a stackable organizer. My sister has the same one, and I finally decided (after 2-3 years...I admit that I take my time in many things...) that having one would be quite useful.

I love the small compartments for earrings. And look! I have 5 spaces left for more! ;P

Antique necklaces are fun, but then I like a delicate and feminine look.

As you can see I prefer wearing silver. :) The gold one is a replica of the "flying necklace" that Rose wore on the film, "Titanic." These larger squares are perfect for bracelets. Being a violinist, I find that I don't wear them much though. The round little thing in the lower left is a container that I use to hold the backings of my earrings.

And some longer or more expensive necklaces that I bought brand new go in the largest spots. The others I've picked up at consignment shops or flea markets.

So, how do YOU organize your jewelry?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Hole in the Wall

Just yesterday while touring downtown, I stepped into a little hole in the wall sewing shop. My first step was onto creaky hardwood floors (a great way to impress me if I'm walking into your store) but just outside was a small vintage table full of sale items. There were high-quality fabrics, patterns from familiar names like Amy Butler, Colette, and others who have a retro flare to their styles (another way to impress me).

I was in this little store for a good 15 to 20 minutes chatting with the lady who was there working. "We probably have to many girls on our staff," she said when I asked if they were hiring. (Bummer! I would totally love to work in a place like this one!) The girl and I went on to talk about the fabrics, vintage patterns, and other little things for sale there. 

She gave me a card of pink coral rick rack. "Oh, you can just have it!" she said when I walked up to the counter, prepared to pay $1 for it. I will be back soon! :)

When in town I stopped by a favorite thrift store and found 4 yards of this poly/cotton fabric. It's a vintage piece (I know, because it's 35" wide) and can hardly wait to make something for summer out of it. I also picked up some back issues of Victoria. I'm not into magazines whatsoever, but I do so enjoy flipping through the back issues of this lovely one. Anyone else fans of Victoria magazines?

I also discovered another tiny "hole in the wall" tea shop while in town. Oh my! :) Will have go back there, as I was pressed for time. If you live remotely close to me, and are an avid tea drinker, we must go there! :) 

Ahh yes. And while speaking of 'holes in the walls', perhaps some of you are wondering how our bathroom renovation is coming along. It is coming, though not as fast as some of us would like. With busy schedules and many of them at various and different times, we haven't had much time together to work on it.

Today and tomorrow we are hoping to get most if not all of it done. We're going to go pick a suitable color later this morning; we decided either a beige or a light pewter blue (more gray than blue, but blue enough to satisfy some members of the family) for the walls, and we're seriously thinking of doing a wainscoting on the large wall. Will post pictures!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Vintage 1940s McCall #1124 Apron

Working with original patterns is always fun, and if it's an apron pattern - well, even more so! I used vintage McCall #1124 view C for this apron, copyright date 1944. Take a look at that half apron: nothing boring about it! In fact, you'll be sporting around the house in vintage inspired glamour!

Another detail? I prayed over this apron. :) Yes, every now and then I pray over sewing projects. Sometimes whatever I'm working on is especially challenging, or perhaps the thread is running oh so low and I'm finishing the hem on a garment. This time I was 90% certain that the black rick rack that I was in the middle of sewing onto the hem of the apron would not be enough. Would I take it all off, or combine two separate lengths together despite it looking tacky? I asked God if He would please make it just long enough so I wouldn't have to rip or tack.

He answered, and I even had this 1/4" piece left over. :)

Like I read this morning in Ps. 34: "O taste and see that the LORD is good." Yes, it may be a very small or even insignificant thing to pray that there would be enough rick rack, but God still answered and I saw that the Lord is good.

Here be the finished product:

It really is a flattering style with the gathered flounce in the hem of the skirt (instead of ton of gathers at the waist making ones waist look larger; something most of us try to avoid!) and with that vintage rick rack all around, who could resist?

It's up in the shop if you'd like to make this lovely apron yours!