Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"Leave the sewing to the women!"

(I hope you recognize the title as a line from a song in Disney's Cinderella... the mice are singing while they make up her first ballgown. ; ) The next line, sung to the boy mice, is, "You go get some trimmin'!")
I know some of you like to see what I sew all day long, so here's a few pictures of what I've been doing within the past week. Business has been slow, so I'm using this time to get some things done for myself and my family!
Hannah turned 5 on August 30th (sorry I haven't put a post up for her! She said she especially wanted Hannah G. to see her new birthday dress and her birthday pictures, so I'll have to put up a few for you, Hannahs!) and I took her to Hancock's to pick out fabric for a new Sunday dress. I love the tucks around the waist! And the ruffles are made from an old gingham shirt of mine. I stained the front of it (years ago!) but kept it anyway because I knew I'd use the fabric sometime. And here it is. I also added some decorative buttons on the bodice, and they were given to me in a big chest of buttons from my Mamaw.
This jumper is made from a skirt I made my mom a year or two ago, and she has "ungrown" it. : ) So I took it apart, and using the scraps from when I made the skirt the first time, plus the skirt itself, I came up with this. It's a "magical growing dress," as I said to Hannah. The straps button in the back, to the bodice, and there is extra room on the strap to move the button down as she grows. But not only that, there is hidden length in the hem! You know that if you just undo a hem and press it back out, there is going to be a crease from the oringinal hem. Well, here's the solution for that (at least for little girls!): Turn under the unfinished edge of the dress, and go ahead and stitch it down once (about 1/4" will be turned under). Sew rickrack around the lower edge of the dress, centered along the line where you intend to have the first hem length be (a few inches above the actual edge). Then, (here's the trick) flip up the long hem to the inside, along the stitching for the rickrack that you just sewed down. Now you should see just the points of one side of the rickrack from the outside, and inside you see all of the rickrack. (Does that make sense? See the picture below. You can click on it for a larger view.) Now blind-hem that extra deep hem (mine's about 3-3 1/2") to finish it off. Next spring, when you want the dress to be longer again, undo the blind hem stitches, turn down the extra length, and now the rickrack is going completely around the outside of the dress a few inches from the bottom, and you see all of it. Now just make a small, new hem, either blind or stitched. Voila!

And finally, here is my "I Love Lucy"(so Katie says) half-apron I finished recently. My friend came over to sew with me, and we decided to make aprons. She gave hers to her grandmother (and I didn't get a piture!). I used a Butterick pattern here, and as always, I didn't follow the rules exactly! It called for ruffles above the pockets, but I'm not a very "ruffly" kind of girl, so I just did a contrasting band. Then I used baby rickrack, in a matching navy blue, along the pocket edge and above the bottom ruffle. The white fabric (tone-on-tone print) I got as a remnant from WalMart, the navy fabric (with little white dots in a diamond pattern) was given to me by aforesaid Mamaw, and the rickrack is from my great-grandmother who donated some of her sewing supplies to me. (I love grandmothers who sew!)

My retro apron

Current and upcoming projects are nightgowns for the girls, a jumper for my mom, and cute khaki corduroy overalls with a little lion applique on the front bib pocket for Matthew. (You can tell I'm excited to start that one ; ) )

What about you girls? Any fun projects for you lately?


Blogger Susan said...

I've been sort of doing a little of this, a little of that, sewing-wise. I need to get some blouses altered before the cool weather begins. I have such a hard time finding long-sleeved blouses that fit and are feminine!

I love the pictures you posted. I told my Hannah to make sure to look at the picture of your Hannah, and I'm sure she will soon. She's studying right now, though :). Those tucks are too fun. I always love when you describe how you use old clothes or fabric scraps for new projects. I love doing that, though I'm not as creative as you :). I wanted an eyelet petticoat a while ago, but did not want to spend $6+ per yard ($20 for a petticoat? No way!), so I found an eyelet nightgown at a rummage sale for 50 cents and used it instead :). And that is such a clever way to have hidden hem length! I'm definitely going to remember that. Maybe someday I'll get to put that knowledge to use ;).

9/05/2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger une_fille_d'Ève said...

Oh, that line from Cinderella made me laugh! I can just hear the little mouse saying it. Kinda makes me want to watch it, or at least listen to the song!

Tell Hannah that I think her birthday dress is absolutely lovely! The picture is great. A happy belated birthday from one Hannah to another. :-) Isn't it nice to have an older sister who enjoys sewing?

Nope, no projects that I'm in the middle of - kinda sad. :-/ It used to be that I was often in the midst of a cross stitch, crochet, clay, or drawing project. *sigh* What has happened to me that I've given up fun activities like that? Now, as for sewing, I must admit I'm never up for that. My mostly finished shirt draped over my chair will attest to that. I started that shirt with my mom about 5 years ago and got some hems done and one sleeve put on. Susan and I picked it up a few weeks ago, planning on finishing it, but I only lasted through getting everything done except the bottom hem, and as such it still is and will be until this lazy, unmotivated girl picks it up again and finally (hopefully) finishes it! And that is my sewing story. :-)

9/05/2006 12:32 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Blogger has been a bit odd today. I'm testing a theory here, because I think this may knock Hannah's comment to being shown on the main page. We shall see. It shows when I click on comments, but not on the main page.

9/05/2006 7:45 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Hmm. It worked. But why is that? *scratches blond hairs in confusion*

9/05/2006 7:47 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Yes, I noticed that "2 comments" wasn't showing up on the post, even though there were. And also I didn't get an e-mail notification of comments until you posted your second comment. But in my e-mail, your first two comments are listed before Hannah's. But why?
Some things the world may never know.

9/05/2006 8:18 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Hannah, don't feel bad about your shirt taking forever. I finally finished one I was taking years on too, and it wasn't even that hard! (Your comment actually inspired me to finish it!) At the time I started it, I had never done a shirt with a collar band, and I was somewhat "scared" of it, so I just hung it in my closet, with the rest of the collar pieces draped over the bar of the hanger, and it has set there for probably two years. I think I even moved it down to my new room when it was finished in 2004. *sigh*
Thanks for reminding me of it! I'll post a picture soon (it's in the laundry now) so you can see it. Maybe you'll get re-inspired from me ; )

9/08/2006 7:50 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Hi! Your blog is quite lovely! The dress and apron are so beautiful! Blessings!

10/01/2006 10:04 AM  

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