August 10, 2008

Historical Dress – Done!

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:26 am

The dress is done!  The WIP post is here.

Final details:  neckline was high enough, but too wide.  I took in about 1/2″ on both sides of the bodice inset, but think it may need a bit more.  The young lady promised to let me know if she wanted it taken in some more.  I make the skirt a little narrower (but wider than it looks on my dress form) than the pattern because she wasn’t going to be wearing a petticoat or hoops underneath.  The zipper and hem went in without any trouble at all.   Here is the final finished dress (excuse the mess…I didn’t take the time to do an artsy fartsy pic, lol).

I think I’m going to find some more of this fabric…I love the color and the drape and think it would make a nice, everyday skirt for me.  Yeah…just what I need…another project on my to-do list!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

August 7, 2008

Historical Dress – Bodice

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:58 pm

The pattern for the historical dress I’m making for my friend’s daughter is Simplicity 3723.  Here is the best picture of the envelope I could find when my camera batteries croaked.  The basis for this particular dress is View D, the yellow floral.

There were several alterations requested.  First, eliminate the scarf.  Second, make the neckline appropriate and modest for a young woman.  Third, make the sleeve cuff less full. 

Before I started the dress, I ended up watching a few hours of Little House on the Prairie with my children.   I looked carefully at the dresses…hoping to glean some ideas, but unsure of the accurateness of 1970’s Hollywood designers portrayal of 1800’s fashion.  I also did some Internet research, but quickly got overwhelmed with the many different styles.

So I prayed and then carefully traced the bodice pattern pieces, adding a bit here and there and started putting it all together.  I added an inch to each side of the bodice, to cover more of the shoulders.  I cut the bodice center insert on the bias, for two reasons.  First, I thought it would look pretty and two, I wouldn’t have to match up the plaid.  I added a muslin trimming, accented with a brown ribbon, to raise the neckline.   I slimmed the sleeve cuffs, cut them on the bias to match the bodice insert, and repeated the muslin & ribbon accenting.  Put the whole thing together and put it on my dress form, Julia, left.


You can just see the muslin trimming above the brown ribbon.  It was obvious to me that there would still be too much skin showing.  So I came up with a plan…add a gathered “fichu” across the décolletage.   I like how it looks…even though in this picture, it is just sitting loosely there.  I want to adjust it exactly when the young lady tries on the dress tomorrow.  I like the added layer of movement (gathered fabric vs non-gathered) and how it really shows off the muslin/ribbon trimming.

So all that is left on the bodice is the zipper…I didn’t have a long enough invisible zipper until I ran to JoAnn’s before dinner.  I’m going to wait and make sure the bodice fits just right before I put the zipper in.  And of course, the skirt is missing.  It is cut out and pieced together, and I will spend the evening hand gathering it to the skirt.

Here is a close up of the sleeve detail:

I have to say that I’m very very pleased…alright, I’m downright proud…of how well this dress is coming together.  I love it and I hope the young lady does, too.

I’ll post pics of the finished dress tomorrow, along with the items I’ll be listing at Retro Femme.

June 24, 2008

Big Ol’ Catch-up Post

Of the several languages I studied, Latin was not one of them. But when I think about all the things that keep me away from my sewing room, I call them craftus interruptum. Almost definitely not accurate Latin, but a very precise picture of what happens sometimes in my life.

Then there is blogus interruptum. Things that keep me from blogging. Usually the same things that keep me from sewing.

All that to say…this is gonna be one of those great big catch-up posts, so get comfy and grab whatever you drink and here we go!

Jo-Ann’s had a big sale this past weekend and the weekend before. I was able to use several of the 50% off coupons floating around plus grabbed some stuff that was on sale. Here is some of my haul:


Some fun quilting cottons across the top and more muslin and interfacing on the far right. Several cuts of snuggle flannel to make a gift for my neighbor’s new baby (since the crocheted blanket is going so very slowly). A pattern for maternity tops and thread, a tube turner and some fat quarters that caught my eye.

What’s not in this picture is the new 6×24 cutting ruler I had to buy three days ago when mine jumped off my cutting table, hit the leg of my rolling stool and broke into 3 pieces. Thankfully, I had one more 50% coupon.

Before all that shopping, I did finish some sewing. First up, the custom Mix It Up Apron using MM Ginger Blossom:

Very pretty, eh? I really love how these fabrics look together. I’m planning to make a couple more of these for my stores after my break (more on that in a bit).

Next up, I finished the skirt and dresses for my patient friend Bekah.

Strawberry circle skirt. Being the picky sewist that I am, I wanted the strawberries to be upright all around the skirt. Plus the fabric was not quite wide enough for a full circle skirt. So, I cut four panels instead and sewed them together, making a circle. I think it looks great and it has lots of twirl potential.

Two dresses from the same pattern. The left is AH Apples & Pears with MM Dumb Dots in pink for accents. The right is AH Kleo floral and bangle dots in sage. Very cute dresses, both fully lined and the hems are double sided…I don’t know the technical sewing term for it…but it gives the skirt a little extra weight and a nice clean look…no worry about the hem flipping up.

So, for this week, I’m working on the custom Aviary bag (we hammered out the details last week) and hopefully an apron or two for tomorrow night’s stocking at Beautiful Enchantments. We’ve had our store redesigned with lovely new colors and moved our stocking time to 9:30 pm EST on Wednesdays.
Please come check us out!

This will be my last stocking for a month. I’m taking the month of July off from business and custom sewing, to focus on family sewing and to spend time with my blessings, work in my garden and enjoy our summer weather. I’ll be stocking again in early August. But I will be posting here during the month! Showing off the lovely creations my children have been begging for. Maybe even a pic or two of the bounty of our garden. 🙂 And if the littlest one is cooperative, we’ll soon be able to share if our newest blessing will be a boy or a girl. 🙂 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the big ol’ catch-up post!

April 7, 2008


Filed under: crochet, random stuff, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 8:18 am

I’m still here!  I haven’t been sewing hardly at all for the last couple of weeks, but I did manage to crochet a lovely bag that I listed at RetroFemme last week:

As to the reason I’ve been under the weather and not sewing much, it’s nothing too surprising for us.  A pretty regular occurance around here.  We are expecting a new baby!, around the middle of November, if all goes as we hope and pray it will.  This makes baby number six for us and we are just as happy and excited as we were when our first was on the way.

Though I will say, I was a little more excited when I wasn’t suffering from round the clock “morning” sickness and then a bad cold on top of it! 

I do have sewing plans for this week.  A custom bag from the Joel Dewberry Sparrows line.  An apron from Katie Jump Rope.  A dress for my oldest daughter.   Listing a few more things at Etsy.  Hoping I can keep the saltine cracker crumbs off the fabric. 🙂

And a little giveaway on Thursday for my birthday.  Check back for more details tomorrow.



March 16, 2008

I won! I won!

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 8:26 am

A rare Sunday post from me to say:


I enter giveaways all the time and never expect or really even hope to win.  So I was so excited to see that I’d won a giveaway!!  I won 2 patterns from SewSensible.   I picked the Faith and DressTop patterns.  They both look fun and also easy to modify to fit the different personalities of my girls.


She has several other super cute patterns, go check them out!!

February 18, 2008

Projects for the week of Feb 18th

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 12:28 pm

First off, it turns out that the large bird my husband had to chase out of our yard with a broom is a swan, not a goose.  Yes, I’m a transplanted city girl.

I want to share my “maybe, just maybe, I can get this all done” list for the week.

I am sewing jumper style dresses for a friend.  I’m almost done with the first one.  I just need to gather and attach the skirt, let it hang for a day, then hem it.  She has brought me fabric for 3 more and says that JoAnns pulled her in and she has bought more fabric.  These are pretty simple jumpers and are fairly quick to sew up.  I want to have at least 2 and hopefully 3 done to take to her on Friday when our 15 children get together to play (10 for her, only 5 for me).

Next up, Retro Femme stocks this week, on Friday.  But I want to have my items listed for preview on Thursday morning at the latest, so I’ll be working on these later today and tomorrow.

Top left:  a basic half apron, with towel loop and pocket.  The floral will be the body, the dots will be pocket, loop, ties, waistband and a border across the bottom.

Bottom left:  a zippered wristlet/pouch, maybe with a beaded pull for the zipper if I can find my beads.

Right side: a coming & going bag, my favorite bag pattern.  Hopefully the slim profile magnetic snaps I ordered will arrive in time, or I’ll have to use the huge ones from JoAnns.

And when I’m not sewing, I want to finish the blue crocheted string grocery bag that I posted about last week.

If I can get all that done (ha!) I want to do a tutorial/sew-along for the reversible toddler dress with the fabric on the left below

The fabric on the right is a lovely lovely lovely stretch twill which will become a skirt with a knit waistband for me.  🙂

After I finish those (ha! ha!), I have some grocery sacks/bags to make for a swap at (link —>) from these spring colored home decor weight fabrics that have been living in my stash for quite some time.

I probably won’t get to these until at least the weekend, but I have this stack sitting at the end of my cutting table, just so I won’t forget.

 Time to get to work!! 

February 13, 2008

Reversible A-line toddler dress

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:18 pm

I’m very pleased with the first dress from the pattern I drafted the other night.

I had to cut off about 3″ in length…don’t know how I thought my 3 yo was that tall!  Even now, it still comes just past mid-calf on her, so I think I will shorten in a bit more next time.

It’s also a little tight when she is putting it on, so I’m going to deepen the armhole just a bit.  The chest is perfect once it’s on, it is just the getting there. 

Other than those pattern corrections, I will be praticing my tight turn stitching.  A close look reveals that the tabs are not uniform.  In fact, out of four, only one looked good when I turned the dress right side out and then I mucked it up during top-stitching due to SWT.  Sewing With Toddler.  My 13 mo had gotten up a bit early from his nap, but I really wanted to finish the topstitching.  Of course, he wouldn’t consent to being entertained by one of his four older siblings, but had to stand on his slightly unsteady legs and pull on my arm while I sewed.

The evidence:

Maybe easier to see here:

 It’s good enough for a first-off dress and S. loves it.

Other things to work on or change:  I need to clip corners more tightly, there is too much puckering in spots and I’m not thrilled with the button closures.  I just know her hair will get caught in them.  I have a snap thingie…not a press, but the kind you use a hammer with.  If I make bunches more of these (remember,  I have 3 daughters), a real snap press would be well worth the expense.

I’m also toying with the idea of making some to sell…it’s hard to find cute and modest little girl dresses nowadays.  I’ll have to make a few more before I decide.

 Thanks for looking!

February 11, 2008

What I’m working on tonight

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , — Lady M Quilts @ 11:38 pm

This is hopefully going to be a reversible A-line, slightly swing-y dress for my 3 yo.  I’ve drafted a pattern tonight, but it’s too late to start cutting. 

All my girls (I have 3) prefer dresses and skirts to pants, and since we prefer (okay, make that require) their skirts cover their knees, well…that’s one of the reasons I started sewing more than curtains and pillows and quilts.

Check back in a day or two to see how it turns out!

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