Mar 29, 2013

Kylie's Blessing gown, getting close!

I sewed the hem on Kylie's blessing gown, all 90" of it.

I sewed little seed pearls onto the smocked yoke.

Voila, the finished gown!
Notice the pin tucks above the hem.
I designed this dress just for Kylie, I thought of her the whole time I sewed it.

I sewed three little pearl buttons on the back.
Each button has a little flower design.
I just need to finish the slip and the smocked bonnet, and wait for the silk satin ribbon for the bonnet to arrive in the mail!

I received a special treat today, a video of Kylie laughing for the first time :)  I'll share it with you.  Be prepared to smile!!!

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Mar 27, 2013

I Left My Heart..... San Francisco
My mother is visiting from Montreal, Canada.
We went to San Francisco for two days, a city she has always wanted to visit.
We took an incredible 3 l/2 hour bus tour around the city, and saw all sorts of fantastic and maybe some not so fantastic sights!
The city's Chinatown is the largest outside of Asia.
I thought it was interesting that in the middle of the city, people hang their laundry out of their windows to dry!

We drove through Haight Asbury and saw these fantastic legs hanging out of the window.  Look at the beautiful ornamentation on the eaves :)

We saw the famous "painted ladies".  The yellow house is shown in the TV show "Full House".

I have been to the city many times but have never driven across the Golden Gate bridge before :)

The view of San Francisco was beautiful from the other side of the bridge.  It was really cold and very windy.

On our way to another spectacular view, we drove past Twin Peaks.  I wonder if that is where the TV show got its name?


After the bus tour, we went to Fisherman's Wharf and saw the sea lions bathing in the sun.  Luckily, it was too windy to smell them because they stink!

On our way to dinner, my mom and I stopped at a store to look around.

Wild prawns and scallops, yum!

Hope you enjoyed my photos of San Francisco! 
My mom arrived two weeks ago and we have been sightseeing and shopping ever since :)
I try to sew on Kylie's blessing dress whenever I can!  Stay tuned...

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Mar 25, 2013

Kylie's Blessing Gown, the sleeve and the yoke

I finished the sleeves, and am really pleased with them.
This is the first time I haven't used beading for the band.
  I thread silk satin ribbon through the beading, tie a bow on the outside and have tails of ribbon cascading down.
The only problem is that since the ribbon is silky, the bow always comes untied.  I think the lace band matches the smocked yoke.

This is a closeup of the smocked yoke.
I plan to sew some little seed pearls on top of the smocking.

I sewed the entredeux (lace with holes) onto the smocked neck, and then attached the lace to the entredeux.

Here is the dress, but it still isn't complete.
I have always sewn lace to the bottom of the blessing gowns.
This time I won't since I don't want to take away from the smocking.  I will sew some pin tucks towards the bottom of the hem to match the pin tucks on the sleeve.

Stay tuned for more :)
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Mar 22, 2013

Kylie's Blessing Gown, the sleeves

This is the sleeve with lace insertions and pin tucks.

I added entredeux (French for between two) to both sides of the lace insertion.  To do this, I set my sewing machine to the zig zag stitch.  The needle goes in the hole of the entredeux, takes a little bite out of the lace, and then into the next hole of the entredeux.  I have to be so careful when I do this, making sure not to take too big a bite of the lace and going into every hole.  I almost feel like I am going cross eyed!

Next, I gather the bottom of the sleeve and sew the lace insertion to the gathered fabric.  The zig zag stitch encases a beautiful little seam that won't fray.

Here is another view.

I hoped to have completed the sleeve today, but a few unexpected things came up :)
I only have to add the lace ruffle, then I will be ready to sew the sleeve to the dress.  

I always imagine my sweet little Kylie while I sew her dress!
One day when she is a grown woman (hard to imagine right now), she will remember her grandmother who lovingly sewed an heirloom blessing gown for her. Kylie can dress her little girls in the blessing gown that she wore as a baby :)

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Mar 20, 2013

Kylie's Blessing Gown is under Construction

I finished smocking the blessing gown yoke.
The dress is smocked from the shoulder, to the empire waist.
Little diamonds, smocked with pearle cotton.
I outlined the cutting line of the bodice with a washable marker.
Then I stitched along that line, and stitched a 1/4" inside the first stitching line.  The smocking should be stabilized enough for me to cut the boice and join it to the back of the dress.

I smocked 22 rows of half space diamonds!
45 minutes per row equals 990 minutes, that is 16.5 hours.....

I sewed some flat lace in the middle of the sleeve.  
I cut the sleeve in half vertically, and sewed the lace to each piece using an heirloom technique. 
 Then I added 5 pin tucks on each side of the lace.
I still have to create the band and ruffle for the sleeve.

All for this sweet little angel in the hopes that she will pass this gown down to one of her daughters :)

I love being a grandmother ♥

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Mar 18, 2013

Sewing Room Inspiration

I have been really busy lately with life, and am almost finished smocking Kylie's blessing dress.  I will show you my progress soon:)
I surround myself with things that inspire me in my sewing room.
Today, I am going to show you some of those things....
and none of them include fabric!!!

My son Sean is serving a 2 year church mission in Brazil.
He wanted to pack his "Woody", but I snuck it out of his trunk so that I would have a physical reminder of him in my sewing room!
Isn't he cute?  He talks and when you take his hat off, he says, "Wait just a second, something's missing, my hat!" 
When you put his hat back on his head he says, 
"Well thank you kindly.  A cowboy ain't a cowboy without his cowboy hat."

My collection of Nancy Drew books with a cool stallion book end.

My music box sewing machine that plays "Buttons and Bows".
The wheel moves around and the pedal goes up and down.
My mother gave it to me :)

My twine collection and roll of 100 wish tickets. 
It says, "If I had a hundred wishes I would give them all to you."

Favorite photos, washi tape and a sculpture my mother made.
I just noticed that in the photos, I'm a little girl, a bride and a grandmother.  I guess I skipped the "mom" phase......Lol!

My daughter Lindsay made me this twinkly star years ago.
I always put it in a prominent place to remind me of her :)

This is a beautiful poem about a quilter.
My dear friend Joni wrote the poem and gave it to me for my birthday.  The mat is covered with an antique hand pieced quilt.

Here is a closer look at the poem so you can read it.

This is a piece of doll furniture I had when I was a little girl.

A cute little Boyds bear in one of my Anthropologie bowls.

This is my button collection.  The three bottles on the left are filled with antique buttons.  The BYU milk bottle is full of buttons I have been collecting for over 40 years.  

Old spools that I embellish with some favorite trims.

A little sewing box filled with old treasures.

I especially love the red and blue buttons :)

You can never have too much rick rack, that is what I keep telling myself!

These are just some of the treasures that inspire me in my sewing room.

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Mar 15, 2013


My mom is visiting me from Montreal, my native land!
She is an artist, mainly a sculptor and a painter.
Mom brought some of her watercolor paints with her.
We painted together and she gave me some tips.
I have painted with watercolor in High School, I took my easel and paints, and sat in front of the Cathedral Notre Dame and painted it.
Sadly, it is rolled up in a cardboard tube.  I never got it framed.
I also painted with watercolor when I was in Fashion Design and Merchandising at Ryerson in Toronto.
We did some simple exercises.
This is Mom's flower :)

This is my flower.

This is Mom's tree, I especially love the trunk and the leaves :)

This is mine, I won't point out the things I don't like about it because everyone is always more critical of their own work!

I was at Rebecca's (my oldest daughter) house last weekend, looking after the children while Rebecca went grocery shopping.
I went upstairs and came across this beautiful artwork that Rebecca drew of  Benjamin.
  I hope that she keeps practicing, because she is so talented!

She had this ink drawing on her fridge and I took a photo, magnet and all!

I am still smocking Kylie's blessing gown, it is extremely time consuming!
I will post a  photo of my progress on Monday :)
Thanks for sticking with me. xo

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