Monday, November 15, 2010

Stitches and Time. . .

Hi all! Not many posts here lately. I guess it's been a combination of busyness with kids and house, school that *needs* to be done, and PROJECTS. No time for blogging! I thought I'd share what I've been up to--in my own crafty way--since the last post.

Roman shades. For the then-dining, now-living/sitting room.(Have we discussed the chronic furniture rearranging gene that seems to have established itself in my brain? More on that later, I'm SURE!)

They turned out pretty cute, even if I AM biased a bit!

The fabrics I started with:

I have had the floral for TWELVE YEARS. Yes. Twelve.
The ticking I picked up a couple of years ago when our Walmart was ridding itself of the fabric department(SAD!). I think it was $1.50/yard. I measured it, then realized that I didn't have quite the width I would need for the two skinny windows, so I decided to make an edging for the shade from the floral--something to the tune of 320 inches of 3-inch strips. So I cut, and I cut(This would have been a good time to have a sharp blade on my rotary cutter, but I didn't, so I cut them with scissors!), and then I stitched those strips together, end to end, till they looked like this:
In a pile on the kitchen floor, waiting to be ironed.
After ironing, they looked like this:

Only there was a MUCH bigger pile by the time it was all done!
Then the pinning along three sides of my fabric. THEN, the stitching.
And a neat mitered fold for the corners, and more stitching.


While I was doing this, look what my hubby made me!
First official cappy-mocha of the season! He loves me!(this pic was an afterthought-it was MUCH prettier BEFORE I slurped--er, SIPPED--most of the lovely froth from the top! :)

Here are the shades hanging, finally--raised:

and partially lowered:
I am amazed at how much these have helped with the draftiness in this area of our home! Now I would like to make similar ones for the three shorter windows in the bay window of that area, but I will be scrambling for a coordinating fabric. I have ONE already, but I need more yardage than what I currently have. I guess I'll have to go fabric shopping(oh, no!!!!!!!).

On other projects, the Redhead and I have been baking. She helped me revisit homemade pizza crust for lunch a couple of weeks ago.

It turned out REALLY yummy, and it was SO easy! Why did I ever give up making my own?

The Redhead has also been reading the Felicity books, which has inspired a revitalized interest in her "sampler" stitching. One morning last week, this was the scene while I was fighting with--COOKING--breakfast:

Yes, even the Boy is stitching away. Flowers. Hey, the guy has three older sisters!

And last, but certainly not least, C has been "into" any "bulbous" plant lately. That is, if it grows from a bulb, rhizome, or corm, she is ON it. I have learned much, and spent much. We gave in and placed an order for flowers for spring. They arrived like this:
Personally, not too exciting! But, my beautiful daughter, ever willing to daydream and see potential, looked like this:


Which is how I will likely look in early spring when the first pink daffodils appear.

Meanwhile, it is cooling weather, and I am glad to be cozy in my house with something hot to drink and a few snugglebugs to share a blanket and a story. What blessings!

Happy Rainy Monday!
~april



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We've been--

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .sewing!

Yay!
That makes me really, really happy. See, I enjoy sewing, but am not practicedly good at it, and so to take time to clear a surface, drag out supplies, FIND A PATTERN(accompanied by read the pattern, cut the pattern, mark the pattern, then FOLLOW the pattern--eek!), and ignore other responsibilities for a few hours is really not something I do often.
BUT,
Yesterday, The Redhead asked for a holiday dress for Ruthie. I thought that sounded reasonable. Nothing too fancy. I had fabric she liked. We just needed a SIMPLE pattern.

Google free 18" doll dress pattern, and see what pops up. PLENTY. We stumbled across this great site, http://raisingamericangirls.com/ , linked to another great site from there: http://www.agplaythings.com/ , and ended up with this:

Now. We already OWN some of these patterns, and I didn't drag them out of their box! I used these from the site because they were printable in PDF and I could just pick the pages I wanted to print, cut, and dispose of--if so decided--without tiny pieces to corral. Convenient! We settled on Samantha's party dress--the red one--because it is SIMPLE, right! :-)

A-HEM! Right.

Have you ever heard of "puff sleeves"?

Perhaps a certain redhead from a series of cherished girlhood novels comes to mind? Anne-with-an-E, perhaps?
You will remember that Anne wanted a dress with PUFF sleeves and Marilla REFUSED because they wasted fabric.(Noticing a redhead thread in this subject, too, btw!)
I now contest that the sleeves and the PUFFS were the issue, rather than the fabric. We will just say that getting those gathers RIGHT was a challenge--THREE times. Yes. I made a two-sleeved-dress' sleeves THREE times.
That's because the first time had to be done, ripped out, and re-done.

But it was FUN. And when the bodice and sleeves were finished, I was CHARMED.

The little ivory lace overlay(made with lace from my grandmother's sewing kit) was so SWEET!

So this morning I did the skirt. Talk about gathers! Gathers for days and days and days. I am SO GLAD this was SMALL and not human-sized!

It was fun to see it coming together on the machine:
Ruthie tried it on, and I think she likes it:

The Redhead is pleased. Mission accomplished.
Now J wants one too. *sigh*

She's got to pick fabric first. That may give me a few days. Thinking about some roman shades for the dining area, while the machine is already out. . . .

Happy crafting!

~april