Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I would like to introduce you to my new little girl. She is only 11 lbs., which means she beats my biggest baby, Samuel, by only 6 ounces. Her name is Viola Isabelle, in honour of my paternal grandmother, although she is well known as a Singer, 222K. My grandmother left a legacy for me to admire and to follow. She passed away shortly before my 8th birthday, but I have strong memories of her. Her sewing, cooking and love of helping others has stuck with me. Years after my grandmother's passing, I would meet older people and they would ask me if I was related to 'Kelly' as she was affectionately known. When they found out I was her granddaughter, they would tell me what a wonderful woman she was and list off remarkable characteristics, which stuck with me. I was so proud to be linked with my grandmother, I wanted to live up to those same wonderful qualities she was known to have. I can't say that I measure up to them, but at least I know I have tried to aspire to them.

Catching up and sharing on some projects.

Here are some pictures of Samuel and Joel working hard on some gift bags to give as Christmas gifts to family members. It was fun using the new/old machine, and Viola worked very well for us. The boys did a great job on the bags. Olivia was off at the Nutcracker with her big sister, cousin and auntie. Olivia will help us later this week, to do a bit more sewing. I am so glad these children enjoy sewing. :)

I decided to try to learn a bit more of knitting. I had learned a few basics over the years, but have never really had the time to devote to learning the craft. After seeing a very basic pattern, I decided to give it a try and have been having loads of fun, whipping these up.

Here is Miss Olivia, in her Christmas Regency dress. Her bonnet and spencer were made for Easter, over a year ago. We decided to make a dress that would go well with the spencer and bonnet, as she is nearly out of her spencer and she has fun wearing it.

Well, that's is for crafting updates.

Merry Christmas and may your day be focused on God's Son, Jesus Christ, and his love for us.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Apron-Wearing WIFD Day 7

Well, today is the last day of our fun with aprons. We will have to do this again, soon. Perhaps we will have to have 'theme' days. Our aprons can represent a certain theme, or perhaps a certain time period in history. We could have lots of fun with this, I think.

After church, we wanted some crepes for a lunch and for that task, I like to have helpers. Samuel volunteered to help me, as he's a good crepe maker. :) Samuel is wearing his brother Matthew's apron. It's all wrinkled from being in a bin, not hung up. :) I am wearing an apron, gifted to us by some Danish family members, who came for a visit, two years ago. I know it's not the most flattering apron on me, but it works well. There's lots of coverage for a 1/2 style apron and it has a very large, divided pocket! :D

Here we are in action, but you can only see me, and I am swirling the batter in the cast iron crepe pan. :)

I hope everyone enjoyed this week as much as we did. I am inspired by many of the aprons I saw and of course, the stories that went with them.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Apron-Wearing WIFD Day 6

Not very pretty, I know,'s made with love and one I treasure! :)

This was my very first apron, made from the Daisy Kingdom pattern. I did not make this apron, it was made for me, by my wonderful daughter, when she was 9 years old, so that's 12 years ago. I wore and wore this apron, until it got worn right out. I then started using it as my garden apron, but once again, I took it back form that duty, because I love it so much. I decided to repair it, like I did my other aprons that have the same worn spot in the belly area. Now, I will continue to use it, but more sparingly. I want to keep this one, until the day I die. ;) I asked Merissa if she remembers making the bias tape and she said she remembers the frustration with it and hasn't made any since. I guess it's time to give her a sewing project with just a wee bit of bias tape needed, so she gets the hang of working with it, and not be intimidated by it.

Olivia is waring an apron, made from the same sturdy cotton, made by her wonderful sister. Only her apron was made about 5 years ago, when Olivia was only 2.5 years old. I decided that we could get a little be more wear out of it, so I lengthened the straps and I am contemplating adding a ruffle to add length. Olivia and I were happy to be wearing aprons that 'match'. :)

Here is Olivia, then and now! :) My how she has changed and that apron....well, it's a wee bit shorter, but still serviceable. ;)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Apron-Wearing WIFD Day 5

Today we had to be out of the house, for several hours. Fridays our our sports day. :) Olivia is wearing her apron over her gym dress.

For year, my most favorite apron pattern has been the old Simplicity 7481. They have since reissued that pattern, years ago, and it's now titled Simplicity 5201. I really have enjoyed this apron pattern for so many reason. Two of the great things I like about it are first, that the shoulders crisscross and stay on my shoulders. Secondly, I like that I get a wrap around, full-coverage of my dresses. I can slip it on and off quite easily. I have lost track of how many of these aprons I have made over the years.

When they first issued this pattern, they offered a girl sized apron, just like mums. Well, of course, I *had* to have one of those. :) When they reissued the adult pattern, they never did reissue the girls' sized pattern. Trying to find that pattern over the years, has become difficult for many reasons. Those who adore this apron, know this pattern is hard to find. When you find one, you usually have to pay a fortune for them. For some odd reason, in the past couple of years, they have been easier to find, much to my surprise and joy! Not many become available, but when they do, I try to snatch them up. I like being able to give these patterns as gifts to those who would appreciate them. :)

This particular apron, I had moved to the garden duty. However, I decided in honour of Apron-Wearing WIFD, I would repair it and then make one for Olivia, out of matching fabric. Obviously, her apron is much fresher and has different bias tape trim, but it's the first time she and I have the same style apron, out of the same fabric. I have never made us matching aprons, before now. ;)

To repair my apron, I used a piece of the apron fabric, underneath my tear, then I used my free motion foot, of my machine, and just played, quilting the fabric to the apron. It has been fun wearing *matching* aprons with Olivia. :)

Miss Olivia was being very silly when we were taking the pictures, it was fun having her in such a giggly mood. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apron-Wearing WIFD Day Four

Today is a day we have to go out of the house, lots. Olivia and I are both wearing Edwardian apron patterns from S&S. Olivia's dress is her Christmas dress I made for her last year, and this apron was made to go with that dress. You can read more about that, in this thread. Pattern for the dress is the Girls' Regency Dress Pattern

Both of our aprons are made from cotton so they can be washed easily. My apron has not been changed to a crisscross back, which I desperately need, so after I finish wearing my apron, today, it's going into the pile to be changed over. Once I have that alternation done, I will wear this apron more often. :) You can see how this apron, as is, does not accommodate my bulky sweater, underneath. By switching this over to an adjustable, crisscross back, it will work much better. :D

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Apron-Wearing WIFD Day Three

Today we are having another snow day, so I have eager hands to go outside and shovel the lovely white stuff. :)

Olivia and I are wearing fun aprons. My apron is from a very dear sewing friend, who drew up the pattern and made me this lovely, lovely apron. It is made out of a linen/rayon blend with some beautiful antique lace and ribbon. Then, to top it off, she sent me the pattern, too. How blessed am I? I am incredibly blessed and every time I put this apron on, I think of this wonderful friend and pray for her. The joys of having gifts, made by dear friends, nothing compares to that.

I do not wear half aprons, very often, but this one I really, really like. The lovely flounce gives this apron a really fun and feminine feel to it. I definitely don't like getting this apron dirty, so I can't be doing too much work in it. Since my plan is to do a bit of sewing, this is a perfect apron for that.

Olivia is wearing her "Valentine's Day" apron that I made her over 2.5 years ago. My how she has grown. I use to be able to use this apron as a summer dress, but I can't any more. She still pulls this one out of the closet, a lot, when it comes time to cooking. Here are a few pictures of when she first started wearing the apron, to now. Hasn't she grown? The pattern I used is a vintage McCall's pattern number 1921. I have found this pattern in sizes from 2 to 12 and I plan to make many more for her, over the years, Lord willing. :)

I decided to add a picture of big brother Stephen as he wanted to give his little sister a big hug and she adores the attention. Stephen wears aprons, every day he goes to work, but at home, he rarely wears one.

If you look behind us in the picture, you can see my sewing machine on the table and a few piles of fabric, needing some attention. ;)

Now......time to do some sewing, I hope. :)


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apron-Wearing WIFD Day Two or is it Merry Christmas?!

Today we woke up to winter! We have cold temperatures and snow! I decided to dress warmly, thinking I would not need to go out of the house, but I was wrong. With the road conditions being perfect for all kinds of accidents, I needed to do a bit of driving. I was already dressed for the day, before realizing I was going to have to go outside in this stuff.

I am wearing my my S&S Romantic Dress that I made from embroidered linen/cotton nearly two years ago. I have my cotton, half petticoat underneath to help keep me warm. Olivia is wearing her S&S Girls' Regency Dress made out of swiss dot cotton, that's not very swiss ;). It was her Easter Dress 1.5 years ago. We are both wearing Edwardian aprons made from the S&S Patterns They are both made from cotton and most enjoyable to wear and clean. :) Yes, I wore my apron, with my dress, out of the house to do my errands. I was nice and warm. :D

I don't typically wear my hair down, especially when I am working with food, but since I was going out in the snow and cold, and I wanted to wear my warm snugly hat, to stay warm, I needed more of my hair down, than up.

Here are a couple more pictures of Olivia, working with the grain we are grinding for our bread.

I hope you all are warmly, tucked away, in your homes. :)


Monday, October 12, 2009

Apron-Wearing WIFD Day one

Today is day one of Apron-wearing, WIFD (Week In Feminine Dress) over at the Sense and Sensibility site. Diane had suggested this lovely idea, since so many of us wear aprons and it's always fun to see what everyone else has in their apron collection. It's also a time to encourage some of us to try and make some new ones. I have some new ones I want to make, and are in the process of being made, but they always get put on the back burner when other projects need more attention.

I am wearing an old apron, made from a Daisy Kingdom pattern. My apron had worn out in the belly area, so I learned how to use the free stitching feature on my machine and quilted a piece of fabric, from underneath, to bring a bit of new life to a favourite apron.

Olivia is wearing a very old apron, passed down from her sister. I made this when Merissa was younger then Olivia is now. You make it with a tea towel and potholder, a button and some ribbon. A quick, easy apron, for a little girl. Please excuse the lovely mismatched colours she is wearing....I know it's not correct fashion. :)

Today was a work day, getting some things done. I had planned to do more cleaning work, but I have ended up with more cooking work. I am working on a turkey soup, from a stock I had cooking overnight. I simply adore my roasting oven we purchased last year. My 30 lb turkey did very well, and having my soup stock cook overnight was a big help. I have lots of meals waiting to be made from the meat and stock that are now put away in the freezer and a little leftover for a few meals, this week.

Here are a few more pictures in our working aprons.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Skirt Makeover

A couple of years ago, Anna published a tutorial on how to make a simple girly skirt. My daughter, Merissa, made my younger daughter, Olivia, three new skirts from this pattern. We altered the pattern by making it an elastic waist skirt, rather than a drawstring type closure. It's a simple circle skirt design, which worked wonderfully.

Olivia keeps getting taller and taller, and only slighter wider, which allows her to wear her clothes for a long time. Merissa gave a good length to the skirt, which has allowed Olivia lots of time to wear these skirts. However, it is now time to fix the skirts to make them so they are not as snug. The length is still fine and she could get lots more use out of these skirts, so I decided to take the skirt apart and make news ones from them. First, I unpicked the seam, then I took out the elastic.

Next, I added some a decorative, cotton, embroidered tape, where the seam had been. I overlapped the edges to give a wrap appearance to the skirt. Once the tape was sewn on, I then sewed the skirt shut, from the bottom to about 3 inches below the waist, so that Olivia could get in and out of the skirt. The waistband is closed with a hook and eye.

A Faux wrap skirt. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Josties coming to town

On September 15th, our local homeschool group will be having Dale and Lisa Jost sharing with us. Dale will be speaking on "being a Christian man in a post-Christian world and how to model it for our kids”. Lisa will be speaking on "building character into our children". Since these topics appeal to all parents, we would like to invite those who homeschool and those who do not, to join us for an evening of learning and growing.

On Wednesday, September 16th, the Josties will be sharing their musical talents with us. They will have just started their Western tour, and we are thrilled they will be stopping by to bless us. The concert will be held at Grace Baptist Church in, Airdrie at 7:00 p.m. Please come join us for a wonderful evening.

If you have any question about either event, please feel free to contact me.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sewing Class projects

I know as a mum, we often times feel we need to do everything. I fall into that camp from time to time, especially when it comes to sewing projects. I find myself not wanting to purchase things that I know I can sew, but then, I don't have the time to actually make it, so then nothing ever gets done.

This same thing happens when it comes to teaching my own boys sewing. Sad? Maybe, but I can't teach everything. I have to pick and choose what I am going to teach and then allow others to help in the teaching process. I have taught my boys *some* sewing. They have used my machines and I have taught them how to trace out their patterns, onto trace-a-pattern interfacing, label their pieces and to store them. We all know, there's more to sewing then just that. They need to know about fabric and whether or not it has nap, one way direction, width of fabric, selvage edge etc. Well, I did teach them about selvage edge, but never had them actually cut their fabric out. So, this past week, I put them in a sewing camp with a wonderful instructor. Alison has so much energy and my boys really like her. On top of that, Alison has a lovely store, she offers great classes and has a wonderful assortment of fine fabrics and is expanding into more fabrics. I want to support her business, so putting my boys in her class was a win win situation. My boys learned how to use different machines and played with different features. Their class was for two hours a day for four days, since Monday was a holiday, otherwise it would have been 5 classes. My boys enjoyed themselves so much. They are eager to start more projects.

My boys learned how read their pattern instructions, follow instructions from their teacher, finish their raw edges, add pockets, insert elastic into the back of their pants, and all the other fine details that come with making a project. Alison allowed them to choose whatever project they wanted. This was a great first project for them.

Here are pictures of Samuel and Joel in their new pj bottoms. Samuel made pj shorts and Joel made pj pants. These are made from flannelet fabric with the camouflage print. Their shirts they are wearing don't match the pj's but that's OK.

I am eager to have my boys work on more projects, and sew ;) are they.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bridal Apron

Here's the apron, that started my thinking on a bridal shower gift. Working with Emilie's colours, I found the perfect embroidered, cotton fabric, that was of the right weight for an apron. I found the lovely cotton gingham fabric to use for the bias tape features. The pattern I chose to use was Butterick 4945, using view D. Of course I had to make my own modifications to this. All of these lovely items were in my 'stash', for the right project, for the right time.

Changes I made to the apron were:

-I added 3" to the length, but I did that at about the waist line, not at the hemline.

-I did not go for a smaller size, as I like to have good coverage when working. I decided to use the size Large, to make sure there was good coverage, for when and if the Lord blesses Emilie with a child. It's nice to have an apron you can wear in your pregnancy, that doesn't tie around the waist, and you can adjust the straps.

-I ditched the facings on the upper sides and put biased edging instead.

-I used my favorite treatment for the shoulder/waist straps. I made long straps that thread through loops I have made, using the bias tape, so that I can adjust the apron as needed, both for the shoulder area and the waist. I saw this treatment on an old apron, from around the year 1910 and have seen it in antique and vintage apron patterns. It's my favorite way to make an apron adjustable.

Emilie tried on her apron, and she looked so good in it. I wish I had snapped a picture of that one, oh well. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bridal Shower Gift

Last May, we (Merissa, Olivia and I) had the privilege of attending a bridal shower, for a lovely young woman that I have known for 21 years. I thought I would share the gift we gave her, to help inspire others to think of different gifts you can give. I don't always like to give what's on a registry, so I try to be creative and practical, if I can. Staying on the theme of practical, I also went with 'green', since that's what we do these days, right? ;)

We started with the basket and built it up from there. One of my favorite Bridal shower gifts I received, when I was getting married, was Tupperware. I liked being able to have lovely storage containers for my left over food or just to put newly made food in for take along lunches. With that in mind, we added several of the lovely Pyrex glass containers with lids. We have these in our home and we love them. Next, we added some tea towels, as every new bride needs some of those, plus they help keep the glass Pyrex from getting broken in transportation. We had to add a little something from the children, so we made a few gift bags that they can now use to start their own collection for their family. I actually started this gift, with the apron. One of Emilie's colours for her wedding was brown. So of course, I had to make her a brown apron with some lovely cotton, brown gingham bias tape to go with it. I'll give more information on it in my next post, which will be about the apron. To go with her apron, I thought I would give her a special, OOP (out of print) apron pattern, for 'one day' when she has a daughter of her own, or to share with her many new nieces she just received by marrying into a lovely family. It's the prized Simplicity 7856 pattern that matches the mother's wrap apron pattern. For some reason, Simplicity never brought back the girl's version of the pattern. The green box that is holding all the pieces of the gift, is for shopping. We also added in some reusable shopping bags, to help them start their shopping trips. Last, but not least, I wrapped the gift in a cotton fabric, that can be made into a lovely apron. If you look closely, you can see it has the 'B Attitudes' written on it.

We had so much fun putting this gift together. What a lovely couple they are! :)

I apologize that these pictures are not terrific. It was last minute, just before running out the door, that I got the bright idea to take pictures of the gift. I hope the pictures help to inspire more interesting, fun gifts.