Friday, December 31, 2010


As we say good-bye to one year,

We welcome the new year with thankfulness and joy. What an amazing God we serve!!!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

God Bless,


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Blessings to you all,


Friday, December 17, 2010

Silk 1780s Girls' Portrait Dress for Christmas

I will often times make a new dress for Olivia for Christmas. We planned this one well over a month ago. I thought I had lots of time to get this one done, having planned ahead of time. However, as the days marched on Olivia started thinking she would like to wear her new dress to a Christmas party they were having with AWANA. Then I started to think it would be nice to get it done for her Christmas piano recital. Well, trying to get it done for the recital this past Monday was too much, so it did not get done for that event. That's OK, she was able to wear her Toile 1780s dress and she was happy with that.

I had some issues to work out with the pattern for the dress and that I'm afraid, took more time then I planned. That delayed me more then I care to admit. However, now that those issues are dealt with, I have a pattern I can use, over and over again.

Merissa has been playing with photography for the past few years and this past summer, she took a couple of course down in the states. Since then, her skills have grown by leaps and bounds and she is developing quite the eye for the art. Asking for her assistance, she happily took on the task of taking pictures of Olivia in her new dress and two of the boys in their 'dress up fancy' clothes. :)

Merissa did a lovely job with the pictures and the children loved hamming it up for her. Oh and lest I forget to mention, it was freezing cold. I think it was about -13C when Merissa took the pictures. Lovely, rosy red cheeks. ;)

I decided to make a historically inspired dress. Olivia's dress is made from embroidered silk fabrics I purchased at a cloth house in Calgary. I lined the bodice and sleeves with linen. I really like lining the sleeves with linen, that was a great choice. That is one of the period techniques used and I will be using that again. It made it much easier to add trim to the sleeve and the hem of course was hidden between the layers. The trim on the sleeves and neck are bias strips that were cut using a rotary cutter with a scalloped edge and then frayed. I learned this great technique from an excellent seamstress named, Dawn Luckham (she does incredibly beautiful work). Once again, wanting to close up the back with buttons, I added a bit of width to the back of the dress. For the polonaise, I made self fabric loops and they fasten to self covered buttons that are placed on the outside of the skirt. You can't see them in these pictures as they are under her green silk sash. The polonaise can be let down and worn quite nicely that way, too. It's much easier to travel in the car with the polonaise down, rather than up. :) I thought I had adjusted the front of the bodice to be long enough to cover the gold coloured petticoat, but I did not. With any kind of movement, the space between the petticoat and overdress was noticeable. To fix this, I added two lightweight skirt bars and hooks to keep the bodice attached to the petticoat. That works nicely. ;)

When I got the silk fabrics home from the store, I did the burn test on them and they do not test solely silk. They have a man made fiber to them, unfortunately. While I was initially quite happy with this silk, after working with it, I am less so. I will have to be more careful in the silks I purchase there. I would be happy to pay a bit more for a better quality silk. :) For now, I am glad I didn't have to spend too much on the dress and had fun making Olivia feel like a princess. finish up other sewing........


Saturday, December 11, 2010


Do you see what I see? Nope! I don't do photography like my daughter. She has an eye for it, I don't. That's OK, she's far more gifted in areas which I am not. I'll take my little snap shots and call it 'good enough' and enjoy looking at her beautiful pictures that she creates, through photography. If you care to have a look at what she does, you may see some of her photography work HERE

Happy birthday, talented daughter. I enjoy watching you blossom and seeing how the Lord stitches your life together.

Love you,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Embroidered Silk, Linen and Silk, Oh My!

Getting ready for the Christmas dress for Little Miss. She is ready so I better get moving. It's fun to have lovely fabrics to play with. I'm thankful for bargain shopping. :)

Now, if only I can make some final decisions, I could actually start the sewing. :)

Good night,


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Salsa Skirt Information

When I said this was an easy skirt, I realized afterward that 'easy' is a relative term. So, please let me just share a bit about the skirt details, so you can determine for yourself if you think this is an 'easy' pattern to sew up for you.

First I must say, this pattern was designed for 'slinky knit fabric. Usually this type of knit is sold in large widths. Slinky knit has a great drape to it and good quality slinky knit is expensive. In my picture here, you can see the slinky knit skirts I have made. In this collage I have made two slinky knit skirts. The black and print fabric skirt, alternating the panels solid/print, is made from two different slinky fabrics. The navy blue green skirt is also a slinky fabric. The other two skirts, one is made form wool and the other is made from linen. Because the fabric is designed for knit, I used a size up for my woven fabric skirts. I have made 6 of these skirts so far, three in slinky knit and three in woven fabrics. With two of the woven fabric skirts, I have put a zipper in one of the seams. With going up a size in the pattern, it's not really necessary. This last one I made out of wool, I did not put a zipper in it. I did add about 2" to the length of the skirt, which is very easy to do, just like taking a couple of inches off is pretty easy to do as well.

There is only one pattern piece. It is a spiral shape. You must cut all of the pieces, facing up. In other words, you do not put 'right sides together' or fold the fabric so you can cut two pieces out at the same time. However, you can stack your pieces, cutting all 6 panels out at once. You cut a section of fabric out that will be large enough to fit the spiral shape onto it. Cut six pieces of the same size out. Stack them altogether, pin on your traced out pattern piece and cut them all out at once. Because of the curve of the spiral piece, you use only a 3/8" seam allowance. You are sewing an inward curve with and outward curve, which can be a bit tricky, if you haven't ever done that before. Once you have done it, it's easy. Because you only have a 3/8" seam allowance, you want to have a way to finish off your seams. I have a serger and serge my seam, after I have sewn the seam together with my conventional machine. If you do not have a serger, you can zig zag your seams allowance together, you can bind them together with some bias tape. If you are using knit, you do not have to do that as the knit will not unravel on you. It's the woven pieces you want to finish off. I do finish off my knit with a serger, but I don't have to.

As is, the pattern has an elastic waist, but if you want to tailor it more, you can eliminate that and put the zipper in the seam. This pattern has flexibility to it. You can play with it and have fun. Use two different fabrics or three different ones. If you want more volume, add another panel or two, but then I would drop down a size or two, depending on how many more panels you wanted to add.

Once you have made this skirt you will want to make more. It has a wonderful 'kick' to it when you walk. :)