Miriam's Baptism Dress-FI

Our final challenge for Project Run & Play each season is our “signature look.”  Since (as I have said previously) I am combining challenges with my spring sewing list I thought this would be a good chance to sew Miriam’s Baptism Dress AND show off the big girls’ dresses since I had never photographed them well and shared them here.

Dinah’s baptism dress was pretty much the reason I got back into sewing.  I knew I wanted to sew this special gown myself so that was when I set about re-learning how to sew.  I actually talk more about Dinah’s dress in one of my first posts.

Miriam's Baptism Dress-3 Dinah Baptism

Esther’s dress I made using the same pattern as Dinah’s…but I eliminated the pleats and tried my hand at smocking.  I like how it turned out, but, MAN, smocking is a lot of work!  I even skipped the pleating part and just smocked from dot to dot on the swiss dot fabric.

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One detail that I included on each dress is some hand embroidery.  They are just some simple daisies and leaves/vines.  For Dinah’s dress I actually just followed the pattern for embroidery that came with the dress, but I went a little off script for Esther’s by doing just a couple flowers with leaves in the center of the bodice.

Both girls got little matching bonnets as well.  These are basically simple rectangles of fabric with casing at the back for the ribbon ties.  The fronts are folded back and I added ribbons at the front corners for tying under the chin.  Dinah’s was very Amish looking…not on purpose.  Basically I made the initial rectangle way too big, so I had to do a double fold which gave it that Amish-y look.  While Esther’s was the right shape, it seemed dull to me, so I added some ribbon as trim along the folded back band.

When it came time to make Miriam’s dress, I wanted to do something a little different.  I used Simplicity 7189, view A.  I did the 1/2 size, but cut it to the size 4 length to make it more like a gown.  Her dress was made with a white quilting cotton from Joann with teeny tiny dots.

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For Miriam’s dress I had to create my own embroidery design.  Working with a tracing of the yoke pattern piece I drew simple interweaving vines peppered with daisies. I transferred that design to the yoke and stitched it with a lovely bright green and light purple.

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I loved the simplicity of the tiny dots, so I just kept Miriam’s bonnet plain with satin ribbon ties in front and back.

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So, she is just so cute that I couldn’t resist putting in all these pictures!  The following will be mostly for grandparents and other admirers of the model.  She is just so precious!

I’ve had a great time sewing along with Project Run & Play this season.  I was probably the most organized I’ve been and I actually completed all of the challenges well before each deadline.  (Mostly because of our trip to Colorado and Disney…I am finishing this post up in our hotel room.)  Hopefully all this preparedness can carry over to the next season!



Winter Playdate-FI

It is time once again for Project Run & Play! This season is a “favorites” season and the contestants are all previous sew-a-long winners (one of which I will be…hopefully…someday!) and the challenges are all favorite challenges from seasons past.

When they announced all the challenges I was excited to see that I could combine much of my early spring sewing list with all of the challenges.  Right now my life is too crazy to add any random additional sewing, so being able to merge my plans with this season’s challenges was very fortuitous and made it possible for me to participate at all, really.

This week we are to submit a design inspired by Winter.  We are headed to the Great White North(west) aka Colorado later this month for one of my cousin’s wedding.  We don’t have much a “winter” here in Florida, but I knew that the girls would need something warmer for the wedding.  Therefore, this seemed like a perfect way to merge with one of the PR&P challenges.

I knew immediately that I wanted to do something in a light blue velveteen with embroidered snowflakes.  I also knew I wanted the dress silhouettes to be fairly tailored.  That led me to look through the Oliver+S patterns to see what they had.  I saw the Playdate Dress and knew that it was the perfect pattern for my vision.

It has a simple a-line shape with a sweet pleat in the front and at the sleeve.  I also love the traditional style of the yoke. I did change up the yoke some by eliminating the ruffles and flat piping and adding some simple pleats.

Now, here’s a fun story.  Our local Joann’s Fabric is moving to a new (larger) store and around Halloween time stopped reordering inventory.  So, basically that means that our store was decimated throughout all the holidays and actually completely closed sometime around Christmas.  Not that they would have carried anything as fun as velveteen, but I couldn’t even run to our local store to buy thread!  So, I began scouring the internets and actually found some velveteen in a dusty blue color on Amazon of all places.  I took the gamble and ordered it and I just love it.  This fabric is actually a stretch velveteen and it was just beautiful to sew with.  I ordered at the same time a poplin for the yokes, but that fabric was not right AT ALL.  So, that meant  a 40+ minute drive down to a neighboring town.  For the yokes I got a simple white stretch shirting fabric, which was perfect because it was so crisp and fresh in contrast to the soft velveteen.

So, the day that I was going to set out sewing three copies of an Oliver+S “three scissors” pattern I read the post from the ladies over at FrancesSuzanne about their version of the Playdate dress and how detailed and involved the pattern is.  Let’s just say that made me a little nervous.  Oliver+S patterns are usually no joke, but attempting one this complicated (times three!) was daunting.  I set out to do it assembly line style, and I have to say that it didn’t take that long to sew up the actual dresses. What actually took the longest was embroidering the snowflakes onto the dresses. It was a special problem because I couldn’t hoop the fabric without it crushing the pile on the velveteen.  I mean, it may have recovered in the wash, but I didn’t want to risk it.  I did some research and found a method where you hoop tearaway stabilizer and then baste the fabric to the stabilizer. And then I drew the design onto another piece of stabilizer and I basted it on top of all that. So, yeah, that was a ton of extra work.  Especially the picking out of all the stabilizer from the design after I was finished stitching it.  HOWEVER, I got wonderful results and I love the look of the white snowflakes on the bed of dusty blue.  (Edited to add: I completely forgot to credit the snowflake designer.  I found this beautiful design at So September.)

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Aren’t they beautiful??

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The dresses AND my girls!  I just love the way these look on them. The velveteen is the perfect weight for a winter dress and the girls love how soft it is.  I also love the color…to me it is the perfect representation of the winter sky.

Okay, now that all the talky-talky is done, here are the gratuitous shots of the three cutest girlies.

See you next week for movie week!  I’ll be sewing for Dinah’s birthday party and the one of the girls’ favorite movies.  And if you get a chance, click over to see all the other submissions for our winter inspired challenge. Lots of talented sewing peeps out there!

Strawberry Dresses-FI

Here we are…the final week of this cycle of Project Run & Play!  Traditionally the final week is the “Signature Style Week.”

My signature style really hasn’t changed since the first time I thought this through…age-appropriate, classic, solids or subtle prints, simple embellishments.

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I actually started these dresses way back last spring when I was trying to participate in the last cycle’s sew-a-long.  They were for the “All in the Details” challenge.  I’ve been wanting to do a major embroidery project like this for awhile and I was really inspired last spring by strawberries.  We have great strawberries here in Florida.

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I loved the idea of strawberry vines and blossoms on delicate white dresses.  Now, is this practical?  Of course not.  But, I wanted to go ahead and do it anyways…I mean it is only time and fabric right?

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Although I will say that during this photoshoot I was a crazy person about them getting dirty…as long as I got a good picture first! (Please note that I did not let them pose with actual strawberries.)

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I think the girls will be wearing them on Sunday, so they can be normal on that day…although I will probably bring them a change of clothes for lunch.  So, maybe not that normal.

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So, some details about the dresses…

I adapted the Oliver + S Popover Sundress again.  Way back in March my plan was to make them the traditional way (minus the yoke) with the two ties.  But after I made the halter-style butterfly shirts I just fell in love with that look and I decided to do these the same way again.

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They ties are WAY long, but I actually really like them like that.

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The dresses are made from a cotton lawn fabric that was perfectly light and airy.  I did have to line the dresses to keep them from being completely see through.

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Once the dresses were completely made including the hem (but excluding the ties) I started embroidering my design.

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Let me tell you, this took FOR-EV-ER.  I mean, it looks awesome and I love it so much, but yeah, this is not a task to undertake lightly.

It has been fun sewing along with Project Run & Play again!  It has been the perfect boost to get myself blogging again.  And I really enjoy seeing the work that all the other super-talented ladies submit.  There is such a fun community surrounding this little online competition…I’m glad to be making my way as a part of it again.

Vintage Valentine-9

This week over at Project Run & Play we are getting a head start on Valentine’s Day.  We were challenged to come up with a look inspired by Valentine’s Day.

So, as I always do for inspiration, I took to Pinterest to see what I could find that was Valentines-y.  A quick search for Valentine yielded some mixed results, but a few vintage Valentines popped up.  Aha!  I changed my search to “vintage Valentine” and I got so many CUTE results.  I mean, really, Valentine’s Day cards used to be so much cuter.  Seriously, who wants Sponge Bob on a Valentine?  Does that really say “love?”  Anywho, I just loved the idea of copying an outfit from this precious artwork.  Check out my Project Run & Play board for a bunch of examples that I toyed with…They are all so cute.  But the one I ended up settling on was this one…


I loved this one for several reasons…
it was more casual so she could wear it to her school party…
we already had black pants and red sneakers, so…
all I would have to do is sew the shirt, which was great because I knew that by week four I would need a bit of a sewing break.

I also loved that it lent it self to cute Valentine’s Day gifts for Dinah to exchange at class.  I am going to print them up and attach them to little watercolor palettes for a whole “art” theme.

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I used the Oliver+S Family Reunion Dress pattern (View B…the blouse).  While I’ve used the popover sundress a couple times, this was the first “real” pattern from them I’ve made .  I have to say I do love how clear their directions are and the patterns are very user friendly.  To make this top or dress you don’t have to do anything really complicated, but it is rather finicky and rather time consuming with all the pin-tucking  basting, etc.  So, if you plan to use it, just be aware of that.

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As you can see, I did make one major modification…I added long sleeves.  That was pretty simple.  I just traced the top part of the sleeve pattern and then extended the sides straight down.  By doing that and not tapering the sleeve I was able to get the fullness at the cuff that I wanted to replicate.  I also added a small keyhole opening with button at the cuff.  This allowed Dinah to easily put on the shirt, but for the cuff to be nice and snug at the wrist.

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I also added this little heart.  I used hand embroidery running and back stitches and am really pleased with the result.  My original plan was to add a little white pocket trimmed with the red rick-rack.  But that was a major fail…attaching the rick-rack was a nightmare around all those curves.  So, while that was a fail, I feel like it was pretty lucky since I like the embroidered heart WAY better.

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Dinah was not feeling very cooperative this afternoon, but I promised her two Hershey’s Kisses AND painting time after the shoot.  That perked her right up and she was a perfect model again.  I mean, she makes some cray-cray faces sometimes, but she is just so photogenic it is hard to get bad pictures of her.  I usually have tons of nutty pictures that I don’t use in my posts…I should do an out-takes post sometime.

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Okay, some things I just love about this shirt…

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The pop of red rick-rack peeking out from the neck facing and cuffs.

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The accents of black buttons to keep it from getting too treacly sweet.

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The way the fabric is slightly shimmery, but not overtly glittery (which you may not even be able to see in the pictures…).

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And that heart…love!

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I do have enough fabric to make something for Esther for Valentine’s Day, but I am not sure what I should make for her…I don’t think I am going to do this exact thing since that shirt was a lot of work, but something to coordinate.  Hmmm…anyone have any suggestions?

House Divided Wreath Detail

That kind of sums up Fall for our family.  Most people who live up north are pulling out coats and warm socks while decorating with lovely autumnal colors.  In Florida there is no Fall…it is October 1 and it was almost 90 degrees here today and there is no real relief in sight.  I always joke that the leaves on our trees don’t fall off until the new ones push the old ones off in the Spring.  And…in a college town Fall really means college football!

So, when it came time for me to take down my Summer wreath and put up a “Fall” one…my thoughts immediately when to doing a “House Divided” themed wreath.  You see, while I live near the University of Florida and am married to a Gator, I am a (proud) alumna of the University of Georgia.  And for those of you not from the South, ours is not a very friendly rivalry.  The last Saturday in October things get a little intense.

But, we make it work…our love conquers all. 🙂

I’ve been eyeing those ribbon wreaths on Pinterest and was waiting for a good idea for using one and this ended up being perfect.

I got 1.5 inch grosgrain ribbon in red, black,orange and blue.  I cut them all into roughly 10 inch lengths and finished the ends with little tails. And then I started tying…and tying…and tying.  Then I went back to the store and got more ribbon and tied some more.  Seriously…there is just about 100 feet of ribbon on this thing.

For the hanger, I painted our school initials and glued them to a white 1.5 grosgrain ribbon.

And now we can show off where our (divided) loyalties lie.

And, of course, I had to make my girls their “gameday dresses” this year.  This year I used the Oliver+S popover dress pattern.

For the Georgia dresses I put simple white piping at the yoke to give it some visual interest.

On the Florida dresses I used ricrac…doesn’t it look like little teeth?

I also used my embroidery machine to add the team logos to the band at the hem.  (I think I used the wrong kind of stabilizer, so just ignore the puckering there.)

The best thing about the Oliver+S pattern is that it is kind of adjustable because of the shoulder ties.  As long as the girls don’t grow sideways too much they should be able to wear these dresses again next year.  Bonus!

Also, I wanted to share my new trick with you all…I had a couple rubber stamps made with my logo.  So, now I can use fabric ink to stamp my logo onto little tags or the backs of garments.  I can even now include the size of the garment.  So fun!

Happy Fall to everyone!  And Go Dawgs!


Okay, ladies (or gents) that do machine embroidery, I need your help…what kind of stabilizer do you guys use for embroidery?