Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sisters.....Sort Of!

At the beginning of January, I took advantage of the Fabricland New Year's Madness Sale. On those few days of the sale, they put everything on sale, including their dress forms. I have longed to have a child sized dress form, to help with designs and fittings. Poor Olivia, who is a very good sport by the way, has to try on and off her garments I make for her, all the time. She's getting a bit more antsy these days, not quite standing tall or needing to itch that foot, again. ;) So....I took the plunge and purchased a child sized dress form.

As I was trying on Olivia's recently complete 1780s dress, I was sure would be nice to keep this one at Olivia's size, and have another one to adjust up and down to make other garments for other little girls.

Last Monday, "Olivia's" double became available. A lady was selling off her child sized dress form, which is the exact same size as my "Olivia" form, and she cost 1/2 of the sale price I paid for the new dress form. What a deal! I have never seen a child sized dress form for sale, second hand. This was the first time I saw one available, and I was fortunate enough to be the first to call on it. I discovered it only 11 minutes after it went up for sale. What a joy!

So now, I can really play. I have some lovely, practical dresses dancing around in my head for the project Destiny Dresses. I am looking forward to playing with the 'twins'. :) I guess I better figure out a name for the new twin. ;)

Happy Sewing.....


Monday, January 17, 2011

Birthday Dress 1780s Style

It's that time of year again. It was Olivia's 9th birthday this past week. In a tradition I would like very much to keep, I made her a birthday dress. Trying to expand her 1780s wardrobe, I made another polanaise style dress to coordinate with other pieces in her wardrobe. This fabric is made from 100% cotton and is a wonderful weight for winter. It's not light weight, but it's a light to medium weight cotton, a very nice weight and feel to it.

It was cold outside so we didn't do too many outdoor photos. Here are a few pictures from outside and then a couple inside shots.

I am so blessed to have a little girl who enjoys dressing up and indulges me in my sewing joys. :)

Here is a picture of the dress with the ties I made, using my lucet and two different strings, both cotton, the white one heavier then the red.

Here is a picture of the petticoat portion of her outfit with her Christmas overdress.

Here is my dismal attempt at making a doll cake to wear a dress similar to Olivia's birthday dress. I'm glad she liked it. :)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Bodiced Petticoat

I had planned to do this before Christmas, but ran out of time.

Here are some pictures of Olivia's 1780s bodiced petticoat that goes with her dresses, 1, 2 and 3 I used the Sense & Sensibility Pattern that I used for the dresses and made the petticoat. Using linen, self made binding, and lacing, I whipped together a very practical petticoat for her dresses. To make the dress last longer, I added 1" to the bodice length, and took up a 1/2" tuck on the inside. This will allow for me to length the bodice as she grows. I have three 1/2" tucks on the skirt that I also added for growth room.

If you look closely, you can see that the 1/2" tuck on the bodice is on the inside of the dress. I do that so when she wears a sheer dress, that tuck does not show through the fabric.

inside view

The linen cording

The lacing cord I made from linen string/thread that I picked up along with a Lucet to make the cord. I really, really like using the lucet. Being able to make my own cording the length and width that I need is wonderful. I will attempt a post on a lucet in the future. A tool well worth having if you find you need cords often. You can even make great shoelaces with a lucet. ;)

For the back of the bodice seams, I used french seams to finish them off. The front binding I hand stitched down, using a small stitch on the outside with a larger stitch inside.

If you plan to make many of these dresses, I would encourage you to consider making one of these. Olivia feels like a princess with all her 1780s dresses and her petticoat. Nothing like a little girl who feels special when she dresses up. :)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Running the race......

Well, not exactly a race, but jogging anyway.

Seven years and counting, by the grace of God!

These are my new running shoes. I figured out the other day I must go through at least two or three pairs of new running shoes a year and in the end they all look just about as new as they did in the beginning, but they are no longer good. Since Jan. 4th, when I got these new shoes, I have already put on about 18 miles.

In this picture you see two items important to my over all exercise program. Running shoes and the treadmill. Those shoes are sitting on the belt of the treadmill. :) It was my goal 7 years ago, to start a fitness program I could continue. Nothing fancy. No big and lofty goals. Just a healthy exercise program that would allow me the privilege to keep active. I wanted something attainable and sustainable. With winters here that are freezing cold and gravel roads that are less then ideal for walking on, I needed a no excuse way to exercise and keep me moving. Also, at the time I started this, my youngest child was just turning 2 years old, so being in the house, close at hand, was also important to me.

The reason the shoes look as good as they do at the end of their supportive life is because I only use them for the treadmill. I do not use them outside my bedroom, as that's where the treadmill is. :) I can wake up, roll out of bed and say "good morning" to my faithful friend.

Besides all the shoes I have gone through, I have gone through two treadmill belts. I suspect another belt is needed, soon, but for the past couple of years, my eldest daughter has helped me wear this belt down.

This goal was important to me and still is. I have had injuries along the way, but continued to keep up my program. Even if I can only walk, slowly and for a short period of time, with an injury, I made sure to do it. I wanted no excuses for not getting on the treadmill. Because I have made it a priority in my life, I am able to make time for it. I find it best to exercise in the morning, before getting going on other things. That's not the way it always works, but mostly that's how it works.

Over the years, this has become my favorite time to pray. This past year that time of prayer was very, very heavy. I was under a greater spiritual exercise in pouring out my heart to God. My prayer muscle along with my bodily muscles were working harder then they ever had.

I am so, so grateful to have made it this far in my goal to remain active. Who knows how long we are able to keep such activities up, but as long as I am able, my desire is to continue on this path. I always feel so much better and full of energy getting off the treadmill.

I always feel like I need to tell people I know I am not the *poster child* to look at me and think I am active, but I am. I am always encouraged when the physical tests come back stating that *inside* my body, all looks great. With a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and of course, breast cancer, I am thankful to at least be physically active.

Being active is not the miracle cure to not getting sick. Even if I got very ill tomorrow, I am thankful to have had all this time to stay physical.

So if your goal is to be more active this year, may I encourage you to select a program that is realistic and attainable. Keep it something that you can add into your lifestyle and keep at it for the long haul.

Blessings to all,


Monday, January 3, 2011

365 Days Of Sewing

Today, while viewing one of my favourite sewing blogs I went to one of the poster's blog, Stephanie, and saw she was starting something new, 365 Days Of sewing. What a great idea.

If you would like to learn more about sewing, or if you have a young person wanting to learn about sewing, why don't you check it out. It's a great way to do 'lessons' without having to leave your house. :)

I have seen a few of Stephanie's projects and have admired her talents from afar. I will now have a chance to admire them more regularly.