Thursday, February 16, 2012

Project Planning

Gracie is starting preschool in August.  (Be still, my heart!)  It's hard for me to believe that the little pink thing that I could hold in two hands is almost old enough for school.  And I'm not sure I want to let go yet.  Her Mom and I have been working on the alphabet and letter sounds with an eye towards her being able to read.  She knows numbers to ten, and we're working on getting that further along, too.  Yes, I know that school is for that, but being ahead is a good thing and she wants to read so badly that we're gonna help her.

So how does this lead to a sewing project?  Kindergarten in this area requires kids to have their own nap mats.  I'm not sure if preschools do, but if they do, we want her to have something nicer to nap on than nasty plastic.  Last August, Melissa over on Sew Like My Mom posted a Nap Mat Tutorial.  I found it via Grosgrain and promptly fell in love with the idea and saved it.  I showed it to Joanna, and she's in love, too.  Now that school is looming this year, I found it again, and I've started hunting for materials.

The thing is, I'm going to need the Daydreamer model of mats. It's not that she's wide, it's that she's tall.  The original Kindermats are only 44" long, and Bit is already 42" tall.  Yep, that's right, my three-and-a-half year old niece is 3'6.  She's grown about six inches since last August.  At this rate, she'll be almost seven feet tall by the time she's stopped growing.  (My brother is 6'7 and my sister-in-law is 5'10, so tall isn't a surprise.)  So I need to add a bit of yardage to make sure I have enough.  I've done my research, and Joanns is the most cost effective place to buy minky for the blanket.

I'm not using it for the pillowcase, though.  Cotton or cotton/poly seems like a better, less hot choice.  Now I'm just looking for the other fabrics.The minky will probably come home with me this week, because it's on sale right now.  I'll be asking about a theme... perhaps Pooh?  He is, after all, one of Gracie's favorite people!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


And so they sit, mocking me with their UF status.  But in my defense, the house is almost all packed and moved out.  Oh, the girls' toys and books are still here, and the kitchen and bathroom are works in progress, but the dressers and closets are empty, the surfaces are mostly cleared, the bookshelves are empty of all but dust, and the kitchen cabinets have been cleared of 3/4 of the breakables.  Don't get me wrong--there's still a lot of stuff in the kitchen.  But with all the pottery decorating the tops of the kitchen cupboards and the fancy dishes, etc, there was a lot of ceramic and glassware in there.  half a dozen packing boxes and a half ton of bubblewrap later, and we'll be finished tomorrow... hopefully.  The toys are mostly out of the living room and in the bonus room for easy removal from the house on the day of, which Bit hates.  There are very few toys in the main part of the house right now.  And, well, the bonus room doesn't have heat, and there's a step down, so the door is kept shut.  Nikki can't handle steps yet.  She's still working on walking.  I'm going to try and get going tomorrow, while the girls are here and I have help with them.  :) I'm hoping to finish the lace insetting that I've already begun, because I know I won't be able to do any more--Gracie will want to "help" and Nikki will want to eat the dress!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

a not-so-productive-Thursday

I had intended to spend all day working on the dress, but instead, I crashed, hard. I got three rows of lace almost completely inset, but that's as far as I've gotten.  I don't think I'll make the deadline for the Special Occasion contest, but I'm grateful they did it, because it got me to finally tackle this dress.  I admit it!  The T yoke is daunting.  Yeah, I've done it before, with varying degrees of success, but even though I love the look, I dread piecing it together. 

The dress is longer than it will be--I still have one row of beading, and three rows of lace in the fancy band to go.  And then I'm planning on three folded tucks.  If there's space left, because this will have a three-inch hem, I'll add one more row of lace.  We'll see.  After that, it's just the hem, adding the lace to the bottom, and the embroidery.  And, of course, I have to sew up the center back seam and do the back placket!  I changed the original pattern and made the back skirt bigger to avoid the hated continuous lap.  It made a convenient opening to sew the lace on, too.  After everything is done, this will most definitely need a final pressing.  And then on to the smaller version of this!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Here we go again!

Sorry for the radio silence, but the entire family has been sick with the plague.  Okay, it was really just a bad case of flu and cold together, but since all of us wished for death, I think the plague counts! ;)

The Special Occasion Wear challenge over on Project Run and Play got me off my butt with the Christmas dresses.  I mean, they've been planned since October, I've been gathering materials since July, and I've had them cut out for almost a month! It never fails, though.  Every time I do double needle pintucks, I sew through a finger or a thumb.  And this is no exception.  I did a bang-up good job on it, too.  This time, it was both needles.  The both broke off, and one of them was sticking out of my thumb!

Anyway, the major construction on the dress is done.  the T-yoke is successfully installed, the entire skirt is there--I just need to finish the pintucks, and add the lace fancy band.  I'll try and document to explain how, exactly it insert lace into fabric.  I've never found a decent tutorial on how to do it.  Weirdly enough, I learned from my sewing machine manual.  Remember, this is a  Pfaff 1222E, which was state-of-the-art in 1965.    I also have to redo the yoke embroidery.  See, somehow I managed to get it so crooked across the grain that it would be inadvisable to actually use it, so I cut a new, straight grain yoke and started over.  So the embroidery will be one of my last steps.  I'm aiming for Friday for my finish date for Bit's dress.  We'll see.