Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring Beauties

Flowers from the Woods by J. O. Banks

In the  woods behind my childhood home was a little 1/2 acre lot of brush and wild flowers that was a very fascinating area for investigating nature  My mother would often take us on walks there during the spring months and tell us names of plants she had learned from her father.  The first flowers to bloom  were the spring beauties, a very tiny flower with pretty pale pink stripes, delicate stems and leaves.  It was a pleasure to see them after a long cold winter on the western side of the Pacific Northwest. There are  similar variations in the east.  

Here is a lovely piece by Frederic Chopin--Spring Waltz that lifts the spirits from the cold and dreary late winter doldrums to the beauties that God gives us to enjoy.

We can help put beauty into our spring time in the lives of those around us.  We can change an atmosphere with a cheerful attitude and a grateful heart.  There are many blog spots and crafty ideas on the web to help you put a little color into the atmosphere of your home.  Inspiration comes in a variety of forms.  Perhaps making an apron with spring colors to wear at your next meal along with a fresh bouquet on the table might be a pleasant welcoming sight.

Here are some aprons that can be purchased.
Spring apron
Retro Apron
Mother  and daughter

These  Simplicity apron patterns won't take very long to make in bright, cheery colors.

This is one I plan to make for spring.  I purchased this at Walmart.  It will be fun to use a bright cheery fabric and contrast it along with some trimming.                                                                                                    

Try a new apron pattern and see what a difference it makes.

Spring time spent outdoors usually brings growth spurts in children and if  you have young daughters you sew for this is also a time for a new dress.  Check out this pattern for some different variations from Whimsy Couture Sewing Patterns. 

 This does need to have something closer to the neck either  a blouse or top or raise the neckline. 

The neckline needs a filler, either matching fabric, raising the neckline opening, or a t-top.

  The Ladies Peasant Dress is an offering for women by the same company as above.  It needs to be lengthened for a proper look as well as making it more balanced.  The neckline holds closely to the body which compares more favorably to open necklines which make it difficult to hold your neckline gap closed when bent over.  Otherwise it looks like a very comfortable warm weather dress and a good dress to wear around the house.

It is also  time to try a new dress pattern that could be a change from winter to spring in your wardrobe.  The offerings for beautiful feminine clothing lacks in most apparel stores and does not show up much in the pattern books.  Most styles are pretty streamlined as most are made from knits, so it will take imagination and work to make something nice and good-looking.

May your spring be bright and cheerful with God's wondrous beauties.

All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.  Psalm 145:10

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Finished my Cleo and then made some more!

Cleo Pinafore and Dungarees by Tilly and the Buttons

I found this cute pattern as I like jumpers and this one comes from the UK so they label the style different than we do in the US.  I did adjust and alter it and made it come several inches below my knees and made it flared rather than straight-skirted.  It fits fine and works great as a pull-over dress and is very comfortable!

I did pocket variations putting some of the front and some on the back and most of the bib fronts with pockets.  I like pockets and always try to have at least one on my garments.    These jumpers are more for practical purposes  in the house and around our property.  

They really sew up quickly as there are 2 major pieces with front and back facings and pockets.

It is marked for beginners and is very easy to sew.   It is all made on the machine.  The only  hand sewing is attaching the buttons.  She offers one for young girls and it would be an excellent garment for them to learn to sew.

I purchased the digital version and the copied out my size and before cutting out I took a yard stick and just made the skirt flared from the hips down, adding something around 8-10 inches to the hemline making the hemline slightly curved.  It worked out a lot better than I expected so I raided my denim and heavy fabric stash and ended up with  6 garments.  I made a rose colored one first that ended up too short and I will send it to the used clothing store in another town.  The fabric should be heavier and have more body to it as will wrinkle quickly otherwise.  I made mine from denim, corduroy, and twill.  Choose a color that will be a perk for you this spring.  It is a very comfortable jumper with little fitting issues.  Basically you use your waist and hip measurement for the correct pattern size. Always make a sample first.

Please pardon the poor  picture set-ups, but I just wanted to show that these were quickly sewn in a week being a spring inspiration for me.  The buckles I found in  my button stash from a close-out sale long ago.

This is a little better view of the angle of flare on the skirt.

I found that topstitching with heavier threads really works best with the proper needle.  I have now purchased some 90/14 chrome and topstitch 90/14 needles. I also plan to get some microtex needles for quilting and I have ordered the titanium ones and will use them for sewing and quilting.  Please check this site and this site for needle information which is quite thorough and helpful.  I did the double stitching with the largest twin needles, Schmetz Universal Twin Wide 6.0/100 and it worked fine with regular thread but not with topstitching thread. The pockets need to been sewn with one needle so you can turn corners.  Fortunately the impression of neat topstitching is from a distance!  Looking closely shows the flaws.  It is not necessary to topstitch but it holds the heavier fabrics flatter and also helps keep the facings in place.

 There are times when one must wear more practical than pretty clothes, however, I believe this pattern would work well if you have floral or geometric designs that would go well with plain tops.  That would make it look more feminine!