Sewing Up A Storm

*All professional photos in this post were taken by the very talented Brandi Hoffman Photography.

I haven’t been sewing up a storm, per say, but I have been busy sewing. And now that it is the Christmas season my sewing list just got longer. I did manage, however, to sew a dress for the Doll Face for our family pictures.  The last family pictures we had done where when I was pregnant with her, so it was long over due. I really wanted to make something special for all the kids, but time was not my friend and Doll Face was in desperate need of a wintery dress so she won out.

Earlier this summer Violette Field Threads released the Matilda Dress and the Rosemary Pinafore and I knew immediately that I needed to make one for Doll Face. It is not in my usual style of dress, but there was something vintage about it that I absolutely loved!

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I thought I was going to make a mustard yellow polka dot dress with a navy blue pinafore but found this gray damask in my stash and knew that was it. It took me forever to decide on the lace trim though. Should I add it, should I not. I couldn’t decide. I had never sewn with it before and I had a hard time visualizing it with the damask, but once I bit the bullet and bought the whole spool (yikes!) I knew there was no turning back.  The directions for both the dress and the pinafore were easy to follow and I adore how it turned out. And I’m happy to say that I am not as afraid of lace as I had been.

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Here is our whole family, including the Honey Bear. Don’t ask how we managed to get everyone looking at the camera because it was no easy task, especially with those hay bales temping my little dare devils. The top I’m wearing is the Parisian Top by Go To Patterns. I made it last winter and it has become a quick favorite. I used a thick knit I found at Hancock’s so it is nice and warm. I’m not a huge fan of 3/4 length sleeves, and I don’t know why I made this top knowing this was the sleeve length, but I really like the way this looks on me. I may just start wearing more 3/4 length sleeves.

Currently, I am making lots of angel and shepherd costumes for our kids program at church, then it is back to my Christmas sewing and a coat for our oldest, Buddy Bear. If I manage to get all my Christmas sewing done in a reasonable time, I will be sharing a tutorial for this fox dress I made early this fall. If not, be on the look out before the new year!

Foxy Dress

Until then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mama Bear

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Moving Through Mud

I have this tug of war going on. I don’t have all day to sew, as nice as that would be, and some evenings I am too exhausted from wrangling 5 kids all day to even think about sewing. Seriously, it’s like a daycare around here some days. But I try, even on nights like tonight when I have a project on my sewing table that is oh so close to being finished, I just feel like my mojo has gone to bed before I’m ready. I have been sewing though. And not just for the kids. I managed to make myself two shirts and a pair of pants that don’t fit! Well, they fit, but there are a few places where they are snug. But now I know where I need to make some adjustments for my next pair.

I think part of my problem is that I see so many awesome patterns that I desperately want to sew, but our budget has been extremely tight, so new patterns aren’t even on my list. Boo!!! I did score a big box of about 40 vintage patterns for $30 the other day so there’s that. I also have a fabric addiction that I shouldn’t feed. I manage to still buy remnants though. I have found some pretty nice stuff in the remnant piles, even at Wally World. I usually look there first then scour the racks for eye candy.

There are a few things I have planned for the next few months. I have a pattern hack tutorial that I think y’all would like and I’m also adding a new section on homeschooling. This will be a new venture for me. I’ll be homeschooling Buddy Bear this year after being in private school the last three years. I am looking forward to seeing how this works for us and I’ll do my best to share our adventure and misadventures. So, until then, I’ll just plug away at the projects on my sewing table and get to planning away for the things down the road.

Good night!

Mama Bear

Hidden Gem

About two years ago I inherited an old sewing machine in a table that belonged to my mother-in-law’s mother. Because it had not been used in more than 25 years, I was afraid to use it. So I never really opened it to look at it. All I knew was it was a New Home machine, was old, and green. Avocado green from the 60’s.

    
 

I had never heard of New Home so I just passed it off as a small name brand. It did not, however, go completely unused. I have a 20 year old Kenmore machine that I bought brand new right out of high school that had no real home. I have used the kitchen table or a desk in the past. I even resorted to putting it on the floor of my apartment using my knee to drive. My roommate thought I was crazy, but you gotta do what you gotta do. This old sewing table was perfect and my machine finally had a home. I no longer had to use the kitchen table that shook when I was too driving fast.

 

A little back tracking here. We live in an old house. I mean old. Our house is celebrating its 120th birthday this year. Yeah, that kind old. It’s a farm house but it ain’t tiny. There are three bedrooms and the smallest is 17×19. Most masters are that size in new homes! And that’s the smallest! Since we have 4 boys and they have only started growing, they needed more space for their beds and to play inside, and out of the way. So we swapped rooms. We moved the boys into our 20×20 room and we moved into the small 17×19 room. I joked to my husband that we are adults now since we have a sitting area in our room. We could have had one before, but I had too many things stored on the floor instead of taking it to the attic. The swap helped with that part.

When I was moving my sewing machines, I decided to dust it off a little and check out the inside finally. I did, after all, have my machine sitting on top for the past two years.  I laid out both leafs and lifted up the green monster sleeping inside. As I was looking at it I found the manufacturers plate and that’s when I got excited. New Home was a brand of Janome. WHAT?! I had a Janome machine sitting under my nose, literally, for the past two years and I didn’t even know it! DOH!

 

My husband reminded me that while his grandfather was tight fisted, he was not going to waist money on a cheap machine. I’m still too afraid to turn it on before I get it serviced. It’s missing the owners manual, but I still have the parts list and the pattern cams for making decorative stitches. Now I have to learn how to thread this vintage machine and get to sewing!

   

Here’s to some happy sewing!!

Mama Bear