Friday, July 30, 2010

Creations by Michie Sailor Dress

Shortly before my most recent eye surgery, I shared here
that I was working on a little dress.  I ran out of time, and still lacked buttonholes, buttons, hem and a few other handsewing details.
I am happy to say it is now finished!

I began this project to prove to myself that I could still do what I love.  That would be to stitch, even if it meant sewing with limited vision.  The project also had to incorporate some of the things that always make my heart go pitter-patter:  tucks or pleats, little puffed sleeves, pretty Mother of Pearl buttons, dainty bias bindings, and fine cotton fabrics.  I selected Sailor Dress 106, a Creations by Michie pattern.

I opted for View D.  While I adore the other versions with their sweet collars, I thought the simplicity of bias bindings might be a better fit with my limited vision and time.  I can't wait to make this pattern again, using one of those adorable collars!
The dress fabric is a lovely floral lawn , by Fabric Finders, Inc. 
The sleeve and neck bindings are 
Pink English Import Gingham by Spechler-Vogel. 

As I was constructing, I decided the front placket needed something special!  My first thought was to incorporate more of the pink gingham.  However, most of my ideas would have required some slight changes to the front pattern piece prior to cutting out.  We were well past that point!
Instead, I hand whipped  one of my favorite narrow Swiss Edgings by Capitol Imports down the edge of the front placket.  So sweet!
While very simple, I love this little easy, breezy dress!
Mostly, I was happy to know that I could still stitch, even with less than perfect eyes!

My left eye is not clearing as quickly as my right eye did.  There is still a dark blob of unknown origin, as well as continued double vision.  So, I just close that eye sometimes, and keep on stitching!
Now, what to stitch next?

I love daygowns!  It was sweet daygowns, received as gifts for our baby son 25 years ago, that first led me down the path of discovering heirloom sewing.
I am joining Jeannie Baumeister on her blog for a Daygown Sew Along!
Click here to join Jeannie and the rest of us for some stitching fun!

I am also linking this post to Sew & Tell Friday!
Click on the button below to view even more fun sewing projects completed this week!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Project Runway, Season 8!

It's time once again to join Tim, Heidi and the newest group of Project Runway designers!
I have previously disclosed my lack of enthusiasm to sew for myself, focusing mostly on sewing for children.
That in no way diminishes my fascination with those who can whip fabric into a wearable piece of clothing that is walking down the runway, in what seems like a very short period of time!

                                                                      Originally posted at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

While watching Project Runway for several seasons, I became intrigued with the process of draping.
Visit Gertie's wonderful blog for a step-by-step description of her recent draping adventures.  I certainly learned a lot, and am sure you will, too!

Don't forget to tune in tomorrow evening, July 29, for the premiere of another fascinating season of Project Runway on Lifetime!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
                                                  ~John Wesley~

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Farewell to Peas!

Since my first surgery on June 30, frozen peas have been an almost constant companion.  They have been plastered to one or both eyes throughout the days and nights to help decrease swelling and increase healing.
I now bid them adieu, and move on to warm compresses on both eyes!
My surgeon continues to be mostly pleased with the outcome of both surgeries.
I am currently seeing a dark blob in my left eye.  Fingers crossed that it is simply caused by swelling, and will disappear as that eye continues to heal.
As a precaution, restrictions on activities have been extended for a little longer.
Double vision is still present, and most likely will continue for anywhere from three to six weeks.  At that time, we will determine whether additional treatment or surgery is necessary.
Mostly, I am so very thankful to have the surgeries behind me and so very hopeful for a full recovery within the coming weeks.
No doubt, many of your prayers and well wishes have brought me safely to this point.
I am forever grateful.

It is my joy in life to find
At every turning of the road
The strong arm of a comrade kind
To help me onward with my load.

And since I have no gold to give,
And love alone must make amends,
My only prayer is, while I live,
God make me worthy of my friends.
                                                        ~Frank Dempster Sherman~

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Favorite Foot

I love my 1/4" foot!
I especially love that the single needle hole provides more stability when stitching with our fine heirloom fabrics.

So many our favorite heirloom patterns use 1/4" seam allowances.  It is a cinch with this foot to accurately stitch each and every seam! 
It is also easy peasy to make those teeny tiny 1/8" French seams, by guiding the seam along the inner side of the foot.

The marked guidelines on the toe of the foot make judging pivot points a breeze, as well!

My foot is made by Husqvarna Viking, and fits my Designer 1.

My second favorite foot is probably the Edge Joining Foot.

Do you have a favorite sewing foot?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Smell the Roses, Not the Smoke!

When visiting my dear mother-in-law, I would often admire the charming little sterling silver vessels that she filled with miniature roses.
They were sometimes grouped in mass on the dining room table, as a type of centerpiece.
Or, they might be spaced throughout her lovely home on top of coffee tables, side tables and other surfaces.

Little did I realize their original purpose!

Evidently, in a different society from ours today, a gracious hostess would fill these little vessels with cigarettes for the ease and comfort of her guests!
Cigarette urns or cups were likely to be found on the dining room table, as well as the living room coffee table.
My mother-in-law was a very gracious hostess.  I inherited at least a dozen or so cute little urns!

I believe my mother-in-law's repurposing efforts are a much better idea!

I also discovered they are perfect holders for the many cotton swabs I currently need on a daily basis to clean and medicate my eyes.
A favorite thing that brings memories of a special lady, and adds a little smile and style to my recovery!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Project Storage

How do you store your projects?
I must admit that many of mine are in resealable plastic bags!
However, I much prefer this method.

I especially love using these for my needlepoint!
Most of my needlepoint projects are of the small variety.  Otherwise, they would never be completed in my lifetime!  I like that the canvas remains relatively flat when stored in these cases, as opposed to rolled up in a plastic bag.
Needles, scissors and other sharp pointy objects remain safely inside, not poking holes or jabbing fingers and other body parts when it is least expected!

Just for grins, isn't he cute?
I adore nutcrackers for the holidays!
I discovered that I could "feel" the canvas and wool much more easily than other types of sewing and embroidery, while my eyes recover and heal from surgery.
Give me a needle, and  I am a happy camper!

This size case, is also the perfect size for many of our favorite sewing and smocking magazines and class handouts.
I find that holding the case in my lap provides a comfortable work surface while reclining on the sofa, sitting in doctor offices, or traveling in the car.
Speaking of traveling .  . .

The case slides easily into most of my tote bags.
I also fill it with my scissors, embroidery hoops, and other sewing notions when flying to and from classes and schools.  If I place it right on top, inside my checked luggage, the majority of my other clothing and belongings are less likely to be rumpled, should the bag need to be opened for inspection.
Upon arrival at my destination, it is ready to be slipped into my tote bag to hurry off to class, or holds all my sewing utensils safely for any hotel room stitching.

The cases will also stack nicely for storage!
If they stack this well on my tufted ottoman, just think what they would do on a closet shelf!

I purchased my cases at the local Staples.  They are made by Iris. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010


The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.
~Isaiah 40:8~

Friday, July 16, 2010

Same Song, Second Verse

By the time many of you read this, I will be undergoing the second in a series of eye surgeries to save my vision.  If you are new to my blog, or missed my previous post, you may read more here.

The good thing about this second surgery:  I know what to expect.
The bad thing about this second surgery:  I know what to expect!
There is one more good thing: 
Now both eyes will be swollen, both sides of my face will be sore and discolored, and I will have matching incisions at the outer corners of both eyes.
I prefer, after all, to be a well-balanced person!
So, the good outweighs the bad!

Since my last update, it does appear that the majority of vision in my right eye was saved.
I am a lucky, lucky girl!

In the past few days, I was determined to start stitching again!
The process was slow, with limited vision.  This little dress still lacks buttonholes, buttons and a hem.
However, with God's grace and the prayers of dear friends, I know that I will return to complete it and many more.
I have scheduled a few other posts in the coming days.
I will see you again here a little later.

In the meantime, you know what to do:
Stitch, create, decorate and appreciate!
It's a wonderful life!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rosette Party!

I am joining the French Cupboard's Rosette Party!
The original post, with instructions for creating old-fashioned ribbon rosettes,
may be found here.

Hop over to the French Cupboard for more rosette sharing!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You're Still the One

Twenty seven years ago, a rather secret wedding ceremony was held

and two become one.
It began five months earlier, on a blind date.

I only agreed to the blind date in order to maintain family harmony.
He only agreed to the date because a First Year Associate does not tell a Partner that he does not want to go on a date with said partner's sister-in-law.

It was suppose to be just a quick Saturday night outing to a Dallas Mavericks basketball game. 
Yet, after the game came dinner.
The conversation came easily, as did the laughs.
So, why not also stop by a local club for a little music?
When the club closed, we sat in front of my apartment continuing the conversation into wee hours of the morning.
Afterwards, not a day went by that we were not in touch.

The conversations were not always in person.  They were often by phone.  He from his downtown office as a young attorney.  I from my office as a paralegal with another large downtown firm.
Then, there were the long distance conversations between Memphis and Dallas.
He was called home, as his mother underwent a double mastectomy and began chemotherapy.

We both had been married before.
We each already had the large formal weddings.
We knew that was not what made a marriage.
We also knew that his mother's condition prevented her from traveling and participating.
So, we told no one except my parents and his mother.
The night before, we requested my sister and brother-in-law meet us at Highland Park Methodist Church to witness our vows.
It was probably the only time we ever knew both of them to be speechless!
Little did they know that my mother's visit was not by accident.
She and my niece were our only guests, as Daddy was away on one of his train trips.

Thick cream colored envelopes, holding our wedding announcements, were deposited at the post office as we headed toward the airport and a honeymoon in London and Paris.
We have been told that jaws dropped as mail was received over the following days!
A few weeks after our return, my mother-in-law was able to join us
for a celebratory reception at the Melrose Hotel with family, friends and colleagues.
A little later in the summer, she would honor us with a dinner dance at the Memphis Country Club.
So it began, our life together.

You're still the one that makes  me laugh.
Still the one that's my better half.
We're still having fun, and you're still the one.
You're still the one that makes me strong.
Still the one I want to take along.
We're still having fun and you're still the one.
Changing, our love is going gold.
Even though we grow old, it grows new.
You're still the one.

**My second eye surgery, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed until
Friday, July 16.**

Sunday, July 11, 2010


The Weaver

My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me,
I cannot chose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.
~Benjamin M. Franklin~
Originally printed in The Memphis Commerical Appeal, 1950

Friday, July 9, 2010

Two Worlds Meet

It seems that most of my stitching friends either identify with the quilting world or the heirloom sewing and smocking world.  I grew up watching Grandmother Bessie quilt, and many of her quilts still grace my home.  So, I have a deep love and admiration for quilts and those who create them.
However, it is heirloom sewing and fine white and pastel fabrics that make my heart go pitter patter, while visions of delicate day gowns, christening gowns and bonnets fill my mind.
Imagine my delight when I recently spied this:

Originally posted here.

The quilting world and heirloom sewing world met, shook hands and co-existed together beautifully!
This beautiful silk christening gown, incorporating hand quilting, is the creation of Jacquie Harvey from the UK.

Originally posted here.

The attention to detail is amazing, and so sweet!

Originally posted here.

For this cotton sateen gown, Jacquie was inspired by the style and design of very traditional Ayeshire embroidered christneing gowns.

For more information, you may visit Jacquie's website or blog.

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