Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bishop Dress Sew Along Part 15 ~ Leaves and Rose Buds (Lazy Daisy stitches and French Knot stitches)

Here are the links to the sites that I used to help me understand how to do these stitches:
The lazy daisy stitch is for making the leaves.
How to make a Lazy Daisy stitch (what I googled)
How to make a Lazy Daisy stitch smocking (what I googled)

The french knot is for making the tiny rose buds.
I wrapped around the needle twice instead of just once as shown in this link.  It makes for a little bit bigger rose bud.
How to make a french knot
How to make a french knot smocking
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Free Doll Dress Pattern / Kai's First Time To Use The Sewing Machine

I just realized I never blogged about this!
In fact, I still can't believe it!  But I guess I only shared pictures on Facebook.  
First of all, G.G. (her hip Great Granny), gave me several of her vintage dress patterns when Kai was born, and this doll dress pattern was in the mix.
It's actually about 1 & 1/2" longer than a letter size piece of paper.  My pattern piece is 12 &1/4" long by 10" wide at the widest point (center to top of sleeve).  Of course you can lengthen it or shorten it as needed.If you want to use it, feel free to.  Sell them if you want.  I don't care.  Have fun.
Here are some action shots of Kai making one of two dresses she made that day.  I finished the edges with a "feather" stitch?  I believe that's what it's called.  It looks similar to a comb.  You can also use a zigzag, or hem it would be the nicest finish.  She couldn't wait to try them on her dolls and liked the stitch showing on the edge.

Edited to add:  It just dawned on me that maybe I should add some instructions for anyone that's just learning how to sew.  
1) Cut two of these on a fold.
2) Put them right sides together and pin them in place.
3) Sew the shoulders and then the sides, leaving the bottom, sleeves and neckline open.
4) Turn right side out and hem or finish the edges with a zigzag stitch or another favorite edge finishing stitch.
5)  If you are going to hem it:  fold the edge 1/4" and press with an iron.  I like to use the steam for pressing.
6) Fold it again, this time making it as short as you need to fit your doll of choice. Press.
7) Stitch the hem into place.
8) For the neckline, if you want the hemmed look, you'll need to cut a little slit into the front and back "v".   This will give you the ability to fold the fabric over and stitch into place.

Please leave any questions in the comment box.  I'll be sure to answer.

This was September of 2010.  Kai was 4 years old here.

Bishop Dress Sew Along Part 14 ~ Vines and Roses

I wanted to share the link to the helpful site I've told you about.  This seems to be the most informative, easy to follow site for me to check my guesses against.
Monday, March 21, 2011

Bishop Dress Sew Along ~ Part 12, 2 Step and 5 Step Trellis stitching

Before I get to today's video I wanted to share the links to the helpful pages I've been using.
I wanted to do it the other night, but I can't figure out how to add text when "sharing" a video on  However, I just realized I can copy and paste the encoding, rather than click on the "share" button on the website.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Dog Beds

 I decided to take a night off of bishop dress making and make something else.  I needed to make some diapers, but the temperatures have dropped and the wind has picked up a little and my outside dogs that have been kicked back outside to protect Henrietta and the garden are scratching at the door to come in to a warm bed.  So I made a couple of dog beds for them.

 We recently put the outside dogs back outside, along with Henrietta.
We'd been letting them sleep inside over the winter months.  It doesn't get too cold for them to stay outside, here where I live, (low 20's) but I miss them and Smitty misses sleeping in the house sometimes too.
Usually we put their beds in the mud room area by the back door and put a child gate up to keep Smitty and Prince separated.  Otherwise it can get real hairy when those two get sick of each other.
Well, this year, by the time they got put back outside, their beds, that had been stuffed with fabric scraps, had been ripped up and were nothing but a heap of fabric scraps.  
I was planning on making new covers and stuffing the scraps all into them, but when I wasn't looking my husband threw them all in the trash.  I didn't complain.  He expected me to, but I knew that I had let those scraps lay there too long to say anything.  He was justified in throwing everything out.

Anyway, we had some foam rubber you might remember seeing in the photos of me organizing the fabric room. It was an old mattress that boasted memory foam technology.  We slept on it for a few years, then it became part of the guest bed.  Finally, I talked my husband into cutting it into rectangular pieces, for me.

I had been planning on making some new dog beds out of those pieces anyway.  
This was my perfect chance.  The pieces that I used were 36" x 28".

I bought this fabric at a neighborhood yard sale, one day.
Ever met someone who was addicted to buying fabric?
I'm one of those people.
This 100% polyester fabric is hideous.  It's really thick, so I'm thinking it'll be hard to rip.  Smitty is one of those dogs that can't lay down till he's scratched and scratched at the bed for 2 or 3 minutes, first.  That's how all the beds get torn.  I must admit that duck cloth and canvas seem indestructible, to him, but I wanted to get rid of this ugly fabric, so I've put those other dog bed covers away for now.
I cut it down the middle making it 72" x 48".

Then I folded it in half (right sides together) to make it  36" x 48" and I sewed two sides, leaving one short side open.

I'm using cotton thread and I know how rough Smitty is on a bed, so I put a stitch at 3/4" and then did another stitch at 1/2", for more durability.

Turn it right side out.

Slip it over your piece of foam.

Now usually I would do a hook and loop closure, but I decided, in the spirit of laziness, to just stitch the open side closed.  I'm OK with this because I made the stitch at 3 in length instead of 2.5, so that it'll be a little easier to take out when I want to wash the cover, provided the opening doesn't get ripped open by the scratching before settling routine Smitty has.  I may add hook and loop closure to it when that day comes.  Depends on how I feel and how satisfied I am with the quality of this idea.

Voila!  I went out there to give it to sweet Betsy, but she is so sweet that she just let Smitty have it. 

So I thought I'd let her share the next one in the larger dog house, with her sister.
However, she was so sweet as to let Delilah have it all to herself. 
So Betsy got to come in the house and sleep on the dog bed that's on the floor next to my bed. I say "got to",but I had to beg her to come in.  I was so surprised when none of the dogs wanted to come in.  They all wanted to sleep on their new beds.  That makes me smile.
Tomorrow I'll clean out the dog house that the chicken has taken over and put one of the old beds stuffed with some old scraps, for a day or two to see if Henrietta is going to keep going in there.  I have a feeling we are going to need more dog houses.

I have an order for a custom made bed that I'll be working on once I get the Easter dresses finished.  I may post pictures of that one when I get it finished.