Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How does your garden grow?

Here is our garden. Isn't it nice and green? Trent planted tomatoes and some peppers. What he didn't plant was those pumpkin plants. He also didn't plant this:
This looks like corn, but there's no ears growing so we don't really know what it is.
Even though we didn't plant the pumpkins, we have them none the less! This one is growing very well. I took this picture on a Monday.
I took this one on a Thursday. It's even bigger now and turning orange.
This is the first pumpkin that began to grow and is now ripe (I think). It didn't get very big compared to the one above it. We're not sure why. We're not very good in the gardening department.
Eleanor planted these in preschool. They are doing very well despite the fact the deer keep eating the tops of them!

Clothing (handsewn and smocked)-Constructed garment with Picture smocking

My latest creation is finished. I remade an old dress of mine into a jumper dress for Eleanor. Since the purple gingham was supposed to be for Macy but it's almost too short for her now, I made this a bit bigger to fit her and Eleanor. They pretty much wear the same size, Macy's just taller. Since they are both growing so much I had to use a bigger pattern than I have been to make the jumper and almost didn't have enough fabric. Just squeaked out enough!
I'm pleased with the smocking, although I had to rip out the B and move it over because I miscounted my pleats when I started and now I can't seem to get the black out of where the stitching was before. Hope they don't mind. Also I had used French seams, but the dress was way too big and I had to take it in. I ended up just turning under the seams and stitching them. I realize now I could have just left it the way it was and fixed it after the fair, but I knew I might never get to it. The seam finishes are nice, if not heirloom, but the dress is not really an heirloom type of item anyway.

Working on a baby outfit for a friend's soon to be born grandson. I'm hoping it's good enough to enter in the fair as well. Also knitting on some socks for Macy. Hope to finish those as well. Not getting enough sleep and I was pretty cranky today. Not good, so I need to sleep more and get done what I can and think about next year!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Claire's new skirt

It's been killing Claire that her two older sisters have been sewing for the fair and she can't. So I cut out a skirt from the same pattern and material we used for Eleanor's skirt and let her help me sew this one. She had fun stepping on the foot petal for me and pressing the back stitch button when needed. She even helped with the pressing! The skirt turned out very well and we'll enter it under my name since I really made it, but I'll let her keep the ribbon.

Coat, lined (under six years of age)

Another project finished. I started this coat on a whim for Kate since I figured I could probably finish it before the fair and it would be clean. If I can get Macy's coat clean, I'll enter it too under Coat, lined (7-12 years) but it's very dirty and I'm not hopeful. You can't enter it if it isn't clean and without stains (except for the hem of a wedding dress). It's a Butterick pattern and I made a small, just one size up from Newborn and it's still huge on her. I'm not sure if she'll grow enough to wear it this winter or not.

I felt like Macy's coat was rather plain and I had wanted to embellish it, but I never got a chance and was glad to just finish it in time for her to wear it this past winter. I had a lot of car time this summer with our various trips and so I tried my hand at some embroidery. I based my designs on a silk ribbon pattern I saw in a recent issue of Sew Beautiful.

The materials are all leftover from Macy's coat except for the buttons, so this was a real stash buster. I hate this wool! It's too thick for anything and very difficult to handle. I discovered that I could separate it into two thinner pieces and have started to do that to make Macy's American Doll a coat to match hers. If I can get that done and a few more pieces by next Thursday, I'll have something else to enter plus I'll have some of Macy's birthday/Christmas presents done! Time is running out though.

I just finished another smocked dress tonight and will try to take pictures tomorrow. Things are really coming along and my house isn't too messy yet! I feel good about this year even though I'm not sure I'll get the big ribbon. We have so many talented ladies and although I'm pleased with my work this year, every piece has given me enough trouble that I don't feel overly confident about any of them!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm not the only one sewing!

My girls are sewing!!!! Now if I can manage to not totally scare them off or drive myself crazy trying to keep them from sewing over their fingers.Macy is sewing a pair of shorts. She's almost finished. She just needs to do the waistband and hem the legs. She's doing pretty well with the whole sewing thing, although she doesn't want to trim her seams. Who would have thought trying to show someone how to sew a straight line could be so stressful!
Here we have Eleanor holding the fabric so tightly that the machine is pretty much sewing in place. She made a skirt which she finished yesterday and wore to church today. I meant to take a picture of her wearing it. It's in the wash now to prepare it for the fair. She's very proud of her skirt.
And finally the all important pressing of the seams. I don't know which was more nerve racking watching them sew or watching them press!

Tomorrow I'm going to cut out a skirt for Claire using the same fabric as Eleanor's skirt. Claire is going to sit on my lap and we are going to sew it together and enter it in the fair under my name, but she gets to keep the ribbon. She's very excited. She's still a bit too young to enter anything, so she's thrilled at the chance to do something.

One finished, so many more to go . . .

My second project completed for the fair! This is a bishop that I started last year, but was unable to finish. I would have except you'll remember I was pregnant at the time, very sick and very tired. Plus I had to hand pleat this one due to the fabric choice and then after smocking everything except for the flowers, I decided the floss color was all wrong and took it all out and started over with the color that is on the finished product.
Overall I'm pleased. The smocking is some of the best I've ever done. The construction is okay, but since I used the gingham, it made problems for me I never dreamed. I had to do some trimming and whatnot to make it work. As a result, some things are not "right". I hope the judges don't notice.
I just finished a dress coat for Kate. Hope to take pictures tomorrow and post soon. After that it's another smocked dress that is nearing completion. Less than two weeks and counting . . .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Child's Play

We went down to Georgia to visit my in-laws for a couple of weeks. We just got back today. Since Kate does not like the car, we split the driving up into three days down and three days up so the average amount of driving was about 4 hours a day. Each day we visited a different children's museum. We have a family membership at Port Discovery and this enabled us to visit all the children's museums on our trip for no cost. I highly recommend a family trip like ours if you have a lot of children. It was a lot of fun!

We first visited the Harrisonburg Children's Museum. Very nice. Highly recommend! The next day we went to the East Tennessee Discovery Center. This one was okay. Wouldn't really recommend or go back, although the kids enjoyed it. The last museum on the trip down and the one the kids had wanted to go to since seeing it at Christmas was the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. Very nice. The kids really enjoyed it and I think it was Ben's favorite.

On the way home, we went to Charlotte at Play. (Sorry no link, it's not working for some reason). Small, but well done. The kids had a good time, but Ben got bored rather quickly. The next day we went to the Greensboro Children's Museum. All I can say is WOW!!!! The place was huge! It was so well done. So many places to play. A real race car, nose of an airplane, fire truck, police car, mail truck, not to mention all the other set ups. I could go on and on about this place. Macy was not feeling good this day, so she didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. I would like to return some day.

Our final museum was the Children's Museum of Richmond. I think this was the favorite of all the children. It was another well done museum and had a lot of nice play areas. Not as nice as Greensboro, but the kids had the most fun here and didn't want to leave. They had a backyard area with water that we never even knew about or we would have planned to play in that as well. Since children learn through play, my children learned a lot!

Two and a half weeks until the fair. YIKES!!!!! I got some things accomplished in the car going and coming so hopefully I'll find the time to finish things off. If only Kate will cooperate! :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A few days with some trains and other things

We went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania last week. It has become a family tradition to go every summer. I took the kids by myself three years ago and we had so much fun, we keep going back.
Here we are at the Choo Choo Barn. It's this great place that has a model train layout that is a miniature of Lancaster. We spent a long time here. We kept walking around and around seeing new things each time. We also went to the Railroad Museum in Strasburg while we were there.The next day we went to Dutch Wonderland. So much fun! Weather was perfect and we had a great time.
Our final day we went to the Hands On House which is a children's museum in Lancaster. It's small and Ben got bored pretty quickly, but as you can see, he did manage to play a little!

Remember the presents I made for a baby bulldog? Well he's not really a dog, but he was born on July 2nd! Caleb is doing well and I finally finished his final present. I made this using Simplicity 5115. I wish I could say it was fairworthy, but unfortunately it's not. It's cute and fine, but there are too many things that I'm not happy about. The buttons are very cute though and Caleb will look adorable in it about a year from now. The material was a bear to work with and I should have given it a good starching to give it more body. It would have made it easier to work with. I'm glad it's finished.

Speaking of the fair, it's looming and I've not been able to get anything done unless I'm the passenger of a moving car since Kate has not been feeling good and I'm having to hold her almost 24/7. I'm wasting dish washing time just to post this! Well I'll get done what I can. Wish me luck!