Category Archives: Sewing

50 Years

One day this summer, I was just sitting around thinking about things and it dawned on me that this year marks a very special anniversary for me.  Although the math is a little hard to work out (me being barely 29 and all ;-) ), it turns out that it’s been 50 years since I learned to sew.  It hardly seems possible and makes me feel really ancient.

One day, way back when,  BigDaddy came home with the surprise of a new machine for MeMum.  She said she didn’t really know what to do with it (although she knew the basics of sewing) and “it sat in the dining room for a year “.  Finally, she took a class or two at the local community college.  I loved watching her cut out the pattern pieces and put them together to make something.  I think I must have bugged her to let me sew something, so she finally gave in and taught me how to sew.  I wonder, did she have any idea what that gift would mean to me in the coming years?  My very first project was a little wrap around dress.  The perfect beginner dress — no buttons or zippers.  I remember that my bias tape edging wasn’t perfect, but I wore my little wrap-around proudly.

Thimbleanna: Dress

Long-time readers probably know that I’m a die-hard Husqvarna Viking fan, in part because I was taught to sew on MeMum’s Viking (and mostly because they are amazing pieces of technology).  Here’s MeMum’s little beauty herself — the prized Viking 2000.  This machine is a fantastic little workhorse.  It has the ability to drop down into a lower gear (do machines even have that feature anymore?), so it can do some really heavy-duty sewing.  I even repaired the back of a leather shoe once with this machine.  (I found a fun little video extolling the virtues of the Viking 2000 by a sewing machine repairman on YouTube).

Thimbleanna: Viking Machine

When I was 13, MeMum and BigDaddy got me my own sewing machine for Christmas.  It was a Singer and, after a year (and a lot of frustration), it was decided that I should get the Viking 2000 and MeMum got a new machine (this time an Elna — nothing close to the power of the Viking, but it had a gorgeous stitch and MeMum made all of her beautiful quilts on her Elna.)  The Viking took me through high school and college and a lot of sewing my own clothes.  As newlyweds TheManoftheHouse and I were stationed in Germany and we decided to take advantage of the “bargains” available living so close to Sweden, so we bought a new Viking — the 6690.  It was the first electronic Viking and I made lots of kiddie clothes and learned to quilt on this baby.

Thimbleanna: Viking Machine

Then came the era of embroidery machines.  By now, the kids were in high school, and, of course, I neeeeeeded one.  Enter Hester.  My beloved Hester.  The only machine, for some reason, that I actually named LOL.  This model introduced the even-feed foot — no more walking feet for machine quilting — yipee!

Thimbleanna: Viking Machine

And last year, I guess in retrospect, to celebrate 50 years, I upgraded to the Epic.  I didn’t really need a new machine — Hester is still going strong.  But, Hester’s technology scares me — she takes her instructions on a floppy disk.  You can’t even buy a computer with a floppy disk these days — it’s an obsolete technology.  So, darn it, again, I neeeded to upgrade.  I was forced.  Against my will.  LOL.  I’ll probably never even come close to using the features of this machine — so far, it’s just been a few simple embroideries and a lot of quilting.  I love the 1/4″ quilting foot which I moved from Hester to this machine.  I know just how to adjust the machine to get the perfect 1/4″ seam.

Thimbleanna: Viking Machine

So, anyway, that’s 50 years of sewing for me. I can’t imagine my life without sewing in it — I get a little cranky if I can’t sew at least every few days LOL. I would say I’m looking forward to the next 50, but I think we all know that’s not logical. I’m hoping to get close though!

XOXO,
Anna

Emma & Myrtle

Brace Yourselves Kids — I actually have a finish from my sewing room!  A month or two ago that cute little CrazyMom sent me some fat quarters from her new fabric line, Emma and Myrtle for Connecting Threads.  Soooo Sweet — and I LOVE the name!  I’d been wanting a little travel sewing kit for a long time, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make one.

Thimbleanna: Sewing Kit

I looked at lots of different sewing kits on Pinterest and then I just made it up as I went along.  I decided on a tri-fold style (the size when it’s closed up is about 6″ x 9″) and wanted to do a little applique on the front.  When I saw CrazyMom’s cute spool print, I thought it would be cute to use for flower centers.

Thimbleanna: Sewing Kit

When the cover is opened, there was another surface to decorate — I took the lazy way out and added a little sewing badge, some hand stitching and called that surface done.  When opened fully, there were lots of choices to be made!

Thimbleanna: Sewing Kit

I knew I wanted one see-through pouch and I’d planned to put pockets for pencils and needles on the right-hand side, but then I started to think about things falling out of the pockets.  So, I opted for another see-through pouch for security.  Then, finally the middle.  I knew I needed a pin-cushion and a place to store scissors.  And something for needles.  I had this adorable beehive needle keep sent to me by a sweet friend, so I tucked it into a vinyl pocket and added a crochet edge.  And, just in case the scissors wanted to fall out of the pocket, I decided to make a flap to cover everything.

Thimbleanna: Sewing Kit

As a bonus, it provided a surface that could be appliqued ;-D.  I followed the needle-keep’s lead and went with the beehive theme and added some bees.  They really do have little white felt wings, they’re just hard to see.

Thimbleanna: Sewing Kit

My sewing kit has already been pressed into service and I’m looking forward to many years of use. Unless I decide to make another one.  Haha.

XOXO,
Anna

Waldorf

Wow.  Can you believe we’re in the middle of September already?  My last few weeks have just disappeared — partly because we took a trip to see the kidlets in Utah.  We can’t let FinallyAGirl go too many months without seeing her!  We had a great time — playing, eating and hiking.  I think I may have had a wee bit of altitude sickness on one of our hikes.  Or maybe just a bout of outofshapeness LOL.  Either way, I had to sit down for a minute and I had a raging headache that started about the time we reached the top of our mountain until we got back down.  Hiking is so fun in the mountains — the views are spectacular!

Thimbleanna: Waldorf Doll

Anyway, back to the title of my post.  Waldorf.  Are you thinking Salad?  Astoria???  Or, if you’re thinking dolls, you’re on the right track.  I wanted to make FinallyAGirl a little Waldorf Doll and I decided to make a baby doll, since she’s still so young.  It was my first Waldorf doll-making experience and it was lots of fun.  The web is full of great information!  I found this kit for a doll that I liked — Loetje by Bibidolls.

Thimbleanna: Waldorf Doll

The pattern is a pdf and the instructions are great — very detailed and with great pictures.  I had a bit of trouble stuffing the doll with as much stuffing as was recommended (she tells you by weight how much each part needs) and I feel like my little doll ended up being fatter than the original LOL.  The head was particularly tricky — I had to have TheManoftheHouse help me tie off the pieces so that I could get them nice and tight.  She explains that the reason for stuffing so tightly is so that the little doll won’t end up too flat as the stuffing compacts over time.

Thimbleanna: Waldorf Doll

I had planned to get a picture of FinallyAGirl kissing her baby or dragging her around, but she didn’t pay any attention to her.  She already has a favorite little baby doll.  I’m hoping she’ll pay a little more attention to this little Waldorf baby when she gets a little older.  (Oh, and little Loetje doesn’t have lipstick smeared all over her face — the pink around her lips is the reflection of the flower.  She has some red cheeks, but I took the pictures before I remembered to paint her cheeks on.  Ooops.)

Thimbleanna: Waldorf Doll

So, instead of a FinallyAGirl-Really-Loves-Her-New-Baby picture, how ’bout a shot of all the pretty fabric that arrived while we were gone?  Lots of pretty florals (I LOVE those Chelsea Market prints from Blend Fabrics) and some more Japanese prints.  And I couldn’t resist that Sheepie (!) print when I saw it at quilt market.  They’re all in my little Etsy shop in case you can’t resist.

Thimbleanna: Waldorf Doll

Now I’m off to watch a little tv with MeMum before bed.  The evenings slip by much too quickly!  Hope you’re having a good week!

XOXO,
Anna

The Dog Days

Well, I think I was on a little break again, only I didn’t take a trip this time LOL.  I keep hoping something exciting will happen around here so that I’ll have something to blog about.  But then I tell myself that these boring Dog Days are good.  Very Good.

After a really busy May and June, July has been slow and wonderful.  Our weather has been beautiful.  Stunning, actually.  The hot muggy summer days have been replaced by cool, perfect temps.  I’m missing most of it while I’m locked away at work during the day, but I’m sure enjoying it when I get home in the evenings.  We’ve had quite a bit of rain this summer and I think that’s why my flowers are doing so well.  I’ve been slowly replacing a “vegetable” patch with a flower garden and it’s finally starting to look fairly decent.  My favorite flowers are these pretty phlox.  I have my gardener extraordinaire friend Pam to thank for these lovelies — I’d never really paid any attention to this variety of phlox until I saw her beautiful phlox when SweetiePie and I visited with her a few years ago.

Thimbleanna: Flowers

My garden will never be as beautiful as Pam’s, but if these flowers look like this every year, I’ll be a happy camper.  My little garden has taken a lot of experimentation — it’s hard to figure out what the rabbits won’t eat.  So far, so good on the phlox.  The asters and sweet william haven’t fared so well though — they’re mowed down regularly by the bunnies.  Nasty Wabbits.  These pretty little coreopsis are doing well too — I didn’t think I’d like this flower because they’re so little and wispy, but I love them!

Thimbleanna: Flowers

In addition to little bits of gardening and pulling weeds, there have been lots of routine boring jobs around the house.  We’ve cleaned a few closets and done some long overdue painting.  And I’ve managed to sneak in a little sewing.  I made myself a shirt from the Rifle Paper Co. fabric that I used to have in my little shop.  The pattern is Simplicity 1279 — I took my time, enjoyed the process and I’m really happy with the results — it fits just right.

Thimbleanna: Shirt

I also finished up a little throw quilt just for me and the tv.  A year or so ago, I saw this adorable deer fabric at Hawthorne Threads (I was going to link to the fabric but I don’t see it listed anymore) and I HAD to have it.  I LOVE deer.  Among my best childhood memories are watching Bambi at the movie theater and sobbing while I read The Yearling, one of my very favorite books.  Now I have a little quilt and I can cuddle some deer!

Thimbleanna: Deer1

For the rest of the fabrics, I raided my little etsy shop and used the japanese dots for a border, some cuddle for the backing, and that fun japanese stripe for the binding.  I think that stripe is just perfect — it matches those cute little black deer noses.  The quilting is just some random machine quilting — easy peasy.

Thimbleanna: Deer2

So, that’s it for an update — just wanted to check in.  I hope you’re having a great summer!

XOXO,
Anna

Baby Sewing

Thank You for all the birthday love for our little FinallyAGirl.  We sure had a fun birthday weekend and I wish we could do it all again!  Sadly, the little family is moving to Utah this week — they’re in the middle of the move as we speak.  The U-Haul full of goods is somewhere in Wyoming, FinallyAGirl and her Mummy are flying today, and the Girls Roadtrip Car Brigade (that’s MyDadLovesMeBestSister, MeMum and I) will be leaving soon.  I LOVE a good Roadtrip, so I can’t wait!

As I mentioned in my last post, I made some clothes for FinallyAGirl for her first birthday.  In the rush of getting everything done, there wasn’t time to get any pictures of her actually IN her new clothes, but I’ll be working on that in the next week or two.  In the meantime, here’s all my fun sewing:

I made two little dresses/tops and two rompers.  Here’s the first dress — a little ruffly, girly sundress.  The pattern is Elyse by Bonnie Blue Designs and the fabrics are Sarah Jane’s Summer Garden Bloom and the Japanese honeycomb dots in pink.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

This is a super easy pattern — although, with all those ruffles, not particularly quick.  I do love a cute little ruffle-butt though!

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

For the other little dress, I wanted something fairly simple-looking.  I had a white linen blend in my stash and I teamed it up with the Spechler Vogel Pima Cotton Classic 1/32″ Check in Red from my little etsy shop.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

I embroidered these little red and blue flowers at the pleats and then gave them a tiny button center.  (The instructions for these flowers are contained in the Blair romper pattern mentioned below.)

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

The pattern is Butterick 3405 and I had to make a little Purl Soho sunbonnet to match.  FinallyAGirl will be living in the land of sunshine-all-the-time, so she’ll need a little face/eye protection.  We LOVE those Purl Soho bonnets!

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

SweetiePie will probably not thank me for having buttons all the way down the back — FinallyAGirl is a wiggly little baby — she doesn’t have time for dressing as it interferes with play time!  Hopefully a little flag ribbon and stamp at the side seams will make up for it ;-D.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

After dresses, I made two little rompers — we LOVE babies in rompers !  The first little romper came from a free pattern that was included with the Summer 2016 issue of Classic Sewing Magazine.   It’s called the Blair Romper and I very unimaginatively used the same fabric that they used in the magazine – Liberty of London Phoebe in pink and aqua.  There are four white flower buttons at the shoulders, but I had to wait to put them on until I had a rough idea of where to place them.  FinallyAGirl will have a little growing room in this bubble.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

I’ve saved my favorite for last ;-DDDD.  This little bubble is from a downloadable Australian pattern (of course!) — the Rose Bud Romper by Felicity Sewing Patterns.  I LOVE this cute pattern and the instructions were very detailed and easy to follow.  The straps are just pinned to the hanger in this picture, but they’ll actually be tied into cute bows on the baby’s shoulders.  The fabric is Liberty of London Felicite in Pink and Blue.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

Another sunbonnet and ruffle-butt!  I can’t wait to see FinallyAGirl wearing this little outfit.

Thimbleanna: Baby Sewing

So, Grandma got a little carried away this time.  Can you tell that after only boys, I’m having a great time sewing for a little girl LOL???  Ok — must run — lots to do! Have a wonderful weekend!!!
XOXO,
Anna