My Evening Empire Dress

A few months ago I purchased the Evening Empire pattern and some cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner… when would I find time to make myself I dress?  I thought, but still, I wanted a blue dress in this luscious fabric… and I make so much for my kids, I decided it was time to try a full-size dress.  Kids clothes are so much less fabric.  I think my least favorite part of making a whole dress is wrangling with all the material.  I had never put in a zipper before, and found Anna’s directions pretty easy to follow, and was amazed at how great the zipper foot works!IMG_7496 

Overall I am happy with the dress and think it will get worn quite a bit.  I need to adjust the straps a little and make them shorter but other than that it fits pretty perfectly!  I of course made several mistakes in the making of the dress, but fortunately they aren’t that noticeable.  The wrong side of the fabric is facing out on one panel of the bodice, but the right and wrong sides of this fabric are nearly identical.  The interfacing is a little mixed up between the lining and the front of the bodice, but that is hidden!  And the zipper I ended up using is white and shows a bit so it doesn’t look as finished as I would like, but I can live with it.  It is my first zipper for goodness sake, and it works! And our JOANN’s is closed until winter because the roof collapsed last winter under all the snow, so I had to work with what I had on hand...  I never realized how much I rely on them :)IMG_7504 

The hardest part for me with this dress was deciding on the lining.  I didn’t want to use cotton, because I think I’ll wear this dress with tights and I don’t like to wear slips, so I chose a polyester taffeta-esque fabric from my stash in dark blue.  It makes the dress a little poofier, and the material was a pain to work with (very slippery and thin), but I think it will have the desired outcome!


It has been an Anna Maria Horner year for me.  I have sewed so many items from her fabrics, and now this pattern, and I have another project or two in the works from her book Seams to Me.  Thank you Anna for a wonderful year, I find such inspiration and joy from your beautiful fabrics and creative ideas!!!

Midsummer Morning Bonnet

Oddly enough, the children slept until 8 this morning.  So I made myself a bonnet from 7-8.  I love it!IMG_7485
I admit, I picked out the fabric the night before, thinking if I had a few moments I might get started… This is some lovely Denyse Schmidt  County Fair decorator weight fabric that I got from Sew Mama Sew a while back, with some stretchy combed cotton for lining from a shirt I tried to make myself several years ago without any luck.  The ribbon is a very soft grosgrain in light grey with a thin white stripe on each side.  I have had this ribbon hanging around forever, picked up at some thrift shop, waiting for the right project. I love the way it looks with this fabric, and it is very soft against my skin. 
I think I’ve now made about 8 bonnets from this great pattern I purchased from Amy Karol, totally totally worth every cent.  This is the first one in the Adult size that I have made.  I think I might try making the brim a little deeper next time, for more sun shading, I need that here in the desert mountains!IMG_7475     
Nothing like a bonnet for a Midsummer day – I am reminded of an old folksy song on the Nields’ kids CD Rock All Day Rock All Night,
Put on your old grey bonnet
With blue ribbons on it,
And we'll hitch old dobbin to the shay,
Over fields of clover
We will drive to Dover
On our golden wedding day.

Babies to Kids

There's a local baby/toy shop in town called Babies to Kids.  Lately I have been feeling like my own Babies to Kids with all the variety of handmade gifts I've been making...  what fun!  Here's a look at some of the special gifts I've been making for all my new special friends here in Flagstaff ...

Race Track Pack ~  a pouch for storing race cars that unrolls and has a 'race track' on one side of the pouch.  This was made for one of AJ's friend's birthdays, and it is a prototype.  I really like the idea of this!
race track pack
race track pack
Girlie Apron ~  made for one of AJ's spit-fire friends.  She isn't exactly a girlie-girl, but her mom tells me she enjoys twirling in this one.  I was going for retro 50's poodle-skirt style... note the vintage kitty-cat ribbon!
Isabella's apron
Driving blanket - a splurge of a yard of this fabric from the local sewing shop.  I love it!  I made it in an afternoon, and backed it with some Denyse Schmidt decor weight fabric I bought on sale from Sew Mama Sew...
aj and his car/train quilt
Birthday crown ~ made for AJ from leftover decor fabric from his curtains my mom made him when he was born, and I used Anna Maria Horner fabric for the gems... perfect!  It has velcro on the back and should fit him for years -- it fits me, when I need to feel like the queen :)

Mommy(or Daddy) and Me slings!  ~  Made for Beth, the owner of our local Stroller Strides.
She literally cheered us on at a 10K over the weekend then delivered her baby that night, no big deal :)  The sling is the first I've made, at her request, and I used a couple of patterns for guides -- Maya wraps website and Jan Andrea's patterns.  I struggled with the fabric choice at first.  I wanted something funky and colorful, but I was worried it would be too pink (Beth didn't know whether she was having a girl/boy).  I had purchased the polka dot fabric (Jennifer Paganelli I think) online and then found the nice lily/blueish fabric from the local sewing shop (Beth's oldest is named Lily).  I made sure to sew a billion extra rows of stitches to keep this sling secure, and used crazy stitch patterns to make it look nice...    Got the pink ring from an Arizona company, Sling Rings! And even Beth's husband can rock this sling, look at that tiny baby!

I had planned from the start to make big sister Lily her own sling to match, and here she is with her doll --  I just made a pocket sling and measured it on AJ to make sure it would fit.  She looks GREAT in it! (and I had to try it on myself, too...)

Beth's sling