Saturday, October 31, 2009

Piped Collar

Making your own piping and attaching it to a Peter Pan collar is easy, and gives any garment a more professional look. Here are the basic steps.

I like to use baby cording, which I order from Working with one collar at a time, cut a piece of cording the length of the outer edge of the collar. Fold the fabric at a 45 degree angle (the fold line should be the length of the cording) and cut along the fold line.

Measure in 1" from the cut edge, to cut a bias strip.

Wrong side together, fold the bias strip over the cording. Using a zipper or cording foot, stitch close to the cording to make your piping. I have used a contrasting thread so that it can be seen in the photos. You would normally use thread to match the fabric.

Clip into the fabric, close to the stitching line, at 1/2" intervals.

Check the seam allowance for your pattern and with right sides together, pin the piping to the outer edge of the collar. Stitch close to the cording, over the previous stitching line. * Sew around the curve of the collar in a continuous motion. Stopping and lifting the presser foot to pivot will cause small points in your collar.

Right sides together, pin the collar lining to the collar.

Using the previous stitching line as a guide, stitch the collar and collar lining together. *Stitch slightly to the left of the first stitching line.

Trim the outer edge of the collar, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Clip into the seam allowance about every 1/2".

Turn the collar right side out and press. Repeat the steps for the other collar and continue the construction of your garment.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"What Have You Been Doing Fun?"

"What have you been doing fun?" This is the question that our family has begun asking each other when we have a chance to talk. Our four adult children are scattered around the world so when we talk we are REALLY catching up! We have discovered, that when we stopped asking,"What have you been doing?" to "What have you been doing fun?" the dynamics of the conversations began to change. "Fun", by our families definition, does not have to be big and expensive but can also be little insignificant things. By challenging each other to have more fun, we have become more aware of how we are spending our free time and get some really neat ideas from each other.

This weekend was not exciting, but we totally enjoyed it!

Went for a walk through the neighborhood to enjoy the Fall weather. (Walked chilly!)

Read favorite blogs while he watched the ballgame.

Played with colored pencils while he watched another ballgame. (I was pleased that I could find things to do during the ballgames!)

No nap after church, but the phone call WAS from Iraq!

Took our time with the paper.

Coffee on the deck, where we discussed, "What kind of animal noise is that in the woods?"

Took new camera on a "field trip." (See above pictures)

Read camera books, so that I will not have to take 75 pictures to get 3 good ones on each outing!

We also discovered that the kids enjoy talking to us more if we are not bored and "Wishing you were here." We can hardly wait for the Fall foliage to peak during the next few weeks. We are already making our plans!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Floss Wrapped Rickrack

Floss wrapped rickrack is an easy technique used to add extra color to your project. The rickrack can be either machine stitched to the fabric first, or stitched to the fabric using only the floss. I used floss wrapped rickrack to edge the collar of the romper for "First Day of Spring", and on the dress "Spring Flowers."

Using three strands of DMC floss, thread the needle and tie a knot in one end of the thread. Insert the needle through the back of the fabric and come up above the rickrack in one of the "valleys."

Insert the needle through the fabric below the rickrack, and come out above the rickrack. Pull the thread all the way through.

Continue to the end of the rickrack and tie off on the wrong side of the fabric.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bullion Duck Daygown

Need a daygown for cool weather? This daygown is made from pattern #101 out of satin batiste and would be just as pretty made out of flannel. I used whipped stitched piping for the trim and a Bullion duck design on the yoke. If you have not quite mastered the Bullion stitch, this is a great project for beginners. These Bullion stitches are not complicated and it will not matter if one baby duck is slightly different from the others! All of the stitches can be found in the "Heirloom Embroidery Book." Bullion Ducks

Milliner Needle- size #3 or #5

DMC floss - 726, 209, 368, 722, 157

Two strands of floss for all Bullion stitches.

One strand of floss for all Straight and Lazy Daisy stitches.

One strand of floss, wrapped twice for the French Knot eyes.

Purple flowers - Bullion Loop Stitch

Stems, beaks, and feet - Straight Stitch

Leaves - Lazy Daisy Stitch

*The numbers indicate the number of wraps for each Bullion stitch.

*Bullion stitches with 11 wraps or more will need to be tacked in place with a straight stitch.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Boxes from Home

Once again we have a kid in Iraq. Between two of our sons, daughter-in-law, and son-in-law this is our fifth deployment during the past 8 years. From all of this we have become really good at sending boxes to the military! Although our soldiers are well supplied, those boxes from home are special. They usually ask that we send their favorite deodorant, shampoo, or shaving lotion. But sometimes the requests get a little odd. We have sent boot scrapers, women's hunting socks, the best severe weather hand lotion we could find, and Charmin toilet paper. We always send individual size packs of lemonade mix, hard candy, trial mix, and favorite magazines. Last week I was told that the weather is now cool enough to send chocolate. Candy bars are now arriving IN the wrappers!

What is appreciated the very most are the boxes that say "home." Our daughter-in-law told us that keeping them feeling part of the family while they are away is the most important thing we can do. Besides sending weekly e-mails with the boring details of our lives we try to send a small box about twice a month. Because they are able to watch some of the college football games, we recently sent a "ballgame box." It had all of the shippable food that guys like to eat while watching football. The next week the request was for caramel apple dip since apples were plentiful at the chow hall. I was puzzled for awhile when the two younger boys kept asking for Twizzlers. How could it be their favorite candy and I not remember? It turned out that it reminded them of going to movies with their oldest brother!

Last week while on the phone with the son in Iraq, I had a first hand glimpse of how fun the boxes can be. He had me hold on while he answered his door. I heard him say, "Sure, just a minute" and he came back to the phone laughing. One of the guys was going door Trick or Treating with the little pumpkin that his wife had sent. Can you guess what the friend was dressed as..........a soldier!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

DMC Reference Book

Some of you have had trouble finding the DMC reference book that I recommended in a previous blog. I have found it online and want to share the information. Go to , click on Shop Online, and then click on Specials. The book cover is different from mine, but it does state that the book has the actual floss samples. The product number is #w100ncs and the price is $24.95. The reference book is still one of my most useful embroidery tools!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Those Halloween Costumes...

Most of us have made more than our share of Halloween costumes! With four kids under 10 years old, the three oldest being boys, and Halloween being my husbands birthday, things could get a little complicated. I never had the time to make elaborate costumes, but did end up with a costume box for them to choose from. I would start praying in September that the majority would pick something already in the box. Fortunately, they were a pretty easy bunch to get along with, so we tended to see Superman, Batman, G.I Joe, and a pirate year after year.

After her first trip to Disney World, Anna came home with Minnie Mouse ears and I knew I had the beginning of a costume. I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled across the red and white fabric on the clearance table at Wal-Mart. It was a stiff nylon fabric that I couldn't imagine what it could be used for and it was marked down to $2.00 a yard! I used a basic yoke dress pattern that I already had on hand, serged the seams, skipped facings, turned under raw edges, and used Velcro in the back. The pantaloons were made from white broadcloth and a shortened pants pattern. We already had the shoes, tights and gloves. This was her all time favorite costume and she won first place at the school costume contest!

I could post many great pictures of "costumes past", but this was the only one that I had permission to use. I respect the kid's privacy and live in fear that if I make them mad they will refuse to help me with computer or camera questions.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Going Crazy with Color!

I can drive myself crazy trying to choose the right color embroidery floss to match the fabric! The problem was finally solved after a friend recommended the DMC reference book. The book can be found at most stores where DMC can be purchased, and is worth every dollar.

The book has fold out pages which have actual samples of DMC floss in every color that the company makes, along with the reference number next to it. I use the book for every single project to satisfy the nagging doubt, "Is this color floss the closet match to the fabric?"

I spread the book out in good lighting and lay my fabric next to the floss samples to find the best match. About 50% of the time I discover that I do not have the needed colors on hand and I then have a good excuse to make another trip to the fabric store!

You may notice that there is not a blue floss in the picture. That is because I discovered that there is not a DMC shade of blue close enough to suit me. Having the book on hand has also encouraged me to use a wider range of colors with my embroidery instead of using the same favorite ones over and over!


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