Wednesday, May 21, 2014


 My new little rescue pup Olaf is such a cutie, and has really helped me to heal after losing Molly so unexpectedly in February.
 He is full of loyal love.

And lots of cuddles.
 He is one of the most good-natured dogs we have ever owned.

 He loves to be with his pack, and enjoys being the center of attention.
 He is a comfort to my heart.
 He is very mellow and does not get frightened easily. He is all about chilling and enjoying the moment.
 He is very kind to Sophie, who remains the pack leader and alpha.
 Thanks Olaf for coming into our lives!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Emily's Teal Lace Gradution Dress


 What a whirl-wind of a week!
Finishing up this dress for my sister and attending her gradation, fighting sickness and a fever,  welcoming family into town, throwing a reception, finishing up projects for work.....

But, It was all so worth it and every step of the way there were Blessings from God. So many family and friends helped make this the most amazing of weeks. Congrats to my beloved sister. 
My Civil Engineer. Go and make the world a better place!

 For Emily's dress I used a cotton stretchy blend as the base with a stretchy lace overlay.
My Aunt bought this fabric for us when we visited Denver in March.
The dress has a yoke which is only the lace, to give a modest, yet transparent feel. 
The skirt is a wide a-line shape and connects to a waist band. The dress zips up the back- until the yoke begins, from there a key-hole forms, and then the lace yoke closes with a metal hook and eye.

This is the pattern we used as a base, New Look 6243...
However, we raised the waistline (a lot!), widened the skirt, the back key hole had to be added (since Em asked for one and there is not one on the pattern) and I added a bunch of crazy steps because I had to baste the lace over the solid fabric pattern pieces, before anything could be stitched together. 

The princess-seams weren't doing anything for Emily's figure so I added gathers under the bust-which did the trick. The result was a dress that did not look like the pattern we started with-but turned out much better than it would have if we had followed the pattern! This is not because the pattern was bad, it was because Emily was hard to fit, and since she is petite, among many other variables we ran into during the fittings, the style needed to be altered to flatter her shape.

In the end, we all loved the dress, and while there will always be things I wish I had done differently, I think it was a winner with it's owner!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

My very busy April....

Hey dear Readers! Long time no see!
It is so  hard to decide where to begin in the long list of things that have happened lately. 
My life which is normally pretty slow has really been kicking it up a notch this year.
I guess I'll start this (warning!) very long picture-update with sewing, as per usual.  

At a garage sale recently I picked up this beautiful vintage sewing basket known as a "Princess".
Check out all the cool pictures of these vintage baskets on pinterest here.

However, I haven't had any time to sew for myself as of late because of two major things!
My sister Emily, is graduating with her degree in Civil Engineering.....!!!
(so proud!)
....and I am sewing her graduation dress to wear under her cap and gown-and then to wear without the gown for the rest of the day during her reception. 
She choose this teal fabric and lace while we were in Denver during March.

 She has had only one fitting since she is 1 1/2 hours away burrowing away these last few weeks and studying hard!  I am trying to get it ready for one last fitting this weekend. Hope it turns out!

I also got a job a the National Dance Institute sewing dance costumes part-time, 
which is really a blessing and which I enjoy to no end!  That was a God-gift right there, and I am so thankful. a lot of my time is spent making large quantities of matching ballet skirts of can-can dresses! Yesterday I spent 9 hours at the theater doing dress rehearsal... with 550 kids jammed into the building!

In historical sewing, not much has been done, as, like I said, I haven't had much time. 
But I did find an old hat from the 70's or 80's at a yard sale that was the perfect shape for Civil War!
It has disgusting fake flowers and plastic-y  ribbons which I tore off and replaced with new trimmings....not completely sewn on yet, but looking great!

In March I had to work on a practice skirt for my dancing-which  has really taken off I am proud to say!  I dance twice a week and have been at it for about 5 months now. It feels like I never quit as a kid and i am grateful to say I am caught up on all our dances. I do Mexican "Folklorico" dancing, which involves much stomping and twirling and long, double-circle skirts. This type of folk dance has nothing to do with Flamingo as it is from the different regions and states of Mexico, rather than dances from Spain. 
When we perform we wear peasant-y type blouses and yarn/ribbon hair pieces and huge skirts. This is my practice skirt I use during lessons. I bought the purple base off a lady for $15 dollars and added the yellow border and trim!
 The circumfrence of the hem is over 550 inches!
That way we can raise the hem over our shoulders! 

In other news...
After the death of Molly in February, Sophie got lots of attention...and a new outfit!
 Which I am not sure she really liked all the much. But after going from three dogs, down to one dog in a matter of 3 years, we definitely gave her lots of attention.

Hence my next piece of news...I got a new rescue dog! From the same rescue group Molly came from!

Meet Olaf!
 Our first male dog since I was a toddler!
Olaf is only 6 months old and was tied in a bag and tossed out a car window (somewhere in Mexico) to be driven over. Thankfully the volunteers at SAMM org. (save a mexican mutt) found him and took him into foster care. When I called the head lady, grief stricken, to tell her about Molly' death, she told me about this little guy. A little over a month later (with all his shots and records-we call them his passport!) he got the okay to leave Mexico and was driven over 10 hours by SAMM volunteers. to get to us!
he is such a wild bunch of love an loyalty.
Never was there a puppy with such a happy disposition. 
I thank God for this lil guy. Such a blessing rolled into a fluffy package!

I have also been sketching a lot and have been experimenting with color shading.

As always, historical influence prevails.
 PBS is currently running an epic documentary series on the Civil War every Monday night and so I was inspired to sketch Civil War pictures.

In the reading department, I have too many books to read and am trying to get  through them as quick as I can so I can devour the other ones!
These are the ones I have read or am reading currently. 
"Lady Almina and the Real Downtown Abbey" is excellent, a biography by the current Lady Canarvon (Fiona) about her  husbands ancestor, Lady Almina Canarvan who ruled Highclere Castle (the filming site for Downtown Abbey.) during the end of the Victorian era and through the great war and beyond.

Also read about Florence Nightingale and the truth behind her war hospital and how it effected the rest of her life.

 And my fav devotional!
One thousand gifts! My goal was to record 1,000 blessings in my life this year and I am at about 400 so far!

That is what I have been upto and I have really enjoyed this! I know the next few weeks will be super busy too as we throw my sister's graduation party and get her ready to leave the country on a 10-week missions trip.
I have so much to sew for NDI's next performance, and so much to learn for my own dance recital. But i am thankful to God for this time of over-flowing blessings.