Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Family pictures

I started making the dresses in January. I picked the location to match. it was a fun process. I even made my and Ruth's shoes, hair clips, and I even fixed our hair!

the week before these were taken we had an appointment, and thanks to google maps we ended up at the wrong place. sadly my hair was better that week too. so, we set it up for a week later and in that time the photographer got hurt in a car accident. and because she is awesome she set it up for another photographer friend of ours named Nell Aburto to do it.

Leah was sad in many of them because of the yellow flower in the 1st picture. it made her nose orange when she smelled it, so daddy took it. pouts were the result. this is a rather classic Leah face. she seriously came out of the womb making this face, it was a prelude to her fist lusty scream. It won my heart. Esther was a model she was posing, and smiling and having fun the whole time. Ruth did whatever she wanted. that is why there is no pic of me and the girls Ruth didn't want to do it.
we had a ton of fun, and I am happy to have some decent family pictures with all of us in them.

Summer Knit Dress with Peonies Tutorial


I made this dress for my oldest Daughter to wear this summer
Here is the pattern
it is the slip with sleeves. it makes a great knit summer dress too!
I made this a 5t size by adding 5” to the hem and making the neck hole a little bigger.
You need 1 yard of fabric (I used a thrift store gem, of nebulous size).. If in doubt measure your pretty princess from the shoulder along the back, to however long you want the dress and buy according to that.

Pre-shrink the fabric.
Start by finding which way the fabric is stretchiest. This will be the width direction of the dress.
Fold the fabric and cut your pattern pieces out.

And a 2x24” strip for the neckline
With right sides together take your pattern pieces and pin at the shoulders.

When sewing knits is works best to use this stitch. (the small zig-zag)

it won't break as easily as a straight stitch as the fabric stretches. You may need to mess with the tension to make this work right. Also knit can break the thread, so be prepared to thread the needle a few times.
I Sew using the edge of my sewing machine foot as a guide.(this is larger than 1/4 “ and smaller than ½”) don’t forget to backstitch!
Sew sides as indicated on the pattern below the arm holes.

Press. Along the edge of the dress.

Press your fabric strip in half some knit holds pressing better than others it is ok if yours does not.

Pin strip to the neck stretching the strip as you go. If you do not it will come out like an overstretched t-shirt.

when you get back to the beginning close the strip into a circle by lining up the ends right side together at the perfect size, and sew. trim the extra strip.

Sew it in place.

Check the opposite sides for holes in the sewing, and tag along fabric.
Fold up

Then down on the inside and sew encasing the raw edge from attaching the strip.

The unattached edge of the strip does not need to be encased because it will not fray.
Use a large zig zag stitch to sew in place. Or use a double needle for a more professional look.
I do not pin the neck line I find it is actually easier to straiten things as I go.
Trim the extra slack.

Sew the sleeves by folding over once and sewing in place. A bulky hem is not needed. The edge again will not fray.

Sew the hem the same way.

Start by finding some condiment jars spice jars etc. and make a large and small circle template of your desired size. (if they are a little big you can trim your template once it is made)

using the biggest circle figure out how many look good on your dress.

Cut 5 big and 4 small circles (for each flower), and a strip that is 2”by 1/2 “
it works better if the 2” direction is the strechiest.

Start with one of the large circles as a base.

Fold the circle in half, then in half again making a triangle shape. Do not line up the edges perfectly it is better if you do not.
pin the 4 big triangles like this.

prepare all the flowers you want to use to this point.
Attach to the shirt by sewing across the middle in an x be careful not to sew any of the triangles yet.

Attach the triangles by sewing the tip in place like this.

Then make the small circles into triangles too.

place them not lined up with the large ones sew in place the same way you did the large ones. make sure to go back and forth on each corner a few times.
Take to your strip and twist until it bunches up.

and sew right on top of it to make the center of the flower.

The stitching will not show on most knits. trim the extra strip if there is any.

these flowers are very different from knit to knit. these ones got very curled up after it was washed. and thicker knit makes more fluffy flowers.

Now go soak up the sun with your little one.

I will do a round up of other embellishments soon.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I am doing a recital!

it is on 25th of June (Saturday) at 7:00 pm. I am singing with Larry Gray on piano and Luke Hubbard a PHD student on Viola.

It is at the church on the corner of County Rd. E, and the silver lake road in New Brighton (MN)

View Larger Map

we are each performing some solos including works by Bruch, Bach, Debussy, Vaughn-Williams, Mozart and 2 Brahms pieces written for mezzo-soprano, viola, and piano. they are some of the most amazing music ever written. I am not really exaggerating. they are also a lot of work.

we had our 1st rehearsal together today it was fun. I need to practice, but I was not surprised by that revelation. I also feel like if I put in the time we will be fantastic.

I am happy to say that these are some of the nicest people I have ever worked with. I am rarely as comfortable making music with people with so much talent.

there is a good chance of refreshments.
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