Friday, December 11, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Chrismas!

Thank you to all  who left such sweet comments on Carly's coat. I really appreciate all of your words and look forward to reading them every day.  While I think I would blog about sewing if no one ever found me, your following has made this experience such a treat. I have learned so much from all of you and hope I can do the same in some small way. Thanks again.

Chickadee Workshop was wondering what "happened" to all these clothes once they are outgrown.  DD#2, Mom of Sophie, packs hers up and gives them to DD#1 for Carlie. After Carlie has used them they are carefully packed away for the next generation, seriously. This is why it is called heirloom clothing. People in the Southern part our country, my birthplace,  have been doing this for generations, which I think shows such a wonderful respect for classic design and skill.  I distinctly remember my cousins children wearing the same dresses to Easter Sunday services that their moms wore and that their grandma, my Aunt Tita, had made them. If you study children's clothing, at least what is available high end, much of it has been made in the same style for years. Check out the Wooden Soldier catalogue for some great ideas. So, these little garments will be carefully cleaned and packed away with the archive tissue for the next group of babies.
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This brings me to my next project. I will call it Sophie's Cranberry dress.

My plan is a smocked yoke dress with puffy sleeves, very classic. I don't really have a pattern for this so will pull together pieces from different patterns to make this work. My inspiration is this dress from "The Best of Australian Smocking and Embroidery". The book has pictures and plates, no patterns or recommendations so you are on your own there. It is a great book however and I will do an adaptation of this design:


Sorry about the big glare from the flash against the glossy paper, but I think you get the idea. I'm not sure how I will work out the prints but I will "make it work." I am going to pleat this as soon as I am done posting and will start smocking tomorrow.

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DH and I are trying to buy local for our Christmas presents as much as possible. We are blessed with many Amish neighbors but about 30 miles from here is the largest settlement of Amish in NYstate in a little town called Heuvalton. We have bought a few things from our local Amish farms but today took a ride to Heauvalton and went shopping on several different farms. We got all sorts of things from leather goods to baskets to aprons, etc. Here is a picture of the baskets we purchased froma sweet young couple who seemed so greatful for our purchase. It was clear they were just starting out. Mr. Zook signed and dated all of his baskets which I thought was just wonderful. They are really beautifully made. We also purchased from a Mennonite family, right here in our little village, some wonderful jellies that have quite a reputation. The jellies and some other local Amish and Mennonite treats will go into the baskets which will given to our loved ones. I am really excited about these gifts and also very excited about buying local. When it is a three hour drive to a Toys R Us, you can get pretty clever with your shopping and the best is that you learn in the end you really don't need a Toys R Us and you can help someone support their family. Buying local keeps the money local which we all know means it is not going off shore. Is there anything in your area that is unique and you have access to that would make a great gift for the holidays? If so, I would love to hear about it..........Bunny


The star basket is a lazy susan!

18 comments:

  1. While we may not have many "gift shops", DH and I really do try to keep our local economy in the black. From eating out to home maintenance, we want our community to thrive, so we help it along if we can. Lovely baskets, by the way!

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  2. That catalogue inspired me too :)) Can't remember how I got it- maybe it was connected to Storybook Heirloom?
    My mom used to make these dresses for us, and being the youngest, I got to enjoy tons of hand-me-downs, which was such a treat since I adore the soft feel of worn clothes :)) Here in Los Angeles that style somehow didn't work for us, I can't put my finger on it, but my girls always looked out of place...
    The fabric is beautiful and so is the inspiration dress.

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  3. Bunny, the cranberry dress will be wonderful. I look forward to reading about your progress. How lucky your family is!! I am totally in love with the fabric you are going to use-is it vintage, reproduction, or just plain special?

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  4. It is good to help the local economy. We have craft markets here with lots of home made goods. Sophie's dress is going to be lovely - is that 2 matching fabrics or does it have a border?

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  5. Very nice! And I like your keeping it local! That way, you help your neighbors. Decades ago (when I lived there), the City of Detroit did the same thing as a city-wide experience, and using $2 bills! It was great to keep the money "at home"!

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  6. The coat is amazing. How wonderful that it will all be saved for the next generation of babies.

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  7. Hi Bunny!
    I love the fabrics you choose for the little ones' dresses... the outfits are (and will be) spectacular. I have just one grand niece who just loves the things I make for her...

    Kathie

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  8. There are some local farmer's markets that I'm sure sell some crafts but the hours are terrible for working people. Your post has reminded me why I dislike where I'm living at the moment...lack of culture and uniqueness. That star-shaped lazy susan is a perfect example. Where else would you find such a wonderful gift? I was wondering about what happened to the clothes when the children outgrew them. My grandmother has an entire attic full of formal gowns that all of her daughters have worn over the years. If the styles weren't so specific to the time, I would have loved to wear them (and if I was 30 pounds lighter!). What a wonderful tradition of passing down the clothing.

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  9. Thanks for your detailed answer to my query about the future use of the wonderful clothing your make. I was hoping for that answer. Unfortunately, no one in my family (before me) sewed quality garments, so I had no example. I rarely see anything like that here, though I understand the younger generation is beginning to buy heirloom quality clothing for special occasions for their young ones.

    My plan is to start that ball rolling for my own family. I'm going to sew a few baby garments (and crochet some blankets) for a "hope chest" for future grandbabies. And then when said children do arrive, I will continue on with more specific things, like the ones you are making. I do love sewing for little girls! I plan to have Sew Cute Couture in my library for future reference, as well as my Sew Beautiful magazines.

    Love the look of your next project. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

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  10. Thank you for taking me back to a part of the country I still consider home after all these years. The baskets are fabulous!...sigh. There are many of artists in the mountain area where I live because of the resorts of Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear. Lots of painters, jewellry designers, glass artists and furniture makers, some working in the Arts and Crafts, lodge or the plein air style - not much moderne. Of course there are countless bears...chain-sawed bears made from logs or trees. Nearly every cabin, hotel or resident has one (or more!) outside. They are kitschy but you've got to give it up to anyone who can be creative with logging equipment!

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  11. Beautiful baskets. I am so glad to hear that your gorgeous childrens clothing will be carefully packed away for the next generation.

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  12. Hi Bunny~ ~I just found you and am now a follower. I recently began sewing again after many years. I also knit and spin so I really don't know how wise this is cause I really don't need another hobby! Yikes. I was wanting a few aprons so I began there with the sewing. Not sure how far it will go, time will tell.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  13. I like to buy gifts from the League of NH Craftsmen. I know all the pieces are made in NH, and the money will go to the artist to support their business. There are many League shops around the state and there is such a variety of handcrafted items, from jewelry to pottery, hand blown glass, baskets, wool products and more. It is fun to go and just look at what artists in my state are doing.

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  14. Hello, Bunny. You've been making some pretty things.

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  15. Bunny.- estoy un largo rato aquí en tu blog viendo las ultimas novedades. Que bonito el pequeño abrigo rojo, de veras. Todos sus detalles son bellísimos. Gracias por todos tus comentarios en mi blog. Espero que tengas una buenas fiestas de Navidad en compañía de tu familia y aprovecho ya para enviarte mis mejores deseos para el nuevo año.

    Saludos, Paco

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  16. Hi Bunny,

    Thanks for your comment after mine on Emily's blog. I just found Pattern Review and thought you had to join, so I did. I am new to the internet world of sewing and blogs. I haven't sewn much since my now 16 year old was a teen. Now, she has a little girl that I can sew for, too. That little red coat you made is precious.

    Maybe I'll get more internet savvy soon;)

    Merry Christmas,
    June
    (I have a new ID now)

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  17. OOPS, I hit the wrong button! My daughter is 26, not 16! I'll bet someone wondered how she was past her teens:0

    June

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