Tuesday, November 26, 2013

two of four completed

two of four completed
Size 3 and size 2

I stayed with the zigzag and pinked seams.  It is a clean finish and it doesn't ravel.

The two little girls will be in this pastel blue/green.
The older girls are in pinks.
So I'm half way there with this bit of Christmas sewing.
I have this week off and so I'm trying to take advantage of the extra time to sew.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Seam Finishes


Allow me to step back in time about 34 years.  I was a newlywed.   Christmas was coming so I decided to make flannel nightgowns for the little girls in my new extended family.   They were darling.  One was mint green and the other a pale blue.  Lace trim and ruffles were stitched and pressed.  Sweet, sweet nightgowns.  Well at least on the outside.  Eek.  (I'm sure you know what's coming...)

Christmas morn the presents were opened and the sweet nightgowns were unwrapped and the little girls ran over to their mom to show them off.  Well the mom turned them inside out to see how they were made.  Her response was "You didn't finish the seams."  Oh dear, I was embarrassed and even a little hurt that she chose to find fault instead of delight.  But I learned a very good lesson.  What a garment looks like on the inside is just as important as on the outside. 

So now I try to make sure I finish the seams.  I am working on flannel pajamas for our granddaughters.  And although I know neither of my sweet daughters-in-love would embarrass me by checking my work I want the PJ's to be darling and well made. 

I am on my first top and it has been a hoot.  The first seam I did a French seam as that  is one of my favorites - well the flannel is thick so it seemed a bit bulky.  So the next seams, shoulders, I decided to do a 'turned and stitched' finish.  That worked well but when I went to the next seam there was gathering so I did an straight seam, zigzag and pinked the edges - okay by now I'm feeling silly that I have three seams and they are all different finishes... What to do?  I called my mom.  We laughed about my progress so far.  Mom had a great idea - seam binding.  Perfect but I want it soft not scratchy.  The answer make my own seam binding from the same flannel.

My plan is to go over the pinked seam with seam binding - does it need it?  No, but it will look more uniform with the rest of the top.  Happy sewing - and after 34 years I'm still learning!!  :-)

mark the lines on the bias I did 1.5 inches wide

line up and sew into a tube

Cut continuously to the end

My strip ready to be ironed

This is a great little tool I bought at Nancy's Notions.  It folds the seam binding and you just follow it with an iron.

7 yards of matching flannel seam binding
I didn't use the tool she shows.  Just my normal cutting guide - it worked great.
Just for fun I'm adding the pictures of the different seams so far...
At least my mom will get  giggle.
Outside of PJ top so far
Pattern called for seam binding at neck to finish the raw edge.
The French seam  - as you can see it's bulky

turned and stitched shoulder seams

Back bodice stitched to gathered back - straight stitched, zigzagged and then pinked the edge...
Good grief, Charlie Brown!
We are going to the store today.  I think I will stop and buy one more yard of this fabric and start again.  I can just save this for reference of different seam finishes.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

French Seams

I love a French seam.  It is so finished and polished.  But I was struggling on how to do it with armholes.  Well I found a GREAT tutorial and want to share it on.
image by Grainline

I am working on pajamas for our granddaughters and would like the seams finished so they can go in and out of the washing machine numerous times with out any raveling.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


No 'selfies' but this is the completed bra.  It is dark charcoal with light gray elastic.
The lining behind the button holes is a fun red cotton and you can just see it peeking out...
I do an extension on the pattern so I can do buttons and button holes in place of hook and eye closure.  It is just my preference.
I also love the softness of cotton.  So I cut my pattern on the bias and it gives all the stretch needed.
I hope you try it sometimes it really is a comfy fun foundation garment.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Maybe yes and maybe no...

I am almost finished with an undergarment... new bra.  I love making my own and needed one more.  The body is put together and the straps are done - but need to get the straps sewn on and the button - button hole closure complete.  We'll see how this evening goes.

I love a button closure!  I make an extension (I have pictures - will post on next time with the finished garment.) for buttons

photo from we sew retro

This gives you some idea of what I mean.

My wonderful kids and grandchildren are coming for dinner and then we are going to the church harvest party.  What a great way to spend the evening.  So maybe I will get my sewing done and maybe not...  :-)

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Reading the Rules - Sewing Challenge

Eek!  I really should read the rules better.  The Sewing Challenge clearly states: The garment must be for you and not someone else.  Well since there are only a couple days left in October I may fail the challenge in the first month. 

I will see what I can do quickly.  Hope you are all having fun meeting the challenge.  Sew Blessed Maw made a really cute tunic top. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Christmas Sewing Begins

Christmas is coming!!!  It's time to start on some Christmas sewing so here is my next project:

Cozy flannel PJ's for four sweet granddaughters.
One Christmas years ago I received a beautiful pink flannel nightgown, pink bathrobe and pink fuzzy slippers.  It was a lovely set and really made a memory for me.  But the little girls wear PJ's as they are warmer.  So this year pajamas win out but in a few years when they are 10 or 11 I think a lovely flannel nightgown, robe and slippers will be in order.

Birthday Dress (2) is now complete

With canning etc. sewing hasn't happened... but now that the canning is complete I had Saturday to sit and sew.  It was delightful!!

The brown is a belt so can be tied in the back, front, or side.
Or can be replaced entirely with another complementary belt.

Much the same construction as before.
Hand picked under stitching

French seams

This dress had a gathered skirt.  I like to zigzag over a light cord for gathering.

Pull the cord to start the gather

very nice and smooth gathers

Again hand picked zipper.  I love - love - love this method!!!
It wouldn't work for jeans but for a dress or skirt it works great.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Next Birthday Dress

Our eldest granddaughter is turning six.  She requested a dress for her birthday this year.  She put in an order for pink.

So this is the plan:
This is a soft warm pink I bought dark brown to make the belt.  I'm using view A.  I thought a chocolate brown shrug would make it just right for fall/winter.
I found a beautiful dress that I'm using as my inspiration.
I wish I could have found the exact material... but it wasn't to be.
I will post pictures  when it's finished.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Another blog - really...

What was I thinking... Do I really need/want one more blog.  Do you sometimes you have a great idea, or at the time it seems like a great idea, but then reality sets in... do I honestly have time or even material to generate another blog?

I thought a blog just dedicated to sewing would be fun - and maybe in the future that will happen...

But my life is such a blend of events and tasks.  Sometimes I'm sewing, sometimes I'm canning, or putting food by, sometimes I have fun family events and news to share.  I don't live a catagorized life and that's a good thing I like the mix.  All that to say - I'm just not sure I can keep three blogs going.  I will stick with The Sweet Little Bird as my main way of sharing who I am and what I'm up to.  And in the event that there is someting marvolus in a sewing event or project I will post it to Robin's Bobbin.

all the very best,
a little bird, Robin's Bobbin, Hives and Honey Bees (aka me)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Garment a month challenge by Sarah Liz

Is hosting a make a garment a month challenge.
If you would like to join click on the link above and let's have some fun sewing!!
Remember to keep your bobbin bobbing!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

And a little coat to match...

My mom gave me this solid red fabric when she came out for a visit.  I thought it would make a cute doll coat for Dear Granddaughter #4. 
So birthday gifts are now complete.  I think she will be tickled with the new dress for herself and a dress and coat for her new dolly.
Now I need to think of a new sewing project!
Granddaughter #1 saw the dress below and asked if I would make her a new dress too.  Her birthday is the first part of November so maybe that will be the next project.  :-)
Keep your bobbin bobbing. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Doll's Dress

The matching doll dress is finished.  I hope our little one thinks its fun to have a dress for her doll that matches hers.

I bought this doll a few years back as my 'model'.  We bought the older granddaughters dolls for Christmas and I made a couple of outfits for them.  I couldn't take their dolls out of the box to test the clothes on so it made sense to just buy an extra.
My doll is an 18 inch Madame Alexander doll.  Very much the same size as the American Girl dolls. 
There are some fun free patterns for this size doll. 
Another great resource is
I found this book second hand and have really enjoyed it.  It is full of fun patterns for 12, 14, 16, and 18 inch dolls.
Happy sewing - keep your bobbin bobbing...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Birthday Dress

Our youngest granddaughter will turn three this weekend.  For her birthday from Mimi and Papa there will be a new dress for her and a matching dress for her new doll. (Shh, she doesn't know she's getting the doll yet.)

Here is her birthday dress - I don't have the doll's dress completed yet but will post when it is.



French Seams are my favorite

I hand picked the under-stitching

I also hand picked the zipper.
I loved this!!!!