Embroidery Begun: Custom Embroidered Dress

I have begun the embroidery on another custom order dress. Here is a preview of the collar embroidery. I am doing the embroidery on the buttons. There will also be embroidery on the sleeves.


What I'm Working on Today

Today I begin cutting out these 2 fabrics. They will be embroidered dresses. The customer chose yellow for the first one and lavender for the second, perfect choice in my opinion. Can't wait to see completion.


Embroidery on Custom Blouse

A customer ordered a white blouse with embroidery. This post is merely to show the embroidery. I have just begun assembly of blouse, and will do a "proper" post when it is done.

 Placket detail


Custom Order Women's Smocked Dress: Pink Print

I had a request to do a custom smocked dress for the same lady who ordered the blue embroidered roses dress. She selected the material for me to order, and gave me the details as to what sort of pattern she had in mind, as well as sending a photo of possible smocking idea. I planned the smocking, selected the thread colors, taking photos of options for her to chose. Pictured below is the selection she went with.
 When the smocking was finished, I used headed pins to show her placement options for roses. She selected a lovely pattern.
Below are photos of the finished dress.


Custom Etsy Order Embroidered Dress Photos

 Full front view.
 "Waistline" view of roses.
 Collar. (Sorry it turned out fuzzy!)
 Sleeve detail.
I'm very happy with the way the sleeves turned out. Customer requested "gathered but not puffy" so I "freehanded" these down from a puffy sleeve, and they worked perfectly! Thank the Lord.
 Full back view.
Detail of side bow. 
Customer requested bows on the side, and they are really cute.

This customer found me on Etsy, and requested a custom order dress. After convos, we settled on what she was looking for, and found the material via joanns.com, which I bought at my local Jo-ann Fabrics (Don't ever order from Jo-ann's online,,,they are completely terrible, as in, they don't carry what  they list, and they ship you SOMETHING without knowing anything about it.). I made the dress according to the measurements provided by the customer. Here is the finished product.


Flat Sheet Converted to a Nightgown

One of my nightgowns recently wore out, and needed immediate replacement. I went to our favorite thrift store and bought several flat sheets, the most expensive one being $3.00 -- a king size. The one I used for this gown was a queen size, and cost $0.69. I didn't think the texture of the material would go well with eyelet that I normally trim my gowns with, so I used the sheet to also make ruffles (I have leftover despite that). It is one of the most comfortable gowns I've ever had!

So next time you're looking for material, consider checking out flat sheets at garage or yard sales or thrift stores! You can also use fitted sheets if you clip the elastic at the edge, but you'll get more out of a flat sheet.

Coming next (hopefully, once I get the photo): a picture of a dress I made from another sheet.


Custom Order for little Kenna

Kenna's Mom wanted me to make some skirts and a dress for her. We met at Jo-Ann Fabrics and chose patterns and materials.
 She decided she wanted five skirts and one dress. Pictured are the results.
It was so much fun for me to watch someone "discover" all the options of material out there. Each person has a different taste, and I'm learning to appreciate that. I had fun standing back and watching someone who had an entire different taste and complexion to deal with; I somewhat "discovered" more material, too, as I saw it through someone else's eyes!


More Custom Sewing for A.: Jumper/Dress and Basic Dress

Again, I had a custom sewing order that the client selected and brought me the materials they wanted. A. chose a sleeveless dress this time, for her daughter to wear underneath a sweater or as a jumper with a blouse underneath, making the dress more versatile.

 She also ordered a basic dress in this daisy print, having fallen in love with a dress I had ready-made that was too small for her daughter.

Thank you, A. for your business!


Blouses Finished

I recently finished some blouses for myself. I use a basic pattern, but normally, I add pleats.
Here is a basic blouse I made, stretching it out of scraps, which is why I didn't add pleats...there wasn't enough fabric! 

The next blouse is an example of what I do if I haven't enough material to put in the 1/2" pleats I normally make: just make 1/4" pleats! (I have three on each side of the placket here.)

And, finally, here is a "normal" blouse, featuring three 1/2" pleats on either side of the placket. 

I also had to add a seam in the center back of the blouse, which is normally cut on the fold. Adding the seam in the back enabled me to squeeze the blouse out of the scraps, and it is not noticeable in either blouse.


Dresses for Myself :-)

Here are two dresses I recently made for myself.
The green dress is a basic, zipper-back dress, with elasticized waist. The bodice has pleats in the center, one 2” in the very center with a 1” pleat on either side. The “teacup” sleeves have a gathered cap with small three pleats at the lower edge.

The grey dress is a pattern I made myself, one I’m sure has been previously designed, but which I have never seen before. Dress is “round” princess seamed front and back, with inverted pleats at the waistline continuing the seam to the hem of the flared skirt, with a “straight” seam in center back of dress. Buttons are down entire front of dress. Sleeves are plain, fitted, with a button in the hem allowance, fitting the sleeve to the wrist. A Mandarin collar finishes the neckline. Dress is made so that there is no break shown in seams at waistline.


Special Order Birthday Presents: Nightgown and Housecoat/Robe

 My oldest brother ordered a nightgown and a housecoat/robe for his wife's birthday. He knew neither her size, nor what material he wanted, though he hoped I could find something with hearts and incorporate heart-shaped buttons in. I emailed him pictures of the two nightgown styles we use here, without any comments on what I thought Nicole would like; I was really happy when he chose the one I thought she would prefer. I shopped for the flannel for the housecoat, and found nothing I was thrilled with at the first store, nor really at the second store, but I called him with the options and he chose the bright/deep pink with hearts that I described to him, over the other options there. I was waiting a few days on the calico to go on sale for the nightgown, and so was able to email him links to the only print choice I felt was just right for Nicole, but he left the color choice up to my discretion. I went with the lavender, and loved the way it turned out! I was disappointed that I could not find eyelet, but ended up being glad that I had to go with something else, as this trim matched the delicacy of the lavender much better. Both my brother and sister-in-law are happy with the results.
(And, thankfully, my sister-in-law has been my friend for about ten years and I was able to recall some conversations we had had that gave me some hints as to her size. Being a loose-fitting nightgown, it didn't matter so much, either. :-))


Princess Seamed Custom Order Dress Finished

 I finished another custom order dress in the last few weeks. This was a simple, "everyday" sort of dress, and a joy to make. Again, the client bought, and handed to me, the fabric, zipper, thread, and prepared pattern. I had to do some alterations, such as making the neckline a little smaller, the sleeves thinner and longer, and add length to the dress in order to fit the girl, but I already had the measurements. The client chose to hem the dress herself, so it is unfinished in the photo. The dress is round princess seamed in front and back both.
It took 4 hours of labor, amounting to $40.00. Are you interested in the same pattern?


Custom Order Finished

I just finished a custom order for a dress someone wanted “reproduced”. The customer provided the material she wanted, instructing me what she wanted each print used for. She had a dress for her daughter she wanted made in a bigger size and neither of us had a pattern that matched. I was able to pull a pattern from my files that was the bodice she was looking for, and I had a circle skirt pattern that I had to alter in order to add the gathers the customer was wanting. I had to add the ties, and I measured the ties of the dress I was “copying” to use as the pattern for the dress I was making. Both mother and daughter are pleased with the finished product.

Pictured here is the dress they wanted reproduced (the white with the pink/rose print -- above), along with the dress they had me make.


Special Order Dresses Finished

I was hired to make some special order smocked dresses and recently they were picked up; thanks so much to Jordyn for being a model for me! (Click on the image to see it in a larger size.)
The above dress is a basic style, the one below is the classic bishop style.


Modest, Feminine Blouses Available to Order

After many years of searching and trying different patterns, I finally found a blouse pattern just as I wanted it to be...In our pattern box, where it's been for years. And everyone that sees them loves them, including my dad and brothers...they actually comment on how they like these. So I'm making them available to you to order "special", meaning that I will use the materials you send me, and do the sewing for you, rather than "stocking" them.
These blouses fit beautifully, have feminine gathered sleeves, three pleats on either side of the buttons down the center, and a rounded collar. There is a lovely long-sleeve option, as well as the short sleeve option shown.

Materials needed: 2 1/4 to 3 yards fabric (depending on size), 6 t0 8 buttons (depending on size), 1 spool (at least 200 yards of Gutterman or Coats and Clark brand) thread to match fabric, 1 package 1/4" elastic.

Sizes 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 are $20.00 for the labor.
Sizes 18 are $25.00 for the labor.
Contact me about sizing details to learn your size.


Lavender Bonnet with Rose

Basic lavender bonnet has a hand embroidered purple/lavender rose in the center back, and a ruffle around front. Elastic in the back at the neck ensures a proper fit. Ties are lavender. Easy care poly/cotton.
Size: Newborn to 12 months.

Purple Smocked Bonnet

Purple Cotton Bonnet is smocked in corresponding thread color in a diamond design with a row of stitching on either side of the diamonds. Front tie ribbons have small bow where they are attached to the bonnet.
Size: 6-18 months.
$15.00 plus shipping.