Monday, June 17, 2013

Dress a Girl around the World.

About a year ago, I joined this organization as a sewer. We sew dresses for disadvantaged girls around the world. The original premise was to take a pillow slip and create a very simple dress from it.  Many still do that, but I have kind of left the reservation. I found I did not enjoy sewing pillowslips into dresses. I wanted to create more. Today, I use exclusively fabric and have altered the original pattern a bit.
One of the first changes I made to the original DAG pattern was to eliminate the elastic across the top of the dress and add a yoke instead.

Made from coordinating fabrics with the added yoke.

My eldest daughter, who does not sew, crocheted four tops for me.  I added the skirt.

Sometimes, I like to add a peek a boo of lace under the dress. I added the contrast fabrics to extend the print I had. By doing this, I had enough fabric for three dresses. The yoke is shirred with three rows of elastic. I started making headbands to go with each of the dresses as I make them.

This dress is probably made closest to DAG specifications. A tube of fabric with an elastic top, Bias binding and straps with a pocket. I added the touches of lace just because I can.

This is the back view of a dress I created. It is opened a little down the skirt for ease of putting it on.  Since many of these dresses go to places that the mother may not have access to needles, thread, and/or buttons, we make the dresses as simple as we can. Here, instead of button closure, I added ties to the back.  I also used two widths of fabric because I really do like the extra fullness.

The front of the dress with the headband.  I did not have a red flower.  I  keep my eyes open whenever I am out. If I find a red flower, I will replace the one on this band.

I made this dress from a package of coordinating fat quarters I bought. I tore each quarter into three inch strips and then sewed and serged them back together. The straps are made by constructing tubes that are about 1 inch wide and inserting 3/4 inch elastic into them. When I was finished, I think I had a 3x4 inch strip of fabric left.

A close up of the straps and yoke.

This is the underside of the next dress. I sewed this dress in tiers and at each tier, on the inside, I added a ruffle of lace.

This is my twirl dress. I think every little girl deserves a twirl dress at least one time in her life. On this dress, instead of adding the bias ties, I scooped the front out just a tiny bit, then I sewed a piece of fabric that was cut to fit 1x1 across the top front and back. Across the shoulder area, I added 12 inches for each shoulder into the measurement. Once I sewed it onto the dress front and back, I created a casing that I added elastic to. I have used this idea for several of my dresses.
Almost all of the fabric we use in making our dresses is donated so there is very little expense involved in making a little girl happy. If you would like to become involved, you are welcome to contact me for information, or you can find their website on line.  I am planning to make a trip to Africa next year and have hopes of taking about 1000 dresses with me. I would love to include some of your works in my suitcases.  If you do not feel like you have time to sew, perhaps you have fabric you would like to donate to this project. Again, you can contact me to find out how to do that.


Peek-a-boo toes.

The owner of those peek-a-boo toes.  Miss Isabella Katherine.

Napping on the couch while Gramma knits.

Jayce David showing Great Gramma he can almost stand alone. Mommy encouraging him.

Getting the hang of it. He even managed a couple of steps. Jayce will be one year old July 1.
I was in the Garden while the dew was still on the roses.

God gave us memories so we could have roses in January.
To day Miss Isabella and her big brother Darius spent the day with Gramma and Pops while their parents were at work. We started our day by going to Church. Stan and I go in separate cars because he stays afterwards for choir. Good thing today because Miss Isabella decided she did not want to be good. She and Gramma wound up going home mid service. Darius stayed with Pops which was good because we had a visiting Pastor and part of his service was a puppet show.  I enjoyed what I was able to see of it. Glad Darius got to see the entire show.
We really did not do anything special for the day. Stan does not like having a fuss made over him for any reason so I have quit trying. Took me lots of years because my family always loved to have parties and make a big deal out of things.
Miss Isabella's daddy has not been working for several weeks so he has stayed with the kids. Consequently, she does not like to stay with her Gramma. We had a pretty fussy day, even though the pictures do not depict that.  She is a nursed baby and does not take a bottle very well. It is a struggle to get her to take one at all. Since Daddy is back to work and will be busy all summer, including a job in Alaska, she will be getting used to spending time here. I am thinking I might need to get my stroller back from daughter Gina so we can do some outside time this summer.
After Miss Isabella and Darius left and I caught my second wind, Pepper and I went out for a walk around the block. She loves her walks. I just have to ask her if she wants to go and she nearly beats me down the stairs to the door. I have been so inactive all winter, my knees hurt constantly and my ankles are always swollen. It is a vicious circle, you become chronic because you are inactive and you are inactive because you are in constant pain. Stan and I are planning to take a trip to Southeastern Alaska in just two weeks. There will be lots of walking so I started trying to get some walking in to build my stamina. I was able to do one more block than usual tonight.
After I got home, my daughter Angie and her family came down for a few minutes. The live just 6 or 7 houses down the street from us. We got to enjoy watching Jayce practice standing up. He even went from sitting to standing twice on his own.  Of course with all of the cheers and encouragement, he was having a great time. I am sure he will be walking by the end of this week.
I also managed to squeeze in a few moments of knitting. Trying to get my special order hats done. I do not want to have them hanging over my head for too long.
Now it is time for me to do just a few more rows and head to bed. Four wonderful grands will be spending the day with Gramma tomorrow. I am sure it will be a very busy day.
Hope you all had a blessed day.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Look what we found on our front porch on Friday

Levi will be so pleased. Olivia already is.  Thank you mysterious benefactor

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One Special Order finished.-----

 Several weeks ago, I did a post highlighting some of my knits and explaining why I knit. A blog reader saw it and contacted me ordering three hats. One for herself and one for her two daughters. She wanted the same pattern for all three, but a different color for the smallest one.

 This week, I finished the smallest hat. The pattern is called Petal Tam. You can see why from this picture. It is knit with sock yarn and on size 2 needles. Since she wanted all three to be the same, and I did not have a small pattern, I went down to size 1 needles and followed the pattern as it was written. (Mostly).
I used one of my favorite yarns. It knits so smoothly. Every stitch is always even and I never have tension problems. It is Malabrigo. It comes in all weights, sock, DK and worsted. I usually use sock as I really prefer to knit with fine yarn and small needles. It is also 100% Merino, machine washable, lay flat to dry.
The darling model is my little seven year old neighbor. I have known her since she was about 9 months old. Of course, she has in and out privileges at my house :)
So, now onto the next two hats. Hoping to have them finished within the next month. I am being generous with my time so I don't have to push myself.
So, how about you? What is on your needles?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Remember These?

I bought them some twenty or so years ago. The grandchildren from the first to almost the last has played with them for hours on end. I do not know if I have another toy that has brought so much enjoyment to them. As you can see, though, there are not very many left. Things happen, they get stuck in little pockets, stepped on and broke, taken outside and lost, chewed on, you know the drill. So, since Levi, #6620 gets them out as soon as he comes over, I thought I might run down to Wally World and pick up another bag of them.  No such luck. You see, these toys are not PC. You cannot buy them any longer. Apparently by playing with these the children are learning ugliness or something.

In my house, all I can say is it looks to me like Stan's ancestors are winning the battle.  There are more "Inians" left than Cowboys.  I am sure Levi will be perfectly content with what we have, but I can't help but shake my head. I wonder if Goodwill got the memo, maybe I can still find some there.
How about you, do you have troubles with kids playing with these toys?


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