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Dolls for Haiti

17 Sep

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My mom and sister are so creative, that I had to share with my blog readers about what they made during my sister’s last visit to Texas. My sister, Kit, was down here for about two weeks and during that time they made some amazing dolls for the children of Haiti. I’m not sure of the number of dolls made, but I believe it was over thirty. These dolls are taken to Haiti and distributed to the children in need, in local villages, schools and hospitals. What an awesome idea! If you sew, you can check out the website (http://dollydonations.blogspot.com/2013/03/new-doll-drive-for-children-in-haiti.html) for the free pattern and tutorial on how to make the dolls and donate them to the children. The address on where to send your Dolly Donations is on the website for all those interested. They have a total of three doll drives, so you can choose between helping the children of Haiti, Guatemala, or South Africa. What an amazing opportunity and a way to help those less fortunate! Below are some pictures of the dolls Mom and Kit made.

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4th of July Dresses Times Two

16 Jul

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When I came across the pattern called The Two Summer Sundress by Natalie Larson, I knew I needed to make this dress. For a second or two, I thought to myself who can I make this dress for? Then the thought of my cousin Jason’s twins popped into my head. Perfect!!! His twins are 2 years old and so cute. I knew 4th of July was just a few weeks away so I went to JoAnn’s and picked out some patriotic cotton fabric. I also purchased 2 skeins of Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn in the colorway “American Stripes”. The top portions knitted up quickly in just two evenings. I washed them in cold water on the gentle cycle together, but with nothing else, thankfully, as the colors all ran and the white turned pink. I was so upset! Below is a picture of one of the tops BEFORE washing.

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I waited about 3 days before I picked up my needles again to knit two more tops. I ended up using some cotton yarn I had in my stash and made one top blue and one top red. My cousin and his wife like to dress the girls differently, so I didn’t make them to match. I used polka-dot ribbon to sturdy the edges on the inside of the top.

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I also sewed buttons in two different locations in the back of the dress, so the straps could be adjusted.

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I’m really happy with the way the dresses turned out and they looked so cute on the girls.  See pictures below.

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Struck it Rich… at Estate Sales

30 May

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Two weeks ago, my mother and I went to two estate sales in the Katy area. My mother and I often go to estate sales on the weekends and search for hidden treasures. Occasionally, I might find a vintage purse, a hankie or scarf, a piece of vintage Weiss costume jewelry, or perhaps a piece of American Fostoria to add to my collection. But normally we don’t find a much. EXCEPT for two weeks ago, when I hit the jack pot! I first want to apologize for not making this post sooner, but I’ve been a little busy lately with life in general. Anyways, we pulled up at the first estate sale and noticed no other cars were there. I checked my iPhone to see if perhaps I had the right address, right date, etc. I noticed then that this was the second weekend for the estate sale, which was a little strange, since most estate sales run for only a weekend. We had second thoughts, thinking there was probably nothing left, but then decided to take a look inside since we were already there. To our surprise, they seemed to have a lot of items still left in the house, so we started in the kitchen. In the kitchen, my mother found a glass bowl for my sister (who collects bowls) and I found some punch cups that match some glasses I already have at home. The name of the pattern escapes me at the moment. Everything was 50% off, so I bought the cups. Then we made our way to the living room, where I found a vintage knitting pattern book on a table. The lady working the check out table told me there was a whole bedroom filled with craft books. As I made my way to the bedroom, I was hoping that more knitting books would be found. To my surprise I ended up with 44 knitting/crochet booklets, most of which were vintage. Yay! I also found a few craft and sewing books.  I was so excited! Although I don’t crochet, I bought some crochet books anyways because I plan to teach myself someday. The picture above is just of half the books I found that day!

Next, my mother and I headed to the second estate sale, which was just about 5 minutes away. As we pulled up, we noticed a lot of cars. We walked in and saw a house filled with glasswares, collectibes, you name it, this person had it. As I walked into the kitchen/breakfast area, I saw it…. a vintage Necchi sewing machine! I’ve been searching for Necchi for a while now. My mother has one that my dad bought her when they got married, almost 50 years ago and it still runs like a dream. The model is a 525, which I’m not familiar with, but it’s definitely an older machine, made of heavy metal, and it says “made in Italy” on the front. It was marked $75, but once again, everything was 50% off! Oh my, what a steal! For $37.50 I got a Necchi machine and a cabinet! The only problem was it has no foot pedal, but I’m sure I can find one. I plan to take it in to Bob McDougal’s and have it serviced. They lady on the phone said she might have one in stock that will work with this machine. I can’t wait to get it serviced and try it out. I also found two candle holders in American Fostoria, at half price!

After our second estate sale, we had worked up an appetite, so we stopped at Los Cucos for lunch and split some chicken nachos. After lunch, we went into the tiny old part of Katy and went to an antique store. My mom found some replacement crystals for a lamp she has and I found a book called “My Valuable Yarn Book”, which I blogged about in a previous post. Valuable in deed! By brand, it list the ounces, yardage, fiber and class of each type of yarn. Since I knit a lot of vintage patterns, this book will be very valuable to me in helping me choose a current yarn brand for an old yarn brand the vintage pattern calls for.

Over all, we had an excellent day! I’m posting some pictures of all my goodies. Never before have I struck it rich with great finds, like I did on this day!

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Project Bags

15 Nov

I’ve been sewing up a storm… making project bags!   Every time I go into a fabric store, I see super cute fabric and I have to buy it.  It’s a sickness really, as I can’t stop myself.  So I’m becoming obsessed with them.  I’m making too many to keep, so I’ve been giving them as gifts and I’ve listed some in my Etsy Store (BlackHorseFashions) Every knitter/crocheter loves project bags!  These bags aren’t just limited to project bags either.  I made one for my sister, who has just started knitting, and she pointed out that there are endless use for these bags.  She suggested using them as reusable gift bags, makeup bag, a shoe bag for traveling (so when placed in your suitcase, your shoes won’t dirty-up your clothes), child’s toy bag for the car, etc..   She’s right, the uses are endless.   I’ve decided to make themed bags as well.   I started off making bags from Halloween fabric and now I’m making them from Christmas fabric.  The Christmas themed bags can be used all year to house the projects you are making for Christmas gifts.  This allows you to find your Christmas projects quickly when looking through your craft closet and it puts you in the holiday mood while knitting.

The bags have a 4×6″ square base, and are lined with a coordinating print.  Stabalizer is used between the main fabric and the lining to give the bag support, so it will stand up on it’s own. Because the bag stands up straight, you can keep your yarn in the bag as you knit, so it doesn’t roll all over the place (and so your cat won’t chase it or try to fun off with it while you are knitting).  Also, I love the fact that it has a drawstring instead of a zipper, because I hate when my yarn gets caught up in a zipper.

Here are a few that I’ve made, but I have a lot more prints to sew up yet.  If you are interested in a regular project bag, or a Christmas themed bag, check my Etsy store often, as I will be adding new bags each week.

Hexagon Quilt

9 Jul

I recently discovered the method of English paper quilting on the Internet and was very intrigued.  So much so, that I bought some fabric at the quilt store a few days later to give the method a try.  Well, sadly that was as far as I got until last week.  Yes, for over three months, this beautiful fabric has been hibernating in a sack in my craft closet.  That is, until last Tuesday.  I decided to make my hexagons with 1 1/4″ sides.  This is smaller than some, but I wanted them small.  So I cut out lots of hexagons out of poster board and then started cutting my fabric.  Today, six days later, I have a total of 243 basted to the poster board.  Yay!  I’m not sure exactly how many I will need.  I’m thinking I might make a crib size?  I want to use it mostly for snuggling up on the couch on a cold day to watch a movie, read a book, or knit.  While all this stitching was going on, my cat, Lucy (AKA Miss Lucy Goosey) decided to see what I was up to.  She loves to be right in the middle of the action.  She started off on the ottoman, then moved to my legs and before I knew it, she was on my hexagons.  She may be old (going on 15 yrs) but she’s still very curious.

 

I Dream of Dottie

2 Nov

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My mom’s subdivision had a Howl-O-Ween party to raise money for local animal rescues, so Mom and I took Dottie to the event.  Since Dottie is a full-figured gal and can’t fit most dog costumes you buy in the store, I sewed her an outfit.  Can you guess who she is?  Yep… I Dream of Jeannie!  It turned out great, except that everytime I tried to measure the length of the pants, she would sit down.  So, unfortunately they turned out a little too long, despite the elastic (which I didn’t want to make too tight around her feet).  Needless to say, she only wore the outfit for a few minutes at the party because of this wardrobe malfunction, but I took some pictures at home to post for your entertainment.  LOL  The other picture is Mom and Dotti at the Howl-O-Ween Party in Bridgeland.  Bridgeland published a cookbook and Mom submitted two recipes with Dottie’s pictures and they are both inside the cookbook.   So now both my Mom and Dottie are famous. LOL