Dusting Off The Paperweight

I love my embroidery machine but I’ll be the first to admit it doesn’t get nearly enough love. And by “love” I mean “use.” It’s just not something I necessarily think about when I’m planning a sewing or crafting project. I’m trying to be better about that and am really happy with a couple of recent projects that required my embroidery machine.

A friend asked if I could make her daughter’s first-birthday-photos dress. Of course I said yes! I actually made matching dresses, one for K and another for her older cousin E. The dresses are identical Miss Madelines (by The Handmade Dress) with the girls’ initials embroidered on the aprons.

As soon as I saw this cool #1 Teacher badge on the SWAK Embroidery newsletter, I knew it would be the perfect thing for Teacher Appreciation Week at Miss L’s preschool. I’ve never done an in-the-hoop project before, so I was a little nervous. But the badge stitched out perfectly on the first try! I’m so glad I have this file now, because I can definitely see using it again and again.

Testing, 1, 2, 3 … 4?

I’ve been pattern testing again for some friends, so the next few days are going to highlight those creations. I’ll start the week out with the first dress I finished: Miss Lily for Samantha of The Handmade Dress.

I previously have tested for Sam, so I sort of knew what to expect. And I was not disappointed. She aims to design patterns that can be finished during a nap time, and I think this one will come pretty close.* It’s a really sweet bubble dress with peasant-style bodice and sleeves.

Miss L had picked out this fabric from Joann’s from the newest juvenile apparel section fabrics. The vivid pink offsest the red cherries and strawberries nicely, so I agreed to use it when she asked if I’d make the Miss Lily from it. I think it’s a great spring/summer fabric, so I suspect she’ll get a lot of wear from it in the coming months.

I love how quickly the dress came together and the bubble skirt is a cinch to sew. I think I’ll make the skirt of the next one a little bit longer so Liesl has some growing room, but the fit otherwise is spot on.

The pattern directions call for using a ribbon as the sash but I decided to sew one out of coordinating polka dot fabric. I love how the finished garment looks and wish we could wear it now — but of course the temperature dropped 30 degrees again so we’re back in coats and sweaters. LOL!

I think the dress could be as casual or as dressy as you want to make it. I’m itching to try it with some pretty eyelet or embroidered cotton and a sweet satin ribbon!

*It takes me about three times as long to sew a garment when I pattern test because I’m constantly making notes and checking that I’m following the pattern exactly as it’s written, instead of winging it.