Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Victoria Jones

My son Michael is the one who started me on my search for a great camp shirt pattern.  He, along with his beautiful wife Casey, were going to be taking a trip to Hawaii with their new little one.  After returning home, they knew that they wanted to have a Hawaiian luau to celebrate their little one's first birthday so my hunt began for the right pattern.   My daughter, along with her husband and kids were also going to Hawaii with Michael and Casey, so I was anxious to find the right pattern for all of them.  When I came upon Victoria Jone's patterns, I felt that I had at last found what I was looking for.  I actually made my purchase through an online shop located there in Hawaii.  The shop was helpful, quick, and not as expensive as I thought it would be.  Since Michael is an identical twin, I knew that I couldn't make him a shirt without making his brother and his two sons shirts as well so an easy pattern was a must.  All total, I made 4 adult shirts, 4 kids shirts, and 2 Vintage baby outfits...all out of Hawaiian print fabric...plus a blouse for my daughter.  My sewing machine and I became rather close in those weeks before they left.  I give Victoria Jone's an A for her patterns...the directions make sense, they are  easy to make and trust me... I needed easy!  (Unfortunately, Ms. Jones no longer makes the little boys' pattern.  She said the demand for them has diminished so much that she stopped making them all together...which is too bad.  I'm not sure if the online store where I made my purchases still has some left in stock or not, but it's worth a try.

Here is the mens' pattern number 220:

And here are a few of the shirts that I made using that pattern:

The patterns are nice and roomy with a great fit.  Here's a picture of the kids pattern number 235:

I will be gone a week beach camping with the kids so I will not be posting.  Have a great week! Until next time...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Children's Corner and Petite Poche

Children's Corner and Petite Poche ( Wendy Schoen) will be my next to the last  pattern companies that I will 'critique' on my blog.  Victoria Jones will be the last.  These  two companies/designers were a true pleasure for me to use in my beginning steps of learning heirloom sewing.  In the early years when I first came across this type of sewing, Martha Pullen, along with these two companies, were favorites for those of us who were bitten by the bug known as heirloom sewing. Most of the techniques were done predominately by hand and took patience along with a lot of practice to achieve that end result that so many of us were striving for. For me it was Martha Pullen, who seemingly gathered each one of us up under her wings and flew us far away into horizons we never knew even existed!  My journey into heirloom began back in the late eighties.  The only shop that taught this wonderful art was located quite a distance from me.  Each trip to  class was 140 miles round trip for me...but I took every class regardless of how far I had to drive. I was homeschooling 5 of my kids at the time so I was forced to take either evening or weekend classes.  My daughter Nicole, attended  nearly every evening class with me so that I wouldn't have to travel so far alone at night.  She sat quietly in each class, watching and waiting at times,  to try and do everything the instructor was teaching each of us in that particular class.  Nicole's bullion roses were far superior than mine and she managed to outshine me in practically every stitch she took. (It was embarrassing!) I took ribbon embroidery, regular hand embroidery, smocking, heirloom technique, Brazilian embroidery, shadow work, Madeira Appliqué,  you name it, I took it. If it had anything to do with heirloom, I was there.  I had already been sewing for my kids for years, but I had never seen or experienced anything like this type of sewing before and I wanted to know everything...I was hooked and I didn't mind swallowing the bait completely!  Some of those patterns...

Children's Corner patterns are named after children...rather apropos.. I think every person who ever learned how to smock used the Lee pattern. (Don't forget to click on image if you want to see better.)

I'm not sure how many I made of this dress, but I do know that the very first one I ever made went to my niece Katherine.  I have no pictures of the dresses I made in my smocking days except for this one small picture below.  My daughters Nicole and Elizabeth hung the dress on the wall before I shipped it off to my niece.  They used an old Polaroid camera.  Thanks so much girls!

Another favorite was Madeline:

I only have one picture of this one.  But I know that I made more than one as I thought the pattern was absolutely darling.  I used Liberty of London fabric and decided to make contrast piping when attaching the ruffles to the collar and skirt of the dress.

Robin's Little Jacket was another one that I thought was pretty cute but have no pictures to share with you.  (How I wish I had learned the value of taking pictures!!)  I made this jacket using a light pink, rosebud, minkie on one side and a beautiful matching floral, flannel on the other.  My granddaughter worn that jacket out I think! 

Wendy Schoen of Petite Poche is a powerhouse filled with unbelievable talent.  Her handwork is far superior than anyone I know and in fact is internationally known for her fabulous work.  This is how she is described on her webpage:

"Wendy’s international studies include Madeiran embroidery with the masters at the Imperial de Bordados in Madeira, Portugal, a brief study of Aryshire embroidery with renowned embroidery master, Agnes Bryson in Glasgow, Scotland, and extensive studies in White Work, Stump Work, Silk Shading, Black Work, Wool Embroidery and Gold Work at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court, London, England.She has completed the Royal School of Needlework Certificated program and is currently working towards a diploma."

(Need I say more?)

Ms. Schoen's patterns are also named after children. I have made Logan, Melissa, and Vintage Baby Bubbles. I don't have any pictures of the Logan outfit or the Melissa outfits but I loved how both came out! (I made the Melissa three times because I liked it so much.) Vintage Baby Bubbles was and still is a favorite of mine. Here are a couple of pictures of that pattern.

I will critique Victoria Jones on the next blog.  I didn't realize that this one would end up being so long!  

But traveling back down that road of when I first met Martha, Kathy, Angela, Peggy, Charlotte, and more, brought back some truly wonderful memories.  How precious you all are to me. On this exciting, sewing journey I have been blessed to be surrounded by some of the most inspiring, creative, and incredible women that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Hugs,  smooches, and lots of love to you all!

Until next time.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Olive Ann Designs

Today I am sharing Olive Ann Designs with you.  She's another newer designer out there, but her designs are adorable.  My granddaughter loved the little outfit that I made for her along with the one I made for her American Doll.  (Several of OAD's patterns do include an 18" doll size pattern to match.)  I made my granddaughter's outfit first then went to work on making the adult size blouse pattern for two of my daughters.  The adult pattern is a separate purchase and NOT included in the child's pattern.  FYI,  the adult size pattern runs rather small so take that into account if you should decide to make a blouse for yourself.  I have made a total of 5 or 6 of the adult size blouse pattern but had to make  major adjustments for the ones I made for my daughters.  I also made three  adult size blouses for the shop where I used to work.  I made each size according to the pattern directions from the smallest size offered to the largest.  Every woman who tried the blouses on had a hard time finding the right fit.  Even the medium size was a hard fit.  As far as the child size goes, it was a perfect fit for my granddaughter.  All of that being said, I give Olive Ann a B.

Here is the pattern:

The outfit I made for my granddaughter and her American Doll:

And one of the ones I made for my one daughters:

I have also been working on a girlie, girl quilt for the new little one that is heading our way from my son and daughter-in-law...can't wait!  Here is a little  peek.  I just can't find the right minkie for the back of the quilt...but I will!  Once done I'll repost.

And last but definitely not least, I have also been working on an 'I Spy" quilt for my grandson Logan.
This one is taking me a lot longer than I had originally anticipated BUT I am determined to get it done for my little guy:

Until next time.