children, dresses, Embroidery, fabric stores, girls clothes, sewing, sewing for kids, single parenting, summer

A gaggle of Geranium Dresses

So the past few days I have been busy sewing up some Geranium dresses. I have made three for Persephone and two for Fiammetta. As well as a whole lot of bloomers/bubble shorts (tree climber pantaloons) for little P, baby V, and the shop. On the two dresses with short sleeves I used the Geranium Expansion Pack.

First off, was this white linen, sleeveless dress for Little Miss Percy Pie.

I used Kam Snaps on the back because I don’t know how to sew button holes! 😂 and I really like the way these open metal ring ones look. 

Persephone’s dress was sewn using Kaufman Essex Linen in white. It is a Linen cotton blend.

It turned out really nice. I keep thinking how lovely some embroidery would be on there!
The Second dress I made was for Fiammetta. She wanted sleeves and picked the gathered sleeve from the expansion pack. I am not too fond with how this one turned out but Fifi likes it so that’s what is important! I ended up shortening the sleeves a bit from what is pictured because the length of them really bothered me. The ended up looking really long. I like the way the whole dress looks better with shortened sleeves. But I don’t have a photo of that!  This dress also differs from the way it was made. Instead of a gathered waist she wanted a pleated skirt. And I sewed her a straight size 8. But because of her very thin little body I probably should have sewn a size 7 bodice with a size 8 length skirt. She’s long and thin just like I used to be!Back of 2nd Geranium with Gathered Sleeves

I didn’t get the best photos here.. Fiammetta was helping to grate some cheese for supper. Excuse the messy house! 🙂 and we had the tent set up in the parlor as the kids were having a campout for a couple days!side of second geranium

The pink fabric is Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Blossom Pink.  The bottom fabric is Brambleberry Ridge Rosemilk Metallic Mint also by Michael miller.  I bought these fabrics quite a while ago to make some dresses for the girls but never actually got around to it!2nd geranium

Fiammetta's Geranium

Third dress and I think my favorite of the bunch is this pretty little gold dress for Persephone. I used the fitted, short sleeves from the expansion pack and I LOVE the way this dress turned out! I will be making many more of this style for the girls in different fabrics. It looks classic and sweet. I’m thinking of possibly adding pintucks on some future dress skirts.

Persephone Gold Geranium Fitted Short Sleeves
I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Gold. Again, it was purchased quite a while ago but never used. I have plans of making bloomers for the shop out of this fabric as well.

Gold Geranium Octopus Tree Climber Shorts

For the bloomers and lining of the dress bodice I used Salt Water Octopus Garden by Tula Pink.  I would link to that but it is sold out. I bought this fabric back in 2014 but didn’t know what I wanted to make out of it so I’ve held on to it for a while! I have since decided to make a bunch of bloomers with it and list them in the shop. Now that the baby is getting older it’s a little easier for me to be at the sewing machine and get some stuff done!

Kam Snaps again on the back. In fact I used Kam Snaps on all the dresses! It makes for easy dressing for the girls as well. Plus they are sturdy and durable.

Fourth and fifth dresses are a matching set for the two girls. We did the gathered skirt with the cap sleeve option from the original Geranium Dress pattern. I used Michael Miller Brambleberry Ridge Flight in Metallic Mint. This too has sold out. I really love Michael Miller fabrics. They are very soft and lovely to sew with. also has very reasonable pricing. It’s nice to shop from local shops but it’s a lot more affordable in a lower income household to buy online.

Persephones dress is a size 4. I did deepen the hem to 2 1/2 inches instead of what the pattern called for. It makes the dress a bit shorter and a bit more retro 1960’s look.

Again, I sewed a straight size 8 for Fiammetta but I probably should have gone with the smaller size 7 bodice with a size 8 length skirt. She’s such a skinny Minnie.

I did deepen Fiammettas hem as well. Since she is older and her dress is a lot longer than Persephones, I was able to make her hem 3 inches.

The expansion pack has so many options! I plan on making the girls some long fitted sleeve dresses for the winter. Next up is a long fitted sleeve dress out of the white linen. I am going to lengthen the skirts to floor length for both girls and sew up a red sash from the expansion pack. Perfect for celebrating Santa Lucia Day and the Winter Solstice this year. I just have to figure out how to make a crown of greenery and candles!
After I tire of dresses and the girls have a few new things to wear for the hot weather I will get back to sewing for the shop!

And since little baby girl woke up from a nap I was able to snap a few photos of the girls together.. so I’ll leave you with these ❤️

baby quilt, children, fabric stores, last day of school, quilting, sewing, summer

In which she (finally!) finishes Salvatore’s “baby” quilt

Salvatore is 4 years old.. to be precise he is 4 years 5 months 5 days… so many hours and so many seconds.. I’m not going to get that precise..

About a month or  two before I got pregnant with him we moved back to Washington State from Portland, Oregon (we lived next to an awesome fabric store in Milwaukie called The Mill End, where I got all the fabrics for Fifi’s baby quilt).. We moved to Everett.  Not my most favorite city in WA but I wasn’t quite yet ready to move back to Skagit County and the farmlands.  The one thing I loved about Everett was the fabric store called Pacific Fabrics.  They have them in a few different cities in the state.  They definitely aren’t Jo Anne Fabrics.  Pacific fabric is more expensive but they seem to have a better quality selection.  While checking it out one day I came across this fabric in the home decorators section of the store.. I absolutely loved it.  I bought some with the intention of making my soon to be new son a baby quilt.  It is very thick, thicker than a quilting cotton but I thought it would work great.  And, for some reason unknown to me I have always been drawn to elephants.

Backing Home decorators fabric for Sally's quilt

Backing Home decorators fabric for Sally’s quilt

So I had this fabric sitting around for years before I actually did anything with it.  Well, I actually used part of it to make a car blanket for him.. one side this fabric the other side a navy flannel.  He still uses it even now.

We moved to Anacortes right after his first birthday in March of 2012.  While living in Anacortes I came across another local fabric store right in the down town called In Stitches Quilt Shoppe.  I love this store!  While perusing the isles I came across some great old reproduction fabrics that I thought would coordinate well with the circus backing fabric I had for so long.. Up until this point I had no idea what I wanted to pair with the lovely circus fabric I acquired in Everett.  I thought the airplanes would be perfect as my little guy loved planes.  (you can see a bit of it peeking on the left hand side of the above photo) and I thought the colors would be good.. An all red white and blue quilt.  I know the styles are a bit different but I thought he wouldn’t mind and would probably like them both a lot.

I started piecing the top of the quilt when I was pregnant with Persephone (2013).  By this time Salamander was now 2 years old and still didn’t have his baby quilt!  I was able to finish the whole top, make my quilt sandwich out of the top, batting and backing fabric, even tie the quilt and get the binding all cut and ready to go before the new baby came.  I even made a quilt top for the new baby girl who would be arriving.  But I never actually put the dang quilt together!  It sat on the back of my sewing chair, then getting moved around to various places around my sewing machine for the past 2 years!

Salamander is now 4, as I said above, and I have finally finished my boys quilt! I am so happy.  I always worried that I get in some sort of horrible accident and he would never have a special blankey to remember me by, to wrap up and cuddle in and know I loved him very much.  I’m sure he would know, it’s just the kind of thoughts that go through my mind.. I may now rest at ease.. Though, now I must finish Percy’s quilt and get started on a new one for the new, and last, baby of mine.

The top of Sally's quilt

The top of Ss’s quilt finally finished!

The quilt is 9 x 9 squares, each square is a finished 5 inches. Finished quilt size is approx 45 inch square.  I decided to hand tie the quilt instead of quilting it.  All my other kiddos baby quilts are hand tied.  My sewing machine isn’t very deep and it’s kind of  pain to quilt on it.. and I have never done hand quilting before!  I do not remember who the fabric designers are as it has been so long since I bought them.  I may have the selvages for the top fabrics somewhere, just can’t place them right now.

The top of Sally's quilt all finshed

The top of Ss’s quilt all finished

front and back of Sally's

front and back of Ss’s “baby” quilt

I really love these fabrics, and though the styles of the front and back are very different, I love them together.  I am so happy and relieved I finally finished it!  It took me dang forever.. way too long.  I hope it doesn’t take me this long to make Persephone’s and the new little fella’s quilts!

My little man all cozy and enjoying his new "baby" quilt!

My little man all cozy and enjoying his new “baby” quilt!

Sally seems to be enjoying it!  He even took it on the 2 hour car ride to drop his big sissy off at a friends house for her sleep over.. Makes me happy to know I made him happy!  I love his little squinty eyed smile with his dimpled cheeks and pointy elf ears.  He’s my naughty little angel!

And to make it all a million times better…. today was the last day of school for the year!!  Last night Miss O Graduated from 8th grade (she was and is Gorgeous in her new dress!!).  That was cool, not literally, it was pretty hot in there.. Especially with 2 little kids crawling on me wanting to get up and get drinks of water.  After they finally called Ophelia’s name I took Sally and Percy out into the hall for the duration while my Mama, 2 of my brothers, one of their wives, my 3 year old nephew and my 2 middle children sat in the bleachers and finished watching.  Oh, I am so happy that I have 2 months without having to wake up early 5 days a week to get the kids ready (holler at them over and over to brush their teeth, get dressed and eat breakfast) for school and walk them to the bus.. It will be nice to be able to spend time together as a family, hopefully with little arguing between them!  Hot days with popcorn and movie nights..  Lot’s of fresh fruit.  I am trying to enjoy them as much as I can before I have another new infant to take up more of my time.  Doing it all alone is going to be very time consuming!