Tatted Necklaces? Whaa?

I saw this picture in one of the design blogs I follow daily. They took my breath away. These lovelies were made by lennebelle, but I can’t find any more information about it. I guess I’ll have to trial and error a pattern.

Family and long-time friends know I have a thing for tatting! About  15 years ago, my roommate Julie introduced me to tatting, or maybe it was her mother? Anyway, I found an 80-year-old woman in Michigan who knew how to do it, and she showed me the basic stitches in a very 80-year-old way.

“Cross this thread, pull it through here, go under here, and pull tight. Got it?”

“Uh…”

I had to watch her do it for about 10 minutes to see what she was actually talking about. Then she watched me and corrected me as I went. It is beautiful lace, but very slow going. My mother-in-law, who has attempted every form of stitching I think, had two vintage how-to-tat magazines that had beautiful vintage trim, baby and doily patterns she gave me, and I enjoyed the craft for about 5 years, then tired of it and moved on.

Here I am on a film shoot in Brazil tatting away in between takes!

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Little Black Dress with Petticoat

When I saw a petticoat at one of my favorite inspiration spots online, I knew I had to make one for Eleanor!  She needed a black dress for the Lynnwood Children’s Choir Spring Concert, and there was my motivation to finally get it done!

Petticoat

I used a white Percale fabric. The pattern is a full circle skirt with an elastic waist. I simply used a tape measure, chalk and a thumb tack to draw a half circle on the fold, twice at different lengths. Once for the hem length (21″), and once for the waist hole (5″). For the waist, I cut a 2″ casing strip and sewed it around the waist hole, and ran a 1″ piece of elastic through it. The ruffles took a few hours! They are strips cut at 1.5″ wide by the width of the fabric. I used four of those strips sewed end-to-end in a big circle for each row. I finished the side edges with a rolled hem on the Serger, ran a gathering thread down the middle, pinned it in place on the skirt, and sewed it down. Honestly?  I don’t think my rolled hem is going to hold up in the wash. The parts that ran across the bias, pulled out. grrr.Black formal concert dress

The dress was super easy. I have made countless “Bishop” dresses, which is a style in smocking where you gather the edge around the neck in tiny gathers, then smock along the top of the gathers with tiny decorative stitches. So, I could cut out the bishop pattern in my sleep, for any size! Instead of smocking, I gathered the neck and sleeves with elastic and added a longer cuff for the ruffle at the neck. It took about an hour. Really easy.I let her wear my grandma’s faux pearl necklace, and I could tell she felt like a princess. Success!

Number 3 and Flower Power

For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been fighting exhaustion and nausea. I’ve always felt horrible when I get hungry; cranky, shaky, head-achy, light-headed. Now, I’m experiencing , those symptoms every hour or so, and I’m not hungry. You guessed it. I don’t have a horrible disease. I’m building a baby. Hence, the laying on the couch and no sewing lately.

Women’s Retreat

This weekend is our church’s yearly women’s retreat. We get together and do nothing. Its great. This year, we decided to throw in a crafty time. We are going to do body painting inspired by The Body Project. I can’t wait to see how the cool paint and soft brushes feel against my skin! Fun! And for those not as wild as me, we’ll make ribbon flower corsages inspired by V and Co. I made one for example out of vintage cotton ribbon I grabbed years ago at a yard sale. Gorgeous!