KeepSake Sewing

KeepSake Sewing
Over 20 Years Experience


This blog started off sharing my bridal business sewing projects and is now a hodgepodge of unique and fun things I have created over the years.

Hope your creative side is inspired!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Bichon becomes a Fairy

Our kids are gearing up for trick or treating tonight and our 7 year old is organizing all the last minute details for her birthday luncheon this morning. Our poor dog Max has been turned into a fairy. He is such a good sport. Check in tomorrow for pics from the fairy princess party.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Homemade Halloween Costumes & Decor

I love to make our children's Halloween costumes. As a stay at home mom I must always keep our budget in mind and not spend too much. I usually start digging through their closets to see what they have to work with. Now that they are older I get their input when creating the costumes. Here are a few costumes from years past.
When our daughter was 6 months old I created a headband to look like a flower. Using a pinking sheers I cut out a fun printed fabric in the shape of petals. Then I hot glued the petals to a plastic headband. I placed the plastic headband over her bonnet so it wasn't pushing in on her head as headbands sometimes do. Last, I placed her in a flower pot. Tada - a blooming flower.

That year our 2 year old son decided he would go as a cowboy. Very easy - he loved his boots and owned lots of plaid flannels. A bandana and black cowboy hat was all we needed to finish off the look.
When our son was 3 he wanted to be a pumpkin. I purchased an xxl orange t-shirt and painted a jack-0-lantern face on the front. I then threaded elastic through the hem at the bottom of the t-shirt. Once he put the shirt on we stuffed it with crumpled newspapers. He was able to wear his winter coat underneath the shirt - that was the best thing about this costume.

Our daughter was 1 1/2 when she was a flower-girl for her aunt Julie. I designed this dress to match the brides dress and hated to just put it away when the magical day was over. When Halloween approached just 4 weeks later we pulled out the dress. Off to the store to purchase some angel wings and a stop at the craft store. I made a halo out of wire Christmas trim and a white headband to complete the look. With very little work we had an angel. It was great to be able to have our daughter wear this lovely dress again.
That same year I found a flying witch decoration that I couldn't resist. My husband suspended it from the outside of our home. We had no trees to post it on so he had to get creative with where to hang it. Once the witch was hung I decided to draw some ghosts out of inexpensive white poster board. Those were placed on the inside of our windows. We had many neighbors comment on how fun the decorations were and how they so enjoyed the windows.

Hope you are inspired to create something for your Halloween. Come back tomorrow for more from this year's costumes. Trick or Treat.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A French Bustle

Altering wedding gowns is an art for me. Bustling the dress is one of my favorite things to do. It is usually the last sewing the needs to be done on a dress before steaming. The bustle shown in this picture is a french bustle. It was accomplished by using plastic nylon rings and color coded ribbons sewn under the dress. When I create a bustle for a bride I always try to keep it simple. It is always my goal to fashion a bustle that anyone can recreate on the bride's wedding day. When bustling a dress it important to make the bustle appear to be part of the dress with an even hem line and nothing hanging out or dragging on the ground. A well done bustle is important so the bride isn't tripping on her gown during the wedding dance. The back of the dress is also a part of the dress that is photographed during the first dance when the bride is dancing with her new groom. A sloppy bustle can equal a sloppy picture.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dress Design for Shabby Apple Dresses

After visiting Shabby Apple Dresses I was motivated to put my BS Apparel Design degree to work and enter an original dress design for their current contest. For years I have been creating original designs just ahead of the fashion curve. I have always dreamed about creating a design that would be manufactured for others to purchase. Often times I find myself hunting for a look in the stores and cannot find it, so I create it myself. Two to three seasons later there in the stores being sold is the design I envisioned and wasn't able to find.

Women love to wear all shades of pink. Spring lines always include lots of v-necked black dresses but rarely anything in shades of pink. My goal was to create a traditional classic design using a feminine color with a little touch of interest. This dress was inspired by a pair of jeans. The jeans had two rows of top-stitching down the sides of the pants. One row of white the other pink. I began drawing designs that would show off the stitching. The design I ended up with draws the eye vertical creating a slimming dress. I chose to use pink cotton fabric with one row of taupe stitching and one row of chocolate stitching. To add a focal point and coordinate with the stitching I added 2 rows of chocolate brown lace rosette trim at the waist.

I envision this dress being made of a light weight flowing cotton weave in a soft bubblegum pink color. The square neckline has two rows of stitching similar to the vertical seam lines. The top stitching around the neckline creates interest allowing the wearer to get by with out wearing any jewelry or she could change the look by wearing a trendy necklace or classic pearls. To finish off the design I have placed eight buttons grouped in pairs down the back of the dress- you can only see six - the other two are found at the waist hidden in the trim. This button closure placket allows for an opening to get in and out of the dress while creating beautiful line and detail in the back of the dress. These buttons would have a chocolate pearl finish to coordinate with the pearls found in the trim at the waist.

It was my goal to create a dress that women of all shapes and sizes could wear and would want to wear. Women with a tall slender figure could wear the dress just as shown. Shorter framed women could remove the chocolate lace belt, giving them a long slender line not cutting them in half. Women who are wanting something a little more trendy could wear chocolate brown knee high boots or snake skinned heals. For a more conservative women she could wear classic brown pumps and white pearls around the neck to complete her look.

Dress Design for Shabby Apple Dresses - Sketches Coming Soon

I have been diligently working on a Design to submit for Shabby Apple Dresses.

My inspiration came from a pair of jeans I own that has contrasting stitching in white and pink.

I have chosen to design a soft bubblegum pink dress with taupe and chocolate brown stitching accents. I love to wear pink and don't see dresses made out of this fun color very often. The stitching on the dress will give it nice long vertical lines creating a slimming effect.

My Sketches are almost complete and ready to post. Fabric color has been found and trim is chosen. Hope you like the color and trim I have chosen. Come back to see my posted sketches tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thanks for Helping our Garden Grow

I am in charge of the bulletin boards for our church. This one was a favorite I
created to thank all the teachers that teach and work with our youth.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deut. 4:9

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Easter Princess'

I designed and created these princess dresses a few years ago. The girls selected the fabrics and I began designing. Our daughters loved their bitty babies and requested matching dresses. I accepted the challenge and emerged a few hours later with matching doll dresses. The girls have long out grown those dresses but not the dolls. Many clothes have come and gone. Not these dresses they have been tucked away and are sure to be keepsakes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

T-Shirt Quilt

T-shirt quilts are an art for me. I do not like to use strip quilting as a technique. I want my clients quilts to be like no others. My goal is to create a quilt that represents the client. I try to utilize favorite colors, incorporate themes and always try to create something that will be a keepsake for years to come.

This quilt was made for a confident graduating high school senior. She loved bright colors especially hot pink.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Apple Butter

For Christmas every year we make homemade jellies, jams and fruit butters for our families. We pick the produce in the summer when it is ripe and hot outside, freeze it till the temps drop off. We then spend a cool cold fall weekend transforming our produce into wonderfully delicious homemade gifts that everyone can enjoy. Our favorite recipe and resource book is the Ball Blue Book. A must have for every kitchen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Traditional Bustle

I do lots of bustles for brides. Creating unique and beautiful bustles is one of my favorite things to do. I love to help the brides feel like Cinderella.

This dress was absolutely breath taking and princess-like.

Most of the lace train was bustled under the opening in the back using hooks and thread loops sewn onto the train. The loops were hidden in the lace and made with tatting thread. Two small fabric covered satin buttons on top at the waistline were used to bring up the sides. This bustle took 7 points costing the bride $70.

All she needed was a veil, her glass slippers and her prince charming.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Cowgirl

Years ago I took an old pair of jeans with holes in the knees and turned them into Cowgirl pants for our daughter for Halloween.

These jeans soon became favorites. She wanted to wear them everywhere. It was great to recycle an old pair if jeans that were otherwise ready for the rag box. When she out grew them I took them to a consignment shop to be resold. The clerk said they were gone with-in a week. It was great to know some other child was enjoying them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A tip to share

We purchased colored plastic transparent pencil boxes at the beginning of the school year for our children to neatly store their toothbrushes and toothpaste in. Keeps the counter free of clutter and germs contained in easy to clean containers. If there are no air holes drill small ones in the bottom so air can circulate and the brushes can dry. If your child has the flu or is diagnosed with strep throat remember to discard their toothbrush to prevent reinfection.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Reversible Aprons

My creations for all the nieces and nephews last Christmas. Each one received a reversible chef's hat and reversible apron with pockets stuffed full of basic cooking utensils and a fun kids cookbook to get them started. What will I make this year?

Getting Started

Working to get my blog up and running. I take on so many amazing projects I have decide to start sharing all my works. Look for more postings and lots of pictures in the coming days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Homemade Scratch and Sniff Watercolors

As a coordinator to help with crafts at our local Mom's group one year we decide the ladies would make children friendly recipe scrapbooks.  Each meeting the Mom's came together and created 2-3  4"x6" pages that would be placed in a small photo-album.  Once the year was over I continued to add more pages and create books for gifts.