Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Needles and More


Vaune's December Newsletter had a great article on and about sewing machine needles. To see her newsletter, simply click on 'Newsletter'.

Midnight Oil Smockers Chapter does not endorse any businesses or products, we simply pass on sewing information and give credit for those sources.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Planning 2016

The New 2016 Board of Midnight Oil Smockers met for a planning session. The members will be delighted with the monthly program line up as well as benefit from the workshops this year!
At the head of the table, leading Midnight Oil into the future with skill and talent is President, Roberta, surrounded by (L-R) Kathleen, VP Sugarland; Marisol, VP Programs; Brenda, Sec/Parli and Librarian; Barbara, Treasurer...

(continuing l-r) Joanne, Newsletter Editor; Susanna, Wee Care Chair; Susan, Show and Share Chair; Trena, Membership Chair; and Leslye, Education Chair. 

These lovely ladies have been the inspiring, motivating, and energetic force propelling our chapter to increase in membership, acquire greater individual skills and cultivate common thread FRIENDSHIPS!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More Show and Share

One member had to mail her 'Show and Share' before the Christmas party, but she has sent me a picture of the dress that is now winging it's way to the UK!

This darling dress "Devotion" was featured in AS&E issue 55 and made with cotton sateen purchased from our own smocking shop 'Buttons n Bows'.
Thanks for sharing! What perfect smocking...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Party

A Midnight Oil 
Christmas Party

The members of Midnight Oil Smockers gathered at Susan's beautifully decorated home for our annual Christmas Partygreat fun was had by all!

There was FOOD galore,      

Show and Share...

Susan has been busy hand embroidering a lovely Christmas ornament designed by Kathryn Holicky using Kreinik silk and metallic threads on a white 22 count Hardanger fabric.

Susan also did 2 darling outfits for Christmas, this one a boy's two piece outfit by Gingersnaps and...

this bishop from Children's Corner pattern featuring the smocking design 'Holly Berry Bishop' by Crosseyed Cricket. Can you believe this fabric was in her stash just at the time she needed it?

Shirley used a book by Janice Shelton to create the Reindeer Pockets on this cute Children's Corner 'Lucy' jumper.

Beth made this precious 6 month onesie type garment as a gift for a friend. She loved the pattern from Wendy Schoen "Antique Baby Bubble" and embellished the outfit with embroidery from 'Blue Ribbon Baby'.  The white tatted trim was hand sewn.

Beautiful Workshop Accomplishments...

In September our chapter hosted a workshop with Jeannie Beaumeister highlighting the 'Round Tucked Yoke Dress'. These ladies all have completed this project! Talent is abundant in our chapter.

Favorite NEW Sewing Tool

Beth discovered this new sewing helpful tool at Costco's office supplies area. It is a wrap around your neck or wherever needed light. Be sure to put in on your Christmas list for Santa.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tip from Ann

Beautiful Puffed Sleeves

Ann did this darling dress and shared her tips on how to get perfect full puffed sleeves.

First she hand washes the dress.

Then she inserts shower scrunchies/puffs/loofahs (whatever you may call them)into the sleeves while the dress dries.

Finally she spritzes the sleeves with a bit of water and spray starch. Using her blow dryer she places the nozzle of the blow dryer just inside the cuff to the sleeve so it is blowing air inside to puff the sleeve out.

Just look at the wonderful results she gets...

once again, Ann was inspired from a dress created by Sara Crabtree Norris on FaceBook. You may visit Sara by going to  www.saranorrisltd.com

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fall Challenge


Children's Corner "Carol" adapted with sleeves from the Jane pattern made up in a pink floral Viyella with white Swiss flannel for the collar.

This sweet fall dress was made from CC 'Millie in an orange floral twill and tangerine gingham, both from Fabric Finder. The pumpkin pockets from Appliqué for Kids adds just that special touch to this outfit.

Add this CC "Robins Little Jacket" in light pink Minky fabric lined with Viyella to the first dress above and you have a sweet assemble ready for any occasion. The slacks are "Parker's Pants" from CC done in pink corduroy. Roberta has been quite busy!

Ann always amazes us with her talent. Just look at this precious dress which she created using two different patterns: CC Kathy-Kelly for the front and Carol for the back. She used a shadow work pumpkin design from Appliqué for Kids. She was inspired by a dress on Facebook by Sara Crabtree Norris, please visit Sara at 
She will be able to change out the little front yoke tab for any occasion.

Susan used a fabric from mode for her Fall Challenge outfit. This dress, Amy from CC has a smocking design from AS&E.

Brenda used a CC pattern, Lucy to create this darling outfit for a little girl and her doll. Lil' Memories' Dancing Candy Corn added just the right touch of whimsy. 

A variation of the "Kinsy" pattern by CC in a baby flannel was just the perfect combination to create this dress sewn by Leslye. She used a special find of sweet ribbon to embellish the collar and changed up the sleeve design by shortening them about 2 inches and then added cuffed ties to them.

A "Chanel" look alike by Nikki. She did a jacket for herself as her entry into the Fall Challenge. This boucle black and white fabric made up beautifully from a Vogue pattern. It's not just for little girls at our chapter!

Our chapter provided a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to our local smocking shop, Buttons 'n' Bows for all 'Fall Challenge' entries...


Here are all the outfits and the sewist who created them. Wonderful job ladies!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Program

Tips and Tricks 
Improve Smocking Stitches

Roberta used several different methods to demonstrate her tips on how to ensure the baby wave stitches were all even across a row.

The members would gather around her for a stitching demonstration after she had already discussed the stitch technique and drew a diagram of what she would do by hand stitching.

Here several members look on as Roberta shares the stitching trick to make all rows snug up close without overlapping.

Thank you Roberta for sharing all of your tips for improving our stitches.

She is planning a longer more in-depth program for those who may be interested in basic smocking stitches. For more information about the date and location, please contact her.

November Show and Share


Brenda bought a Carter's Children's Jacket and appliquéd this fantastic sailboat design which she found at the Houston Quilt Festival.

She created this cute stuffed puppy from fleece using a pattern from Carol's Zoo.

It looks like Brenda had lots of time on her hands last month as she also made this tree skirt which she adapted from a table topper using quilting cotton. All wonderful items!

Nikki found this wooden bed, painted it white and added a cute quilt and a few throw pillows for her granddaughter. 

Once again Trena inspires us with her creativity with silk ribbon embroidery, absolutely beautiful!

This blue floral, Chery Williams bishop was made up in Leslie lawn from Heirloom Imports, smocked with a design from AS&E issue 36 which was slightly adapted by Roberta.

This darling bishop was also done in a baby blue floral with large pink embroidered roses from the smocking plate from AS&E issue #46.

Leda has been smocking for over 30 years, here is her very first  "How to..." from pleating to smocked sampler pillow.

She now is embroidering in the hoop! This cute travel pillow by Anita Goodesign designs is among her accomplishments.

Monday, November 2, 2015

MOS Evening Meeting

Show and Share 

A new member, Jessica shared her talent of sewing with this darling maroon jumper and polka dot bloomers. She used a McCalls pattern.

Jessica did a little smocking from an old "Sew Beautiful" design 'Candy Corn'. Using a 'Pitter Patter' pattern this black cotton jumper features co-ordinating fabric on the side panels.

Our fabulous member, Kathleen provided a great program on zippers. She is mulit-talented! 

Be sure to visit her blog.

Monday, October 26, 2015

October Show and Share

A Bounty
Show and Share

This darling pink dress sewn by Ann with 'clip-dot' fabric in a size 1 using a pattern by "Appliqué for Kids" which can be found on www.appliqueforkids.com website.

Here is a dress for the older girl. An "Oliver + S" pattern, 'Book Report Dress' was used to sew this dress in a soft lavender corduroy and a floral lawn both from Fabric Finders. Roberta would like to share that the pattern is quite narrow across the shoulders, so it is best for a more willowy frame.

This white dress accented with pink ribbon was constructed by Nikki Stasny at the 'Sassy Southern School'. Trisha Smith's 'Perfectly Puffed' pattern was used on batiste for a size 8.

Another completed 'Kinsey' from the sewing along. This one done by Joanne.

PILLOWS, Pillows and more pillows by Susan. The yoga saying was stitched on a canvas from the "Needle House",  'Hot Mess' was sewn with tie died fabric,  and 'frugal' were also canvas' from Needle House. The Delta Gamma pillow canvas was from Chapparall.

Along with her stitching ability, Susan had time for a little machine sewing. These two garments made with 'Fleur de lis' (logo of Univ. of Louisiana) fabric were made from the Frannie, size 2 and Johnny, size 12 months patterns.

Susan also found time to sew up this 'Malina' pattern by "Bonnie Blue". She plans to enter it in the FALL CHALLENGE for our chapter.

Barbara made this very lovely night gown for her daughter, using a pattern from AS&E issue 58. The red polyester charmeuse satin was the perfect choice of fabric to give that soft flowing feminine feel.

Leda shared her talent with a crochet needle by making this 'Popcorn Crochet Baby Afghan'. She use three colors of yarn - pink, baby blue and brown. We have multi-talents members.

Trena has stayed busy with creating a silk ribbon embroidered purse from a kit and smocking the 'Lucy' pattern from "Children's Corner" using fabric from her stash. She did her own design on the smocking. Good for YOU!

New member, Nancy brought the ring bearer pillow she made for her daughter's wedding. The lace was from Nancy's wedding dress, what a wonderful idea. She smocked the pillow insert with a design from "Little Memories - 3 of Hearts".

Brenda has been busy lately, not only did she do a long awaited Christmas stocking for her nephew (sorry no picture at this time)which is a family tradition, but she finished a bishop from a sew along taught by Roberta and completed the 'Lucy' FB challenge plus a doll dress. The bishop is smocked with 'Sailboats' by Ellen McCarn.

And speaking of doll dresses, Susanna has started the ball rolling for next year's fund raiser by making a cute dress for the American Girl Doll raffle. This dress was made from the "My Favorite Designer Doll Dress Clothes" book by Wendy Schoen. Just for fun, she also did the precious "Children's Corner" 'Lucy' dress smocking from a design found in AS&E.

Joy has inspired us by putting the finishing touches to the dress, slip and bonnet from Jeannie B's class and bringing a complete ensemble for us to see. This project was made from Swiss Lawn fabric and hand stitched embroidered.

She has let her creative juices flow and has designed a diaper shirt set from a vintage pattern. This precious pattern should be available soon on her website.

This particular one was sewn with Swiss flannel. She did a machine shadow work of a little boat.

The following pictures are close up views of her bias scalloped edging demonstration and how she used it on different areas of the one dress. You may view a picture of the full dress by visiting the October program post.

Can you see the scalloped edging down the center of the bodice?

Here it is used on the sleeve

 And to finish off the effect, she has added it to the hem.