Monday, February 29, 2016

Wee Care Workshop

Step 1 - Cut the basic pattern pieces for the front, back and the sleeves of the 'Wee Care Gown'. Leslye and Mary try to keep up with the demand.

Step 2 -Here members Brenda and Sally do a little quality control to ensure the sleeve size matches the gown size and then take the items to the sewists.

Our 3 seamstress are busy sewing the sleeves to the front and back of the garments. Leda, Marisol and Teresa all look very intent on getting the task at hand done as efficient as possible.

Step 4 - The neckline is then turned down about an inch and pressed in place. Mary O. and Mary M. are enjoying the time chatting as this task is performed.

The Pleating Step - It takes many hands to keep up with the demand of this process. Each pleater has a determined amount of rows for the different size of gown. Debbie, Shirley and Cathy know how many rows are required for each size. Trena is busy 'frogging' and as we all know...'rippit, rippit rippet' is a sound with which all sewist are familiar.

It took 2 tables of pleaters to keep up with the cutting, sewing and pressing tables. Roberta, Susan and Barbara help with the pleating of the gowns.

Show and Share

Susan shared her creations of a dress and matching coat. The dress is Children's Corner pattern Louise, the fabric is from 'Buttons 'n' Bows', the lining is micro check and the collar which is embroidered was made from a pique fabric.
The coat was from our class with Cindy Foose in which we all made the Karen Faylor 'Toddler Coat' pattern. The fabric she used was a fine twill from 'It's Sew Heavenly'. Both are made in a size 4.

This darling skirt was made by Jessica using cute Foxes as it's theme. The pattern was from one of her favorite books, "Love at First Stitch" by Tilly Walnes.

Her friend and sewing partner, Bethany used the same book and made a skirt featuring crayons.

Here is a picture of the book!

Wee Care Workshop (cont.)

Roberta and Ann attended the evening meeting to continue the workshop. The evening group meets at Joanne's fabric store in Sugarland, TX

Here Roberta is demonstrating how to pleat the Wee Care Gowns.

It appears as if the new members are excited about this process. 

Everyone seems to be interested in the rest of the demo for creating Wee Care gowns.

A lot was accomplished between the daytime and evening meetings. Our committee chair has informed us that we donated over 160 gowns to local hospitals last year. Looks as if we are off to a great start for 2016!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

 More Show and Share from January's Evening  Meeting...

Brenda did this cute bag for her friend.
She also has done these 2 quilts that she brought to the meeting. She is a busy woman.

The tag line for SAGA is...'It's not just smocking! Heirloom sewing, quilting, embroidery, silk ribbon, drawn thread, appliqué, doll dressing and MORE' and as you can see, Midnight Oil does it all.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sewing Room

As you enter her upstairs sewing room you are conscious of being surrounded by memories, accomplishments, whimsy and creativity. 

This beautiful sewing machine cabinet was her grandmother's. Nikki, the oldest of 6 children was taught to sew by her grandmother. She shares that she made a dress to wear to church when she was just 10 years old! 

She searched and searched for just the right cabinet door knob, she loves the knobs with the buttons on them, adds that bit of cheery fanciful aspect to her room.

She relayed the story of how her friend and she stayed up past midnight quite some time ago to purchase the above 'Sexy Singer' from a TV home-shopping network.

One of her favorite aspects of her room is this new cutting table. She had the contractor build it 36 inches high for her to either stand and cut or sit on a stool and read through a pattern or book.

Nikki calls this corner of the room 'Granddaughters' Nook'. They love to come and spend time sewing with her. 

On the opposite wall from the cutting table, is her built in cabinets, the counter filled with her sewing machines and more fun items that add to the whimsy of her special room.

On the wall next to her sewing machines she proudly displays her certificates from the 'Martha Pullen School'. 

On one wall are her threads and ironing station. This little ironing board was found at a resale shop. She added the rubber feet and moves it close to the sewing machine while she sews.

Nikki is working on the above darling little smocked sundress and for her, this Vogue pattern 7975 jacket from boucle fabric. 

Nikki's favorite sewing tool, other than her Babylock sewing machine is this point turner. She bought it while in high school.

Here is Nikki sitting in her favorite spot to do hand work. Everything is at her fingertips, the light from the windows make it the perfect spot to enjoy her passion.

Nikki, who discovered the Midnight Oil Smockers chapter after meeting Leslye while attending the ‘Sassy Southern Sewing’ event last year, shares that she is having great fun.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Show and Share

Evening Mtg Show and Share
A dress for her daughter.

The back of the dress

Jessica used a McCall’s pattern for the size 2 dress she made her daughter. The Star Wars cotton fabric was purchased at Joanne’s. The skirt pattern was found in a Japanese book that she borrowed from a friend. How sweet to see a mother-daughter outfit that both enjoyed wearing.

Nikki brought a cape she made for her daughter. She created the cape using a Vogue pattern and black fleece fabric. The black and red checked fabric used for the lining was from her stash.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Letter from Local Hospital

Dear Members,

The below letter is from one of the hospitals that receives our Wee Care Gowns. They are so appreciative of all you do for them. Keep up the beautiful work, this may be the only garment their baby may wear.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January Meeting

January Program

The January Meeting was another successful "Tabletop Techniques" presented by our very talented members Leslye, Susan, Susanna, Ann and Teresa.

Teresa shared her technique of attaching lace to fabric. She used a foot with a very wide toe opening in order for the fabric to make a tiny roll over the lace as it was being applied.

very nice work Teresa!

Several members took this opportunity to share their techniques with each other.

Susanna and Ann shared tips on how to ensure that the inside of all Wee Care Gowns were as lovely as the outside. There are many variation of gowns, but all should be constructed with love and care. Remember, Midnight Oil Smockers will be hosting a Wee Care Workshop in February.

More sharing of ideas between members. Yes, we are a chatty chapter.

Susan discussed how she makes perfect 'Peter Pan Collars' for any dress.

She uses a block technique that she learned from the 'SouthernMatriarch'

Needle cases and perfect corner points were discussed by Leslye.

Here she demonstrates how she used a Vera Bradley checkbook cover to convert into a needle case. She used a heavy interfacing to make labels and write the type and size of needles on that page.

To solve the problem of uneven center pages used as the needle holders was to not cut the wool felt all the same size.

If the felt pages are cut in different widths, the wider page at the bottom (about 1/4 inch difference) then once closed, all pages will appear even. This also makes it easier to open the individual sections when the needle case is open.

For perfect 90 degree corners, Leslye suggested several techniques. Her favorite is to use a needle and quilting thread to pull the corner to the right side of the fabric. Just look at that perfect corner.

When sewing right sides together, stop and sew the last few stitches of the corner much closer together. Clip the corner as usual, insert a needle with quilting thread that is knotted into the corner of the fabric between the stitches, ensuring you do not catch any fabric.

Now pull the needle and thread through between the layers of fabric, turn right side out and give one last good tug. The knot should not pull through, but will bring the corner out.

Perfect every time!

Show and Share

I know Christmas is over, but it is still fun to see what members have done, regardless of the season. This darling bishop smocked and constructed by Leslye from cotton sateen features 'Silent Mice'. She made a few adjustments to the sleeve of the pattern by Children's Corner.

here is a close up of the smocking...perfection!

Roberta always shares her talents with something precious. This size 2 lavender print dress with a micro check collar and band is the perfect little Sunday apparel. She used a pattern from AS&E issue #50 known as Evangeline. The smocking design was also used from that garment.

Marisol had fun creating this darling number from featherwale corduroy fabric full of hearts. She used 'Lucy' a Children's Corner pattern. She shares that it was very EASY!

Marisol was quite busy this month and shared an 18 month batiste jumper with green madeira hem. She says this was her first attempt at madeira...great job! She hand embroidered the design. She used a pattern from Jeannie Baumeister's Old Fashion Baby. You can visit her at

Cathy shares some dress from the past. This pink seersucker/pique is a sundress from Cheryl Lohman's patterns featured in Creative Needle.

This cute 'Maggie' pattern from Children's Corner was created using an already made eyelet collar. The smocking design was featured in an old Creative Needle magazine.

Joy shared her finished project from a class given by Cindy Foose at the 'Sewing at the Beach' retreat. The pattern is 'Cissy' from a new pattern line "A Wink and a Nod" that will be available soon through Farmhouse Fabrics. The class project was sewn with a soft lime green checked seersucker.

Please note that doll garments were not yet photographed...the doll clothes will be featured on the blog once pictures of everything is taken.