Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Challenge: Peg Pocket Dress

The Peg Pocket Dress Challenge

It began on January 28, 2017 with this pattern

and these people

and all of this fabric.

Trisha Smith came to town and taught the MOS smockers in attendance at Quiltworks how to make her Peg Pocket dress. We had a great time working together under her tutelage.
(On the Friday before (1/27/17), she taught several members using her Poet's Blouse pattern.)

The Peg Pocket Dress fabric kits quickly looked something like this once class got underway:

Once class was over, the challenge was to finish the dress and bring it to the April meeting. 

 Several class attendees met up at Quiltworks later to work on the dress together. Sewing is fun, but it's even better with friends!

These ladies met the challenge and showed up on April 17 with dresses (and Poet's Blouses for some) in hand.

L to R: Debbie, Brenda, Susan, Leda, Denise, Teresa, Leslye, & Trena (not pictured: Lucy, Beth)

Leda showed how she added a sash at the back.

And here are the finished dresses, in different sizes and fabrics! Well done, ladies!!








Leslye's 2nd dress!


 And last, but definitely not least, Beth
Congratulations to all who took up the challenge and completed this adorable dress!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April POWERS, not showers!

No April Showers for MOS this month.......but we did learn a pretty cool power: how to clean our pleaters!

Cathy T. did a great job of explaining how to clean these machines. Pleaters make smocking an accomplishable task, so everyone in MOS has one (I think). Almost none of us, most who have been smocking for over 20 years, had ever taken our pleater apart and cleaned it. Many of us didn't know you were supposed to do that. (And I promise we're fairly intelligent people!)

That's why Cathy's demonstration was so helpful. It was information about something we all assumed we knew fairly well, but didn't know as much as we thought! While MOS meetings are always fun and informative, this one was surprisingly so. Thanks again, Cathy, for teaching us and answering all of our questions. We now are a clean-pleating group!

Cathy uses trombone slide cream to clean the gears!

April Sew & Share

Cathy T made this beautiful dress for her granddaughter. The pattern is Children's Corner's ( "Julia," and the fabric came from Fabric Finders ( Cathy doesn't remember the name of the smocking plate.
Beautiful work, Cathy!

Leslye made this cute top from Kari Mecca's ( sundress pattern. She used dotted swiss and colorful ribbon to make this like a "pillowcase" blouse that ties in the back. 

Joy made this adorable 12-month-sized baby bubble from Children's Corner "Bobby" using a Ralph Lauren fabric she purchased at Farmhouse Fabrics ( 
The machine applique is from Meow!

Marisol made this sweet day dress out of Swiss Imperial Batiste using Old Fashioned Baby's "Baby Daydress" pattern. She said this was very easy to put together.
The embroidery pattern, which Marisol said is quick to complete, is also included in the pattern. Marisol used silk thread to get the beautiful look above.

What an interesting project!
If you saw this project in the SAGA newsletter, you probably thought, "That is so pretty, but that would take such a LONG time to finish!" Well, apparently not! Marisol says that the project goes together very quickly once all the colors of DMC thread have been collected.
Very impressive!

Roberta's first grandchild, obviously a girl, is definitely one well-dressed young lady! Roberta used Old Fashioned Baby's "Emma" pattern and this beautiful Liberty "Rosa" fabric to make this dress. Roberta used entredeux and lace in place of a collar.
The bloomers are from Grandmother's Hope Chest by Martha Pullen, and she thinks this pattern is the best in terms of fit for a baby.
The smocking plate is "Jennifer" from Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine.

Roberta also made this sweet ensemble. (I told you her grandbaby was well-dressed, didn't I?)
This is the "Revised Daygown" from Old Fashioned Baby. Roberta used Swiss voile from Bear Threads (
The bodice design and bonnet pattern were from a Jeannie Beaumeister class, and are not included in the pattern. 
The slip and bloomers made to accompany the dress.
The bloomers are also from Grandmother's Hope Chest.
 Stuart made this adorable little dress and bloomers from the "Frannie Baby" pattern.
Don't you just love the embellishment on the bloomers?!

Trena made finished this quilt she began in 2010. Way to go!!

Denise used her stash to get a head start on Christmas with this Log Cabin Christmas Wreath Quilt.

Teresa made this fun faux fur scarf from a kit she bought at Buttons & Bows ( in January 2016.

Coming soon: Trisha Smith's Peg Pocket Dress Challenge!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Sew & Share

March Sew & Share

If you've visited this blog very often, you know that the Midnight Oil Smockers are a talented group. Sew & Share is always a favorite because we all appreciate the time and effort and talent that goes into these items of beauty. This month was no different for the Houston-area SAGA chapter.

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
March Challenge: Boys Will Be Boys
The March challenge was to create anything associated with boys. Several members met the challenge. It is always fun to see how different the entries for a challenge can be.

Stewart created this sweet bubble. The pattern is Yvonne Denise's Ashley/Cory and the fabric is microcheck flannel. The smocking plate she used is Sweet William Prince, Design I by Ellen McCarn. Adorable!

Stewart also made this Maggie's Classics Sailor Romper out of poly-cotton pique with poly-cotton plaid trim. The smocking plate is Matthew's Sailors by Terry Collins.
This smocking plate is the perfect accent for a sailor suit!
Mary sewed this Children's Corner Madison in a size 18 months. Very cute!
Joy brought Miche's Banded Boy Bubble in a 12-month size. She used linen & linen cotton with antique mother of pearl buttons. Perfect choices for this bubble.
Joy used the new Sashiko machine her husband gave her as a gift to make the feather stitches. The machine simulates hand sewing perfectly.
Beth whipped up this Children's Corner Johnny. She found the fabric at Fabric Finders and used Sew Beautiful's Dainty Designs Collection for the embroidery.
Each member that had a contribution for this challenge had her name entered into a drawing. Beth won the drawing! Congratulations, Beth!
Stewart showed the chapter this vintage-style baby bubble by Petitie Poche. She created this from pima cotton gingham and added machine hemstitching. Stewart found the tatting on antique linens. That's perfect for this cute outfit.
Stewart also made this bubble. The pattern is from Old Fashioned Baby: Best Embroidered Baby Clothes II. Stuart used linen and antique buttons.
The embroidery is also from Old Fashioned Baby.
Stewart crafted this sweet Maggie's Classics #110 out of poly-cotton microcheck.
Stewart's mother gave her this wonderful antique hanger from her collection.

Stewart's choices of antique tatting and pearl buttons were perfect for this outfit.
Another adorable Stewart creation. This is Maggie's Classics #108 in pima cotton gingham.
The buttons are from Stewart's mother.  

Teresa created this sweet shortall using Children's Corner Sandy in a size 1. It's made out of blue linen.
Susanna used Children's Corner Jamie in a 6-month size to make this smocked bubble. The fabric is from her stash, and has been waiting to be made into this cute outfit for 14 years!
The smocking plate was included in the Children's Corner pattern.
Nikki made this Children's Corner George in a 6-month size for her grandson. She used satin batiste with white batiste piping. She said this pattern was very easy. It's definitely adorable!
Nikki also made this Petite Poche Vintage Bubble. The fabric is white pique w/blue gingham piping.
Nikki perfectly stitched this whimsical shadow embroidery from Designs by Shari.
Debbie created this shortall using Miche's #134 in a 12-month. The fabric is blue chambray, and the piping is white broadcloth. She used Miche's smocking design "Cars" from Sew Beautiful. It's the perfect outfit for a little toddler!
This is Leslye's adorable Allan's Bubble from Creative Needle in a size 1, which she says runs small. The bubble is made of seersucker.
Children's Corner Sailboats. Such a fun alternative to smocking!
Leslye made this playsuit bubble from Children's Corner's Bobbie in a size 6 months. She purchased the fun fabric in San Diego. Lesley says this pattern is very easy.
Susan made this shortall using Maggie's Classics Shortall, which she says is also an easy pattern to use. This is a size 3 and was made out of fabric from her stash.
Brenda made these overalls from Children's Corner's Jeffrey. The fabric is printed denim.
Little Memories' Bearly A Sailor. Picture smocking makes a garment SO MUCH FUN!
Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice
Girls are never left out in a smocking guild. Our chapter's members produced these beautiful garments. They weren't entered in the challenge, but we're glad they showed up at Sew & Share.

Marisol made this Children's Corner Lee in a size 2. It is made out of batiste and the smocking design is Belles & Beaus.
What makes this smocking even more interesting is that Marisol didn't do it herself. She found this insert in Central America and bought it. No matter, it's still beautiful work!
This just might be the most important garment in this month's Sew & Share. Why? Because it is the first smocked garment Emma has ever made! Yay! Emma is Beth's daughter, so we know where she got her skills, and boy, did she learn well. She used Ellen McCarn's Basic Yoke Dress in a size 1. The fabric is a tartan plaid bought at Buttons & Bows in Houston TX. Emma wasn't able to come to the meeting, so her mom proudly showed her handiwork off to the members. Beth didn't know what the smocking plate is. 

Congratulations, Emma!
Job well done!!

Beth completed her Peg Pocket Dress from Trisha Smith's class she took earlier this year.

The covered buttons and pockets made of contrasting fabric make this such an adorable dress.

Susanne made Bonnie Blue's Eva Leigh pattern into this darling dress using Michael Miller fabric & Fabric Finders gingham.

Lesley's version of Children's Corner Virginia in a size 5. Swiss-embroidered edging was used for the ruffle collar. Beautiful!
The smocking plate is from Australian Smocking & Embroidery (AS&E).

Leslye used another AS&E pattern to make this play outfit. She used wider ribbon for the shoulder straps than recommended in the pattern.

Lesley used the smocking as a casing for her ribbon.

Can you tell that Stewart got a new sewing machine? She has been one busy girl! This cute bubble is Maggie's Classics #10, made out of Japanese Cotton Cherry print purchased from Farmhouse Fabrics. This is a size 2.

Such a sweet embellishment!

Stewart's matching dress using Children's Corner Louise in a size 4, also out of the Japanese cotton.

Stewart's inspiration came from the dresses her grandmother made for her and her Barbie doll. Those dresses had dangling cherries too.
Stewart made this cutie from Children's Corner Ruthie in a size 3. The fabric is Children on Parade from Michael Miller  and was purchased from She matched the pattern all the way around, and said it took a lot more fabric to do so than the pattern called for.

Stewart made this matching dress out of Children's Corner Louise in a size 4. This Michael Miller fabric is called "Magic Parade" and was purchased from Buttons & Bows in Houston. For this dress, Stewart used slightly less fabric in the skirt in order to match the pattern with no sideseams.
How sweet! Stewart made this delicate dress and slip using "Baby Rose Taglan" by Old Fashioned Baby. It is a size Small, and is made from Fairy Fabric purchased from Jeannie Beaumeister.

The lace on both the dress and slip were purchased at the Round Top Antiques Fair.

The Grown-ups got in on the fun too!
Susan sewed this beautiful top using Kanebo Japanese fabric. Doesn't that sound wonderful? 
She follows the blog and it inspired her to create this garment for herself.
Stewart needed a new bathrobe, but couldn't find what she wanted, so she made her own, of course. She used a vintage McCall's pattern and handkerchief linen to create just what she wanted. Lovely!
More fun items!
Isn't this too fun for words? Well, a few words are in order to tell you how Nikki ended up with this incredible creation.
It's a Kari Mecca Tape Measure Tote, made from a kit that included 30 tape measures!
A perfect rose accents the tote!
Who knew tape measures came in so many great colors?!!
Susan brought these painted needlepoint canvas pillows to the meeting. Two are from Kaffe Fassett Designs. The canvases were completed over 20 years ago, and just recently Susan made them into pillows.

Lovely! Any home graced by these is fortunate indeed!

Susan picture-smocked this needlecase using her own design.
This fun little needlecase will be donated to the Houston Embroidery Guild for their Opportunity Knocks basket.