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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Working on the En Forreau Gown

Today, I had a chance to sew on the En Forreau gown, but only after I had completely removed all the carpet from my living room floor.  Jim and I have been redoing most of the floors in our 110 year old house, and are so excited to be almost through with this project.  We have had to replace the subfloor and install vinyl flooring in the dining room, master bedroom, and the office, but were fairly sure that we would only have to install an underlayment for the vinyl flooring that we are installing in the living room and another bedroom.  The bedroom has a pine floor that has been painted, but otherwise is in great structural shape, so we will simply install the underlayment and vinyl flooring to this room.

We were so pleasantly surprised to discover that after we removed the old carpet in the living room that the original pine flooring was in wonderful condition.  We never anticipated being able to preserve some of the original flooring in the house, but now we will be able to do so.  Here is a picture of the floor as we found it after removing the old carpet.


Now back to my sewing project.  I had completed the two sections of the En Forreau 1700s gown, and today I pleated and inserted the en forreau back of the gown.  Remember, that the term en forreau refers to the way the back of the gown is made up of a long pleated section that starts at the neckline and extends to the hem of the skirt. This feature of the gown allows it to be fitted in the waist by adding tiny little pleats.  I'm not going to say, that this phase of the project was completed without me having to rip out some stitches, because I would not be telling the truth.  Hopefully, when I make a second gown by this pattern, I will be able to breeze through it.  Here are pictures of the pleated back section of the gown and where it was inserted.



And these last two pictures show little Mattie having her second fitting.  I placed the petticoat fabric against the gown to get an idea of how the colors will look together.  What do you think?


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Read the Instructions Before You Begin a Project!

There have been more times than I can count when I have asked my students to please read the instructions before starting an assignment, taking a test, or beginnning a project.  So you might ask me:  "Do you take your own advise?"  To which I would say, "Well, sometimes."

On this En Forreau project I must respond, "Not this time."  I have a word for you today--
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE STARTING A PROJECT!

I've lost count the number of times that I have had to rip out stitches in this dress project. Thankfully, I have been able to correct my mistakes along the way, but tonight I made one that scared me a little.  I made a cut that could only be corrected by sewing the piece back on leaving a seam where there is not suppose to be one.  All in all, though, unless you saw the pattern instructions; you would not be able to determine that it was a miscalculation on my part!  Whew!
Tonight, for my bedtime reading guess what I will be reading???

So what did I accomplish in the little time that I worked on the dress?  I added tiny little pleats to the skirt of the dress and attached one side of the skirt to the bodice.  It looks like the pieces line up, so when I resume sewing, this is where I will begin.  Until next time, good night.




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Today is Saturday and I Actually Got to Sew


This morning I finished making a batch of sweet pickles that I started last night, so I did not get to resume my sewing until this afternoon.  I was really anxious to get started since I left one of the sleeves of the En Forreau dress ripped apart last night.  The first thing that I did was re-cut another sleeve and re-attached the cuff.  It looked great, and I was pleased with the results.  The next step involved gathering the sleeve caps and then setting them into the armhole openings of the bodice.  I thought this would be easy enough, because I had done it many, many times before, but to my dismay, I set the first sleeve in backwards.  So it was rip, rip, rip time again; can I say this project was plagued with my careless errors?   Finally, though, I managed to complete the sleeve insertions and it was time to do my first fitting on little Mattie. SIGH!!!


After all the struggling with the bodice of the dress, it really did turn out nice and seems to be a perfect fit.  The wide opening in the back will be where the En Forreau (long sheath) will be inserted.  But first I will have to attach the skirt of the dress to either side of the bodice before this insertion is made.  The En Forreau will extend from the neckline to the hem of the dress and will feature a series of tiny pleats whose purpose is to produce a snug fit around the waist.

I had thought about sewing some more tonight, but Farmer Jim, my husband, asked me to help him count his herd of cows.  For some reason he was coming up short on his count.   I had my doubts that I would be able to do this because most of his cows are the same color--black--and most of them would not stand still for very long.  It only took about three times of starting over with my counting, for me to give it up, for they would invariably escape my mental corral.  Even my idea of taking pictures of them and later trying to count them on the computer screen proved just as hard a task.

Now it was fun to watch Jim count the cows; he is so experienced at doing this.  It's amazing to me how he can tell them apart; but he can.  He knows something physically unique about each one; he also can tell you the due date of each mama cow.


Well, that concludes the events of my day and I'll be posting again on the progress of my sewing project, so please tune in to see what happens next.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Started a New Sewing Project Today

My next sewing project is going to take us back to the late 1700's and allow us to get a glimpse of the dress styles of that era.  The doll dress that I have chosen to make was designed by Shari Fuller of Thimbles and Acorns, a super talented lady who spends lots of time doing research into the fashion trends and styles of centuries past.  

This style of gown, as described by Shari, is based on the popular En Forreau' dress style from the 1770's where the bodice and skirt at the center back were cut in one piece and pleated to fit.  The gown can be worn down or tied up with hidden tapes to form a bustle.  The petticoat is historically detailed with front and back ties that form pocket openings at the sides.

Armed with some old gold taffeta that I found in the remnant bin at JoAnns and a cotton floral print that is the perfect color for the fall season, I began my sewing project.  Determined to accomplish something before the end of the day, I pinned the pattern to the fabric, cut it out, serged the edges of each piece, threaded my sewing machine with matching thread, and started sewing the sleeves. My new goal for the day would be to finish the sleeves complete with cuff, lace, and shoulder gathering.

Here are some pictures of my progress up to this point.



My little model for this sewing project will be Maddie.

As you can see from the last sewing picture above I started with the sleeve, first attaching the lace and later the cuff.  Below is a picture of what I thought was the accomplishment of the goal I had set for the day--to finish the sleeves.  


But after further examination I noticed that I had attached the lace to the right sleeve in the same direction as the lace on the left sleeve.  Of course, we all know (don't we) that they have to be the opposites of each other.  So here I am ripping it out, and figuring out what part of it I can still use and what part I will have to recut.  



But, that is no big deal; most seamstresses know they will have to rip something out sooner or later; so we just take it all in stride and keep moving forward.  Tomorrow, I hope to be able to finish the sleeves, attach them to the bodice, and begin making the En Forreau back of the dress.



Monday, July 14, 2014

YES!! I Finished the Elsa Dress

With excitement and relief I am pleased to present to you the finished Elsa dress inspired by the Disney movie, Frozen.  Most of today was spent taking pictures of my doll, Kirsten, in the dress that I have been planning and sewing on for what seems like two months.

I have to admit, though, it has been a lot of fun working on this project.  It has required, as I said, lots of time as well as a fair amount of expense.  This dress will be unique in that it will not be exactly duplicated again, so whoever purchases it will have a one-of-a-kind little dress for her special doll.  If you are interested in purchasing this dress, you can do so at Etsy.com/shop/missycrissy2.


Last week, I finally got to watch the movie with my little granddaughters, Katie and Jane.  It was a fantastic movie with such a great life lesson, wonderful music, and beautiful animation.  I hope that you have enjoyed following my progress with this Elsa dress project, and it would be so great if you could post a little comment on my blog; otherwise, I will



have no idea that you read it.  Thanks for following.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's Been A While!

It's been a while since I worked on the Snow Queen Elsa dress.  Hopefully, today, I will be able to complete it.  I am learning to navigate through some software, Corel PaintShop Pro, in order to remove the background from the pictures that I take of my dolls' outfits.  This will allow me to photoshop the doll pose onto a background that I would otherwise be unable to obtain here in Mississippi.  Specifically, a background of snow, that was the setting for most of the Frozen movie.

Last week was really a wild one for my husband and me.  We are striving hard to do our part in redeeming our beloved state of Mississippi back from what seems to be a very low place politically speaking.  It is our desire that the U. S. Senatorial election be conducted and concluded in such a way that each voter in Mississippi can be satisfied that the outcome was arrived at legally and ethically.  Sometimes we often wonder why things have to be so "upside down" in our lives and in the world at large; and we may, like Job, wonder where God is in all of the commotion.

Today, while reading God's Word, I think I might have found the answer in Psalms 33: 8-11..."Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all people of the world revere him.  For he spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.  The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples, But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

(Paraphrasing Matthew Henry) God over-rules all the counsels of men, and makes them, contrary to their intention, serviceable to his counsels. Come and see with an eye of faith God is on the throne, 1. Frustrating the devices of his enemies: He bringeth the counsel (Ps. 2:1 ); the counsel of Ahithophel is turned into foolishness; Haman’s plot is baffled. Though the design be laid ever so deep, and the hopes raised upon it ever so high, yet, if God says it shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass; it is all to no purpose. 2. Fulfilling his own decrees: The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever. It is immutable in itself, for he is in one mind, and who can turn him? The execution of it may be opposed, but cannot in the least be obstructed by any created power. Through all the revolutions of time God never changed his measures, but in every event, even that which to us is most surprising, the eternal counsel of God is fulfilled, nor can anything prevent its being accomplished in its time. With what pleasure to ourselves may we in singing this give praise to God! How easy may this thought make us at all times, that God governs the world, that he did it in infinite wisdom before we were born, and will do it when we are silent in the dust! of the heathen to nought, so that what they imagine against him and his kingdom proves a vain thing.  

There are two things that I would like to emphasize here:  God is still on his throne, and He will accomplish his purposes in his time.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sewing Again on the Elsa Dress

Today, after spending all of last week working on the floors in "our old house," I am finally sewing again on the Snow Queen Elsa dress.  I love to sew and when I don't get to sew almost every day, I get frustrated.

Here are pictures of the almost completed train and corset (bodice), which was the part of the dress that I was most eager to sew.  It is always a curiosity to see if the pattern will fit, if the pieces will fit together properly, if the fabric selections work together, and on this particular design if I would do an acceptable job on the bodice embellishments.  The fabrics that I chose seem to be working pretty well.  At first I did not know if turning the embellished side of the train fabric to the inside and using it as a show-through lining would work, but it turned out pretty well, as did the bodice embellishments.  What do you think?

Follow me to see the dress continue to come together.  I am anxious to see the finished results, and I hope you are too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I'm Not Sure of What I Did

My posts are all out of sequence according to date; so for those of you who have been following my posts on the making of the Queen Elsa dress, you will have to select from the categories to the left to find those posts.
Because of other obligations, I have not had time to sew this week, but I hope to get back to the Elsa dress next week.  Thanks for keeping up with me.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kirsten's Photoshoot Update

Kirsten and I started out for the beach, but realized we would have to walk a long ways from our hotel, so we decided to stop by the pool instead.  Here are some pictures of her visit to the pool at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS

Finally at the Beach

We finally made it to the beach to take some more pictures of Kirsten's new hand crocheted swimsuit; but after getting all set up, I realized that I had left my camera card in my laptop.  My husband was sweet enough to take me to the store to buy one, and after eating some lunch we came back to the beach to take some pictures--right before a storm came through.  I did not take the time I should have to get my focus and other camera settings right, so hence the not too good pictures.  But it was fun to get some shots using real life props.  I only wish I had not forgotten Kirsten's beach chair that I worked so hard making.




Ice Queen Elsa Dress On the Table

Today I officially started on my rendition of the dress worn my Elsa, the Ice Queen, in the movie, Frozen.  Many seamstresses have made their version of this little dress for their dolls, their daughters' dolls, or to sell in their online stores or at craft shows.  This dress is very popular with doll owners because the movie itself is so extremely popular.  Of course, what Disney princess movie has not been a huge hit immediately after its release and for decades after.  Just think about Cinderella, Snow White, etc.; thousands and thousands of costumes for dolls, little girls, and also big girls have been purchased or custom-made over the years.  So here we have another one.

The dress that I am making will be for sale in my online Etsy store at Etsy.com/shop/missycrissy2.  I will also offer it for sale locally at craft shows around Christmas time.  I am using a pattern designed by Renee Adams of Dollhouse Designs.  The dress is so magical and gorgeous; and Renee did an awesome job with her pattern, designing it to so closely to resemble the dress worn by Elsa in the movie.

It has taken me many trips to the fabric stores to find the perfect fabrics to use in this creation.  It had to have a nearly invisible long sleeve, close-fitting under blouse that would show the doll's arms and lower neck.  The neckline of the dress and the very long detachable train would have an illusion of sprinkles of sparkly ice crystals.  Probably the most difficult search was for the right color of icey blue fabric.  For the train the fabric had to be sheer, flowing, and wispy blue-white to resemble a light snow trail, and the fabric perfect for the skirt of the dress needed to be satin-smooth, and have enough weight to hang correctly.  Lastly, the corset-type bodice would need to be adorned with sequins, crystals, and beads to give it a dimension of richness.

Planning this dress has been a lot of fun, but I have to confess that the expense of the pattern, specialty fabric, embellishments, and notions have caused me a little angst; for I know to recapture my expense and to make a buck, I will have to charge more than most people want to give for a doll dress.  So the dress that I am making will most probably be purchased by a doll collector or by an older girl who is appreciative of the value and delicate nature of the dress's construction and fabric.

Tomorrow's post will update you on my
progress with the blouse of this dress.  Please visit again.

On a Different Subject

Today as I was reading my Bible, I had just finished watching the news and specifically the hearing on the IRS conservative targeting scandal. Just listening to that man who is the new head of the IRS made my sweet potato pancakes flip over in my stomach. It is so amazing how our country is becoming more and more corrupt with this and other horrible things that are going on in our country. But, apparently, from my reading in Habakkuh the problem with corruption is certainly not new.

Habakkuh was so frustrated with the Lord about why he was allowing all of the similar corruption in Judah to continue unabated. He said in Hab. 1:4 "The law is not enforced and there is no justice given in the courts, for the wicked far outnumber the righteous, and bribes and trickery prevail." (NLB)

But the Lord in all of his wisdom, righteousness, and perfect timeliness responded in Verses 5-11 (NLB): "Look, and be amazed! You will be astounded at what I am about to do! For I am going to do something in your own lifetime that you will have to see to believe. I am raising a new force on the world scene, the Chaldeans, a cruel and violent nation who will march across the world and conquer it. They are notorious for their cruelty...for they clain their power is from their gods."
When I look at the Middle East and what is happening in Iraq (Babylon), Iran (Chaldea), etc. it seems as though history is repeating itself. I sure hope they are not coming for us--as a rod of God's punishment. Something to think about.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Elsa Dress--Day 4--Fitting the Corset

Finishing the task of hot fixing the crystals on the corset of the Elsa dress was accomplished today with only a small blunder.  One crystal landed in the wrong place leaving a little glue trail which I had to clean up. Thankfully, it is almost undetectable.  I was glad, also, that the fitting of the corset was successful.  I was a little afraid it might be too small, since that tends to be the trend of today's AG clothes patterns.  Most of the patterns are designed to fit the newer, smaller framed dolls rather than the older, original American Girl dolls. Below is a picture of the corset fitting and the finished crystal and rhinestone application.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Elsa Dress - Day Three

Today, I did not get to work for long on the Elsa dress, because of some remodeling that I had to monitor in "our old house."  I did, however, take time to hotfix the rhinestones and crystals on the dress train, and to plan where I wanted to place them on the corset part of the dress.

Hot fixing crystals can be a challenging endeavor because once they have been put in place, they are permanent.  Fortunately, there were no great mistakes on the train.  The bodice may present more of a problem, since there are so many to fix.  Here are some pictures of the progress I made today.


If you are by chance reading this post or any of the others, would you consider joining and becoming one of my followers?  It's easy.  All you have to do is click on the button, JOIN THIS SITE, and sign in with your Google Account information.  I really appreciate comments, too. Thanks a bunch.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Elsa Dress - Day Two

Today I have been checking the fit of the Elsa dress bodice and skirt to the train, and also getting a visual of the color matches of the dress to the train.  The fabric that I chose for the train is a beautiful chiffon-type fabric embellished with scrolly sparkles, but unfortunately the color of the fabric was too intense for the soft "snowy" look that the train is supposed to have.  So what did I do?  I used the beautiful ornate fabric as the lining of the train, and turned the side with the sparkles to the top so that the sparkles would shine through the white chiffon.  My intention was for the intense color and sparkles underneath the white sheer chiffon to show through just enough to create a "snowy" illusion.  I am adding Swarovski crystals and rhinestones on top of the chiffon to mimic snowflakes.  Here are pictures of my sewing progress, and I am adding a picture of the beautiful train fabric that will not be seen in all its "glory."  The second and third pieces of fabric are some that I purchased but decided did not work with this dress.






Monday, June 9, 2014

People May Think I'm Crazy

I am on the Mississippi Gulf Coast getting ready to journey down to the beach to have a photo shoot of my American Girl doll, Kirsten. You see; I sell American Girl doll clothes, and I find it much more fun and realistic to take pictures of their new outfits in appropriate settings. I forgot Kirsten's new beach chair that I made out of screen moulding and wooden dowels; so I guess we will have to rig up a way for her to sun. I am going to use my new Canon Rebel T3i that my husband bought me for Mother's Day, and hopefully I will be able to figure out how to take pictures in the bright sunlight. Stay tuned for the results.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Love As Defined by God: Love Beareth All Things; It Endureth All Things--Lesson 9

Lesson 9:  Love beareth all things; it endureth all things.  I Corinthians 13: 7 --Some read the first, covers all things. So the original also signifies. Charity will cover a multitude of sins, 1Pe_4:8. It will draw a veil over them, as far as it can consistently with duty. It is not for blazing nor publishing the faults of a brother, till duty manifestly demands it. Necessity only can extort this from the charitable mind. Though such a man be free to tell his brother his faults in private, he is very unwilling to expose him by making them public.

Thus we do by our own faults, and thus love would teach us to do by the faults of others; not publish them to their shame and reproach, but cover them from public notice as long as we can, and be faithful to God and to others. Or, it beareth all things, - will pass by and put up with injuries, without indulging anger or cherishing revenge, will be patient upon provocation, and long patient - holds firm, though it be much shocked, and borne hard upon; sustains all manner of injury and ill usage, and bears up under it, such as curses, contumacies, slanders, prison, exile, bonds, torments, and death itself, for the sake of the injurious, and of others; and perseveres in this firmness.

By:  Matthew Henry

Monday, July 8, 2013

Love Thinks No Evil -- Love Defined by God--Lesson 8

Lesson 8:  1 Corinthians 13:6 -- Love thinks no evil. It cherishes no malice, nor gives way to revenge: so some understand it. It is not soon, nor long, angry; it is never mischievous, nor inclined to revenge; it does not suspect evil of others, ou logizetai to kakon - it does not reason out evil, charge guilt upon them by inference and innuendo, when nothing of this sort appears open. 

True love is not apt to be jealous and suspicious; it will hide faults that appear, and draw a veil over them, instead of hunting and raking out those that lie covered and concealed: it will never indulge suspicion without proofs, but will rather incline to darken and disbelieve evidence against the person it affects. It will hardly give into an ill opinion of another, and it will do it with regret and reluctance when the evidence cannot be resisted; hence it will never be forward to suspect ill, and reason itself into a bad opinion upon mere appearances, nor give way to suspicion without any. It will not make the worst construction of things, but put the best face that it can on circumstances that have no good appearance.

By: Matthew Henry

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A New Missy Crissy Product

I'm off to trying something new!  I'm making polymer clay barrettes.  After I grew my hair out, I am always in need of some kind of hair ornament; so I thought that I would try my hand at making barrettes.

To make my barrettes I use polymer clay to make the ornament body, and then attach it to a "made in France" french hair clasp. These clasps are the only ones to use in my opinion if you want a barrette that is strong and one that will hold your hair securely.  French clasps that are made in China, etc. do not seem to be made to the high quality specs as the ones "made in France."   Those made in France are made of a single piece of heavy gauge steel with no center bar that can fall out like those included in low quality brands.  This one feature is well worth the extra cost of the barrette.


When I make the ornament body of the barrette, I design it, form it, bake it for one hour to cure it, and then sand it through ten grits of sanding pads. It is then preserved with Renaissance Wax Rolish, a micro-crystalline wax polish used in the finest museums to protect metals and most other sufraces. It has, also, been used with great sucess to protect the surface of baked polymer clay. The surface is sealed and protected beneath a hard coat of wax. It is a great way to finish off jewelry and hair peices, expecially if they are handled often. Finally, the ornament body is attached to the metal barrette blank using two rivets made of copper, aluminum, or brass.  A riveting system is used to give a professional riveted attachment.


So far, I have designed and made eight barrettes, but only three have been accepted into my line of products for sale.  Each barrette has to meet my high quality standards before I sell them to customers.

Here is a look at the three that I will be selling in my Etsy and Art Fire stores.