this lovely summer dress challenge

summer dress winners announced and a story

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A lovely summer dress challenge was had, indeed!
Thanks to all who participated!
You can see all the lovely summer dresses here.

Our grand winner,
after much deliberation
and consulting with non-sewing ladies of style,
is Rachel and this lovely summer dress.
Weather you are familiar or new to sewing lovely items for wearing,
they call me rachel is a great blog for perusing,
for of her adventures in sewing she loves to share.

Congratulations, Rachel, your goodies thanks to Anna Maria Horner and Blackflower Tea are on their happy way to your homey home!


And this delighted little dearie won a special little something, too,
She made this dress herself! You can read what her mamma wrote about it here.

I think this sweet one will be sewing for many years to come.
I think she will have stories to tell.
Stories of sewing with her mamma
and her siblings
and friends along life’s way,
and someday with her own children and grandchildren so dear,

just like the child in this beautiful book,
Stitchin’ and Pullin”, a Gee’s Bend Quilt.
I just had to get it for her (Shhh. It’s a surprise.)

for it tells of a girl playing beneath the quilting frame
while mama and grandma and great-grandma
talk and sing and laugh…

It tells of what her world was like so long ago.

It tells of cloth being a memory
that takes us back to a distant time
filled with hope.

It tells of how the women of Gee’s Bend used color and shapes
and wasted nothing,

for their times were hard.

It tells of quilting as painting a poem with fabric.

I love this book.
It makes me want to slow this whirling world’s pace,
to sit around and quilt
or bake in the kitchen
or go for long walks with kindred folk
and listen to their stories
while children toddle around
with their eyes wide,
and listening hearts.
Cuddly children with their bouncy, wiggly, chubby goodness filling the air.

Stories that tell of all the ways God has shown his faithfulness
to every one of us.
We all have such stories to tell.
Each story is unique
for we are unique.
Each story is waiting to be told,
for our stories are meant to encourage others
through the happy
and the not so happy seasons life brings.

What is your story?
Take a moment sometime today
and share a little bit of your heart with a dear one.
I told a story today.
On my way home from the beach.
It was a funny story.
What will I share tomorrow?
Or, maybe I will be the one to do the listening.

Love to all, Tina.

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Blackflower Tea and a prize

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Paisley and Lace has a new prize being offered to the winner of This Lovely Summer Dress Challenge! I have heard great things about this tea company and their building reputation in the foodie world. They are also a great family that I have known and loved for many-a-year. Check them out! And if you think you will never, ever, ever like chai, you might want to give theirs a wee chance. It’s pretty yummy. And I’m one who steadfastly claimed to not be a chai lover. They won me over! Oh. And get those dresses entered on flickr. Less than two weeks to go until we select a winner!


Here is a word from Blackflower about their generous offering:

Blackflower and Company is a Loose Leaf Tea Company that is happy to be part of what we refer to as the Great American Tea Renaissance – the renewed interest in tea as a diverse landscape of complex and distinctive flavors worthy of exploration and enjoyment.  By using Loose Leaf Tea, people are finding a depth and complexity of flavors with tea they never knew existed!
The prize package for the winner of This Lovely Summer Dress Challenge will win 2 – 4oz bags of loose leaf tea.
One of our very favorite teas, and definitely the customer favorite, is our Blackflower Signature Chai.  It is a delicious blend of the finest Ceylon Orange Pekoe Black Tea and Masala spices.  Delicately balanced between spicy and sweet, our wildly popular chai can be served both hot and iced.
The second tea you will win is our Hibiscus Mint Tisane, a refreshing mixture of hibiscus, peppermint, and stevia leaf.  This fruity beverage is one that customers like to branch out with, making fun summer drinks like “Hibiscus Mint Lemonade” and more.  We hope that you will enjoy both of these teas as much as we do!
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vintage dress remake

Posted in clothes design, this lovely summer dress challenge | 4 comments


How is your lovely summer dress challenge sewing going?


Here is my latest summer dress, although a legal entrant of the contest, this girl is not!


This girl was inspired by a lovely photo found on Pinterest. It’s originally from Atlantic-Pacific.

I loved how she put a long cardigan with a belt over top. My belt is vintage goodness from my Great Aunt on my Dad’s side. I don’t remember much about her at all. But there is something beautiful about wearing a Great Aunt’s belt. It brings our two worlds and two different times together somehow.


I designed the dress myself, using as a guide, a bright pink dress hanging in my closet that fits absolutely perfectly. But it is bright pink. Very bright. Which doesn’t work for a quiet, please-don’t-notice-me kind of girl. I also used a few pattern pieces from Amy Butler’s Lotus Dress pattern to help get the bodice shape. Resemblance to the Lotus Dress cannot be seen because the pieces were changed beyond recognition. But it still helped to begin with a regular pattern fashioned by someone who really knows what they are doing. Then I just added the longish ruffled skirt where it seemed best. Next time I will try a pleated skirt.

It’s even lined with a zipper closure. Truth be told…I still have not finished basting the lining at the zipper, and an old curtain was used for the lining.  Sometimes I think I do such improv-ish feats because I’m too lazy to go to the store for the getting of  ‘proper’ fabric. Or maybe it’s because this girl does most of her creative goodness on a whim at night when the stores are closed and she won’t stop for nothin’! Or maybe I just like being creative with what I have on hand.


This vintage fabric is from my lovely friend Monica. I am finding that the more I sew and quilt and create and decorate my home, the more I appreciate vintage fabrics. The designs and colors are nothing like what is available on the market today. These olde fabrics, like my olde worn belt, join me with other women of other times who also had a passion to bring beauty into their simple little homey world. We are not all that different, really.


And I finally found a pair of cowboy boots at a thrift store down in Capitola. $10. I was on a morning jog and they were just sitting out front. I had to stop and try them on, of course! My kind of shopping.

The contest comes to a close at the end of August, so get those dresses posted! They should pop up on the side of this blog shortly after posting them on this lovely summer dress challenge flickr group. You can see some of the prizes here. Happy summer sewing, friends!

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sewing with kids

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The tiniest of seamstresses has entered this lovely summer dress challenge.

You can read more about this young sewist on Hawthorne Threads’ blog.

I hope to see more of the young folks join in. I will have a special prize for their category.

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Anna Maria Horner patterns await a winner

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The ever so lovely and generous Anna Maria Horner

sent along these dress patterns

for a lucky winner of

this lovely summer dress challange!


They will sit quietly in the corner of my homey home

unopened by this abundantly tempted girl.

So, forget the dishes and the dirty floor,

and get your little self sewing!


…and more prizes are in the works…


In case you missed the goodness,

you can check out what Anna Marie Horner is up to here.

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a dress was made

Posted in clothes design, this lovely summer dress challenge, Vintage Sheet Goodness | 1 comment



This girl made a dress

from sheets

quite on a whim one night.



This girl wanted a dress and wanted it now.

All stores were closed.

Online, although fast, wasn’t fast enough,

for instant gratification, this girl wanted.

Spying her pile of thrifty finds sitting prettily in a corner,

a lovely dress-worthy sheet was found.

Rummaging through her old trunk of more thrifty finds

an old muslin curtain was torn up for lining.

Then to the closet to find a favorite long shirt for design inspiration…

Oh, this all sounds so lovely,

but I’m not too sure my family would concur,

for they reside ‘on the other side’ of this bloggy blog,

and the fabricy mess strewn upon the floor of the room, they see!

Being late at night when this flurry began

all my lovelies head to their cozy beds,

drifting off to the sound of their momma gone sew-crazy.

When morning comes…

they find threads and scrappy what-knots

sprinkled throughout their breakfast-eating place.

Such things not being a rare happening in their world,

they take their bowls to their laps upon a chair,

while their silly momma finishes up

her lovely summer dress.

Here’s my rather awesome surfer turned camera guy for the day:

How is your ‘this lovely summer dress challenge’ project going? Did you choose a pattern and fabric yet? In my next post, I hope to talk about some of the great fabrics you all are sharing with us in your comments. I can’t wait to see what you all make! P.S. I am entering my dress in the pool, but really I am disqualified being the host and all. P.P.S. Notice the flickr widget married man put on the side of this girl’s blog? It shows the most recent entry to ‘this lovely summer dress challenge’. Who’s dress will be next???





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