“Holiday Botanicals”

Holiday decorating has begun in my sewing room and when Gracie dons her striped elf hat she really gets into the Christmas spirit.  Right now she is looking for the perfect spot for her grapevine poinsettia wreath.  Any ideas?

I love the colors in this botanical Christmas print:  orange-y red, aqua blue, yellow green, a medium bright green, deep red, and pure white.  Not that I don’t like basic red and green, but this palette is so fresh looking.  (It is actually a little more colorful; reds are so hard to photograph.)


The photo below is a bit brighter.  The problem was that to get the dress bright, I’d have to settle for the color of the sweater to get over saturated.  The photos of only the dress are a little more colorful.



The sweater is knit with hand dyed Peruvian Highland wool that I hand dyed to a warm red.  It has some subtle light and dark areas which give it a tonal feel.  The yarn matches the warm orange-y red blossoms on the dress.

For the sweater’s embroidery, I chose to highlight the bright white poinsettias, but to keep them on the smaller size in an asymmetrical scattered composition.  Three shades of greenery which match the dress are also used for the embroidery.  Dark burgundy berries and garnet bead buttons tie into the deep red background of the dress.  Again, sorry for the photo quality.  The white blossoms are very white compared to how they look in the photo above.  The closeup photo below is better, but the greens are appearing muddy, and they’re not.




Gracie’s “Holiday Botanicals” ensemble will be available tonight (October 20, 2016) at 7:00 pm CST, cindyricedesigns.com.

I hope you all have, or are having a great day!  Bye for now, and thanks for stopping by.

Bit of News and “A Peek at Christmas”

I’m wondering if you all have forgotten about my patterns that I promised to start writing!  Definitely not!  My first one is almost ready to be published.  The pattern is written, but this morning I realized my cover photo may be too small pixel-wise, so I want to redo that.  Also, there have been technical things that I needed “husband help” with.  He needed to figure those things out when he wasn’t at work.  New things always take time; it’s getting real close though.  Thanks for being so patient with me!

I’ve been looking at my stack of Christmas fabrics for months now.  I actually felt like starting to make something Christmas-y in August, but I held back.  I didn’t want to skip making fall ensembles.  But now, it is time to dive right into Christmas sewing!

My smiling Little Darling, Lucy, got the first ensemble for Christmas 2016!  Lucky girl!  I call this ensemble “A Peek at Christmas” because it is “just a bit” Christmas-y.


This fabric is a lively red and green floral on a darker ivory ground.  It is a cozy print, but not drab.  My newest lace from England matched perfectly.  I added it to the hemline for the green tights to peek through.  A couple of red hand made bows at the hemline tie into the red waistline sash.

I felt this ensemble needed green tights, nothing else came close.  For a whole day I worked on mixing and dyeing what I thought was the perfect shade of green.  My fabric stayed in the dye bath for 1 1/2 hours; I stirred it every 15 minutes.  Then, it stayed in the fix bath for another hour; I stirred that every 15 minutes too.  The fabric came out uneven and, really too light.  The next day, I kept my fingers crossed as I headed to the fabric store.  Usually when I am looking for something in particular I don’t find it.  Not only did I find the perfect green, I also found it in a different fabric; it’s a lighter weight Lycra® rayon blend; it has a bit of a sheen to it, so is a little bit dressy.  And a bonus, it sewed up very nicely.  Needless to say, this all made me very happy . . . and feeling lucky.


For the sweater’s embroidery I used the same style of blossoms as on the fabric; I had tiny pearlized Delica beads that matched, so used those for the center of each blossom.  Two shades of green and some burgundy bud flowers complete the mirrored embroidery.  Mother-of-pearl beads in natural added the perfect touch for the buttons.



A tinier version as what’s used for the sweater decorates the back of the dress as faux buttons.


The last item I made to complete this ensemble was the crocheted drawstring bag.  It is crocheted with the finest cotton thread in a color that matches the background of the fabric and the lace.  For fun, I added a colorful and jingly dangle.  Inside Lucy’s bag is her contribution the the Christmas tree, a bright red ornament!




Lucy’s “A Peek at Christmas” ensemble will be available tonight (October 19, 2016) at 7:00 pm CST, cindyricedesigns.com.

Thank you for visiting with me today!  I hope your day is a beautiful one!

Bye for now!