Strasburg Sailboats

This Strasburg Children ivory linen suit was a beauty, but as plain as Quaker oats, with absolutely no embellishment. It was pristine and charming in its own right.  Nonetheless,  I thought this size 3-month outfit could be made even more wonderful for unborn Alastair.

In anticipation of grandchildren, I had purchased some exquisite  hand shadow work booties from Farmhouse Fabrics. As soon as I had the Strasburg suit in hand, I knew the sailboat pair would be a perfect match.

NOTE: The photos have been edited for greater contrast. In so doing, the color is distorted. After the photo was taken, I replaced the white ribbon with 3/8″ ivory antique silk grosgrain. It was more tailored and more suited to the quality of the booties.


The first thing I did was scan the booties then trace off the design of the sailboats. As soon as it appeared that work could begin,  all plans came to a screeching halt. I had failed to factor in the complication of  the suit being completely lined.

After some head scratching and problem solving, I decided that I would just have to be very careful not to catch the lining as I worked the shadow embroidery.

In my sewing room is an old plastic tracing box that belonged to my son Ryan 30 years ago. It has a slanted, white plastic top and a small light bulb inside to facilitate tracing. When he no longer used it, I had a hard time justifying saving it, as I wasn’t sure what I would use it for.  It wasn’t long after that that I learned shadow embroidery.  Time and time again, I have used that little box and been so happy that it was saved.

With the traced sailboat taped to the white plastic top, the box was slid inside the little suit and the design was traced with my Dixon washout marker. Then, ever so carefully, the shadow embroidery was worked.  Using a very small hoop made it easier to check the inside of the suit for any stitches that might have caught the lining.  And many times,  they had.  Those rogue stitches  were removed and replaced.

Still, it looked a little plain. As usual, the utility buttons were replaced and sewn on with matching blue thread. Then a running stitch was worked around the collar, sleeves and the button tabs on the side. Finally, to me it looked finished.

Alastair, 7 days old

Even though Strasburg Children garments usually run large, this 3 month size would not button at the neck by the time Alastair was week old.

Of course, one part of the problem was that Alastair had no neck at all.   The other part was that he was built like a miniature linebacker, weighing in at 9 lb. 6 oz.  Still, he was very comfortable in this suit and his parents were very fond of the outfit, buttoned at the neck or not.  And for all the class, style and convenience of a Strasburg Children ready-to-wear, there is not another outfit like it.

P.S. The 0-3 month booties only fit him for 10 days.

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