I’ve probably made a dozen of these antique carriage baby shawls in the past few years and I never get tired of it. This project is both modern AND old fashioned. For me, it doesn’t get much better than that.
It old fashioned because it is made of 100% cotton heirloom goods with an old fashioned design. It is modern because gracefully endures heavy laundering and even looks good (but not best) without ironing.
Swiss flannel and a sturdy English lace provide durability while the machine embroidery designs provide nostalgic charm. I’ve made this in two sizes, 30 x 30 and 36” x 30. My daughter-in-law loved the 30” square for a nursing cover up. It was light weight enough that neither she nor my summer grandbabies sweltered in order to maintain her modesty. The larger size is nice for wrapping or covering older babies.
The appliquéd antique carriage and the floral sprigs are from one of the embroidery design collections done by my friend Suzanne Sawko and me, Fil Tire’ and Fancywork Elements.
The appliqué material is a 4”square of fil tire’ created in the hoop, using a wing needle, Madeira Cotona 80 wt. thread and a separate design. The fil tire’ piece creates the three dimensional effect of wicker.
As the embroideries are joined with feather stitching, a frame is created inside the perimeter of the lace. By joining the lace with a pin stitch, you have the option of weaving floss through the holes and adding another touch of color.
One reason that I’ve made this so many times is its versatility. The carriage is truly a unisex design. On white Swiss flannel, with a white or yellow carriage, it is gender neutral. With a pink or blue carriage, you have a boy or girl shawl. It is neither too frilly nor too masculine for either gender.
One of my favorites was yellow Swiss flannel with a blue carriage and blue silk flower embroidery. My 7 month old grandson still snuggles under that one, but if I can borrow it back, I’ll include a picture.