Finally, 5 year-old Robert’s Christmas shirt is done. His long black pants are pressed and ready to wear as soon as I buy a belt to keep them up. Then he will be ready for The Nutcracker.
After all the interruptions and delays, I am glad to have this project finished. The fabric is Martha’s Favorite Linen from Martha Pullen and shirt pattern Hudson’s Sunday Suit is from Ginger Snaps. Like all Nancy Coburn’s Ginger Snaps patterns, the directions are very clear with great photo illustrations and many design options.
The nutcracker design from A Bit of Stitch is surrounded by a candy cane frame from Adorable Ideas, narrowed in my heavily used BuzzEdit2 program.
Black lace tape, run vertically on either side of the embroidery, is embellished with a decorative stitch from my Brother Duetta 6500D. The same stitch is worked on the back , around the collar and on the mock sleeve cuffs. My personal name for this stitch is barbed wire, and like its namesake, it jabbed me with aggravation.
The last area to embellish with barbed wire was the collar. YIKES! This stitch pattern is a nightmare to try to pivot! What was I thinking?
Initially, I planned to use a feather stitch, but it seemed time to try something different. Even a feather stitch would have been extremely difficult to pivot on the collar points, but the barbed wire stitch was enough to make me consider hand stitching.
If I had not already done all the other pieces, I might have tried that on the collar, if no machine stitch suited me. But, alas, I had done all the other stitching so I just had to make it work. It required a few stitches done by hand, and even then it is not perfect. It’s very humbling to know that even with my best effort, I could not get it right.
The collar is piped in black and the buttons are black mother-of-pearl.
I’m not completely satisfied with this shirt. Aside from the pivoting imperfections and the crooked embroidery, the lace tape, I think, was a mistake. Even though I used Stitch&Ditch under the barbed wire stitching, it pulled the soft, loose threads of the lace tape. The distortions in the weave are not glaringly obvious, but a solid black bias would have been more pleasing. I will use that on Alastair’s shirt.
Still lined up in the queue of grandchildren sewing projects are Alastair’s outfit, Robert’s shorts, Laurel’s slip and a matching dress for her American Girls doll. Then I’ll see how much time is left for the rest of the family. Whew!