Category Archives: heirloom sewing

Coming Home Daygown and Bonnet

Busy, busy, busy!  So this post is a re-run featuring Laurel Cade, our first grandchild and her homecoming outfit.  I think the topic is still timely.~~~~~~~

 

my handsome son (newborn at 9 lb.1oz) and his 10 lb.daughter

my handsome son (who was a 9 lb.1oz newborn) and his 10 lb.daughter

My babies  each weighed exactly 9 lbs. 1 ounce and were 22″ long.   My husband said my uterus had a 9 lb. 1 oz. capacity, just like a gallon milk jug will hold just one gallon.  He declared that if we had a dozen children they would all be the same size.   After our second child, I chose not to test his hypothesis.

At any rate, neither of our babies wore newborn clothes for more than a few weeks.

When our dearly loved, petite daughter-in-law Shelly was pregnant with our first grandchild, the whole family thought this precious baby would be a tiny little thing, like her mama.  After all, Shelly’s  own mother is just 4’11” so we expected a small baby.   With this in mind, I used a preemie daygown pattern for Laurel’s coming home outfit.

Imagine our  shock when this “small”  baby girl was born via C-section weighing an even 10 lbs! I had other regular size daygowns smocked and ready to go, so I took those to the hospital the day they were to be released.  But they were all too big.

We were surprised that the preemie daygown fit her perfectly.  Of course, she was only able to wear it for a short time, but I was glad that she had something that fit so well for that important trip home. Now, whenever I make a coming home daygown for a special baby, I make a preemie size.

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The daygown and bonnet are pale yellow Imperial batiste, smocked in shades of yellow and periwinkle blue.  Entredeux and tatted edging trim the angel sleeves bishop and either side of the front.  Blue floss is woven into the holes of the entredeux.

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Nursery Closet Sale #9

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It’s that time again–time to sort out and send out closet items that need to move on.  They are never worn or outgrown with a lot of  life left in them.  Most are in pristine condition.  Flaws, stains, etc. are all pointed out.

Please help me make room in the nursery closet.

TO MAKE A PURCHASE: If there is something you would like to buy:

  • 1.  Specify the item number and leave your request as a comment at the end of this post.
  • 2.  Your e-mail will be visible to me but not to other readers.  I will correspond with you privately for payment information.
  • 3.  Payment may be made via Paypal or personal check.  Shipping will be added to all prices.  Insurance at buyer’s discretion. Just let me know at time of purchase.
  • 4.  If you have never before posted a comment, it will not visible until I have approved it. After the approval, all of your comments will be posted immediately.
  • 5. Or send an e-mail to me at NCcabin@aol.com with the specifics of your chosen purchase.

 

$17~Liberty of London bubble trimmed in baby tatting

SOLD  #91—$20 size 0-3 months. Liberty of London Old Fashioned Baby bubble trimmed in baby tatting. Crotch was extended to accommodate cloth diapers or a longer body.

bubble back with tatted edging on ruffles

SOLD  #91 Liberty bubble back with yards and yards of tatted edging on ruffles

 

#92---$10 Independence Day top 6-9 months.  Pique with machine embroidery.  More info and details are posted here.

#92—$10, size 6-9 months. Independence Day top, pique with rick rack and machine embroidery.

 

#92 Made in USA back with flag embroidery and gold star button.

#92 Made in USA back with flag embroidery and gold star button.

 

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# 93 —- $22, size 12 months. Worn once, button-on suit.  Ready-to-smock from Martha Pullen Company. Decorative stitching added to shirt cuffs and collar.

 

#94 --$10 new. Soft as butter knit from Martha Pullen.  Skirted bubble, 2T ready for embroidery or as is.

SOLD  #94 —-$10,  size 2T. New skirted bubble ready for embroidery or as is. Soft as butter knit from Martha Pullen.

 

#95--$25 infant Swiss Organdy Zig Zag Bonnet, $25. Lined with tiny floral print lawn, edged with hemstitched heirloom lace, machine embroidery on brim. Made for class sample. More about this bonnet is posted here Zig Zag Bonnet II.

SOLD #95—-$25, size infant. Swiss Organdy zig zag bonnet, lined with tiny floral print lawn. Edged with hemstitched heirloom lace, machine embroidery on brim. Made for class sample and never worn.  More about this bonnet is posted here Zig Zag Bonnet II.

#95 zig zag bonnet close up

SOLD #95 zig zag bonnet close up

 

#97---$13, size 6-12 mo. Linen with hand embroidery, purchased in Puerto Rico but remade with addition of tatting.  Read more about it here.

SOLD #96—$15, size 6-12 mo. Linen with hand embroidery, purchased in Puerto Rico but remade with the addition of tatting. Worn a few  times. Read more about it here.

 

SOLD #97 –$10, size 18 months.   White skirted knit bubble, new, soft as butter baby knit from Martha Pullen’s Ready-to-Embroider collection.

 

#98---$15, size 0-3 mo.  Swiss pique shirt, pima cotton bloomers.  Worn twice.

#98—$15, size 0-3 mo. Swiss pique shirt, pima cotton bloomers. Worn twice.

 

#99----$12 Orient Express size 24 months, seersucker.

#99—-$12 Orient Express size 24 months, seersucker.

 

Nursery Closet Sale #10 coming soon.  It will probably be posted the middle of next week as we are bringing 2 yo tornado Vivian Rose home from the beach with us.  It will take me a day or two to recover after that.  This next sale will include one or two daygowns,  antique baby laundry bag, more MP Ready-to-Embroider, Swiss flannel baby boy coming home set (daygown, cap and blanket), antique lace baby bonnet and more.

She wore the dress……

 

but she was not happy about it.

 

VR dress crying CR

 

Two yo granddaughter Vivian Rose was crying her little heart out, I’m pretty sure, because she was wearing the Easter dress disaster.    Her mother declares that it was not about the dress, but a grandmother knows these things.

First thing at home Easter morning, she kicked away her Easter basket and refused to hunt for eggs.  (I think she saw the dress hanging.) There is no photo documentation of her hissy fit.  Later the children attended 2 other egg hunts.

She and her happy, easy-going brother,  Alastair, joined a large group of children at a friend’s waterfront home.

 

A bay

 

Alastair had a great time.

 

A egg basket

 

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Easter Dress~Oh NO!

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Happy Easter to you all!  This is such a joyous season, filled with promise of renewal and new beginnings.  Beautiful worship services, inspiring music, egg hunts and family gatherings all make it so special.

I will enjoy all these blessings, but right now I am dealing with major disappointment–the Easter  dress I made for 2 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.

For this enormously significant holiday, every mother and grandmother tries to outfit her little darlings in beautiful garments.For me, “tries” is the operative word here.  And believe me I did  try.

 

ME Shout

 

This post is not meant to be all about moaning and wailing, though this Mary Engelbreit illustration captures my feelings pretty accurately.  But I do hope listing the details of my failure will be helpful.  Also included are the few (very few!) good things I did.

So, reluctantly, I post this sad photo of the disastrous dress.

 

Alice all

MISTAKES:  (If you are prone to depression, just skip this and go to the few little success at the end of the post.) Continue reading

Easter Outfits from my Past

Is there any more joyous occasion for sewing than Easter? It’s time to get started but instead of pulling out the lace and batiste, I find myself looking back at those confections from the past. For me, it’s not about seeking inspiration so much as it is about enjoying the memories all over again, like re-reading a very good book.

Among these outfits, there might be some inspiration for those of you who have not yet jumped into this special sewing season.

Who doesn’t love babies in daygowns?  And with a sweet big brother they are even more precious.

 

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If daygowns interest you, details are posted here Happy Easter ’13.  This post details the daygown with fagotted lace and a hand embroidered front placket

 

The next year Big Brother Alastair wore this little suit.

Another hurry-up outfit, made for my grandson Alastair.

This hurry-up Easter suit  was made for my grandson Alastair.

 

It seems like I am always in a rush to get Easter outfits finished.  This one for Alastair was no exception.

Making this dress was pure joy.  I love the Swiss handloom and laces.

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Baby’s Easter Dress, made for Vivian Rose last year. It was a modification of a dress I made for her mother 31 years ago.

 

And I love this picture of her strolling through the grass.

 

Vivian Rose, 15 months old, Easter 2014

Vivian Rose, 15 months old, Easter 2014

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Church Linens

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I was honored to make these church linens for a mother to give her son upon his ministerial ordination this very Sunday.  This thoughtful mother has made up a gift package that includes these and other items her son will need as he pursues his calling.

Made of very fine linen, two communion napkins (or “veils”) to cover the elements were embroidered, hemstitched and edged with tatting. The napkin corners were rounded because mitering tatting is way above my skill level.

Pin stitch was worked around the perimeter with a #100 sharp needle.  I’ve learned that using a wing needle with tatting is a recipe for disaster.  But stitching slowly and carefully with the sharp, there were no tatting casualties.

 

slightly modified design is from ABC  Christian Symbols collection

slightly modified design is from the spectacular  Christian Symbols collection of ABC Embroidery Designs

 

The baptismal lavabo is made from a blank linen guest towel with three rows of hemstitching.

 

lavabo

 

I had a hard time coming up with a design that suited me.  What I wanted was a simple baptismal shell with three water drops symbolic of the trinity.  After an extensive and unproductive search of both my design library and on-line designs, I finally bought this  design from Embroidery Library, deleted the green scroll and rotated the shell. Continue reading

Wisteria Lesson Photo Transfer

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This little piece is one of my favorite projects.  Embellishing any worthy image is incredibly rewarding but with today’s technology, it could be done so much more easily.  When I stitched Wisteria Lesson, each of the embroidery designs was positioned one at time with a printed  template then stitched one at a time.

Now with my Brother Quattro I can scan the image and then position all the designs on the computer.  By using the sort feature,  most of the design using the same color, such as the dark purple, would be stitched at the same time.  This would eliminate a huge number of thread changes.

With this advance in technology, I could more quickly and easily embellish a photo of my grandchildren romping through a field of bright pink phlox and black eyed susans and one of my garden and one of the treehouse with the azaleas blooming nearby.  And as soon as I finish sewing Vivian Rose’s 2nd birthday dress, mending my daughter-in-law’s couch pillows, resizing my daughter’s tablecloths, making new pillowcases to match Alastair’s new bedding, and….and….

Well, there are a few other must-do’s but I definitely plan take on one of these photo transfer projects as soon as possible.  Read all about it in this earlier post.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This project surely must warm the heart of anyone who has shared the joy of needlework with a child. When the 1913 edition Embroidery Lessons with Colored Studies was added to my library of vintage and antique needlework books, I was enchanted with the cover illustration.

The goal of the teacher to inspire and instruct, the challenge of the eager young student to succeed, the scent of the wisteria, sweet and heavy….I experienced all of this as the intimate vignette drew me in.  Under that idyllic arbor, I dreamed of teaching my fantasy granddaughter to sew.  (Hurrah!  I have TWO and 10 year old Laurel is already an accomplished little sewists!  Vivian Rose’s turn comes up in a few years.) I went so far as to plant a wisteria vine right then and there, though I had planned to do so for some time.

 

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Wisteria Lesson, my title for this charming scene, has been transferred from the booklet cover to a sheet of specially treated silk which was bonded to paper and run through my inkjet  printer.  The silk image was layered with thin cotton batting and a backing and machine quilted.  It is embellished with machine embroidery and a few hand embroidery stitches.  This really fun project was made possible by the very talented and creative Sue Lord.

The first time I met Sue Lord was at a workshop.  She showed samples and offered detailed instructions on photo transfer to fabric at a workshop. In her musical Georgia (pronounced “Gaw-ja”) accent, Sue drawled so much new information and so many creative ideas that I returned for the repeat session in  the afternoon.

Coming back would have been worth it just to hear her talk again, regardless of what she said,  but Sue seems incapable of simply repeating a class.   She added new material and even more inspiration to the re-run! Or maybe I was just getting the hang of the drawl.  Whatever.  At any rate, my head was spinning when her lecture/demo was over.  Raring to go, I left with enough handouts and confidence to tackle a photo transfer project.   I knew Wisteria Lesson would be that project.

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Christmas Outfits from the Past

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Hand embroidered Sarah Howard Stone collar and velveteen dress for my daughter, 1983. It was worn a few years ago by my older granddaughter, Laurel.

 

They say time flies when you are having fun and, let me tell you, I have had a good bit of fun making holiday outfits for my children and grandchildren.  Like many of you, Christmas and Easter clothes are my favorite and most memorable projects.

 

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This collar reminds me just how hard I  tried to get the stitches just right as we drove to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving.   It was a two hour drive along bumpy back roads and I poked my fingers more than once.  But I couldn’t waste the time. As the family sat and visited after the pumpkin pie, I continued to embroider.

Who knew that 15 years later it could be done on an embroidery machine?  Who knew there would be home embroidery machines? Certainly not me.

 

R L Stetson puffing

Robert and Laurel all ready for the Stetson Christmas concert. She is wearing recycled heirloom from her Aunt Rebecca’s closet.

 

A few years after the shadow work collar was made, my daughter wore a burgundy velveteen dress (just like this one) with this very puffing collar.  Then Laurel wore the collar on a new burgundy velveteen dress. Continue reading

Seaside Madeira Table Linens

placemat

 

Making these  table linens was a nice break from sewing for my granddaughters. Fine white linen is paired with lime green and embroidered with a fun blue fish.  This color combination reminds me of the beach, just 30 miles away.

Sitting on the screened breakfast porch, looking out over our front yard with this table setting made me just as happy that I was not roasting on Daytona Beach and scanning the waterfront for sharks.  It’s very peaceful on my porch.  I enjoy pulling out dishes and napkins that coordinate with the setting.

Linen is one of my favorite fabrics and Madeira applique’ is one of my favorite sewing techniques.  Add pinstitching and embroidery–well, just let me tell you I was having a big time!  I never once missed lace or a girlie  angle.  If there is any interest, I would be happy to put up a Madeira applique tutorial.  Let me know if you would find that helpful. Continue reading

Blue Bows~Handlooms and Swiss Embroideries

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Originally posted in 2011…

Stitching a nightgown is always a pleasure.  Often made as gifts for birthdays, holidays or bridal showers, pretty sleepwear is appreciated by ladies old and young.

BlueBowsMaryLydia

This gown was made for my daughter when she was a teenager.  The pattern, Mary Lydia, is an old, all time favorite of mine.

Its versatility allows you to use goods of any width.  The armhole curve is placed over the finished fancyband and dips into the skirt fabric.  It is also suitable for a sundress.

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SWISS HANDLOOM blue bow insertion on back yoke

 

 

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SWISS HANDLOOM blue bow insertion on front yoke

 

Made of all Swiss goods–batiste, galoon beading, blue bow handloom insertion and edging–it is guaranteed to present sweet dreams.

This handloom is one of my all time favorites.

 

SWISS HANDLOOM. It is exactly like hand stitched shadow embroidery.

SWISS HANDLOOM. It is exactly like hand stitched shadow embroidery.

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