Category Archives: heirloom sewing

Christmas ’15

V face on

Vivian Rose, almost 3yo, on Christmas Day in her CC Betsy

I hope December 25th was fabulous for each of you.     I was so overwhelmed with preparations that there wasn’t a spare a moment to say merry Christmas.   So now I’m sending belated but heartfelt holiday wishes to you. If you just want to know about the Christmas sewing, scroll on down past all my happy holiday family prattle to interesting features.

Christmas 2015 was almost picture perfect for the Ferguson Family.  We missed our pilot son who was called to fly off into the wild blue yonder.

At a church event, Vivian Rose wore last year’s Swiss flannel smocked bishop.  The pattern is Betsy by Children’s Corner.

 

VR SA tree cr

Bishops fit for so long.  That’s just one more reason to love them. Christmas Eve, a huge group of family and friends enjoyed a delicious dinner of shrimp gumbo and barbequed ribs at the home of our son-in-law’s mother and husband.  They are excellent cooks!  We ate and laughed and had a big time there.

Grandchildren Vivian and Alastair played and delighted us all. Christmas Day most of the same group and a few others gathered at the home of our super organized daughter and her computer genius/gourmet cook husband. Son Ryan had to leave early for the airport after opening gifts and celebrating with his family.  But the children and their mother joined us across the state after he left.

 

A santa hat V shin guard

From the moment she unwrapped them, Vivian wore her new shin guards and soccer cleats most of the day, declaring again and again, “I’m ready for soccer!”

 

Vivian was thrilled with her pink shin guards, pink soccer ball and orange “cleats.”   She pranced around showing them off to everyone, saying, “I’m ready for soccer!”  She wants to do everything her big brother does. Continue reading

Hinshaw Shadow Work Collection for Sale!

shadow embroidery by machine from Suzanne Hinshaw's Charming Embellishments collection

shadow embroidery by machine from Suzanne Hinshaw’s Charming Embellishments design collection

 

Heads up, Ladies!  Jan just shared a link to an Ebay auction of Suzanne Hinshaw’s Charming Embellishments    shadow work by machine embroidery collection.  The opening bid is $100.

The description reads:  Wow – hard to find Suzanne Hinshaw’s Shadow work by machine. Charming embellishments. New in package, I opened it to photo for listing. It states that it is for Husqvarna Viking machines. Not sure if the format works on other machines. Stated on floppy disk Hus/.Shv format Designer One.

This great package includes the floppy disk, book, and placement guides. It has 25 shadow work by machine designs. Cherries, poppies, Happy Birthday and Holiday Christmas and Hanukkah. Copyright 2000.

Free Priority shipping for winning bidder.

But around 2003 at Martha Pullen’s School of Art Fashion in Huntsville, I helped Suzanne in her booth at the teacher selling night.    The price of each collection was $125.

Designs from this set were used on a Christmas collar for my granddaughter.  Several of the other designs were used for more projects.

If you’ve been looking for any Hinshaw designs, this is one opportunity.  But be cautious.  I won the Ebay auction for the only collection I do not have, her Ladies and Babies collection.   It was a plagerized copy that soneone had color sorted so it wouldn’t work.  A full refund was given.

The fact that this set comes with the book and templates makes it seem legitimate.

So there you have it. I know nothing more about this auction than the description I have copied and pasted so you won’t find Janice Ferguson’s Good Sewing Stamp of Approval.   I hope one of you ends up with this great Hinshaw collection.

Thanks, Jan, for letting us know about this.

 

 

 

The Last Hurrah

Aliya, newly turned 4 years old

Aliya, newly turned 4 years old

This was posted a few years ago.  I came across it while looking for another photo and think it is worth posting again.  Aliya continues to be a delight and a beauty.  The dress is now scrap. But as I distribute the outgrown garments from our last and final granddaughter, Vivian Rose, the message is still meaningful.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Seeing little girls in heirloom dresses just makes me purr with happy contentment.  And seeing a dress I made so long ago come back to life on another beautiful child is one more dividend for the time and effort that went into making it.

 

A standing

Everything they say about the timelessness of heirloom clothing is true.  Twenty-nine years ago, my blue eyed blond Rebecca frequently wore this to church as well as a few weddings.  She was a veritable Vision of Loveliness.  Then it was on loan to my dear friend Gale for her towheaded, blue-eyed Anna, Vision of Loveliness #2.  Anna wore it as much as Rebecca had. Continue reading

Birthday Gift Pillowcases

1-2 pcases

 

My ongoing, escalating computer troubles came to a head today when the machine just plain died, right there on my desk.  It didn’t make a final death groan, but I made some pretty loud sounds.  Until the replacement arrives, I am using my husband’s laptop.  It’s like walking to the corner in someone else’s shoes.  You can get there, but it is not comfortable.

While the computer was in its terminal stages, I’ve wanted to share these pillowcases with you.  They were a birthday gift for my precious daughter, made with love in every stitch.  Rebecca is an amazing young woman, an incredible mother and wife, and the daughter anyone would love to have.  She dreams big, so these big, silky, pima pillowcases against her pretty face should help facilitate those dreams.

Much as she likes bright colors, she requested neutral tones.  Since they moved into their new home 17 months ago the walls have changed colors three times.  So for her home dec style, neutral is good. Continue reading

All About Lace Tape~Part 1

Lately, there have been considerable discussions and questions about lace tape, its origin and uses.  The history is quite interesting, as its development involved a salvage warehouse and an unraveled sweater for my Rebecca and midnight transatlantic phone calls. That was in 1987 when I first brought this product to the heirloom sewing public.

Most of this history is detailed in this post.  Because lace tape is one of my favorite sewing products, I’d like to share some applications and techniques.  For many years I taught a 6-hour class around the country.  So there is a lot of material on the subject, too much for one post.  Lace tape can be used for shadow applique’, colored entredeux, colored shark’s teeth, tiny piping and so much more. So stay turned for details.  A few future posts will feature projects with detailed directions.

ABOUT LACE TAPE

Approximately 3/8″ wide and available in a rainbow of colors, lace tape is a loosely woven 100% cotton trim.  It has a gathering thread on each side and is wonderful for lace shaping.  It also can add a bit of color to an heirloom project.

lt 2 examplesrecol

Now there are two varieties of lace tape:  Japanese and Swiss.  The lace tape shown above and used on each of the items pictured below is Japanese.

USES

1.  for lace insertion substitute joined to lace edging or other insertion

MollyLTgownsmockingxx

Peach lace tape was joined to lace edging and then stitched to flat bishop before smocking. See Molly’s Lace Tape Nightie for more pictures and information.

 

preparation:  Like heirloom trims, lace tape is easier to work with after being starched and pressed, unless it is being shaped.  Use the finest thread, preferably 80/2 Madeira Cotona,  and  the smallest needle appropriate to the thread size.

technique:  Butt lace tape to lace.  Zig zag the two pieces together with an approximate stitch setting of W 1.5-2.0, depending on width of lace header, L .8-1.0 edging.  NOTE: An edge joining foot makes this much easier.

 

1-lt to lionsxx

Lace tape joined to Aesop’s Fables Binche lace.

Continue reading

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.

coming home gown L

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.

Continue reading

Nursery Closet Sale #9

closet vert

 

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

 

1sr bd A

SOLD # 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

 

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

 

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

SOLD #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

 

Continue reading

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.

 

VnA-lying-down1

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.

dress pink2

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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