Category Archives: heirloom sewing

Rebecca’s Home Garden Wedding

Guests gathering before the ceremony.

Guests gathering before the ceremony.

 

With all the upcoming June weddings, I thought you might enjoy our family’s adventures preparing for our daughter’s nuptials,  as well as all the sewing I did for this important event.

11 years ago Rebecca and her Louisiana-born fiance traveled each corner of the county exploring venue options for their Cajun themed wedding.  After checking out virtually every possible location, the groom-to-be said he would like to be married at our home.  (dab, dab, dab my leaky eyes!)

We had almost 10 months advance notice so my husband and I went into high gear to spruce up the house and garden,  get the preacher and musicians on board, hire a photographer, rent a tent, etc. etc.  Stetson University’s string quartet set the mood for a joyous but solemn occasion.

 

 

It was perfect until just before the bride marched down the aisle with her father, the musicians broke into Darth Vadar’s Death March!!!!  That surprise was the work of my new son-in-law.  It certainly lightened the mood.

Meanwhile, the bride and groom-to-be were living and working across the state where they met.

For months we sweated in the yard by day

garden xx

and I sewed in the house all night.  I sewed and sewed and loved every minute of it.

Table toppers were made for the cocktail hour before the vows were read.  Guests sat around the pool and at the side garden enjoying hors d’oeuves.

 

seating in the side garden

Seating in the side garden.  Under the floral square is a pink twill square, much brighter than shown here.

 

The edges were simply serged.  That’s no big deal but, trust me, with 15 pink twill and 15 pink floral toppers, each 60″ square,  that’s a lot of serging mileage.  And there were more to be done.  The color added by the gold, solid pink and pink floral squares was a pretty addition.

 

guests seated around the pool

guests seated around the pool

 

For the reception dinner tables, 14 gold toppers were made, not to mention those made for the serving tables.  More miles of serging!

 

gold table toppers for the reception dinner

gold table toppers for the reception dinner

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1st Birthday Dress

birthday dress

Made 11 years ago,this first birthday dress was for now 12 yo granddaughter Laurel. Of course,  I still love sewing for her.

It’s birthday time for our older granddaughter, Laurel, so I’ve been spending some time reminiscing about her birth and infancy.  So here is a re-run of a post about her first birthday dress.

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Laurel was our first grandchild, and a girl at that.  Our son had been married for 9 years and our daughter was still a single career gal. After nearly 15 years of Granny Lust, mitigated only by gathering fabric, patterns and trims for my Grandmother’s Really Hopeful Chest, I was ready to sew as a genuine Nana.

That first year went by so quickly! Smocked daygowns and bonnets, embroidered diaper shirts and onesies, monogrammed bibs and baby Gator duds flew out of my sewing room.  It seems that for almost 12 months, I did nothing but sew and snuggle that baby.

 

birthday dress cf

center front embroidery

 

As her first year drew to a close,  I did manage to pull myself away from the enchanting child long enough to make her first birthday dress. Of course, it was made with my finest Swiss batiste, carved pearl buttons, treasured Maline lace and other hoarded trims. Continue reading

Readers’ Easter Sewing

Big announcement coming in the next few days!

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Annette Poole

 

Ahhh…Easter dresses!  Thanks to Annette Poole for this photo of two adorable girls in their finery.  The checked dress is silk dupioni cut from Sew Beautiful’s  Pascale pattern, size 3.   I made a Pascale  Christmas dress for granddaughter Laurel Cade when she was 9.   That is one of my favorite patterns because it is so versatile.   As a matter of fact, Maggie Bunch has a post on her blog dedicated to the versatility of Pascale.  Check Maggie’s blog for variations and insight into Laura Jenkins Thompson’s excellent pattern.

There is something so sweet about checked silk dupioni.  I think it’s a charming combination of the elegance of silk with the innocence and playfulness of gingham.  With the smocking and excellent construction Annette has made  a special  heirloom. I love it. Continue reading

Penny for Vivi

Penny by Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen), size 3, is ready to be shipped to granddaughter Vivian.

Penny by Petite Poche (Wendy Schoen), size 3, is ready to be shipped to granddaughter Vivian.

 

This little summer dress is finally finished.  It’s progress was interrupted by a variety of issues, all outside the sewing room, but now  Penny  has been removed from my UFO list.

 

bodice back

 

I have always loved this pattern and finally got around to making it.

 

nNBst-CloKs-pdtFX-WSPennyI always favor projects with Madeira applique’ and to my eye the best feature is the bodice back.  But I doubt I could convince 3 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose to walk backwards to show it to best advantage.  Then again, she is usually on the run, so I guess the front and back have equal opportunity to be viewed. Continue reading

Not the Easter Outfits I Planned

I hope the egg dye on Alastair's fingers had dried before he laid hands on Vivian Rose.

I hope the egg dye on Alastair’s fingers had dried before he laid hands on Vivian Rose.

 

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter.  It’s not all about the clothes, I know, but for most of you readers and for this Nana, it is SOME about the clothes.

Robert Burns described my Easter ’16 when he wrote,”The best laid schemes of mice and men (read “Nanas”) gang aft agley, An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain…”

That is not to say that my guy and I did not experience the sacred joy and meaning of Easter.  So I can’t say that I experienced “nought but grief an’ pain,”  but there were some regrets.

We had planned to join our daughter, Rebecca, and her family to celebrate Easter Suday with her in-laws, who are dear friends, across the state.  But a monkey wrench was thrown into our plans Saturday–the very day I finished Easter duds for 3 yo Vivian Rose and 7 yo Alastair–the very outfits I was to deliver Easter morning to them.  (Yes, I cut it close.  I always do.)

So Rebecca scrounged through Vivi’s wardrobe and pulled out this old bishop, which has been around the block about as many times as the mailman.  Still, it is presentable if not new.

BroBishall1

The ME designs are yours for the asking. Just leave your request in the comment section.

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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.

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