Category Archives: lace tape

Knicker Suit



I’m really on a roll with classic children’s clothing. This 2-piece suit is quintessential heirloom for boys, with knee length Viyella pants and a buttoned on ivory linen shirt.  Sadly, Viyella is no longer available.  The wool blend is as fine and soft as Swiss flannel, but warmer with a similar hand.

My shortcomings as a photographer are obvious here, as I managed to cut off the neat little cuff at the bottom of the knee length pants.  The suit is also crooked on the hanger.  But after trying to find a flat spot to hang the suit on the 12″ deep Confederate jasmine that climbs up a palm tree, I neglected to straighten the suit on the hanger.




Linen is a joy to sew.  Every heirloom technique works wonderfully well on this natural fabric.  The front features hemstitching, tucks and inserted lace tape.

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Picture Lace Pinafore



Finding this dress and pinafore made me so happy.  I had long since thought the fall Liberty print dropped yoke dress was lost.  As it turns out, I had forgotten that my friend Suzanne Sawko had made another pinafore to go over the dress for a Sew Beautiful photo shoot some time ago.  Both garments were recently retrieved from the bottom of my antique blanket chest where specially sewn items are stored.

The dress was originally made to go under the Little Fawn Pinafore.




The picture lace pinafore shown above is made of a medium weight champagne Swiss batiste and edged with ivory lace tape and antique picture lace or AEsop’s Fables lace.  It’s unique characteristics include the colored cordonnet that outlines a figure and is worked into the lace edge.  It is an antique Binche lace, made some  time prior to 1926, though the exact year is unknown.  Continue reading

Classic Baby Kimono

Cotton flannel kimono is cut from Sarah Howard Stone’s pattern.

Baby kimonos have been around forever but have been eclipsed in popularity by the one-piece sleeper.  But when Laurel was born, those knit sleepers were always second choice.  This kimono was in use every night that it was laundered and available.

 The night time routine was for her father to get up, change her diaper, and then carry his baby girl to her mother to be nursed.  After one frustrating night spent trying to line up the snaps on the sleeper, my son discovered the 2-tie kimono and certified it as daddy-friendly baby nightwear.

Feather stitch is worked with floche.

This kimono and Lezette Thomason’s Bunny’s Knit Nightie (Children’s Corner patterns) were his bedtime garments of choice for Laurel.  Continue reading

Pin Pillow

This is my favorite kind of crazy patch quilting,using otherwise useless pieces of old needlework.  One reason is that I love antique textiles and another is that I like to recycle.

The Victorian style dresser pillow for favorite mementos was created from a medley of vintage handwork,  from doilies to table linens, antique laces, ribbons and trims.

This 8″ x 10″ oval pin pillow, outlined with piping and antique lace edging, is a daily reminder of happy days in the past. A felt pad cushions the pin backs and prevents scratches on the dresser. Continue reading

Babylock Christening Gown

gown all

This christening gown was the main project for the Babylock school I taught at Martha Pullen’s school in Huntsville, AL, a few years ago.

The ecru and white combination has always seemed the height of elegance to me. Also, since photos had to be posted on the school web site, the ecru embroidery showed up much better than if the embroidery had been white on white.


bodice center


It seems to me that anytime Swiss batiste, imported trims and heirloom sewing techniques are combined, the result is likely to be something beautiful. In this case, the classic christening gown is a melange of Swiss batiste, French lace and entredeux.


full bodice

Elaborately embellished, it includes classic details such as point de Paris, Madeira appliqué, shaped French Val lace, feather stitching, pin tucks, twin needle shadow work, and delicate embroidery. Also incorporated into the gown’s design is Lace Tape, a recently rediscovered heirloom trim, applied as a shadow appliqué on the wrong side of the batiste.



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“In the Pink of Life” Quilt

NOTE: This post is from an article I wrote for Creative Needle magazine some time ago. Made for my daughter Rebecca, this is one of my favorite projects.

French ribbon, Swiss basket embroidery, Grannie-made tatting

Heirloom Sewing Goods and Techniques~~~Long identified as the preeminent tone of femininity, pink is often the color of the daygown, embroidery, hair ribbons and other loving embellishments in a girl’s life. The pieces used for the crazy patch squares in this quilt include pink remembrances of my daughter, Rebecca, as well as other gourmet leftovers from earlier projects.

Chinese tatted medallion, pink lace tape, silk rosebud, antique lace

The pink damask napkins represent adulthood–the pleasures and responsibilities of hospitality, graciousness and family celebrations.

antique lace, Swiss butterfly, drawn thread napkin lined with pink batiste

The quilt shows extensive lace-to-lace joining, tucks and other techniques long-practiced by heirloom stitchers. Bits of leftover handlooms and embroideries from baby dresses, lengths of tatting from Easter dresses, pieces of a fancyband of champagne laces and pink lace tape used in a pillow, and salvaged pieces from Grandmother’s cutwork tablecloth are joined in crazy patch harmony, much like crazy patches of memory. The resulting patchwork creation is of a very different genre than the countrified bed coverings shown in living color in quilt magazines.

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Lace Tape Wedding Ring Dress

After the Everything-Wrong Birthday Suit post, writing about this dress is very soothing. It does not give me an absolute sigh of satisfaction, but I am pretty pleased with it.

There is a lot to love about the dress: Chery Williams Wedding Ring Dress pattern, Capitol Imports champagne Swiss batiste, champagne Swiss beading, peach lace tape, miles of hemstitching, both pinstitch and entredeux, and a nylon French lace which requires almost no ironing. There will be more about the lace later. Continue reading

Lace Tape Christening Gown

The Goal


When I began this project I had a 3-fold goal.  It was to make a gender neutral christening gown

  • using less than 200 yds. of lace
  • costing less than major household appliance and
  • looking more like an heirloom than a Halloween costume.

The purist in me demanded that all materials be heirloom quality and that the design be suitable for the solemn and yet joyful occasion for which it was intended. Upon completion, I felt that my goals had been met.


The Materials

The materials were simple and few: ultra sheer Swiss batiste, also known as finella or Swiss muslin, 5 yds. lace tape, 1 ¼ yds. entredeux, 2 1/4 yds. 1/2″ tatting, 1 yd. baby tatting. With a 100 wing needle, 1.8/70 twin needle, 80 wt. cotton heirloom thread and 50 wt. silk thread, all supplies were assembled and ready to go. Continue reading

LaceTape Quilted pillow

A pillow is a great project for learning new techniques.  The use and actual quilting of heirloom lace combine two of my favorite sewing genres.   Adding free motion quilting and the use of lace tape to the project makes it an instructive and pretty little ornament.

Beginning with rice Imperial batiste, two rectangles were cut 14″  x 18″, two inches  larger than the intended finished pillow size of 12″ x 16″.  A piece of lightweight batting was cut to the same measurement.  The bow was traced onto one of the batiste rectangles using a fine tipped blue water soluble marker.  The quilt “sandwich” was hand basted together, with the traced bow on  top, then batting and finally the second batiste rectangle.

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Memories in Lace Quilt

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present and the promise of the future.~ Author Unknown

This is certainly true of my daughter Rebecca, though she has alrealdy fulfilled all the future promises  for which I had hoped—and more.    This quilt holds happy memories of the past, some mine, some hers, some which she cannot possibly recall. 

Made in the traditional snowball pattern, this quilt is composed of alternate blocks filled with applique’d hearts.  Lace scraps from skirt fancybands and remnants of Rebeca’s little dresses make up the bulk of the hearts.   Continue reading