Category Archives: shadow work by machine

Christmas Fawn Daydress

Christmas is just around the calendar corner and it’s rush, rush, rush for me and many of you.  I’ve just finished this Swiss batiste dress for Baby Beatrice.

I’ve written in earlier posts about Baby Bea, our new granddaughter via our church. Neither of her parents’ mothers is living,  so months before she was born they asked me to be her official Nana.  That was a happy day!  And, of course, she is a doll, just now 4 months old, which for me has been at least 120 more happy days.

Her daddy is an avid hunter, especially for deer. Bea’s little daydress is a reminder NOT to shoot Bambi or his antlered  father.

But back to the dress……the pattern is Old Fashioned Baby‘s Baby Daydress.

 

 

Like all of Jeannie B’s patterns, this one is a delight to sew and offers several design options.  I love the Scriptures and embroidery designs she places in the blank space around the pattern pieces.

 

 

 

The shadow work fawn is from Joy Welsh’s Applique for Kids.  It stitches just beautifully with her instructions.  The greenery beneath the fawn was extracted from another design which I cannot recall right now.

 

 

 

The holly at the neckline is another design whose origin I cannot recall.  I need to keep better records of what I embroider.

CHALLENGES

LACE–There were many challenges while making this dress.  First, I was inspired and compelled to use this exquisitely detailed, dark tan galloon lace purchased from Sue Stewart at the facebook group,Smocking Destash. It just looked perfect for a fawn themed dress. Of course,  the pattern calls for insertion and edging, not a galloon.

 

galloon lace with leftover from the roll and whip

 

The edges are really quite straight so it worked for an insertion.  It was pinstitched in place on my Brother Dream Machine with a #100 needle rather than a wing.   That might have damaged the heavy cordonnet which outlines this lovely lace pattern.   At 3/4″ wide, it was twice the 3/8″ suggested for the insertion.  But by placing the extra width to the center of the pattern, it worked just fine.

SLEEVES–To be used as sleeve edging this 3/4″ lace is wider than I like for a baby.   Also it has no pull thread for gathering  My solution was to rotary cut the galloon down to 5/8″.  Next, the raw edge was rolled and whipped over a quilting thread, reducing the width to a generous 3/8″.  Close enough for me.

Because the lace is fairly stiff, I used far less edging than suggested.  It gathered reluctantly and with more bulk than I would have liked.  That cordonnet is heavy.  The rolled, whipped and gathered lace was then joined to a large-holed entredeux.

 

 

Neither of my granddaughter’s would tolerate snug binding sleeves against their arms.  I expect Bea might be the same.  And she has some deliciously chunky arms with those precious fat rolls we love to squeeze.  So if the sleeve opening is wider than suggested.  If it is too big I can weave a narrow silk ribbon through the large entredeux holes.

 

 

 

The sleeves were inserted with the same entredeux as used on the neck and sleeve edge.  This is not a difficult technique and one which I  think adds a great deal to the heirloom look of a  garment.

NECKLINE–This was another challenge.  The pattern called for gathered lace standing up against entredeux.  But. again, this lace is stiff and likely to be scratchy against silky, delicate baby skin. The entredeux was applied so as to fold to the front with the gathered lace lying against the dress instead of the baby’s neck.  But it would not lie down.

The solution to this challenge was to weave strands of the featherstitching thread through the entredeux as well as the dress itself.

 

 

 

That convinced it to cooperate.

Obviously, the hand stitched weaving looks quite messy.  If I had more time I would remove it and use more strands of thread.  But tick tock tick tock.  It is what it is.

BUTTONS–This was an interesting challenge.  I have a tote bag full of MOP buttons-pink, blue, yellow, green dark brown, ecru and white of course.  But I had these single hole button that were just the right color.  But how to attach  a button with just one hole?

 

Neckline lace has been flipped up for better visibility. The lace almost covers the top button.

 

First I tried French knots in a variety thread weights and number of wraps.   All fell through the single hole or were so bulky as to be unsightly.

Then I thought about a bead.  A single red seed bead worked beautifully.  I was so pleased until……….

 

 

 

Oops!  In my enthusiasm I sewed the button on  the inside of the placket.  Oh well, it was just one button, easy enough to fix.

So the dress will be handed over to Baby Bea tomorrow.  Perhaps she will wear it to the children’s Christmas program at church tomorrow evening.

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted but life gets so busy!  We had our two younger grands, 5 yo Vivian Rose and 9 yo Alastair, for 5 fun-filled days, returning them to their parents and other grandmothers on Thanksgiving Day.  It was a delightful time.

Then I was laid low for a week with my winter foe bronchitis,  all the while trying to muster energy to finish up my Christmas project for Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog.  I’ll tell you about that project as soon as it is posted on the blog.

Meanwhile, happy stitching to all.  I have 2 Christmas dresses and many, many gifts to embroider before the big day.  I hope to finish before Santa comes down the chimney or he will have to help me finish!  Frankly, his sewing skills seem a bit questionable.

 

 

Required disclaimer:  I am a paid sewing consultant for Brother sewing machine company.

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.

 

 

 

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

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

Continue reading

ALERT!!! Hinshaw Shadow Embroidery

 

Christmas 11 collar centerCROP2

design from Suzanne Hinshaw’s Charming Embellishments collection. Collar featured in post  Shadow Work Christmas Collar

 

Look what I found on eBay—a  CD of Suzanne Hinshaw’s exquisite machine embroidery shadow work designs  Shadowed Bouquets posted for bids.  Click here to see the listing.

This gorgeous set includes many designs of flowers,  often tied up with a bow, koi fish in a frame arrangement, a wreath of holly, small single flowers, grapes, and one of my personal favorites, a frame filled with shadow worked bows as well as many other files.  The sizes range under an inch to 5.5 x 9.12″.   Her designs inspire so many ideas.

The auction includes  only the original cd without instructions, so that might give you pause if you’ve never done any of her designs.  But I would be happy to help any reader who purchases this.

A few days ago I was tickled pink to win the auction for her last collection,  Ladies and Babies,  the only one I didn’t already have.  And I was the only one who bid on it!  I have not yet received this cd but as the seller has a 99% approval rating, it should be delivered as expected. Continue reading

Easter Dresses from the Past

Courtney wrote a sweet note asking about Easter dresses I have made in the past.  For her 2 year old daughter, she is designing an heirloom confection for this same celebration.  She was curious about my granddaughter Laurel’s earlier special frocks.

bunny bubble

 

She was just 10 months old, crawling at lightning speed when her first Easter rolled around.  A bubble seemed to be the most sensible solution for a baby who spent most of her waking moments on her knees.  For details of this little outfit, headband and matching bib for Easter dinner, see the post Baby Bunny Bubble.

 

 

1st birthday~Easter dress

 

Laurel’s first birthday was two months later.  She was toddling around, making it easy for me to justify making the heirloom dress of my dreams.  I absolutely loved making  this.  For details and more photos than you will want to look at, check the post First Birthday Dress.

 

slip

 

For me, the matching slip was the finishing touch.

Her second Easter fell just a few months before our daughter’s wedding, Continue reading

Shadow Work Christmas Collar

Christmas 11 collar whole

 

Good grief!!!!  Less than a month until Christmas and I am just now getting the grandchildren’s holiday outfits together!  I’m sewing in the fast lane now.

 

center

 

The collar for 7-year old Laurel’s burgundy velveteen dress is finished.  Swiss cotton organdy has been tinted with coffee.  The collar pattern is from Sarah Howard Stone’s Basic Yoke Dress.

The collar is lined so that the embroidery stitches will not show and also so that  the effect of the strong burgundy color shadowing through the ivory organdy is diminished.  The lining covers only the spokes, not the insertion.  The contrast of the lace spokes against the dark velveteen is very pleasing.

 

Christmas 11 collar side2

 

The machine embroidered shadow work designs are from Suzanne Hinshaw’s Charming Embellishments collection.  Though the set was marketed for placemats and linens,  the designs are appropriate for many other purposes.

I really choked using metallic thread to outline the holly leaves.  But I thought Laurel would love it and I’m trying to mix a little contemporary in with my old fashioned Nana style.

 

xmas lace scan0001

 

Continue reading

Machine Shadow Embroidery-Design and Tutorial Sources

Work in progress...machine shadow embroidered spoke collar, definitely not-yet-ready-for-prime-time.  The fabric is coffee dyed Swiss organdy.  The dress will be made of  burgundy velveteen.

Work in progress…machine shadow embroidered spoke collar, definitely not-yet-ready-for-prime-time. The fabric is coffee dyed Swiss organdy. The dress will be made of burgundy velveteen.

 

I’m busily working on Christmas outfits for my grandchildren and have started with a shadow work collar for Laurel.  Pictured above, it is fresh out of the embroidery hoop, in need of a good soak to get rid of the blue Dixon lines and the UltraSolvy water soluble stabilizer.  But you get the idea.

 

collar with hand stitched shadow work

collar with hand stitched shadow work

 

Shadow embroidery is one of my favorite needlework techniques.  Several earlier posts feature this technique both by hand and by hooped machine embroidery.

machine shadow embroidered baby pillow

 

As I sat in front of my big Brother Duetta (as opposed to Laurel’s little Brother 300SE), watching it do all the work, I recalled that readers  have commented that they cannot find machine shadow work designs for sale. So I did a little sleuthing before writing this post and located  some sources.

 

LinenGuestantallBrite

 

Suzanne Hinshaw, who developed and patented this technique, no longer sells  them.  However, a few of her collections are still available at AllBrands, including  gorgeous Shadowed Bouquets and Charming Embellishments, which is the source of the designs on the collar. FYI, it is my understanding that when these few sets are gone, there will be no more.

A set of two of Suzanne’s designs for holiday towels (linen) are available at Heirlooms Forever at half price.

Brer Rabbit Designs now has a variety of lovely shadow work designs for sale. This site belongs to Laurie Anderson of Southern Stitches, who regularly contributes to Sew Beautiful magazine.  Everything she makes is beautiful so it’s probably a safe bet to say that her shadow work designs are too.

So for those of you who might like to  try shadow work by embroidery machine, you can purchase designs at these sites.  There is an excellent tutorial at Nancy Zeiman’s site, along with information about her new book with a gorgeous shadow work floral heart design included.

 

Xmas-collar-laceBRITE1

 

I look forward to telling you more about my grandchildren’s Christmas outfits.  There is an interesting story about the spectacular lace for Laurel’s collar and a recipe for dying the organdy to a soft ivory. And I would love to hear about your projects.

What are you making for Christmas?

Celebrating Easter ’11

 

So how long is this going to take?

After several days of non-stop hustle and bustle, I am enjoying the quiet that follows a huge celebration like Easter.  The children and grandchildren have all returned to their homes and everyone here at my home is asleep.

All the good china and silver is put back in place, the table linens are in the washer, and except for scattered Easter grass on the floors, a dirty child’s sock on the hall table and a pink Peep bunny perched on the sugar bowl, things are back to normal.

But what a beautiful day it was!   Norman Rockwell himself could not have painted a more traditional scene, with beautiful children, Florida sunshine and sticky chocolate bunnies.  The dining room was seated with all ages, from toddler to super-senior.  This joyful celebration was down home, home grown and home sewn.

Is there anything cuter than a gap-toothed 6 year-old?

Before the Easter egg hunt, we  tried to get pictures.  What a production that was!

Three relatively cooperative, squirming, anxious children were surrounded by 6 relatively cooperative, squirming anxious parental paparazzi.  The cameras were snapping like finger cymbals.

Hundreds of photos were taken, though the children would probably estimate that there were thousands.

Aren’t you done taking pictures?

There must be 20 shots of the children on the stairs.  It was like trying to line up 3 cats!  We never did get a picture of all three smiling.  Robert fidgeted and Alastair was focused on his right foot. Laurel, bless her sweet cooperative little heart, sat primly for every photo but the last, when she lost her resolve and was caught picking her nose.  That unladylike pose has been deleted from my camera.

 

Continue reading

Driven

R suit

5 year-old Robert’s Easter suit

 

NEWS FLASH!!!!   I beat the clock!  Robert’s shirt was finished by 1 p.m.  Saturday! I sewed on buttons at the hairdresser’s, I hemmed while waiting  at the airport  for my brother, I whipped neck bias while watching  for Uncle Richard to arrive. I am done!  Bring on the bunny!

**********************************

2 year-old Alastair's Easter suit

2 year-old Alastair’s Easter suit

 

Blue pearl buttons from Farmhouse Fabrics add color to the back.

Blue pearl buttons from Farmhouse Fabrics add color to the back.

 

I’m driven, determined to beat the countdown to Easter morning.   Alastair’s suit, shown here, and Laurel’s dress are finished, but one thing or another has roadblocked my efforts to finish Robert’s outfit.  I have been way behind schedule with unexpected and time consuming life complications, but thought I could catch up.

Two days ago, we had Robert and Laurel overnight.  Their mother has been sick all week and our son has been out of town on business.  So Shelly has been struggling at home alone.  Her mother has helped out a great deal and we had them Wednesday  overnight.  It may not take a village to raise a child, but two sets of nearby grandparents surely makes the task a lot easier.  Continue reading