Tag Archives: antique textiles

Opinions? Easter Dress in Progress

Pink Swiss voile, ivory entredeux, cherub medallion, heirloom laces and bishop pattern from Mimi’s Heirloom Sewing Book Two.

 

My life is absolutely wonderful but SO busy!  These new puppies chew up a lot of time… and a lot of everything else.!  They are adorable and we are crazy about them.  But they are one of the big reasons it’s been so long since I’ve posted.

 

Samson and Delilah, each 21 lbs, 10 weeks old

 

At this late date I am starting on Easter dresses for 4 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.  One, of course, is for Easter Sunday.  The other is for the church egg hunt on Sat.  But that is on the back burner until Sunday’s dress is finished.

For several years I have had a piece of what must have been an exquisite tablecloth featuring cherubs and roses.  You probably figured out that roses are a bonus for anything I make for Vivi.

I’m thankful that someone had the foresight to save the remnants.  From the first time I saw it, I imagined one of those cherub medallions in a granddaughter’s dress.   Finally, the time has come.

 

each cherub is 3″ tall

 

The plan is to modify a bishop with several inches removed from the front.  That would leave a flat area on the Swiss voile for the single cherub.  As you can see, it is already pinstitched to the voile.  I love love love pinstitch and use it whenever possible.  This time a #100 needle was used instead of a wing for fear that a wing would cut through the dense portions of the lace.

 

cherub medallion secured to Swiss voile with pinstitch W 2.5 L 2.5

 

For more about pinstitch, check out my very detailed tutorial Pinstitch~~What’s it All About  and Pinstitch Part II.    A This irregular shape would have been very tedious, but do-able–without the knee lift on my Brother Dream Machine.  So many stitchers I speak with have this feature on their machines but do not use it.  What a shame!  It is so useful!

A scalloped hem is planned, with a wide curve under the cherub and roses cut from the piece in other scallops.

I have envisioned this dress as “frothy” with a lace trimmed hemline.  A huge challenge was finding lace that was neither white nor ecru but a very light ivory.  I successfully coffee dyed a few pieces to just the right shade.  But when I came across the special two row edging shown below and hoarded for years, I thought its time had come, just like the cherubs.

Because 3 of anything is usually more pleasing than 2, I would like to put one more piece above it but can’t decide the use the beading or the plain footing.  Of course the lace will be pinstitched in place.

 

Which would you choose–the beading or the plain footing lace?

 

Is the beading with ribbon too much?  Is the footing too plain?  Please share your opinions.  Meanwhile, I’m busy constructing, pleating and smocking.

But indecision strikes again!  My original choice looks “frothier.”

 

No doubt many of you are finished with your Easter sewing.  But I bet there will be a lot of late Saturday nights next week for some of you.  And probably me.

Please advise about the lace choices-the first with beading? with footing? or the second as shown!

 

 

Finished Christening Gown for Baby Shrek!

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted what I asked of Him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

After earlier disappointments, people around the world prayed for this baby during the difficult pregnancy.  God hears all prayers and answered with the safe delivery of this precious baby into the arms of his loving family.

So here are the details of the renewed heirloom gown Baby Shrek wore for his baptism. ~~~~~~

Photo taken between rain and wind gusts from tropical storm Hermine.

photo taken between rain and wind gusts from tropical storm Hermine.

 

It’s been so long since my last post that faithful readers probably think I have dropped off the face of the earth.  A more accurate explanation of my absence is that I’ve been buried deep in my sewing room.  Sooooo much has been going on, the highlight being the completion of this gown for Baby Shrek and spending some time with him.  Details of a weekend with 4 rabid embroidery enthusiasts, ages 3.5-9, nearly a week of sewing with our two older grandchildren before they moved to New Jersey, and more will be posted later.

 

Little Shrek on my dining room table

Little Shrek on my dining room table. His adoring grandmother is captured in the mirror wearing a white blouse.

 

First let me answer a the question many have asked about why he is called Baby Shrek.  His parents very graciously gave me permission to use any photos of him, but asked that I not use his name.  So the hasty endearment from his maternal grandmother, “beautiful Baby Shrek,” is used in place of his very lengthy, good Christian name.

These pictures are not great, but he had passed up his noon nursing due to the distraction of my two dogs and his watchful, attentive fan club.  Then when he was dressed for the photos, he was good-natured, but very actively squirmed and flapped his little arms as he pleaded for his dinner.

 

arms-raisedxx

 

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Once-in-a-lifetime Estate Sale Shopping Spree

“Almost 20 years ago, they  (the lace portraits shown below) were purchased at an estate sale,  where they were pinned to a sheet of cardboard.  If any interest is expressed, I’ll write a post about that once-in-a-lifetime textile shopping spree.  Occasionally, I still dream about it!” 

antique-lace-portraits-FI

 

This quote is from an earlier post about these antique lace portraits. Readers did ask for the story.  So let me tell you………

This was the most amazing estate sale I had ever seen, or ever will again.  It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime shopping opportunity to acquire beautiful things.

First, a few details about one of my finds at that sale, a set of 6 placemats and napkins with a matching table runner.

 

blueSW placematw napkin

Shadow embroidered placemat with surface embroidery and hemstitching.

 

The shadow embroidery on this luncheon set is absolutely flawless.  Worked in two shades of blue, the stitches are so tiny and so regularly spaced that it’s hard to believe this is handwork.

 

blue SWplacemat Lcorner

 

The surface embroidery is equally remarkable.

 

blueSW placemat

 

The set of six placemats and napkins includes a table runner.  With my Blue Willow china,  it makes a pretty setting for lunch.  For tea, flow blue cups are elegant.  My 7 yo granddaughter Laurel and I enjoy having tea on the breakfast porch with these cups.  Robert, 6, sometimes joins us but prefers a no-nonsense Gator mug.

 

blue flow cup stand

 

So here is the story about how this all came about.  My mother’s friend, Marybelle, had a daughter who did estate sales and auctions in New England.  She didn’t liquidate little Ma & Pa farms or cottages but rather huge estates with names like Rockefeller or DuPont.  Mind you, I don’t know the surnames, but the implication was that they were of this status, rich and/or famous.

 

Suzanne bought these, then duplicated the technique. The article is featured in Creative Needle magazine.

 

The story goes that the 4 or 5 adult children had already stripped the house of  everything that interested them, which apparently was the bulk of the mansion’s  contents.   Then, at the auction, more than $5 million worth of items were sold.  The leftovers were sent to Marybelle, a well-connected Southern lady, who was to offer them to her friends.  Fortunately for me, my mother was one of her friends. Continue reading

Iris Tea Linens

Earl Grey tea and banana bread served in the potting shed

Earl Grey tea and banana bread served in the potting shed

 

This set of  six linen napkins and placemats is so beautiful that using them, either to  pamper myself or entertain special friends, always makes me appreciative of the needleworker’s skill.  They were purchased from an estate sale and were estimated to be vintage 1940.

By virtue of my friend Suzanne Sawko’s definition  of “antique” as something that is older than she is, I declare these linens to be the real deal.  But using Suzanne’s standard has made it harder and harder for me to find genuine antiques!

 

Iris Linen placematcorner

placemat corner

 

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