Tag Archives: heirloom sewing

Catching up~Christmas Sewing!

In spite of all the stitching that has gone on since my past post, going on in my sewing room I have done no blogging about it. Too many obligations, too little time, and too many projects beckoning me! But now I will begin to catch up with this first post of my earlier projects.

Christmas came and went with Bob and me celebrating alone between doses of antibiotic. Bronchitis struck again so it was a quiet time for us, but no less special. The “reason for the season” was most important.

Our 3 year old granddaughter was given a sheer, white cotton, smocked bishop with a mint green slip. This beauty was purchased on the facebook group, Smocking Destash, smocked but requiring finishing at the neck, sleeves and hemline. What a find! The pictures were taken on a rare, dark, cloudy day with scattered rain. They do not do it justice!

The mint green slip shadows through in person, but does not show so on this cloudy day.
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Geometric smocking is a very pale mint green floss. The plentiful bullion roses were spectacular–not stitched by me!

On the hem lace edging was joined below the pinstitched beading. To keep the mint satin ribbon from slipping, it was secured to the beading with evenly space French knots. The slip was purposely a bit longer to show off more lace edging.

Mint green Imperial batiste slip with it’s laced edged hem can also serve as a sundress.

The machine embroidery design is from Petite Poche’, (Wendy Schoen) Creating Heirlooms for Baby. The bee was added to tickle the fancy of granddaughter Beatrice, nicknamed Bea. The lace at the slip neckline peeks out above the dress neck binding. Beatrice was delighted with the addition of the bee.

I was dissatisfied with the attachment of the slip’s skirt to the lined yoke. The gathers created so much bulk that the yoke would not lie flat. This would have been less of a problem with all cotton fabric. If I were to do it again, I would reduce the skirt’s width.

Again I was reminded of the joy that comes from seeing a child in classic clothing. I’d love to see photos of your Christmas creations.

Required disclosure: I am a paid Ambassador for Brother. Not required: I really do love my Brother machines.

3rd Birthday Dress for Beatrice

This beloved, long-awaited baby girl will be 3 years old in a few days!  In celebration of the occasion I have made her a birthday confection of batiste, lace, embroidery, feather stitches, ribbon and entredeux. As her official church Nana, I embraced this privilege.

This child is pure joy for her family and our entire church congregation.  We prayed so fervently for her safe delivery into the loving arms of her adoptive parents.  With her sparkling brown eyes and bouncing curls, she is all girl while at the same  rough and tumble.

Beatrice romps with her big dog and both of mine (weighing 100+ lbs).  She is friendly with the three family goats

and fearless with huge horses when she visits the stables. shhh..but just between you and me, she is a little frightened by teeny tree frogs! Continue reading

2021 Christmas Dress..Oh Well

Are you all set for Christmas?  Cards sent, house decorated, gifts wrapped and sent, sewing finished?  Congratulations if you’ve answered yes to more than one of these questions.

My cards are sent and some house decorating is done, but my greatest accomplishment is finishing my granddaughter’s Christmas dress.

The white lace dress pattern included in the latest Classic Sewing magazine was  made for almost 8 yo granddaughter Vivian Rose.  It is lovely but was just waaaaay too big for her.  She is tiny, though her mother declared she wears a size 8 and I went with it. Big mistake. Even with the accurate and current measurements I had for her, the lace has some stretch.  I should have taken that into account. The silver lining for this disappointment is that now her Christmas dress for 2021 is already finished! I’ve never been ahead of the game like this!

Here she is with the shoulder seams falling off her shoulders, with her handsome 11 yo brother.  He’s had such a growth spurt that his mother just discovered that the only dark shoes that fit his newly enormous feet are his soccer cleats.  So that’s what he wore for this picture. Fortunately, the shoe laces match his vest.  With any luck, Amazon will deliver his new black dress shoes this week.

My two younger grandchildren in their Christmas clothes. It’s likely they will only be worn for at home Christmas dinner with grandparents in their bubble. But they will look spectacular, especially if Vivian has a monumental growth spurt or wears her soon-to-arrive Sugar Plum Fairy dress (see below).

 

Farmhouse Fabrics, as always, came through with the white lace fabric. I ordered a few hours after their on-line Gab and Gush featured this lace and at that time  there were only 6 yards left!  The ever-helpful staff matched up ribbon for the sash with the satiny rose slip fabric I chose.  The hairbow, also ordered on line,  was a perfect match.  Of course, I ordered 3 bows hoping one would match and it did!

Vivian Rose with her beloved rescue dog, Mendel.

This dress was relatively quick and easy to make, with 4-thread serged seams and a Swiss batiste bound neckline.  There was no hemming at the sleeves or on the skirt. In the Farmhouse Live video Sally suggested a crocheted thread loop at the shoulders, attached with a snap to secure the slip shoulders. That was a great tip, especially when the dress turned out to be too big.  That slip would have fallen off the child’s shoulders and annoyed her all day. Another set of crocheted loops was added to the waistline for the optional ribbon sash. Continue reading

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.

 

Continue reading

FREE Heirloom Baby Dress Sew-Along

Heirloom Baby Gown Sew-Along presented by Brother International Corporation

 

Classic Sewing Magazine  is offering a FREE Sew-Along.  I made this sweet little dress/daygown for Brother’s submission to the magazine and it is being offered to you. The instructions have been broken into 4 lessons.

Written for beginners, it also includes tips and suggestions that might be useful for experienced heirloom sewists.  Techniques such as lace insertion, lace shaping, pin stitch, joining gathered lace, etc. are included.

The first two lessons have been posted so go sign up!  You must be signed up to get notification of the next lessons.

I do hope you will join us.  Just click on the link in  the opening photo and you will be taken to the site to sign up.  The sleeves on this pattern (Simplicity 8024) are just precious.

Let’s sew along!

 

 

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.

 

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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

Christmas Outfits Past Part 2

I hope you have all finished your Christmas sewing.  I’ve moved on to baking and gift wrapping and hope to finish up in time for our big family celebrations.

Here are a few more Christmas outfits from the past.  These gingerbread outfits for my  two older grandchildren were favorites of mine.   A few years later, new grandson Alastair wore Robert’s suit.

 

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Ready-to-smock gingerbread outfits were paired up with a Creative Needle smocking plate.

 

One year I planned to make matching Thanksgiving outfits for the children.  The Viyella brown plaid garments were made but before I began the bibs, plans changed and the older two would not be with us that day. So I decided to use the garments for Christmas.  But that was a stretch—brown plaid for Christmas.  I made it work.

 

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Alastair’s Christmas outfit, Children’s Corner Glenn with linen bib embroidery from OESD’s Current Critters Continued.

 

Laurel’s basic yoke dress was trimmed with tatting, as was her linen bib.

 

 

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Laurel also had a tie-on bib with a Current Critters Continued design.

 

These Current Critters embroidery designs are so charming. Continue reading

Blue Bows~Handlooms and Swiss Embroideries

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Originally posted in 2011…

Stitching a nightgown is always a pleasure.  Often made as gifts for birthdays, holidays or bridal showers, pretty sleepwear is appreciated by ladies old and young.

BlueBowsMaryLydia

This gown was made for my daughter when she was a teenager.  The pattern, Mary Lydia, is an old, all time favorite of mine.

Its versatility allows you to use goods of any width.  The armhole curve is placed over the finished fancyband and dips into the skirt fabric.  It is also suitable for a sundress.

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SWISS HANDLOOM blue bow insertion on back yoke

 

 

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SWISS HANDLOOM blue bow insertion on front yoke

 

Made of all Swiss goods–batiste, galoon beading, blue bow handloom insertion and edging–it is guaranteed to present sweet dreams.

This handloom is one of my all time favorites.

 

SWISS HANDLOOM. It is exactly like hand stitched shadow embroidery.

SWISS HANDLOOM. It is exactly like hand stitched shadow embroidery.

————– Continue reading

Alastair’s Hurry-up Easter Suit

A Easter suit

I know this outfit is crooked on the hanger. There was a stiff breeze blowing and I could not keep the shirt hanging properly.

 

We always talk about how busy we are, but I have never let other things make me cut it so close with Easter outfits for the grandchildren.  Just like when my children were small, I was up until after midnight Saturday before Easter.

 

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But I finished all four outfits.

Alastair’s Easter suit was a very satisfying project.  Like few hurry-up projects, it finished up quite nicely, leaving me  generally pleased.   I learned that sometimes surrendering my picky-ness for a rush project is okay.  It is more important to have an  OK outfit done for Easter than an up- to-my-picky-standards outfit done a week later.  This was made in about a day and a half, and those were busy days aside from sewing.

 

goods A suit Continue reading

Think Spring Dress

UPDATE:  There have been several inquiries about the sleeve finish so the process is detailed at the end of this post (below the groundhog eating wolf).

It’s been so long since there has been a new post at  Janice Ferguson Sews that  faithful readers might have thought that I was missing in action.  I’ve been tending my dear husband who had knee replacement surgery two weeks ago.  Post-op he spent a week at the same rehab center where I recuperated  from my joint surgeries and gained some valuable insights into life.

So I have been spending time with him, running errands and doing his many, many household chores.  Whew!  That man does more around here than I ever realized!  He’s my grocery shopper, gardener, pool boy, morning feral cat feeder, garbage hauler, very best friend, and more.  I have really missed him.

At last, he’s back home, stepping lightly with his gentleman’s cane and walking the fast track to a complete recovery.

 

That's not really him. And it's not really me.

That’s not really him. And it’s not really me.

 

And I’m back too, with a finished project to share with you.

This cheerful little dress just makes me grin.   Looking at it reminds me of our Florida springtime with raspberry pink azaleas, white dogwoods and the bright turquois waters of nearby Blue Springs.  The fabric says spring to me.

 

think spring dress all recol Continue reading