Tag Archives: heirloom sewing

The Lace Dress for Easter

Easter-lace-dress-br

 

This is a beautiful, symmetrical dress–not cockeyed as it appears in this photo.   The wind would NOT stop blowing so it kept swinging on the hanger as I  tried to snap it in a moment of calm.  Note also that the hanger is an adult size, so the shoulder appears to be wider than the pattern picture.

But, hurrah!! Laurel’s Easter dress is almost done, lacking only buttons and buttonholes.  The pattern is one of Nancy Coburn’s at Ginger Snaps Designs.

 

lace-dress-patt

 

Laurel’s dress includes absolutely no originality from me.  I copied this beauty as is because I didn’t think there was any way I could improve upon it. Continue reading

Smocked Diaper Shirt & Rhumba Pants

shirt pants

 

One more little outfit is ready for our due-at-Christmas granddaughter.    How I LOVE making baby things!

 

pants back

 

The diaper shirt and ruffle-butt bloomers are Swiss pique, trimmed with candy pink microcheck. The ruffles were made on the serger,  finished with a 3-thread rolled edge. Continue reading

Contemporary Heirloom?

pillocase br

 

This pillowcase and its mate will be included in a wedding gift I am putting together for my cousin’s daughter.  The first and only time I saw Jordan was when she was 14 and spent a week with us learning to sew.  Now she has just graduated from University of Nebraska and will be married next week by her father in the church he pastors.

Sewing for others always requires at least a cursory consideration of their personal taste. When her grandmother (my sweet Aunt Rheeta) told me the wedding colors were black and white, and  then the very contemporary invitation arrived, I knew Jordan was a 2012 Thoroughly Modern Millie.

But she is a beautiful young lady, both inside and out, who will be a lovely bride and a loving wife.  She is entitled to her own taste. Continue reading

Heirloom Bow Dress Hand-me-Down

"Rebecca's Bow Dress" lengthened

“Rebecca’s Bow Dress” lengthened

 

It seems that I have spent a lot of  time strolling down memory lane lately.  This dress is yet another project from the past, 28 years past to be exact.  What memories it evokes, what an interesting history it has!  This dress has been around the world.

I first saw a version of this pretty thing at the very first SAGA Regional Seminar in Spartanburg, SC, in 1982 (I think).   My mother, my dear friend Mary Hale Hoffmann (a PlayGroup Mama) and I attended this life-altering event.  It was also the first time that either Mary or I had left our children at home while we “gallivanted” and the first time that we experienced the world of smocking and heirloom sewing outside our circle of three.  Lots of firsts on this trip!

But first let me give you the details of the dress itself for those of you who have no interest in ancient history.

The pattern is Rebecca’s Bow Dress, which I did for Martha Pullen.

 

Bow_Dress

Continue reading

Antique Lace Galloons

Sometimes, it seems that all my posts overlap.  This is one of those times.

When I blogged about the shadow smocked Easter dress for my granddaughter, I mentioned that I would tell you about the lace I used.  And I will.

As I was gathering my thoughts, it occurred to me that the most interesting thing about the lace is the use of the galloon as insertion.  So I want to tell you about that and other galloons I have used for both insertion and edging.

 

galoon FI

French Val galloon, with two decorative edges, 1-3/4″ wide

 

 

The antique lace I used for my granddaughter’s Easter dress was purchased at a veritable once-in-a-lifetime estate sale where I still sometimes shop when I am in Dreamland.  The creamy French Val lace is a beautiful ivory color, achieved by age rather than dye. Two  bolts of a classic pattern available yet today came home with me.

 

French Val edging, 1-1/4" wide

French Val edging, 1-1/4″ wide

 

I found the intricacy of  the pattern in combination with the gentle color to be very pleasing.  But I needed insertion for the skirt.

If you look carefully at the scalloped edges on the galloon, you will see how easily it converted to an insertion.  Without the perfectly straight lines of traditional insertion, the galloon requires a little more care when it is stitched to the flat skirt fabric.  But it certainly passed.   The soft curve of the scallops make this do-able. More dramatically curved edges would have been a major challenge.

galloon used as insertion

galloon used as insertion

 

 

I’ve used galloons in other garments.

Continue reading

Shadow Smocking How-to

shadow-dress

 

My granddaughter’s shadow smocked Easter dress was inspired by Kay Guiles’ article in Sew Beautiful, Easter, 1998.  In fact, the dress is nearly identical to one of the sample garments shown in that article.  I take no credit whatsoever for the design or technique.

 

SB pic

 

The only changes made to Laurel’s dress are the addition of lace insertion in the skirt and the substitution of a different embroidery design that included both silk ribbon and DMC floss.

Shadow smocking is a very unique technique and not at all difficult.  But I learned a lot that I would like to share with anyone considering such a project. Continue reading

“T’was the night before Easter…”

peach-Swiss-all

 

I’m doing my absolute best to finish up my Easter sewing, but it seems that one thing and then another keep getting in the way of progress.  Still I plug along, hoping and expecting that everything will get  done, because I’ve done it before.

I keep reminding myself of  the Easter my Rebecca was 6, 28 years ago.  For whatever reason, I decided to abandon an almost finished smocked dress in favor of this peach Swiss batiste frock.  From where the inspiration came, I don’t recall.  But I HAD to make it!

That was Maundy Thursday.  I had three days, mostly filled with the activities of this 6 year old child and her 10 year old brother, not to mention preparing my Sunday school lesson, fixing dinner, etc.  I slept very little from then until Easter, but I did complete the dress.  If I did it then, I can do it again, right?  I am 28 years older, but I don’t have a 6 and 10 yo under foot.  Yes, surely I can do it!

The fabric is what Jeannie B. calls “fairy” batiste–sheer and fine enough to clothe fairies who could not bear the weight of linen or even Nelona.  The major features of the dress are entredeux beading, tatting, puffing–lots of that!–a sweet Swiss handloom.

 

front-yoke1

 

The sleeves are set in with entredeux, one of my favorite heirloom touches. Continue reading

Remember that tiny baby girl?

 

She is thriving and growing!  This beautiful cherub and her equally beautiful mama are snug at home with baby’s undoubtedly proud and doting daddy.  They are all easing their way into a new family routine.

 

LilyKate2

Just look at those sweet pink toes!

 

The daygown,  made from Lezette Thomason’s Angel Gown pattern (all proceeds go to charity) for tiny, tiny babies, was shown and detailed in a previous post.

 

Continue reading

New Brother Quattro! New SmockingTechnique!

my new baby!

my new baby!

 

NEW MACHINE!!!  If you have heard happy shouts and contented purrs coming from central Florida, it’s just me.  I am beside myself with delight over my new Brother Quattro!  After my disappointment over the misplaced design on a collar for my granddaughter, I knew that wouldn’t have happened if I had been sewing on the Brother Quattro.  So now, this big Brother lives in my sewing room!  Hurrah!

When I stitched that design on my Brother Duetta, I had hooped heavy water soluble stabilizer, applied spray adhesive and placed the “V” shaped collar in place.  In fact, I had centered the design properly, with the needle penetrating the absolute center of the design.  But the linen collar was not absolutely straight,  north and south, east and west.  This caused the “V” design to lean to the east.

 

collar-close

 

The Brother Duetta stitched it perfectly, but my operator error caused the misplacement.

This slight misalignment would not have been so noticeable had the collar been round or square or if it had been stitched on a yoke.  But with the echoed “V” so near, it was very obvious.

The Quattro has a built in camera.  With this incredible feature, the  camera locates the cross hairs of the “snowman” sticker that is placed at the very center of my design area.  The camera perceives even slight placement inaccuracies and makes the correction by rotating the design however many degrees are necessary.  Is that not wonderful and amazing?

We are in the “getting to know you” mode right now and the more I read, the more awestruck I am.  Edge sewing, print and stitch, huge embroideries…… The list goes on and on.  I can’t wait for Quattro and me to become BFF’s!

NEW TECHNIQUE!!! My granddaughter’s Easter dress seemed to be an appropriate first project to help us get acquainted.  Pictures of “shadow smocking,”  posted on Pinterest caught my eye.  Note: If you don’t know about Pinterest, check it out here. Continue reading

Tiny Daygown for A Tiny Girl

tiny dress all 2

 

This preemie daygown was made for a tiny baby girl who was born last week weighing 3 lbs. 9 ounces.  Almost 8 weeks before her due date, she is doing quite well in the neonatal intensive care unit at an excellent hospital.  But she is sooooo little!

Her mother was a classmate of my daughter’s as well as one of my favorite students in my children’s sewing classes.  Now she is a wife and new mother to a precious baby daughter who will probably be in the hospital for some time.

 

monogram

 

I had planned to smock a daygown for this little darling, but she arrived before I even began.  So I whipped up this simple A-line so she would have something girlie to wear over her itty bitty institutional nappies.  If I can find a little more time, I’d like to make a bonnet and blanket. Continue reading