Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chain Stitch Embroidery

Need a quick and easy embroidery stitch for your sewing project? The chain stitch was just what my daughter, Anna, was looking for when making the Christmas stockings and tree skirt mentioned in the previous blog. For the beginner, this is a quick and easy stitch and still looks great. Four strands of floss were needed to get the effect on the corduroy that she wanted. The lettering was first traced onto the fabric with a wash-away marker, then embroidered over. Instructions for the stitch are in the Heirloom Embroidery Book along with 16 other embroidery stitches.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Alabama!

Since my daughter, Anna, is back in town and newly married she has been wanting me to help her make her first tree skirt and stockings. The stocking she grew up with was one that my mother made her when she was a baby. Although she loves this stocking, Anna thought it best to have her and her new husband's stocking match. The day after Thanksgiving Anna started looking at magazines and picking out what she wanted. For the stockings she chose a simple white corduroy stocking with a pointed elf toe, red and white fabric yo-yo's, and a red corduroy cuff with her name embroidered in white, Jason's was the same except the colors were reversed. As for her tree skirt Anna liked mine that I made at the end of last year from a vintage tree skirt pattern that I borrowed from a friend. The tree skirt is a simple white corduroy with a scalloped edge and binding in the same red and white print fabric that is also used as accents in the stockings fabric yo-yo's. At first Anna had decided to put yo-yo's on the tree skirt also, but after thinking it over she decided to embroidery "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. " on the tree skirt instead.
It has been a fun project for us to work on while it is so cold outside. We have even had weather predictions of snow flurries for the last couple of days. So while all cozy in the house, the wives were sewing preparing for Santa Claus.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby's First Christmas

If you have a new baby for Christmas, what could be sweeter than a simple daygown trimmed with holly embroidery? The pattern used is Pleated Daygown #119. The daygown is made from satin batiste and the collar is piped with red and white gingham. The embroidered berries are twice wrapped bullions using three strands of DMC floss and the leaves are filled in lazy daisies using two strands of floss. The embroidery stitches are some of the basic ones that we learned as girls. If you are new to embroidery or need a refresher course, the stitches are in the Heirloom Embroidery Book, with clear directions and illustrations.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Snowflakes! We all laughed last night when the weatherman predicted snow flurries for North Alabama on the first day of December. We never see snow this early! In fact, we get so little in our area that we get really excited over a flake or two. Much to our surprise, it has been cold and flurried off and on all day. At one point they were even BIG fluffy flakes. As I watched the snow today, I remembered the new apprecitation that I gained while drawing the snowflake embroidery design for the romper and dress. I never dreamed that drawing a snowflake would be so difficult! Drawing the snowflake took most of an evening, while doing the embroidery took less than an hour. The snowflake embroidery makes both the Toddler Romper #113 and the Classic Dress #131 suitable for the winter, not just the holidays. Both outfits are made out of featherwale corduroy and are easy projects.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Heirloom Baby Apron

What a thrill it was to see this sweet Baby Apron#122 in the newest Creative Needle Magazine! The process from an idea to appearing a magazine can be a long journey. I stumbled up on an similar antique dress several years ago at a local antique store. The dress was white, in very good condition, and was priced at just $8.00! It appears to be from the late 5o's, when these little dresses were readily available for about $2.00. I was so intrigued by the tiny embroidery and the simple application of the Madeira hem, that it had to come home with me so that I could try the techniques! After it hung in my sewing room for about a year, I knew that it couldn't be put off any longer. I love the challenge of making a garment from remnants. I call those my "free" projects. I barely had enough ecru Swiss Nelona for the dress and a scrap of pale blue for the collar and sleeve binding. It only took a little lace for the collar and the right shade of embroidery thread. I knew this would be fun, but also knew that when working with remnants there is no room for error! Handwork is my favorite, so I really enjoyed every moment of the project.

After completing the dress and submitting it to the magazine the wait begins. The staff at Creative Needle is kind enough to let me know right away when something has been accepted and which issue they plan on it appearing in. I'm then given a deadline to send in the garment, descriptions, and instructions. There is about a 6 month time frame from submission to having the magazine in hand, so when the garment appears in the magazine it is almost like seeing the garment again for the first time! My first reaction when I opened the magazine was, "Isn't that the cutest baby you have EVER seen" and "Wow, the dress photographed great!"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Creative Needle Magazine

It is hard to describe how exciting it is when an outfit is featured in Creative Needle Magazine. So, I can not possibly describe how exciting it is be on the cover for the first time! Also, since I had not submitted the outfit, it was a total surprise! I was looking at the Creative Needle website the other evening when I made the discovery. The whole family joined in the excitement and phone calls were made to let the adult kids in on the news.
The pattern used on the front cover and in the table of contents is Sunsuit/Sundress #132. What a treat it always is to see how someone else has used one of my patterns. I often look at these wonderful creations and wonder why I didn't think of that! All past issues of the magazines are carefully stored away, but you can guarantee that this issue will always be special to me!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall Sewing!

Fall is here and the holidays are getting close! If you are like me, this is the time of year for simple sewing projects. I went through my fabric stash the other day and was inspired! Both fabrics are from Fabric Finders and the pattern is Classic Dress #131. I purchased the fabric several months ago, not having a clue what I would do with it. The only thing that mattered was, that I loved the tiny floral print and the green twill was a perfect match! The dress was quick and easy, but it needed something else...matching buttons! Of course, I had not purchased buttons with the fabric, so the search began. We all had a good laugh at Barb's Sewing Center when I walked in with fabric scraps looking for green buttons to match the twill. I got lucky and found the perfect size and perfect color IF the buttons were turned to the wrong side! What a sweet dress this will be for our mild fall days in Alabama and then again for spring. If sewing is your "stress reliever" take time for a fun and simple project during the holidays!



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