Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Best Time of the Year!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas! Those traveling to our house arrived on time (although their luggage decided to take a separate flight), and everyone was well. A whole lot of eating, laughing, and game playing took place. The house is a disaster, which proves that we all had a good time. The son in Iraq called and we all had a chance to talk, so all in all, it was great Christmas at our house.

Now the best part, the sweets have been devoured, the gift giving is over and the company will still be here for a few more days! That means that there are still movies to be watched, games to be played, and more time to spend together without as many distractions. Although I love Christmas, my dirty little secret is that the day after is my favorite day of the year! After weeks of planning and preparing, I am ready to move on to other things.

If the company was not in the way, I would be yanking that Christmas tree down today!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pure Bliss!

There are no words to describe the joy of having additional lighting added to my sewing room! I have struggled with the lack of light since the move last Spring. I finally decided that the problem was not going away and bought two track lights at Lowe's.

My sweet husband has spent the entire day installing them, which included numerous trips into the attic and a boo-boo on his head where he raised up into one of the rafters. The job is finished and the lighting is fantastic. I will now be able to be creative after 3:00 PM on the gloomiest winter day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lace Insertion

Stitching lace insertion to fabric is the first technique that we learn when I teach heirloom sewing by machine. This is not a strong application of lace and best used on collars, yokes, or sleeves.
Lace insertion is the lace that is straight on both edges. If one side of the lace feels rougher than the other, this is the wrong side of the lace. I have used a contrasting color thread for the photos. Use a fine machine thread that matches the lace and a 60/8 size machine needle.

Starch and press the lace and fabric. Using a wash-away marker, mark the lace placement lines on the fabric. Set the sewing machine on straight stitch length of 2.0 and stitch close to the edge of the lace down both sides. I prefer to stitch from top to bottom each time to prevent the fabric and lace from distorting.

Turn the fabric to the wrong side, and carefully cut the fabric between the stitching lines, being careful not to cut the lace. Press the fabric away from the lace.

On the right side of the fabric, using a zigzag stitch of 2.0 width and 0.7 length, stitch over the previous stitching line. The stitch should "zig" into the lace and "zag" into the fabric.

On the wrong side of the fabric, using blunt scissors, trim away the excess fabric.

Starch and press the fabric and lace before continuing with your garment.
I first started doing heirloom sewing about 15 years ago while doing custom sewing for "Joy's of Smocking" in Decatur, AL. I still love working with lace and fabric!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Favorite Resource Book!

While we still have time to add to our Christmas "Wish List", I thought that I would recommend one of my favorite books! I love all of the books in the "A-Z" series, published by Country Bumpkins, but have found that this is the one that I refer to the most often. Besides smocking construction, it is filled with the instructions for almost every basic construction tip that you can think of. The book includes collars, plackets, and sleeves, and has clear photos of each step!

My copy appeared under the Christmas tree addressed "To- Michie' From- Santa". Boy, was my family surprised!


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