Category Archives: hand embroidery

Another UFO finished!

This past week I tackled yet another UFO and got it finished. ¬†ūüôā ¬†So happy to have another one checked off my list. ¬†The results are different from the intended pattern, but I’m OK with that – nobody will ever know that when it is being worn.

This project was from a Wendy Schoen workshop that I took last year.  She is such a talented designer and does the most beautiful embroidery!  Her patterns always have a vintage feel to them, which I love.  This dress is made of cotton pique with tiny pin dots Рa fabric that is perfect for summer Рalways crisp and fresh looking.  The piping and bias bands are done in the reverse print.  The details on the pattern are ones that only someone who does a lot of hand embroidery would think of Рtiny running stitches surround the neckline and peephole in the sleeve.



I am calling my dress “inspired” by Wendy’s since it bears resemblance, but isn’t the same. ¬† ¬†Picture is from Wendy’s blog.



Because of some problems encountered during construction and my unwillingness to spend lots of time “un-sewing” my dress, I did not end up with the crisp, sewn down pleats but rather soft pleats at the waistline. ¬†I do love the real pleats and will do those if I make the dress again now that I know what needs to be done differently to make that happen.

Wendy’s kit had the most delicious assortment of wool felt flower pieces included in it, and she showed us how to make the pretty pink flower, but we didn’t get to that part of the dress during the workshop and it is beyond my limited ability to recreate her pretty splash of flowers on the belt and jacket of the coat, so I chose not to add that element – I will save those for a wool coat (that is currently in my dreams!) after I practice some with felt flowers. ¬†So, my dress needed some other detail for interest on the front and I chose to do a few embroidered flowers to mimic what was done on the sleeves – which happen to be my favorite part of the dress!


Aren’t these the cutest sleeves!!!




Photographing these peek-a-boo sleeves was quite the challenge! ¬†This was the most pleasing picture that showed the details without some weird mannequin or seam allowance or such showing through the peep hole. ¬†LOL! ¬†Notice my running stitches!!! ¬†We used Coton a Broder thread for the embroidery and running stitches. ¬†It was the first time I’d embroidered with this thread and I really enjoyed it. ¬†It is much like floche, but not quite as soft as floche is. ¬†I am adding that to my “embroidery favorites”¬†threads list and hope to purchase more of this! ¬†I wish I’d had some green – I would have added that to the bodice embroidery as I feel it could use a touch of green. ¬†Oh well – it’s finished and I’m ready to move on.

Wendy manages to think of every detail of design, down to the buttons, and included polka dot buttons in the kits.  Just perfect!  Even with my flash shine, you can still see the cute buttons.


The dress has an adorable jacket that goes with it, and mine is well under construction, but I had the same challenges with the jacket as I did with the dress and to fix those issues would require hours of “un-sewing” and then resewing. ¬†I’m not willing to invest that kind of time. ¬†Un-sewing is my least favorite way to spend my time. ¬†So, that project is being removed from the UFO stash and the sewn fabric into my fabric stash – I hope I can repurpose the fabric in another project – perhaps even a smaller jacket. ¬†I will make her jacket up one day, but probably not soon enough to be worn with this dress. ¬†I’m fine with that. ¬†Her jacket is definitely on my future to do list. ¬†it is adorable, just as her dress is. ¬†Perhaps by then I will know how to make the pretty corsage of felt flowers!

Picture from Wendy’s blog.



So, my dress is finished and I can’t wait to try it on Ella. ¬†Keeping my fingers crossed that it will fit and she can wear it this spring.


My next project will involve smocking. ¬†After completing a few UFO’s that all have hand embroidery, I need to smock something! ¬†If too much time passes without me smocking something, I begin to miss it.

Until next time, keep on stitching…..


Finishing up a UFO

This week we kept the¬†grandkids for a few days while their folks had a little “get-away”, so I knew that no serious sewing was going to get done. ¬†However, during nap times and in the evenings I took the opportunity to finish up the end embroidery on an unfinished project. ¬†Once the embroidery was finished and buttons covered, I could hem the dress and do buttonholes and sew the buttons on the dress and jacket. ¬†I was able to do that after they were gone. ¬†It didn’t take long at all. ¬†I’m so glad to have this finished and will try it on our oldest granddaughter this week. ¬†Hopefully it will be a good fit.

The dress and jacket are a Gail Doane project from a summer sewing retreat. So, it hasn’t been sitting unfinished for too long (unlike some other projects)!

The dress is a nice weight cotton print with accents in featherwale corduroy – a great combination for fall/winter weather.

The dress bodice has a cute pleated treatment, but even in the close up picture, it doesn’t show up well. ¬†I like the pleated treatment, but don’t think that I’d bother doing it again on a dress where it doesn’t show up at all. ¬†If I put the effort into details, I do like them to be seen! ¬†LOL! ¬†I can think of many other ways to use this same treatment to add interest to other projects, so was glad to have tried it. ¬†The scalloped waistband adds such nice contrast to the dress and I really like the soft pleats in the skirt – just a little different from the usual gathers.

What you don’t see well is a pleated strip of fabric on both sides that are covered with a strip of narrow fabric. ¬†Cute idea, right?

I’m including a picture of the dress back only because I wanted to show how a well drafted collar should look. ¬†I continue to see so many new (mostly PDF) designers that have oddly drafted collars that rarely meet up in the back. ¬†A well drafted collar should sit well on the dress – not flat like a dinner plate, and should meet in both the center front as well as the center back.

What excited me most about this project was the jacket.  I had seen a similar jacket on Pinterest and fell in love with it.  Leave it to Gail to draft such a cute jacket with scallops down the front and then add her signature embroidered buttons as well as lots of contrast piping to put it over the top.  Featherwale corduroy is perfect for our mild winters in the south, so I expect this will get a lot of wear.

The back is equally as cute as the front!

With this project finished, I’ve pulled out yet another UFO dress and jacket for spring. ¬†It has more work than this one did to finish it up, so we’ll see how quickly that will get done!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to take a class from Gail, you should put that on your wish list. ¬†She teaches regularly around the country. ¬†Her patterns are so well done and she is an excellent teacher. ¬†I think anyone would enjoy a class with her!

I hope you will enjoy some sweet stitching time this week as well.