I have been busy the last month working on a new pattern. I have finally finished the pattern and got it listed in my Etsy shop. The pattern is a vintage style apron dress.
Isn’t this the sweetest dress!!! I created this from combining the ideas from 2 different vintage apron dress patterns that I’ve saved pictures of and am very happy with the end results.
I always get so much enjoyment from creating these patterns! The embroidery on this yellow dress actually is from a vintage pattern of mine and is included with the pattern. Obviously, any embroidery would be beautiful. On the white dress pictured first, I did a variation of this, using bullion roses instead of the lazy daisy flowers.
In the pattern, I offer 3 different neckline variations – square neckline, round neckline and a sweetheart neckline. My personal favorite is the square, but I do like the others as well.
On most of the samples that I made, I used French Val laces and pin stitched the lace to the dresses. However, when I got to the size 4, I wanted to try something different. For that dress, I used a very lightweight poly/cotton piqué fabric that I purchased in Prague a few years ago. I combined it with Swiss trims and loved how it turned out. It’s a little more casual than the other heirloom versions that I had done.
Don’t you love it with the Swiss trims!!! So very summery!!! I even added 2 pockets to this dress, which I then included in the pattern.
I can see this dress in so many different variations – fabrics, trims, etc. I used larger tucks for this dress, though I’m not sure that they show up well in the picture.
The flat front version is also so pretty! I can see this with all kinds of embellishment – wouldn’t a monogram be perfect!!! A shadow work monogram would be gorgeous! I did a simple lace shaping on the front of the one that I made. I’m still considering adding some embroidery. This dress features the sweetheart neckline!
Maybe you have someone that would look so sweet in this dress!!! I have begun a sew-along of the dress on my YouTube channel. Please consider joining the fun! I am looking forward to seeing many beautiful versions of this sweet dress!!!
I hope the new year has included some enjoyable stitching for you!!!
I sew quite frequently for preemie babies and because of that, I’ve created a number of preemie patterns which I sell in my Etsy shop (Kathysheirloomshop). You can click on the shop name and it will take you to my shop.
Recently I was contacted and asked about even smaller size preemie daygowns. I currently have my Prince/Princess Preemie Pattern available for a 4 – 5 lb. preemie.
By adding length to this top (I believe I added 8″ to the bottom of the 4 – 5 lb. size), it becomes a daygown rather than a diaper shirt.
The little bit of hand embroidery adds such a sweet touch to the gown and bonnet!
The person that had contacted me felt that a gown smaller than the 4 – 5 lb. size might be needed. Challenge accepted! LOL! I worked at making a smaller size pattern. I ended up with a 3 – 4 lb. size pattern. I did a test sew of the pattern and it worked out just as I expected. However, because the diaper shirt/gown is completely lined, the sleeves are sewn in last, meaning “in the round”. Sewing the sleeves into this tiny armhole opening was quite the challenge!!! I could only stitch about 5 – 6 stitches, then would have to reposition and repeat. 😱 I also ended up hand basting the sleeve into the armhole opening. It was just to fiddly to have to deal with pins while trying to stitch the sleeve in. 😳
I tried it on a 15″ baby doll “model”. This does make a sweet doll pattern as well!
Because of the difficulty/challenge to sew in the sleeves into the tiny armholes, I have decided to offer this as a free download. I was not prepared for the multitude of questions from buyers regarding the sleeve stitching! You cannot imagine how many messages I get as a seller!!! LOL! So, be aware, the tiny sleeves ARE a challenge, but they can be sewn with a LOT of patience!!!
The download is ONLY the pattern pieces, NO INSTRUCTIONS for sewing are included. If you have purchased the preemie pattern or the pattern for sizes NB – 12 mo., you can follow those instructions. If you want/need sewing instructions and have not purchased one of the patterns, you will need to purchase one of them in order to have sewing instructions.
I’ve sadly neglected my blog. That said, I have been busy sewing, designing and such. I hope to do a better job posting in this year to come. 😊
Today I was contacted by someone that was going to make my Annalise top and she wanted to find the heart design that she had seen somewhere – probably Pinterest. It turns out that this was something that I designed MANY years ago when I used to make and sell custom garments on Ebay.
I designed the heart smocking to match the fabric on the pants, which was a crooked heart. Isn’t she the cutest model!!! I’m sure that she’s in college by now!
I had to do a bit of hunting to find the design. Thankfully I had saved the pencil graph of the heart. With that, as well as the pictures to go on, I graphed out the heart design on the computer and wanted to offer it to my followers so that it can be smocked on a Valentine outfit for this year!!! I have graphed out the smocking design that fits perfectly on the Annalise top (available in my Etsy shop – just click on the name and it will bring you there) as well as offering it in a regular yoke design.
This is a relatively simple smocking design and suitable for someone that has mastered reading the picture smocking graphs
A beautiful hemline is a lovely way to compliment a bodice – smocked, embroidered, tucked, etc. There are so many ways to embellish a hem. Some are more time consuming and difficult, others are quicker and easier (relatively speaking). This post will address some of the many options of interest to anyone that enjoys heirloom sewing. Hopefully it will inspire some creative thinking for your next sewing project!
A smocked bishop dress is deserving of a beautiful hem treatment. This hem was stitched with a pin-stitch, done by hand and then embroidery was added above the hem. While I nearly always will choose a machine method of hem finishes, I do love hand-work and wanted to test the waters with a hand, pin-stitch. With a small sized bishop dress, this didn’t take too long. This is a cost effective treatment and only requires a lightweight thread for the pin-stitch. Any book on heirloom techniques will include instructions for this stitch.
For reference, this dress was made from Imperial batiste. The smocking design is a variation of Ellen McCarn’s “Cary Anne” smocking plate – I made a few changes. Contrary to the opinion of many heirloom stitchers, it IS possible to do a hand pin-stitch on a poly/cotton fabric. Because of the easy care of this fabric, this dress is likely to get more wear than one that requires special laundering as well as ironing.
As mentioned, my “go-to” methods are almost always a machine method and I love including color in the hem and bodice of a dress.
Scalloped hems always look beautiful!!! Of course, they are more work and will take more time. The finished result is always worth the extra effort! This dress has a scalloped, contrast hem that is machine pin-stitched. Machine pin-stitching also takes time, but goes much more quickly than doing it by hand. Pintucks and embroidery above the hem elevate the design, making it even more beautiful. Pintucks are an easy way to embellish a hem and no additional cost is incurred!
This pattern is available in my Etsy shop.. The fabric for this dress is satin batiste – both the white and the yellow fabric. It is dreamy to work with and creates a keepsake heirloom.
This dress is similar to the yellow/white dress above, but a little quicker to complete. This is a Madeira hem in a contrast color that is machine pin-stitched to the skirt. It has hand embroidered shadow work above the hem – both of these elements are repeated in the bodice.
This dress is made from Imperial batiste for the easy-care that the fabric offers. Because of that, it was worn often, washed frequently and still looks beautiful. As you can see, the machine pin-stitching can also be done effectively on a poly/cotton blend. The pattern and instructions for this dress is available in my Etsy shop.
This is another example of a contrast hem – a shadow Madeira hem, done by machine. The technique for this hem is a bit different. A heavy contrast fabric (hot pink) is used underneath the batiste skirt to shadow through as a pastel pink. This method is much quicker and easier than the previous 2 dresses shown and only requires a pintuck needle and foot and a wing needle. The dress features hand embroidery above the hem. The contrast fabric and embroidery are repeated on the dress bodice.
For an heirloom look with less hours invested, this style will fit the bill. This dress is also made from Imperial batiste, so another easy care dress that should get worn frequently. The pattern is available in my Etsy shop.
Shown below is the same hem technique done with a simple scallop design and with silk ribbon embroidery at the peaks. It is such a versatile technique!
This is yet another dress using the same technique.
Swiss batiste blue dress with lace.
Satin batiste lace dress with lace overlay bodice, sleeves and a lace scalloped hem.
Pima cotton lawn dress with lace bodice and hem.
It goes without saying that you can never go wrong with a traditional heirloom dress and LOTS of lace! Each of these examples show how the lace hem is a repeat of the lace bodice.
The blue dress is a basic yoke dress using heirloom techniques to add lace. The white dress is a basic yoke dress, smocked, and with heirloom techniques to add a lace overlay bodice, lace sleeves and a scalloped lace hem. This dress was featured in Sew Beautiful magazine several years ago. The pink dress is a pattern available in my Etsy shop.
Sometimes a single lace edging is sufficient as a hem. This adds a touch of elegance without taking away from the dress bodice embroidery and the lace sleeves. This vintage inspired dress pattern is available in my Etsy shop.
To create an heirloom dress with lots of appeal and a little less expense, ribbon can be used in the hem and bodice paired with lace for a stunning dress. This is a great way to learn and use heirloom techniques without breaking the bank! These dresses are made of Swiss batiste, ribbon and lace. It does not require a lot of fabric and could also be made with Imperial batiste if easy care and savings is a factor.
With Easter fast approaching, consider a beautiful hem to compliment whatever you might be creating for someone special!!! You can’t go wrong!