Category Archives: Wee Care

Heirloom Sewing 101 – Sewing Flat Lace To Fabric

Working with heirloom laces is easier than you think. For these instructions and the corresponding video, I will be working with the Tapered Smocked Preemie Bonnet by Laurie Anderson. If you are a Facebook member of the SAGA Wee Care group, she has generously donated this bonnet pattern to the group and it can be downloaded there. I am making this bonnet to match one of the Wee Care gowns completed in a previous video.

For this technique, I am using Imperial batiste, heirloom lace, 60 wt. thread, sz. 70 Microtex needle & Faultless spray starch.

After cutting out the pattern and pleating, per the instructions, flatten out the bonnet in order to attach the lace. Pull one of the header threads of the lace in order to go around the curves, as shown on the video.

Place the lace 1/8″ from the edge of the bonnet front, with the scalloped edge of the lace facing towards the bonnet (right sides together). Set the straight stitch of the machine to a 2,0 length and stitch the lace to the bonnet, stitching on top of the header threads. Go around the corners carefully, ensuring that the gathered portion of the lace isn’t caught in the stitching.

After the lace is attached, switch to a zigzag stitch (4.0 W & 1.0 L) and zigzag the seam allowance of the lace to “roll & whip” the seam, which will give it a nice finish. The left swing of the needle should be on top of the header lace/stitching line and the right swing of the needle should go off the fabric.

Once the roll & whip has been completed, finger press the seam allowance towards the fabric and then change the zigzag stitch to a 1.5 W & 1.0 L. Stitch this zigzag stitch on top of the lace with the left swing of the needle going through the bonnet fabric & seam allowance and the right swing of the needle barely going into the lace. This keeps the seam allowance from flipping forward and showing through behind the lace. While this is an optional step, I always do it to keep the lace in place.

All of these steps are shown in the video, so you can refer to that to see the steps completed.

I hope that this will help you in your quest to learn more heirloom sewing techniques!

Happy Stitching!!!

Kathy

Links to some of the supplies mentioned:

Imperial batiste

60 wt. Mettler thread

Size 70 Schmetz Microtex Needle

Starch

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Wee Care Sew-Along 4 – Madeira or Alternate Hem Treatment

In this sew-along we will be finishing up the gown by doing the Madeira hem or alternate hem.

First, I have to apologize as I’ve created a minor problem with the construction. For the original gown, I sewed the sleeves, inserted them into the gown, pleated the gown, did the hem treatment and finished with finishing the back of the gown and attaching the bias band. It seemed to me that it made more sense to do the hem last, as is done on most dress/gown projects. Obviously, I didn’t consider the full implications of changing the construction order. 🙄

To create the Madeira or alternate hem treatment, the back of the gown needs to be unfinished. So, for those that have finished the back of the gown already, you will need to remove the stitching in the hem area so that the Madeira hem can be sewn. I’m sorry for the un-stitching required, but thankfully, it’s a small amount. You will also need to add that hem allowance to each side of the pattern piece that you’ve created so that the contrast band pattern and fabric will be the same width as the unfinished gown.

The first step will be to cut 2 contrast bands of fabric, at least 1″ deeper than the highest point of the hem pattern created and as wide as the gown. Starch the bands as well as the skirt fabric. Then place the scallop pattern of your choice on top of one of the contrast bands, and trace around the scallop shapes with a blue wash-out marker.

Place the 2 contrast bands with right sides together and pin to secure. Put the water soluble thread on the sewing machine (top only) and stitch along the blue lines with a 2.0 stitch length. Be sure to take one diagonal stitch across each scallop peak before continuing stitching along the scallops. The diagonal stitch will result in a better looking point at the peak. Accuracy is essential – the way that the scallops are stitched now will be the way that they look on the finished garment.

After stitching the scallops, trim away the excess fabric from above the stitching line with an even seam allowance. Clip across the point. Then clip the seam allowance of the curves at 1/4″ intervals.

Turn seam allowance to the back (see video) on each side of the point, insert the long tweezers, pinching the folded seam allowances, and turn the point/fabric right side out. Press with a dry (NO STEAM) iron. Do this along the length of the contrast band until all points are turned and pressed. Ensure that you are satisfied with the points along the band, if not, make any adjustments.

IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT THIS TECHNIQUE IS PRACTICED ON SCRAP FABRIC PRIOR TO WORKING ON THE CONTRAST BAND!!! Use some of the leftover fabric from the project to try the techniques and then save the practice piece to practice the pinstitching on.

Place a damp linen press cloth on top of the fabric and press until COMPLETELY dry. Once it is completely dry, the 2 layers can be separated easily. If some places are still stuck together, repeat the process with the damp cloth.

Change the sewing thread to 60 wt. thread. Sew the contrast band to the gown with the right side of the contrast band to the wrong side of the fabric. Trim seam allowance. Understitch. Then press the contrast band to the right side of the fabric and pin the band to the gown along all the scalloped edges/points.

With 80 wt. thread in the top and bobbin, stitch the contrast band to the gown along the folded edge.

PINSTITCH HEM TREATMENT

To prepare the gown for the pinstitch, heavily starch (NOT ELLEN’S BEST PRESS) the hem of the dress. Allow to dry. Then press.

Cut 2″ strips of water soluble stabilizer (Sulky Fabri-Solvy) to the wrong side of the dress centering over the scallops and overlapping the stabilizer as needed.

Set the sewing machine to a pinstitch/hemstitch. The correct stitch will go back and forth 2x and then zigzag once. Use a #110 needle, 80 wt. thread on both the top and the bobbin and the open toed foot. Set the stitch to 2.5 L and 2.0 W. Stitch along the scallops, pivoting as needed and pivoting at the points (see video).

(optional) Trim away excess stabilizer carefully.

ALTERNATE HEM TREATMENT

If you machine doesn’t have a true pinstitch, a double needle hemstitch can be done using a double top-stitching stitch on the sewing machine. This stitch will go forward one stitch, go back one stitch, then go forward again in the same hole, repeat (so forward one, back one, forward 2). I have always called this a double stitch. Some call this a lightening stitch. Again, it is recommended that this stitch is practiced on scraps of fabric before doing it on the gown.

Starch the hem of the gown before beginning. Cut 2″ strips of water soluble stabilizer and pin them behind the scallops of the gown, overlapping as needed.

With 60 wt. thread on top and in the bobbin, the double hemstitching needle and an open toed foot, center the fold of the scallops between the 2 needles and stitch the double top-stitch, pivoting as needed. When the peak of a scallop is reached, leave the needles down, raise the pressure foot, pivot, set the pressure foot down and continue stitching. The fabric will look distorted when you pivot at the point, but as soon as the stitching continues, it will flatten out and look right.

Trim away excess stabilizer.

Regardless of which hem treatment was used, the remainder of the back of the gown can now be finished with a narrow hem.

Soak the gown in cold water for 5 minutes to remove all of the blue wash-out marker. If this doesn’t remove all of the stabilizer, then hand wash the garment in warm, sudsy water and agitate a bit. Rinse completely. Hang to dry and press as needed.

To finish the back of the gown, cut a length of 1/8″ ribbon (32″ – 40″, depending on size). Thread the ribbon into a tapestry needle and insert into the bias band at the neck. Begin at the edge of the bias band at one end and come out at the end of the smocking at the opposite end.

Sew 2 snaps on the back of the gown, the first snap 1″ below the bias band and the second snap 1″ below the first.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the sew-along and have gained some new tips and techniques that can be used in future projects! Please ask any questions you may have and I’ll be glad to answer!

Happy Stitching!!!

Kathy

YouTube Links:

Sew-Along, Lesson 1

Sew-Along, Lesson 2

Sew-Along, Lesson 3

Sew-Along, Lesson 4

I am adding links to the complete list of the products I’ve used throughout the series should you decide that you need any of these.

Gingher Pocket (Kindergarten) Scissors

Point Pusher with Ball End

Imperial Batiste

Schmetz 70 Microtex Needle

Schmetz 110 Jeans Needle

Schmetz Double Hemstitch Needle (if your machine doesn’t have a pin-stitch)

Long Tweezers

Rotary cutter

Press and Cut Board

Ruler with Grid

Starch

Water soluble thread Vanish Lite

Blue Wash-out Marker

Freezer Paper

Long tweezers

80 weight thread – Aurifil or Madeira Cotona

60 weight Mettler thread

Sulky Fabri-Solvy or other water soluble stabilizer

Plastic Snaps

White 1/8″ satin ribbon

Tapestry Needle

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Wee Care Sew-Along, Part 2

After downloading the pattern, follow the instructions and cut out the gown fabric/rectangle as directed. Fold the rectangle in half, and then in half again in order to cut out the armhole curve.

The armhole curve has TWO placement lines. For the gown that has NO SIDE SEAMS, use the inside line!!! Place this line on the fold and cut around the armhole.

Next cut the sleeve rectangles. If you plan to use the boy’s pleated sleeve pattern, add 1″ to the depth of the rectangle. Using the same armhole curve, cut the sleeve armhole on the OUTSIDE placement line.

Decide on what sleeve treatment will be used. For a smocked sleeve, pleat the sleeves with the desired number of rows (I usually pleat 5 half spaces, 7 for a NB) and be sure to leave the pleating threads long enough to flatten the sleeves out in order to finish the lower edge of the sleeve with a narrow rolled hem or with lace.

Before attaching lace, it is best to starch the lace. For this, use starch, not Ellen’s Best Press. Ellen’s Best Press is a starch alternative, not starch – you won’t get the same crisp results with it as you will with real starch. I use Faultless Heave Spray Starch (link below). It is also available at grocery stores, WalMart, etc.

Attach lace or hem the sleeve bottom. If you need a refresher on how to attach lace, I do have an e-book available on my Etsy site.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/586348280/french-machine-sewing-primer-with-bonnet

For a boy’s pleated sleeve, follow the instructions on the file below (click on the blue PDF) to download the file. This includes instructions for all sizes. Read before cutting out and making the sleeve!!!

Stitch the underarm seam allowance with a TINY 1/4″ SEAM. I have a Youtube video on how to do this:

With the sleeves completed, stitch the sleeve into the armhole. If you have cut & stitched accurately, the sleeve will fit into the armhole perfectly.

Of course, all of the instructions and demonstrations can be seen on my YouTube channel:

This is a longer video, so if you already know how to attach lace, roll & whip, etc., you can fast forward through those parts! 😊 I just wanted to make sure that someone new that wanted to try this would have enough information to apply lace correctly.

You are ready to pleat at this point. Please follow the pleating video if you would like to see how I pleated the gown. Pleat with the number of rows recommended or desired.

Stay tuned for the hem instructions!!!

Links for some of the additional supplies I used – you may already own these:

Rotary cutter

Press and Cut Board

Ruler with Grid

Starch

Keep on stitching!!!! If you have questions, please ask and I’ll answer them here.

Kathy

Disclosure: The recommended products contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting me when you shop – it gives me a little bit back for my time producing these videos! These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. These are the products I use and have gotten great results with. I would never recommend poor quality products.

Tiny Gowns and YouTube

This past week I’ve completed several tiny gown sets that will be donated to Caleb Ministry. This is such a wonderful ministry to those that have lost their babies. Even if you don’t sew, you can support this ministry through your financial gifts. I pray for the families that will receive these sets and that God will bring comfort in such a time of sadness.

Each set that I make consists of a gown, cap/bonnet, flannel blanket & a handkerchief.

This set uses the smocked pattern from SAGA. The cross design is from Sonia Showalter Designs and it stitches out beautifully every time, as do all of her embroidery designs. I don’t remember where the tiny footprints come from.

These sets use the pattern from Caleb ministry. Again, the embroidery designs are from Sonia Showalter Designs.

I especially enjoy making the little girl sets – I guess I love lace and pink! This is the SAGA pattern for the gown. The bonnet pattern is from Laurie Anderson and stitches up quickly. Again, the embroidery design is from Sonia Showalter (link with the first picture).

Again, this gown uses the SAGA pattern. This is one of my favorite embroidery designs from Sonia Showalter – what a precious Bible verse and so appropriate.

In addition to making all these sets, I have been working to learn how to make video tutorials. What a learning curve this has been! I’m certainly no expert, but I have learned a few things and have MANY more to learn. With the video, I also had to learn how to set up a YouTube channel. This morning I uploaded my first tutorial – Tiny French Seams tutorial. I hope to continue this learning adventure and will post more tutorials as I’m able to. Hopefully each will improve as I learn more.

So, that’s how I’ve been spending my time these cold and wet winter days! I hope you’ve enjoyed some special stitching as well.

Keep on stitching……

Kathy

MICRO-PREEMIE BUNTING PATTERN – for under 1 lb. babies

Today as I worked on a Wee Care gown, I realized that the micro-preemie bunting pattern and instructions that I’d previously shared was one that was lost. Therefore, I’m sharing it again so that anyone wanting to make these and donate to their local hospitals has access to the pattern.

This sweet little bunting has been designed as a burial bunting for micro preemie babies. It stitches up quickly and uses minimal amounts of fabric. Quilting the fabric gives it the necessary body. Small bits of lace or trim can be used for embellishment if desired. A little hand or machine embroidery can be done very quickly.

In the past, I used one of the bunting patterns that was shared online. While I was happy with the finished bunting, it was far too complicated (my opinion).

This bunting is designed to ensure that the baby is securely wrapped. It can be completed in a very short time and it is done completely by machine.

Fabric for the inside of the bunting should be flannel.  A variety of fabrics can be used for the outside fabric.  If pre-quilted fabric is used it eliminates the need to quilt the fabric.  Quilting cottons, broadcloth, satin, lightweight fleece, etc. all work well for the outside fabric of the bunting.

Small scraps of trims or lace can be used to decorate the front flaps of the bunting.  These would include ribbons, soutache braid, Swiss eyelet lace, Val lace, rickrack, etc.

Supplies:

  • 12″ x 15″ piece of fashion fabric
  • 12″ x 15″ piece of thin cotton batting *
  • 12″ x 15″ piece of batiste
  • 12″ x 15″ piece of flannel (lining)
  • 24″ of 1/4″ or 1/8″ ribbon
  • 12″ of lace or trim (optional)
  • thread
  • blue wash-out marker
  • ruler with 1″ grid marks

*alternately, 3 – 4 layers of flannel can be used instead of batting

Instructions:

Open the PDF pattern file in Adobe reader on a laptop or desktop computer.  Print the pattern. Ensure that the pattern has been printed to the correct size by checking the 1” box.  Printing should be done from a computer, not a phone or tablet. Cut out the 2 pattern pieces and tape together, matching the notch.  Printing 2 copies of the pattern and taping both together down the center will give the full pattern piece, which is helpful for aligning patterns with designs that need to be centered.

To mark the fashion fabric for quilting, fold the fabric in half lengthwise and finger crease.  Open the fabric up.  With a blue wash out marker, draw a line along the crease.  Fold the fashion fabric in half across the width and crease.  Open the fabric up and using a blue wash out marker, draw a line along the crease.  Using a ruler with a grid, mark additional lines at 1” intervals along both the length and the width of the fabric.

Place batiste with wrong side facing up.  Place the batting on top of the batiste, matching all cut edges and then place the fashion fabric, right side up, on top of the batting, aligning all cut edges.  Pin to secure.  Starting at the center line of the 15” L, stitch along the line from top to bottom.  Moving out from the center line, stitch remaining lines until all the lines have been stitched along the 15” length.  Repeat for the process for the 12” width to complete the quilting of the fashion fabric.  (For interest, the grid can also be stitched at 45º angles.)

Cut out the bunting pattern from the quilted fabric and another bunting from the flannel.  It works very well to print 2 copies of the pattern and tape them together in order to work with the full size pattern.

Tip – the pattern can be traced onto the quilted fabric and then straight stitch along the drawn line. This secures the 3 layers together and is easier to work with. Cut out the shape just outside the stitched lines.

Cut straight across the top of the bunting, leaving the “dip” section in the front uncut.

With a blue wash-out marker, mark the front “dip” section. This will be the dart that makes up the shape for the bunting hood. It is easier to sew the dart in first and then trim away the excess fabric. Mark the dot below the dip as well as the placement lines for the ribbons with a blue wash-out marker.

With right sides together, stitch the dart/seam for the hood of the bunting, stopping at the circle.  Repeat for flannel.  Trim away the excess fabric inside the dart. Do any embellishments desired at this point.

Cut the ribbons into 6” lengths and pin the ribbons to the quilted fabric at the placement lines.

With right sides together, pin the flannel to the quilted fabric all around the outside edges.  Stitch around the entire bunting, leaving a 2” opening between one set of ribbons. 

Trim seam allowance a little, clip curves and clip the corners at an angle, stopping before reaching the stitching line.

Pull bunting through the opening to get it right side out. Press. Edge-stitch around the entire bunting, closing up the 2” opening.

Remove blue wash out marker by spritzing or soaking in cold water for 5 minutes.

Fold up lower section, bring outside sections together and tie the ribbons into a bow.

These are so quick to make, it’s easy to finish several of them in a very short time. Be creative with little bits of trim.

I hope that this will inspire you to use up some of your smaller pieces of pretty fabric and create a sweet bunting! I am including the PDF file for the pattern for your use. Click on the link below to download.

Keep on stitching…….

Kathy

Ka