Tag Archives: heirloom sewing

Lots of Stitching

I don’t know where the time has gone!!! I continue to stay busy sewing as well as creating new patterns. I’ve also been busy making lots of new Wee Care gown samples that I will use as samples in an upcoming workshop.

Since my last post, I’ve added 2 new patterns to my Etsy shop. The first one I just adore for summertime! It makes a gorgeous outfit for beach pictures, weddings, etc. It is perfect for the little ones, boy or girl, as well as older girls.

For little ones, bloomers can be used instead of a skirt, however, I loved the idea of creating both the bloomers as well as the skirt for a little girl!

What a great way to have options!!! The pattern is called Button-on Bib, Bloomers & Sundress.

The most recent pattern is my City Frock Dress/Tunic pattern. This is another fabulous pattern for summer sewing! Of course, it’s also suitable for cooler weather with a blouse or t-shirt underneath.

All the girls were a big fan of the large pockets! I had fun making these dresses & tunics!

Of course, I continue to make my Wee Care sets for Caleb Ministry. I have completed quite a few that I’ll be using as samples for an upcoming workshop. I did a variety of different hem treatments for the gowns.

The beautiful crocheted edging on this blanket and the next one was done by another friend, Maribeth, and sent to me. It almost makes me want to learn to crochet again!

Traveling up to Michigan to visit with my parents gave me plenty of time to get the gowns smocked! It’s a really long drive! I made sure that I had several gowns ready to smock before the trip!

For the boy gowns, I added a pleated sleeve version that I’m particularly fond of. Several years ago, another smocking friend of mine, Beth, made a gown with a pleated sleeve. She generously shared the instructions with our local guild. As the years progressed, I worked with the new Wee Care chair for the guild and we tweaked the instructions a bit more to end up with a sleeve that I do like for all the various sizes from the under 1 lb. size to a NB size. I have had requests for these instructions, so I’m adding them here for you to download. All the sizes are included in the PDF file.

I hope that these will be helpful to others that make these special gowns. I wish they weren’t needed, but if they can provide one less thing for bereaved parents to worry about, I’ll continue to make them.

I hope you’re having a fabulous spring, stitching beautiful things and getting ready for the summer months!!! Keep on stitching!!!


February – New Month, New Pattern

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!!!


Heirloom Sewing 101 – Gathering Lace and Application

There are a couple different ways to gather lace for attaching to flat lace. Both render slightly different results. The top of a lace edging will have “header” threads. These are threads that can be pulled to gather up the lace. The majority of heirloom sewists will pull the top thread, which is generally the strongest thread, to gather the lace. This works, but can be a challenge when zigzagging to the flat lace or entredeux since there will be places where the lace wants to fold over and likely will be stitched in with that fold.

The other method is something that I learned when taking a class from Debbie Glenn, and that is to pull ALL the header laces. This results in gathered lace with the entire header thread being smooth and flat, much like a ribbon, and makes both the gathered lace look prettier (no folds or puckers) and is easier to stitch to the flat lace or entredeux.

The picture above shows the different results. The lace on top has only the top header thread pulled while the lace on thee bottom has all the header threads pulled. You can see how flat the header area is on the lower lace, making it so much easier to stitch the gathered lace to another lace. The top thread has gathers, but also has areas where the lace creates a fold/pucker that is difficult to work around and NOT get caught when stitching it to another lace.

To pull all the threads, begin by pulling the top thread, then locate another heavier thread and pull it, etc. There will likely be some very fine header threads, I tend to pull those in pairs (see video).

To join the gathered lace to another lace, use either 60 wt. Mettler thread or 80 wt. Aurifil or Madeira Cotona thread. The machine needle can be a 60 or 65 Schmetz Microtex needle if using the 80 wt. thread, or a 65 or 70 Schmetz Microtex needle if using thee 60 wt. thread. A universal needle can also be used.

For better viewing, it is advisable to use extra magnification. I like to use the Mag Eyes for this. The lens come in different strengths and it is easy to use especially if you already wear glasses. You can purchase extra lens in different strengths to use for different projects. I prefer to use the largest magnification to get the best results.

Set the machine to a zigzag stitch with a length of 1.0 and a width that is wide enough to encompass the header threads of both laces. You will likely need to hand crank the sewing machine to get the correct setting before starting to sew.

Be sure and give this a try – you will be glad that you did!


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