Thursday, April 27, 2017

attaching entredeux and lace to fabric

It's been awhile since I have posted on my blog and figured today is a good day for not only a post, but a new tutorial!
Attaching entredeux and lace to fabric
I am certainly no expert in the heirloom sewing field, but I know what works for me and I do like to share my techniques. I hope that it will answer some questions and help those who are wondering about this beautiful heirloom sewing technique. 
I have used several techniques over the years and often times it depends on what I am making in which way I sew entredeux and lace to fabric. I, no doubt have other methods I used posted within this blog from years back that may or may not be this same method.

Step 1: Lay entredeux on fabric right sides together and straight stitch

Make sure your stitching is smack dab next to the entredeux!

Once stitched, it should look like this!
Step 2: Take to your ironing board and press.
Press so that seam selvage falls on fabric side, not towards entredeux
Fold back out and trim seam to 1/8". 

Using a rotary cutter gives you a cleaner edge!
 Step 3: Set your machine to zig-zag, 3W and 1.70L

As you stitch, you should get a perfect rolled hem!
Once stitching is complete you should have a nice neat edge, 
finished off with a rolled hem!
So pretty!

Step 4: Press again, then clip away fabric from the entredeux

Be careful not to cut into the satin edge of the entredeux!
 I have found that the best "stitch'n ditch" to use is cheap 1-ply toilet tissue
and I always keep a roll on my sewing table!
yes! that is toilet tissue!!
 Bernina foot #10 - if you have another brand machine, you should have a foot
similar to this, where there is a blade in the center.
there really is a blade there!
 Using a zig-zag stitch, with the same settings as above, you will
line up the edge of the entredeux and lace between the blade.
Needle should swing back and forth from entredeux to lace!
As you stitch, the entredeux and lace will be joined together
with a neat zig-zag stitch 
Needle should go into the open hole of the entredeux
All done and so pretty!
 Remove the tissue - any paper residue should easily come off,
otherwise will be washed away when garment is washed.
 Completed entredeux to lace - it's as easy as that!
It's just THAT easy!
As always, if you have any questions, just email me or post on my Facebook page!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

vintage-inspired h e i r l o o m s

There is something so nostalgic about vintage baby garments that just captivates me. It not only captivates me, but it inspires me! I think it's the attention to detail and design that just makes me want to seek more information about it; what era it came from, techniques used, how those techniques were created and in a few cases, maybe even who the garment belonged to. 
I have been collecting vintage baby garments for years and many of the garments from my collection came from family, which makes them even more special! With each of those garments, I like to inspect them closely and in doing so, I can learn something about the person behind the design and also the hands that created it. That, in itself, has inspired me to turn my sewing business to a new path in re-creating vintage garments and teaching some of the techniques I learn from inspecting those garments and then add my own little personalization in design to it. 
With the use of home embroidery machines, we can so easily re-create hand embroidery that must have taken someone years months, weeks or days to work on a sweet little gown. Digitizing embroidery from some of these vintage garments can take many-many hours, as some are very intricate.
Drafting a pattern from a vintage garment is also extremely time-consuming and there is so much trial and error involved and countless stitch-outs till you get it just right. Often times I have to walk away from a pattern draft and leave it for hours, days, weeks and even months before I tackle it again. It is, however, so rewarding once you get it to where you are satisfied and stitch everything out and re-create a garment from yesteryear for today!
That love of design from days gone by has inspired me to create my new line of vintage-inpired designs and patterns, called 
Southern Stitches vintage-inspired h e i r l o o m series pattern eBooks are a new and unique pattern series not available anywhere else. My new series includes a one of a kind unique ePattern created from an actual vintage garment. Each series includes special heirloom sewing technique instructions along with unique machine embroidery designs, all  with vintage-inspired patterns.
My new vintage-inspired h e i r l o o m series pattern eBooks will sometimes have patterns that are appropriate for both boys and girls in the same pattern. Bonus patterns may be included in the series, which will give you multiple options to make many different styles within the one pattern!
Southern Stitches vintage-inspired h e i r l o o m series 1 is now available! Everything (and more!) in the photo above was created from the series 1 eBook! You can get more information about what is included in series 1 and order the instant download HERE!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Shadow Work on Knits...yes, you can!

Shadow work embroidery has always traditionally been worked on sheer fabrics, such as organdy or batiste. You need a sheer fabric to allow the color of the floss to shadow thru the fabric, which is what gives this type of embroidery it's name.
Traditional shadow work embroidery created by hand
Being the "adventurous" person I am, I always like to explore different possibilities in sewing...taking that step outside of the box. That led me to create my shadow work machine embroidery designs many years ago! I believe I was one of the first that forged into taking what traditionally was created by hand and figuring out how it could be accomplished by machine. I have strived hard to make my designs unique and to keep my designs looking like the traditional method as much as possible. 
Shadow work embroidery created by machine stitched on batiste
As you can see in both those photos, the embroidery casts a shadow of color within the outline stitches. This is what makes shadow work embroidery so beautiful! When you purchase my machine shadow work designs, I include detailed instructions on exactly how my designs are stitched, as there is a method to creating the shadow.
My latest adventure outside of the box, has led me to test stitching my machine shadow work designs on knit fabric. Knits come in all sorts of weight - some are thicker than others, so there is a little trick involved to make it work! Below is a photo of my machine shadow work stitched onto fairly thin onesies.
Shadow work embroidery created by machine on onesies knit
The outline colors that you see on these machine shadow work designs from my Classic Peter Rabbit Shadow Work Collection were stitched using the same color on the "under-stitching" that you see on the top outline stitching. The thread color is cast thru the knit, creating the beautiful shadow work.
I have never worked traditional hand shadow work on knits and it's something that I doubt would even work, due to the thickness of the knit, as well as the stretchiness. My experiment with machine shadow work tho proved to be a success in which I am well pleased!
Shadow work embroidery created by machine on Pima knit
For thicker knits, such as Pima, you have to work a little differently to get the same effect. I did the under-stitching in a darker shade thread than I did the outline stitching. I also used the same color thread in the bobbin for the under stitching, which helped to give more color to the shadow portion of the design. For the outline stitching, I used a color that matched closely to the blue trim on the gown. I was very pleased with the end result!
Machine shadow work takes a fraction of the time to work by machine as opposed to creating by hand and it's a great alternative to those with busy lifestyles! It's also a sweet addition to using it on knits!
I also have another little tip for the inside of the garment. I don't like threads hanging loose or anything to be "scratchy" in any way for a baby's garment. I am a huge fan of using "german interfacing" in my sewing projects and it has come in very handy to use to fuse to the underside of embroidery to keep the back side of the embroidery soft and smooth next to a baby's delicate skin. This trick works well for kids and adults who don't like the feel of the underside of embroidery next to their skin! When using it on knits, make sure you cut the piece of german interfacing just a tad bigger than the design and in the shape of the design so that the knit can still somewhat stretch.
German Interfacing on inside over design
Southern Stitches has a large selection of all kinds of machine shadow work designs; baby designs, holiday designs, and even monograms! The rocking horse design shown will be available soon as part of a new collection coming soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Little Liberty Love

Why is it that the most expensive fabrics are always my favorite? I have my favorites in classic heirloom fabrics, many of which I have rolled on bolts in my sewing studio just waiting for that "special garment", and it sometimes takes a that to even cut into some of these wonderful fabrics! 
Once you get hooked on "the good stuff", it makes it impossible to turn back, it becomes your "go-to" and you just make the investment, knowing that excellent quality fabric is what makes the garment become an heirloom that will last thru generations. 
Liberty of London is one of my favorites and I've completely fallen in love with the luxurious silky feel of this fabric! Of course it's expensive, because it's known as the "good stuff". Every once in while tho, I find a deal on Liberty and I order yardage to just save for something special, other times I see a print that I just have to have, no matter how much it costs!
I recently dug into my Liberty stash to use with a vintage pattern from my collection. I could just envision what this dress would look like using this print and I couldn't wait to get started! 
I was eager to get started and carefully laid out each pattern piece to make best use of my fabric, meaning that I work hard to not waste it. It seems I was a little too eager and after cutting all the pieces out, I realized that I had cut every.single.piece out the wrong way on the fabric. I failed to notice that there is an up and a down to the fabric print.
Notice how little hearts seems to be the under-theme of this fabric? Every flower has little hearts - isn't that cute? Well, my little dress was about to have every single heart hang upside-down. I could have sat there and cried! I tried to convince myself that no one would even notice such detail and I could go ahead and just sew the dress up. But no, the perfectionist in me would never-ever do that! I sat there configuring the fabric I had left - could I cut out new pieces and fix this problem? Nope, wasn't possible. Lucky for me I own 2 sizes of the little vintage pattern that I was planning to use and I had cut out the larger of the two sizes. Maybe, just maybe I could cut out new pieces using the smaller size and making use of the pieces I had already cut. Yes! that proved to be the solution to my careless mistake! Whew!
The pattern I used is very similar to the out of print Children's Corner Candace, which is next to impossible to locate. If you find it, expect to pay as much as $88!
The pattern I used is a little older than the Children's Corner version, but very similar and just as cute! This is another pattern that is next to impossible to locate - lucky for me I have in my stash two sizes!
Here is my finished Little Liberty of London pleated dress.

I used the tiniest of lace trim around the collar, sleeve cuffs and yokes

Just for fun I used cotton lace insertion on the hem
Back to the sewing studio for more stitching...until next time...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back to the classics!

Ohh, it's been a l-o-n-g time since I have taken the time to write on my blog - much-much too long! I didn't forget about it, just had to re-group myself after one of those sewing slumps that shows up every now and then! The good news is that I am re-grouping and getting back to the classics at Southern Stitches! I have way too many unfinished projects that for one reason or another got put aside. My goal is to finish them up, because they are way too cute to be left unfinished! So with that said, expect an active blog with some new tutorials coming, along with new designs! YAY!
This week I have been finishing up on one of my favorite projects that I started earlier this summer! Who doesn't just love Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit? You can't get anymore classic than that! I have designed some new machine shadow work designs that are sure to make you want to sew something sweet!
This sweet set is called "Baby Beatrix Layette" and it includes an ePattern to make either a boy or girl version matinee jacket and diaper cover to coordinate! Included in the set is my new Classic Peter Rabbit Shadow Work Collection
Southern Stitches Machine Shadow Work designs are designed to look like they were created by hand! With an open herringbone-type stitch below and single stitch outlines on top will make a trained eye take a double-take! My machine shadow work designs are dainty and delicate too, just like hand embroidery, but takes a fraction of the time to stitch.

There are many options with this set - you can purchase the designs alone, or the ePattern with 2 design options or purchase a custom-made set from my Heirloom Shop that includes a monogrammed baby quilt! Find the collection that is right for you!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Why I love the {classics}

I love classic sewing because the design is relatively unchanged by time - it's as good now, as it was then. The word "classic" means something that is a perfect example of a particular style, something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality. 
This is a photo of me when I was a little girl, wearing a smocked dress...a timeless classic! I went to a public school and girls had to wear dresses everyday till I was in about 5th grade. I remember wearing smocked dresses year round. Yes, no matter what season, and get this - I lived in the Mid-West!

I lived where winters were common to get 10 to 12 inches of snow and schools never closed. Sidewalks were shoveled and we didn't have school buses - we walked to school uphill the whole way no matter what the weather was. I remember putting bread bags over my patent leather shoes and slipping my shoed feet into my "shoe boots". I remember pulling on my "leggings" and wrapping my face in a wool scarf and trudging to school in nasty blizzard-like conditions or even pouring rain. Yes, people, like me, who tell these stories are telling the truth! I remember slush everywhere in the hallways after we shed all our winter outerwear and the janitors mopping up all the slush after we were in our classrooms. I say all this because I often read where some use the excuse of climate for why they don't heirloom or classic sew for their children or grands. Even with seasons set aside, many think that classic heirloom is "old fashioned" or "out-dated". I don't get it. There are others who think that the classic heirloom styles are only for those who live south of the Mason-Dixon Line or Deep South. I don't get it. Classic & heirloom styles have no boundaries!

What I love about fashion trends right now is that leggings are so in style. You can make a darling smocked or even heirloom garment, team it with a pair of leggings and even a cute cardigan and have a darling ensemble that is both timeless and trendy, all the while keeping the littles warm on a cold day! 

Lace is crazy in style these days and it just takes a little creativity to take a classic pattern or heirloom style and make it trendy! I have seen heirloom garments paired with cowboy boots and it's adorable! Lace has no boundaries! Look at the current fashion trends - lace is ever so popular!
I challenge you to take a classic heirloom style that you feel is "old fashioned" or "out-dated" and get creative with it - bring it up to the current trend, if you want, all the while keeping that heirloom look with laces, pintucks or smocking - I promise you that you will get others asking you where you got that gorgeous ensemble!

So why do I love the classics? I love the classics because they are timeless - you can style and restyle them in many ways to keep up with the trends or keep a traditional look and both will last thru the generations and always be in style! Even damaged or stained "old-fashioned" heirloom garments can be taken apart and re-fashioned to newer garments. I have done this and I have sewing friends who have done the same!

I would love for you to stop over to my Facebook page and share your classic creations! Let's start a huge revival of all the classic styles and get this new generation of sewistas to fall in love with the timeless classics in a whole new way!


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