Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Copy Cat

I get inspiration from antique and vintage garments. Awhile ago I purchased an antique baby dress and decided to see if I could copy it. I thought the antique dress was pretty. I liked that it looked like a round yoke dress but was actually a basic yoke style. I ordered trims and laces, purchased cotton batiste and went to work.
The back placket was constructed from the batiste raw edge of the embroidered insertion on the original dress. You can see the selvage didn't cover the full width of the placket on the wrong side. But the buttonholes are handmade.

My version's placket is completely covered with the batiste selvage. And I put in machine button holes.

The slip that came with the original dress didn't match it. I'm sure mothers back then didn't really care if one matched, they used whatever they had on hand. I wanted a matching slip for the 'ensemble' and this is the result.

Here is the one I made.

The antique slip had a fancy band of sorts: it was made with laces and then stitched on through the top lace to the batiste ruffle.
Mine is an aline slip with a fancy band sewed onto the bottom.
My dress is a faux round yoke (like the original) as you can see from the photo below.
Here is the 'modern' copy cat version of the antique original.
Why did I go to this trouble to copy the original?
It was a challenge and I like challenges.
I learned the technique of using the trim selvage for the back placket instead of inserting a separate piece of fabric.
And I loved the idea of a faux round yoke over a basic yoke!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Heirloom Sewing Mat

When designing and making the Sewficiently Machine Mat I realized we heirloom enthusiasts need our own style of Machine Mat. You know....gorgeous lawn and batiste fabrics, Swiss embroideries, entredeux, Swiss beading and beautiful ribbons....maybe even a little lace.
My brain was working overtime so I pulled out some fabrics to see if my idea was possible. Yup.....a little Liberty Lawn (and I mean a little bit leftover from a trip to London and Liberty in 1996), some pretty print batistes, and some good Swiss insertions. I could put two different color combinations together, one based on blue flowers, one with yellow and peach florals, with what I had on hand. I decided on the blue floral combination.
So after considering the options (and the cost of Liberty fabrics) I set the strips vertically instead of the diagonal. Then the fun began! I loved sewing these gorgeous bits of fabrics together using Heirloom techniques: roll and whip edge, entredeux to fabric, gathered lace to beading or entredeux, beading covering a seam, weaving ribbon through beading and lace rosettes.

I applied the double fold bias binding with decorative stitches: so much easier and pretty! I figured out a neat way to fold over and end bias over bias. Oh...and boning is used in the thread catcher, and it's applied in a very easy way. 

The thread catcher is easily removed along with the cute little pincushion.
I think this Heirloom Machine Mat turned out really well. It's pretty, very functional, and a good way to use up some small amounts of gorgeous lawn fabrics. And it is a new class!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sewing Organized!

I've been working on another class to help everyone sew beautifully and sew efficiently: the Sewficiently Machine Mat with thread catcher and pincushion. What is a sewing machine mat? It's a pad that goes under your machine and usually has pockets hanging over the table edge to hold those all-important notions right at hand. I designed one a few ears ago, and still sell the pattern on my online store. It's great to use, and I use mine everyday under my Pfaff 7570...which is an older machine. It fits perfectly.

But newer machines are bigger... or wider. This new mat is a full 28" wide to accommodate those machines, and of course it's wonderful for my smaller machine (shown here).
This unique mat class combines the best of several things: designing strip blocks, decorative stitching, making bias binding and applying it (and a neat trick for overlapping ends neatly), using much fun using your designing talents to come up with your very own unique Sewficiently Machine Mat out of your own fabrics!

The Thread Catcher is different: it's flat against the mat so it doesn't hang out so far away from the table. The cute pincushion is made from leftover bits of the strip block and is velcroed to the mat so you can take it wherever necessary.

There are lots of pockets, too, to keep your notions right at hand. The big pockets in back are good for shears, pinkers and taller notions. The front pockets are clear vinyl so you can see the smaller notions at a glance. This mat keeps me so organized when I sew that I sew faster and more efficiently! It's also great for folding up and tucking in my rolling machine case when I transport my machine to class...and I'm all ready to sew with all my notions in the mat ready to go! How neat is that?