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!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Carrot Time

I absolutely love what I do and am grateful everyday that I can stitch, sew, embroider and design when I want to...which usually is each day! But when I have a big project....that drags on and on...then I have to use other tactics to get myself to finish it: carrots. Dangling out there to bribe myself to get more work done on that BIG project, the Christening Gown.

Carrots are rewards. Kind of like treats are for my big Golden boy named Barley to get him to do something he really doesn't want to do. So what carrot am I using today? This gorgeous wool shawl project from a class at the Embroiderers Guild of America National Seminar last year. It's called "Flowers for a Fall Evening" designed and taught by Kris Andrews.  Here she is demonstrating on a student's green shawl.

I'm slowly improving on the Long and Short Stitch used in the flowers and leaves. I've finished the yellow Lily it!
Now I'm working on the Red Poppy side and just completed the big poppy, beads and all.

I still have to finish the vines, leaves and poppy bud (not to mention lining the shawl and beading the ends). But a little a day in between working on the ivory and white version of the Elegance Christening Gown is all I need to make determined progress on both. Soon this carrot will turn into a big bunch of carrots, and a completed project in no time at all!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Hot Mess of Lace

It's a blowsy, misty day here in Tidewater, Virginia. Remnants of Maria blowing off the coast. What better time than to organize a hot mess of lace. Yup....a real mess. I had bolts and bolts of it stacked on a shelf with ends hanging down over my books and generally looking very unruly! Not to mention the Swiss embroideries, entredeux, velvet get the picture. Pinterest to the rescue so I researched organization and labeling. I found Pins about Dollar Store organizing ideas. I looked up how to make your own labels. Good stuff! Here's the label information I used and it really is a good link with different sizes and styles of printable labels that you can add your own words to. I found basic collapsible storage containers at my local Dollar Store.

So I printed out the labels, then covered them in the Scotch Self-Seal Laminating Sheets
that I purchased at Target. I already had the little brass fasteners and the card stock. So I printed some labels off and began organizing the Hot Mess into the Dollar Store baskets.
I cut the labels out, measured them and poked holes with my awl.
I used my handy dandy centering measuring tape to mark corresponding holes in the basket.
I poked holes into the baskets with the awl, and attached the labels with the brass fasteners.
Then I put all of the newly labeled and organized baskets on the shelves.....
This looks so much better, and it's easier to get out what I need when sewing. The entire project cost just under $16. Now it's back to the ivory and white Elegance Christening Ensemble. Perfect day for stitching!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hiding a Seam

I'm sewing up the Elegance Christening Ensemble in the ivory and white combination. The lovely (and long) ruffled Swiss edging seam on the Over Dress is always a fun one to do. It's "hidden" so the wrong side of the garment looks just as neat as the front side. There's the old adage that the inside of a garment should be as neat as the outside. It's important during the christening when holding the baby....the Over Dress will open up and the wrong side will be seen.

Here's how I do it:
First I sew the gathered ruffle to the Over Dress with wrong sides together, zigzag it, trim and press towards the Over Dress. Next I trim off the fabric from both sides of the Swiss beading up to the "railroad tracks". I lay the wrong side of the railroad tracks (it's actually a row of entredeux) right over the ruffle seam and stitch with a narrow zigzag. The zigzag is over the straight stitch on the wrong side. And one stitch goes in the entredeux hole and the other swing of the needle goes just into the fabric.
After pressing the beading down around the whole seam I run the silk ribbon through the beading with a bodkin.
Then it's on to the left side to zigzag it down, encasing the raw seam underneath. Here's the wrong side... pretty neat (pun intended!).
Here's another photo of a dress yoke from my Basic Yoke Baby Ensemble Pattern using the same technique at the yoke seam.
It's so easy and neat. I love this technique!