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, 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 selvages...so 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?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A New Class

Driving home from Sewing at the Beach 2018 this year I dreamt up another class...did that with the Elegance Christening Ensemble (also available as a kit) two years ago...must be something about driving for 6 hours. I kept thinking I needed to work up something using one of the Embellished Edgings that I teach. So, introducing the latest class...the Ascot Dress and Bolero Jacket.
Why 'Ascot'? Remember the race scene in "My Fair Lady"? It was a very stylized scene with everyone in shades of black, gray and white. Eliza proves she has learned all the good doctor has taught her but eventually loses her cool and breaks into her cockney accent with colorful language in the heat of the race. The black and white stripe with the Beaded Armenian Edging reminded me so much of that scene.
The dress uses packaged piping so we can concentrate on the unusual edging stitch. The edging starts with entredeux inserted like piping, then it's decorated with the first row of the Armenian Edging stitch, as you can see here. Then a second row of the stitch, with added glass seed beads, is added to the first row. Top the dress off with a big, curvy bow in the back, cute buttons and you've got an adorable outfit.

The little bolero is completely edged in the Beaded Armenian Edging stitch. When it's finished you have an outfit worthy of a part in the Ascot Race scene.
Embroidery, beads, new techniques, heirloom sewing and doll proportions: it's all wrapped up in one neat, unique class!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Ironing Board Organizing

My sewing room is a little small....well, smaller than I would like but I am definitely grateful for what I have. After seeing other sewing rooms and lofts, I take away ideas to improve mine such as the space where my over-the-door ironing board hangs. So I grabbed some scraps and threads to make a new organizer, including pre-quilted white fabric for the foundation.
The old organizer hangs from the ironing board frame with hook and loop tape and looks pretty sad. It worked for me, but my tools outgrew it.
I laid out the pre-quilted fabric side by side to see if I had enough fabric. I had to make a bit of double fold bias tape from my scraps, too.
I started from the top with the hook and loop tape (under the bias folded tape) and the first double pocket. I like to use a decorative stitch to attach the bias tape. I use my "chicken foot" stitch because it's not too dense which is good for see-through pockets out of vinyl.  I changed thread colors to mix and match the fun fabrics.
Here's the finished product with plenty of room for my doll "ham" in the vinyl pocket, spray starch, spray bottle, "rollie" for all of those pesky threads that stick to everything, and best of all, a cute pincushion that's attached with hook and loop tape so I can take it wherever I need.
I have everything I need right at my fingertips when pressing and ironing, 
and all sewn up in one afternoon.