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!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


No, I'm not talking Thanksgiving turkey...I'm talking leftover fabric pieces, i.e., scraps. What to do with them? Besides making doll clothes or quilts I make Wee Care items. Those are gowns, bonnets, hats, blankets (and other items) for hospital NICU's (neonatal intensive care units) for the little preemie babies, which is a service program of the Smocking Arts Guild of America. The local chapters make these wonderful items and donate them to their hospital(s). You can read about it here.  There are patterns for download, too. So, long story short: I had scraps left over from the Elegance Christening Gown Ensemble that were perfect for the Angel Sleeve Gown and Bonnet. I made three sets up before our trip to Dallas over Thanksgiving so I could smock them on the flights. The Angel Sleeve Gown is completely open on the sides to make room for various tubes that are connected to preemies as you can see below.
Here are the finished gowns and bonnets ready to be turned into our Wee Care Chairperson. They're smocked with #8 Perle and easy!
Another fun project were little flannel blankets with simple crocheted edges, suitable for boy or girl. Your local big box fabric store has a selection of cute 'baby print' flannels for blankets and other projects.
I've got another trip over Christmas heading to Long Island, NY, so I'll make up some more Wee Care gowns and bonnets to work on in the airports and on the flights. It's s great way to make something beautiful and needed in my spare time.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas Needle Roll Inspiration

Several years ago I purchased a needle roll for my antique sewing notion collection. It caught my eye because it was all hand made. And I thought I could design something similar and use this one as inspiration. The inside is as I found it with pins, safety pins and a needle in the pink wool fabric. Looking carefully the pink wool is attached by a decorative featherstitch on the right side. It's  tucked and stitched under at the short ends. It measures 2 1/2 inches wide by 10 3/4 inches long (not including the ties).

The outside is a lovely, silk satin ribbon printed with holly and ivy! This had to be a Christmas present lovingly made for someone special. The single featherstitch on the sides has been done with a single strand of pink silk thread.
It folds up and ties with little silk ribbons but I think they've been trimmed through the years and now don't tie around the roll.
So what was my interpretation of this sweet needle roll? My Silk Ribbon Roll-Up class or kit which comes in two color choices: blue or mauve. And of course, it's beaded for that extra bit of sparkle!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Singer Attachment Booklet No. 9

The gifted box of goodies that I wrote about in my last post had this tattered, brittle booklet in a brown paper envelope labeled "Old". Upon further investigation I found out, yup, it is indeed very old... more about that later.

It's a booklet advertising attachments for the Singer Model No. 27 Sewing Machine. The Singer Sewing Machine #27 was a treadle machine with a "bullet" shaped bobbin and case....I know because I learned to sew on an electrified 27. You can read more about the 27 here.

Here's a photo of "The Attachment Case" you could purchase. Notice the see-saw box edges: the wooden box folds up into a long rectangle and is known as "the Puzzle Box". Each attachment has it's place in this unusual storage box.
Here is what one in excellent shape looks like:
This great little booklet pictured the attachment and explained how to use it on your machine. The ruffler was probably used a lot since all sorts of ruffles were on clothing back in the day.
The booklet had instructions and hints how to use each attachment. You can see the ruffler in action.
Pin tucks were popular design elements so, of course, there was a pin tuck attachment you could buy.
And information on how to use it:
The booklet also lists a Binder, Foot Hemmer or Hemmer with instructions for hem-stitching and hemming and sewing lace in one pass, the Foot Hemmer for Felling, a Wide Hemmer, the Quilter, the Ruffler for Shirring, and finally the Under Braider. All of these hint at the age of this booklet by the techniques described with the attachments. But the back page really helps me date this one:
Check out the lady behind the Singer motif: she's wearing a long dress with leg-o-mutton sleeves and sitting at her treadle machine. I'm thinking the booklet dates to around 1880-1895. Even though the cover is half missing, I can research it online and find the title, which is "The Singer Sewing Machine Attachments, Style No. 9 [booklet] for No. 27 Sewing Machines. A very interesting, old gift indeed!