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!

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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Another Gorgeous Sewing Room

When I travel the country to teach I get to stay with wonderful fellow sewers and stitchers. My hosts are always gracious, kind and give me lots of inspiration when I get to see where they create. While in Texas I stayed with Wendy, the president of the Lone Star Smockers, a Texas chapter of SAGA. Talk about a sewing room.......She has a wonderful, large space to spread out in after living in a house that only allowed her limited sewing space. Here are some photos of her great sewing room:

I love this arrangement on a shelf. The lace wound bobbins are so cute, and just as she bought them. The needle case goes perfectly with them, and I love the sheep on the right!




This ornament tree displays all hand made ones. Some of them her sister made out of beads
Talk about a notions wall!! It would be so easy to find the needed notion with this arrangement....I wish I had enough wall space to do this.
And look at this wonderful built-in. There are fabrics carefully folded on the comic book card boards (acid free, of course), books artfully arranged and organized, "pretties" and so much more.
What inspiration did I get from seeing this lovely room? I've ordered a wall spool rack (to arrive soon), a doll dress rack for my 18" doll clothing samples that are currently just laying around on my file cabinet, and I think a little straightening and re-organizing is in order!  Thank you, Wendy, for sharing your beautiful sewing room with me!