Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings. 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, August 10, 2022

Reticule Kits

More kits, more fun for the Smocking Arts Guild of America National Convention in October! My Purse Reticule Kits are loaded with goodies and take quite some time to gather and kit up. But I LOVE playing with all the colors. But first, the word "reticule"..what the heck is it? A reticule was a small drawstring bag carried as a purse by a woman in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is also used as a synonym for any kind of purse or handbag carried by a woman. Nowadays, reticule mostly means some sort of bag that has assorted sewing and embroidery implements stored inside.

The inside of my Purse Reticule case carries just about anything you'd need for your stitching needs....lots of pockets, a pincushion, emery, scissor case and a needle book.
The one pictured is the first one I made. It's held up well through all the handling it's received through the many classes. But I ordered some really great fabrics for this next batch of kits. 

Look at those color combinations!! Several would look wonderful with the black silk duping at the bottom of each picture.

The prints go on the inside, and silk on the outside. All is embroidered with silk ribbon work and beads and the possibility of so many gorgeous color combinations for the ribbons and beads....Oh My!
It's going to be fun putting these together in the next few weeks.
Happy Stitching!


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Project Mania

 Projects, projects, many too do and not really enough time for them all!

Lots of projects keep me busy, out of trouble and on my toes so to speak. Too many and I'm overloaded but that's another story. I like to keep busy with a few projects so I'm not bored. My sewing room/office looks like it, too.

I work on two or three items each day. The projects right now?? Well....I'm working on another article for Classic Sewing Magazine probably for the next summer issue. I stitch a little on the design, then come back to it and critique the colors, stitches, and overall design idea. This is after I've drawn it out in my idea book and written down ideas and construction points. 

Then there are the two different scissor cases I've designed to be included in a larger project which I work on every few days. Yes, I know the photo is not good...I want to keep these two projects protected and clean.

Supplies have been ordered for the classes I'm teaching at the SAGA Convention this October. It takes a while to figure out exactly what's needed for them between what I already have in stock and what I have to order...about a week of figuring and actual ordering, and hoping everything is available what with all the supply chain issues lately!

The Silk Ribbon Embroidery Sampler class is ready to go. I'm assembling kits for the Springtime Jewelry Bag class seen in my dining room here....This is the second class I've 'kitted' out.

I have another one to go....The Purse Reticule is the last one and the most challenging one. It takes at least two whole days to put the kits together. Thank goodness I'm starting two months before the event! There is still time to register for the Convention is you want to attend. You can access information here to sign up or just learn about what we members do at the Smocking Arts Guild of America Convention.

Happy Stitching and stay cool!!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Break Sewing

I have a break in my sewing schedule for Classic Sewing Magazine. So I can sew or stitch whatever I want and what have I chosen? A Tote Bag. It's not sexy sewing but functional. I have a tote I made years ago and it's finally showing some wear. But because it's held up so well over the years I'm using the same pattern for the new one: Vogue 7463, View E (bottom right in photo below). 

My challenge was using as much as I can from my stash. Considering gas prices I really didn't want to rush off to a sewing store that's 21 miles from my house one way, equal to $10 at today's horrible prices. I have a large stack of decorator fabric samples that I was given years ago. Some of the samples are quite large....and were very pricy in their time. I found one large enough for the outside of the bag. It's a heavy velvet-like striped upholstery fabric which will require some of the same techniques I wrote about earlier for velveteen...and definitely a lint roller!!

Next was finding enough large scraps for lining and trim: black synthetic fabric suede for the bag bottom, edging and handles.  A quilting fabric for the lining matches the cream of the outer fabric and has grey, too. A good enough pairing along with a black zipper for the inside pocket and enough scraps of buckram needed for stabilizing the tote top were other stash acquisitions. The only things missing were "craft weight" sew-in interfacing (Pellon Stabilizer 926) and a swivel hook from the hardware store. 

Buckram?? Yes, I use it as a base for ribbon flowers I make that''ll be sewn onto a hat or purse. It's also used for millinery structures, book binding, drapery and other uses. My piece is the open weave, heavily starched type that is found in hat forms.

Sewing this was a challenge because of the thickness of everything. At one point I was sewing through 8 layers. The entire tote took 3 machine needles, size 90/14, with the polyester thread.

The swivel hook is for car keys: you don't have to search the bottom of the tote to find them. The swivel hook on ribbon is my idea. Two different ribbons from the stash and a little bit of machine embroidery stitching to sew them together made a nice "lanyard". I threaded the hook onto the ribbon, folded the ribbon in half and used Super Weight Stitch Witchery to fuze them together. Perfect!

Heavy pins and some clamps worked to hold the lining and outer bag together for basting. Then the strip of the faux black suede for finishing the top was stitched on. 

The tote is complete with metal feet on the bottom (also from my stash) to better protect from wear and tear (unlike the first one I made). The tote bag is heavy, stands up by itself and can carry books, laptops and plenty of other goodies. It will give me years of use and I'm very pleased with it!
Happy Stitching and Sewing!