Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Moving To The New Blog

We just wanted to let you know that you can now subscribe to the NEW BLOG at!  You don't want to miss a thing.  The new pattern is ready to pick up from the printers and we will be having random giveaways and lots of sewing inspiration to share.  

* A winner for a free pattern or book of their choice will be selected from the among the first 50 who subscribe to the new blog!


Friday, April 24, 2015

We Have Moved!

After months and months of work we have the new website up and going.  Along with all the other bells and whistles that the website has the new blog is now only a click away on the home page.  Fortunately, learning to blog on Word Press has not been terribly difficult, but it will take a bit of work to get all of the old blog posts moved.  So.....the old blog will still be here if you need to refer back, but to continue on the blogging journey with us you will need to go to the new website at

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Featured Patterns #121 and #123


Both the sundress and top button at the shoulders, while the round yoke offer a perfect place for embroidery, piping, or lace.  The shorts are easy to make and the dress features a flowerpot pocket filled with posies.
 Sizes:  2-3-4-5-6 


The Baby Playsuit, for boy or girl, offers a choice of  bubble or a skirt with matching panty.  The playsuit may be made dressy or casual by using your favorite applique, smocking, or embroidery.

Sizes:  3 mos. - 24 mos.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Bunny Dress

What a joy and privilege to sew for children.  A lot of planning and time goes into a dress made by Nana, but it would be hard to decide which one of us gets the most pleasure from it.  

She loved her bunny dress which made Nana very happy indeed.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Week In Snap Shots

Our week has been filled with planning meetings, time for stitching, a mini creative retreat for the girls, and plenty of time spent outdoors.  As the Easter weekend approaches, we will be switching gears to family arriving, cooking, laughing, hunting Easter eggs, and of course Easter service.  We hope you have a wonderful Easter with your family and friends and can take the time to focus on the true meaning of Easter.  "He is risen!"

See you next week!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fabric Markers For Embroidery

I'm often asked about marking fabric for embroidery.  My all time favorite is the Dritz brand fine tip water erasable fabric marking pen. The traced design shows up nicely on light colored fabric and rinses away in cold water once the embroidery is completed.

Tracing the design:
The white broadcloth was thin enough to lay directly on the design and trace.  For denser fabric you can tape the design and fabric to a brightly lit window which gives the effect of a light box.  Turning a clear baking dish upside down and placing a small flashlight underneath also works well. After years and years of transferring designs, I recently bought a 10" by 12" light box from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon.  The light box has become a well loved addition to my creative space!

Our "Heirloom Embroidery Book" includes 16 basic stitches along with many embroidery designs to choose from.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Blanket Stitch A Bunny Applique'

With Easter rapidly approaching I felt the need to stitch some simple bunnies.  A new dishtowel, floral fabric scraps, and brown embroidery floss were all the were needed to give my kitchen a touch of Spring!

Click here for the free down loadable Bunny Applique and instructions. 


Monday, March 16, 2015

Featured Patterns #115 and #120

The classic bubble, is great for baby boy or girl.  Choose from four collar styles, perfect for purchased trim or faggoting.  The bubble allows for six rows of smocking or soft gathers across the front.   Embroidery designs and faggoting instructions are included in the pattern.

Sizes:  3 - 24 mos.


The sunsuit and dress button at the shoulders of a simple round yoke.  The sunsuit sports soft pleats, while the dress has sweet gathers for fullness.  The yoke offers a perfect place for embroidery, piping, or lace.

Sizes:  3- 24 mos.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Inspired By Buttons

This is not the first time in my many years of sewing that I fell in love with buttons and designed an outfit around them!  I often use pretty buttons as the focal point and keep the rest of the outfit simple. Pattern #133 had the look I was going for and navy DMC floss tied the white pique' fabric and white and navy buttons together.

To keep things simple, I added a Running Stitch to the collar.

Is there a secret for keeping the stitching straight and even?  Yes there is!  

Cut out the collars; starch and press.  Using a wash-away marker, mark the seam allowance around the outer edge of the collar.  Thread the sewing machine with thread the same color as the collar.  Set the stitch length to the length you would like your Running Stitch and stitch 1/4" from the seam allowance.  Thread a hand sewing needle with 3 strands of embroidery floss and stitch the Running Stitch close to the machine stitching using it as a guide.  When the stitching is completed, tie off the floss and pull out the machine stitching.  Attach the lining to the collar and complete the garment.  :)

Little tricks and tips go a long way to achieve a profession look.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Patterns #111 and #112

 Pattern #111
A dedication bubble suitable for those special occasions.  The bubble features pleats down the front with a choice of three  collars. Detailed instructions are included for adding your favorite laces along with a selection of embroidery designs.

Sizes:  3 - 24 mos.

Pattern #112
The Christening Gown has  front and back pleats and three-quarter length sleeves.  With a choice of three heirloom collars the gown may be given a tailored look or dressed up with lace insertion and embroidery.  A selection of embroidery designs and slip pattern are included.  The finished gown length is 29”.

Sizes:  3 - 12 months


Monday, March 2, 2015

Button Organization

In my ever ending attempt to organize my buttons in a manner that keeps them grouped together leading to, "wow, here are the right buttons for the right project" I am trying small zip bags.  The little bags are intended for jewelry making and came packaged as 100 for $1.99.  Now, instead of a drawer of loose buttons and partly used cards of buttons, they are in the bags with color groups pinned together.  I find it a bit exciting to open the drawer and be able to tell, in just a few seconds, if I already have appropriate buttons on hand for my latest project.

I know you are wondering who on earth has time to sit and sort buttons!  Well, it is snowing hard, which is unusual for our area, so I found this to be a good project to work on while also being able to sit in front of the window watching the formation of a winter wonderland!  :)


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Picture Smocking On A Bishop

 It is always nice when the dress you envisioned turned out like you...envisioned!  A green gingham bishop style dress, trimmed with pink rickrack and pictured smocked bunnies.  Picture smocking works well on this style dress as long as you limit the number of pictures, which in this case would be the bunnies.  Three is a nice number without being overwhelming.

Things to note:  The bunnies were centered on the front and close enough together that I didn't have to picture smock on the shoulder seam.  Instead of a row of cable stitches right below the neckband, the cable row was moved up and is covered by the neckband.  Not only did this give the dress an uncluttered look, it was much easier not having to line the neckband up perfectly to a smocked row.  A five step Trellis stitch was used for the pink and white smocking at the bottom and a cable stitch was used for the back smocking on the wrong side of the fabric.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Featured Patterns #107 and #109

The  banded bubble,  is  a one-piece bubble with a two-piece  look.    Choose from two classic collar styles or a simple neckband.  Mock suspenders attach at the shoulders and at the front waistband. Collars may be trimmed with piping or embroidery.

The infant shirt and diaper cover includes a traditional shirt with a Peter Pan collar which may be trimmed with piping, lace, faggoting or a simple neckband.  A soft pleat in the center back provides fullness for comfort.  The diaper cover has elastic in the back and at the leg openings and buttons in front.  A selection of embroidery designs are included.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Spring Sewing For My Granddaughter

Spring will be here before we know it, so it is time to get busy smocking and sewing for my four-year-old granddaughter.  The bishop style dresses are still very sweet on her and the green gingham will give the dress a fresh look.  Ellen McCarn's  "Precious Bunnies" is one of my long time favorite smocking designs and with a few adjustments will work well.  To adapt the smocking design to the bishop style dress, I will only smock three bunnies on the center front of the dress and change the bottom row of smocking to a suitable trellis stitch.  Not only will this allow for the smocked pleats to spread out as needed, but I also like the idea of smocking three bunnies instead of a bunch!  I'll be sharing more photos of the dress this week as it progresses.  

* A special note to Grandma's and Nana's-  When sewing for the grandchildren, I refer to what would obviously be an Easter outfit as a "Spring" outfit.  This gives Mommy the freedom to pick out something herself without worrying about offending me.  It is my goal to respect Mommy by letting her choose HER child's wardrobe.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Featured Patterns #101 and #102

We will be featuring a few patterns each week to show off our new look and share some sewing inspiration.  Our new website is still in the works, so although the patterns on the website show the old version everything sent out is now the new look!

A daygown is a lovely addition to baby's wardrobe.  The pattern offers the choice of either a plain yoke suitable for embroidery or a smocked version. Three different sleeves to choose from and a drawstring version adds variety for the sewer to choose from.
 *The smocking design shown is Ellen McCarn's "Mo-stroloy".

The pleated bubble features a center box pleat and is suitable for baby boy or girl.  Choose from two classic collar styles or a simple neckband.  Embroidery designs for the round collar of front pleat are included in the pattern.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Classic Style

Classic: \'kla-sik\ adjective
Serving as a standard of excellence: of recognized value.  Traditional, Enduring.
reference: Webster's Dictionary

We describe our designs as "classic" and are inspired by vintage styles from the 1940's through the 1970's.  Our patterns are intended not only to provide garments for today, but also for generations to come.  A collared shirt and shorts with suspenders is a good example of classic style.  My mother-in-law made a set for my husband in the late 1950's when he was a toddler; I then made  the same for our boys in the early 1980's, and now our grandson is wearing them.  

We have updated the fronts of the patterns to reflect this timeless look and to provide more inspiration for your sewing projects.  Almost ready to add to our collection is pattern #144 which includes a collared shirt and pants or shorts. This new pattern is expected to be ready by Spring!

*Patterns that are being discontinued have not been updated.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Smocking Variation

Blue and white, always pretty and sweet.  Whether on the bishop bubble #142 or on the bishop dress #143, the smocking design presents well without being overpowering.

The smocking design is still in the works, but in the meantime another design could be used.  And the variation?  Simply start and stop the bottom rows of smocking at the sleeve seams.  Not only does it give a different look, it also allows the angel sleeves to stand up a bit more.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Valentine's Day Embroidery

Sometimes a project needs something bolder than delicate embroidery.  Fabric paint, heart stencils, and Cotton Pearl #5 embroidery thread were perfect for a Valentine's Day apron. Since I used what I had on hand for the project, which did not include heart stencils, I used heart cookie cutters and freezer paper.  With the shiny side down, the freezer paper heart "stencils" were cut out with small scissors and pressed onto the apron with a hot iron.  The only trick to the fabric paint was to brush the paint from the outer edge of the stencil toward the center to prevent it from bleeding under the edges of the stencil.  I let the paint dry for about four hours, then began stitching.  A basic Running Stitch and Back Stitch to outline the hearts was all that was needed!

I like to keep thread and paints on hand so the cost of the project was the apron for $4.99 at Hobby Lobby.  This would be a great project for someone new to embroidery and easy to do with kids.  You can just let your imagination run wild on what you would like to add hearts to.  A few of the many things I thought of are tote  a bag, onesie, sweatshirt, tea towel, or placemats.  Just have fun with it.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Valentine Inspiration

Valentine stitching from past and present.  :)


Monday, January 12, 2015

The Business Of Business

Fifteen years ago I slowly began to turn my hobby into a small business.  With years of sewing experience and having worked in a specialty fabric store I knew what sewers were looking for and I had the vision.  I drafted the first two patterns on the kitchen table, tested, and worked countless hours on the directions and illustrations.  With $200 in hand I found a local printer who was willing to print small amounts at a time and I was ready to test the waters at the wholesale market.  I was nervous.  Very, very nervous, but a kind person offered a corner of her booth and walked me through the process.  And the patterns?  They sold out!

Now 15 years later I still work from home, the same local printers have become like family, and I have two great helpers.  We are looking forward to introducing a new updated website along with new patterns, embroidery, and smocking designs in the near future.  And we will continue to produce classic patterns in order to keep the creative art of sewing alive.

Thank you for your support.  You have enabled me to pursue my passion and make a dream come true!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Smocking With Pink and Gray

Choosing  floss colors for smocking on pink fabric can be a bit tricky. I often use white along with other shades of pink, but for this project I wanted something a bit different.  Pink and gray are a popular color combination for clothing and home decorating, so why not for smocking?  DMC #415 gray and #604 pink looks nice on the pink Imperial Broadcloth fabric without being too bold or too pale.

The bishop bubble was made using pattern #142 and the smocking design is included in the pattern.  Smocked hearts, just right for Valentine's Day!



Related Posts with Thumbnails