Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back to Heirloom Sewing -- And Checked Dress Update

I guess I haven't yet mentioned that my long awaited heirloom sewing class has finally begun. I took the prerequisite technique class way back in September, but the sewing class itself was delayed until February. We are working on a linen shirt which showcases various heirloom techniques. So far: lace shaping, wedding tucks, hemstitching, puffs, and machine embroidery.

I'm the only one in the class who doesn't own an embroidery machine, so the teacher did the embroidery for my shirt on one of the shop's machines. (The class is held at a local quilt store which is also a Janome dealer.) The white embroidery on white linen is very elegant. I wish I could post a picture, but my digital camera has gone senile. (That or it's mortally offended my laptop because the computer refuses to recognize it.)

While I was there last Friday, I confided to the other members of the class my problems with the pink checked fabric. The teacher took a look at it and suggested that I lay out the skirt of the dress on the crosswise grain so that the hem will fall near the selvage where the check is least distorted. I've managed to lay out the rest of the pattern pieces in such a way that the checks should look relatively straight. Luckily, the dress has kimono sleeves, and the front and back bodice pieces are joined with a bias insert which obviates the need to match the checks. I also received helpful advice from the Vintage Sewing topic on the message boards at (Click on the message board tab, then choose the Vintage Sewing topic. My thread is Child's Vintage Dress.

So I'm not only struggling with the pink checked dress, I'm also trying to keep up with the other students in the Heirloom Blouse class which is not easy because I'm the slowest seamstress in the world. But oh, I do love working with linen! In fact, working on this blouse has inspired me to try making a First Communion dress for one of my granddaughter. Just what I need -- another project. And one with a deadline! How is it that I keep adding stress to my life?

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