Monday, April 30, 2018

Laces, Silks and Linens

At a recent sale I found a wonderful little book issued in 1922 by the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. The book is an instruction paper (with Examination Questions) on Laces, Silks and Linens.

The booklet is a wonderful source of information on the subjects in the title and most of the information is relevant today. The booklet begins with remarks about lace and is followed by the types of lace available and their uses with photographic examples. Care of lace is also covered.


The next section covers silk from the production to selection. This is followed by linens and tables of linens available and their uses. These tables also state the width of the fabric and the cost.

I am enjoying flipping through the pages and reading some of them a little at a time. By the time I have read the book, I should be able to answer the examination questions at the back!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A New Prince!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their third child into the world yesterday. The baby, a boy, weighed in at 8 lbs 7 oz and left the hospital with his parents a few hours after the birth, but not before he had been visited by his older brother Prince George and sister, Princess Charlotte.

Of course, it is Charlotte's dress that is good news for those of us who smock-yes another cute smocked square yoke dress! And more good news is that it is sold out, so smocking is popular, especially when it is worn by fashion icons even if they are only two years old

And the new Prince was born on St. George's Day-even better!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy St. Georges Day!

In England April 23 is St. Georges Day. St. George is the patron saint of England (as well as a few other countries!) and his flag, a red cross on a white background is part of the Union Jack.

St. George wasn't even English, but probably was born in a region now know as Turkey. He became a hero and legends were told about his bravery and because of this became adopted as the patron saint.

St. George is mostly portrayed slaying a dragon as in this needlework by nun Agatha.

Friday, April 20, 2018


I was going through my stash/collection of buttons the other day and sorting thought them. Of course I have more than I will ever use in my lifetime! Many of them I have acquired at vintage textile shows or in thrift shops. Good buttons for smocking and heirloom garments are hard to find in my area. The modern ones have no character and plastic doesn't always look right. So I buy vintage mother-of-pearl buttons when I see them. Of course, I need shank buttons and buttons with two or four holes in them and I need different sizes. So my stash, or rather collection, has grown over the years. It was time to organize them again and remind myself just what I do have, which might stop my buying more! (who am I kidding!).

While I was going through the collection I found many still on the original button cards. These cards are all very pretty and many are helpful too. Button cards today state the price and makers name but little else. Some of the vintage button cards state manufacturer, country of origin and button size. They also have lovely pictures on the cards of decoration. Much more fun!

Do you have a button stash, sorry collection?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Did you guess correctly?

If you read my last post, did you guess what the silk ribbon embroidery project was that I was inspired to start and complete?

If you guessed sewing reticule then you were correct!

This was another Wanda DeWitt project. She taught the class to Thimbleberry, SAGA chapter a couple of years ago.

Why did I wait so long to make it?

I love it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Inspired by SAGA Stitch Along

Did you (are you) participating in the SAGA Silk Ribbon Embroidery Tissue Cover Stitch Along?

I mentioned it on the Blog on March 15.

Well, I completed mine . It was a nice quick and easy project and makes a great gift. In fact mine is on it's way to a friend in England as I write this!

Anyway, working on the silk ribbon embroidery reminded me that I had another SRE project that had been sitting waiting to be worked on for a wee while (well, maybe more than a wee while!).  So inspired by the quick completion of the embroidery on the tissue holder and with no other handwork ready to work on, I pulled the project from my sewing bag.

I had put off working on it because I wanted to change some of the designs on the panels of the piece. I thought I was going to do a different design in each of eight panels and that was stopping me from beginning stitching. Yes, a case of over thinking and trying to be different when it really wasn't necessary.

I went instead with three designs and started working on them and the SRE was done within the week. An afternoon spent on the sewing machine and an evening completing the hand work and it is nearly complete!

Can you guess what it is?

Come back soon to see the finished project! ( I just have a little more finishing work to do!).

Thursday, April 5, 2018

SAGA Stitch Tutorials

Have you seen the new SAGA Stitch Tutorials on YouTube?

There are two of them so far- Claudia Newton demonstrating Stem and Outline stitch and Vaune Pierce demonstrating the perfect smocked flowerette.

Click on the names below to go to the tutorial.

Claudia Newton

Vaune Pierce

These videos are the perfect way to learn from the best teachers. You can see and hear their tips and tricks to perfecting your stitches and all for free!

More videos will be available shortly, so keep watching!