Back to Work on the Christening Gown

by Sylvia's Delicate Stitches Blog 15. May 2012 14:23

Well, since I have found out I'm going to be a grandmother by the end of the year, I had better get going on completing this gown incase it is a girl! I know that if it is going to be a boy, dad will not want a dress on his boy. So I guess doing a dressy bubble will be in order. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it!

Once the embroidery down the front panel is completed, I am ready to stitch the lace bands. This pattern has 3 "V's" of lace on the lower front of the center panel. I have chosen to use 3 different laces in the wide "V's". I have joined the 3 pieces of lace with a tiny, narrow zig-zag using #80 weight fine sewing thread in my machine, both on the top and in the bobbin. You want your stitch to be just wide enough to cover the lace headings. If your stitch is too wide your needle will grab the lace pattern and distort the width of your lace. Remember the fine sewing thread will allow your machine work to rival the "heirloom sewing by hand". So don't scrimp on that! Remember to be using a #65 or #70 size machine needle, too. 


 In this picture you can see on the left the lace insertion is joined with the narrow zig-zag and the picture on the right is the lace folded in half ready to stitch the miter seam to make the lace in a "V" shape.
The mitered lace is now pinned in place along the traced placement lines on the front panel of the gown. Be sure and use Glass Head pins. You don't want your iron to melt the pin head onto your lovely fabric!!
Finally, you can see that all of the lace insertion bands are pinned in place ready for stitching. In this gown you do not cut from behind the lace. So I am going to do an extra detail and pin stitch along the lace headers by hand. I will stitch the lace bands in place with a short straight stitch, staying just along the lace header. Notice that I have cut my insertion lace all a bit longer than I was going to need. This will insure that when you stitch your miter and open it out your band will be plenty wide enough to fit into the space provided on the patten. There is also some tiny hand feather stitching above and below the center piece of insertion. I plan to do that embroidery after the bands are inplace. For me it makes for an easier placement of that embroidery. The embroidery marking will be able to be made so that they are nicely centered in the fabric area provided. Stay tuned to see the hand pin stitch that I am using in lots of spots on the gown! Yes, you can do it by machine, but I'm a lover of hand work, so that's why I'm doing it this way. For the hand pin stitch I'm using a #50 weight machine thread to stitch with. Because my fabric is a lovely cotton, the hand work is making a beautiful "hole" with each stitch. Wait & see!

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About the author

     Sewing has always been a part of my life. From the age of 10 I was sewing for my Barbie doll! In high school and college I enjoyed making clothes for myself. It wasn't until I had my first daughter that I was introduced to English Smocking. Then about 4 years later to Heirloom Sewing. It has been a love of classic children's clothing ever since.

     I am a former Home Economics teacher, so teaching sewing was part of my job. I enjoy helping others learn to smock, take ahold of mastering heirloom sewing by machine and working on the intricacies of fine hand embroidery. Whether it is a private lesson or with a small group, I am comfortable with teaching many aspects of the needle arts.

     My home based business began in the mid-1990s in my laundry/sewing room. Today I have a comfortable, well lit sewing studio and shop area as well as a competitve website business.  I continue to strive to have quality merchandise for the home sewer interested in English Smocking and Heirloom Sewing.

     Best Wishes & Happy Stitching!    Sylvia

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