Friday, December 20, 2013
When our son was born I made a traditional Christmas stocking but most of Santa's gifts wouldn't fit! So for the next Christmas I set about making a Santa Sack better suited to Santa's visit.
My sewing at the time had a disc that stitched out holly leaves. I stitched Santa Sack free hand onto a piece of the fabric and appliqued it with the holly stitch.
When our daughter came along, another Santa Sack had to be made.
A few years later I was writing for a craft magazine and created another version in Black Watch miniature fabric, French Val lace insertion appliqued for the letters, red buttons for holly berries and appliqued white padded holly leaves.
Lastly we became babysitters for our daughter's two cats one year while she was moving across the province. So the cats got Santa Sacks for Christmas too - for their Santa treats. I re purposed two velveteen bags and embroidered their names in red and green Pearle cotton using the Magic chain stitch.
Hope these are of some inspiration - they are so easy....
Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!!
Till next time, keep stitching!
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
All three of them love to cook. Our daughter is the baker and her husband the 'from scratch' king in the kitchen. My son is still practising but catching on fast and eager to always try new things.
I needed something for each of them as they will be sharing a kitchen for a while. So I went hunting for plain aprons and found then in 100% cotton in the very style I was hoping to find - at the Hudson's Bay Company store. There were even three perfect colours - what luck.
I knew what I wanted to write on two and brainstormed for a week to come up with the third saying with which I was happy.
Then I wrote each out on the computer. I played with fonts and sizes until I was happy. The final results were in "Celebrity" in a very large size. But of course you can choose any font that appeals and lends itself to embroidery - what ever type of embroidery you love to do.
I chose to work the script in the common chain stitch in #5 pearl cotton. But if you have time, you could do shadow embroidery or split stitch or any number of stitches or techniques.
If you are not a hand embroidery person you can work the font free hand on your machine or if you have an embroidery machine just program your script as you want it and do a test of course before you tackle your aprons.
I used a light table and water soluble pen for the beige and red aprons. The black fabric was a challenge and I ended up using a white chalk pencil and writing the lettering out by hand. There are loads of other ways you could do a dark fabric.
I spent three relaxing evenings stitching love into each apron. Now I just hope they use them!
So next I am considering doing up some tea towels if I can fine nice plain woven linen or cotton for their kitchens - maybe next year as time is getting short already! Here are some ideas for you if you like this idea....
Have fun with this and do keep on stitching!
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Where have I been? Well it's a long story but I hope I am back again. I know I am hard at work.
My mother-in-law had a heart attack back in July and I was gone the month of September to assist with closing down her apartment and getting her set up in a nursing/assisted living home. Since then it has been a bit of a catch up while tending to "business" and working on a new pattern.
Meet Buckleberry, my tribute to Little Baby Prince George, the new little son of Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton. This, my newest pattern, Buckleberry, will be available soon. But to whet your sewing appetites. Here is a quick view of the pattern cover.
This little bear, sitting about 8" tall or standing about 12", can be made in most any fabric for a child or just yourself. You can embellish him in most any needle art or leave him plain and let the fabric do the talking. I hope you will find this little fellow a charm to make and a charm to give!
I received a note from Kathy F with a photo of Summer Breeze which she finished after a class with me at SAGA. Great work Kathy!!
Kathy made Summer Breeze 'her own'. She chose "Liberty cloth for the gown and changed the top insertion to one with butterflies! As soft as the fabric is, I decided to add the embroidery in Madeira silk thread with feather stitch and French Knots and fly stitch stems and leaves in the insertion at the bottom of the front panel." She says she is "delighted with my finished gown and can't wait to take it to Show and Share". What a treat to see someone take a pattern and 'run with it' so to speak.
And look at the photo Sr. Sarah J. sent. Her interpretation of Little Snowdrift. Not sure if you can see it but she's added bead accents. Beautiful!
So hopefully I'm back to blogging and will continue to work on some additional zipper installations. There is so much to catch up on and Christmas is just around the corner!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
On the top side starting at the right you can see French knots, seed beads and then bolder gold beads. The purple line from the facing marker will disappear and you will be left with a good straight line of stitching!
Two more types of applications to go....
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Start the zipper halves at the same distance from the top raw edge. There should be no twists in the zipper. Repeat the stitching process for this second side stitching from top to bottom of the zipper and adjusting the foot and needle for stitching of the opposite side.
In this photo you can see that I am using a tucking foot to
apply the first side of the zipper. The zipper teeth are right up in the groove of the foot and the needle adjusted to come down very close to the teeth.
Right sides together, ready to stitch side two
Here you see the invisible zipper foot that fits my machine. I've don't the stitching in red so you can see, well when it is visible, where the stitching is.
Starting at the top....
Working from the top of the zipper stitch down as far as you can go. The zipper pull will prevent you from going all the way to the end.
|Zipper pull will stop you|
Check the zipper placement by pulling it closed. The two sides should be the same. Check things on the right side. Here you see the zipper is closed and the seam is not stitched below the zipper.
|From the right side|
Sometimes there is a small gap at the bottom of an invisible zipper which can only be closed by hand. You may wish to stitch the bottom tails of the zipper tape to the seam allowance to give the zipper more stability.
|The finished seam|
|One seam allowance is finished with zigzag stitching|
That's it for tonight. Still more to come......
Monday, June 24, 2013
|Fig. 3|Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6
Friday, June 14, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Our son picked me up on Thursday evening and we drove through freezing rain to Ottawa arriving near midnight. We stayed at our daughter's overnight and then hitched a ride with her and her husband for the next leg of the journey. I woke around 3 a.m. on Friday to the sound of freezing rain. It had finally caught up with us.
We were back on the road again at 7 and when we stopped for gas and coffee just outside Quebec City, the rain had all but stopped. A lady stopped in the doorway of 'Tim's' in shock to ask us from where we had driven. When we turned to see what had caught her attention we saw that the front of the vehicle was so thick with ice that the licence plate was no longer visible! We cleared what we could of the ice from the headlights, the front of the car and the roof rack and with coffee in had struck out for the rest of the journey. I just wish I could have reached my camera to capture that poor car.
The next leg of the journey, to Rivière-du-Loup, was uneventful. But once we turned south towards Edmundston it began to snow again and there was construction nearly all the way. The Trans Canada is being widen and improved. We arrived at the hotel at about 4:30 p.m., 5:30 their time. What a long day!!
We had dinner 7 minutes down the highway at the neatest privately owned restaurant in St. Jacques, Le Patrimoine. They only serve wood-fired pizzas and oh may, what a selection. Most desserts featured local maple syrup as well. Everything was so delicious. And outside, it continued to snow....
|And outside it snowed......|
|The cake and candles!|
Mrs. Marquis' family and friends gathered for a dinner and then returned to the hotel afterwards for coffee and cake. She was so happy to have us all there. And it had been years since we had all managed to get together. Birthdays are such happy events for family gatherings.
Next morning the four of us set off for home once again in the snow. It ceased once we passed Lévis, Quebec. We arrived back in the Ottawa area by dinner time where the sun was shining and there was no snow in sight. The remainder of the trip was uneventful. Paul and I were up and on the road again to Newmarket by 8 a.m. Monday morning.
|Sunday morning snow......|
The sun was shining and it was lovely and warm when we arrived in Newmarket just after noon. Paul had another hour and a half drive to reach his home. Bob stayed on with his mom for a few more days to ease the letdown after all the excitement.
So these wonderful photos were waiting for me when I got back to business. My good buddy has made a jumper of printed pinwale corduroy for her little granddaughter who lives in Australia.
She always does such neat things with buttons and this jumper from my new Infant Snowdrift pattern is no exception. She also used a fine coordinating mini gingham for the armhole binding and the mini piping. You can just see them in the second photo. I surely hope she gets a photo of this sweet little gal wearing her jumper and sends it on!
You can find this adorable pattern on my web site, www.amberlane.ca . Go to the Atelier and then to Children's Patterns. If you click on pattern cover you will see some photos of garments made from the pattern.
If you go to Pleater Companions you will see that we have new pricing on the ComPleater Boxes and a new product, Pleater Rods. Read all about them; I think these rods are brilliant. We think these items will make your pleating life easier.
While you are visiting the web site check out the Other Designers. I carry A Garden of Smocking Designs, Emma's Gown and Grace L. Knott patterns, books and dots.
So until next time, keep stitching!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
We were photographing the Christmas decorations for the Festive issue, well John, the Art Director and so much more, did the actual photography but Carla and I set up each shot. I of course never thought to bring my own camera to record any of the process...
Yes, the Festive issue and it is only March! Carla and John work so far ahead to bring you this wonderful magazine. I brought in a set of three silk ribbon embroidered decorations making use of some slightly different stitches along with the tried and true. There is a traditional ball, a Christmas tree and a Drummer Boy's drum.
Then a few weeks ago, inspiration struck again and I did up some felt 'cookie cutter' decorations that employ only two stitches for the designs. These are so easy you could even get your little people stitching if they are comfortable with a needle and thread - well maybe it is more like it to say if you are comfortable. After all needlework, particularly embroidery is a hand skill to be passed on the next generation and what better way to spend precious time with your children or grandchildren.
Please go to A Needle Pulling Thread magazine to check it out. From there
you can catch Carla's Face book page and 'like' her beautiful photos!! You might even sign up for a subscription or check out the "needlework pages" a listing of shops and services that you are bound to find helpful.
This is the cover of the newest issue that has just hit the news stands. Preview it on the web site and look for it next time you are out shopping.
Also last week a parcel arrived in the mail from my best friend in England. She always surprises me with these wonderful packages. Inside the gold tissue tied up in the prettiest ombre ribbon, was the most delicate Christening gown in champagne gossamer-fine silk embroidered in ecru silk or rayon thread. It has been made from an embroidered border which has not been trimmed to the edge of the stitching. There obviously was an embroidered insertion made to match.
The odd thing to me is the way the designer used the insertion pieces on the bodice and sleeves. Hope you can see this in the photo above. The 'waste fabric' has not been removed nor hidden by turning it to the back. Instead it has been used as an edging with part of it turned inside for application. In the CF, it has been made to look like these edges are pin tucks and a second pin tuck sewn beside each edge.
At the waist in the photo it looks like the 'waste fabric' has been turned to the back but on further examination, there is a huge tuck on the inside - an alteration was made but nothing was cut away so next baby could be accommodated.
All the embroidery on all the pieces is also perfect - not a sign of puckering. This is quite a feat considering how fine the fabric is and they wouldn't have had all the stabilizers the modern embroidery machines require. Look closely at how perfectly it has been stitched. I simply marvel!
The lace edging on the sleeves looks much like some of the fine lace edgings still available from Capitol Imports. Here is a close-up of the sleeve.
The designer even made an attempt to math up the pattern of the embroidery in the centre back the only seam in the skirt. But I imagine she was limited by the amount of fabric there was.
We can learn so much by studying antique garments. How did they make use of the different parts employed in the garment, what kind of seams, and their size, allowances for alterations and so on.
The design is simple enough for anyone to copy. All you need is a basic yoked pattern. Why not turn you had to creating such a gown for some wee babe!
So until next time, keep stitching.....
Saturday, March 16, 2013
|Smocked on double layer of Imperial Batiste|
I used iridescent seed beads and the faintest variegated floss for the borders and matching pink floss for the central section. You could make bullion roses in place of the seed beads.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Great news! The patterns I've been working on for what seems forever are finally ready for you.
Yes, the little Infant Tuxedo Jacket which coordinates with the Infant Wardrobe I and the little Infant Snowdrift are now both posted on the web site and on the new order form.
If you go to the web site, you will find a full selection of photos with each pattern in the children's section of the Atelier. It would be wonderful to have photos from you of either of these patterns made up as you interpret them to post in the on-line Gallery.
If you are browsing, check put our new Pleater Rods. Bob has created four categories of rods, all hand made and hand finished in wood with the most silky finish. There is even one specifically for travelling to class or convention! You need to see them with their description to determine which would best suit your needs.
Here are a couple of the finished samples from the Infant Snowdrift pattern.
|View A with heirloom touches, button back|
|View B smocked, button back|
|The Diaper Cover Panties with monogramed tab|