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Heirloom and Hunstville

As many others know, traveling to one of Martha Pullen Company’s events is well worth it! I attended the Heirloom I Licensing in September ~ this was my third licensing (+ one School of Art Fashion) in Huntsville, AL and, as always, I loved every minute.

Side note: There will be a change in the way Licensings are presented, beginning in 2015. Licensings will now be at other locations than Huntsville, AL. They have two Licensing Events planned to take place in the Southeast in the summer, plus two more planned for Orange County, California, the first part of November. For more information, visit http://www.marthapullen.com/licensing/?et_mid=708107&rid=237592293.

Connie Palmer
Connie Palmer
kathy
Kathy McMakin

Kathy, Connie, Alicia and all the staff are fantastic! We got (notice I said “got”) to *play* with wonderful fabric, glorious trims and learn new techniques. The “icing on the cake”, for me at least, is all the new friendships formed during the week.

classrom
classroom

40+ ladies filled that room with the lovely sounds of sewing machines, delightful conversation, “that looks great!”, “can’t wait to do that myself”, “look what I did!”, and prayer (of course!).

finished projects
Pillow, Thread catcher & Roll Pillow cover

Included in the 20+ projects were everything needed to produce 2 christening gowns, bibs, bonnets, place mats, laptop cases, nightgowns, and more! I focused on the techniques, not the finishing, which I did once home. Techniques included lace shaping, incorporating embroidery, lace, and ribbon with batiste, gingham or knits to create a “fabric”, pinstitching, shark’s teeth, pin tucks ~ and lots more. I love to do Heirloom!

martha and sue
Martha and Sue

We had a surprise visitor as well! Sue Hausmann came through town and Martha asked her to stick around for a few days. She gave a very entertaining presentation on the history of the bra!

martha_dr joe
Martha and Dr. Joe

Martha Pullen visited with us at lunch, presenting a session on business acumen. Dr. Joe Pullen accompanied her to two of our dinners as well. They are such a sweet couple!

martha and me
Martha and Me

I will always have fond memories of my trips to Huntsville. We really did sew “from can until can’t” as Martha once said, and I came home exhausted, exhilarated, energized and eager for more.

“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Proverbs 31:13

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Fancy Baby Dress

Last Sunday I attended a baby shower for a new member of our church. The baby was 1 month old and a little doll. I thought the suggested gift of children books, so the family could learn English, was great!

Anyway, needing a gift for the shower allowed me to do what I absolutely love – heirloom sewing 🙂

The fabric I chose was a bright white Satinella Batiste by Stylecrest; it has a slight sheen and a wonderful feel. I selected a simple square yoke pattern with a gathered sleeve and smocked skirt.

On the bodice, I created a verticle “fancy band” with lace and entredeux inserts alternated with pintucks.

fancy band bodice
fancy band bodice

The sleeves have one row of the lace and entredeux framed with pintucks down the middle.

sleeve band
sleeve band

After cutting the front skirt piece to length, I pleated 10 half-rows across the top. This was then blocked to match the bodice yoke, the pleats startched and steamed into place. I ran a row of back-smocking on the first and 8th rows of the pleating. {I will cover pleating in more detail in another post}

pleated skirt
pleated skirt

After the smocking was completed, it was time to assemble the dress. The bodice is lined and piping was added to the yoke (front and back) and neckline. Small pink pearls accent the bottom row of smocking.  I finished the sleeves with a simple band, trimmed by the piping.

yoke and skirt
yoke and skirt

The back placket is closed with clear plastic snaps and accented with white “pearl” buttons.

back of dress
back of dress

I cut the skirt long, to allow for a 3″ hem. I then added piping along the hem stitch line by creating a tuck. This enclosed the raw edge and gave the dress a finished look. As a side note, I believe in enclosing as much of the raw edge as possible. The side seams are a modified french seam and the yoke is stitched over the skirt gathers.

The fully-lined bonnet is very simple, with pintucks and piping accenting the front band. I finished it off with a satin ribbon bow and tie.

bonnet
bonnet

And here it is!

dress and bonnet
dress and bonnet

Love and prayers for a long life were included in every stitch. I thoroughly enjoyed this project!