Sunday, August 29, 2010

My very first blog

I'm taking the plunge and starting my own blog. I've been thinking about this for several months now, walking around composing posts in my head. This year I rejoined Wendy Schoen's Embroidery Club, which you can access here, and follow to Embroidery Club 2010. I was in it several years ago, and made quite a few of the darling items. Wendy is a very talented Embroidery and Heirloom Sewing designer, and this year she has several toddler dresses. So I rejoined to make some items for my granddaughter, and decided to blog my progress.

I love to read other blogs, and I hope that by blogging my work others may get some enjoyment out of it. I am not a teacher, so I won't teach any stitches or techniques, and am only a moderately skilled stitcher, so please don't expect perfection. I don't have a business, so I won't try to sell you anything. As I write this first blog, I realize that there is quite a bit more to it than I had originally thought.  I really need to improve my picture taking skills!

I am making the Lesson 1, the Shirley Temple Dress. This is a sweet dress made of white dotted swiss with cotton organdy lining and blue linen bows at the shoulders. It is embroidered with lazy-daisy flowers, which are easy enough, but the lining and dress are joined at the top by sewing them together with buttonhole scallop. All of the embroider is done with cotton floche. This takes some work to do properly, and I will share my progress with you. I started working on the dress earlier this week by marking the fabric and cutting out the pieces. Yesterday I spent all day on it, managing to get the dress and lining fronts and backs sewn. This is a somewhat lengthy process, as all seams are French seams. Each seam is pinned and stitched wrong sides together, trimmed, pressed, then stitched again right sides together and pressed again. It's quite a process but produces lovely enclosed seams that won't scratch tender skin. I also managed to finish all of the embroidery.

Today I sewed the fronts and backs together and am attaching the lining to the dress. This shows the dress and lining pinned together, with the flowers finished and the markings still in. On the right you can see where I am basting the two layers together. There are more flowers near the bottom of the dress, out of view. Once I finish basting, I'll make the back placket, then start on the scallops.

In future lessons I will show you the kits when they arrive. Wendy's kits are beautifully packaged, and always consist of very high quality materials. This means that they are not cheap, but if you put so much work into making a garment, you do want it to last for several children. There is always the option of buying the lessons and then using your own materials. But I love kits, so I'm buying them all. Wendy also has well written and beautifully illustrated instructions, making the garments fairly easy to construct by someone with moderate sewing skills.

I hope you like this foray into blogging, and please leave comments! I'll also eventually show  you some of my other projects.

One warning, please expect changes in the site as I learn to use the blogging tools. I'll get some photos of my other work posted soon.


  1. Welcome to the Blogosphere, Cynthia!=)

  2. I really enjoyed your blog, especially all the comments about making things up and the challenges of heirloom as I try to complete my first christening robe. Best of luck with your blog.

  3. Hi Cynthia,
    I love your blog. You probably don't remember me but we sat next to each other in Jeannie B's French Acadian Christening Gown class, and bonnet class in Nashville. I was thrilled to hear from some of the ladies in our chapter that you had finished it. I wish I could say the same for myself :) Take care and keep up the great work. I look forward to reading your blog everyday. Georgette

  4. Hi Georgette,
    Of course I remember you, how are you doing? I hope you can complete the gown sometime.

    I have no idea why this posted again, I'm not too good with blogging... oh well.

  5. How fun! I started last September. Nice to meet you.


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