Friday, February 8, 2013

French Hand Sewing by Machine

Quite the contradiction in terms, don't you think? Long story short, it's the method of recreating the lovely details we associate with Edwardian fashions into modern clothing, not that you'd know it from the book I'm using for my class.

Holy 80's!

I would be remiss if I didn't address the hot mess on that kid's head. Even in the era that brought us day-glo and acid wash, that business is unacceptable. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, what exactly does one do with French Hand Sewing by Machine?

It's primarily used in children's clothing, particularly frilly, frou frou baby things with delicate embroidery, swaths of lace, and general hard to find in stores sweetness.

Daisy pattern by Susan Stewart Designs

Sweet baby dress from Old Fashioned Baby

Creations by Michie baby dress

Lest you be tempted to dismiss this as a girls only thing, here are some adorably sweet boy versions.

sewn by AuntSchonie
You can make your own with this pattern

Available at Orient Expressed
or create your own with this Primrose Lane Pattern

And of course, the christening gowns.

The Little Blue Bird by Wendy Schoen

If I were Catholic, pudding would have worn
this sweet yet masculine little gown for his christening.
Pattern from Creations by Michie #112

Another name for it is heirloom sewing and let me tell you, the southern ladies looooove their heirloom sewing. What else are you supposed to wear your Big Ass Bows with? And don't look at me like that, mommy. They call them big ass bows, I swear. Just ask my friend E and her adorable little Scarlett.

At her Gone with the Wind themed birthday party

These techniques can also be used in women's clothing, primarily lingerie and blouses but now I've strayed so far from the original point of this post thanks to all the beautiful heirloom sewing images out there that I'm going to have to abruptly yank you back.

I'm taking a class, that's the point, yes. I'm sorry. I get lost sometimes. Anyway, French Hand Sewing by Machine is the name of the book I'm using and I'm putting together a beautiful Easter dress for pinky. White with a blue lining, bits of lace, and a cornflower blue slip. I've taken two classes and have three left. To be honest, I'm not learning much I didn't already know besides the proper pronunciation for words like batiste and entredeux. (bateeeste, all fancy French-like and on-tray-doe a deer, a female deer if you were wondering.) But it's nice to escape the baby, hang out with people who love to sew, and have a definite time frame for finishing a garment considering what a procrastinator I am.

Sneak peek!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! She's going to look beeeeyyyyooooooooooooootiful! And she better considering how much this bad boy is going to cost at the end of the day.

And if you haven't already, run, don't walk to end my first ever blog giveaway, these purrrtemous dishtowels, handmade by little ol' moi. Okay? Okay.


  1. I need another baby boy now, thanks to this post! I can't wait to see the dress! ;)

  2. These are so gorgeous! I can't wait to see how Pinky's dress turns out.

  3. That lace insertion is looking amazing!