We’re up to bulletins 8a and 8b in the Needlework Development Scheme’s “And So To’ series already!
In “And So To Sew” bulletin 8a, poor Jamie learns how to choose garments that best suit her figure, instead of becoming a slave to fashions that don’t let her look her best. The leaflet covers style advice for all body types, how to care for 1950’s clothing, and common mending tips. Even if you don’t sew, it worth downloading for the illustrations!
“And So To Embroider” 8b is one of my favourites. It contains a pattern and instructions for making the sun bonnet on the cover, plus lots of information on manipulating fabrics to change the way they look. The photo above shows just two of the mini samplers from the leaflet, with others showing spotted and striped fabrics.
These techniques are then shown in two projects, an apron and a cushion.
As always, I have included video and photo tutorials for all of the techniques mentioned for my fellow visual learners.
If you’d like to see all of the vintage leaflets and books that I have available for download, check out the “Vintage Sewing and Embroidery Books” section, and sign up to be notified whenever I post more. (On the left on laptop, or under this post on tablet and mobile).
Today’s new knitting pattern is a special request from a reader. Martine’s Point Lace is a classic wave style pointed edging with a zig-zag edging and open lace header. I have written the pattern out in words and charted it for knitters like me who prefer a chart.
Then I drew a cloche pattern to trace around, drew it onto my fabric with a water erasable pen and immediately became stuck, which led to my learning some interesting ways to become unstuck when I can’t decide what to do next.
Sarah’s Guide to Unsticking Your Creative Brain (or my brain, anyway)
Put the thing away for a bit. Unless you have a deadline. In which case, don’t put it away, pin it up somewhere.
Have a good, long think about what your intentions for the piece are. For me, it was creating lots of little flowers that, with a bit of imagination, could conceivably have been made out of shells. Maybe.
Stitch a bit. It doesn’t matter if it sucks, you can rip it out.
What do you like/dislike about the bits you stitched? If you like them, leave them. If you hate them, don’t be afraid to rip them out and work it the way that you now know would look better.
Still stuck? (I was). Find a technique that fills in space quickly. Do that. I made flowers with buttons, some of which I removed later.
At this point I became unstuck and decided to fill in the entire cloche with closely packed flowers.
Things I learnt working this piece (or already knew and employed)
Repeating things at least three times is a good way to achieve balance, if you want a balanced piece. You can see I only worked two large cream woven flowers, but I added a little star shaped button in the same colour to echo them as a tiny bud.
It’s fine to change your mind. I had intended to work the whole piece in very shell-like colours. I obviously didn’t 🙂
I’ll never be able to work couched laidwork perfectly, or even remotely, straight without ruling out every line.
Couching thread over a mistake can save a lot of work, which is especially important when you’ve run out of the thread you used and really like the colours.
I am capable of finishing a challenge that took over 4 years. Wow.
Now, I have a few more stitches I’d like to investigate while I sew them all into fabric books so stay tuned!
“And So To Embroider” leaflet 7b contains the full patterns and instructions for a work bag with exterior pocket, pincushions, scissors holder, and needle book. I’ve also included modern video tutorials for sewing tailor’s buttonhole stitch, and sewing those really cool scalloped edges that you can see on the work bag pocket.
“And So To Sew” bulletin 7 introduces us to sewing with wool (one of my favourite fabrics), a pattern and instructions for a girl’s jerking/tabard, and all of the techniques used to sew a simple pinafore dress from a commercial pattern.
Again, I have included modern videos or photo tutorials for every technique so these leaflets will be of use to as many people as possible. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and raid the stash for some polka dot cotton…