Event Updates & Bullion Stitch Tutorial

School may be out for the little ones, but things are just heating up for our summer Martha Pullen licensing events! I’m so excited to share the news that we are bringing back our popular Heirloom I Online Licensing beginning August 15. This curriculum includes more than 20 beautiful projects, and you’ll be a master of so many gorgeous heirloom techniques by the time the course ends.

You can also still register for our current Serger, Serger! Fundamentals and Creative Flourishes Online Licensing through the end of June. And, we still have a couple seats open for our Vintage, Classic, Contemporary Licensing Retreat in Atlanta next month if you want to learn with us in person. I invite you to join us for one or more of these events and become a licensed Martha Pullen teacher!


Heirloom Smocked Rosebud Dress

Speaking of great projects, we just released an exclusive kit in our online store: the Heirloom Smocked Rosebud Dress Ensemble. This design began with a 1950s-era cape designed by Billie McAndrews that Cheryl Davidson recreated for our March/April 2008 issue of Sew Beautiful. We added a coordinating A-line dress based on the unique front insets of the cape to create the sweetest little ensemble. Both the dress and cape are smocked and embroidered with bullion roses. Follow our instructions below to learn how to embroider a bullion stitch, which is used as the basis for this rose as well as other bullion flowers and leaves.

NOTE: The distance from point A to point B and the number of wraps determine the length of the bullion stitch. Use a #8 or #9 straw or milliner needle and one strand of floss.

bullion stitch

1. Bring the needle to the front at point A, re-enter at point B, and bring the tip of the needle to the front again very close to point A; DO NOT pull the needle through (fig. 1).

2. Place a finger over the eye of the needle and press it to the fabric making the tip rise up, away from the fabric.

3. Wrap the floss around the needle several times (fig. 2). Slide the wraps toward the fabric keeping the wraps smooth and close together (fig. 3).

bullion stitch

4. Pinch the coils between the thumb and finger of your left hand (fig. 4), and carefully pull the needle through the fabric (fig. 5).

5. With the coil between one finger and thumb, tug on the needle end of the floss until the bullion is the right shape and all of the slack is pulled out of the floss core thread (fig. 6).

6. Take the floss to the back at the end where it leaves the coil and tie off (fig. 7).

Get the kit to make your own Heirloom Smocked Rosebud Dress Ensemble in sizes 2-6 years.

We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for all of you.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin


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