Editor’s Blog

Mary Ann Nickerson’s Christening Dress

Saving treasured baby clothes and other beautifully embellished garments is a special tradition for many of today’s heirloom sewists, just as it was for our ancestors centuries ago. Our DAR Museum book, which is part of the “Martha Pullen’s Favorite Places” series, explores heirlooms the National Society Daughters of the American...

Create a Scalloped Skirt Hem

Interlocking Scallops by Kathy Barnard Scallops can be used in many ways to add interesting lines to garments. One of our favorite uses for this unique design element is the scalloped hem. There are a number of commercial dress patterns around that feature scalloped hemlines, but have no fear if you...

Master the Herringbone Stitch

Gloria McKinnon’s Peaches & Cream Bed Runner If you’re looking for a beautiful stitch to use as a seam embellishment or decorative border, the herringbone is a perfect choice. This decorative stitch and its numerous variations are ideal for creating gorgeous embellishments, as seen on this block of the Peaches &...

Choosing the Right Fabric for Bags

Lisa Lam’s A Bag for All Reasons Fabric selection is an important part of any sewing project, and bags are no different. Generally speaking, fabric falls into two main categories: dress-weight fabric and upholstery-weight fabric. As the names would suggest, we use dress weight for garments and upholstery weight for home...

Heirloom Sewing Inspiration for 2014

Sew Beautiful February/March 2014 The new year has arrived, and we know that many of you are already busy planning for 2014’s biggest moments. Whether you are thinking about sewing for Easter, a new baby or another occasion, opportunity for making something special abounds in our February / March 2014 edition...

How to Sew a Perfect Placket

A new year is almost here, and many of us are busy thinking about what goals we’d like to accomplish in 2014. For sewists, these resolutions often include trying our hand at learning new sewing techniques or perhaps mastering those we haven’t quite perfected yet. The placket is one area of...

How to Fashion Topstitched Pleats

Elizabeth’s Red Dress “Elizabeth’s Red Dress” – one of the patterns in Sewing for a Royal Baby – was inspired by a charming dress we purchased in an antiques store. After carefully picking out the seams on the hand-constructed vintage garment, I (Amelia) worked up the pattern. I used Martha Pullen’s...

Mastering the Bullion Stitch

We love dressing up our designs with creative stitching. So often, it’s those final decorative accents that really transform a garment into something special! We’ve shared tutorials for several hand stitches in past newsletters. We’d like to continue this week with a how-to for the bullion stitch, which is the basis...

Vintage Inspiration: A Capitol Silk Coat

Winter Rose Smocked Coat Many of the designs we feature in Sew Beautiful are inspired by beautiful heirlooms from generations past, and the Winter Rose Smocked Coat from designer Laurie Anderson is no exception. This design, which serves as the free pattern in our December / January issue, was adapted from...

How to Tie a Perfect Sash Bow

The holiday season is in full swing, and many of us will soon dress our little girls up in pretty stitched party dresses as we celebrate Christmas. Nothing finishes a party dress better than an expertly tied sash bow, of course, but tying a sash bow is harder than it looks....