This vintage-inspired top designed by Sue Stewart is one of our favorite summer patterns for women. Victorian eyelet and lace insertions create a textured fabric for the design, and the classic cut pairs perfectly with pants or a skirt. To make the top, you’ll need to know a few beginning heirloom sewing techniques for sewing entredeux. These techniques are great to have in your toolbox for any heirloom sewing project.
Follow Sue’s steps below, as featured in the July/August 2005 issue of Sew Beautiful:
A – Entredeux to flat fabric:
1. Place entredeux and fabric right sides together, raw edges even. With entredeux on top and a straight stitch (L = 2.0), stitch-in-the-ditch right along “ladder” of entredeux. Trim seam allowance to 1/8 inch. Roll and whip this seam allowance by zigzagging (L = 1.0; W = 4.5) so that one needle swing goes into fabric right along previous straight stitching, and the other needle swing goes off the fabric edge, rolling seam allowance (fig. 1).
2. Press this little rolled hem away from entredeux. From right side, stitch a tiny zigzag (L and W = 1.0) so that one needle swing goes into “ditch” right next to “ladder” of entredeux, and the other needle swing just catches fabric fold. This holds the little rolled seam in place (fig. 2).
B – Entredeux to tatted insertion:
Trim batiste edge off one side of entredeux right next to heavily embroidered “ladder.” There should be no fabric remaining on that side; entredeux will not ravel. With tatted insertion and entredeux both right sides up, butt trimmed edge of entredeux up to chained edge of tatted insertion. Zigzag (L = 1.0; W = 2.5 – 3.0) together so that one needle swing stitches over chained edge of tatting, and the other needle swing goes into holes of entredeux (fig. 3).
C – Entredeux to fabric
(Entredeux with no seam allowance):
1. Place entredeux 1/2 inch over raw edge of fabric, both right sides up. Zigzag (L = 1.0; W = 1.5) over trimmed edge of entredeux, so that one needle swing goes into holes of entredeux and the other needle swing goes just over corded edge of entredeux into fabric only (fig. 4).
2. On wrong side, press fabric seam allowance away from entredeux, gently tugging fabric to show holes of entredeux. From right side, zigzag (L = 1.0; W = 2.0) again, so that one needle swing goes into holes of entredeux, and the other needle swing goes over corded edge of entredeux and through both layers of fabric. Trim away fabric seam allowance on wrong side close to stitching (fig. 5).
Sue Stewart worked as a primary designer for Martha Pullen Company from 1990 to 2005, during which she had dozens of featured articles in Sew Beautiful magazine. An award-winning designer of heirloom and machine-embroidered quilts, she has designed and sewn for Martha’s Sewing Room and many Martha Pullen publications. Visit her website at susanstewartdesigns.com.