Martha’s on the road! See why she’s in Ohio…

Dear Sewing Family,


I have had so much fun looking up some cold weather christening dress tips for you for this week’s blog. WHY? Well I am in Ohio taping for our new on-line licensing which you will hear all about early in 2014!! Just you wait!!! Much excitement is on the way I promise! You will be the first to know!!

SOO when I was packing to come “north” I was sure I would need my Ugg boots and winter coat. It is actually warmer here than in Alabama and my feet have been very hot. I am glad I brought my sandals also!

Patty Smith, Connie Palmer, Kathy McMakin, Alicia Welcher and I are taping like crazy for you!! Truly we are having fun. This is a totally new venture and it is fabulous! You know how much I love sharing with others how to build a home based business in sewing!! This is a totally new way we are “building” for you to do just that. Oh, well I’ll share more later when we are ready to really let you know all about it.

The leaves are more beautiful up here than I have ever seen fall leaves. I never cease to be amazed that God knows to turn the leaves beautiful colors every fall, let them fall off the trees and then bring them back green in the spring. I wish every one of you could see these Ohio trees in this early November time frame. GORGEOUS!! Of course we have eaten dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, my favorite restaurant in the world. We never have too many “worries” about food when we travel as you already know!! We were very good on the first day and went by Kroger to purchase oranges and apples for our snacks to take to the studio–along with a “few” other snacks.

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We adore the TV team up here in Ohio!!! Wow what talent!! I love the word EASY and they make everything EASY for taping. We truly have tons of fun while we are up here.

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Since I am at the studio I guess I better close and send this on back to Huntsville so my sweet “genius friend Jessica” can get it ready to go up on the blog site.

I pray for our men and women serving in harm’s way and for their families. I pray for you and your family. I have just prayed that God will touch you in a special way this week and that you will know of the faithfulness of God during the good times and especially during the difficult. God is a little like a sewing machine and fabric. Taking a flat piece of fabric and spending time makes it whole and beautiful. God’s work, even with our imperfections and “flat pieces” ends up in something beautiful and whole. Remember Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Never forget that I will always love you–a lot.

May God Bless You,



Tips for Winter Christening Dresses from

Many Different Newsletters from Past Years

I live in CT, and I am quite familiar with the dilemma of stitching smocking/heirloom for little ones, and trying to keep them warm in winter. Here are a few suggestions that have worked:


1. Consider the Christening gown frosting on the cake; in other words, the warm layers are under it and over it, but it is not what provides the warmth

 2. Make a similar cut (to the gown) warm slip: I often use thick cotton flannel for this, but instead of binding the edges with bias flannel, use the lighter fabric of the gown. The slip layers can be quilted together – trapunto, etc. – for even more warmth. Underneath the slip the babe wears a onesie and tights, then socks.

3. Make matching shoes to the gown, and interline them with the same thick cotton flannel; Martha Pullen Company carries this. Make sure the little shoes fit over the socks and tights.

4. Make a matching coat for the gown, again interlining with thick flannel, or something even warmer. Since babies ride in car seats, you could instead make a car seat ‘blanket’ with a hole for the baby’s head, with the ‘blanket’ extending out in all direction long enough to tuck in under the car seat on all sides. This would be easier to make than a coat, but the car seat blanket only works for the car seat.

5. Consider dressing the babe in the ensemble at the Christening location. Then you won’t have to worry about the car seat straps crushing your beautiful work.

A final thought, when I make a Christening gown for someone, I usually embroider the baby’s name and birth date on the coordinating slip. As each additional babe uses the gown, their name is embroidered onto the slip as well. I have one customer who has had so many grandbabies, their names have filled up the entire front half of the slip, and I have started embroidering names on the back of the slip.


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Living in the Midwest , I receive numerous requests for “winter” baptism gowns. This is the perfect opportunity to make a matching long sleeve “coat” with endless opportunities for embellishment. Or I have used flannel to make the matching slip for a little added warmth. (With the name and date embroidered on the edge of the slip) Either of these options allows you to still use the lighter weight fabrics for the dress. (Thankfully in this day and age most churches are well heated so its not a big issue) I have also been asked to make a white fleece blanket with matching embroidery (sometimes with the name and/or date) to wrap the baby in until the actual ceremony. One mother brought me her velvet wedding dress to make into her daughter’s christening gown – it ended up as a miniature version of the wedding dress – complete with twin needle pintucks to mimic the rows of horizontal beaded pleats from the original. And then there was the handsome little guy whose mother requested a white velvet tuxedo (sleeper) – complete with baby blue lined vest and bow tie.


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I am just finishing up a christening gown for the same weather conditions. The baby girl lives in Pittsburgh which gets early fall weather. I looked at several options for adding warmth and still providing an heirloom style christening gown. I made mine of silk dupioni. The design is Baby Barrie by Margaret Boyles. I have interlined it with silk organza for a stabilizer against shredding and stress on the silk. Then the bodice is also lined in china silk. This took 2-3 times more sewing time due all the special handling of the fabrics. As I read about her arthritic hands, this would not be a good option for her. What I recommend instead is using one of the cashmere flannel fabrics. This would make a wonderful warm gown that would still allow for the use of heirloom techniques. Then I would make a slip of silk batiste. One must remember that churches are usually well heated and we do not want too hot of a baby at the christening. Another option that I looked at for my gown was to make a regular gown of linen and then make a christening coat of flannel or heavier flannel to use until the actual ceremony over the gown. If she is on a budget I liked the christening romper in a previous Sew Beautiful that was made out of Birdseye diaper fabric. Again she could make a removable skirt attached to a romper like gown. This could then be used in cold or warm weather by boy or girl babies to come. This also is nice to be able to remove the long skirt after the ceremony for easy handling the baby by relatives, etc.




This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Our pastor, Dr. Jimmy Jackson, preached the most beautiful sermon on prayer several years ago. He reminded us that God always picks up the phone when we ring. He reminded us that we could pray two places. One, in private and two, in public. That is everywhere. He told us that God loves us and wants what is best for us. He said that God knows what is best for us and that God is our best friend. He also reminded us that everyone has disappointments in life because we are human. He reminded us to have a place to pray and to keep a written list. I have not kept a written list in many years and I am beginning today with that written prayer request list. I have traditionally prayed right then and there in my heart for anyone who asked me for prayer. I still think that is a good idea.

At one time in my life I kept my written prayer list in my purse and prayed through it frequently. Brother Jimmy suggested that we put a date on the prayer request and when God has answered the prayer, one way or another, to put another date to know when to stop praying for that particular request. Some of my prayer requests have been in my heart for many years, especially concerning people that have not received our Lord as savior. I pray for the day when I can mark that prayer need off for several people in particular. Don’t forget that we have a prayer board within the message board on Martha Pullen forums and a great team of prayer warriors. Several people consider that prayer board one of their main ministries and for them we are very grateful.



Mama’s Chess Pie

  • 1-3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon flour, rounded
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal, rounded
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • One unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg yolks with one cup of sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl mix the three quarters of a cup of sugar (the remaining sugar) with flour and cornmeal. Add the melted butter to this sugar, flour and cornmeal mixture. Mix well. Then, add milk. Pour two mixtures together and add vanilla. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for approximately 45 minutes.