The Best of Australian Smocking & Embroidery Sneak Peek!!

HISTORIC SEWING TIP from “Woman’s World, “The Magazine of the Middle West” Chicago, Illinois (approximately 1923)

I think the magazine was published in 1923 because of an article in the baby section of the magazine which talked about Infant Fashions in 1863 and stated, “Infant fashions have changed a great deal in the last sixty years – just look at the Godey’s Lady’s book of 1863!” There was not a date anywhere in the photocopied section that I have.

“Sit on a Cushion and Sew a Fine Seam” The cushion, of course, isn’t essential. Just follow these clear instructions and you’ll have no trouble. Most baby clothes have French felled seams. These are made by sewing the seams together on the right side and trimming close-then turning the seam so that the right side of the goods is on the inside, and making a second seam. The second seam should also be made as small as possible. The stitches should be close together and even when the dress is hand-made, the first seam can be sewed on the machine, as it holds better and keeps the seams from stretching. When the work is done entirely by hand it is wise to use a back stitch now and then in sewing the seam.


In some cases a flat felled seam is used. This seam is sewn together on the wrong side of the garment taking a seam 3/8” side. The edge nearest you is then trimmed off until it is about 1/8 inch wide and the other edge is turned flat over it. Turn a narrow hem under and whip it flat.”





I have sewn my miracle baby girl a beautiful christening gown using one of your patterns. I have changed a few things to make it my own.  I am really proud of this dress. I have only been sewing a few years and I love the heirloom designs. I never even had home economics in school. My mama has taught me everything I know. Thank God for my mama.

P. S. I told my husband when I look at beautiful heirloom sewing, I want to make it really bad, and I don’t know how too. That it is the same feeling that he gets when a big buck walks by and he doesn’t have anything to shoot it with.

Note from Martha: Debbie, congratulations on your gorgeous christening dress. I can totally understand about your love of heirloom sewing. When I saw my first French dress I felt my heart flutter; it still does and that has been about 26 years since I saw my first heirloom dress. I am so thrilled your mother has taught you to sew. You can learn heirloom sewing by practice, practice, practice. It is simply “regular” sewing with gorgeous embellishments. Teaching people how to do heirlooms sewing has been the goal of many of our books and DVDs and MPTV since the beginning.  Again, congratulations.


Dear Sewing Family,

Wow where do the months go? Can it almost be Thanksgiving, one of my favorite times of year?! For the first years of my life, Thanksgiving was spent in Scottsboro, Alabama. This year we are going back to Scottsboro for Thanksgiving at Joanna and Ron’s lake cabin. It will be like “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go” except it is to our daughter’s not grandmother’s. Since I have just joined Weight Watchers I am taking a large salad with diet dressing and plan to partake of turkey and just a few bites of the other traditional food. One of the main “things” Weight Watchers is teaching now is to put your fork down between bites and take a drink of your drink. It has TRULY helped me. I feel full much more quickly. Try it. It really works. Our extended family joins us for Thanksgiving so it will be a large crowd of happiness. I love my family so much.

I have to say here that you are also my family-my beloved sewing family. That love extends to each one of you! Always know that. I pray all of you will be with family for Thanksgiving. I do know that our service men and women serving overseas will not be with their families this Thanksgiving. I am praying for each man and woman serving this country and especially for those away from their families. I am praying for missionaries who also will not be with their families. John and Suzanne and the children were in Africa for 10 years so I know how it feels to have children and grandchildren so far away on holidays. I am so blessed that I was born in the United States of America and I thank God for our freedoms that are not available in much of the world. I thank God for the abundance of food we have and for so many blessings that the rest of the world knows nothing about.

I also thank God for our fabulous School of Art Fashion February 5-9, 2014, which we are preparing for right now. It will be the best ever! When I look at the classes, I can truly tell you that I would love to take every one of them! We had one international teacher, our fabulous Gloria McKinnon who is coming from Australia. She has made nearly 80 trips to teach in the United States, mostly in California. It is our joy that she will be here in Huntsville to teach in February. She does the most gorgeous hand work that I have ever seen and she makes it easy for everyone else doing silk ribbon embroidery plus other embroidery stitches.  The early bird special is nearly over (YOU HAVE TIL NOV 25th!!) but it is fabulous. Take all four days of classes plus attend other special activities for only $549 (early bird; expires 11/25) or full price at $599. Register HERE!

Keep in touch with MPC over the holidays. We will be having a fabulous Black Friday sale. It will start on Monday, November 25th and last all the way through the following Tuesday, December 2nd.  Almost everything in our online store will be 50% off!! There will be a few exclusions, but this will be a rare chance to rack up on some phenomenal savings! We will be posting more about it soon on our webpages and social media.

You must not miss the brand new special magazine edition where we have combined many of our favorites from the gorgeous Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazines! This bookazine is not to be believed. It will only be $14.99 and you can pick one up either at your local retailer or through our online store when it goes on sale, December 3, 2013. This would be a fabulous Christmas present for your sewing friends!

ASESIP1013_FC copy


Here is the beautiful cover of this Best of Australian Smocking & Embroidery!

ASESIP1013_003 copy

I got a peek at the Table of Contents!  Look at what you’ll get in this issue:

  • smocked bonnet w/ lace-trimmed ruffle
  • simple boys bonnet w/ whipstitch piping and buckle clasp
  • white batiste bishop dress and knickers w/ matching bonnet & booties
  • romper, beret & shoes made in crisp white waffle pique w/ pale blue check mini piping
  • White Imperial batiste w/ just a touch of smocking & bullion roses
  • pure white voile christening gown w/ matching coat & bonnet, lavishly smocked & embroidered
  • sweet bishop w/ beads, ribbons & embroidered flowers made in white cotton pique
  • traditional smocked button-on suit w/ picture smocked ducks
  • exquisite pink rose bullions embroidered on a powder blue voile dress
  • delicate cotton voile dress w/ scalloped edge diamond smocking design & tiny bullion loop flower
  • delicate powder blue sleeveless dress smocked w/ bullion roses
  • pure white smocked dress w/ pearls & silk satin ribbons complete w/ organza bow.

There are also tons of step-by-step instructions including:

  • laced machine stitch
  • pleating two layers of fabric
  • mitering lace edging around a corner
  • attaching flat lace to entredeux
  • AND MORE!!!

I’m so very excited for you to see this special issue & know you are just going to love it! Remember to watch for it on newsstands around December 3rd or come to our online store & get a copy!

Thank you for letting me join you in this blog which I am loving writing. I pray for you and your family-weekly I promise. Never forget that I will always love you.

May God Bless You,





2 Chronicles 7:14
  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

The Lord appeared to Solomon and gave him these instructions to heal the land. I have always thought that I do not spend enough time in “seeking the face” of God and I am sure I do not spend enough time in prayer. When I was studying 2 Chronicles I began to ask myself, “Am I praying hard enough for our country? Am I praying enough for this terrorism to be stopped all over the world? Am I praying for our world to come back to God and scriptural values which are commanded throughout the Bible?” You can probably guess what my answer is. I am simply not praying enough.

Somehow I believe that God’s outline for living is very clear in the scripture. Our land needs healing. Our lives need healing. Conditions which face our children and grandchildren as they are growing up need healing. God has commanded that we turn to Him and pray.

Some might ask, “Does God really hear all prayers?” This is answered many places in the Bible that he hears all prayers. In closing I would share Psalm 4:3 “Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him.” In my whole life God has always answered my prayers. Has he always answered my prayers in the way that I asked? Of course not. But He has answered and always will.



RECIPE FOR THE WEEK from Frances Hash’s friend in Montana

Frances Hash is one of my lifelong childhood friends. Last week she sent a recipe that she had been served at a dinner party in Montana where she lives part of the year. I wrote back to get permission to use this recipe and she was granted permission from the person who made it. I am sorry I do not know her friend’s name.


·         2 tablespoons olive oil

·         1 cup chopped onion

·         1 clove garlic (I use lots)

·         1 T. Hungarian paprika

·         3 cups canned chicken stock (undiluted)

·         2 pounds cubed pork

·         2 cups drained sauerkraut

·         one half teaspoon caraway seeds

·         one fourth cup tomato juice

·         2 tablespoons flour

·         1 cup sour cream

·         salt and pepper to taste

Melt oil in large pot.  Add onion and garlic and cook stirring until onion is translucent.  Add paprika and 1/2c stock, bring to boil. Add pork, cover pot and simmer for 1 hour.

Add sauerkraut, caraway seeds, tomato juice and remaining stock to pot. Simmer, cover and cook for an hour. Mix the flour and sour cream together and stir into the pot.  Simmer 10 more minutes and season with salt and pepper. Serve over buttered noodles.