Working with Soutache

Little Lad Sunday Suit

Little Lad Sunday Suit

We’re so excited Prince George is going to be a big brother! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently announced they’re expecting another baby, and we’re already excited about the stitched attire this new prince or princess will wear. To celebrate, we’d like to take a look at one of the garments in our book, Sewing for a Royal Baby. This “Little Lad Sunday Suit” was inspired by an antique 1920s boys linen suit sent to Sew Beautiful by Claire Meldrum. We, in turn, sent it to Helen Lively and asked her to work her sewing magic on the reproduction. What we like about this pattern, especially for boys, is that it offers a unique design that is unmistakably heirloom without being too frilly. The linen top is trimmed with white soutache braid for a clean, white-on-white effect; navy braid would give the suit a sailor look. Follow our tips below for working with soutache, and check out the book for the complete guide to making this ensemble.


Soutache braid

1. Soutache braid will shrink. It is very important to preshrink the braid before use, or your garment fabric will pucker around the trim after washing. To shrink soutache, soak it in warm water and allow to air dry.

2. Shape around the curves by pulling one of the two cords while firmly pushing the rest of the braid away.

3. Place the garment on a lace shaping board or padded surface and position the cord on the garment, smoothing the braid in place; stab the pin as you would if shaping lace.

4. Apply basting glue under the line of braid and let it dry.

5. Stitch, using a small stitch (2.0) and fine size 65 or 70 machine needle.

Sewing for a Royal Baby includes 22 garment and accessory projects you can create for your own little prince or princess – including the precious projects pictured below. Many of the garments in the book are inspired by actual royal attire, such as the Royal Christening Gown and a suit worn by a young Prince William.