The Admiral's Outfit Continues!

Zackie's suit continues. I have had a day full of business issues for DH. I am his bookkeeper and mistress. Today was a bookkeeper day. So I just got in about a half hour to sew before dinner prep and I got the cuffs attached to the sleeves. If my sleeves look like they will walk out of the room on their own, they will. They are well starched, something I find really helps when working with linen in an heirloom garment. I starch the linen well before cutting. It helps the linen keep from fraying as you can see and also makes it easier to handle. When the shirt is all done I will give it a hand wash, something else I always do to my little heirloom garments. There always seem to be residual soil and marks somewhere.

I have had some issues with the instructions in the Sew Beautiful magazine and will get into those when the garment is complete. These are not big issues but a series of small ones that could certainly turn a newbie sewist around and heading for the door.

There is a uniqueness to heirloom sewing and those who do it. In my opinion there are two camps. There are the crusty old seamsters who do incredible work and can make fabric look like marshmallows. They are an independent, experienced bunch who can handle almost anything they come up against. Then there are the newbies. There are many young moms, bless their hearts, who take up sewing, heirloom sewing, when they are waiting for or have little ones. Often they have never sewn before. Heirloom shops cater to them, offering classes and instruction, often of the first caliber. This second group generally has not sewn before. They are of the Home Ecless generation and they gleefully dive into heirloom sewing and smocking. I personally think it is wonderful. But, let's not forget the basics. So the issues I have encountered in the magazine kind of gloss over a few things that really shouldn't be glossed over. I think a new sewist needs all the positive reinforcement they can get and it is critical that they succeed at their effort to keep this sewing world alive. I am talking the world we love with fabrics, patterns, and stores. So, mag editors, lets give our newbies all the info and basic instruction they need. No one should learn about wadders early in their sewing careers. I pray that comes later, when a clear knowledge of high standards sets in and it is all you settle for. That is when you learn to make wadders.......Bunny


  1. Can you think of another category? I hate to think of myself as "crusty"!!! Sew Beautiful occasionally will rerun an old article by Elizabeth Travis Johnson (the sadly deceased queen of sewing for children). More of those would certainly help the "newbies".

    Had to laugh at your use of the expression "Bless Her Heart". Being in the South recently must have taken hold, as that is a very Southern way to cushion a not-very-flattering comment. In fact, there is a book out now entitled "Bless her Heart, Tramp"!


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