Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Heirloom Dress for Emma

I still need to make a slip for Emma's Easter dress, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak of my progress so far.

Earlier this year, I was thrilled to learn that my local sewing shop was offering a full-day class with Michie' Mooney. Highly regarded in the heirloom sewing community, Michie' has her own line of patterns; she teaches for the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion; and her work is featured regularly in sewing and embroidery magazines.

Joe was out of town on the day of the class, but a sweet friend generously agreed to watch my children until class adjourned. I went to the sewing shop right away to register for the class and purchase my materials. I was stunned to learn it was already full. I joked afterward that crumpling onto the floor and sobbing uncontrollably must have worked; days later a spot opened up and I was able to join the class. (I didn't really cry in Beth's, but it is quite possible that I danced around my kitchen just a little when I found out I could participate after all.)

We had a choice of two Creations by Michie' patterns to construct for the class, and I chose the Heirloom Dress (#124-L). Reading over the pattern instructions the night before, I began to wonder if I had gotten in over my head. But as class began the next morning, Michie' assured all of us that she would walk us through each technique. And she did! She was a patient and easygoing teacher who put the class at ease. In the course of the day, I learned how to do pin tucks, lace shaping, lace insertion and bullion roses.

I plan to photograph Emma at Jasmine Hill Gardens this spring, so look for the completed heirloom dress soon. To browse heirloom patterns for beginning to experienced seamstresses, visit Creations by Michie'. For heirloom sewing tips and pattern variations, visit Michie's blog.

To read last year's sentimental letter to Mary Ashley on the true meaning of an heirloom garment, revisit "Notes on a Dress" here.

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