Sunday, November 3, 2013

Why the Sewing Lawyer was MIA

When one gets to a certain stage of life, one's parents are necessarily at a more advanced stage.  This led to The Sewing Lawyer giving up a week of sewing and knitting (and blogging) to help her parents reduce and recycle.  The re-using will have to wait until they have relocated.  In the course of that exercise
, some family heirlooms were unearthed.

A christening gown.  Not worn by me.  It was apparently considered too fragile in the 1950s.  I tossed it blithely into the washing machine and ironed it, except for the sleeves.  They are so tiny I couldn't figure out how.

It is machine made but quite lovely.  Every edge is either encased in a tight scalloped hem stitch, or in a French seam.

To the right are the embroidered motifs from the skirt, and on the bodice.

And who doesn't need white cotton guest towels, complete with monogram and crocheted lace inset at each hem?  I now have a matched pair.

Soon, I'll post my just-completed version of Vogue 1183.  What with the time change, it may be a while before I can get any decent photos.  In the meantime, here's a teaser in-progress shot of the insides of the dress (inside-out on my dress form).  You can see the lining (light blue Bemberg), fashion fabric (dark blue wool/cashmere) and interlining (striped cotton).  


  1. Beautiful handiwork. I love vintage needlework.

  2. I bought a Clover Mini Iron II and use the half-round attachment for ironing puff sleeves.

  3. I wish you the best in helping your parents. It can be quite challenging and exciting. To press the sleeves, try blowing up a balloon, probably a water balloon, and press. The balloon is quite sturdy, but you will find out how sturdy. Leave the balloon in until the cloth dries.

  4. At the time the Christening gown was made and worn, "puff irons" were ubiquitous. Laundries and dry cleaning establishments had them in a variety of sizes to accommodate differing sizes of sleeves. It is still possible to purchase a home version, however it isn't necessary. Find a clean cloth doll such as a "raggedy Anne" and shape the puff sleeve over her foot as you iron.