Sewing Classes for the holiday season and New Year

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Jenny’s Sewing Studio in Salisbury, MD has recently updated the sewing class schedule.  You have to check out the “free demonstrations” available for you. If you would like to stop and see our free demonstrations at Hancock just send an email to . One of the “free” demonstrations is Serger Heirloom sewing and sewing machine heirloom sewing. I will demo techniques and accessory and show you how to make a christening baby bonnet without a pattern.

Another brand new addition to our schedule is the Embroidery Club.  I am including some inspiration photos so you get an idea of the club themes.  Each class will be announced on line when ready to purchase if you are getting the information on line or you can enroll locally at Hancock.

Other features of our new schedule include classes in quilting , beginner sewing, serger basics, sewing machine instruction and more.

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Heirloom techniques using your sewing machine

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Heirloom sewing requires straight stitch and zig-zag stitch. The techniques involved with heirloom sewing are very easy and can create lovely fabrics, which are then cut and fashioned to create inserts, yokes, sleeves, bodices, bonnets, pockets, shirts and more. The main fabric used is a lightweight batiste.  I like the easy care of the polyester and cotton blend but the 100% cotton is the preferred choice.

When picking a lace, the choice is 100% cotton. Only 100% cotton can be shaped and steamed in place. The width of your lace is a personal choice. The varieties include edgings and insertions.

Here are some heirloom techniques to try.

Twin needle sewing creates pin tucks. I usually use a 2.5mm needle with straight stitch. You can also use a spacer called a pin tuck foot. When stitching the rows of pin tucks, I use the width of my presser foot as a guide.  I usually make lots of pin tuck fabric at one time to use later as inserts in the heirloom fabric. Here is a video of the pin tucking technique. Here is the link to the pin tuck foot.

Puffing are strips of gathered batiste. I use the gathering foot along the edges of the strip. I have included a link to the instructions on how to use the gathering foot. Jenny’s Sewing Studio has links to gathering feet for all machines. Here is the low shank gathering foot link.

Decorative stitch inserts add a nice touch to heirloom projects I have included a link to a past blog article on decorative stitch sewing machine inserts.

Pintuck fabric and gathered strips of fabrics is usually joined together with entrudeux. Entrudeux means space in between and helps to join panels nicely. You usually can buy entrudeux as a yardage of narrow trim. You can also make your own using a wing needle and organdy with a ladder stitch and cord.

Create your heirloom project by joining your decorative strips together to form fabric. Here is where the zig-zag stitch and lace are used.  Using a width of 2.5mm and a length of 2.5mm you can roll the edge of the batiste fabric and lace together.

I hope you enjoy creating with heirloom sewing.


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Heirloom serging by Jenny

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Heirloom serger use is fast and easy. I describe heirloom sewing as the creation of decorative fabric. The panel is made up of creative strips That measure about 2″ to 4 “. Join the strips using entrudeax trim. Make the panels as wide as you need them. I make the decorative panels and then cut out the garment from the panel using a commercial pattern. Serger heirloom garments are made using a decorative panel with the serger stitches.

Pintucks- to create pintucks just press in lines where you want the tucks. You can also use your foot as a guide for width. Always sew in the same direction, that means you start the tuck on the same end of the fabric. Pintucks by serger lay in one direction so do a sample to see how they look. Pintucks are created with lines of the rolled hem stitch and used as a decorative effect.

To set your serger for narrow roll hem most serger require you to use a 3 thread narrow setting. Next change the needle plate or pull the stitch finger back. Shorten the stitch length between 2.0 and 1.5 and tighted the lower looper tension.

Bonnets are very easy to make. Create a casing for the ribbon in the back of the bonnet by folding the fabric back to form a casing. Serge the raw edge and fold together and open out to expose the casing. I added a strip of puffing. Puffing is created using the gathering foot to shirr light weight lawn. The ribbon insertion is formed by making a row of wide flat lock. I used the back of flat lock to weave 1/8″ ribbon through. To serge on the flat edge lace I used the narrow roll hem. Making a bonnet is a great way to play with the features of your 3 thread serger. Have fun.

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Decorative stitches are fun

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If you do not use decorative stitch you do not know what you are missing. I wanted to “show case” the use of several decorative stitch combination to give you an idea of how the creative combinations create some beautiful borders.

It does not matter what kind of sewing machine you have, just think about the borders you can make. The key is the open toe foot . There are several types of open toe feet.  I like to use organdy or stitch in the ditch stabilzer if the fabric is not stiff enough to support the stitching.

Another way to use the decorative stitches is the circular stitcher.  I carry the Singer and the Brother stitcher. This is a very creative tool.I have a brief video on the stitcher at this link.

Looking at the samples to the left you will see the borders start with a centering stitch. Straight stretch stitch frames a lot of border stitching. Ribbon insertion with the ladder stitch adds a nice touch. Pintucks also add to the border creation using a twin needle. On the soft fabric the tucks form naturally.  I also use the hem stitch   to create holes in the organdy using a wing needle. Watch some of the videos on how to use the feet here!

If you do not own a decorative stitch machine and want one I have several “like new” products you may enjoy. The first 2 borders were made on the Singer Stylist 3400. I am also sharing the 2 dress made using heirloom techniques and the Singer 3400. The last picture is of the 3400 screen and  choosing your stitch. The stitch number is chosen and the machine instantly gives you the decorative stitch.

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