Sunday, January 23, 2011

Carol Harris at Beth's Heirloom

This was just a really nice way to spend a weekend. I have finished most of my embroidery projects and can return to what I love, making little girl dresses. I went to Wetumpka, Alabama to Beth's Heirloom Shop to take a workshop taught by Carol Harris.
This is close to the lake so it couldn't have been a more relaxing weekend. Sewing and Lake Martin...2 of my favorite things! Carol is such a talented teacher, and we were a group of about 10 women making beautiful dresses for our daughters, granddaughters, and as one friend put it...anyone I can give it away to! In her soft Tennessee accent and gentle manner, Carol encouraged us in our efforts and showed us many of her techniques to make our dresses professional and beautiful. She says that she savors the time spent sewing, and it did make me stop and realize that fastest way may not always be the best way. The classroom at Beth's Heirloom is roomy and bright, making it a great place to sew.

I took my machine back to the lake with me on Friday evening so that I could work before returning on Saturday. I decided to use Carol's hand method for the lace neckline. I did not have my lace shaping board, but a beach towel and old pillow case on the kitchen counter worked just fine. I pinned the entredeaux in a circle the size of the neckline, then steamed it before attaching it by hand. It took about an hour while I watched TV, and it was fun to see such nice results in much less time than I would have guessed. I have always pretty much taken the "quickest way" when deciding which method to use, but Carol presented choices in construction, and would show us the way that she used to "get the best result". She constantly moved about the classroom offering assistance as we needed it and giving impromptu demonstrations whenever we asked. It was evident when looking at her beautiful dresses that her methods surely give beautiful results. Her trunk show of dresses was

This is a photograph of the bodice after I had done the lace insertion and attached the little lace sleeve, but before the gathered lace neckline. I chose laces that were a little different than I usually choose, and I love the combination of ecru and white. The fabric is a soft dotted Swiss and it is lined in pimacotton.

My hand sewing was a little rusty, and I am not sure that my method was just like Carol's, but after I attached the lace it was evident that it was truly the best method to get the prettiest neckline. I tried the bodice on Issa this evening and the little cap sleeve is so sweet on her shoulders.
I cannot wait to finish this little dress!

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