Measuring for the Non-Sewers, and a Madeira Embroidery Lecture!

Hello everyone!
It has been a busy few months.  We are still have patches of late summer, but I think we are turning the corner to fall – finally!

A shout out to all of my Texas Tote class students!  We finished out last class yesterday, and I am seeing pictures of finished totes – yeah!  Thank you for joining me and I hope to see you again soon.  I love to see not only your finished project but the personal design choices that make the bag your own.

I have had a few inquiries about the best way to accurately measure children when they are not near?  When you add non-sewers into the mix, sometimes things can get lost in translation.  I can relate to this, as neither one of my daughters sew (yet – I am thinking positive!).  When my oldest daughter was in college, she called one day and said she was at the fabric store, to which my husband quickly called out “Is she lost?  Is her GPS broken?”  She and 3 friends were making polar fleece scarves for a fundraiser and between the 4 of them, they had a tape measure, pins, scissors, and a Joann’s coupon!

To get measurements from a non-sewer, here are a couple of ways you can get the information that you need.

  1.  What can you measure with?  I know, I know, your first instinct is a tape measure, but if you are asking a non-sewer, that may NOT be something they have.  It may even be a stretch to ask for a ruler or yardstick, so think about something they DO have and go from there.  If a tape measure is not available, the easiest thing to use is a piece of string.  It can be a thread, string, shoe lace, etc.  Once the measuring is done, if they have a ruler – yeah!  Otherwise, get a piece of paper from your printer.  Almost everyone has paper (can even be a form letter from the mail) and it is 8.5″ x 11″.  They can measure using the thread and then mark it on the paper.  Once they are finished, they can send it to you and YOU can do the measuring!  You can see there are no numbers, but it is easy to convert the lines to inches.  For example, you can see that the chest has 2 widths (8.5 x 2 = 17) plus a bit more – just measure the short line and add it to 17″ and you have your chest measurement.

2.  This method uses your little one’s favorite outfit of the moment (and you can measure with a tape measure or string).  For most children, their favorite outfit is going to be one that fits well.  If the fit is too small or tight, they don’t want to wear it as it is uncomfortable.  Have your measurer get one of the child’s favorite outfits that they wear all of the time (currently), and you can measure the garment.  You can have them measure from armscye to armscye (where the under arm meets the torso), the arm, chest, and neck.  If you are making a romper, you will also want the measurement of center front at the neckline to the bottom of the crotch (on the garment).  Once you get the measurements, compare them to your pattern pieces, remembering that these measurements do NOT have seam allowances.

In a perfect sewing world, everyone would have a tape measure and know how to use it, but since that is not the world we live in, maybe these options will help!


Madeira Embroidery

I am putting together a lecture on Madeira Embroidery.  I have been soo fortunate to travel to Funchal twice, and take lessons at the Imperial Bordados (sadly, that embroidery factory is no longer open).  I will have a slide show of pictures that I took, and talk about their culture and the embroidery process.  I will also spend some time showing you some of the beautiful linens that I bought while I was there.

I am thinking about the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s (December 27).  A couple of days after the hustle and bustle of Christmas,  sitting down with a cup of tea and spending an hour or 2 looking through some wonderful eye candy sounds like a wonderful way to relax during the holidays.  This will be via zoom, which allows for questions as well!

Please reply and give me some feedback on the date before I schedule this!  Does scheduling this over the holidays on the 27th sound like a relaxing treat, or is the hustle and bustle of Christmas still going on?  Once I hear back and schedule this, you all (my blog readers) will be the first to know, and I will include a link for registration (it will be $15 for the virtual trip to Madeira).

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful to have such wonderful stitching friends!  I am so blessed to be able to do what I love with people who are so wonderful.

Happy Stitching, 





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