Slow Stitching

I have a hand-made top to share with your today.

I’m sure many of you get sick of the “I made this” blog post that I do all the time.  I know I do . . . But honestly, besides showing you pictures of my kids or the laundry that I did today, there isn’t anything else interesting going on around here.  I’m not much of a writer either, so I share pictures instead.  I also like to share the techniques that I am exploring and having fun with, in hopes that someone else will want to give them a try.  This is one of those techniques –



A while back I posted the first shirt that I made using these techniques. (You can read about it here).  If you had asked me a few years back if I would be sewing clothes again, I would have said no – much less hand stitching them.  I don’t know why hand stitching has become so appealing to me, but I sure am having fun with it.  It is so relaxing and therapeutic.  Maybe it is having a 1 and 3-year-old that makes me crave something quiet and relaxing?  Ya think?


This shirt was completed so fast that I was sorry to see it finished – Like a really good book that abruptly comes to an end before you are ready for it.



And once again can I sing the praises of the raglan sleeve?  I LOVE not having to set in a sleeve.  So. Much. Easier.



The techniques used to make this top are fairy easy.  The couching was a little more challenging than the rest, but overall, it is much easier to do than it looks.  I did have a little trouble with puckering around the beads, so next time I will try not to pull my thread so tight.  The main point that I want to get across is how easy it is to do this kind of work.  I think it looks so intricate, that most people think it will be hard.  This book outlines how to do everything.  If you are a quilter, you will find that you already know how to do many of these techniques.



As I was working on this top, I was thinking about how people used to make all their own clothing.  A hundred years ago, I would guess that most people knew how to sew clothing.  Now it has become such a lost art and people grow up without sewing machines in their homes.  Clothing items like this are now only accessible to certain people because of the price (click here for an example).  What everyone used to do for necessity has now switched to being accessible for a few.  What an odd turn of events.  But, for about $15 and some beautifullt spent slow stitching time, I can have that time in history back.  I was listening to Alabama Chanin talk about this on a podcast and it was part of the reason that she decided to write books and literally give away her secrets as a designer.  She wanted this joy to be accessible to more people. What a wonderful thing to share.


About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
This entry was posted in Clothing, Sewing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Slow Stitching

  1. Nan says:

    I’ll never tire of seeing what you make. Thanks for sharing. I’d love to get back to garment sewing.

  2. Sandra says:

    Please do not think that we are tired of seeing and reading about your hand-sewed items. I enjoy every one of those posts. On your latest tunic top, the hand stitching on the sleeves is really outstanding, it makes it a one-of-a-kind. It is a beautiful piece of work! I am retired now, but in years past, when I worked, I made all of my clothes. From slacks to tops I did them all. It was a huge savings then, and still is. I give credit to my home-ec teacher, also my mother, for teaching me to sew!

  3. Diane W says:

    Keep sending pics and ideas…. quilting, knitting and sewing other things. And family. I love it all. I think most of us that do these crafts, like it all.

  4. Tessa says:

    I love the top! You did a great job. I’m never tired of seeing anything you post.

  5. Candie says:

    You inspire me to sew more, knit more and to quilt more. If there weren’t beautiful pictures to look at it would not be nearly as inspirational. I like that you talk through your photography. I got on a blog the other day, no pictures at all just pages and pages of words. I started reading and had to quit; it just did nothing for me. So keep up with what you do best and we’ll keep on ‘reading’. If I could make the kind of money sewing as they get for the Adele Jacket, I would sew for a living too! Your top is beautiful, your pictures have inspired me to make my own! Thanks for that!

  6. Kris says:

    It’s darling! And especially on your slim figure!!
    xo Kris

  7. GrannyC says:

    Love the top – and the hand sewing! What pattern did you use for the top itself – is it commercially available? Love the cowl neck and the raglan sleeves.

  8. Melanie says:

    Hi Heather!
    I really enjoy reading what you have to share!! I was one of those who had the most wonderful mother that took her time showing me how to sew when I was 8 years old! I loved it! She was so kind & ever so patient with me! So, I grew up with a sewing machine in my home & now have 2 of my own. My mother passed away 7 years ago & those treasured moments I spent with her are ever so precious to me! My father gave me the very first sewing machine I ever had sewn on when my mother passed away. It sits so proudly on the top shelf in one of my cabinets with quilts neatly folded below! I smile every time I walk by it thinking about all the fun times I had with my mother as we sewed together on that machine! I’ve taught my each of my daughters to sew & now some of my granddaughters are sewing as well! They make their own skirts, pillowcases, tops as well as many other things! It makes me so happy to see them loving sewing as much as I do! I agree! It has become a lost art & that’s sad! So Heather, kept up the good work!! Your an amazingly talent person that is so willing to show & share all you’ve made to us! Your top is absolutely beautiful! It looks really nice on you!! Good job!!

  9. Linda Fleming says:

    Thank you for sharing – your top is beautiful. I love how you share what you share on your blog.
    Thanks for the inspiration too!

  10. AnnieO says:

    Hand stitching is portable–that is part of the appeal, but also just the joy of using needle and thread to make something of your own. You did a beautiful job. Love that berry color and the hand stitching. I mostly do cross-stitch but also some wool applique when I do handwork, but have been pinning some amazing chain stitch and crewel work I’ve seen. Also a blackwork initial for my new grandson…It never ends, this need to create. Lucky us!

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