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News and Specials

New Address:

Martha's Heirlooms
315 West Main St.
Mason, Ohio 45040

December Sale
20% off  all Books and Cross Stitch Fabrics

Shop Closed December 26


See our Classes page for this month's classes.


  If you would like to be on my email list please send your current email address to and request to be on my list.   I send one email per month with new merchandise, current sale and a list of classes 


New Merchandise
New Fabrics:

Spechler-Vogel  Tiffany Lawn Floral Prints:  58" wide 100% pima cotton lawn $14.00/yd

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   #1                    #2             #3             #4

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     #5              #6                  #7



classic sewing 12.jpg (77042 bytes)Classic Sewing: Holiday Issue  $24.99      132 pages of smocking, embroidery, heirloom sewing.  Includes full patterns.   Published 4 times per year.


spargo creative stitching 2.jpg (66104 bytes)   Sue Spargo,  Creative Stitching Second Edition.  $32.00  A great reference book for many different embroidery stitches as seen in Inspirations and on Sue Spargo embroidered wool quilts. More stitches and detailed instructions.


home  sweet home.jpg (48838 bytes)Home Sweet Home:   Carolyn Pearce  $24.99  Now in stock.   This is a great project with loads of new stitches that you will love making.


  insp 100.jpg (100790 bytes)Inspirations 100 $18.00

New Patterns:

bb AnnaCatherine.jpg (8345 bytes) Anna Catherine     Bonnie Blue  3mo - 6yr $14.00


cm classic romper 149.jpg (5928 bytes) Classic Romper  #149  6mo - 3yr   Creations by Michie $13.00


New Smocking Plates:

Cross Eyed Cricket

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Chicken Soup     Boo Who     Flamigo Fandango      Muttly Crew  

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 Christmas Delivery      The Star Shone Bright  Autumn Splendor

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White Christmas


Pat Garretson

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Anastasia      Winter Fun    Bebe Halloween    Baby Christmas

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Reindeer Antics       Snowflakes        Nina

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July                Bunny Family    Annette         Mercedes

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Diana                Savannah         Spring Fever    Yvette

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Blythe             December    December Birthday    Melania

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Gingham Christmas Stockings    Santa and Reindeer II      November

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O Come all Ye Faithful






Queen City Chapter of SAGA

The Queen City Chapter of SAGA would like you to be our guest:     
     We have an active Smocking Guild that meets monthly and offers educational programs as well as the friendship of those who share the same sewing and needlework interest.  We have exciting things planned for the next year and would love to include new members in our guild.  We meet at 7:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday of the month at Martha's Heirlooms, 306 W. Main St.  Mason, Ohio.  For more information on SAGA, log onto SAGA's website   For more information on our local guild in Cincinnati,  which has a lot to offer its members e-mail me at



Smocking with Corduroy


Martha Bailey


Corduroy has been a long time favorite for children's clothing. It is durable, warm, soft and can make a special play or dressy garment. The colors available are beautiful and the featherwale (21 wale per inch) gives the appearance of a velveteen. Featherwale corduroy is easy to pleat, smock, and care for. In working with corduroy for several years in sewing children’s smocked clothing I have learned a lot, mostly from trial and error. These are a few tips of mine to help give you the best results.

Cutting out:

Nap up or down: What ever way you cut your fabric make sure all pieces have the nap of the corduroy facing the same direction. Some people prefer to cut with the nap going up (smooth side of nap) and some prefer it going down. I have found the the color of the corduroy will be richer with the wale going up and you won’t have shiny areas after many wears at knees, backs of skirts and places that the nap would have more pressure with wear. Most people love the feel of the nap going down so what ever you prefer is correct.


Wale side up: When pleating corduroy pleat with the wale side facing up as you feed the fabric through the pleater. When the needles go through the fabric they will pierce the fabric and not the nap of the wale. If you pleat with the wale down you will have the increased chance of having skipped pleats. Pleating wale side up will solve this problem.

Moiré effect: When corduroy is pleated you will get a moiré effect. Once the corduroy is smocked and blocked the moiré effects not as apparent.   If you do not want this effect I usually suggest that an inset is used of the corduroy. Especially if doing a yoke 
dress or a jumper. Pleat an inset of the corduroy and smock on the wrong (un-wale side) of the fabric inset. You will still get the matching color but not the moiré.

Picture smocking: When picture smocking on corduroy is desired, pleat an inset of the corduroy and smock on the wrong side of the corduroy. You will not have the moiré effect and the coverage should be sufficient with four strands of floss. It is difficult to get neat picture smocked figures when working with a wale fabric. Note that the pleats are fatter than if using a broadcloth so figures will be larger. You will also have less pleats to work with due to the thickness of the fabric so adjustments may have to be made to your design.

Geometric Smocking: I will usually use four strands of floss to allow for coverage over the wale of the fabric and thickness of the pleats. 
You may get better coverage if you use Floche.

Construction:  Featherwale corduroy is fine enough to make mini-piping for contrast. Corduroy will flake off so seams should be finished with a zig-zagged or French seam. I usually will do French seams on my corduroy garments easily without too much bulk.

Pressing: When pressing corduroy press with the wrong side up so that the iron does not flatten the wale of the fabric. A pressing cloth may also be used for pressing.

Bishops with Corduroy: Bishops are easily made with corduroy. When I cut out a bishop from corduroy I will take 2" out of the center front, center back and center of sleeves. (Ellen McCarn Ultimate Bishop) The corduroy pleats are fatter than with lighter weight fabrics and less fabric is needed at the neckline. (If you have too much heavy fabric at the bishop neckline it may be difficult to pull pleats up tight enough to get the neck band on.  (You may need to eliminate less fabric if other bishop patterns are used. The Ultimate Bishop is a very full bishop.)

To construct my bishop neckline before pleating I will usually sew sleeve seams right sides together, trim to 1/8" and overcast with a small zig-zag. This will allow the seams to pass easily through the pleater, (Note: I have found that serged seams and French seams with corduroy are too heavy and large to go through the pleater.

Hopefully these tips will help you with your construction and smocking of corduroy garments. The fabric is wonderful to work with and your little ones will love wearing it. If you have any questions or need a source for corduroy you may contact me at Martha’s Heirlooms, 306 West Main St. Mason, Ohio 45040 513-229-7340 or 1-888-277-6432 or by email at