Brother-Sister Bishop and Bubble

It is so much fun to see Laurel and Robert in matching brother-sister outfits. Why I have no pictures of the two of them together in this set is a mystery to me. Perhaps,  I was just too busy enjoying my first two grandchildren to take many pictures.

These Easter garments were made some time ago but the children looked so sweet in them that I am strolling down memory lane in this post. Both Laurel’s white angel sleeve bishop and Robert’s bubble are easy care polycotton ready to smock garments. Their mother always appreciates that. And it is much easier to customize them than I originally thought.

The bishop dress came with the standard puff sleeves with 3 rows of pleating threads above the shirttail hem. But the angel sleeve style is my favorite for summer bishops so that’s what I made.

Digging into my stash of heirloom trims, I found a yellow Swiss edging that was suitable for both a boy and a girl. The bishop sleeve was cut away to just below the last pleating thread on the body of the dress.  A matching yellow Swiss insertion was added to the skirt, below three growth tucks.

As is my preference, the front and back are smocked several rows deeper than the sleeves, using a variation of Ellen McCarn’s Tina  smocking plate.

The buttons are antique yellow pearl with machine embroidery stitched between the buttonholes.

Several years ago, at an antique mall, there was a booth with lots of vintage sewing notions.  I was lucky enough to buy several cards of colored pearl buttons (pink, yellow, blue, green and a soft teal) on their original cards which were decorated with charming Gerber baby tykes.

I sealed them up in a zip lock bag and, due to some sort of mysterious chemistry that went on between the airtight bag and the buttons, the color faded or disappeared from many of the buttons.  Fortunately, the yellow ones on Laurel’s dress survived the suffocation. Now, the remaining colored pearl buttons are in a fabric bag.

Robert’s bubble is smocked with Ellen McCarn’s monogram. The same Swiss trim is added to the cuff of his sleeves. He was still very drooly at this age, so I made matching bibs for both children, in order to keep Easter dinner and Laurel’s birthday cake off their clothes. Somehow, removing the bibs was forgotten before these pictures were taken.

At 4 and 5 years old now, the children will probably not be willing to wear matching clothes much longer. But I have certainly enjoyed making the outfits that I have and will continue as long as possible.

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