The day after we were told that our first grandchild was on its way, I began sewing. Of course, it takes some time for the amazing prenatal ultrasound images to identify the babyâ€™s gender and I had no time to wait on the pink or blue designation.
Of course, I had a sizable grandmother’s hope chest ready to go.Â But there were very few things for a baby boy and I didn’t want to come up short if we had a grandson.Â So I was in a rush.
My first project was this yellow Imperial batiste daygown, suitable for a boy or girl.Â Â The smocking plate is Ellen McCarnâ€™s Little Lambs and it has long been a favorite of mine. However, I always have found it necessary to stitch an outline around the lambs in a contrasting color, usually gray in order to get enough contrast to see the figures.
I smocked the yoke, bound off the neck and worked the buttonholes. Then I put it aside and began another gender neutral daygown.
Twenty weeks into the pregnancy, we were informed that we would be the proud grandparents of a little girl, I finished the gown. I added entredeux and tatting to the sleeves, did the smocking,Â finished the side seams and hem. The 4-hole buttons were sewn on and then embellished with peach French knots and green stems.
For a boy I would have rolled and whipped the raw sleeve edge by hand, smocked the sleeve with more geometrics with no flowerettes, sewn on the buttons with green thread and then put up the hem.
I wish I had made more gender neutral items for my grandmother’s hope chest.Â TheÂ babyÂ girl items are soÂ precious that more than 80% of my garments-in-waiting were feminine.
Do you have a hope chest? What have you made?Â Â Any gender neutral items?