Perfectly Pink Christmas X 4
4 pink beauties
Judy Day never ceases to amaze me with her breathtaking creations and the vast number of projects she designs and completes. Her grandchildren are so incredibly fortunate. And it sounds like at the tender ages of 6 and 7, they have begun to recognize the beauty of the garments Judy makes for them.
Here is Judy’s story about her perfectly pink Christmas:
These dresses were in my mind years before I ever put needle to fabric. I saw this dress in the Sept./Oct. 2000 issue of Creative Needle…now that I look at the date, it was before the girls were born!
Kennedy with her matching AG doll
When I see a magazine article I really like, it goes on the corner of my cutting table for future ideas.
And this turned out to be a good idea…After getting the dresses, one of the girls loudly proclaimed in one of the “big box” stores after seeing Christmas dresses for sale, “I would not wear that red scratchy thing. It’s not pink and soft like the dress Mimi made me.” Out of the mouth of babes–straight to my heart!
The dress in the magazine was gray velveteen with pink smocking. With the girls favorite color being pink, I ordered pink cotton velveteen from www.fabric.com . (They have free shipping for orders over $35.) I washed and dried the fabric before cutting so it could be easily laundered after wearing.
Children’s Corner Margaret was used as the base pattern. I pleated 24 rows on the fronts of the dresses so the smocking would end at the midriff.
I waited to cut out the back bodice until the smocking was finished and adjusted the waistline seam in the back so it would fall at the last row of smocking on the front. This was also the point where the ribbon sash was attached, to cover the back seam.
The smocking plate used was a modified version of Linda from Little Stitches. The original plate and the dress in the magazine used flowerettes for embellishments. I used a cluster of 4 tiny pearls instead. I like a more 3 dimensional look for embellishment.
The idea of the “puffing” between the rows of smocking was especially appealing as it added even more depth and softness. I used 4 strands of DMC floss for smocking on the velveteen.
The split sleeve on the dresses required the use of a “bell sleeve”. I used the instructions in Elizabeth Travis Johnson’s book The Complete Book of Sewing for Children to draft a bell sleeve with gathers at the top. This allows the sleeve to hang straight, but still have a soft look with gathers.
The edge of the sleeve was finished with tiny velveteen piping as was the neckline. The buttons closing the sleeve came from the stash of the girls’ Great-grandmother Eva Day.
A label was embroidered for each dress with the name of the girl, occasion, year, who made the dress and the info on the buttons. This was stitched into the hem allowance.
And there is more. See a future post with details and close ups of the doll dresses and the elaborate matching hairbows.