Smocked Sunshine

NOTE: We’ve just returned home from our cabin in North Carolina.  I drove  11 hours (because I like to)  with two year-old Alastair  “playing” his new harmonica, his mother applauding and praising his apparent musical genius, his father and I  singing along with the Pandora Oldies channel and  “Granddan,”  my dear husband,  shouting his opinion of  the calls and plays of  the old Gator football game he was watching on his I-Pad. Whew!!!!  I am realllly glad to be home.

It’s 2 a.m. and I’m off to bed, so  My Custom Stitch zig zag featherstitch files will be sent out later today.  This write up of Jo’s sweet smocked dress was written a few days ago so it would be ready to post.



flower child


Is this not a gorgeous picture?  A gorgeous little girl?  A gorgeous little smocked dress?  I love everything about it, especially the curls and freckles.

Jo made this dress for her daughter Noel.  The pattern is  Sunshine  from Australian Smocking and Embroidery #60. Always critical of her work, Jo said, “It’s too big and the light pink is too light.  But the piping is good.  I’m happy with it.”  And so you should be!

The style of the dress itself has so much appeal.  The way the smocking is set into the curved sleeve bands is unique and so pleasing with the piping.  The “N” for Noel strikes a chord with those of us who love a monogram.  The brown gingham is a perfect choice for the dress.

It looked to me like the photo was taken at a nursery or botanical garden.  So  I asked Jo if  she  had grown the  flowers herself.   Her response made me laugh.

“I’m not sure you could say that I grew the flowers–I just water them every now and again!  Unfortunately, I have a black thumb.”

I like to think that I have a green thumb, but if I could grow rudebekia like these, I’d be happy for my other thumb to be black.

“A bee is never as busy as it seems. It’s just that it cannot buzz any slower.”  Kim Hubbard

When I saw this quote, I thought of Jo. Then  I found the banner photo which is featured at the top of the page with the black-eyed susans and the bee, I knew it was alllllll about Jo.   With a degree in computer science, this mother of 5 homeschools the older two children while tending to the baby,  Noel and a little brother who will join his siblings at school this year.   Her husband, she reports, is very helpful, very hands on with the homeschooling.

Active in the local smocking guild, Jo will be presenting the program this month.  She is enrolled in her third course in photography at the local community college and is probably the star of her class.

I just love her pictures.  Check out the earlier photo of her two daughters  wearing their smocked Easter dresses.  

In her spare time, Jo is refinishing her dining room table and teaching her 7 year old to sew!  Hurrah! She is my new hero!

Thanks, Jo, for sharing your beautiful pictures and projects with us!

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