Daygown in Waiting


More than this daygown is in waiting.  My daughter and her husband are expecting their second child and I can hardly wait to find out the baby’s gender.  We will be delighted with a baby boy or girl, but I desperately want to know which it is!

When Rebecca was pregnant with her first, Alastair who is now 3, I sent her a package every Monday to help tick the weeks off.  Sometimes it was a complete outfit, like this daygown and bonnet, and other times it was just a bib.  But every week something was sent.

It’s a very long story about how Alastair was expected to be a girl, but that’s why there were so many pink and frilly gifts sent and which now lie in waiting.  So this  time, I am waiting for confirmation of gender before I begin any pink or blue projects.  That news may come as early as next week.

Meanwhile, we are tied up with our other two grandchildren, six year old Robert and 8 year old Laurel who are spending the week with us.  They are attending Vacation Bible School at our church and it will be a hectic week.




So until I finish and can show you the cute little French dress (see Lulu in Paris designs) I’m working on, I hope this re-run of the Daygown in Waiting will serve to notify you that I am still alive and kicking and blogging.


If my grandson Alastair had been a girl baby, this  smocked gown and bonnet would have been retired, awaiting the next little girl in the family.  Instead, it has been packed away, in hopes that someday he will have a baby sister to wear it.

I love making daygowns.  From the number of patterns and magazine photo layouts featuring baby clothes, I guess I am not alone.  The bishop construction is so easy that if the gown were simply smocked and pressed, it could be considered a quick and easy project.  But few heirloom/smocking enthusiasts are able to stop themselves from adding more.I know I have never had that much restraint.



The smocking plate is Christina by  Ellen McCarn.




The sleeves were smocked with a variation of the pattern, edged with lace, a strand of green floche woven through the holes at the base of the lace.




Following this blog’s purported philosophy, “modern projects for old fashioned Nanas,”  the gown is made of easy care  Imperial batiste, though my sewing room is heavily stocked with  Swiss in every pastel.  Turning my back on the Swiss is a painful creative compromise.




The front features a piece of purchased hand embroidery with bullions and satin stitch dots.  The first five dots were removed and replaced with buttonholes.  The embroidered strip is bordered with entredeux, insertion and edging.  The entredeux is threaded with perle cotton and the tiny  row of holes at the base of the edging is threaded with green floche, just like the sleeves.



The bonnet pattern is by Little Elegance, now out of print.  I like the fitted back and the crown, which can be self fabric.




I have used a tatted medallion.   In order to make this substitution, the raw edge has been rolled, whipped and gathered.  I marked off quarters of the circle before beginning and then joined the medallion by hand.  Had I planned more carefully, I would have used tatting on the gown and bonnet instead of the lace.

With three grandchildren to sew and smock for, it seems foolish to spend time to make daygowns for babies who are no more than a twinkle in their daddy’s eyes.  But these are like potato chips.  You always want more.

5 responses to “Daygown in Waiting

  1. Oh, my goodness, the tatting on the gown is the most wonderful piece. I think that I might have a similar piece that was found while cleaning out a relative’s house with my father-in-law. Any thing remotely sewing, he gave to me. Beautiful dress & bonnet.

  2. The tatting in the bonnet crown is actually a 4″ tatted doily. There are so many lovely circular textiles that could be used, but I especially like tatting. I hope there is one in the sewing items you found in that house. I shudder to think of how many treasures have been thrown in the trash because no sewing fan was around. I’m glad you were able to save some.

  3. Knew this had to be you. Very pretty and girly!! Fun to run into you around blogland!

  4. Janice, I love the “re-run” since I think I missed it the first time—your garments are so beautiful and I love seeing them. Recently in cleaning out my FIL’s house I ran across 2 pieces of tatting–hand tatting that we think may have been on pillowcases; I took that quickly to put in my stash so when I have grandchildren I can add it to a collar–maybe—if I can bear to cut it. I will try to send you a picture of it. I’m the only sewer in the family so I treasure all the old sewing things we find.

  5. Oh, Betty, what a happy find! Tatting, in my opinion, is more dear than old lace as it is handmade. I’d love to see a picture of it. You must have a sizable Grandmother’s Hope Chest by now!

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