S O S ~It’s a Girl!!!!

I need some of the lining fabric used on this bonnet.

Most of my last week was spent across the state with my pregnant daughter, Rebecca,  and 3 year old grandson, Alastair.  Son-in-law Harvey was among the 10,000!!!!!  bikers riding in the RAGBRAI 500 mile safari through Iowa.  On purpose.  In July.  With no pressure from family or friends.  And he loved it!  Go figure.

Meanwhile, in those hectic days, Rebecca had a sonogram which gave us the wonderful news–it’s a girl!  This little bundle of joy is due to arrive sometime around Christmas.

I am beside myself, whirling around here in high gear.  Laurel, our only other granddaughter, is 8 years old now, so my kind of smocking and little girl sewing is slowing down, being replaced (as per her request) by more contemporary, young lady projects.

But now a baby girl–oh my!!!!!  I’m pulling out all my Creative Needle  Baby Issues, Sew Beautiful  mags, baby daygown and accessory patterns and reveling in the options.  Precious handlooms, antique laces and unique Swiss embroideries are scattered around the sewing room in stacks for careful review.

There are two minor emergencies, though, with which I hope one of you readers might be able to help me.


Can you believe that I actually need  fabric?  Not just any fabric but this pattern specifically.  When I made the zig zag bonnet shown above, I planned to make a white Swiss flannel daygown to match, using some of the remaining 2-4 yards of this print for trim.  I planned to use it only for the neck binding and perhaps the front button placket. This was all with the expectation that Rebecca’s Baby #1 would be a girl.  Wrong. Instead we got precious Alastair, and we’re glad.

So I put the bonnet aside and taught the class many, many times around the country.  Each time I provided kits with this fabric.  Apparently, I used it all up because after plundering through my stash, this small 3 x 6″ scrap is all I have left.  The fabric is 100% cotton and a while back was available in pink or blue from Farmhouse Fabrics.  But no longer.

This is one of the first projects I wanted to take on, but I’m dead in the water without the print fabric.  If anyone has a yard or more of this to sell or swap for Liberty or Swiss batiste, please drop me an e-mail at NCcabin@aol.com   I would be ecstatic.

Moving on, I have started a Swiss flannel slip from Jeannie B’s Old Fashioned Baby Smocked Baby Clothes  pattern.

The cuddly flannel be just right under batiste daygown for a Florida winter baby.  The feather stitching and bullion embroidery around the hemline will be done by hand, yet another stab at improving my hand embroidery.  Planning other sweet baby things is keeping me busy.


The Passion Vine Cafe for Ravenous Caterpillars

When I returned home from Rebecca’s, I discovered that caterpillars were devouring the passion vine outside my sewing room window.  The culprits were not even trying to hide as they gorged themselves.

Of course, I could just pick them off and execute the lot.   But……are they butterfly caterpillars or just hungry creepy crawlies?  I need to know.

Another Lady Margaret passion vine, growing on our old pump house. It just finished blooming heavily and seems to be taking a break. It is lush, uninfested– not another caterpillar cafeteria.

A few years ago, I had planted fennel as a host plant for the Eastern Black Swallowtails.  The lacy spire grew full and aromatic with its licorice scent.  Months later,  in a matter of days, the 4′ plant was stripped bare to the stems! After the caterpillar larvae spun chrysalises, Robert and Laurel helped me wrap the plant in tulle to protect themfrom wasps.   Soon we had a glorious flock of butterflies.

Eastern Black Swallowtail

I’ve planted more and more fennel, regular and bronze, both of which are lush but have nary a nibble.  Now, lately I have noticed several Easter Black Swallowtails flitting about the plumbago and angelonia.  Could the passion vine be their nursery?

Angelonia planter beside the garage.

Do these caterpillars look like EB Swallowtail juveniles? Do you know if they eat passion vine?   Frankly, I’d take a naked passion vine + lots of butterflies over a healthy, leafy plant.  But if they are not Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars………hmmmmm.    It just seems cold to snuff out a butterfly.

Any help with either emergency would be greatly appreciated.

So what are you all sewing?

EB Swallowtail butterfly photos from Wikipedia

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