Vivian Rose and Her New Smocked Daygown

Vivian Rose 2 hours old


Hurrah! Baby Girl arrived today, Monday, via C-section weighing in at 8 lbs. 7 oz., measuring 21 “.  Mother and Vivian Rose are both happy and well.  We are thrilled!

From the moment she was placed in her mother’s arms, she latched on and nursed for almost 2 hours.  Of course, it was not non-stop, but she never let her little mouth stray from the source of her contentment.  She screamed when she was moved to the opposite side and then went silent when she was in the vicinity of lunch.  So she was 2 hours old before we got a good look at her and took this photo.

Rebecca was very pleased with this pink Swiss flannel bishop daygown.



It matches the bonnet made earlier.


I really appreciate all your feedback on my detailed reports of mistakes.  Since all comments were in favor of an open and honest  description of the process, I’ll spell out all the stupid mistakes on this gown and my attempts at fixing them.

First, I really like Debbie Glenn’s painless placket.  I also like to cut my bishops with no center back seam, placing both front and back pieces on a fold.  The painless placket requires that you add 2 1/2″ to the back.  So I pinned the back pattern piece 1 1/4″ from the fold.  Good to go, right?

Mistake #1   Then, as I was dreaming about what Baby Vivian might be like, I began cutting right up from the hem on the pattern piece!  At 1″ up, I caught the mistake, but that eliminated the possibility of a 1″ hem.

Fix #1   The fix was to use scallops at the hemline, placing the 1″ cut at the peak between two scallops.  One row of scallops looked skimpy, two is a visually unpleasing even number, and three would be better. Okay.

Mistake #2   I had already chosen a small bolt of lace from my mother’s sewing stash.  There was enough lace only for sleeves,



and two rows of scallops. hmmmmm…..


Fix #2  So for the middle row, my favorite chameleon lace was used, with pink floss woven through the holes.  The bottom row of lace looks darker against the aged white table linen.  It is the same as the first row.


E-1…$1 per yard…1/4″ wide…white


A similar lace was used on the bonnet and neckline.

Mistake #3  My mother’s lace looked white in my brightly lighted sewing room.  But it was not quite white in daylight.  So now I had white and ivory lace used together on the same garment.

Fix #3….and this is not a perfect fix…….I smocked with pink, white and ecru.


With the fil tire’ embroidery at the bottom of the skirt, I decided to minimize the embroidery at the peaks of the pinstitched scallops.


The hand embroidered French knots  have simple lazy daisy leaves.

Sometimes, it seems like it would be easier to just scrap the project and start anew.  But I hadn’t enough pink Swiss flannel.

There is also a matching blanket.  This was recycled from a class project.  Just the simple Nivia monogram was added.  The fil tire’ heart is the same as on the skirt of the gown.


In spite of all the mistakes and head scratching fixes, I was generally pleased with the results.  Sometimes, the loveliness of the goods can carry a load of errors and still look okay.  On top of that, there will be a precious baby overshadowing every boo-boo.


Thanks for all your prayers and good wishes for Vivian Rose’s safe arrival and my daughter’s comfortable delivery.  Every prayer was answered.  God is good.

18 responses to “Vivian Rose and Her New Smocked Daygown

  1. Janice, I’m so glad Vivian Rose is here and I know you are also. She is a beautiful baby and it looks like she has a lot of dark hair. I think the baby gown is so pretty and the whole ensemble.

  2. She is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations to you and Mommy, and I’m glad all are doing well.

    You’ve come up with some inventive fixes so that the gown is just lovely. Swiss flannel is just too expensive to scrap and start over. Well done.

  3. Congratulations to all of you! Vivian is a beautiful baby and I can see the adoration for her mama in that precious little face. Is she the tiniest of your grands? Enjoy every moment!

  4. Congratulations! So happy that Mom and baby are well and safe! She is a doll! The daygown is beautiful, too, but what can compare to a sweet little baby? Congrats to your whole family!!!!

  5. What a beautiful ensemble you’ve made for the princess! She’s just beautiful and I know will look so sweet in this outfit and matching blanket. 🙂 Everything about it is perfect. I love those double scallops.

  6. She is just perfect and so is the dress! I know you are happy that all is well with Mom and baby. Cherish every moment that you have with her, I know that you will. Miss seeing you. Sue

  7. Yay!! Congratulations to Rebecca and your family!! Vivian Rose is as lovely as her name. I think the scallops were a very clever way to deal with the accidental cut.

  8. Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful granddaughter! Just exciting! Her outfit and matching blanket are perfect!

  9. Congratulations to the entire family. I am partial to the name, Vivian, which is my sister’s name. (so we have a Rebecca & a Vivian in our family, too!) My sister’s younger daughter’s name is Rebecca, but she goes by Becca. The gown turned out beautifully and your solutions to shortage of lace and other issues look flawless.

  10. Vivian Rose is a beautiful little angel. I know you are on cloud nine! The gown ensemble is lovely too. You would never know there were mistakes because you were masterful in fixing them. I am looking forward to watching this little angel grow up on your blog with your other precious grandchildren. Lovely family!

  11. Vivian Rose is just beautiful! I am so very happy for your whole family! Your daygown is even prettier with all the things you did to fix the mistakes. I can’t wait to see the modeled photos! Blessings, Karen

  12. Oh Happy Day!!! I’m saying prayers for the whole family! And not only is Vivian Rose beautiful and perfect, but so is your gown…. boo-boos and all!!! XO

  13. Best wishes to you all!! She is a beauty!

  14. She is beautiful! Looking forward to meeting her in about 6 weeks…in her sweet pink gown. Congratulations!

  15. Beautiful, beautiful baby!!! I love how you obsess over the ‘flaws’ 🙂
    I have a new granddaughter coming in Chicago the end of March and was going to start a couple new daygowns in flannel so I have a question – did you use flannel for the binding and placket? Or batiste? I’m thinking the flannel will be toooo bulky???

  16. Congratulations on this upcoming birth! Nothing creates joy like a new baby. In that cold Chicago climate (I grew up in Aurora) flannel daygowns will be so nice! Barbara, your question is so timely! First, let me say that the Swiss flannel gown which has already been posted was indeed bound with self fabric. But the Swiss flannel is so light weight that you can see a print through it. So it is not a great indicator of the feasibility of binding with flannel. BUT….I am just now finishing up a standard, all-American, everyday flannel daygown–from OFB Smocked Layette pattern. It is a bishop style but smocked only in the front. I pondered whether or not to bind with flannel and just did it. It was fine. I did make one accommodation for the bulk. Usually, I fold a bias strip in half lengthwise and bind with the two layers. For the flannel, I used a single bias strip but added 3/8″ to the width. As it turned out, the strip was a little wider than I needed, but I would do another with the same measurements. That gown will be posted in the next few days with all the details. Let me know if I can help you with this. I am just a little further down the flannel daygown road and might have a few tips.

  17. Ok – actually, I had thought of just using a single layer of flannel – I’m using cotton cashmere which is pretty plump! I also found some gorgeous old hand-embroidered Swiss trim that I’ve been ‘saving’ forever and am going to use that for the front placket on this first gown. This is my **second** granddaughter so I am doubly blessed and excited to be having these girls to sew for!! How funny that you’re from Aurora! You for sure well know how cold even Spring can be. I grew up in Rockford.

  18. It’s so satisfying to pull out those extra-special “saved” items for long awaited grandchildren. I had about 2 yards of very, very old entredeux of a quality I have never ever seen. The holes were so tiny, and yet perfectly open, with absolutely no slubs or flaws. Choosing which garment to use it on was a big decision. Your special hand embroidered Swiss trim will make that daygown all the more memorable. P.S. I got my BA in English from Northern Ill. in DeKalb. I know that cold territory!

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