Smocked Pini-4 for Vivian Rose

Coming soon! Grandbaby Closet Sale–All those special items too small too soon or just plain outgrown need to go to a new closet  At least one of Vivian Rose’s daygowns has never been worn.  Also coming soon (we hope), hair on her pretty head!

VR close

Rebecca, baby Vivian Rose and I are quite pleased with this little Pini-4.   The smocked skirt is Liberty of London and the machine monogrammed, self-lined bodice is hot pink microcheck.

pini4 front all3

There are no buttons or buttonholes, only ties at the neck, center back and underarms.   With a little careful planning or by following the pattern exactly (I just can’t do it!), this super quick and easy pattern COULD be a joy to stitch.   So I neeeeeeded to add piping, sure and how about some  tatting–oh yeah!  And I wanted to line it with my preferred method rather than as directed.

But long ago I learned that if you are going to modify a pattern, you need to think it through before you go smocking and sewing willy-nilly.   I learned, but I didn’t apply that knowledge.  So I spent a  ridiculous amount of time sewing and unsewing to get the piping in place at the proper time.

In fact, the area where the “armhole” yoke piping meets the skirt never did look right so I covered it up with yo-yo’s, which turned out to be a pretty good idea anyway.   A larger Liberty yo-yo is topped with a smaller pink yo-yo turned upside down, to look like a button or flower center.  I chose not to use the little pink gingham covered shank buttons in my stash because of the discomfort Vivian Rose would feel as she napped.

Another step that took a lot of time was applying the tatting.  In order for it to stand up across the pink yoke, I had to hand stitch it in place along the top loops in the tatting. It was also hand stitched beneath the piping on the sides of the yoke.

Tatting on the skirt was joined to entredeux which was woven with green floss to mimic the green piping on the bodice.

Does anyone out there remember this 1981 pattern?  If so, you must be a mature Nana like me or one who started smocking in pre-school.  It has been in my pattern collection for more than 30 years and Vivian Rose’s arrival has finally motivated me to make it up.

UPDATE:  This pattern is available here for $4.95.  I know nothing about this site but it does have the updated version (1983) with a color cover for sale.

pini4 patt

It really is a dandy little pattern and solves many of my problems sewing for Vivian Rose.  Few contemporary bubble patterns are large enough to accommodate the bulk of her cloth diapers, so the two piece outfit works very well.  I used another, proven bloomer pattern so I could be sure it would fit.  Of course, as per her mother’s request, there are rows of gingham ruffles across the back.

V front pini4

She does seemed pleased with the pini-4, doesn’t she?  But more likely she is just pleased with her happy life.

19 responses to “Smocked Pini-4 for Vivian Rose

  1. I think the piping and tatting are essential on this top – you always have just the right finishing touches.

  2. Thanks, Rebecca. It would be rather plain without these embellishments. I especially like the monogram.

  3. Can you recommend a Ready to Smock Vendor? I agree that sometimes that is the way to go. Thanks.

  4. I have found Martha Pullen’s Smockables to be the most cost effective and of good quality. The only downside is that there are few choices of fabric or style. But she has the basics–white daygowns, white bishops, gingham bishop bubbles, yoked pleated insert bubbles and a few other choices. I’ve been very pleased with them.

  5. Beautiful dress and baby! I love the tatting against the pink.

  6. I loved that pattern! Well, I loved looking at the pictures and imagining how I’d make each view. Alas, I only made one, the view you chose, and I remember having to fiddle to get the ties and facing to work right. Your version is beautiful, and so is little Vivian Rose, who is very much the feminine version of her big brother at that age!

  7. Thanks, Cynthia. Like everyone’s grandbabies everywhere, she is a pretty one, isn’t she! If the tatting had been placed below the piping against the smocked Liberty, it would have just been lost in the busy print. I’m glad I took the time to snake the needle and thread between the yoke and the lining to catch each upper loop of the tatting.

  8. So, Donna, I am happy to know that I am not the only one to have made this pini-4! I bet your’s was lovely, like everything you ever stitched. Did you make it for Erin or Marissa? I’d love to hear about it–fabric, smocking,etc.

  9. Adorable!! Vivian and the dress. I love what you did! Makes me wish my girls were little again. 😉

  10. Adorable! And the dress is cute, too!! 😉 Love that Liberty fabric. And the floss through the entredeux is a nice touch. Now I’m going to have to go trawling on ebay for another pattern…….

  11. I bet it more than just this photo makes you wish your girls were little again.

  12. I can recommend Royal Babe by Terry Jane for a great bubble pattern. It has a full smocked yoke and full puffy sleeves. Its fullness will definitely accommodate cloth diapers. I have made several and just love the way it blouses around chubby baby legs. My pattern shows 1983 as the publication date, but you might find one somewhere.

  13. Thanks, Debbie! I have that pattern and have always liked it. I remember it came out just after Princess Diana started dressing the princes in smocked clothing. I would never have thought about it being full enough for cloth diapers. I’ll put that on my to-do list.

  14. The pini is darling and looks wonderful on the beautiful Miss Vivian Rose! I have that pattern (inherited from a friend’s grandmother) but I have never used it. Now I will!! Thank you!

  15. Karen, I think you will enjoy the quick and easy make this is, and yet it is so sweet. I’ll be watching your posts for this and other beauties you stitch.

  16. She is so adorable! So is the outfit….

  17. Thanks, Judy. I’m having a real heyday with these old patterns. I’m so glad I’ve kept them all. This one is a keeper.

  18. Hi Janice,
    Do you know if this pattern is still available? You had posted this; UPDATE: This pattern is available here for $4.95. I know nothing about this site but it does have the updated version (1983) with a color cover for sale.

    So was wondering if you might know of a source.
    Brenda Phillips

  19. Brenda, I am sorry that I do not have a source for this pattern. But the good news is that my friend Lisa, at Mommy’s Apron Strings, is working on a very similar pattern to be released very soon. I find a source or if any readers know of one, I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, you might want to check Lisa’s blog. She has a picture of one of her beautiful samples here.

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