Church Dress for Beatrice

OFB Smocked layette dress pattern on white Imperial batiste.


At last Baby Bea’s church dress is finished. So many things I wish I had done differently, but it is done.  The pattern is OFB Smocked Layette, made from white Imperial batiste.

I used this pattern with the little bit of smocking because I wanted to focus on  the cross embroidered trim at the hemline.  It would have looked better, I think, with short sleeves.



Because the cross embroidery is Swiss, I felt compelled to use Swiss for the other trims. Do you ever mix heirloom laces with Swiss on the same garment?  I’d like to know your opinion on that.

The tiny Swiss trim at the neckline and smocked sleeves should be short enough to avoid irritating her delicate newborn skin.  It has a built in entredeux stitch so I wove that with floss  to add a little color higher on the daygown.

The cross trim at the hem was 6″ wide.  After attaching it to the entredeux beading there just seemed to be too much blank space.  So I removed it, trimmed the cross piece to 4″ and rejoined it to a new piece of entredeux beading,  threaded with pink ribbon.


It still looked to plain so I added twin needle “shadow work” in pink on either side of the beading.

This is the first bonnet I have ever made with the ruffle behind the smocking.  I’m not sure I like it, but Bea is so tiny, just now 7 lbs. that I thought the ruffle might obscure too much of her precious face.



The twin needle work was repeated on the back of the bonnet near the drawstring ribbon.





A linen bib was added to the ensemble,  matching the embroidery colors to keep her dress clean as she enjoys her bottle.  And she does enjoy her bottle!  What a hearty eater she is!


The embroidery is from Kathy Harrison’s Christening Gown 2 collection.

She is just now one week past her gestational due date, so she has not yet been brought to church.  I did have the privilege of spending three days with her this week as her mother is under the weather.  What an indescrible joy is it to hold a sleeping newborn baby.  And she sleeps almost all  the time.

To add some interest to the back, embroidery was worked between the buttonholes.

A good press would have helped the puckering, the result of too little stabilizer. Embroidering on easy care fabrics always require more stabilizer.  Wish I had used my TerialMagic.


The fancy engraved pearl buttons were attached with a French knot flower motif.  Except for the annoying puckers, I like the look.


The embroidered bullion rosebud is another design from Kathy Harrison’s Custom Keepsakes Christening Gown 2 Collection.

I am so eager to see Beatrice in her church dress.  Next Sunday she will be christened wearing the gown in which her mother was baptized.  Perhaps the next Sunday she will be wearing her church dress.  I can’t wait to see her again.


6 responses to “Church Dress for Beatrice

  1. How did you do the twin needle shadow embroidery? Thanks!

  2. Kay, this technique is very useful and easy to do. Just thread up twin needles with colored thread with matching thread in the bobbin. If you are using pale needle threads you might want to choose a slightly darker thread color for the bobbin. The only tricky part is selecting a sheer fabric (I used Imperial batiste), recognizing the width limitations of your machine (my Dream Machine 2 goes to 7.0) and selecting an appropriate sized twin needle for a specific decorative stitch. I selected a serpentine stitch on my Brother Dream machine. So the width of my twin needle.2.5, limits the decorative stitch width to 4.5. The 2.5 needle and the 4.5 stitch width takes the design to the maximum width of7.0. My Dream Machine and many others have a twin needle button which will automatically reduce the stitch width to accommodate a 2.5 twin needle. But to the best of my knowledge twin needles are available in sizes 1.6 (distance between the two needles), 2.9, 2.5,3.0, 4.0, and 6.0. So after selecting your stitch, make sure the needle width and the stitch width does not exceed your machines optimal width. Still, I don’t like to push it to the limit and always hand crank through one repeat of the decorative stitch to be sure the needle does not hit the foot. Those needles are expensive and you don’t want to break one at the start of your project. One other consideration is to heavily starch your fabric so the shadow stitching does not pull up like a tuck, unless that’s the look you are wanting. Give it a try and let me know if I can answer any questions.

  3. Rheeta Booth

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I never cease to be amazed at your endless creativity!

  4. Babies generate creativity in everyone. Who doesn’t want to create something pretty for a tiny newborn? I loved stitching this for Beatrice. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  5. What a happy two posts! I love the pictures! I also like the ruffles behind the smocking on the bonnet. Sometimes the bonnet just overpowers the baby and you can’t see them, so I like this ruffle change.
    Hope all is well dear Friend!!

  6. Thanks, Terri, for your comment. As I said in the post, I had resisted this bonnet style, but I do like it, for the same reason you stated. Even this tiny size overwhelmed little Beatrice. With ruffles toward her face she would have been incognito. All is well, thanks for asking!

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