Christmas is just around the calendar corner and it’s rush, rush, rush for me and many of you. I’ve just finished this Swiss batiste dress for Baby Beatrice.
I’ve written in earlier posts about Baby Bea, our new granddaughter via our church. Neither of her parents’ mothers is living, so months before she was born they asked me to be her official Nana. That was a happy day! And, of course, she is a doll, just now 4 months old, which for me has been at least 120 more happy days.
Her daddy is an avid hunter, especially for deer. Bea’s little daydress is a reminder NOT to shoot Bambi or his antlered father.
But back to the dress……the pattern is Old Fashioned Baby‘s Baby Daydress.
Like all of Jeannie B’s patterns, this one is a delight to sew and offers several design options. I love the Scriptures and embroidery designs she places in the blank space around the pattern pieces.
The shadow work fawn is from Joy Welsh’s Applique for Kids. It stitches just beautifully with her instructions. The greenery beneath the fawn was extracted from another design which I cannot recall right now.
The holly at the neckline is another design whose origin I cannot recall. I need to keep better records of what I embroider.
LACE–There were many challenges while making this dress. First, I was inspired and compelled to use this exquisitely detailed, dark tan galloon lace purchased from Sue Stewart at the facebook group,Smocking Destash. It just looked perfect for a fawn themed dress. Of course, the pattern calls for insertion and edging, not a galloon.
The edges are really quite straight so it worked for an insertion. It was pinstitched in place on my Brother Dream Machine with a #100 needle rather than a wing. That might have damaged the heavy cordonnet which outlines this lovely lace pattern. At 3/4″ wide, it was twice the 3/8″ suggested for the insertion. But by placing the extra width to the center of the pattern, it worked just fine.
SLEEVES–To be used as sleeve edging this 3/4″ lace is wider than I like for a baby. Also it has no pull thread for gathering My solution was to rotary cut the galloon down to 5/8″. Next, the raw edge was rolled and whipped over a quilting thread, reducing the width to a generous 3/8″. Close enough for me.
Because the lace is fairly stiff, I used far less edging than suggested. It gathered reluctantly and with more bulk than I would have liked. That cordonnet is heavy. The rolled, whipped and gathered lace was then joined to a large-holed entredeux.
Neither of my granddaughters would tolerate snug binding sleeves against their arms. I expect Bea might be the same. And she has some deliciously chunky arms with those precious fat rolls we love to squeeze. So if the sleeve opening is wider than suggested. If it is too big I can weave a narrow silk ribbon through the large entredeux holes.
The sleeves were inserted with the same entredeux as used on the neck and sleeve edge. This is not a difficult technique and one which I think adds a great deal to the heirloom look of a garment.
NECKLINE–This was another challenge. The pattern called for gathered lace standing up against entredeux. But. again, this lace is stiff and likely to be scratchy against silky, delicate baby skin. The entredeux was applied so as to fold to the front with the gathered lace lying against the dress instead of the baby’s neck. But it would not lie down.
The solution to this challenge was to weave strands of the featherstitching thread through the entredeux as well as the dress itself.
That convinced it to cooperate.
Obviously, the hand stitched weaving looks quite messy. If I had more time I would remove it and use more strands of thread. But tick tock tick tock. It is what it is.
BUTTONS–This was an interesting challenge. I have a tote bag full of MOP buttons-pink, blue, yellow, green dark brown, ecru and white of course. But I had these single hole button that were just the right color. But how to attach a button with just one hole?
First I tried French knots in a variety thread weights and number of wraps. All fell through the single hole or were so bulky as to be unsightly.
Then I thought about a bead. A single red seed bead worked beautifully. I was so pleased until……….
Oops! In my enthusiasm I sewed the button on the inside of the placket. Oh well, it was just one button, easy enough to fix.
So the dress will be handed over to Baby Bea tomorrow. Perhaps she will wear it to the children’s Christmas program at church tomorrow evening.
It’s been way too long since I’ve posted but life gets so busy! We had our two younger grands, 5 yo Vivian Rose and 9 yo Alastair, for 5 fun-filled days, returning them to their parents and other grandmothers on Thanksgiving Day. It was a delightful time.
Then I was laid low for a week with my winter foe bronchitis, all the while trying to muster energy to finish up my Christmas project for Brother’s Stitching Sewcial blog. I’ll tell you about that project as soon as it is posted on the blog.
Meanwhile, happy stitching to all. I have 2 Christmas dresses and many, many gifts to embroider before the big day. I hope to finish before Santa comes down the chimney or he will have to help me finish! Frankly, his sewing skills seem a bit questionable.
Required disclaimer: I am a paid sewing consultant for Brother sewing machine company.