Category Archives: brother-sister

Christmas Finery for Sister and Brother

2 outfits

Hurrah!  Christmas clothes for our two younger grandchildren were finished, shipped and received late last week.  Toddler Vivian Rose’s white Swiss flannel bishop has the neck and sleeve bound with in red gingham pima cotton.  Heirloom lace is hand whipped to the bias binding.


smock close


The smocking design is just a simple diamond pattern that I made up as I stitched. Continue reading

Happy Independence Day and Cornfed Cutie



I hope you all are having a fabulous 4th.  We’re grilling burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob while waiting to watch a Capitol 4th on tv tonight.




Granddaughter Vivian Rose tucked right in to a traditional 4th of July dinner–fried chicken and corn on the cob.  Notice the bare chicken bone–that little girl can eat!  She is loving that corn on the cob.




So this is a relatively quiet celebration for us.  Holidays always cause me to look back on good times and good years gone by.  So I am sharing with you some of my fondest memories and grandchildren outfits from earlier Independence Days.



This is on my to-do list. I’d love to hang this when we have another 4th picnic.


When our children were younger, we hosted an annual  4th of July picnic for family and friends at our home (scroll down to the bottom if you’d like to read about the picnic).  Fun, fun, fun! Continue reading

Gallery of Readers’ Easter Projects


Children's Corner Johnny

Julie’s Children’s Corner Johnny–how many French knots do you think there are?


It seems like forever since there has been a new post at Janice Ferguson Sews.  Busy, busy, busy is what I’ve been but only some of that busy-ness has been sewing. Sigh….

Now the distractions and other responsibilities are mostly behind me so I can share more sewing projects and chat.  Before the joyous Easter celebrations are even further in our past, I want to share some of the Easter outfit photos I received from our creative and talented readers.

Julie shared these photos and information about the precious, classic Johnny she made for her nephew.  She also smocked a dress for her niece.  I’d love to see that. Continue reading

July 4th Outfits and At Home Celebrations


I love the 4th of July and everything that goes with it.  I love the picnics, the parades, the fireworks, the flag waving, the declarations of patriotism, the television broadcast of A Capitol Fourth, all that and more.  But what I love most is the blessings and freedoms we celebrate on Independence Day.  Oh–that and the children’s clothes, too!

When our children were still at home, we hosted a huge picnic with as many as 175 guests.  I wrote an article about it for the 1988 summer issue of Sew Beautiful.  For any who would like to stroll down Memory Lane with me, the  article is reprinted at the end of this post. Continue reading

Jo’s Family Easter

Jo's family in their Easter finery. Every one (except Jo!!!!) is wearing one of her creations.

Jo’s beautiful family in their Easter finery. Every one (except Jo, unless she made the lavender sweater) is wearing one of her creations.

I just love seeing what you all have sewn up for holidays–or everydays!  So it really pleased me to see photos of Jo’s family all decked out in the Easter garments she made.   They are all color coordinated in lavender and yellow, with a paisley print used on several outfits.  Living in the cold, cold north, Jo chose corduroy for the little ones in the family.

As so often happens, in the midst of her rush to finish up, there were complications.  Most of the family came down with a terrible virus requiring huge amounts of laundry, at the exact time that her dryer died.  So while she tended to the sick, she was running back and forth to the home of a good neighbor whose dryer was put at Jo’s disposal.  All the while for those several days, Jo awaited delivery of her own new laundry appliance.


In spite of these roadblocks, she finished everything up–dresses for the girls, a smocked Children’s Corner Johnny for little Gideon and ties for the big boys and her husband. Continue reading

Readers’ Easter Outfits

While it’s unlikely that I am the only Nana or Mama stitching right down to the Easter Sunday deadline, it’s nice to know that some readers are contentedly dying eggs, sampling gourmet jelly beans and buying chocolate bunnies.  Ahhh, I wish.


Courtney finished this gorgeous brother-sister set more than 10 days ago!

Courtney finished this gorgeous brother-sister set more than 10 days ago!  And  these aren’t even their church clothes!  See below.


Courtney shared  pictures of TWO brother-sister sets that she has made for Easter.

Her daughter’s first dress is cut from one of my all-time favorite patterns, Maggie  by Children’s Corner. The smocking plate is Bunny Luv by Ellen McCarn.  I love that she mirror imaged the chocolate bunny on the dress so they are facing one another.    Her color choices are as  lovely as her smocking. Continue reading

Gingerbread Christmas

I’m scrambling here, working on the grandsons’ Christmas outfits and preparing for tomorrow’s arrival of 2-1/2 year old Alastair.  He will be with us for a few days and will have my undivided attention.  So there is no time for a new blog post. I hope you will enjoy this re-run.

The children’s ages and Christmas garments are not current.  But the upcoming gingerbread house decorating activities will be just as described below–except that Robert may have a little more restraint with the candy.  Then again, he is a little more experienced and might get away with even more this year.

Whatever.  We will have a grand time decorating.  I hope you have a chance to do this with a child.  It is messy, yes, but sooooooo much fun.


“And I had but one penny in the world, Thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.”  William Shakespeare, Love’s Labours Lost



Laurel and Robert, wearing the gingerbread John-John now worn by his little cousin Alastair


Unlike the character in Shakespeare’s play, I’m not sure that I would spend my last penny on gingerbread. I’d probably go for a scrap of fabric or lace, or a needle …..but I digress. This is about gingerbread and Christmas outfits for my grandchildren.


The marshmallow snowman had a short life. And he did not melt, did he, Robert?

The marshmallow snowman had a short life. And he did not melt, did he, Robert?


If you have read more than two or three posts on this blog, you will know that gingerbread plays a huge role in our Christmas festivities. Robert and Laurel, at ages 2 and 3, seemed ready to be introduced to this family tradition. They made their first gingerbread houses, received gingerbread ornaments for their personal collection, added a charming book, Gingerbread Land, to their library in Nana’s nursery, and wore smocked gingerbread outfits for various holiday activities and on Christmas day. Continue reading

School Rocks!

With a goofy grin, Robert, 6, stands next to his birthday tree.

With a goofy grin, Robert, 6, stands next to his birthday tree.


By now, the new school year has started for just about every child in the country.  With Labor Day as the traditional opening day,  our nation’s children have loaded up new book bags, sharpened  new pencils and cracked open spanking new boxes of Crayolas.

It’s a big day, that first day of school.  To commemorate the occasion, my three grandchildren each wore an embroidered shirt as they began the next year in their education journey.

We snapped this picture of Robert  next to his birthday tree, as his birthday almost coincides with the start of school.  He was so pleased to have a “cool” shirt, a real upgrade from his Backyardigans and Max and Ruby shirts of days gone by. Continue reading

Independence Celebration Duds




Making holiday outfits for the grandchildren is always fun.  They look forward to having special clothes and I look forward to seeing them wearing the things I have made.  Some holidays, such as Christmas and Easter,  require an investment of far more time and materials than this summer celebration of independence and Americana.  Right now, quick and easy is what I like.

Robert and Laurel are all set for this year’s festivities in  their matching shirts.  Alastair’s shirt has the same design.  If all three are  together for the Fourth, they will enjoy being part of a set.



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Celebrating Easter ’11


So how long is this going to take?

After several days of non-stop hustle and bustle, I am enjoying the quiet that follows a huge celebration like Easter.  The children and grandchildren have all returned to their homes and everyone here at my home is asleep.

All the good china and silver is put back in place, the table linens are in the washer, and except for scattered Easter grass on the floors, a dirty child’s sock on the hall table and a pink Peep bunny perched on the sugar bowl, things are back to normal.

But what a beautiful day it was!   Norman Rockwell himself could not have painted a more traditional scene, with beautiful children, Florida sunshine and sticky chocolate bunnies.  The dining room was seated with all ages, from toddler to super-senior.  This joyful celebration was down home, home grown and home sewn.

Is there anything cuter than a gap-toothed 6 year-old?

Before the Easter egg hunt, we  tried to get pictures.  What a production that was!

Three relatively cooperative, squirming, anxious children were surrounded by 6 relatively cooperative, squirming anxious parental paparazzi.  The cameras were snapping like finger cymbals.

Hundreds of photos were taken, though the children would probably estimate that there were thousands.

Aren’t you done taking pictures?

There must be 20 shots of the children on the stairs.  It was like trying to line up 3 cats!  We never did get a picture of all three smiling.  Robert fidgeted and Alastair was focused on his right foot. Laurel, bless her sweet cooperative little heart, sat primly for every photo but the last, when she lost her resolve and was caught picking her nose.  That unladylike pose has been deleted from my camera.


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