In spite of all the stitching that has gone on since my past post, going on in my sewing room I have done no blogging about it. Too many obligations, too little time, and too many projects beckoning me! But now I will begin to catch up with this first post of my earlier projects.
Christmas came and went with Bob and me celebrating alone between doses of antibiotic. Bronchitis struck again so it was a quiet time for us, but no less special. The “reason for the season” was most important.
Our 3 year old granddaughter was given a sheer, white cotton, smocked bishop with a mint green slip. This beauty was purchased on the facebook group, Smocking Destash, smocked but requiring finishing at the neck, sleeves and hemline. What a find! The pictures were taken on a rare, dark, cloudy day with scattered rain. They do not do it justice!
On the hem lace edging was joined below the pinstitched beading. To keep the mint satin ribbon from slipping, it was secured to the beading with evenly space French knots. The slip was purposely a bit longer to show off more lace edging.
Mint green Imperial batiste slip with it’s laced edged hem can also serve as a sundress.
I was dissatisfied with the attachment of the slip’s skirt to the lined yoke. The gathers created so much bulk that the yoke would not lie flat. This would have been less of a problem with all cotton fabric. If I were to do it again, I would reduce the skirt’s width.
Again I was reminded of the joy that comes from seeing a child in classic clothing. I’d love to see photos of your Christmas creations.
Required disclosure: I am a paid Ambassador for Brother. Not required: I really do love my Brother machines.
Beatrice wearing her aqua broadcloth ready-to-smock bishop.Â The smocking design is Allison Leigh by Ellen McCarn.
This is my precious church granddaughter, Beatrice, wearing a bishop dress I completed for her in a relatively short time. FYI, she is truly a granddaughter in my heart, but when I don’t identify her as my “church granddaughter,” I have to field questions as to which of my almost middle-age children have had another child.
Ready-to-smock garments are readily available from a number of sources. Most of my purchases have been from a few members of the Smocking Destash facebook group. They do a fabulous job of pleating and constructing the garments using quality fabrics. This garment was complete, from neck binding, to buttons and buttonholes to the hem. Others are often in various stages of completion.
White lace trimmed the sleeves but I had something else in mind so the lace was removed and replaced with this. Unusual lace and trims have always caught my eye, and this one certainly did.
This lace is one of the most useful, versatile pieces I have. Just 1/4″ wide, the edges are straight enough to be used as an insertion or edging. Floss woven through the entredeux-like holes makes it a tiny beading.
The sleeve was pleated with only 3 rows. So using a Swiss trim with entredeux seemed too wide, overpowering the narrow smocking. This 1/4″ trim still allowed for the addition of color to match the smocking. Additionally, I had it on hand.
I was pleased to get this dress ready for Beatrice pretty quickly. Several other ready-to-smock garments lie in wait in my drawer of upcoming projects. Now I just need a drawer full of time for all the projects I want to do!
I’m busy finishing up Easter dresses for my granddaughters, so once again I am repeating an old Easter post from years ago. It’s not too late for you to use the two free Easter designs. Just post your request in the comment section and they will be e-mailed to you.
If I don’t get a follow up posted, I wish you all a very joyful Easter. It’s such a beautiful, meaningful holiday.
As usual, I am way behind with Easter sewing and sewing in general. I thought this might be a good time to share some earlier Easter features–dresses and free designs.
This little chocolate bunny dress was made for my 15 month old granddaughter to wear to the church “bunny lunch and egg hunt.” I was so pleased to finally have the perfect use for my small piece of brown bunny Liberty of London tana lawn.
When I could find no embroidery design that suited me, I bumbled through the digitizing process to create this beginner design. It is yours for the asking by leaving a comment below.
The second free design is one I used on several Easter baskets. The name, of course, is not included but the design itself is Easter eggs nestled in grass
For the free grass and eggs design just leave your request in the comment section below.
It’s been way too long since a new blog has been posted but I’mÂ trying to catch up.Â To say we have been busy is a gross understatement.Â But let me tell you one of the many events that have kept us running– our wonderful Royal Caribbean cruise with our daughter and family.Â There are some sewing projects to see but lots of fun to report.
I had packed a bag of smocking projects which I expected to complete while enjoying the view and sea breeze from our balcony.Â Some smocking was done but I packed way too many projects with way too many great expectations.
My good friend Carol, our daughter’s fabulous mother-in-law, was with us and had the same idea.Â She knitted and I smocked.Â So we sat and stitched, but only for short periods of time.
There were so many activities.Â Vivian Rose wore “Nana clothes” every day.Â Here she is leaving an activity wearing a bishop Easter dress from a few years ago.
The dress was generously sized for her two years ago and desperately needed a tuck under the arm.Â It still needs the tuck and the only other fitting problem its short length.Â Â Regardless, she loves the dress.Â I really need to make those tucks. Why she is wearing her backpack under the dress is a mystery to me. She wore this dress to dinner one night.
For dinner each night she was dressed in smocking. This dress was made for her mother 30 years ago and was worn by cousin Laurel before Vivi for a few years. Now it’s another one of Vivian’s favorites.Â It’s still in perfect condition, another hurrah for Spechler-Vogel’s Imperial batiste Continue reading →
This is longed for and long-awaited baby Beatrice, whose name means “she brings happiness.”Â And she surely has!Â Our church, family and friends prayed long and fervently for her safe arrival into the loving arms of her adoptive parents.
The afternoon of her baptism a few Sundays ago, friends hosted a barbeque for the entire church and other family friends in Beatrice’s spacious country back yard.
This sign greeted guests.
Did I mention that the theme of Bea’s nursery is Winnie the Pooh? Can you tell?
Of course, it was HOT!
I made the smocked bee sundress for Bea, complete with bloomers and a hat. She isÂ tiny, born 2 weeks early at just 6 lbs. Even the newborn size is huge on her. But babies grow and there is still plenty of steamy summer weather left here in central Florida.Â It should fit her soon.
Using black on such a tiny baby gave me pause.Â But there is no way around it when you are dealing with bees.Â The picot edged bias softened it a little but I much prefer white or pastels for newborns.
At the top of her hat sits an adorable little bee which I found on the facebook Smocking DeStash site.Â I bought 20 because I knew there would be many opportunities to use them for Baby Bea.
This country barbeque in a huge yard with pet goats and chickens was just the sort of fun children love. Still, they needed a few special activities. So while they were eating I discreetly hid bees all around. Continue reading →
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.
This sweet little dress is my third Ode To Joy from Maggie Bunch’s Sew-Along.Â What a great class and what a perfect little dress!Â The length was for a tunic, but Maggie’s pattern is so adaptable that I added a wider border at the hem to make it a dress.
Can you see the “prince” is riding a unicorn?
Who doesn’t love Sarah Jane’s truly magical prints for Michael Miller?Â Many are borders, with the the fun part running along the selvage.Â That allows for two 22″ widths of delightful borders. Most have coordinating prints that can be used for the hem, sleeve and neck binding.
My first Ode to Joy was poorly made, as I was in a hurry and did not read the directions carefully.Â But I loved it anyway and so did my then 4 yo granddaughter. Â MM/Sarah Jane’s “Swan Lake” print,as shown, is still available.
This is the firstOde to Joy Border TunicÂ I made working through an on-line class offerredÂ by Maggie Bunch.Â It is a fabulous class for everyone fromÂ beginners to experienced smockers.Â Maggie takes you from border print fabric selection, to pleating, to construction and smocking.Â But she throws in so many little informational gems and tips.Â I learned so much.Â You may provide your own fabric or she offers some darling kits.Â She will even pleat for you if you like.
This class is a bargain at $30.Â Maggie practically holds your hand through the whole process and answers any questions promptly.Â To the best of my knowledge, this is just the second time in the last 12 months that it has been offered on-line. She did teach it at that great sewing event, Sewing at the Beach.
Maggie said on-line. ” This is an online sewing and smocking lesson, held in a private group, here on FB. The fee for the lesson is $30.00. Kits are optional. You can sew from your stash! I post a lesson a day for about 2 weeks. The Group stays open for about 8 weeks after the lesson is complete for you to sew at your own pace. Sizes are 1/2 3/4 5/6 and 7/8“
The first time round, I didn’t print out the instructions and files. Â So when I made my second dress, a lot of mistakes were made.Â Note the sloppy neck binding.
So I am repeating the class and you can be sure that I will keep notes and files.Â Now you, too,Â can take this class!Â The pattern is not available for sale, just as part of the class.
Ode to Joy Smocking Group is taking members. This Group is an online smocking class, lead by me, for the play top using quilting cottons or border prints. This is a work at your own pace lesson. The lessons will be posted one a day for about two weeks starting June 1. Join now so you have time to get the list and order your supplies. The fee $30.00 includes membership in the Group and all lessons from fabric choice to smocking to hem. Please private message me your PayPal information for the lesson. Registration will close May 18.
My 4 yo granddaughter and I really love this Ode to Joy pattern by Maggie B.Â It is offered to students in her on-line class with excellent directions and a multitude of step-by-step instructional pictures.Â Our little dynamo is always on the go, in a hurry to get wherever and impatient with fussy button closures.Â She’s a gal who has places to go, people to see, and things to do.Â So just get on with getting dressed!
One of the best features of this little frock is that it simply pulls over the head like a tee shirtÂ No buttons, no buttonholes.
As you can clearly see, the neck binding is loosey goosey. It IS important to use the correct size elastic and worth a trip to the store if you don’t have it on hand. Lesson learned.
With it’s pop-over style and comfy fit, Ode to Joy is a favorite of our Vivian Rose.Â The cat print is an added bonus, making it a very popular wardrobe choice. Continue reading →
Maggie Bunch has created a new classic with her Ode to Joy pattern.Â I love everything about this dress–quick smocking, easy construction, use of coordinating print and the comfort of a pull-on dress or playtop with no buttons to fuss with.Â It is smocked front and back with only about 90 pleats sleeve to sleeve.
Ode to Joy was first taught by Maggie as a class project at Sewing at the Beach and she is now offering it as an on-line sew-along class.Â She has given several sew-along, smock-along classes, reasonably priced at $25.Â They are a bargain at any price.
Step by step, Maggie sews along with you and posts even more detailed photos in the process.Â Â She is alsoÂ is available to answer questions.Â The class begins mid- June.Â Registration is limited so if you are interested, check it out ASAP on her website here.Â Â Â