Category Archives: smocking

Coming Home Daygown and Bonnet

Busy, busy, busy! So this post is a re-run featuring Laurel Cade, our first grandchild and her homecoming outfit. I think the topic is still timely.~~~~~~~

my handsome son (newborn at 9 lb.1oz) and his 10 lb.daughter

my handsome son (who was a 9 lb.1oz newborn) and his 10 lb.daughter

My babies each weighed exactly 9 lbs. 1 ounce and were 22″ long. My husband said my uterus had a 9 lb. 1 oz. capacity, just like a gallon milk jug will hold just one gallon. He declared that if we had a dozen children they would all be the same size. After our second child, I chose not to test his hypothesis.

At any rate, neither of our babies wore newborn clothes for more than a few weeks.

When our dearly loved, petite daughter-in-law Shelly was pregnant with our first grandchild, the whole family thought this precious baby would be a tiny little thing, like her mama. After all, Shelly’s own mother is just 4’11” so we expected a small baby. With this in mind, I used a preemie daygown pattern for Laurel’s coming home outfit.

Imagine our shock when this “small” baby girl was born via C-section weighing an even 10 lbs! I had other regular size daygowns smocked and ready to go, so I took those to the hospital the day they were to be released. But they were all too big.

We were surprised that the preemie daygown fit her perfectly. Of course, she was only able to wear it for a short time, but I was glad that she had something that fit so well for that important trip home. Now, whenever I make a coming home daygown for a special baby, I make a preemie size.

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The daygown and bonnet are pale yellow Imperial batiste, smocked in shades of yellow and periwinkle blue. Entredeux and tatted edging trim the angel sleeves bishop and either side of the front. Blue floss is woven into the holes of the entredeux.

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Technique & Summer Fun Bishop

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 NOTE:  I’ve since shortened the dress by 5″ and it fits so much better.

In my humble opinion, bishops are a near perfect garment for little girls.  They are comfortable, long wearing and easy to construct.  Would anyone rather construct than smock?  Not me.

 

These "Smockables" used to be readily available from Martha Pullen Company. They are no longer for sale there.

These “Smockables” are no longer for sale from Martha Pullen Company.

 

Ready-to-smock garments from Martha Pullen Company were my go-to “bring-along” project for trips.  When they were readily available, I laid in a supply.  But I have run out.  The white bishop shown above is the last one that will fit any of my grandchildren.  The few remaining Smockables are for sale here.

Starting with a ready-to-smock bishop is the quickest way to get one finished.  I soon grew tired of the basic style offered and have had fun modifying it.

A few weeks ago, I was packing for our trip to North Carolina.  We were headed to the mountains with our two younger grandchildren and their parents.  I knew I had to have some handwork for those few (VERY few) quiet moments after 2 yo tornado Vivian Rose was asleep next to her easy-going brother, Alastair.  I grabbed this last white bishop and couldn’t help but think “ho-hum.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love a geometrically smocked white bishop.  But I was in  the mood for something a little different.  Then, due to the less-than-tidy condition of my sewing room, I spotted this scrap red border given to me by my friend, Suzanne Sawko.  Hmmmm…

 

border scrap FI Continue reading

Easter Outfits from my Past

Is there any more joyous occasion for sewing than Easter? It’s time to get started but instead of pulling out the lace and batiste, I find myself looking back at those confections from the past. For me, it’s not about seeking inspiration so much as it is about enjoying the memories all over again, like re-reading a very good book.

Among these outfits, there might be some inspiration for those of you who have not yet jumped into this special sewing season.

Who doesn’t love babies in daygowns?  And with a sweet big brother they are even more precious.

 

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If daygowns interest you, details are posted here Happy Easter ’13.  This post details the daygown with fagotted lace and a hand embroidered front placket

 

The next year Big Brother Alastair wore this little suit.

Another hurry-up outfit, made for my grandson Alastair.

This hurry-up Easter suit  was made for my grandson Alastair.

 

It seems like I am always in a rush to get Easter outfits finished.  This one for Alastair was no exception.

Making this dress was pure joy.  I love the Swiss handloom and laces.

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Baby’s Easter Dress, made for Vivian Rose last year. It was a modification of a dress I made for her mother 31 years ago.

 

And I love this picture of her strolling through the grass.

 

Vivian Rose, 15 months old, Easter 2014

Vivian Rose, 15 months old, Easter 2014

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Christmas Outfits Past Part 2

I hope you have all finished your Christmas sewing.  I’ve moved on to baking and gift wrapping and hope to finish up in time for our big family celebrations.

Here are a few more Christmas outfits from the past.  These gingerbread outfits for my  two older grandchildren were favorites of mine.   A few years later, new grandson Alastair wore Robert’s suit.

 

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Ready-to-smock gingerbread outfits were paired up with a Creative Needle smocking plate.

 

One year I planned to make matching Thanksgiving outfits for the children.  The Viyella brown plaid garments were made but before I began the bibs, plans changed and the older two would not be with us that day. So I decided to use the garments for Christmas.  But that was a stretch—brown plaid for Christmas.  I made it work.

 

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Alastair’s Christmas outfit, Children’s Corner Glenn with linen bib embroidery from OESD’s Current Critters Continued.

 

Laurel’s basic yoke dress was trimmed with tatting, as was her linen bib.

 

 

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Laurel also had a tie-on bib with a Current Critters Continued design.

 

These Current Critters embroidery designs are so charming. Continue reading

Christmas Outfits from the Past

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Hand embroidered Sarah Howard Stone collar and velveteen dress for my daughter, 1983. It was worn a few years ago by my older granddaughter, Laurel.

 

They say time flies when you are having fun and, let me tell you, I have had a good bit of fun making holiday outfits for my children and grandchildren.  Like many of you, Christmas and Easter clothes are my favorite and most memorable projects.

 

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This collar reminds me just how hard I  tried to get the stitches just right as we drove to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving.   It was a two hour drive along bumpy back roads and I poked my fingers more than once.  But I couldn’t waste the time. As the family sat and visited after the pumpkin pie, I continued to embroider.

Who knew that 15 years later it could be done on an embroidery machine?  Who knew there would be home embroidery machines? Certainly not me.

 

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Robert and Laurel all ready for the Stetson Christmas concert. She is wearing recycled heirloom from her Aunt Rebecca’s closet.

 

A few years after the shadow work collar was made, my daughter wore a burgundy velveteen dress (just like this one) with this very puffing collar.  Then Laurel wore the collar on a new burgundy velveteen dress. Continue reading

Christmas Finery for Sister and Brother

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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.

 

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

Irresistible

 

V store bought smocked close

Available from CiaoBebeBoutique    Now I see that it is offered in pink and with sleeves.

 

I did not make this dress.  It was ordered from CiaoBebeBoutique and I love it. When I saw it posted on Pinterest, I found it to be irresistible.

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Novelty Bishop~A Novel Technique

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This little novelty bishop and two others were loaned to a friend many years ago. I had forgotten all about them until they were returned last week. Of course, they will end up in the closet of our toddler granddaughter, Vivian Rose, though most of them will have a bit of a wait until she grows into them.

Vivi will probably be 4 or 5 before she wears this classic plaid school dress.

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Excuse the ugly section of my potting shed shown in the background. It really is nicer than that. See here.

I don’t know what happened to the Liberty bishop shown below. Continue reading

Frilly Kindergarten Shorts Set

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This is another outfit in the kindergarten wardrobe Suzanne Sawko is making for her granddaughter.   It seems to meet all the requirements of primary school wear in Florida–the outfit is cool, comfortable and allows for active play.

At the same time it satisfies a little girl’s desire for feminine clothing, as well as her Mamaw’s own desire for a pretty back-to-school wardrobe for this 5 year-old.  And what teacher wouldn’t love to see a new student in a smocked garment?  Clearly, this is a winning 2-piece set. Continue reading

Jo’s Summertime Temily

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Is this not the ultimate summertime outfit?  Comfortable, loose fitting and colorful as the tropical fruit smocked on the front.   It goes so well with  the  Noel’s gorgeous red mane.

With Kathy Dykstra’s Temily pattern from Australian Smocking and Embroidery, Jo created an outfit as refreshing as a glass of cold orange juice on a hot July day.  The child just looks cool.  I love the contrast of the orange gingham against the pure white shirt. Continue reading