Tag Archives: christmas dress

Christmas Fawn Daydress

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.

CHALLENGES

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.

 

galloon lace with leftover from the roll and whip

 

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 granddaughter’s 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?

 

Neckline lace has been flipped up for better visibility. The lace almost covers the top button.

 

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.

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.

 

GingerbreadKids07

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.

 

lemonadewhole

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.

 

 

yella

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

EncoreShadoworkCollardress1

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.

 

zshadoworkcollarRL

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.

 

R L Stetson puffing

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

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

Cousin Christmas Tree Dresses

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Judy Day's two granddaughters and two granddolls

Judy Day’s two granddaughters and two granddolls

While most of us are likely busy stitching Christmas outfits or gifts, I thought you would enjoy seeing one of Judy Day’s outfits from a Christmas past.

My dear friend Judy Day made these for her two granddaughters a few years ago, along with matching dresses for their American Girls dolls.  And of course, Judy ALWAYS makes hair bows for girls and dolls. How cute are  these little Christmas darlings?

 

CousinChristmasDresses1

 

A few years ago, Judy attended the Martha Pullen’s school when I was teaching.  We  both spotted a dress like these made by master teacher Lezette Thomason.  Judy proclaimed right then and there that she would be making similar dresses for Courtney and Kennedy that next Christmas.  And she did.

Judy started with the jumper pattern in Martha’s Favorite Applique’s by Martha Pullen.  She lengthened it, because the girls’ mothers like the longer, mid-calf length.  Then she drafted a simple Christmas tree for the applique’.

The jumpers and trees are both featherwale corderoy.  The trees are decorated with buttons.   And the girls themselves are cute as a button.

Thanks, Judy!

Christmas Dress ’10

black velveteen

Laurel’s black velveteen dress and pinafore bib are finished, complete except for the hem.  It was such a pleasure to plan and stitch this holiday outfit for her. Handling and stitching the goods for heirloom sewing just makes me say ahhhhhh.

Christmas outfits for Laurel and her brother need to be finished in time for family Christmas card photos.  Then, they will be worn to The Nutcracker performance in early December.  So the rush is on to complete Robert’s clothing.  His shirt will be embroidered with a nutcracker.

 

pinafore bib

 

The champagne Swiss batiste pinafore bib features the Sugar Plum Fairy design from A Bit of Stitch’s Mini Nutcracker Motifs collection.  This is a really lovely design, very delicate.  The motif below the dancer is stitched with 80 wt. Madeira Cotona, which makes the design very light.

I was  almost finished with the bib when I noticed that the ballerina was not centered.  How did that happen?  I measured ever so carefully, I thought.  But I’ll have to live with it now.

Ecru beading threaded with pink satin ribbon runs on either side of a delicate antique lace insertion. Wide pink satin ribbon ties the bib front and back at the side. Continue reading

Christmas Critters III

ChristmasCrittersIIILaurelbrite

 

Laurel’s Christmas dress was finished just in time for her brother Robert’s preschool Christmas program. In fact, her father had taken her for an afternoon outing and managed to get her to the program wearing jeans and a tee shirt only a few minutes ahead of me carrying her holiday clothes.

She was absolutely taken with the dress, mostly because of the fullness of the 90″ skirt.   This motivated her to twirl, perform some of her ballet moves and smile at everyone, entertaining the waiting parents, grandparents and friends. Laurel loves an audience, even if, technically, it’s her brother’s audience.

 

 

critter bib

 

The bib, collar and sleeves are all trimmed with ecru tatted edging. The design on the embroidered button on bib is yet another from Bernina’s Current Critters Continued. Laurel’s mother has decided that the “critter” nestled in the big bow is a baby squirrel and she should know. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, she has hand fed hundreds of them. I always thought it was a mouse, but I defer to her expertise. Continue reading