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.
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
Easter dress for 3 yo Vivian Rose.Â The pattern is Children’s Corner Betsey.
Okay, I’m done whining about missing out on Easter with the grandchildren this year.Â As I mentioned (or wailed) in the previous post, this year’s Resurrection Day garments remain undelivered.Â And no, that is not the disaster to which I refer in this post title.Â There is no recovering that missed celebration. But the Easter dress suffered a real near disaster which I dodged, more or less.
27″ wide with 10″ embroidery
First, the details of this dress.Â The gorgeous fabric, a 27″ Swiss embroidered flounce purchased from Farmhouse Fabrics, has languished in my sewing room armoire for many years.Â It was meant to be used for granddaughter Laurel, who was too small at the time to use this length.Â The embroidery extends 10 inches from the hemline.Â Then, like so many other projects, it was pushed down on the “make soon” list.
Now with 3 yo Vivian Rose in the family, this beautiful fabric’s day in the sun has come.Â Though it was a late start, the smocking was well under way before disaster struck.
Thinking to use my time wisely, 3 days before Easter. I brought the dress along to the hairdresser’s and did some smocking while my…uh…color enhancement set.Â Â BIG MISTAKE!!!
Janice Ferguson’s custom color #1234 was smeared on the dress.
Hurrah!Â Christmas clothes for our two younger grandchildren were finished, shipped and received late last week.Â Toddler Vivian Rose’s white Swiss flannel bishop has the neck and sleeve bound with in red gingham pima cotton.Â Heirloom lace is hand whipped to the bias binding.
The smocking design is just a simple diamond pattern that I made up as I stitched. Continue reading
Posted in boys, brother-sister, girls, Holiday Projects, machine embroidery, smocking, techniques
Tagged bishop dress, bloomers, brother sister Christmas outfits, christmas dress, easy bow tie, machine embroidery, smocking, Swiss flannel
Children’s Corner Katina pattern. Â Extra buttons were added so the strap length could be easily adjusted when the dress is tried on. If not needed, the upper MOP buttons will be removed.
With its cheerful colors and simple design, this dress just makes me smile. The combination of Liberty of London tanna lawn, blue gingham checks, and yellow whipstitch piping seems to chirp predictions of happy days filled with warm sunshine, blue skies, and colorful flowers.
A bit of smocking front and back makes Katina just the sort of cute and comfortableÂ frock I’d like my 14 month old granddaughter to wear all summer long.
I’d like to have added a cute hairbow to the ensemble but Vivian Rose has expressed a very strong dislike for anything on her head—except for strawberries and other food she rubs in. Â Â Sigh…
Of course, a pair of ruffle bottom bloomers was needed to finish the outfit.Â The edges of the 2 1/2″ wide ruffles are serged with a 3 thread rolled edge, using wooly nylon inÂ the upper looper.
UPDATE:Â There have been several inquiries about the sleeve finish so the process is detailed at the end of this post (below the groundhog eating wolf).
It’s been so long since there has been a new post at Â Janice Ferguson Sews thatÂ faithful readers might have thought that I was missing in action.Â I’ve been tending my dear husband who had knee replacement surgery two weeks ago.Â Post-op he spent a week at the same rehab center where I recuperatedÂ from my joint surgeries and gained some valuable insights into life.
So I have been spending time with him, running errands and doing his many, many household chores.Â Whew!Â That man does more around here than I ever realized!Â He’s my grocery shopper, gardener, pool boy, morning feral cat feeder, garbage hauler, very best friend, and more.Â I have really missed him.
At last, he’s back home, stepping lightly with his gentleman’s cane and walking the fast track to a complete recovery.
That’s not really him. And it’s not really me.
And I’m back too, with a finished project to share with you.
This cheerful little dress just makes me grin. Â Looking at it reminds me of our Florida springtime with raspberry pink azaleas, white dogwoods and the bright turquois waters of nearby Blue Springs.Â The fabric says spring to me.
It seemed as though I would never finish this simple little pini-4, but at last it is checked off on my to-do list.Â There were no technical complications, but rather just a matter if life getting in the way.Â Entire days passed when I did not sew and that makes me cranky.Â I feel better now.
The original plan was to add a row of cable under the beaded ribbon, but in my eagerness to finish this up I just forgot.Â Of course, it’s not too late and I could still do it.Â ItÂ really would look better.Â But I am tired of this project.Â It’s done. I’m ready to move on.
The pattern is the same one I used for the Liberty of London popover for granddaughter Vivian Rose.Â But I look forward to when Lisa at Mommy’s Apron Strings releases her very similar pattern.Â She has so many improvements, like sizing.
Have you ever beenÂ desperate to smock and thwarted in the effort?Â Desperate to stitch hand embroidery and been hampered? Desperate to sew in a power outage?Â I bet the answer is yes.
It reminds me of my crazy friend Catherine who, 25 years ago, had taken her boys to the beach.Â Settled down in the sand on an old quilt, under her beach umbrella, she pulled out her smocking only to discover that she had everything but a needle!Â Desperate, like me, she walked up and down Daytona Beach asking each sunbather if she might have a #7 crewel needle that Catherine could borrow or buy.Â That, my friends, is desperation.Â To no one’s surprise but Catherine’s, she came up empty handed.
How this bubble came to be is a result of such desperation.Â It didn’t turn out as planned, it didn’t turn out great,Â it didn’t really please me.Â But it did scratch my itchÂ for some form–any form!– of needlework. Continue reading
My granddaughter’s shadow smocked Easter dress was inspired by Kay Guiles’ article in Sew Beautiful, Easter, 1998.Â In fact, the dress is nearly identical to one of the sample garments shown in that article.Â I take no credit whatsoever for the design or technique.
The only changes made to Laurel’s dress are the addition of lace insertion in the skirt and the substitution of a different embroidery design that included both silk ribbon and DMC floss.
Shadow smocking is a very unique technique and not at all difficult.Â But I learned a lot that I would like to share with anyone considering such a project. Continue reading