Precious Heirloom

Rhonda is a special lady in my life – we had met through the sewing center I called “home” – Rogers Sewing Center. Being very gifted and talented, Rhonda has created this christening ensemble:

It is simply a masterpiece showcasing the best of Heirloom Sewing (French Hand Sewing). Last year Rhonda graciously gave me the christening ensemble as a gift to my family. It is one of the most precious heirloom gifts I have ever received on behalf of my family. It is made with Swiss batiste and miles and miles (it seems like) of French laces, and Rhonda had lovingly embroidered all over the gown with delicate embroideries and shadow work by hand:

Can you spot the bird that Rhonda has done by shadow work on the bottom right corner? There are a total of four birds stringing the ribbons on this gown:

My bear Lady Carlyle is doing her best to model the bonnet for me. You can see that her head is a tad bit small for the bonnet:

The slip is blank for the most part except for the little bit of lace around the neck, armholes and the hem. I will embroider the date of birth and monogram of the child who gets to wear this christening gown on the slip. I have read in one of the Sew Beautiful Magazines about a christening gown that has been passed down in a family in England for 300 years, and all the babies that wore the gown had their monograms embroidered on the slip — how’s that for heirloom?

[From Wikipedia: Heirloom sewing is a collection of needlework techniques that arose in the last quarter of the 20th century that imitates fine French hand sewing of the period 1890-1920 using a sewing machine and manufactured trims.

Heirloom sewing is characterized by fine, often sheer, usually white cotton or linen fabrics trimmed with an assortment of lace, insertions, tucks, narrow ribbon, and smocking, imitating such hand-work techniques as whitework embroidery, Broderie Anglaise, and hemstitching.

Typical projects for heirloom sewing include children’s garments (especially christening gowns), women’s blouses, wedding gowns, and lingerie.]

I count myself blessed to have known Rhonda, with whom I have shared matters of the heart. And I count myself blessed multiple times and over to have other women like Rhonda that have touched my life in very very special ways. I cherish the relationships I have with these very special women in my life. And I will share about them as time goes along.

Thank you for coming to my show-and-tell. I hope you have enjoyed it.

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OFB Smocked Daygown Part 4: It’s beginning to look like…

... a baby daygown. Can you see it, can you see it?!

I was so excited to I learned to properly attached a smocked piece to the yoke pieces with piping:

There is going to be a fancy hem at the bottom of the gown. I was going to work on attaching the laces today, but was side-tracked by quilting-related business. But hopefully, I would get to it tonight:

Ooooooh – I am so pleased with the techniques I have learned so far!! Thanks bunches, Annelle!

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Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

OFB Smocked Daygown Part 2: Chugging Along

This accountability thing is REALLY working. THANKS EVERYONE! I never once received a phone call asking how the smocking is coming along. I never once heard even a peep about how I should be hurrying up on the smocking. Somehow, I was just motivated on my own to work a little each day on the daygown because of this accountability thing. To date, all the smocking (fun) part is done! You can see the two front pieces and the two sleeves:

You must have noticed the clock I used as a prop to photograph with the daygown pieces. I decided to include the clock to keep up with the “baby” theme. The clock is a nursery plate clock from Spode’s Edwardian Childhood Collection. I love the different old-fashioned toys featured on the clock, don’t you?

I am only showing the close-up of the smocked daygown front because I have already shown the sleeves in Part 1. I will at some point add some light pink boullion roses on the front (I think) depending on what my mentor/dear friend Annelle tells me what my next step is:

Hopefully not too long from now… all these batiste pieces will somehow come together nicely and look like this:

That’s all I have for now. I have so much more to share, but it’s been crazy at my end. I just picked up two new magazine assignments within the last 24 hours. Anyway, I will be back and try to catch up with you later!

p.s. I can’t leave without asking you this: do you seem to get the faintest hint that I love Spode after reading the posts on my blog?! ;)