Smocked Wrap Around Sundress: Petite Flower (AS&E 63)

Good day, dear Friends!  Some of you had written me weeks ago and asked if I was working on an Easter dress for Miss Baby.  The answer is I had every intention to do so after our return from the trip to Asia, but I ended up working A LOT after being gone for a month.  Long story cut short, my initially planned Easter dress didn’t happen.  But…. enter Petite Flower!  Sorry I am not able to take a more crisp-er picture of the dress.  Sometimes it’s hard to take pictures of small print fabrics. Hopefully you will get a better idea what the dress looks like in the subsequent pictures.

I got a bit emotional over Easter weekend seeing Miss Baby wear Petite Flower to church.  You see, I had smocked that dress way back in 2004/2005!  The notion of children was still faraway for me then,  and I definitely didn’t expect (thought I was hoping I would) to eventually have a daughter that would wear the dress.  And yet, there she was, telling me on Easter morning “Beanniful tress, Mom” as I put the dress one her.

When Miss Baby was born, the dress was put away in the “still a long way off” pile with the other pieces of clothing that are of larger size.  When the intended Easter dress didn’t materialize this year, I suddenly realized we might have something in the “still a long way off” pile that might work — and Petite Flower fit Miss Baby perfectly!

The dress is an exact replica of Petite Flower from Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue 63.  She was most impressed with the “tracks”  (i.e. railroad tracks) I have smocked.  I have never looked at the smocked columns as tracks, but I do have a daughter who has engineering bent!

Thinking back on the years that had gone by, I am again grateful for the encouragement I have received along my sewing journey.  Back in 2005, I had no idea how to hem a dress.  Great friend Annelle came along and did the hemming for me.

I re-dedicated myself as a mother over the weekend after realizing just how fast my little Miss Baby is growing!  I am starting a new smocked bishop for her today.  Will show you pictures when I have had some substantial work done on it.

Thanks for stopping by!  I will catch up with later – I am also starting a new quilt today.  Anyone care to come by and babysit while I work?

What little boy wouldn’t like this?

In my former life working in research, I had to deal with some dangerous laser equipment.  The laser used in the laboratory I worked at was high power – enough to burn one’s skin or blind one’s eyes, enough to put a HEALTHY dose of fear and caution in me whenever I worked with the equipment.  Many times I had to actually open up the power supplies (normally daunting contraptions with high voltage fuses) and poke around to trouble-shoot.  So, I would break out the manual and read about how to go about doing things so I don’t end up killing myself in the process.  I would read again and again for days, and then sit on it until I know exactly what I was getting into before attempting…

I used the same principle in tackling this flannel quilt project since I have never worked with flannels before.  I asked around for advice, and read up on everything I could find about making flannel quilts.  I just sat for a few days digesting the information… that’s also another reason you hadn’t seen any quilting pictures in the last few post — I hadn’t done any!  This morning, I took the plunge and worked on the first block… so far so good.  The blocks turned out quite cute, and as I stood back and looked at the blocks, I thought to myself, “What little boy wouldn’t like this?” (Or rather, what little boy’s Mom, Grandma, Aunt…? :))

This baby blue quilt will be going to Baby’s Cousin #2 after I get it back from the editor later this year.  Baby will get the pink version. The main part of the block is actually from a large border print.  I am not using the border print as it is intended, but rather incorporating it in a block.  So, if you have those huge border prints and don’t know what to do with them, using them in a regular block is definitely an option:

These fabrics are soooo cute.  They bring a smile to my face.  I am tellin’ ya — they are just ADORABLE!  They are from the Baobab collection by RJR, and will be coming to your local quilt shops in September this year.  The quilts are going to be featured in Fons & Porter ‘s Love of Quilting later this year:

Thanks for stopping by.  I will catch up with you tomorrow.  I am off to making more blocks.  More photos are coming.  I am also keeping notes as I make this quilt.  I actually keep notes for all the quilts I make, another habit I developed while working in the lab.  So, I hope to be able to share with you some tips, perhaps  (if my project doesn’t bomb!) .  Meanwhile, if you have  any tips for working with flannel, I want to hear from you.