Another smocked wrap-around sundress for Miss Baby

I showed you Miss Baby’s Petite Flowers sundress a couple of weeks ago, and the “saga” associated with the dress!

Well, here is another one with sort of a saga story.  Like Petite Flowers, this is another one pulled out from the “still a long way off” pile that Miss Baby wore to church last Sunday.  And like Petite Flowers, this sundress is exactly the same style, just different smocking on the front.  Honestly, I don’t remember the reason for the same exact style for the dresses.

I took with my sister years ago at a supermarket’s fabric section in Southeast Asia, and learned only how to somewhat smock regular cable stitches and a bit of trellis.  And after I returned to the States, I picked this design to smock for my first real dress!  Okay, so, I have a knack of picking out tedious designs — it’s in my blood, and I can’t do anything about it!  HELP!

There are 100 bullion roses in this design.  And I duly worked on all of them over the course of many many months!  Although I am thoroughly thrilled with the effect of bullion roses, I do not like working on them one tiny bit.   Completing the smocking for this dress was certainly a test of endurance for me.

Now the upside of this saga is that I won a blue ribbon and was paid $6 (hahaha!) in the local county fair for best smocking or some award.  My husband teased me about all that work, and I was paid $6.  :)

Jokes aside, there is no sweeter feeling than to see Miss Baby in a dress made just for her.  Looking back, I think of the prayers offered up on Miss Baby’s behalf while I was working on the dress, and years before she was even in the picture.  I recorded some of those prayers in my prayer journal, and need to flip and see how the prayers have been answered.

That’s it for now!  I am hoping to finish my Sweet Scoop quilt later this evening – so I’d better run!



(Last) Year in Review #6: Miss Baby’s dresses

You can see for yourself I didn’t do as well in sewing for Miss Baby in 2011 as I did completing quilts for magazines.  I am really  going to strive to do better this year!

Please click on the links to see more pictures of individual outfits.

1.  Monogram (Limoges) Smocked Bishop

2.  You are my sunshine play outfit

3.  Zoo play outfit

4.  Candy Corn Fall Jumper

5.  Woodrow Studio’s “The Magic of Christmas” Bishop

6.  Boughs of Holly Smocked Bishop

Which is your favorite?

Christmas Bishop: Boughs of Holly

Quick update:  Hello Friends!  I am immensely touched by your sweet comments left on the last post.  I also want to thank you for all your prayers.  We are doing well.  I am still not back in my regular routine.  Currently, I am not able to reply to my emails even though I am able to view them.  So, I will be slowly visiting you on your blogs (if you have one).  I will not be able to reply to your emails until late next week.


Many of you were so sweet – you wrote and asked if I completed Miss Baby’s Christmas Dress in 2011.  Answer is “yes!”  I managed to get the dress done 45 minutes before we were supposed to leave for church on Christmas morning.  How WILD is that?  Without any delay, here it is…. :)

The smocking plate is Holly Berry by Cross Eyed Cricket.  It is a delightful plate.  I added an extra green row at the bottom of the design to give the green a little more presence.  The berries are 4mm glass beads, purchased from Cross Eyed Cricket to give the holly berry sprigs a three-dimensional look.

The fabric I used is Spechler-Vogel’s Swiss Satin Batiste (white).  I don’t really like to smock on satin batiste because the fabric always feels so flimsy, and doesn’t really stiffen when starched after I block the bishop on the smocking board.  But the fabric does feel and look beautiful because it has a nice sheen to it.

Now onto the drama…. I forgot to cut the dress longer like I usually do.  So I was needing to add some length to the dress.  My sewing mentor Annelle’s suggestion is to add a bit of lace insertion.  Great idea!  I got my lace and extra fabric ordered.  It was Christmas Eve when I realized I hadn’t ordered enough lace and entredeux.  So the insertion was out of the question, and it was too late for me to order any extra lace!   I pulled out all the laces in my meager collection, and finally came up with enough to make a lace band to add at the bottom of the hem.  The laces are a mixture of French-made Val laces, and Swiss-made embroidered lace.  I also followed Jeannie Baumeister’s way to embellish the entredeux in the lace band.  I like the “candy cane” effect a lot!

I am going to try REALLY hard to get Miss Baby’s Christmas outfits done ahead of time this year.  Really! :)  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely weekend!  No promise yet, but I hope to get back to my regular blogging routine next week!

Monogram in smocking

In the midst of last weekend’s craziness, I managed to sneak in the monogram on Miss Baby’s smocked dress.

Now, how supremely cool is that….?!  I love that monogram!  As you can see, I also started on the embroidery of the flowers.  After much deliberation and a drawn out discussion with my husband (because I tend to major on the minor, like color combination), it is decided that at least for that top row, I should do a combination of pink and lavender…. mainly because Miss Baby already has a blue and yellow smocked dress she still wears.  We will see how that looks before deciding on the colors for the rest of the flowers.

I am keeping this a bit short as I have to squeeze in some paperwork stuff before my little ones wakes up from her nap.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have nice day.  Talk to you again tomorrow.

Smocked Fall Leaves Dress

The picture smocking (more information on the smocking is found here) for Miss Baby’s fall dress was done months ago… But for the longest time, the dress pieces languished in a pile waiting for me to fit them into my crazy schedule to get the dress constructed.

The languishing continued, and the construction never happened.  My dear friend Annelle took pity on Miss Baby for not having her fall dress to wear.  She offered to finish the dress for Miss Baby!  I thank God always for placing Annelle in my life… she did a fantastic job finishing this square yoke dress.

The Peter Pan collars, the yoke, and the sleeves were piped with some leftover fabric scraps from one of my quilts.

Miss Baby looks like a BIG little girl in the dress.  Since it is a seasonal dress, Miss Baby has worn it MANY times ever since the dress was completed.  Her Mom (aka moi) wants to make all the effort that went into this dress COUNT!  That picture smocking wasn’t exactly a breeze, I tell ya! ;)

Done: Summer Smocked Bishop

Baby’s summer smocked bishop is now done! It turned out to be a fun little play dress. I think the bishop dresses look so much better when they are modeled. My model (aka Baby) was temporarily snatched by the nap monster while I was working on this post. I will try my best to show you the dress from different angles, without the model.

Unlike my past experienced with garment construction, I really enjoyed putting together this dress. I think maybe I am more comfortable with the process this time. I was more patient working on the different steps, whereas before I always felt like I was going to lose my cool any moment.

The smocking plate is a free plate from Creations by Michie:

The sleeves are lined with French val lace that is 1/4″ wide. I like dainty laces on little girls’ dresses:

Now my favorite part of the whole dress: the cute elephant buttons on the back of the dress. I thought they just added something totally different and unexpected to the dress! They are a bit hard to get in and out of the buttonholes. I hope Baby would be patient with us when we put the dress on her…

And I pulled these from our stash o’ bows to go with the dress.

This is my first solo garment construction effort. I was able to get the dress constructed without any major hiccups. Thanks to my dear friend Annelle, who is ever so patient with me when I make mistakes and when I ask the dumbest questions! This dress would not have happened without her superb tutelage.

Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your visits and comments! What are you doing this weekend? I think we are taking Baby to see her little friend. Have yourself a lovely weekend, would you?

Baby’s Easter Dress

I have shown you the smocked front before. It took me hours and hours to do the smocking, and then hours more to work on the bullion daisies! I enjoyed the smocking part very much, but the bullions gave me fits and callused fingers at times. I had completed the smocking and embroidery two years before Baby was even in the radar:

Well, by the skin of my teeth, and help from my ever encouragingly sweet friend Annelle, the dress happened! The pattern is from Australian Smocking and Embroidery’s Issue 48 (Star of the Show):

I love working on projects for Baby because it’s the special time I use to direct my thoughts and prayers for her. I haven’t been able to do that as much as I would have liked lately, but am glad I was able to work on the Easter dress project.

I didn’t get to make the suggested jacket that goes with the dress. While dropping off some stuff at the thrift store, I found this darling little yellow crochet jacket that goes perfectly with the dress. I came home and “made” the jacket look like it is “meant” to go with the dress:

I also made a matching hair bow to go with the dress. Being a planner, I had bought a set of hair bows with the most common colors worn by Baby. But we have managed to lose half of those hair bows! So, I wasn’t even going to pretend we could find a matching bow for that dress on Easter morning. I just made one with the scraps from the dress fabric. The tutorial for making the hair pretty is here:

We had a great Easter service at church. We saw five people baptized! Baby always loves going to church and plays in the nursery.

I have in mind to use up some of my quilt fabric scraps to make a couple of summer outfits for Baby soon. Stay tuned! :)

Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful springy week!

Star of the Show…

Well, hopefully.  I have this smocked at least two years ago, but never made it into the dress.  The pattern is called Star of Show, from Australian Smocking & Embroidery:

But the time has come that I have to do the construct or else Baby would never have a chance to wear it.  If all goes well, this will be Baby’s Easter dress.  Stay tuned… I should have some pictures to show you soon.

Thanks for stopping by.  I wish you a lovely day! :)

Babies wear white

I started to prepare the heirloom dresses Baby has worn in her first year for storage. There are a couple she is still able to wear, but the earlier dresses are now ready for storage. It was a time of reflection for me as I thought about Baby’s life this past year. I tried as much as I could adhering to the “babies wear white” tradition in the dresses I have made here. So, most of her “important” dresses have been made in white. Here are snippets of those dresses…

Her “coming out” dress when she was a month old:

A breathtaking dedication gown (made and given by a dear friend):

A smocked layette Baby wore for Easter and Mother’s Day:

I had made this bishop years before Baby was born, and definitely way before I knew we would have a girl. I was only hoping we would have a girl eventually when I made this:

We had a few colored heirloom outfits in between which I won’t include in this post. Here is what Baby wore for Christmas:

And this is Baby’s latest white gown, which she had worn for her birthday. Well, if Mama here doesn’t get with the program, Baby might be wearing this too for Easter this year…

I just love seeing babies in white. So, I don’t think I will stop making white dresses for Baby just because she is more grown up now…. but first, I am going to try to finish up her Easter dress this year, and it’s not going to be white! Stay tuned.

p.s.  Click here if you are interested in seeing these dresses in a more detailed manner.

I am still bullion-ing!

Thanks for your encouraging words on my smocked birthday dress.  I appreciate them very much.  And yes, I am still bullion-ing.  I am starting to see the end of the tunnel though.  Don’t you think the leaves really help bring out the bullion roses?

I did some quick Math — by the time  I am finished with the embroidery – I would have put in roughly 303 bullion stitches in order to form the rosebuds and roses, and stitched 298 leaves (not counting stitches I have to re-do).  No wonder it’s taken me so long…. note to self:  next time, plan the birthday dress a little earlier! ;)

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a fabulous day!  I will be getting to your emails and comments very soon!

Smocking: Birthday Dress

Good day,  Everyone.  I hope you are having a good day.  I am sorry I have been a bit scarce, but I have been working on a smocked birthday dress.  Embroidering the bullion roses has taken up most of my time in the past couple of days.  I am a bit out of practice with the bullion roses since it’s been quite a while since I did any serious embroidery of bullion roses. But I thought the color scheme turned out rather sweet:

I will be able to visit you back and respond to your comments once my embroidery is done.  I will also have more pictures of the dress to show you too!  Take care, and till next time.

On the twelveth day of Christmas…

I thought I would share with you one of my favorite Christmas traditions — new dresses! I grew up in a comfortable though not affluent home, but as long as I could remember, I always got a new dress for Christmas every year! I carried on with that tradition for myself after I left home to come to the States. I would buy myself a new dress for Christmas every year.

I have since passed on that tradition to baby as well. You have seen the Gingerbear Smocked Jumper I made as a Christmas play dress for her. Here is the Peppermint Smocked Bishop that I made for baby as the Christmas dress:

This was an earlier picture when the smocking was still in progress:

The fabric is Swiss White Dimity — it was definitely a dream to smock on. I just love the white ribs on the fabric:

The smocking plate is out of the 61st issue of Creative Needle. I omitted the green leaves that went on both sides of the flowerettes in the bottom diamonds because I wanted to keep the peppermint color scheme:

Truth be known, my dear Annelle saved the day, AGAIN!  She practically did most of the construction for this dress.  I was able to finish the dress a few hours before we were to board the plane to spend Christmas out-of-state!

Ol’ Mom here is going to cheat a little.  Baby doesn’t know it yet, but this is also going to be her Valentine’s Day outfit.  I am looking at a very tight schedule for 6 weeks starting now, which means I won’t have time to make a Valentine’s Day outfit.  So, this red/white Christmas dress would have to do! :)

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a fabulous day.  Bye bye Christmas, see you again in a year!