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.

Peppermint Smocking

Good day, everyone.  I hope you are doing well.  I committed the unpardonable bloggy sin upon completing my Picket Fence quilt — I forgot to take some pictures of the quilt before I headed out the door to ship the quilt!!!  So, I will have to wait a few months before I can show you how the quilt turned out.

I am between deadlines.  I am waiting for fabrics to come before I have to be a busy beaver meeting another tight deadline.  While I am in between deadlines, I thought I’d better work on the last of baby’s Christmas dresses.  I am smocking another bishop for her (shocker!), this time with a peppermint color scheme on Swiss Heirloom Dimity:

I will have more pictures to show you.  Meanwhile, I’d better get back to my smocking before the quilt deadline monster is breathing down my neck again.

Have a lovely day, and stay warm (for those who are experiencing the cold front in the US).  Till tomorrow!

Done: Smocked Gingerbear Jumper

I bought this beautiful fabric a couple of months ago, knowing that I would use it to make a play-dressy outfit for baby.

I didn’t want to make something toooo involved — famous last words! Wouldn’t you know I fell in love with this little outfit (a modified Lucy by Children’s Corner) shown on website of Farmhouse Fabrics:

Picture from Farmhouse Fabrics

I just knew I had to make it with the gingerbread man fabric, using Little Memories‘ Gingerbear Smocking Plate! I have made a basic Lucy before, and was feeling a little adventurous in trying something different. Problem is, there are no instructions as to how to add an insert in a Lucy to make it look like the Farmhouse Fabrics sample. That means the original pattern had to be altered in order to fit the smocked insert. Nothing too involved, eh?! Did I say that? So, in order to make the Lucy after my own heart, I involved my dear sewing teacher Annelle in my crazy scheme to alter the pattern ourselves. Annelle is always super gracious to go along with whims (thanks, Annelle!).

I smocked the bears, did the prep work. We had just a bit of trouble centering the bears about the yoke. But Annelle can fix anything! We ended up with a jumper that looks pretty good!  We decided not to do the ruffle at the bottom.

Colors used in smocking: DMC 321, White, 3826, 937

Now, I have something to bring for show-and-tell for my December sewing club:

My, a whole week has come and gone. Mine has turned out quite differently than I had planned. It’s been a super busy week for me. I hope you have had a good one. Do enjoy your weekend. I shall catch up with you next week!

Smocking: A faceless bear…

… for now! :)  It was an uphill battle, I tell ya!  I feel like picture smocking and geometric smocking are two different animals.  Here is the progress on my Gingerbear Smocking so far.

Now, I just hope I can get the other two bears smocked without much trouble and heartache.  I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Thanks for stopping by – have a lovely day!

Pumpkin Patch Smocking done!

Hello Everyone, I hope you have had a great week.  My week has been quite productive, but that was at the expense of my rest.  I am feeling a bit tired trying to meet all the deadlines.  But tiredness aside, I feel great!  I spent a delightful morning with the Eureka Quilt Guild today.   I truly enjoyed their company, and appreciated their warm welcome!  On our way getting there, I was greeted with some gloriously beautiful fall foliage.  Fall is really here!


And our pumpkin patch date is coming up  in a couple of days.  The smocking on the bishop is done!  I really love how it has turned out.  This is the first time I used bold colors like the brown on a light background.  The satin batiste was a dream to stitch!  Now, I just need to get the dress constructed — and pumpkin patch, here we come!

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Completed: Lucy Jumper

I am a quilter who pretends that I am also a seamstress. For some unknown and yet to be determined reason, reading sewing pattern instructions turns my brain into a mess of tangled knots. So, it often happens that after hours of deliberating over the instructions contained in the sewing patterns, I just give up and walk away from my intended sewing projects. But I did have a “proud of myself” moment last night! I was able to complete a “Lucy” jumper….


ALL BY MYSELF (with a few tips from Annelle)!


The Lucy pattern is a Children’s Corner pattern. The instructions were clear, and they even have online help!


I hadn’t planned on making this more complicated than it was intended. So I just added a monogram for a personalized look:


With a Peter Pan collar blouse, a pair of tights and shoes — we are ready to hit the road, don’t you think?


The fabric I used is leftover fabric I had from making my Apple Basket quilt (from An Apple A Day by Benartex):

baskets apple3

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

Fall is in the floss!

… embroidery floss, that is!

I have had a full year, to say the least…. and as a result, I can’t quite believe that fall is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere. The air is a bit nippy these days, but my mind seems to refuse to admit that we have barely three months left in the year…. until… I started on my new smocked bishop over the weekend:

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There is no denial any longer!!! Fall is indeed here! Hopefully, I will get this dress completed in time for our date at the Pumpkin Patch!

Thank you for stopping by! I bid you a lovely fall day. I have some quilt pictures for you in the next couple of days – stay tuned! Meanwhile, I must get back to my log cabin quilt!

Completed Smocked Bishop

You have heard me say that heirloom sewing has always been an uphill battle for me. The techniques just do not come naturally to me. Had I not had my great friend Annelle, I would have given up a long time ago. So any dresses I complete is a testament to the kind patience Annelle has shown me in guiding me in my heirloom sewing journey. All that said, my bishop is completed!

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The fabric is so heavy that I had to use button thread to sew down the neck binding. The button thread felt like a miniature rope! But it should do its job in holding down the neck band:

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I had to re-familiarize myself with doing a blind hem. It was about 2am when I got the hem done, and the dress pressed! It’s a good feeling.

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Now, onto the next smocked bishop!  I hope to get some stitching done this weekend to show you.  I wish you a LOVELY weekend!

Smocked Bishop: Ready for construction

Good morning, everyone.  I hope all is well with you!

The smocking on this bishop is complete.  The smocking plate is from the Spring 2006 issue of Sew Beautiful.

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I can’t say I had enjoyed this plate because of the 3-step trellises to be completed in half-rows, but the effect is pleasing and agreeable on the dress:

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For some reason, the effect reminds me a dahlia blossom (picture from Pacific Bulb Company):


I did not follow the smocking plate for the sleeves.  I wanted the smocking on the sleeves to be rather subdue to highlight the cluny lace:

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Now, it’s time for the HARD part!  Putting together a garment is definitely not my strength!

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.