Children’s Corner Smocked Carol Apron Dress

I stayed up till 2:30am last Sunday morning finishing up Miss Baby’s Carol apron dress. It was warm enough on Sunday that we were able to debut the dress, paired with a red sweater, at church.


I am telling you… sewing just does not come naturally to me. I become best buds with the seam ripper whenever I try to put together a garment. But I guess the result is worth it. I am most proud of my piped collars and sleeves – I did that all by myself.


The darling thing about this dress is the little belt on the back of the dress. I sewed an apple button to match the fabric. Fabric is Kawaii Japanese fabric. Kawaii makes the cutest print fabrics for kids.


The dress can be worn by itself. Annelle and I decided it would also look cute with a pair of Lettie pants.


These are the feet I used to construct the dress. My friends at my local Bernina dealership would be so proud of me for using all those feet!


Even though garment sewing and I are almost like oil and water, and we tolerate each other when we have to, I do love the idea of sewing for Miss Baby. I always take the opportunity to pray and think extra thoughts of Miss Baby when I work on projects for her. It’s the thought of covering her with love that makes me persevere and take out those stitches with a smile and try again.


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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! ;)

I love Lucy!

I absolutely love the “LUCY” pattern by Children’s Corner. Here is the latest variation of Lucy completed for Miss Baby:

I thought this turned out to be a really fun jumper:

These are the Lucy’s I made last year for Miss Baby :

1. Christmas Jumper with smocked insert:

2. Fall Jumper. Actually, Miss Baby has worn the jumper by itself this summer. It made a cute summer play outfit.

Now, you can surely see that I do love Lucy! :) I like to sew for Miss Baby (even though garment construction does not come naturally for me) because I like to “cover” my little one with love as much as possible. That’s why, I am determined to still make a few things for her even though I am up to my eyeballs in quilt deadlines.

Summer Smocking DONE!

The smocking on the summer playdress I am making for Baby is done.   I used the free smocking plate on Creations by Michie.  This is the smocking before I took the dress off the smocking board:

This is what it looks like after the little flowerettes were added.  I REALLY like the scallop effect of the last two rows:

I thought I would show you a few things I do to make smocking easier for me when I smock a bishop on the smocking board.

1. I mark the center two pleats with a pin.  The pin stays there as long as the dress is pinned on the smocking board.  That way, I don’t have to search for the center marked with the fabric marker prior to pleating if I ever have to reference the center at any point during the smocking process:

2.  I always smock multiple rows at a time to check that my counting is correcting during the smocking process.  There is nothing more annoying to have take out stitches in the previously stitched row when I realize I have made a mistake somewhere in the previous row while stitching a current row.   So I have started stitching at least three rows at one time.

3.  I have a magnet in the center of the board to keep my needles.  I placed a thumb tack in the center, and then, a small magnet on top for a make-shift pin-cushion to keep track of my multiple needles.  Works out wonderfully for me.

4.  I also use these nifty 1/2″ applique pins made by Clover to pin my dress to the the board instead of the smocking pins with the orange tops.  The tops come off too easily for me when I I pull them out.  The applique pins work out splendidly for me, and I think I got 100 of them for under $5.

Now, it’s time to construct the garment – not my favorite thing to do for those of you who have known me for a while.  But I shall persevere.  And, Annelle, guess who’s going to beat down your door for a visit in the very near future..?! ;)

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely start to another new 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! :)

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!

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!


Completed: Pumpkin Patch Smocked Bishop

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This is how the “pumpkin patch” smocked bishop looks upon completion! It turned out very very fall-ish. I am in love with it:

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The colors used are DMC 951, 922, 3826. Smocking plate is from Australian Smocking & Embroidery Issue 47 (original project: Baby Blue). Fabric is peach satin batiste. This fabric has a very fine feel, and better yet, it has a slight sheen that adds to the beauty of the dress!

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Besides the smocking, what made me melt is the wide hem! I have a thing for wide hems on little girls’ dresses. They make the dresses look just a little less casual!

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I didn’t use but a little lace for this dress – a bit of cream Swiss embroidery lace on the sleeves:

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In my humble estimation, the bishop cut is a most timeless designs in children’s fashion — it had looked good in the past; it looks good now; and it will still look good 50 years and beyond from now!

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Thank you for stopping by. I want to wish all my bloggy visitors a fabulous weekend. I will be teaching a Free Form Feather Drawing Class at Rogers Sewing Center, and I am looking forward to it!

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!

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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….

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

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

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

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

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

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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!