Let it Snow!

That is the title of the smocking plate by Ellen McCarn that I used for this Christmas dress.  My friend wanted a Christmas dress for her granddaughter.  My friend’s daughter (the mom) didn’t want the dress to be limited to just the Christmas season   and, living in Boston where it snows, she suggested something with snowflakes. What a wonderful idea!

 

The plate has several design suggestions depending on how many rows you want to smock.  There are two round neck designs and three yoke designs along with two sleeve designs.  As you can tell, “Let it Snow” is an extremely versatile smocking design.

There are many plates featuring snowmen and snow flakes as an option for a holiday outfit.  Of course, this also means you cannot use white fabric but there are plenty of beautiful blues and other colors to choose from.

 

 

For this dress, the mom requested blue fabric.  The baby is only two months old so I didn’t want to do a dark blue.  I love the richness of this color with a little bit of periwinkle as well, perfect for the white snowflakes.  I chose white floche for the smocking and a white lace that had a little snowflake design to finish the sleeves.

 

I hope mom and baby enjoy these snowflakes all winter long!

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Pink Perfection!

A wonderful lady from my hometown asked me to make a dress she could give as a gift to her friend.  The lady and her husband used to be the youth group  leaders at my hometown church so I wanted to make something really special for her to give her friend.  It turned out to be one of my favorite dresses.

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The combination of the pale pink satin batiste fabric, the ecru smocking, and the pale pink flowers, is so soft and delicate.  The pattern is Chery Williams Basic Bishop and the smocking plate is Lindsey by Ellen McCarn.

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As you can see, this plate can be used for a bishop or yoke dress.  You can also choose your colors as well.  Instead of floss, I used three strands of floche.  Floche is made from 100% mercerized cotton, has a beautiful texture, and is easier to manage than floss. Be sure and use shorter lengths because the fibers can wear quickly.

Once again, I chose to finish the sleeves with lace and smock them.  It makes the construction so much easier and provides beautiful detail to the dress.

 

The color of the lace matches the color of the floche (Ecru) used for smocking.  The flowers are done in 818 and 819 with the leaves in 369.  The design is fairly simple and quick to do.

I am not a great photographer, but here is the finished product.

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What are some favorites you have done?

Christmas Wreaths

“Christmas is coming” was a headline on the news this morning and I couldn’t believe that there are only 10 weeks left!  I loved making Christmas outfits for my two daughters.  Pouring over the patterns, fabric, and plates would take all day.  Since my girls are grown, I rarely have the opportunity to make Christmas dresses now.

This year, a dear friend asked me to make a Christmas dress for her great niece.  The baby will be around six months around the holiday time so that meant a tiny bishop with few rows of smocking.  There are many Christmas plates to choose from, however, the majority of them are too big for such a small dress.  I wanted to do more than just a red and green geometric, but only had a limited number of smocking rows to work with.  I decided to go with the wreaths from the Ellen McCarn plate, Holiday Greetings.

Bishop Smocking Design for Christmas � 

The pattern is Baby Bishops by Chery Williams.  I like this pattern because it has small sizes and you can chose to do a dress, daygown, sacque, or even a diaper shirt.  For the fabric, I used white, satin batiste.

I had just enough white tatting in my drawer to use on the sleeves.  I turned under the raw edge twice and then attached the tatting by hand before smocking the sleeves.

Here is the finished product, I can’t wait to send it to my friend and see it o her great niece just in time for Christmas.

What are you working on for Christmas?  If you have any questions about the dress or pattern, let me know!

 

 

Game Day Babies

There is no better way to show your support for your team than dressing in team colors.  That is true for everyone including the tiniest of fans.  There is no shortage of game day fabric and more designs are added each year.  It is always fun to design something for the parents’ new addition using team colors and designs.  Below are two little game day outfits that I recently finished.

This pattern for both is Michie Mooney’s diaper shirt and diaper cover.  The instructions are easy to understand and you can typically make it in a day.

Creations By Michie Infant Shirt & Diaper Cover

The first one was for an Alabama Crimson Tide fan.  I used the elephant found in Michie Mooney’s Heirloom Embroidery book.

A good friend of mine who is an Auburn fan, just welcomed her first grandchild.   For the second one, I  embroidered tiger paw prints across the front of the diaper shirt.

Choosing the bias neckband instead of a basic collar help tie the shirt and cover together plus it was a lot faster!

I have made several game day outfits for little ones because college football is a big deal in the South and with new fabric arriving each fall, it never gets old.  If you have any questions about either game day outfit, feel free to comment below or message me!

 

 

The “Surprise” Baby

I am always stumped when I am invited to a baby shower but the parents don’t know if the baby is a boy or girl.  They want to be “surprised” which is fine.  This was the case last month when we (my daughters and I) were invited to a sweet cousin’s baby shower.  I started thinking about this shower in July and trying to figure out what to make.  I knew I would do a daygown using Michie Mooney’s Infant Daygown pattern #101, with some shadow work on the yoke.  After some more thought, I decided to do the beautiful cross design from Michie Mooney’s book Heirloom Embroidery.

I added some ecru tatting and a drawstring using ecru satin ribbon.  Since both of my daughters were also attending, I needed two more gifts.   Something that can work for a boy or girl is a plain bonnet.

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And finally, since the mother-to-be is a huge Alabama fan…

All of these things can be gifts for a boy or girl baby.  What ideas do you have for “Surprise” babies?

Fabric Shopping in Miramar Beach

Last weekend, my husband and I spent the weekend in Miramar Beach, Florida.  It is located in the Florida panhandle and is home to the most beautiful white sand and clear water.   While my husband handled some work issues, I decided to visit a fabric store that I heard about at my SAGA group meeting, TJ’s Fabrics.  The store moved to Miramar Beach from Opp, Alabama, and has a wonderful selection of fabric, patterns and notions.

This is a quilt made from Michael Miller’s minky fabric.  It is incredibly soft and absolutely adorable.  They have a kit with all the fabric for around $75.00.

 

Behind the blanket, you can see all the bolts of fabric.  There is a fabulous selection of Christmas fabric as well as game day fabric.

Just rows and rows of fabrics to choose from for your projects.  Below is from the front looking back.

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Looking toward the front of the store.

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There is fabric along the walls as well.

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The ladies in the store drive in everyday from Opp, Alabama, and are very nice and will help you with anything you need.  The store is located in the same building as Cox Pools on Highway 98.  When you turn in, go past Cox Pools and you will see the door on the left.  They also have 4500 bolts of fabric available in their online store.

If you are in the Miramar Beach area, it is worth the trip!  They are open Tuesday-Friday, 10-5, Saturday, 10-2.

More Boys Outfits

My friend in Atlanta is having a boy and so is my daughter’s friend in town.  Loving the boat fabric of the previous outfit, I chose the same fabric but in the blue background for my friend.

 

Also, loving the bucket hat from Oliver + S, I had to do another one.  This one, I lined with pale yellow pique.

 

This hat makes such a great addition to any little outfit, boy or girl.  How cute would it be in feather wale corduroy!  And of course, it is reversible.

 

My daughter’s friend is a huge Alabama fan,  so naturally we went with the Alabama themed Johnny.

 

And naturally, we added the bucket hat with the light gray houndstooth print on one side and the tiny elephants on the other.  Again, the reversible hat was an adorable addition to the whole outfit.

 

 

After working on these two outfits and the previous one, I had enough fabric leftover to make three little bubbles using the Children’s Corner Taylor pattern.  I also found this really cute sun hat to make to match two of the bubbles.

First, the football fan bubble:

 

Next, the boat bubbles:

 

 

 

These are great, quick gifts to make for boys or girls.  What quick, easy baby things do you make for gifts?

Beach Bubble

A young woman in my daughter’s office is having a little boy.  When I saw this adorable boat fabric (by Fabric Finders) in The Sewing Room, I had to buy it.  What a great fabric for a little boy.  I picked up matching piping and buttons for a cute beachy bubble.

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The pattern is Taylor by Children’s Corner.  For a girl, you can add lace or eyelet edging to the legs.  I bought the piping already made and had a little trouble getting close to the cording when I was attaching the front and backs to the lining. I was using my zipper foot but found it was better to use the monogramming foot that came with my machine.

And what would be a perfect addition to the outfit?  A sun hat!  Recently I started making bonnets to go with bubbles for girls but didn’t have any ideas for boys.  This bucket hat is simple to do and can be for girls or boys.  It isn’t just for babies either.  The pattern has sizes from 6 months to 8 years.

This adorable hat pattern is free from Oliver + S.   The only difficult part was matching the two crown pieces.  I did the stitching on the brim 1/4 inches apart and would make that bigger next time, maybe 1/2 inches apart.  Also, if you were using a solid fabric, the stitching could be done in a contrasting color for fun.

Boat Outfit

This is a perfect outfit for any tiny beachgoer!  All you need to add is sand, bucket and shovel.

 

Blankets, Blankets and More Blankets

Recently, I was going through my sewing room looking at unfinished projects and found some pink flannel and pink toile that I bought to make a blanket.  After sewing the two together, I hemstitched around it to make holes for crocheting the edge.

I had forgotten how little time it takes to do the blankets and enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t stop at just making one!  This next one is for a boy.  I found the crochet pattern here.

I love the soft green flannel with the pale pink satin batiste and pink edge.  So sweet for a little girl.

While most of these blankets are backed with satin batiste, it isn’t necessary.  This flannel with the gray design from The Sewing Room is single layer only.  It is a great design for a boy or girl.

This cute bee flannel fabric also came from The Sewing Room.

These blanket projects are so easy and portable and they make great gifts!  There are endless combinations of fabric and crochet thread you can use.

I bought the brushed twill in pink and blue from The Smocking Bird, the gray flannel and the bee flannel along with the backing came from The Sewing Room.

I also purchased some blue flannel along with this anchor flannel from Children’s Corner Store.  The elephant flannel and some white flannel were purchased from Zig Zag Sewing Studio.

The only issue I have right now is what to do with all these blankets!!

Basic Bishop

My husband asked me to make something for a friend of his that has a new little girl.  He wanted a smocked dress in a small size.  I decided on the classic bishop dress in a size 12 month.  I took a trip to the Smocking Bird for fabric in a nice floral print.  I used Chery William’s Baby Bishops Pattern and Ellen McCarn’s Olivia Grace smocking plate.

Geometric smocking design for bishop.

I really liked using this plate because it also has designs for smocked sleeves.  Smocking the sleeves takes a little bit of extra time in the beginning but makes the construction phase go faster.  This plate is also great for anyone new to smocking since it is only 5 to 6 rows.

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The finished dress looks like summer to me and I hope the little girl enjoys it.