Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Smocking for Baby

 Well, my good intentions about posting more often went astray.  I am blessed with a rich and varied life with lots of ups and downs and lots of "busy-ing" as my beautiful grown-up daughter used to say when she little.  My wonderful husband had another surgery in September that derailed my plans a bit and, to be honest, it is hard to get back into the swing of blogging when you step away for a while.  So....Everyday is a blessed new beginning and I begin again.  I have been 'busy-ing' and have lots to share that have never been blogged about before.  First up is a smocked baby ensemble I made as a gift for a sweet friend's first granddaughter.
 I used Jeannie Baumeister's pattern:  The Old Fashioned Baby:  Baby's Smocked Layette for all three pieces.  This was my first time using this pattern and I am enthralled with it.   I adore making traditional baby clothing and Jeannie's pattern was wonderful to work with!  I decided to make the shorter dress version but with lace edging like the daygown.  Lovely French lace, vintage pearl baby buttons, and silk ribbon are always a dream to work with.  Imperial batiste was the fabric of choice for it's ease of care for the modern mama.
Back of dress with the tiny vintage buttons.
I chose to use a different smocking design on the front of the dress than that in the pattern because I wanted the smocking to make more of a holiday statement.  I used a simple design by Ellen McCarn:  "Kelly".

Cable smocking on the sleeves with French knot flowers and lazy daisy leaves.

Gathered lace added to the hem.

The bonnet was smocked with a design I made up to coordinate with the dress.  I love this bonnet! It frames an infant's face so beautifully.   I have another pattern that I really like, too (Anna's Smocked Bonnet)  that has a folded back ruffle that is a bit more complicated to make up than this one but I think this one is my new favorite.  I think that I might like to combine my favorite features of both bonnets someday.  The baby slip was made with only one shoulder button closure.  The pattern has two. 
Another shot of the bonnet closes this edition.  Jeannie has the most gorgeous patterns for babies.  You can find her store at  and her blog at .


  1. Hi Karen -- What a lovely present for a friend's new granddaughter. I am so impressed with your sewing and the beautiful smocking (a skill I have always wanted to learn, but have never even tried), and you even adapted the smocking pattern to make it your own.

    All the pieces are so pretty, and I know your friend will be beyond thrilled.

    P.S. I've subscribed to your blog, and am excited to start reading you archived posts.

    1. Thank you for the kind words! I wanted to learn how to smock for years but decided to take a class when my daughter was a year old. I found it very easy to learn. There are lots of on-line tutorials. I wish you lived nearby, I would love to teach you!


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