Friday, February 15, 2013

Smocked Garden Party Toddler Dress for Project Run & Play Season 6

My "Signature Look"

As always, click on the photos to enlarge them.
 I had such fun creating this little smocked frock for Week #6 of Project Run & Play.  This week's challenge was to design a child's outfit that would showcase one's 'Signature Look'.  This wee outfit incorporates all of my favorite sewing features.
  • Vintage styling
  • Fine fabrics
  • Quality trimmings
  • Smocking
  • Embroidery
  • Lace-work 
  • Detailing
  • Re-purposing another needle artist's work
  • Baby/toddler fashions
 The dress is made of fine pink micro-check and white batiste using a 1985 pattern called Medora's Sundress & Jumper in a size 2.  I used a lovely cotton batiste battenburg and hand appliqued curtain as the overlay  on the skirt and ran both fabrics through the pleater together.  It was a dream to pleat and I am delighted to say that I have three more of these curtains in different lengths.
Photo of the curtain before I took the casing out of the top.  

The skirt has a single one inch growth tuck within the three inch hem.
 The back of the dress shows how I had the overlay continue around the back of the dress like a little pinafore would.  The Swiss edging was attached to the top of the bodice back to add a little sweetness.

 The smocking design is one I fell in love with several years ago in Creative Needle Magazine.  (I was so saddened that the magazine folded in the downturn of the economy.)  I have added a scan of the magazine page showing the design on an infant bubble.  (I do hope that this is alright.  I have credited the magazine on the photograph.)  I think it is one of the most delightful little floral and insect designs.
 As you can see, I made some minor changes like changing the colors and adding more insects.
 Love the bullion bows on this design!

 The pink Swiss edging and the white Swiss insertion were on a dress I made my daughter when she was in first grade.  It was a well-loved little dress and was literally worn out!  I salvaged these little trimmings from the sleeves for this dress.  I smile every time I look at them!
 The panties were made with Imperial broadcloth and some pink Swiss edging from my stash.
 I know that these little panties/bloomers will be on display on a two or three year old so I made them extra fancy with the little heart applique on the tushie trimmed with more Swiss edging salvaged from my daughter's dress and a little bow.
 I like this little ensemble so much that it is going into my "Grandmother's Hope Chest".  I hope one day to see a sweet little granddaughter twirling around in it!
Don't forget to stop over at Project Run and Play to see more inspiring looks for children!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sage and Roses Smocked Daygown for Project Run & Play Season 6 Men's Shirt Refashion Sew-Along: Completed!

These pictures were taken at night and aren't as clear as I'd like.  I do apologize.
I want to thank everyone who said prayers and sent good wishes for my Tim's surgery recovery.  He had a very complicated hernia repair that caused some heart and blood pressure issues.  Unfortunately, this was the third surgery in six months for the same thing and each time recovery has been more difficult.   I was so worried a week ago but he is so much better today.  Prayer is so powerful!!!

This was such a fun project!  The challenge this past week was to take a man's dress shirt and create a child's clothing item.  The cotton shirt I found was such a lovely shade of pale sage green and had a wonderful 'hand' to it.  I knew right away that it would make a sweet daygown.  I love making baby clothes and I love working with lovely materials like French lace insertions and edgings.  I also love handwork like smocking and embroidery.   So an infant daygown would be the perfect project match for the shirt and me.

(Yesterday's post had pictures taken near a window in the morning and show the colors better and seem to have sharper details.  You can check them out here.)

  A daygown is a 20-27 inch long gown worn by babies for generations everywhere and still worn in Europe, South America, Australia, and in the United States in the South.  It has long been considered a practical garment that is loose fitting and comfortable for baby.  They cover baby's feet and make changing a diaper so much easier than dealing with snaps, buttons, or zippers on sleepers or other little suits.  Traditionally, daygowns were for both boys and girls and were made in white fabric and embroidered in white and later in pastel shades.  This one is obviously made for a baby girl!

Smocking closeup.
On page 4 of the wonderful heirloom sewing book French Hand Sewing for Infants by Sarah Howard Stone, Mrs. Stone gives suggestions for sewing a layette:
"For the modern baby's layette, we suggest a christening gown, slip, and cap; two pretty dresses, one fairly elaborate and one less elaborate; six permanent-press daygowns; six more elaborate batiste daygowns; six pairs of booties or little socks; three or fours kimonos; six drawstring gowns, three little caps; six diaper shirts; six very pretty top sheets; one fancy pillow; one less elaborate pillow; fourteen plisse and flannel receiving blankets; and two challis squares with wide lace ruffles."

This book was originally published in 1984 and my copy is from the fifth printing in 1993 which really wasn't so very long ago!  If you count up just the daygowns and the drawstring gowns, that is 18 gowns!  Goodness!  It is a good thing that they are supposed to fit for the first six months (depending on the baby's size).  Although I have made MANY smocked daygowns over the past 18 years, I have always given them away or sold them.  This is the first one that I am keeping for my Grandmother's Hope Chest.   Victoria-Rose, my daughter, loves both the dress and bonnet and says that her babies will wear classic baby clothing more often than the modern things found in most stores.  Yippee!  I'll be adding more to my hope chest!

 I used an old pattern for this gown:  Grace Knott's "Baby Nightie" in the 8-11 pound size and  it is 21 inches long.  I believe that it will fit a larger baby, though, unless the arms are very chubby.  Raglan sleeve garments fit for a longer time.  I did shorten and widen the sleeves to form puffed short sleeves and of course, the placket was adjusted to make use of the one already on the man's shirt.
 I changed out the buttons that came with this shirt for six carved shell buttons and added a tiny bit of  embroidery to the placket to add a little interest to the back.
 I flipped up the hem to show the inside of the dress in the next photo.  There are no exposed seams to irritate delicate infant skin.

I hope you like this little ensemble.  I had such pleasure in making it! There are lots of wonderful ideas here at Project Run & Play for using men's shirts in creating children's clothing.  Check them out!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Man's Shirt Refashion for Project Run & Play Season 6

Completed Outfit!

Alternate Title:  Time Lost Can Never Be Found Again

The completed outfit photos and details are posted HERE.  Please click over to check them out.

Oh, my goodness!  I have struggled so about writing this post!  I absolutely LOVE what I have been working on for the sew-along challenge but have not been able to complete it in time for the 8:00 am judging for the contest.  Life, with all its ups and downs, got in the way.  My husband was in the hospital again for surgery for 5 days this past week and two friends had family members pass away in the same time period. There wasn't the time to sew that I needed for this!

 Anyway....I have decided to share what I have accomplished (knowing that it cannot be judged) and update this post on Saturday with a completed picture and all the details concerning patterns, etc.

Here is the original man's extra large dress shirt in a lovely pale sage green.  This was purchased at a Hospice Resale store.

 This is the infant daygown almost complete.  The smocking didn't take too long but I was very slow with the embroidered roses and the lace work.

 Hem with entredeaux and the French cotton lace insertion and edging stitched together.
 The little heirloom bonnet with the pieced laces that just needs the ties sewn on.
This has been my favorite challenge and I am so disappointed that I didn't complete it by the deadline.  Please come back again to see the little gown and bonnet all finished. 
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