Saturday, September 8, 2012

English Garden Vintage Linen Sundress

Click on photos to enlarge.
 I love roses and beautiful English style gardens full of roses.  I think that you can really get a sense of how much I love old-fashioned English roses when you read my daughter's first name:  Victoria-Rose.  Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb working with them in my hot, muggy, humid, buggy Florida garden.  I've tried...repeatedly.  I do have satisfying success in the sewing room, though.
Buttons are from the stash of that same elderly sewist.
 For the last of the most recent donations for my school music teacher's fund raiser, I used a lovely small piece of fabric full of gorgeous roses.  I do not know it's age or manufacturer.  It was gifted to me when a dear friend's elderly sewing friend died a couple of years ago.   I paired it with a vintage off-white linen hand towel with the most beautiful drawn thread work of primroses.  I used the Children's Corner Paulie for the sundress in a size two.  It was the first time using that pattern and I liked it.  It is a simple dress to sew.
Double tucks at the hem.
I am toying with the idea of playing along with the new sew along challenge at .  I know a couple of the challenges will take me out of my comfort zone and trying to complete an outfit on a strict timeline isn't easy for me but I think it would be fun to try.  The first challenge is to use the bias skirt tutorial at .  This is one of the challenges that is pushing me a bit because it isn't vintage, heirloom, smocked, embroidered, or traditional.  I have begun a little skirt set for a friend's two year old daughter.  I love the idea of Week Three's White Sheet Challenge and have just the right sheet to use.

This evening I have a wonderful date with my husband.  We are going to the famous Vinoy Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg to spend the night and then have their renowned Sunday Brunch.  Our Victoria-Rose will be home from college and will be playing the piano for four hours in the center of the restaurant.  To say I am proud is quite the understatement!  Victoria-Rose is talented and works hard but she is also the sweetest, gentlest, and kindest soul with a perfectly positive outlook on life.  She teaches me something everyday and has since her dear birthmother placed her in my arms.  What a gift!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vintage Pillowcase As a Smocked Toddler Dress

 This was such a pretty vintage pillowcase with lovely pink, blue, and green hand embroidery! Just check out that gorgeous hemstitching on the hem.  Love it!  (Click on the photos to enlarge.)
 I had no one in mind when I found this beauty in an antique store in St. Petersburg earlier this summer but it 'called to me' and I decided to play with it.  I wanted to do something a little different with this one so I began looking through my AS&E collection (Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazines and books) for inspiration.  I found it in Designer Smocking for Tots to Teens.  I took the "Trendy Tot" halter top and lengthened it so that it would be a little above the knee sundress.
 I just used a simple trellis smocking design using the colors in the hand work at the bottom of the pillowcase. Then I added some blue flowers below the smocking.  I had some lovely pink micro check that went well with the pink in the embroidery and used that for the bias binding and ties.  I wish I had taken a picture of the back but it has a casing with elastic.  The bodice is lined with some of the pillowcase fabric that was left.
 I used the remaining pillowcase scraps to make a little sun bonnet.  I first drew a little line of flowers like those in the pillowcase and then traced the design onto the traced triangle shapes for the hat.  I again hand embroidered the little flowers using the same color floss as that in the pillowcase.  As you can see, I alternated the little embroidered wedges with more of the pink micro check.  The panties were made using a pattern in AS&E #53.  It is my 'go to' pattern for full panties.  I loved the ensemble and had intended to put it in my 'Grandmother's hope chest' but I took it to show one of the hairdressers at my favorite salon.  (He had spotted the stack of vintage linens, thought of me, and told me to go to the antique store where I purchased this pillowcase and several others.)  It caused a bit of a stir in the salon and I sold it within minutes.  (Quite a  wonderful surprise!)  I was in the midst of buying all those extra things a college girl needs/wants for her dorm room for my sweet daughter and was glad to sell it.  One of these days I will recreate the ensemble using another pillowcase for me to save.
All pictures are clickable to enlarge.

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