Sunday, October 24, 2010

First Baby Dress

Do you have an unusual memory attached to a sewing project? I do now! The day before we left for South Korea I suddenly decided that at some point I might wish that I had packed some handwork. So, I stuffed a white batiste bishop that I had pleated a few days before, floss, and needles in my suitcase. I told Rex that I might not even get it out, but in case of an emergency (in my case that would be time stuck in a hotel room) I was ready. As it happened I smocked almost the entire dress while waiting for #3 son to come pick us up in the mornings. I now have very strong memories attached to the dress of the view from our hotel window in Seoul and watching "Tom and Jerry" cartoons in Korean! Since Tom and Jerry never say anything I had no problem at all following along. When was the last time you had the chance to laugh along with Tom and Jerry?

Here is the completed dress! I never dreamed a year ago when I was drafting pattern #135, that I would be needing it myself a year later. So, this is officially the first dress that I have made for the expected granddaughter who is due in just two and a half weeks! I always like to start the new baby out in white and added the Madiera hem to make it a little more special.

Do you have a special memory tied to a sewing project? If you do, I would love to hear it, so let's have a Free Giveaway! You will win the pattern or book of your choice!

Here are the rules.

* Post a comment, on this post only. No e-mails, please. And, you may only post once.

* Tell us your most memorable sewing story. Were you on vacation, snow bound, or just really excited about what you were working on?

* Your time to enter will end this Friday night at midnight. I will randomly draw a name Saturday morning. You can check Saturday's post to see who the lucky winner is. I will then contact the winner, to find out which pattern (or the embroidery book) you would like. This will also give you time to see which pattern you would like to add to your stash! Good Luck!

Michie'

25 comments:

Elisabeth Rose said...

Hi Michie,
Last winter I went on a sewing retreat with my Quilt Guild friends. Instead of quilting, I spent the weekend working on smocked outfits, crocheted booties, and knitted hats for my baby (now 4 months old). It was a special time in my pregnancy that I enjoyed:chatting with friends, sewing, eating, and anticipating my new little boy. Now I have special memories (and pictures) of him in those outfits.

Sara said...

I remember when I first learned to smock. My sister had learned and kept telling me that i just had to learn this for my almost 1 y/o baby girl. She taught me the basic stitches in about an hour and I ws hooked. I made two smocked dresses. then she insisted I learn French Hand sewing. I went to Children's Corner in nashville and got my fabric and laces and made an Easter dress. It took me 6 weeks to make the ensemble of dress, slip and bonnet and i was a nervous wreck the whole time as I had never sewn on such expensive materials before. That littel outfit is still just as beautiful today as it was then, 26 years ago!

LMP said...

My favorite sewing memory is from when I was less than 5 years old. My sister and I always went with my grandmother to her "club meetings", which was a group of ladies that would meet at someone's house and quilt by hand. As soon as I could hold the needle I was stitching with them (I didn't even realize that my stitches were not staying in because the thread did not have a knot in it!). On the doll quilt that my grandmother made for me, I can still find about 3 inches of crooked stitches that I did myself which she left in. My grandma is the best!!

Eileen said...

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, I went into labor and ended up on bedrest for 3 months. I had taken some smocking classes but didn't have time to get any projects going. Shortly after I got home from the hospital, a package appeared at my door from one of my best friends who is my sewing buddy. She had 3 pleated baby bubbles, all tied off and ready to smock along with floss, needles, some smocking plates and the fabric and snaps to complete them! A sewing care package sent from Florida to Chicago! Susan is a wonderful friend and she knew just what I needed.

Laurie said...

Last year we had a family at church that had the mother of three, 2 boys and a girl pass away a couple of days before Thanksgiving from pancreatic cancer.

The little girl was to celebrate her 9th birthday on the 26th of December and I decided that I would be her secret and make doll dresses for her Cabbage Patch dolls.

My father became ill and passed away 3 days before Christmas. I resolved that I was going to get those dresses done between hospital visits and holiday activities. I've been told that the dresses brightened her day and they helped me preserver during a difficult time.

Samantha said...

My husband was ordained a few years ago and I made beautiful heirloom dressed for my girls to wear to his ordination. I also researched and studied and designed a chasuble and stole that I made for his special day. My youngest daughter and I had the privilage of "vesting" him during the ordination and I don't think I ever cried as hard as I did that day when we were placing that chasuble and stole on him. All of the stitches and prayers that went into those vestments came together in a beautiful moment that we will always treasure.

Debbie B said...

Before our grandgirl was born
(She's now 17 months old) I spent the time waiting for her to arrive stitching & sewing. I had a 'tote full' of clothes made for her before she arrived. I need to get all the dresses I made for her mom out of storage, wash & iron them so she can wear them when she gets a little older. I'm still stitching for her and hope to start another special dress soon.

Shonda Hill said...

Hi Michie,
My special sewing memory was in December 2005. I was expecting my 2nd little girl in January 2006. I went to my doctor's visit and the doctor sent me straight to the hospital, no passing go, no collecting $200. My bedrest was going to be in the hospital, I would have to stay there for a while. My family brought her dress and her bonnet that she would wear home from the hospital to me for me to finish smocking. My mom then took it to her house and finished sewing it up for me. She was born on Christmas Eve and was able to come home in the dress and bonnet that my mom and I finished together. That is one sweet memory I hope to never forget!

Karen said...

Years ago, (don't even ask how many) my daughter was the flowergirl in a wedding. The dress she was to wear an heirloom dress. After I started the dress I hurt my back and was flat on my back in bed for weeks. I handsewed most of the dress while holding obove me while lying down. The dress turned out great and so did the wedding. Every time I look at that dress I am reminded of all the love that went into it, and how tired my arms got! :)
Karen

Debi said...

In Feb 2001, my sister and I attended MP school and took Mirella Arroya's school. We were making Sophia Marie...a toddler dress full of pulled threads, hemstitching, and netting squares. We were still pretty new to this and bit off more than we should have. In March of that same year, our dad passed. We both sat for hours stitching away, while sitting with family and friends. Later that year, "the dress" and jacket were entered in our local tri-county fair and won Grand Champion. I never look at that dress that I don't think of my dad.

Jan said...

Last year I went to Kentucky to visit a friend and I got to go by myself for a whole week. We hadn't seen each other in years, but email each other 3-4 times every week. As there are no smock shops in my part of the country, she took me to bunches of places and I was like a kid in a candy store. I came back home with 40 yds of fabric and every time I use a piece from my trip, I think about her and my wonderful visit with my friend.

Amber said...

My memory isn't with smocking but quilting. When my son turned 5, he wanted me to make him a quilt. He has always loved for me to make him things, so I obliged, knowing he would love it. We spent a good bit of time in various sewing shops, him picking out his fabrics, and me getting backing,thread and batting. I sewed most of it, but he would come and sit in my lap to help me with the 1/4 inch seams. When I finally finished quilting it, I traced his hand onto some fabric, and hand appliqued around it on the back bottom corner of the quilt, and used it as the tag so that I would remember forever him being so little and wanting mommy to make him a quilt. I love it so much, and everyone that sees it can see all the love that went into it and the fun we had making it.

Laurie said...

Oh your story reminds me of years ago when I got called in for the dreaded jury duty. I knew I would be spending many hours in a room waiting to see if I would be seated on a case and wondered what in the world would I do to pacify myself during those long hours of waiting. Back then I had a Read 16 row pleater and I decided I wanted to pleat up a yoke dress that was smocked from shoulder to waist, which meant running my fabric thru the pleater twice to get the rows needed - it was the first time I had successfully pleated that way, and I was thrilled! I smocked the whole dress in a few days of sitting in jury duty and my daughter wore the dress for Easter that year. My daughter is now 28 years old and I still have that sweet little dress in her closet!

Belinda said...

My most memorable sewing was the christening gown I made for our first grandchild four years ago. I took my embroidery machine and all my supplies - including your tucked long gown pattern. My husband golfed all week while I stitched furiously. We came home on Sat and the baptism was on Sunday. No extra time to spare but the gown was lovely and now I am working on one for his baby sister. No vacation this time but I am taking care of her full time so time does get away from me.

grandmarockton said...

For every GRANDMA, theres the FIRST! I'm excited for you, PERCIOUS GIFT from GOD!

Hallie said...

I love reading these stories. Once I thought about it, I have several really happy sewing memories. My favorite one right now is that I cut apart one of my husband's shirts that I loved and that he was wearing when we were first dating, a spring green oxford cloth shirt, and made it into a sunsuit for our baby boy this summer. I loved seeing your tutorial on the buttonfront bubble refashioned from a man's shirt--maybe I will cut something apart again next summer and make that! Anyway I just loved making something for my son that was so well-loved by and on my sweet husband.

Robin Hart said...

I was very sick when I was pregnant with my middle child. In spite of that I wanted to make some sweet day gowns and dresses for her. I have one that became her coming home gown that I spent hours embroidering and pin stitching by hand the madeira hem. All the nurses on the floor had to come by the room to see her before I took her home.

Anonymous said...

I was 14 when I made my first garment. It opened a new world for me. I put the dress on and could not believe how nice it looked and that I would actually put it on. My teacher complemented me and I was hooked on needle and thread.

Peggy said...

I went to Switzerland to visit my DD, who was a volunteer at the Girl Scout/Girl Guide World Center. The only thing I wanted to bring back with me was some Swiss lace to use on a dress for my expected granddaughter. Switzerland...Swiss lace...should be easy, right? We researched, found St. Galen to be the "lace capitol of the world!"...and on Monday of the trip, took a 3 hour train ride to St. Galen to buy lace. Lots of walking produced NO fabric shops so we asked a guide. Since the tourist brochures were printed, things had changed and most of the lace shops had closed. Besides, the remaining ones were not open on Mondays. We found one open shop that had designer (runway quality) fabrics that were amazing. The $700/yd purple cashmire was devine. Not wanting to leave empty-handed after all that, I could afford 1 meter of blue dotted Swiss, 1 meter of pink and white floral print and 1 meter of yellow and white floral (on sale - $5/yard!), all very sheer and wonderful. This was 2 years ago and I still have the uncut fabric, intimidated to cut it. DGD's almost 2 now, so I need to use at least one piece before she outgrows the length. Every time I see that fabric I think of going to the "lace capitol of the world!"

Judy said...

When our son married our DDIL, we gained a new granddaughter and grandson. My best memory is sewing the dress our new granddaughter wore in their wedding. I have sewn many more dresses for her and our two new granddaughters that each and every one are filled with love stitches from their Granny.

heather said...

i smocked my first dress for my 6 months old daughter ( she just turned 35!]. It was a Style pattern and had iron on dots. It was made of light blue polyester dotted swiss and I used white, pink ,yellow, green and purple floss. I used nylon lace to edge the neck and sleeves and I thought it was beautiful. I proudly had her photo taken in it. I still have that little dress. I look at it now and see all its imperfections , Now I make smocked dresses for my little grand babies using a pleater, cotton heirloom fabrics, french lace and a more restrained color palette but I keep that little blue dress to remind me of my first baby and of how very young I was .

kr said...

Whenever I bribed my boys to wear what I made for them, I would say that I had sewn love into the seams and anytime they needed to feel loved my hugs were right there.

When my boys were little I made them pirate/captain hook coats complete with white puffy sleeves and lace, that they used for play. The first one I made was used so much that the seams were splitting and the coat was nearly in shreds. Bringing the coat to me one day they asked me to please make them another and this time to not put so much love in it.

Susan said...

My first smocking was a big 3 pattern smocked with dots. I brought it to the sewing store "club" and asked who would like to sew with me. Hands went up and the Victorian Smockers Daytime Chapter began,an extension of the evening group. Some years later we have become a dedicated group with wonderful retreats, classes and members. Susan VH

Virginia said...

After finding out I was having a girl, I decided it was time to finally learn to smock. The smocking part was fairly easy for me as I had already done some needlepoint but the realization that I had to know how to sew to construct the bishop daygown was quite daunting. My daughter is now 2 1/2 and I love sewing for her.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michie,
My Army Reserve husband was deployed to Suadia Arabia Thanksgiving 1990 before the Gulf War. I was very anxious during that time. My friend and coworker said to me very sternly, "You need a hobby and you are going to learn to sew." Every weekend through the war and until my husband returned we sewed together. I believe sewing saved my sanity then and continues to do so now. I've watched the transformation of others when they begin or return to sewing during thier own difficult times. I truely believe sewing mends hearts and saves lives. Thanks, Patty

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