Monday, July 5, 2010

Antique Hand-Appliqued Linen Napkin Dress Finished


This little dress is perfect for SPRING!
Here is the completed dress that I have made using antique hand-appliqued linen napkins as the collar, sleeves and the front section of the skirt.  I have, as you can see, also hand smocked a panel for the bodice of this little dress.  The grandmother who ordered this dress wanted a pastel for her little dark haired granddaughter. O ised ,y favorite color combination of yellow, purple, and green in their pastel shades.  I have had these napkins for a long time and I've been dying to use them.  This gave me the perfect opportunity.  As you see, I pieced the napkins together to make the collar and sleeves.  I had extra napkins and decided the skirt needed a little something extra so I stitched two of the napkins, points together and filled in the diagonal triangles on their sides with fabric from the dress.  The fabric is a fine cotton pique that I purchased at Gina's in Knoxville.  As I have stated before, this store is a little pricey, but I think it was worth it in this case.  the color match was perfect.  The grandmother also asked that this be a light weight dress since her little granddaughter lives in sunny California.  I made the piping from a bias strip of the fabric.                                                          
I love sashes on little girls' dresses.  I decided to use white grosgrain ribbon on this dress.  There is white on the napkins and the background of the smocking, so I thought I'd add just another little touch of white.  The buttons on the back of the dress are round, unlike the ones on the smocking, but they are also the exact color of the napkins and the fabric.  I love buttons on the back of little dresses.  The heirloom techniques I used on this dress other than using the antique napkins are French seams, feather stitching the abutted napkins together, the hand smocking, of course, and using my wing needle to add little touches around the edges of the napkins where I needed to stitch.  A wing needle is wider than a normal needle and looks almost like it has wings on the sides (hence the name) which make a little hole in the fabric that adds a little touch of heirloom.                                                    
This is a close-up of the bodice which shows the collar and the smocking a little better.  I had these adorable little buttons that were the perfect color. They were the perfect shape, too, turned diagonally.  They mimic the shape of the collar and the points of the napkins on the skirt.  For the smocking, I wanted it to sort of look like a flower garden.  I stitched the green across the bottom as if it were the grass.  Then, can you see the leaves and stems?  The purple and yellow represents the flowers.  I made lots of little French knots to add some texture to the flowers.    
This dress was lots of fun to make.  Now, to get it packaged and in the mail! Then start on Big Sis and Little Sis dresses for our almost 3 year old and her little sister that hasn't been born yet!
My brother will probably go home tomorrow.  It depends on whether they were able to set up the Home Health Care folks to go to his house every day.  Since it's a holiday for lots of people, they weren't sure if they would be able to set up the visits today.  He is ready to go home!!!!
My mom had a wonderful evening yesterday, and she was still ok at lunch time today.  The pneumonia is under control, and she has been very calm for several days!  I'm hoping that this is a sign that the medicine adjustments really did work!!!


Susan said...

Oh my, Julia! This little dress is absolutely breathtaking!

I'm glad to hear that your brother and mom are continuing to improve! Keeping you all in my prayers!

Elle said...

Julia, this dress is so sweet. I did a lot of smocking and this type of sewing for Laura when she was little. Did you use a smocking plate, or make up the design yourself? So cute! It will become an heirloom, making the pricey fabric worth it in the end.

And I'm glad things are improving on the health end as well, and hope that your brother does go home tomorrow.

gwensews said...

That is such an amazing little dress, Juia. I hope you get photo of the child wearing it. What a work of art! Oh, and good news about mom. Hope things work out for your brother, as well.

ShirleyC said...

That is definitely a masterpiece. You are so creative.
I'm so glad your brother and mom are doing better. You sure deserve a break, my friend.

Amy said...

Wow! This dress is just so amazingly beautiful!

Gail said...

This is an heirloom. Your embroidery work is first rate.

Jackie said...

What a gorgeous dress! You always manage to pull off something that is absolutely beautiful.

I'm glad to hear your brother and mother are doing better.

Slipstitches said...

Firstly, I'm glad to hear your mom is doing better and secondly thanks for sharing the closeup shot of your smocking work on that lovely beautiful dress (great work).

Kim said...

Julia- as with minis- I am thinking that dress is even more gorgeous in person than how gorgeous it looks here on the computer screen. Your sewing talents amaze me! I especially love your smocking- so beautiful every time! I am glad to hear your brother and Mom are doing better- I will keep them in my prayers ♥

Britta said...

That is such a sweet dress. I've smocked before only once.(Actually twice, I made blessing dresses for my twin nieces). I would like to do more of it and get better at it. I really like the look. Great job! I love it!

Donna said...

That is a gorgeous dress Julia! I love it! I have a friend who does smocking, but I've never tried it.

What a treasure!

Donna @ Gettin' Thin Together
and DC's Creations

katherine said...

wow sure do awesome work. Stunning!

PaisleyJade said...

A very sweet little dress - and sashes! You are so clever!!!

MyNorth said...

Lovely dress and beautiful smocking! Glad you found my blog and now I've found yours. I too have a mom in a Long Term Care facility, and facing similar challenges as you. Thank goodness for the sewing diversion!!

The4Rs said...

Breathlessly beautiful! I would love it if you post it on my giving Vintage New Life, on Flickr, click on the badge on my web site to stop by.
Sorry to hear about all the family health issues, we went through waves of those in years past, stay strong!

KID, MD said...

Oh Julia! Stunning!! You do such amazing work.
I'm glad that things are on the upswing for you and your family as well.

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