Saturday, November 6, 2010

2 Down - 5 to Go! Christmas dresses.......

You may be tired of seeing this dress, but now it's finished.  I made little bloomers for her to wear to cover that diaper when she's crawling around.  He mom hopes she's not crawling by Christmas, but she sure is trying now.   Of course a dress isn't the easiest thing in which to crawl.
 As I told you in previous posts, I wove the ribbon into the smocking so that it can be taken out easily after Christmas, thus, extending the life of this dress.  Therefore, I made a placket all the way down the back with buttons.  Otherwise, I might have just made a short opening with binding with the bows as closure.  See that little piece of thread on the floor?  I find those all over my house.  Do you carry threads on your clothing everywhere you go, too?  When I'm in town at the grocery store, or wherever, people always know I've been sewing!
 Looking very closely, you can see the tiny tatting that my grandmother made.  Each grandchild, mine, my siblings' and my cousins', are all getting one item with some of Honey's tatting.  The boys are getting pillows or blankets.  The pillows and blankets also have one of our aunt's huck tea towels. 
Now, for number two.  This dress is the sister dress to the one above.  This one is for Lil'E.  This dress also has a life after Christmas.
 The collar is detachable and reversible.  It's hanging kind of crooked in this shot.  Her mom will have to do better than I did for this photograph.
 The collar simply ties in the back with ribbon with long streamers.  As you can tell, I like ribbons and bows.
 This dress could even be worn without the collar.  I added the piping at the bodice and around the neck to dress it up a little.  I thought about adding rick rack, but changed my mind.  For the hem, I sewed the edge of the bottom of the skirt into a one inch growth tuck, which ultimately would add two inches if ever needed.  The way this dress is made, and as slender as Lil'E is, this dress could fit next year, too. 
 This dress could almost be worn inside out!  It kind of looks like a dress with a pinafore.  The only thing I would need to fix is where the buttons are on the back.  I would need to sew on buttons just for looks.  I thought about putting rick rack near the hemline on the lining, but time is of the essence, and I really doubt she would ever wear it this way, anyway.  The sleeve seam is the only thing that would show, but since it's a French seam it wouldn't look bad.  Of course, there's the elastic casing, but it looks ok, too, I think.
 Here are some close-ups of the collar.  This side is appliqued.  I ironed double-sided adhesive to the back of the fabric.  Then, I cut out the "E" and the hearts on the bias, ironed them on, and stitched around each one with a narrow zigzag stitch.
 This side is embroidered.  My daughter read on my blog that I was planning to make this collar, so she asked me to include the "Es" since it is detachable.  In other words, when Miss B gets big enough to wear this dress, I can just make a new collar with "Bs".
 When I embroider, I just do it as if I were drawing and coloring with thread.  I rarely ever use a pattern.  The same with my smocking.  The little holly berries are made like a bullion rose would be made, only with just three knots.  I first outlined the "E" and the holly leaves, then filled them in with a satin stitch.  I had to add an extra layer of cloth and interfacing to keep this from showing through on the other side. 
Now, it's on to Little Man's and the three big sisters' dresses. . . . . . . . . .


KID, MD said...

Such beautiful dresses!! Those grandkids of yours are lucky!

Needled Mom said...

Beautiful work on both dresses. I know that they will be thrilled to be able to wear them beyond Christmas. I used to make the detachable collars for my daughter's dresses when she was younger too. They are so practical and fun for the different holidays.

Elle said...

So cute! I remember tucking Laura's little dresses into the bloomers for crawling ability. Here's to hoping that Laura and Thomas have little girls (not TOO soon though) so I can pull out my pleater again! I love the detachable collar idea!

Marydon said...

Julia, I get so maudlin when I see these beauties that you make ... they bring a rush of moment so of Mother sitting there creating the beautiful smocking & needle works on our clothes ... hovering over that sewing machine in to the wee hours of the night to create something beautiful for us girls to wear ... memories.

Mother made my daughter several outfits for her kindergarten year & matching doll clothes. Unfortunately, I lent the clothes to an ex-SIL who never returned them but I have (1) doll dress still left, I treasure it.

Your workmanship is just awesome ... how fortunate they are all to have memories of your beautiful creations.

Have a beautiful PS ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

ShirleyC said...

They are all just adorable, and its very smart of you to think ahead so they can be worn after Christmas.
I love tatting, and I had saved a piece of my grandmother's tatting to make Shelby's homecoming dress when she was born.

Karon said...

Such cute ideas to make these multi season. My you work fast.....It would take me to next Christmas to get just the smocking done.

Crazy Mom Tats! said...

So pretty. And I love the gingham! It's cheery and classic. And the smocking & embroidery and terrific.

Goosegirl said...

Oh my goodness, these are so darling. I love all your beautiful dresses. Just gorgeous.

MyNorth said...

Sweet little dresses. Really like the detachable collar feature and the pinafore.
I need to get sewing again - you've inspired me!

Bead and Needle said...

I am so glad I've found your blog Julia (and thanks for stopping by)! I am so excited to see that someone else still sews with such passion - my first love is my sewing. I used to love to make dresses for my daughter when she was little...though nothing as extensive as your beautiful smocking! Heading back now to check out more of your work - Happy Sunday -

MushyWear said...

Beautiful, beautiful work. You just don't see such classic, cute dresses like these for little girls anymore, do you? I just love how special these are.

Toocutedobs said...

Be-U-TEE-FUL!!! Wow it is so nice to see classy clothes for children. The "my little gal's going trampin'" look just kills me. I've been thinking about grabbing up some of these old children's patterns even though I don't have anyone that age to sew for. You did a wonderful job on these.

Donna said...

Your dress is just beautiful! How pretty! My daughter, now 20, used to crawl around in dresses. I loved to see her in them..and so did hubby..but I think it did slow her down some. Ha!

You are such a sweet Grandma!
Donna @ Comin' Home

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