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I'm Christina, Gran to three beautiful wee toddlers. I'm also a wife, a mom, a sister, a friend. My family means more to me than I can ever say. And... I sew!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Lauryn Easter Dress!

In my heart of hearts, I love hand embroidery ‒ the finished work is just SO pretty, and you can literally work on it ANYWHERE!

(True story: years ago, my husband and I commuted to work together. During the winter months, when it was still dark at 6 am when we began the hour-long drive to the city, I would wear a headlamp so that I could work on my smocking in the dark. The headlamp was perfect, because it focused the light directly on my work, yet didn't interfere with his ability to see the road. It was only months later that one of my colleagues asked me about the symbol on my forehead when I arrived each morning. Symbol??? Turns out the headlamp strap was so tight that the underside of the lamp left an imprint on my forehead each morning... and I had absolutely no idea. This was the symbol:


Yep. I arrived for work each morning with a target on my forehead. 
But I digress... )

Back to smocking.

When I was young, I lived for the day that I would have children of my own. I never wanted a career, or to travel... I only wanted a family. In my dream, my little girl was named Kate, and she wore smocked dresses. So, long before I learned to drive or even met my husband, I learned to smock.

Fast forward many years, we did indeed have our wee Kate, and she did wear smocked dresses. For a few years, anyway. Then came t-shirts and sweatpants, and the dresses were a thing of the past.

Fast forward many MORE years, and – Oh! Be still my heart! – we have grandchildren! Three, to be exact. And among them are two little girls, Olivia and Lauryn. Only two months apart in age, I once again can pour my heart into garments for the wee girls I love more than life itself. So imagine my joy when Lauryn's mother Lyndsay asked if I would make her an Easter dress. I cannot even.

And here is Lauryn's first Easter dress, complete with matching diaper cover.

I cannot wait to see her in it! 

The fun is just beginning, as a 'Canada Day' romper is already on order (Lauryn) and, with luck, Olivia will soon get in on the action. I am a happy Gran. 💜

Happy Easter!


Construction Details:

1. Adding piping to the collars.

2. Collars complete!

3. Back and front shoulder seams stitched and pressed.

4.  Collars stitched in place between the dress and bodice/back linings; the linings have been turned to the inside.
(The importance of the linings cannot be overstated, as they protect tender baby skin from rubbinb against any knots.)

5. Back placket and button loops stitched in place and pressed.

*Normally, the buttons on the left back would be placed on top of the smocking so that, when buttoned, no placket would be visible. Because we were concerned that the neck was too small for Lauryn, I made a FNA (full neck adjustment, lol) that you can see in the next photo.

6. It's obviously not ideal, but it's more important to me that Lauryn be comfortable. Besides, this dress is *not* being judged in any competition. And honestly... she'll outgrow it in about 2 minutes...

7. Adding the sleeves.
I only gather the sleeve cuffs after the sleeves are stitched in place, and the arm and side seams are complete.

I don't have a photo, but after the sleeves are stitched across the shoulders, it's an easy seam on the underside of the sleeves, the underarm, and straight down the side. The only trick is ensuring that you've caught all of the side seam allowance in the seam, and the smocking lines up as one continuous pattern front to back.

8. I had to scrounge for a pattern for a diaper cover, but finally found one that would work. Side seams are stitched and pressed, and the only thing left is to add the fabric bias for casings and add the elastic.


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