I'm back after a two week absence from posting. We had visitors, 2 children and a granddaughter, a sister, niece and grandniece, but luckily not all staying with me. We had my mother's 80th birthday party, and many other get-togethers while the whole family was in town. But now everyone is gone, and it's time to get back to stitching, blogging and cleaning the sewing room.
But first I'd like to show you a Christening Gown I made when my daughter got engaged. (nothing like jumping the gun - she's been married six years!)
This is from Australian Smocking and Embroidery (AS&E), Issue 53, made from ivory silk dupioni and embroidered and smocked with YLI silk embroidery floss. I got the silk from Joann's bridal collection. It's really a nice quality of silk, with a nice hand and very few slubs. Since I used their ubiquitous 40% off coupon, it was fairly inexpensive.
The close up of the smocking shows the beads I added - I just love beads on smocking. These are Mill Hill Glass Seed Beads No. 00123. If you look closely, you can barely see the feather stitching I added on the yoke above the smocking. I'm pretty sure the patter called for pintucks.
The hem detail has three rows of tucks, and feather stitched scallops with bullion roses. The original pattern called for scalloped pintucks, but since I really like feather stitching, I did that instead.
Issue No. 54 had the pattern for a matching bonnet and booties, so I made them, too. Since then I've decided that I don't like smocked bonnets, they are too full for the little faces. I've come to prefer a more tailored look, but still with plenty of embroidery. But since there are no prospects on the horizon for another grandbaby, I have plenty of time to make another.
Unfortunately, Issue No. 53 is now all but non-existent. Country Bumpkin has none, nor did I see any on ebay the last time I looked. Wouldn't you know that I can't find my copy? Maybe it will turn up during the Big Clean. I did see a few copies of Issue No. 54 on ebay, and Country Bumpkin does have it for sale as a shop return, listed under the rare issues.
If you really want to make this dress, it shouldn't be hard to recreate it. AS&E has several smocked yoke christening gown patterns, especially in their book, Embroidered Christening Gowns. The pattern, Tenderness, by Kris Richards, is quite similar, being a smocked yoke pattern. The book is on sale right now on the Country Bumpkin website for only US$11.13 plus shipping. On Amazon the lowest price is $44.90 for a used book.
Now back to work. I plan on stitching my biscornu, then boxing up some of the fabric on the tables and in the closet.