Friday, March 5, 2010

A Coming Home Dress


Well a new baby needs a new dress to come "home"; so that is the next project in line.  I am using again a new fabric to me called Sea Island Diamonds in a pale pink. Scrumptious fabric. I got this from Jan again at Bessie Mary. This fabric is a kind of jacquard/damask I guess. It has a subtle woven texture in the diamond pattern and the diamonds have a bit of a sheen to them. Very pretty. Soft, soft pink color. You want the dress to be beautiful, but not so out there that you lose the beautiful baby inside the dress. In my mind this calls for subtle color, smocking ans embroidery. While it may not be the most inexpensive fabric, it only takes a yard for a baby dress. So in the scheme of things, not a large investment. The laces I had in my stash, so in my mind, they are free.

I of course pre-washed my fabric but was still a tad concerned how it would go through the pleater with the woven texture. Don't even try to write me and tell me that pre-washing isn't necessary. I won't listen. After my god daughter's First Communion dress made from Swiss batiste and heirloom laces shrank three inches; no one will be able to convince me again not to pre-wash my fabric. Ever. I digress as usual. 

Back to pleating, it went through that pleater like soft butter. I LOVE my pleater. I have a Super Amanda Jane pleater. I have had it about 12 years now. I love it. So my fabric pleated like it was its job. (Those two extra needles in the pleater serve no purpose other than saving the time to remove them.)

Emma's Smocked Baby Dresses by

I am using a lacy version of this pattern. A new pattern for me. 


Mommy gave me permission for some lace but not over the top. This is a simple fancy band at the bottom. It will have edging attached after the dress is constructed. I was told no vertical lace on the sleeves. Yes ma'am!

For the smocking design I am using the plate provided in the pattern. At least I think I am. I was too lame to walk up the stairs last night and retrieve it. Sooo the smocking is how I remember the plate included in the pattern. Either way I like it. I only used two strands of floss. I wanted a delicate tone on tone look. It was also quick! On a newborn basic yoke it only takes about 5 or 6 rows of smocking. This much was stitched during a one hour episode each of American Idol and Project Runway. So I should finish the smocking today and can move on to the embroidery on the yoke, sleeves and skirt.

First posted at Bessie Mary

I have to give a shout out to Jan of Bessie Mary, the heirloom shop, she has entered blog land. So drop by and pay her a visit at Bessie Mary's blog. Now how in the heck she got 16 stinkin' followers overnight is beyond me, but drop by anyway as she gives you a virtual tour of Charleston. 

Speaking of followers, I noticed that your humble servant here has 99 followers. I will offer a giveaway once we reach 100. Hmmm, what to offer?


  1. I agree 100% on washing fabric prior to pleating. I made two dresses for Easter one year for my granddaughters. The dress was pictured on the cover of Sew Beautiful. Each was two layers. The underlayer was swiss batiste, and the top(if I remember correctly)was lawn. You laid them together and pleated them at the same time. I had not washed either fabric. My daughter did, and brought them to me. The top layer was about 3" shorter than the bottom. I was sick. It was a lot of work for what turned out to be a one time wear.
    I have a Read pleater that is about 25 years old. It still works like a charm.

  2. I believe in washing fabrics beforehand too! It lets you know if it's going to shrink and if it's going to have a different feel afterwards, too. Now, that I ran the waxed paper through my Amanda Jane, it is working like a charm! I'm so appreciative of the bloggers who gave me this idea.
    I bought some pretty hangers at a consignment shop (4 for a dollar) the other day!!!

  3. You really know how to bait us don't you??? I have eyed that fabric but haven't ordered any yet. I can't wait to see this little confection!!!
    Oh , I see you are at 100 now!!!! yay!!!!

  4. Congrats on number 100! I, too, am a total prewasher. Sometimes all that sizing in the new fabric makes it look so good that I don't want to wash it, but I am always glad I do. Love my AJ pleater too!

  5. I pre-wash, too! That is some pretty fabric. I havent' seen it yet. Now I need to check out BessieMary...I was born and raised in Charleston and live there still!

  6. I've been eyeing that pattern, may have to succumb. I'm partial to BSYs and I love the back of this dress for little ones. The fabric looks scrumptious.

  7. This little dress just looks gorgeous! I can't wait to see a picture of it finished!

    I'm so glad you said to not try to talk you out of pre-washing. I pre-wash religiously. I figure at worst, I'm just doing an extra load of laundry, and at best, I could be saving myself some serious heartache!


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