I have quite a few friends who are expecting babies in the upcoming months, so I have focused the little bit of sewing that I've been able to do this summer on baby gifts. In June, Steve and I headed out on a long road trip. Since I wasn't doing any of the driving on our trip, I had Mom pleat me a few daygowns and bonnets, so I could get some smocking done during our long hours in the car. Smocking is perfect for road trips because it is handwork that requires only a few supplies that can be thrown in a small bag (DMC thread, a few needles, a pair of scissors, the garment, and instructions).
The first project to be finished was this baby boy daygown for a family friend who is expecting her first child. I smocked simple baby waves in the front of this daygown. The sleeves are also smocked, which gathers fabric to create a cuff and works much like elastic does but with a cleaner look. After I finished smocking, mom put the daygown together for me, and I took it to the baby shower this past Sunday.
|I recently rediscovered Instragram and couldn't resist posting this|
one of the daygown,
The pattern used is a The Smocked Baby Daygown pattern by Collars, Ect. Pattern Company. See the pattern here.
Mom also hemstitched, crocheted, and monogrammed a matching blanket.
A note about learning to smock: Mom designs smocking plates, so I grew up watching her smock and wearing smocked dresses almost every day, but with Mom being so talented with smocking and much faster at it than I could ever be, I had little motivation to learn until family and friends my own age started having children. I then realized that I wanted to be able to share the handsmocked clothing that I grew up loving with this next generation. Starting out, I found that being lefthanded posed a little problem with learning stitches and following the instruction on the plates, but I sat across from mom (who smocks righthanded) and mirrored her stitches and now know how to read plates by starting on the opposite side from directed. I smocked my first daygown on a 2 day bus trip with 30 other college students, so I quickly discovered that smocking is much like knitting when it comes to getting into a rhythm that leaves you able to participate in the chaos around you most of the time. Maybe that's how mom managed to get some much smocking done when we were all little.
I have been working on my mother's smocking plate Molly's Collar and Bonnet for the bonnets. I will post about these bonnets and a few other smocking projects as I finish them.
Most of mom's smocking plates can be seen here. We're in the process of setting her up an Etsy store since she closed her store a little over a year ago, so check back for updates on that.