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Fancy Baby Dress

Last Sunday I attended a baby shower for a new member of our church. The baby was 1 month old and a little doll. I thought the suggested gift of children books, so the family could learn English, was great!

Anyway, needing a gift for the shower allowed me to do what I absolutely love – heirloom sewing 🙂

The fabric I chose was a bright white Satinella Batiste by Stylecrest; it has a slight sheen and a wonderful feel. I selected a simple square yoke pattern with a gathered sleeve and smocked skirt.

On the bodice, I created a verticle “fancy band” with lace and entredeux inserts alternated with pintucks.

fancy band bodice
fancy band bodice

The sleeves have one row of the lace and entredeux framed with pintucks down the middle.

sleeve band
sleeve band

After cutting the front skirt piece to length, I pleated 10 half-rows across the top. This was then blocked to match the bodice yoke, the pleats startched and steamed into place. I ran a row of back-smocking on the first and 8th rows of the pleating. {I will cover pleating in more detail in another post}

pleated skirt
pleated skirt

After the smocking was completed, it was time to assemble the dress. The bodice is lined and piping was added to the yoke (front and back) and neckline. Small pink pearls accent the bottom row of smocking.  I finished the sleeves with a simple band, trimmed by the piping.

yoke and skirt
yoke and skirt

The back placket is closed with clear plastic snaps and accented with white “pearl” buttons.

back of dress
back of dress

I cut the skirt long, to allow for a 3″ hem. I then added piping along the hem stitch line by creating a tuck. This enclosed the raw edge and gave the dress a finished look. As a side note, I believe in enclosing as much of the raw edge as possible. The side seams are a modified french seam and the yoke is stitched over the skirt gathers.

The fully-lined bonnet is very simple, with pintucks and piping accenting the front band. I finished it off with a satin ribbon bow and tie.

bonnet
bonnet

And here it is!

dress and bonnet
dress and bonnet

Love and prayers for a long life were included in every stitch. I thoroughly enjoyed this project!

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Darling Dress for Baby or Doll

This dress features a full skirt, cummerbund with bow and wide collar in matching gingham, embellished with pintucks, French lace, satin ribbon and embroidery. The back closes with small mother-of-pearl buttons. This pattern will fit either a 24” Middleton Doll or 6-9 month old baby.

The center front of the wide circular collar is embroidered with a delicate floral vine then trimmed in lace and ribbon. The Heirloom techniques used are stitching lace to gathered-lace and lace to fabric, which is then accented by a narrow strip of ribbon. The neckline is trimmed in gathered lace and entredeux.

collar
collar

Entredeux is a “ladder” trim used in Heirloom sewing as a “bridge” between lace and fabric, fabric to fabric, or lace to lace, as well as a trim all by itself. In the picture, you will see I am using Tiger Tape to hold the gathers in place until stitched. The same technique is used to stitch gathered-lace to lace.

gathered lace to entredeux
gathered lace to entredeux

Pintucks are created using a grooved foot and a twin needle. A slightly stiffer fabric works best, so if your fabric is light-weight, such as batiste, spray starch before stitching. Following the groove on the foot creates even spacing between pintucks.

stitching pintucks
stitching pintucks

On this project, the pintucks are also scalloped. Work slowly as you are using a double needle. Pivot at the top of the scallop, with the needle down. Drawing the curves and pivot points on the fabric will allow for uniform scallops and points (make sure you test that your lines will come out!).

scalloped pintucks
scalloped pintucks

I modified this dress for an Easter outfit. The client wanted a pink dress trimmed in white, no lace or collar. I used quality Swiss Batiste for the pink and white cotton sateen for the trim and cummerbund. The skirt is finished with the scalloped pintucks.

baby Easter
baby dress for Easter

The sleeves are gathered and trimmed with a band of the matching gingham fabric.

doll_baby dress
doll_baby dress

Regardless of trims or embellishments, this is a cute dress for dolls OR babies!

Note: I have a few of the 24″ Middleton Dolls still in stock. Contact me if interested.