Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Don't Peek Michelle!

I'm getting ready for Christmas! We need a little snow, or at least some cool weather to get me hopping, but I'll do my best to get things done even though it feels like spring!

The first gift I am making this year is for my new niece, McKenna Lyll. Isn't she a sweetheart!! We are so blessed to have her in our family now. She was adopted in June as a newborn. Her parents waited for her for 3 long years. I have not met her yet, but will have the chance to hold this little bundle at Christmas. I can't wait! Above is her birth announcement and below is a pic at about 4 months old. I hope her mom, Michelle, turns off the computer now as I do a little show and tell.

I used to make and sell English Smocked clothing for children. It has been about 15 years since I have smocked anything. I was so excited to find out this baby was a girl so I could smock a little dress or two for her! Here is a sneak peek at the first dress I am making her. It is a basic bishop with angel sleeves and will have a little ivory shirt I will make to go under it. It is bringing back memories to work on this little dress! My girls wore smocked outfits daily. I bet I have a tub full of about 60 downstairs.
(Can you say obsessive?)
The color is showing up deep purple in this pic, but it is really more of a plumb color in person. The thread colors are pinkish plumb and tanish silver. If you don't know about smocking, you can see the horizontal threads showing underneath the stitches. These are the basting threads which pleat the fabric. I use a pleater to do this.


This shows how the fabric rolls through the pleater, running the basting stitches through the fabric. This used to be done by hand, so I am spoiled to always have a pleater to use.

As the smocking is stitched, each pleat is grabbed with the thread, thus holding the pleats in place after the basting threads are removed. It is very simple and I compare it to cross stitch the way you follow the design patterns. I will post again when it's done so you can see the whole outfit. Now I just hope it fits Miss McKenna!


In a few days I will be joining the Holday Lane blog hop! See the button on the top right of my blog...come back soon to see how I made the pillow! Thanksgiving day is my day to show my pillow. I hope you will have time to come back to see!

And last, a little update in Ginger. She is mending slowly. She had the go ahead to do the garage steps but slipped the first time she tried it and sort of reinjured her leg. No damage, just made it sore. She gets excited when someone comes to visit and then starts to hobble again. My folks and other family members are coming tomorrow so we hope we can keep her calm when she greets them all. It may just postpone her total healing a bit, but there is nothing we can do to keep her calm. She is a happy girl no matter what!

Take care everyone, and enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!




  1. I always wanted to smock but with three sons it seemed pointless but I love seeing your work. Our only granchild, a boy, is also adopted. Such a special blessing! Enjoy your sweet niece.

  2. Hi Missie,
    Just hopped over from the Raspberry Rabbits to say how much I love the needlepoint pictures you made for Shell. I designed the black bunny for her, so I was thrilled to see what you'd done.
    Your work is beautiful and the smocking is amazing! Your new niece is adorable and is going to look so fantastic in her pretty dress.
    warm wishes Julesx

  3. Oh, you know how to do smocking and have the pleater. How fun. My mother used to do smocking but not on the pleated fabric. I have seen some beautiful designs that can be done. And you have a sweet little girl in the family to do it for.

  4. Hey Missie: I can't believe it! I also smocked for my kids (and everyone else's) in my earlier years! I have totes and totes full of dress and even some outfits I made for my son. Remember the romper that Prince William wore, well I made that for my son! I own a pleater and I can hardly wait for a new generation of babies to come along so I can start smocking again! Love your blog!