Sunday, September 29, 2013

Learning Something New

I have long wanted to make "Wee Care" gowns.  The idea constantly tugged at my heartstrings. "Wee Care" gowns  are smocked bishop-style gowns that are donated to local hospitals to clothe babies who die at birth or shortly after.
I will quote from  the Smocking Arts Guild of America website:
A social worker at one hospital stated, "We use them almost exclusively for babies that have died or are going to die. We're able to cover up a lot of the medical equipment with the gowns so that the parents get to see their baby looking great. Sometimes, the parents keep the gowns as a keepsake; sometimes, the babies are buried in them. I try to let the parents pick out which gown they want on their baby. Sometimes, it's the only parenting they get to do."

I imagine the parents, hearts broken, looking at their tiny sweet child.  In their minds the dreams of ballet classes and football games being swept away all too soon.  If in some small way I could do something to ease a bit of their pain....I simply must do it.
I have gathered supplies through out the past few years.  A pleater sits in my sewing room waiting for the first bit of fabric to be rolled through.  Soft shades of embroidery floss and floche  will be used to do the smocking stitches....which leads us to my new learning experience.

Smocking lessons!   Last week was my first lesson at The Smocking Shop, and it was so much fun!  We learned several stitches Outline, Stem, Cable and The Baby Wave.
 


Homework was to create a baby bonnet with our newly learned stitches.


There was a bit of unsmocking that went on in the beginning
and I did start out smocking on the wrong side...but with perseverance the stitches began to flow.
The bonnet was special, my first attempts at smocking, so it needed a special stand.  The stand is a candlestick, with a padded foam ball on top.  A bit of a vintage lace tablecloth and ribbon add a nice touch.
I have found other smocking inspiration:
Freda featured a smocked egg on a recent post.
When I left a comment she offered to share some
tips on creating the egg and mailed me on to look at
as I make my own.  Thank you Freda!
Another friend that is also a wealth of needlework inspiration is Deanna.  She recently purchased a smocking pleater and has been having the best time running fabrics through it and applying her beautiful needlework to the pleated fabric.  Thank you Deanna for your encouragement and inspiration.

Keep learning new things, listen to your heart and look for opportunities to help others....your cup will runneth over.

Love to all,
Deb


21 comments:

deanna7trees said...

oh that bonnet is just gorgeous. thanks for the reference to my blog. i'm just playing around with the smocking. you've already achieved a gorgeous piece of work. can't wait to see what you do next.

Dorthe said...

Oh, my dear friend, your bonnet is such a beautiful piece,- I can`t believe it is your first try of smocking--how wonderful , and lovely... Your home-work is absolutely gorgeous.
Hugs from Dorthe

Judy McCarthy said...

Deb this post brought tears to my eyes.I have heard stories on the radio of various groups who make garments for these unfortunate babies.Once upon a time, these little ones were never acknowledged, but now parents can have a burial plot, and be recognised as having had a life.What a lovely thing to do.Smocking is gorgeous.
Judy
kevin.mccarthy@adam.com.au

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What an incredible thing to do for those parents. Bless you!

ShirleyC said...

Beautiful work! I used to smock a little bit, and I sold my pleater this past year. It was just sitting in a box.
I know several people who make the wee care gowns. They don't have to be smocked.

margaret said...

to have life cut off at birth is so tragic, these little nighdresses are a lovely idea. Your bonnet is beautiful, have done a little smocking which I quite enjoyed doing.

DeeDee said...

You hand work always inspires me.. I made these outfits for my local hospital.. such a sad time made brighter by the care of others.. your little hat is just beautiful. cannot wait to see your egg.. I can see your heart in your work.. hugs

Theresa said...

OH so beautiful! I always enjoy learning new things! Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Createology said...

Deb Dear I had never heard of such a worthy cause. Your post brings sadness mixed with blessings. Your heart is huge with giving. This baby bonnet is so beautiful. Your skills of smocking will be put to such a precious use and I thank you for doing this project. You are an angel...

CJ STITCHING AND BLOOMS said...

Hello Deb, Your smocking is absolutely beautiful. I could never do it.. Hugs Judy

LimeRiot said...

What a special project!

I had a bonnet just like this when I was a baby. Beautiful work.

Vicki Boster said...

My friend- your generous heart has most surely given your cup good cause to "runneth over"! I can tell you from years of experience-- those little caps and smocked gowns will be so loved and appreciated by parents in their time of great loss. What a wonderful gift of love and compassion to give.

Your heart is so full of good works and generous gifts to others-- your light shines through every dark spot in this life.

I love you.
Vicki

Lorraine said...

Beautiful Deb! So heart warming for parents in sad times.

Martha said...

Nice job! Your bonnet turned out beautiful. Wee Care holds a special place in my heart.

JennyPennyPoppy said...

The stitchery guild that I belong to has a Wee Care program and the gowns are given to our local hospital. It truly is a touching and beautiful program to be a part of. Your first try at smocking looks terrific and congratulations on such a wonderfully made bonnet!!

Sue (Someones Mom) said...

That is the sweetest thing I have ever heard of...and what a blessing you are to want to help. I love smocked things. When my daughter was born, I kept her in Polly Flinders smocked dresses and bonnets until she was old enough to request something else!

Tammy said...

Deb, whatever you put your hand and heart to always turns out to be very special. Your work is just lovely and for such a good cause. A friend here had a still birth many years ago and it was such a devastating experience for us all. God bless, Tammy

Beedeebabee said...

Deb, this post made my eyes well up. How sad to even think of what some go through. I think it's wonderful that you're going to make some of those special gowns.
What a dear heart you have. You and Vicki are two peas in a precious pod, for sure! Your bonnet came out just beautiful! Smocking looks sooo difficult! Bless you sweetie! xoxo

Marie Lost Bird Studio said...

Absolutely beautiful and so very special, dear Deb.Have a great week my friend.
Hugs,
Marie

cq4fun said...

Your bonnet is beautiful and your desire to help will bless you. You expressed that so beautifully. I learned something I didn't know - you have to pleat the fabric before you smock it! =)

Jillayne said...

It is a wonderful thing when you follow your heart Deb. You are doing such a great thing for these babies and their parents, and that generous kindness is translating itself into each and every beautiful stitch you take.

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