Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Wee Care" Gown

My first "Wee Care" gown is complete!   The gown is one I began working on at home during my recent smocking lessons.  In my eagerness to learn, I cut out and pleated the fabric on my own.  There are several great video tutorials that demonstrate pleating and smocking on YouTube. So, if you live in an area without the benefit of smocking classes, you too CAN learn.
The dress fabric is batiste (I believe) I had in my stash. These little dresses use the full width of the fabric, but not much in length.    The pattern was found here on the Wee Care site.
You can find smocking patterns (plates) there as well.
The smocking plate is a diagram for your hand stitching, much like a cross stitch pattern.
Using 3 strands of embroidery floss you stitch along the top of each pleat.  The most important part, is the direction which thread is held  while stitching.  Meaning, if the thread is held above or below the needle as it is inserted into the fabric. That direction allows the threads to travel from pleat to pleat in an attractive manner.
There is a bias cut band on the neck and the sleeves that is attached with the sewing machine and turned to the inside and hand stitched into place.
You can see the band better in this photo without the bonnet.
I was lucky to have 2 daughters that loved dolls.  "Bitty Baby" made the perfect size model for this little dress.  I have a few other dolls that will model smaller dresses. 
 I spent the day with Vicki yesterday, we took photos of some of the pretty pink Breast Cancer scarves that have been donated.  Many of you, my friends, have donated your handmade scarves to this worthwhile cause.  Vicki works with tiny babies as a neonatal nurse, so I picked her brain to learn what would be the best design for these little dresses.  She was a wealth of information and I am so thankful. 
So there you have it, my first Wee Care gown and bonnet....I can hardly sit here long enough to write this post...I am wanting to go back and begin the next!  This time with a bit more experience, knowledge and no less enthusiasm.
Love to all,
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