Monday, November 18, 2013

Beautiful Bubbles!

As I said, I have been busy making flower girl dresses but have had to wait to post them until after the weddings!

I suggested using "Frockstar" from Australian Smocking and Embroidery to the bride that wanted a more modern approach but to wanted to incorporate smocking into the flower girl's dresses.  A perfect marriage of the two, in my opinion, was the Frockstar pattern.

Lawson Bubble Dresses

The skirts are sewn to a shorter length slip style underlining with tulle sandwiched between to provide ample "poufiness" to give the perfect bubble silhouette.  In lieu of a sash, the maid of honor helped to choose organdy ribbon featuring roses to add the color palette of the fall wedding to the girls' dresses.


Lawson Bubble smocking

The smocking was done on a straight piece of fabric, then marked, cut and stitched to a round yoke.  Based on a template using half spaces, the smocking was done rather was all the gathering of the skirts that took the most time!

Lawson Bubble Back

Each ivory batiste sateen dress was finished off with a row of 5 antique buttons, found during an antique excursion with my daughter while in Birmingham, were aged to an off white finish that was perfect for the dress color.  Each button was the same size, but not all were exactly alike...a unique finish!

I adapted the pattern to include side seam pockets at the bride's request to match the pockets featured in her wedding gown.

Lawson Bubble Single

Kind of hard to see the pockets....which was my objective....without actually having hands to model them!

The flower girls each looked adorable...

Lawson bubble

and looked "bubbly" beside the bride and groom!

Lawson wedding party

This pattern was very easy to follow and I enjoyed the challenge of something different.  I want to try a "play" dress like the pattern suggested.

Happy Stitching!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Wedding Smocking

I've been rather busy lately with custom orders for fall weddings!  I just love creating heirloom quality flower girl dresses.  The bride requested long dresses for two flower girls for her Nov. 2 wedding date.

After several consultations and much discussion, we decided on a basic yoke dress with a smocked skirt that would be floor length.  The dresses were made from white batiste as well as the matching slips.  I personalized the slips with a small monogram and finished the yoke edges of the slips with a scallop stitch prior to attaching to the skirt.

Walicek Wedding Slip Detail


A small piece of insertion was added to the shoulder seam of the slip (after cutting too much off..oops) and will probably be one of my trademarks since it looked really good!

Walicek Wedding Slip Insertion



The smocking design came in a vintage Oliver Goodin pattern I had used numerous times for my daughter when she was little. We decided to use ivory thread to match the bride's dress and I added small seed pearls after smocking inside the 6 cables that stacked to form the pattern.  This was the perfect contrast to the white dresses! The puffing effect in the center was formed after pulling the gathering threads.

Walicek Wedding Detail


Ivory lace was gathered and added to white beading for sleeve detail.  Ribbon was threaded through the beading  from each side and tied in the center of the sleeve and tacked down prior to sewing the sleeve seam.

Walicek Wedding Sleeve


Ivory batiste sateen was used for the piping, bias neck binding and covered buttons.

Walicek Wedding Dresses Back


A deep hem was put in to allow the little girls to wear them for several years.  I think the bride was going to keep one dress for her future children.  A really great idea!

Flower girls


I think they turned out beautifully!

Happy Stitching!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Sleepy Owl Quilt

Although I love quilts, I usually spend more time on children's garments and smocking.  That is until recently....I was asked to do a custom quilt for a nursery.  This wasn't just any nursery though, it was for a very good friend and neighbor's daughter in law.  It was going to be a quilt for their first granddaughter and first child and daughter for her daughter in law.

Thank heavens for technology !  We were able to create the quilt to fit into the nursery with pictures snapped and sent via email and our smartphones to decide exactly what style quilt would suit the mother-to-be.  She selected her fabrics and sent them back to mother-in-law (my neighbor) and that is where I come in!

I used crib measurements to decide on the quilt size.  The mother-to-be requested that the quilt not "tuck" into the sides of the crib but lay against the edge of the mattress.  (After all, that's just more bulk around the baby)  She has beautiful ruffles on her mattress cover anyway, (made by mother-in-law) why cover them up?


Next I drew out the measurements on graph paper and decided on which block size to use that best replicated the pictures of quilts that she liked best.  After counting and making a list of how many of each size block I needed, I labeled each block  on my graph with a number and letter.  For example, if I had 4-4x4 blocks, they were labeled A1,A2,A3,etc.

This is the part I love !  I got to color!!! I used colored pencils to color in my blocks to replicate my fabric choices prior to actually cutting to make sure I didn't have two like fabric choices next to each other.  It also gives me an idea of coherency (is that a word??) with the color selection.

Then I cut out each fabric based on my list of block sizes and the number in my list and appliqu├ęd the sleepy owl on the center block. Next they got laid out in the floor just like my drawing.  A quick visit from my neighbor to verify that everything looked "a-ok" before I started sewing the blocks together!  I left the blocks in the floor and picked up each block one at a time to stitch them together in rows, then laid them back down once stitched.

After completing the top, I laid the backing down wrong side up and lightly sprayed fabric adhesive onto it. After laying the batting down very carefully, I sprayed it and slowly unrolled my top blocked piece onto the batting.  I took the time to hand baste the layers together to assure no shifting then used the "stitch in the ditch" method to quilt around each block on the machine.  The binding was added and hand stitched while I watched tv at night.

Williams Owl Quiltviola!  The sleepy Owl Quilt!

I'd love to hear about any nursery quilts you've done!

Happy Stitching,