I’ve had a lovely few weeks making things for Christmas, with Mark and my granddaughter being the recipients.
First up was a little pair of overalls. The pattern is Kwik Sew 3035 and the fabric is from Spotlight. I thought it would be a nice Easter outfit. There is a little pocket at the front of the overalls which was begging for a little pocket friend. I made the first one in the shape of a bunny and needle felted it, but it was too small and looked ridiculous, so I made a kitty, with legs, arms and ears from scraps of fabric from a dress I’d made my granddaughter from her great grandmother’s fabric.
A pair of overalls requires a tee shirt and I really like envelope neck tops for babies, so found a pattern, Butterick 5585, and used three knit samples from Materialise. They are the same design in three colour ways, which I think is quite cute, but not sure the tee shirt will suit the overalls.
I’m not certain about this pattern, it seems quite wide, so I must check the fit now that it’s been delivered.
I caught up with a follower, Jenny, and she most generously gave me her smocking machine, together with a whole box of smocking magazines. What fun!
I decided I wanted to make this little romper from the Smocking and Embroidery magazine, Issue 35, 1996.
I used a cotton sheet that had belonged to Mark’s mother, and therefore my granddaughter’s great grandmother. I’ve already made a little romper from the fabric for the baby which my step daughter is expecting. It’s nice to think that cousins will both be wearing garments from their great grandmother’s sheet!
Of course I had to learn how to set up the smocking machine. I found that propping it up on a book made it easier to thread.
I learnt quite a lot in this initial process. I should have removed the threads from the side seams, and worked out a way to secure them more tightly. I did read a couple of tutorials which said to knot the threads, but I couldn’t get them tight enough, I might have to sew them down. More research is required!
I had to learn the double Vandyke stitch, which wasn’t too difficult, although I did do a fair bit of unpicking as I kept getting lost.
The back of the romper is simply shirred, which is a lot easier! I used a “made with love” label from the Kyle and the Machine Advent calendar, with “don’t look too closely” on the other side, which delighted me.
Jenny also introduced me to a book called Edward’s Menagerie, which is full of crocheted Amigurumi animals. I started with the cat, crocheted from a cotton/silk blend. I am very inexperienced with crochet, so had a lot to learn. I discovered my tension was too loose so had to line the head and body with a piece of stocking so that the stuffing wouldn’t leach out. I love that the animals are designed to sit up.
I thought the bunny would be fun to do next and went down a hook size, using the remaining yarn. It’s much better, but my stitching up needs work!
I’m going to split this post in two as it’s getting slow to load. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon.
7 thoughts on “Some Christmas makes, Part 1”
Well done Sue 👏 I’m ashamed to say most of my ‘Christmas’ sewing will be done in the new year!! 😆 xx
😂 New year sewing is good! Thank you Andrew.
So fun. The overalls and kitty are adorable!
Is the smocking as intimidating as it looks? I once planned an English Smock, but that was interrupted when a mouse ate most of the vintage pattern book. Have you ever smocked by hand, without a smocking machine?
Looking forward to Round Two!
Thank you Lodi, I think the smocking pleater is quite easy to use. I used to do a lot of smocking and have used the dots and gingham , the pleater makes life much easier.
Merry Christmas Sue. I’ve been a quiet follower of you for a while. Thank you for all your inspiration over the years. I’ve been a smocker in the past and it does get easier. A comb passed down the lines before smocking can help line them up and it is important at the start to be on grain otherwise it doesn’t sit right. (Been there done that) I used to smock for my daughter (26) who tells me it traumatised her for life :). I still have a couple of ufo’s lurking. Two projects on the way for my two grand-daughters this year. Enjoy the journey. Regards Liz
Thank you so much Elizabeth, and Merry Christmas to you too. Your tips are excellent, I will definitely use the comb. I’m still trying to work out how to secure the ends of the threads properly. I used to be a good smocker but it’s abandoned me!