Monthly Archives: January 2024

First Dress Of 2024

Our SAGA guild is doing a yoke dress “Slow-along”. Each month a different aspect of the yoke dress will be covered, samples shown and demonstrations. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!!!

As one of the presenters at the meetings, I made a plan to have several dresses at different stages of construction so that they could be used as examples of how to do the various parts of construction. It was a great plan! I started on a few dresses. However, I’ve discovered that “Slow-along” is not my forté. LOL! Once I get going on a dress, I get so excited to see the finished garment that it’s really hard for me to put it aside for a few months.

Well, that’s exactly what happened with this dress! I did work slow – it took me 4 days to complete it, which is MUCH longer than normal. But, in the end, I just had to finish it. I guess I’ll be working on other dresses as it gets closer to each meeting so that I don’t run into this same issue. Hahaha!!!

This is the finished dress and I’m so thrilled with how it turned out! The dress is made from Imperial Batiste. That makes it very practical as it is easy wash and wear with minimal, if any, ironing needed. The smocking was done with 2 strands of DMC floche and the embroidery on the collar, sleeves and hem was done with 1 strand of DMC floche. Of course, if floche isn’t readily available, the smocking could be done with 3 strands of DMC floss and the embroidery with 2 strands and it would look very similar.

The sleeves have just a touch of embroidery added. I think it’s a sweet addition!

The bodice features 3 tucks on each side of the center with 2 flowers embroidered in the center panel. The collar has groups of embroidery all around.

The back features baby blue mother of pearl shank buttons and the collar has a bit of embroidery in the back as well (due to a mistake! – but I like the end result!!!).

The hem has been pinstitched with #80 weight thread and a size 110 Schmetz Jeans needle.

2024 is off to a great start! I’ve enjoyed every stitch of this pretty dress and can’t wait to work on the next one. Stay tuned…..

Keep on stitching!


Happy New Year!

Today marks the beginning of another new year – new adventures to take, new skills to learn, new friends to make, etc. I hope and pray that the new year will bring health, contentment & joy to each of you!

I am not one to make new year resolutions. That said, I will keep my thoughts for the new year to be sewing related. I like to look back at the previous year to see what I accomplished and then look forward to this new year and see what I want to accomplish. My goals for that tend to be very similar from year to year. I want to keep learning new techniques, new stitches and try new patterns. I also plan to continue to put new patterns in my Etsy shop as I can get them finished. I enjoy designing the patterns and I continue to learn and improve my illustration skills so that the patterns as well as the illustrations are the best that I can do.

Our SAGA guild is doing a “Yoke Dress Slow-Along”. In February I will be doing a segment on collars, so I’ve been working on a few samples that I can use as demonstration examples. Wouldn’t you know that I ended up with a problem!!! I made a mistake. Rather than fretting about the mistake, I considered it a design opportunity.

Yesterday I worked on embroidering collars for this project. In spite of the fact that I had clearly marked the center front, I somehow ended up marking the placement dots for the flowers on the collar backs. Ugh! It wasn’t until I had the 4th of 6 flowers completed that I discovered my mistake. My first thought was that I would complete the group of 3 flowers on the back and then do them on the collar fronts (where they should have been in the first place!) and that the dress would look pretty both coming and going. However, I still felt that this might look like a corrected mistake – which it was. Then I had the brilliant idea to add a group of 3 flowers to the center of the collar and voila – now it is a design element and not a mistake! Excuse the unpressed collar – it is still drying from when I soaked out the blue wash-out marker.

I’m going to count this as my first new year success – I didn’t have to un-stitch anything and I like the new design even more than just having 3 flowers at the collar front! I often find that a mistake can result in some creative thinking and then end up being something that I wouldn’t have considered but end up liking a lot! I am going to have to hold myself back from finishing up this dress – I need to save it for February!

Easter comes early this year, so if you will be making pretty Easter dresses, it’s time to start on those!!! I hope you might consider some of my favorite patterns from my Etsy shop. Here’s a few of them that are favorites:

First up is an all time favorite of mine – Ella’s Easter dress. I designed and made this for our first granddaughter and this is her wearing it 13 years ago. I still love it!

Next up is Juliette – a lovely dress with lace bodice & sleeves – so perfect for Easter, portraits, weddings, etc. I made this version with ecru val laces for Livvy (above) and with pink embroidered Swiss trims for Eva (below).

Suzette is another favorite of mine that I made for all 3 girls one easter – this is one of my favorite Easter pictures!

The last inspiration I’ll leave you with today is Gwenyth. I loved making this dress. Ella wore this for her baptism, which makes it extra special to me!

I hope that this new year will be a time for you to learn some new things – sewing, embroidering, smocking, etc. As always, keep on stitching!!!