A Few Little Gowns and a New Baby!

I’ve been absent for a few weeks for a very good reason – our new little man arrived on Oct. 2nd and I’ve been doing what every grandma wants to do – rocking the baby!!!  Did I mention that he’s a ginger (aka: red-head)?  We prayed that he’d be a red-head.  His big sister Livvy is a strawberry blonde.

Isn’t he the cutest little thing!!!  Two weeks old now and a healthy 10 lbs.  Both he and mama are doing well.  The family is adjusting to new schedules and interruptions and less sleep and I think that Livvy has decided that he’s OK.  LOL!  We are so blessed to have yet another healthy grandchild to shower with love.

So, what have I been sewing since my last post?  Not much!  I didn’t want to start a big project just prior to his arrival since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get back to it right away.  Instead, I chose to make some of the tiny gowns used by a couple different ministries that I sew for.  The gowns go together rather quickly and are both needed and much appreciated.   I thought I’d share pictures of the recently completed gowns.

These gowns and bonnets were completed for Caleb Ministries.  The ministry headquarters are located here in town, and I am so thankful to be involved with them and to be able to share my love for sewing with such a worthy cause.  They not only give the gowns to the grieving families, but the gowns and bonnets are paired with a blanket and booties as well as literature on grieving and contact information.  That way they can get in touch with the ministry and participate in one of the Bible study groups with other moms that have lost their babies if they want to.  They do a wonderful job reaching these women and have the boxes in all but one of the local hospitals as well as in many surrounding cities.

Sometimes they have special requests.  Usually we do only white gowns and blankets, but one of the ladies had donated this blanket with a lavender edge on it along with lavender booties, so a gown with some lavender was requested.

This next gown was completed for another ministry that is located here – it is called Be Not Afraid.  Our smocking guild (Smocking Arts Guild of America) does gowns for this ministry when we are contacted and asked for a gown.  Frequently they know if the baby will be for a boy or girl and have an approximate size, so one of our members will take on the project.  This is one that I did.  As time permits, I like to add special touches to the gowns.

This gown was smocked in white and just a few bullion roses were added to the smocking at the neck and one on each sleeve.  I added scalloped pintucks around the hem and used pink cording to fill the pintuck.  With a stronger shade of pink cording, it shadows through as a pastel.  the peak of each pintuck has another bullion rose.

These gowns shown above were completed in the week prior to Liam’s arrival.  However, I have made many of these special gowns and thought I would share a few more pictures for inspiration/ideas.  There are so many organizations that make these infant demise gowns and it can be challenging to come up with designs for boys.  That is where I really like to use corded pintucks.  I have done them with a dark ecru/gold color as well as with a stronger shade of blue and both work nicely with the batiste and shadow through as a soft ecru or a baby blue.  For the groups that will accept gowns that open in the back, such as our Wee Care gowns that the SAGA organization makes, I like to add machine embroidery.  I think they look a bit more masculine and they are definitely quicker to complete than the smocked gowns.

As you can see, I love to use my embroidery machine as well!  Because there was not much room for embroidery on the front button gowns, I embroidered the blankets instead.  Someone had knit the tiny ecru booties to match the blankets, so the ecru pintucks were a great choice to go in these special boxes.

To answer any questions regarding the cording that I use for the pintucks, I have tried 2 different sizes, and both work well.  I have used the DMC pearl cotton for the cording in both size #8 as well as #5.  The #5 is thicker and comes packaged much like embroidery floss while the #8 is on a spool.  Both have limited selections, but I’ve been able to find colors that work.

My sewing machine has a tiny hole in the throat plate of the machine, positioned right in front of the pressure foot.  I thread the cording through the hole and pull it behind the foot prior to starting my stitching.  Use a 5 groove pintuck foot and a twin needle with lightweight thread (#60 weight heirloom thread) and shorten the stitch length to a 2.0 – the cording stays centered nicely due to being fed through that hole and it fills the pintuck and creates just a hint of color.  Experiment with it and you’ll find all kinds of places that you may want to use this treatment.

That’s it for now.  Maybe I’ll sew something this coming week that I can share in the next post.

Happy stitching!


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