Where Did Summer Go?

Enlightened Looking at all of the beautiful flowers in everyone’s gardens, it’s hard to realize that we’re mid-way through  the last month of summer! Where did it go? It seems like it was just spring and everyone was excitedly anticipating the arrival of summer-  I remember as a child, I thought the year was divided into summer and winter and that each was an equal amount of time. It seemed as if summer vacation was just as long as the school year! I don’t enjoy the heat and my favorite seasons have always been fall and winter, but there’s no denying that with summer comes gardening and all of the beautiful flowers that I love so much. Each of the seasons brings its own special beauty and even though I  have my favorites, there are things I enjoy about all of them. Right now, it seems like I could use at least another run-through, (’cause that’s what it does,) of summer to get my garden in shape!

Lately it seems like every day I hear people talking about being ready for winter and Christmas! My brain is still filled with flowers and sunshine and water~ and summer, yet with all of the daily reminders, I realize that fall and winter really aren’t far off. At least the calendar says they aren’t-  So it’s with a lot of difficulty that I’ve forced myself to realize that and start putting long sleeves on my dresses. In all but the extremely cold places the short-sleeved dresses are wearable year round, since a sweater or coat along with a pair of tights can always be thrown on for outside. A long-sleeved t-shirt can also be slipped under the dress for added warmth, but I know that some people prefer to wear long sleeves in fall and winter.

With this in mind I cut out my first long-sleeved dress of the season yesterday. This dress will be a size 2 100% cotton with a deep-teal blue background and a print of white mini-hearts and leaves. I have no idea yet what I’m going to embroider on it, s0 you’ll  have to wait a bit to see, but I’m trying to think “winter” for the design. Hopefully I’ll have it ready for you to see in a few weeks! Until then, savor the last weeks of summer~ It’s going to be a long time returning!

sweetpeas**Beautiful copy

SPRING

Red FreesiaSpring is officially here! Many of the bulbs in my garden are in full bloom right now, like these Freesias. If you’ve ever smelled Freesias you know how wonderfully sweet they can make your garden smell.

With flowers, gardens, and spring everywhere, comes the desire to cast off the heavy, warm, winter clothes, and slip into clothes that match the colors and feel of spring.

I have several dresses for children that are filled with light, flowers, and softness,  both in my etsy shop and on my website.

They are the epitome of little girls and spring.

I thought you might be interested in seeing a few of the dresses that I think are wonderful spring dresses. This first dress is one that I think every little girl would love to wear. It is a nice, machine washable, light-weight cotton, with an adorable bunny jumping rope, hand-embroidered in the center of the smocking. I’ve captured the essential elements of spring in this scene, complete with flowers in blues and pinks and even an early butterfly!

Another dress that I think is a good depiction of spring is this dress, again, a lightweight, light-colored, machine washable cotton. The scene on this dress is very “spring”, hand smocked with a hand embroidered spring scene of a little girl walking in the country with her puppy. The hills are a vibrant green with new spring grasses and wildflowers. To complete the picture of spring, I’ve added a little bird, perched in front of his house, talking to the girl and her dog- (I’m sure they’re talking about the beautiful spring day-) The sky has a few puffy white clouds to accent the blue, and if you listen, you can almost hear the nearby meandering stream!

These are just a few of the dresses I have for spring in my shops. I am constantly working on more, so keep checking back. I get the majority of my ideas from scenes that I observe on my daily walks with Pascal. I’ve just started a new size 4 dress that will be great for spring, but I think it will be even more suggestive of summer~ we’ll see-

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Air Time for Me

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So, to steal a few minutes back from Pascal~

In my last post I wanted to give you a preview of the dress that I’m working on, but, as I explained then, Pascal has this way of dominating my thoughts, hence my blog! Since I’m ready to sew the dress pieces together, I thought I could still give you a bit of a preview.

The photo on the left, underneath this first picture is a view of my working area- Notice how neatly organized everything is? This “mess” is totally typical and necessary to my dress designing/making process.

IMG_8355 Next to the dress front you will see a picture torn from an  old calender. I like to have a picture to look at while I work. I especially like to look at these old calender photos because there are always so many things going on in them; lots of mini stories within the whole. I find them great for sparking story and design ideas. You probably won’t notice any correlation between the picture I am looking at and the work on my dress, but in some undefinable way, what I have stitched was probably remotely related to a thought about something I saw in the calender picture. At the very least, I love looking at these pictures when I work.

I think it’s probably very similar to another “necessity” while I work, and that is that I must always have classical music playing. You definitely don’t see Beethoven anywhere in my work, but believe me, ( I know this sounds funny,) but there is a very strong influence of classical music in my  work. Somewhere in my mind these “necessary” elements merge and produce what you see when you look at one of my dresses.

The last photo is the other photo that I had intended for the preview in myIMG_8346 copy last post. At that point I was about halfway finished with the smocking and embroidery, as you will see if you compare this photo with the one at the beginning. I cannot yet refer to the photo at the beginning as being of the finished front. It may be, but I won’t know that until the dress is completed. Often while I am putting a dress together, I’ll see that maybe it would look better with an additional row or two of smocking- or I’ll see a change I want to make in the scene. Sometimes I assemble the dress without wanting to change a thing. Right now I think I’m finished with the front, but we’ll see~  I plan now,  to begin sewing the dress together. This normally takes me about two days, so hopefully, in 2-3 days I will have this size 2 dress listed for sale. You will be able to find it on my website, as well as in my etsy shop .

* I apologize for the gaps in the text. Everytime I insert a photo it creates these gaps, and I haven’t been able to fix them back again~

Hand-Smocked Long Dress size 4L

If having a long dress in a size 4 interests you, I recommend  taking a look at my first one in the shop. The cotton-poly fabric is a beautiful shade of lavender. I’ve hand-smocked the design in lavender embroidery floss with a few of the rows smocked in white.

Any little girl would fall in love with the shy,  white and brown bunny that is hand- embroidered in the center of the smocking. Peering out from behind a  cluster of  long-stemmed flowers embroidered in shades of purple, pink, yellow and white, we wonder what the bunny is watching. Perhaps your little girl would have some thoughts about that- ?

The sleeves are trimmed in lace and extra flowers are embroidered at the hemline, sleeves, and button placket.

Of course a complimentary pair of hand embroidered socks comes with every long dress just as it does with the short ones, so I invite you to come take a look. This could just be  the special dress you have been looking for.

Introducing a New Dress Length

After filling a few special orders where customers requested their dress be made longer so that it could be worn as a long dress, instead of the short dress it’s designed to be, I decided to start offering some of the dresses in the two larger sizes, size 3 and 4, in a longer length. In the future you will be seeing a few of the size 3′s and 4′s featured as long dresses.

I just finished the first one and you can see it in the shop right now. It’s titled, “Lavender Blue” and is listed as a size 4L (long.) I have added five inches to the regular dress length so it is approximately 25 1/2 inches from the back of the neck to the bottom of the hem. I added one extra inch to the hem, so that the hem of the 3L and the 4L, now measures 4 inches instead of the standard 3 inches. I also added an inch to the width of the smocked portion of the dress, which won’t change the way the dress looks or fits, but it allows extra pleats and smocking to balance the added length and help maintain the same proportion of width to length as the original design. Other than the fact that the dress hits five inches lower on the leg, you will find no difference in the way the dress fits or looks, it is purely for those who prefer the look of a longer dress to that of a shorter one. I am currently working on a size 3L. You should be able to see that in the shop soon.

Picture Pretty – Dress #409

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Several rows of white, hand-smocked diamonds frame a beautiful, hand-embroidered summer country scene in soft hues of green, purple, blue, and yellow. A little girl, out for a walk with her dog, stops to explore a birdhouse and chat with its owner who happens to be perched out in front.

Includes a complementary set of socks, hand-embroidered with flowers.

Size 4

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Meadow Flowers – Dress #408

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Rabbit ties her pink sweater around her neck as she walks into a flower-filled, cotton meadow to find her friends. She is surrounded by rows of white, diamond smocking, accented in deep violet. A little hand-embroidered bird stands on a rock while he waits for rabbit to arrive. The sleeves and back yoke are trimmed in violet and a hand-embroidered butterfly hovers over a pair of spring flowers.

Includes a complementary set of socks, hand-embroidered with wildflowers.

Size 1


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Chicks and Daisy Chains – Dress #407

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Just hatched!  Two baby chicks wander around a field of blue and white striped cotton amidst rows of embroidered daisy chains. They’re off to see the world. Following zig-zag rows of blue and white smocking, they search for a little girl to befriend.

Includes a complementary set of socks, hand-embroidered with daisy chains.

Size 1

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Walking in the Flowers – Dress #406

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A little girl in her pink and white dress walks with her little white dog in their garden filled with pink flowers. The fabric is a beautiful seafoam blue-grey with a white floral print. The scene is centered between several intricately designed rows of blue and white smocking. The collar is hand-embroidered, a pink flower on each side.

Includes a complementary set of socks, hand-embroidered with a butterfly and flowers.

Size 3

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