Toile Ensemble for TBG

It's finally done! I finished the bonnet today. The fabric is an aqua and brown quilting cotton, a toile with a co-ordinating pin dot. The pattern is a very loose version of "Tickled Pink" from Australian Smocking and Embroidery, Issue #70. That pattern calls for pants with lace at the hem. I did capris with a split band. The band is topped with 1/4 inch grosgrain and a tiny aqua button, so nothing like the original. The original top had embroidered bullion roses but they would have looked mighty strange in the aqua color. So, I just did some some decorative bullions in the aqua. I also added the grosgrain instead of piping to the neckline of the top. I have made this top MANY times and really don't use the pattern any more. The original pattern has the armholes cut WAY TOO BIG so I took out about 2 1/2 inches of armhole width on a size 6 months as well. I also chose to make a coordinating bonnet. I "slightly" used a bonnet pattern from Vaugh Pierce that is in Sew Beautiful, April 05. Basically I used the shape and did the band totally differently. Hers is pin stitched in rows. My bonnet just has the contrasting band with the grosgrain trim, once again.
I thought you might enjoy seeing a few details of the bonnet.

The bonnet was stitched using French seams. I pretty much use french seams for all of my children's sewing, choosing to use a 1/4 inch finished seam. (When I smock, those french seams are at max 1/8 inch.) I find the 1/4 inch french seam has more strength, a quality certainly needed in children's clothing. I stitched the contrasting circular back of the bonnet to the slightly gathered bias edges of the bonnet back. I then took a circle of the contrasting fabric and cut it out with a template. A gathering thread was sewn around the template, the thread pulled, and the resulting circle pressed hard.
The resulting circle was hand stitched to the interior of the bonnet, covering the wrong side of the exterior circle. In order to do this you had to be very careful to not stitch the bonnet fabric as the stitching threads would show on the outside. So what I did was catch the seam threads and then the interior circle threads, as here:

Another detail I like to do with my smocking is cover it up on the wrong side. I don't like those little tails. Despite trying various ways to finish off a thread, there always seem to be those tiny threads. So what I do is use either a FusiKnit or Form Flex fusible interfacing and "slightly" fuse that to the wrong side of the smocking. This covers the nasties and is stuck enough to then include it in the seam allowances. I think it is a much nicer finish. I have occasionally used wide laces to accomplish the same.

This project is done and Miss Twin Baby Girl will wear it to a cookout next weekend. Have to mail it in the morning! If the weather agrees, I will get my linen pants posted tomorrow as well. It is good to be back and DH and I have the check! Closing this deal had its moments but it is done now and thank goodness! To every time there is a purpose......Bunny

ETA: Paula G of Sew Confused has just tagged me with the "meme" (?). Let's see if I can get this right:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and acknowledge who tagged you.

OK, the closest book is "How to Make Clothes that Fit and Flatter" by Adele Margolis. It is a hardback from the library that I have to return this week. I spent a lot of time reading this in the car while traveling. Now to page 123:

"Establish a new waistline (Fig 118B). Fitting above the elbow: release the underarm seam. Refit and pin."
I am almost done reading this really great book. It was published in 1969 but the fitting info is as pertinent today as it was then. I enjoy Margolis's writing. She can be one blunt babe and I like that. So I am off to tag those who haven't been tagged yet. Thanks for the fun, Paula!


  1. Beautiful! What an elegant color combination, but done in such a pretty way, just perfect for a little girl.

  2. Thanks. I fell in love with the colors.

  3. Bunny, what a sweet little outfit. I love the colors. Twin Baby Girl is going to look so sweet.

  4. This is adorable! I love the bunny label.

  5. Bunny this is gorgeous!! I love the sophisticated print on the teeny outfit. Beautiful smocking too.

  6. Bunny, I'm so jealous. You've been turning out one great project after another, and I haven't made anything new since March! As always, beautiful colors, work, and details!

  7. How adorable! I love the fabrics and colors. And the grosgrain details are so beautiful. Great job! Makes me want to go smock right now!

    Shannon F

  8. What a beautiful outfit, the color combination is just gorgeous.


Post a Comment

Engaging commentary:

Popular Posts