Sewing really IS my therapy!
I truly appreciated all the comforting comments on my last post, regarding my husband's death.
I miss him terribly, every second of every minute of every day!
My darling granddaughter, Ms. C. made her 1st Holy Communion last Sunday & I made her dress for her.
I worked on it, non-stop, every day for two full weeks after my dear husband passed away.
Working on the dress was a good distraction from my grief, a real *labor of love* & is "The prettiest dress I've ever made".
My very talented, online sewing friend, Bunny~~La Sewista~~used that title for a recent post, so I didn't want to copy her, even though it fits my sentiments exactly, too.
My wonderful smocking friend Nicole (whose husband is the cardiologist who took care of Ernie during both of his ER visits) came to my house, brought me food & helped me tremendously in cutting out the bodice & its construction.
She reminded me there was a directional texture to the raw silk side that I chose for the dress.
It had been a long time since I'd done any heirloom sewing & she was a big help.
Thank you SEW much, Nicole!
I used my embroidery machine to embellish both ends of the silky, satin sash prior to their construction, so that the back of the embroidery design was hidden inside.
They don't appear balanced in this photo, but once the bow is tied, they hang more evenly.
The digital cross embroidery design is free from The Needle of Anne & can be found HERE.
I was impressed with how gorgeous it is, both front & back that I will certainly purchase from her next time I need something so beautiful.
I want to thank another online sewing friend, Kathy Dykstra, for sharing the info about it on her blog. Kathy is a fantastic seamstress & creates gorgeous outfits as well as teaching others to do so.
The sheer sleeves, made of iridescent dotted organza, have satin bindings (hand sewn inside) as well as tiny little satin & organza bows, also attached by hand.
The entire bodice was smocked by hand along with crystal beading added at the same time that I was doing the smocking.
I had the beads in a little rubber dish & would pick up one bead with my needle every so many stitches, according to the pattern.
First time I've ever done that!
I'm especially pleased at how smooth the satin bias binding came out on the neckline.
I've NEVER had one look so pretty before!
I think I must have had an angel or two watching over me that week.
Here is a closer shot & different angle of the sleeves, allowing you to better see the iridescent dots on the organza.
Along with a very close-up shot of the smocking & beading.
I made a bow for her hair, out of satin & organza ribbon that matched the little bows on the sleeves.
I decreased the "poof" of the sleeves in the pattern, per Ms. C's request, by taking out the little pleat at the lower edge & cutting down the gathers at the shoulder area as well.
She prefered a more tailored look as opposed to the " puffy little girl" design shown in the magazine.
The pattern for this dress is called "Angel" & can be found in Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine, issue #88
I am so, so sad that this magazine, along with Martha Pullen's Sew Beautiful, are no longer being published.
I placed tiny little pearlized buttons down the back of the dress by sewing them on with a bullion rosebud in two shades of pale blue, (and a touch of light green) to coordinate with the pale blue ribbon at the base of the smocked bodice.
Adding a touch of pale blue to her Holy Communion dress is my (and Nicole's) way of honoring Jesus' mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary on this very special day, as that is her color.
I learned how to do these bullion roses on buttons at the Martha Pullen School of Fashion & Design one year, taking classes from Lynne Holyoake, who lives in AU.
I must remember to post the beautiful baby's *party dress*, with matching cashmere & lace blanket that I made in her classes very soon.
Since the bodice of the dress was fully lined with lace trimmed satin, I made her just a half-slip out of very soft, embroidered cotton.
I embroidered her monogram on it, as well as the date of the ceremony, too.
As you know, I try to NEVER post photos of my grandchildren on the internet, nor would I ever put someone else's child on, either. However, I couldn't resist showing this group photo, since Ms. C. was the only girl in the Sunday School class!...plus it shows off the wide, satin hem band at the bottom of the skirt, too.
They are holding their chalices, which they hand painted in class, weeks before the service.
She had beautiful diamond chip earrings to wear that matched the sterling silver cross with diamonds
that I gave her as a gift from her Poppi Ernie that morning.
Her shoes were the best match of all, though...just check out the bling of the crystal *diamonds* on them!!! Too cute!!
It was a wonderfully beautiful day & the only thing missing was my sweetheart Ernie, sitting beside me in the church pew.
He adored this child & she him, as well. They had a very special bond. We all knew he was watching from above & smiling the whole time.
Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.
Now that the dress is done, I hope to find time to stop by & visit YOUR blogs soon.