Friday, May 7, 2021

Spring First Communions 2021 Update

 I have been very lax about keeping up with the blog. 

Here's a few items off the machine in the last few months - The latest few First Communion dresses have all wanted pin-tucked bodices, and high necklines, very nice, but oh so time-consuming! (Worth it in the end!)

One for Scotland
One for the USA
Fine Cotton Poplin with added embroidered trim.

A mixture of embroidered cotton in the skirt and sleeves,
With pin tucked cotton lawn bodice,
 and applied cotton trim.

This one has a nice big bow, too.

And being a glutton for punishment, I even designed a matching pin tucked bag for one young lady!

Sara's dress was made of one of the heavier embroidered cottons.
A lovely traditional dress with Peter Pan collar,
and long cuffed sleeves.

I've made a few First Communion veils, and have several in stock, so if anyone needs one, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Embroidered Eucharistic motif on tulle.

embroidered organza,
 with a mantilla lace edging around the face.

Small organza mantilla edged veil 
with embroidered cross.

Embroidered Eucharistic motif, and small cross,
on tulle.

Different types of motifs can be embroidered, please don't hesitate to enquire...

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Cool Summer Frocks

A few of the latest items hot off the sewing machine -

A lightweight cotton dress that has made it to its destination in the USA, where I hope they're having warmer weather than we are here in the coldest August I can remember!

The lady who commissioned this frock sent me 3 photos of widely differing designs, and fortunately was very happy with the dress I finally came up with combining elements of them. The dress is made from a cotton poplin, with glass buttons.

I was asked to make some bridesmaids dresses quite a few months ago, but because of the lockdown and other restrictions on Church services, it seemed as though the wedding would be postponed until next year. Fortunately, I did not have too much on, as the new date was brought forward to September, so I was able to get the dresses made in time. The skirts and puffed sleeves are of cotton lawn and the bodice and sashes are of crepe silk, a rather zany colour combination chosen by the bride!

It was interesting when I was photographing them out doors, to see my garden colours reflecting those of the dresses - there was even a blue morning glory peeping out at the top right!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me

I'm not sure it was necessary to keep the children from receiving Our Blessed Lord for the first time, during these past few months, or even keeping the rest of us from doing so! However, some intrepid souls managed to make their way around the restrictions, and so a few dresses were commissioned for their special day this year.

This one was made in pure cotton broderie anglaise, with embroidered cotton trim.


The little girl's family wanted me to re-create a veil that was similar to one that her grandmother wore at her first Communion. After a lot of searching, I was able to find a nice soft lace that was wide enough to imitate the older one.

This dress was made from a dotted Swiss cotton, with cotton underlayer, and a satin cummerbund.

The Mama for this one contacted me with very little time to get a dress made. Fortunately, I had already half made one at the end of last year (I like to make up a couple of spares in case of emergencies!) and it was exactly the right size. So I managed to get it off to the USA in double quick time.  Embroidered cotton with embroidered cotton trimmings.

 The Mama for Gianna's dress wanted it to be one that could be passed down to her two younger sisters when their turn comes to receive Our Blessed Lord. However, as Gianna is quite a tall, but petite child, I had to leave plenty of room in the seams for it to possibly be let out for her siblings, and to not finish it off as thoroughly as I might normally do, to make it easier for adjustments.


And, a big cheer goes to

Gianna's Mum, as she made the beautiful bag below with the scraps of leftover fabrics I sent her!

Finally, this was a Confirmation Dress sent to the USA, made from embroidered polyester chiffon over a cotton underlayer.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Charming "New" Tradition!

I was recently commissioned by a Godmother to be, to make an outfit for a baby's Baptism. I was told that a splendid gown, with a bonnet and a hanky were to be required. A hanky? Whilst the Godmother was in the UK the parents and child were in Poland, and the Godmother had been told that this was necessary. After a bit of research, I realised that what the Polish folk did was to place a lovely embroidered hanky over the baby, presumably at the moment of the Baptism where we would (in a Traditional Catholic ceremony in the UK) place a white shawl around the child. So although it's a Polish tradition, it was a new one on me. I had to do a bit of searching around before I could get the necessary Polish lettering onto my embroidery software, but with the help of some experts in embroidery digitizing, it turned out well. The edging lace, of which I had just enough to complete the outfit, was antique, and very dainty, so hard to find these days!

 The choice of fabric was to be an embroidered cotton, and pure white linen. However, the mother of the child expressed some concern about her little one freezing to death in the Polish winter in a cotton frock! So, as I didn't want to make the dress itself too warm, since it may well be used for future siblings in the broiling heat of Summer (if God so wills) I thought it best to make a little quilted jacket to match. I thought the bonnet could be quilted too, and if they need a Summer weight one in the future, I still have bonnet-sized pieces of the fabric left over!

A Priest once bemoaned the fact that it was oft times tricky to reach the infant's chest for anointing, due to the fact that Baptismal gowns usually opened down the back. So I designed openable shoulder seams with some delicate glass buttons, for ease of access to the baby's front. I must ask the Godmother how they worked (or if they were necessary at all?)

Detail of the embroidered motifs which were chosen in consultation with the Godmother. The embroidered panel was of pure linen, and the sleeves were also.

The bonnet and jacket had layers of wadding between the outer cotton and inner linen layers, and were quilted with decorative stitches.

I think Baby must have been nice and cosy in the outfit whilst being welcomed into new life in Christ!