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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A little dress

A week ago my youngest granddaughter turned one in San Francisco. I sent her a doll from my mom, a pair of moose hide Mukluks (she will be here over Christmas) and I decided to go old school and send her a plaid dress too.

I have a terrible time imagining weather in places outside my window (which is why I am the world's worst packer) but I had enough sense not to send velveteen or wool to California.

Fortunately I found some plaid in a very nice rayon and hopefully that counts as winter wear on the west coast.

For a pattern I pulled out this out of print Jalie that I got on a sale of their old stock a while ago. I really really enjoyed sewing it and seeing practical but traditional baby clothing details. There is a double folded hem with the potential to add nearly another 4" in length and a back that opens full length for easy dressing.

The pattern also came with some cool bloomers, big enough to cover the biggest diaper, and I made those too. We'll see about the fit but one of the reasons Jalie is my go-to for kids clothes is that there are so many sizes in one pattern - this one has 10 baby/toddler sizes.

I am sewing a lot for family these days (this has had an impact on the blog I am trying to figure out - I might block family members!) because I want to show things that are also surprises.

Right now most of the time I am sewing requests. I realized that rather than having family handle the fact that my kids probably don't want to wear what I would wear, everyone is happier, including me, if I make to order. This also expands my own repertoire and experience by introducing new territory to me.

That said every once in a while I enjoy sewing something that is just a sewing indulgence for me, like this traditional little dress.

It reminded me of the smocked dresses my friend's mother made for my daughter years ago. Who does that these days? Who has the time? Beautiful party dresses with smocking patterns that must have been decades old, giant hems like this one.

Even babies have history.