Friday, November 26, 2010

{a first for everything}

Back in September, I was reading one of the many blogs that I like to follow. I was pleasantly surprised when Jan's blog post showed "Peggy", her much loved baby doll that Santa brought her for her 4th Christmas! Why was I surprised? Well, on my very first birthday, I got my first really big doll, who looks very much like Jan's "Peggy"! My doll will be 50 years old on December 9th! It's not hard to do the math to figure out how old I am going to be in a few weeks, now is it? My mom told me that I was so excited when I got this doll that I stood up all by myself and took some steps for the very first time!
I don't think I ever gave this doll a name that I can recall, but she's been a favorite of all the dolls that I saved from my childhood! She's in amazingly good condition considering how old she is much I played with her. My daughter, who is now 28 years old, also played with this doll when she was a little girl. My doll has gotten alot of love thru the years, and I hope that she has many more years of love to share for future grand-daughters. Isn't she cute?
My doll is wearing the very first dress that I smocked for my first baby! The birth of a daughter is really what got me interested in sewing more than ever before. I am self-taught in pretty much everything that I do. When I see something that interests me, I research it, get the supplies and start figuring out how to do it. Back then I didn't have the internet at my fingertips, so it was a little harder to research the how-to's. At the time, two of my sister-in-law's were both learning how to smock and I instantly fell in love with hand-smocking and just had to learn how to do it!
I didn't take a class, but my sister-in-law had a brand new pleater, so I had her pleat up some fabric for me. She showed me the basic stitches and I was ready to get started! I bought a few spools of DMC Pearl Cotton #8 to match my fabric and got busy smocking. This was the very first time I had ever even heard of DMC Pearl Cotton, but it was what my sis-in law was learning to smock with, so that's what I purchased. I instantly loved it, and have used it ever since that very first smocked dress.
I don't recall if I had a smocking graph that I followed or not. If I did, it's not in my stash of smocking plates - it would be like me to just make it up as I smocked - that's just how I roll! Anyway, I was instantly hooked! My first smocking isn't perfect, but it's not too bad for my first attempt! I didn't know a thing about back-smocking when I started, and I can see now where at least one row of back-smocking should have been worked just above the last series of stitches I completed.
The dress pattern was not a typical smocked dress pattern. The pattern I used was just a regular yoke dress pattern and I modified it to work for smocking. I smocked from shoulder to waist - that's just how I roll! :)
I am soooo glad that I did have a portrait taken of my daughter, Lindsay, wearing the very first dress that I smocked for her! She's 8 months old in this picture and I think she's way cuter than my doll!
After I made this dress, I started working on another smocked dress for her. Can you guess? It was my first picture-smocked dress! Yep, there's a first for everything and I didn't waste any time in continuing to learn more about the wonderful world of smocking. I'll share my first attempt at picture-smocking in my next journal entry!

P.S. There is a Black Friday BOGO Sale @ Brer Rabbit Designs!


Cynthia Gilbreth said...

Considering that this was your first attempt at smocking it is pretty darn good! What a lovely, chubby, little baby, and I agree she is much cuter than an doll.

Anonymous said...

My mom had this very doll. I played and loved her as well. My oldest daughter played with her and now she is being loved by my youngest daughter and niece.

Lany said...

Hola querida,

Mi suegra me ha regalado una revista de casas de abejas, y cómo es algo que nunca he hecho, he estado en internet averiguando de cómo se hace y he dado con tu blog, y me encanta aprender....voy a probar hacer algo para ver que tal me da la casa de abeja.....
Esta historia de la muñeca es encantadora y espero que tus nietas igual que tu hija puedan jugar con ella, y la verdad es que me quedé atónita con el buen estado de la muñeca después de tantos añ todo tan hermoso, la muñeca, el vestido, tu hija, etc....
Gracias por compartir momentos como estos que son únicos en la vida...


Jan M said...

My Peggy and your doll most definitely could be twins! Thanks for sharing yours, too.


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