Saturday, April 9, 2011

An Heirloom for Olivia

Olivia, my gorgeous rosy cheeked baby grand daughter would need an exceptional exquisite heirloom gown for her special day.

I found the perfect pattern in an Australian smocking magazine.

 My sweet friend Leisa of Deer Hollow has an authentic pleater machine.

She helped me stitch in the pleats and then held my hand while I attempted smocking for the first time.

This was such a fascinating process to watch...21 needles with 21 different colors of thread to mark each row.

Smocking began in England around the 13th or 14th century. But it wasn't until about 1940 that the pleater was invented...eliminating the tedious process of making row after row of pleats.

After MANY, MANY hours of smocking, it was time to block and steam the bodice. I've always enjoyed handwork in various needle arts, and this was so satisfying...I'm addicted. 

And to finish it off...some tiny beading.

I had exactly one day to construct the dress once the smocking was complete. Not to worry, I work well under pressure. Cass was never worried, she has faith in me.

Yards of exquisite lace, entredeux, and silk ribbon....

and first heirloom dress.

Only the very best for Olivia!


  1. Truely fit for a princess! It is beautiful, Lisa. So very beautiful. Just like Olivia.

  2. Are you KIDDING? That is incredible work! I'm really really blown away. So so beautiful!!!!

  3. I can hardly wait to see Olivia in it! It is truly breathtaking! You've done it again Lisa.

  4. It is perfect! I knew you would make the deadline, you always do!! I'm sure the day was special and will be forever a wonderful memory.

  5. WOW! Your talent is amazing. It is beautiful and I'm sure Olivia looked so precious in it. What a wonderful heirloom.

  6. AMAZING, LISA! Amazing! Olivia is lucky to have such a wonderful grandma!

  7. It is absolutely exquisite. I love the way you take on impossibly hard tasks and make them beautiful.

    Love you!

  8. That is simply gorgeous! How wonderful that Olivia will have this always to cherish. I love it!

  9. Lisa, this is amazing! You are so talented! Olivia is one blessed grandbaby. :)

  10. There are no words! Beautiful....

  11. Oh, it's beautiful! I've always loved smocking.