The Gingham Girls

Cheery and checked, gingham is a timeless fabric that offers many delights. From summer picnic tablecloths to baby rompers, it has an enduring appeal. During the summer that my new niece, Ruby, was to be born, an idea of stitching matching dresses for Hope, Grace, and Ruby all in classic red gingham check came to life.

¼” Check Gingham

The Tatum Dress from Sew Sweet Patterns was my choice for a breezy summer baby dress.

The Tatum Dress from Sew Sweet Patterns

The pattern was simple, despite a few hiccups, and they sewed up quickly. Soon, I had 3 nearly identical dresses, which were then shipped off to Idaho in time for Ruby’s baby shower.

Faith was thrilled ! Ruby was born in August and until January wasn’t big enough to fit into her dress. But now…

She’s a big girl !

Hope, Ruby, and their cousin Grace loved modeling their matching dresses ─ even in the cold Idaho winter.

Aren’t they precious ?!

Gingham: the fabric that never goes out of style and is versatile for the young and old. That makes me wonder… maybe I should make a gingham dress someday !

Toi, Toi, Toi,

Mary Martha

Thank you for allowing me to use these beautiful pictures of your children, Faith and Angel !

Lila Turns One !

My cousin, Rachel, is a beautiful redhead. She married Ted, also a redhead. When they announced that they were expecting a baby girl, it was natural to assume that she would be a towhead blond, right ? Ha ! Not even close…

Rachel and Ted’s wedding

Facetiousness aside, I had plans to sew something for little Lila, but Rachel had an unusual request in regards to dictates of dress: she did not want anything that was blatantly pink or blue and was planning on keeping things “gender neutral.” The challenge was accepted !

Rachel and Ted’s gender reveal

The concept of creating a girl outfit that was devoid of pink was more of a struggle than I imagined. Thankfully, an idea popped into my mind: Rachel and Ted had decorated Lila’s nursery in a nature theme. Yes ! I could easily fashion something that evoked the colors of nature ─ soft greens, creams, and maybe even a splash of burnt sienna. When I came across this printed cotton fabric, I knew I had my answer…

I fondly referred to this material as “peach squirrels” and knew it would be appropriate for Lila’s soon-to-be hair color. It checked all the boxes for my outfit. Now it was time to sew…
Using the same children’s pattern that served as the bedrock for Hope’s baby clothes, I opted to sew a romper since they can be classified as unisex.

The bodice was cut from the peach squirrels fabric while the bottom bloomers fit perfectly onto a tranquil sage green print. Not only was the outfit to be neutral, but also on trend with color blocking.

Sweet details, like bow tie pockets and back closure, made for a fun experience. I especially enjoyed utilizing my serger to finish the seams cleanly.

Here’s what the inside looked like before stitching the bodice and pants together…

And then… voilà ! A nature themed romper !

Was the romper, with its bloomer pants and bow ties, really gender neutral ? That’s debatable. Nevertheless, I was pleased at my attempt and even more thrilled to finally behold Lila wearing the creation. Here she is during her 12-month-old photo shoot:

A one-year-old in a one-of-a-kind… What a cutie !

Toi, Toi, Toi,

Mary Martha

Thank you to Rachel and Ted for allowing me to use these pictures of your sweet little girl !

Baby Clothes for Hope

I have a friend. She is very dear to me… Her name is Faith ! In 2010, we met on Twitter and hit it off almost instantly, whereupon we soon became pen pals. In a way, I have lived life’s major milestones through Faith: I’ve watched her marry the love of her life and then have a daughter of her own. When Faith announced she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to make some very special things for her precious daughter, Hope.

Hope’s birth announcement photo

Her name is very sentimental. Faith and her husband Tyler had hoped for a baby for a long while. And they also hoped for a girl. See the connection ? No name could be better suited to someone who had so much hope behind her !

One of the patterns that my friend, Gisele, had offered me from her yard sale stash was a children’s pattern from the early 90’s. I thought it was darling and knew it would be adorable for Hope.

Simplicity 9685

As I browsed the scant fabric aisles at Walmart, I fingered over the perfect fabric for the dress: peacock print ! Faith and her family have had peacocks as pets and have an affinity for them. What could be better ? In addition to Hope’s tie back dress, I decided to make a matching one for her cousin, Grace, born two months earlier.

And here are the two baby cousins wearing their matching dresses on Mother’s Day:

Faith, her sister, Angel, with their mother, Angela, and Hope and Grace

Didn’t I tell you they love peacocks ? Look at all the feathers !

But I wasn’t done ! In addition to the matching dresses, I also sewed the romper from the same pattern envelope in pink gingham with a scalloped border of lace… sweet, very sweet !

Rompers (and onesies) are the hallmark of comfort. Hope modeled the style when she visited Grandpa Joe over the summer…

I also wanted Hope to have a fancy outfit so I sewed her a pink dress in crepe back satin and organza leftover from my Manon ballgown. In a craft bin at Walmart, I found a matching flower clip, which could be removed to wash the dress. Baby clothes, regardless of how fancy or frivolous, need to be washable. Very washable.

The pattern in size “0-3 months” was free from the Melly Sews blog. https://mellysews.com/sew-a-baby-dress-with-free-pattern/ Thank you, Melissa ! Hope looked like an uptown girl in her coordinating floral dress…

Hope and Grace ─ the two cousins

I couldn’t resist the urge to sew some girly-girl ruffles so I made a diaper cover with layers of pink patterned flounces on the back. Using my Baby Lock serger to both finish and gather the ruffles made the process a bundle of fun. Out of everything I sewed for Hope, this one was my favorite !

And off she goes !

The last item I created for Hope was a pair of knitted booties. As a mainstay of baby showers, I felt this was a genuine way to celebrate Hope’s arrival. And while I was not able to attend the actual baby shower in Idaho, my handmade clothes and booties were unwrapped with greatest appreciation and delight. From Florida, with love…

Having a niece has been a delight ! Faith and I have already been discussing different dress ideas for when Hope grows up. Of these, the most anticipated design is a Cinderella gown─ a character and story that is as cherished to Faith as our friendship is to the both of us.

Very cherished, indeed.

Toi, Toi, Toi,

Mary Martha