Onesies are the mainstay of the modern layette. My sister Bendie says there's nothing cuter than a baby snug in a tight little onesie, and I'm inclined to agree.
The creative Mom or Nana likes the canvas a onesie provides. Whether you embellish with a handcrafted rosette, like the one above, or an embroidered Christmas motif, it's a great way to make the mundane magnifique!
For rosettes, I enjoy using soft cotton ribbon made extra special with French script text.
With a little gathering and a little wrapping and a small piece of crinoline to tack it to, you end up with a precious little posey.
It adds artisanal texture to any design for a child. Pair an embellished onesie with a matching pair of booties for an exquisite baby shower gift.
Like the crenelated edge of the rosette "petals"? I used my brilliant antique pinking machine, above to cut it.
Inspired by the intricately scalloped edging of trim on antique doll costumes, I looked high and low for a gadget that would make the cut. I have scalloping shears, but the old edging was even more detailed.
Finally, I found reference to antique pinking machines used for fabric or leather (a favored taxidermist's tool). After making a regular search on eBay, I found the one above. It works amazingly well and has opened up all kinds of creative possibilities for embellishing children's styles.
My 91-year-old mother in law has made quilts since she was a child growing up on a farm in cold Michigan. She has given me her stash of fabric (hundreds of patterns!), vintage and not and I have have hand torn into ribbon. I will offer it in different widths, tea-stained and not, and hand-stamped and not.
I've developed quite a stock of Kristi's oh la la trims, and I notice she has added lots of new designs to her eBay store. Think I'll go do some shopping.
They're also great for my new craze -- repurposing. Vintage pillowcases are an infinite resource. Don't you love the smell of cotton percale still warm from the iron? Years of a hot iron is what makes these old treasures so soft.
Now is a good time to pick up this old store stock French antique lace that you'll be needing for that heirloom child's Easter dress or a christening gown or a special antique doll. It will be available on eBay for several weeks, then the pieces that don't sell will be available here at our La Dentellière lace market.
Thanks for looking. à bientôt...Tatie
Another of my favorites were hand-embroidered heirloom collars, like the one at left, available at my online Christmas market, Chez Noël. It's not a holiday motif, but it makes a special gift for the well-dressed little girl. And embroidered Christmas collars allow you to turn almost any little dresses into a perfect holiday outfit.Another classic mainstay in my daughter's wardrobe were eyelet ruffle cotton panties. Those of us who practice the art of classic children's sewing will embroider just about anything, and these little bloomers lend themselves especially well to hand embroidery, particularly Christmas designs. The ones at left feature an updated use of the old-fashioned knotted ribbon bow, like those often used to trim French handsewn christening gowns. I created the Christmas wreath with traditional embroidery techniques: the feather stitch and French knot. I've got numerous Christmas styles plus one sweet little year-round variety available at Chez Noël. Another adorable palette for the embroiderer's needle is the simple Onesie, especially if you're looking for something less fussy, maybe for a little boy. My Christmas tree above is made up of feather stitch branches, French knot lights, and the treetop star is a bullion-knot rosette. You'll find holiday Onesies at Chez Noël in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Want to put together a special outfit with, say, matching socks and collar like the candy cane designs above? No problem. Most all of our embroidery designs at Chez Noël can be applied to any of the clothing styles we have. Don't find the motif you want in the size you need? No problem. E-mail me at email@example.com, and I can provide what you need in time for that special holiday occasion, as long as you contact me by next Wednesday, 15 December. Handsewing for children, at least for me, wasn't a passing fancy that I lost interest in after my daughter decided she was too old for the look (and that was much too soon for me). I love creating clothing for other people's children, just a preliminary, though, to the grandchildren which I'm told are not too far off. I also enjoy applying my classic children's clothing know-how to doll clothes, from antique to American Girl styles. The dolls never grow too old for the look! à bientôt...Tatie
Our specialties, like the ones sold at the Munich Christmas market on the Marienplatz, above, are all handmade.
Hand-embroidered Christmas wear for children reflects the Southern tradition of heirloom children's clothing.
Details, like the little knotted-ribbon bow that adorns the Christmas wreath on the eyelet ruffle panties, above, come from the Southern children's clothing tradition.
Looking for something a little different for your Christmas village display? Our Putz cottages and churches are one-of-a-kind collectibles.
And, of course, our dolls get in on the act, giving a special touch to vintage bottle-brush trees.
We've also got some petite gift boxes with the especially chic styling of the classic Kelly handbag.
All in all, we're pretty excited here at Atelier Chéri about Chez Noël. As Christmas markets go, it's pretty special, a tribute to the creativity and craftmanship that we celebrate here. So, fix a nice cup of hot cocoa or rum punch, and treat yourself to a visit to our marketplace. Here's hoping Chez Noël will become a holiday tradition that you look forward to year after year!