When I went up to help mom and dad with Maggie after she was born, I asked them if they would like me to make her a smocked blessing gown. They agreed, and I was so glad.
Unfortunately, other Christmas projects and a few unexpected sewing projects came up, along with difficulty getting the supplies I needed from my local heirloom sewing shop, and I found myself beginning the week after Christmas for a January 3rd blessing. I discovered in the process that my eyes aren't as good as they were the last time I embarked on a smocking project, and that I was woefully out of practice. I stitched at my daughter's over Christmas - at least as long as the light held. I stitched on the plane on the way home, and at the USO while we waited half a day for our final flight. New Year's Eve found me frantically embroidering the top and constructing the dress just hours before our drive to Atlanta the weekend of the blessing.
I improvised the smocking design, mostly because I found working from a pattern on an airplane fairly difficult, and because once I realize I had to have it finished in just a few hours, I needed to take a few shortcuts. Fortunately, the dress construction fairly straightforward and it went together rather well. I found the lace for the sleeves in my stash, thank goodness.
I planned to use lace for the hem, but didn't find any in my stash, and since I had forgotten to buy any, that was a problem. Finally, my daughter who was visiting said, "Use rick-rack, Mom. It's so sweet and innocent. I love it." I would probably never have considered it, but it worked well and ended up finishing the little dress nicely.