Finally, I have finished the Wendy Schoen Embroidery Club 2010, Lesson 1, Shirley Temple Dress. And not much too soon, as she will soon be shipping Lesson 2.
This is a somewhat closeup of the top. Notice the blue "bows" that are fastened on the shoulders with tiny mother of pearl buttons. I just love them, they really add a special touch to the dress. All of the buttonhole stitch around the edges of the dress and the bows are done by hand, with DMC floche in color 800. The flowers are pretty easy, all detached chain stitch, or "lazy daisy", with french knots in the centers.
I had real problems with the sash. The instructions called for a narrow hem around a single thickness of the dotted swiss outer fabric, but after trying to get this done neatly, shown at the top of this photo, I gave up and made the sash with the dotted swiss and the organdy lining, shown on the bottom. I sewed the two together right sides together, then turned them right sides out before attaching them to the dress. The allowed me to add a flower to each sash end, as the wrong side would be enclosed by the lining. I think the bottom sash looks so much better!
Here is the back of the dress with the sash tied. I can't wait to see it on my granddaughter, and will post a picture when I can manage to get one.
So, here are the likes/dislikes:
What did I like about this? I absolutely love the fabrics and other materials. Wendy always has the best quality materials, which makes her kits such a joy to work. Her stitch illustrations are very clear, as are her instructions. She often uses DMC floche, which is a lovelier, richer embroidery thread than DMC floss. All the buttons are mother of pearl, not plastic, so they won't melt when ironing. The fabrics are all 100% cotton, which require ironing, but these fabrics iron up so very easily. I ironed the dotted swiss and the organdy lining together. This resulted in a bit of wrinkles in the organdy, which are not at all noticeable. If you wanted, you can iron these separately, but I don't think that is necessary.
What are the dislikes? Not much at all. It would have been nice to have a bit more length of fabric to adjust the length of the dress as desired, but that's about it.
What would I do differently? If I were to follow all the hand work again, which is definitely worthwhile as a skill builder, I would be much more precise in transferring the buttonhole scallop pattern to the fabric. I would use a very light hand with the blue fabric pen, and then I would machine stitch the outlines with matching thread. In fact, I actually have the matching DMC cotton machine sewing thread, but didn't think of this until after I had finished embroidering the scalloped edges. Only after machine stitching the dotted swiss and organdy together would I then outline the scallops with either a running stitch or a back stitch (which is what I used).
Would I make this again? Definitely! I'd like to see make in a pretty cotton print with a machine zig-zag fastening instead of the hand worked buttonhole. And I may just do this soon...