Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bullion Wrap Dress Issues

I've been working on the Bullion Wrap Dress, and have some issues. Don't get me wrong, the fabric is a nice white tiny lined pique and the embroidery threads are all DMC floche. So what's the problem? My flowers don't look too great.

Notice the one on the lower right hand side, the fabric is somewhat puckered. I sprayed some water on the other two, in the center and on the top, and ironed them on a thick folded towel from the wrong side. Still somewhat puckered. And I did this all on one side of the front and on all the bodice pieces.

 I resolved to start the second front piece and work more carefully. If you remember, this is a wrap dress and can be worn with the wrapped part in the front or the back. This definitely looks better, much less puckering. So, if I can manage to make the other front and the back without too much puckering, I can use the puckered piece as the part of the wrap that goes under, and only redo the flowers on the bodice. That's only four, so it's fairly manageable. I also changed the lazy daisy leaves specified in the pattern for the fly stitches shown. I tried several leaf variations and ended up with this one.

The other problem I have is time. There is just no way to get this done before the granddaughter arrives late next week. Every single edge of the dress has a hand embroidered scallop edge to it! Normally, when working a scallop edge, you first have to mark the scallops by hand (very carefully), then outline them in the same thread used for the scallops, two very time consuming steps. It was suggested by several people that I try machine stitching the scallops first, then embroidering them. Hmmm, this might be promising.

This is my sample piece in which I tried several scallop variations on a scrap of the dress fabric. I used a Mettler Size 40 thread in a dark pink for the samples, and ended up with stitch H33 (on a Husqvarna Viking Designer I) L = .2, W = 4.0, with tearaway stabilizer under the fabric. Then I decided to try it in the DMC thread that is the same color as the floche, which you can barely see on the upper left hand side of the photo.

The bodice has a fairly tight curve to the shoulder pieces, so I practiced several times on this.  I traced the inside edged of the scallops onto to fabric. Not exactly on the straight of grain, is it? But for this test it really doesn't matter.

I then stitched the curves a few times to see if I could produce a fairly even scallop on a tight curve. Some of them are a bit uneven, but I found I got better the more I practiced and the slower I went.

I even stitched some of the buttonhole stitches over the scallops. I think it will work out fairly well. I'm liking this machine stitched foundation! I went ahead and stitched the scallops on all the dress edges. This was a huge time saver. Some of them are a bit uneven, but I think the buttonhole stitch will be fairly forgiving.

Now the problem is just finding the time to finish it. I know I won't get it done before next week, but I would like to finish it before the next kit arrives. This one arrived in late June, so the next is due in a few weeks, in late August, and is yet another darling toddler dress.


  1. Looks to me that you took a bigger bite of the fabric than the bullion stitch would cover, hence the fabric puckering. Each persons wraps will vary, so I find it is easier to make as many wraps as I need to fit the fabric than to follow the exact directions. I do like your idea of using the scallop on the machine for underlay.

  2. Robin,
    You are so right. That idea had been bubbling around in the back of my brain but it took your comment to realize it. Thanks!

    I thing the machine scallops are working nicely. That will be my preferred method for scallops from now on.


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