This past weekend I realized that Christmas is less than six weeks away. Or as my boss put it, only 26 working days until Christmas. So I have to admit that I did have a bit of a panic attack when I realized that I had not even thought about what dress to make for my granddaughter, now 2 1/2, to wear. After rifling through my extensive kit collection, I found the following:
Little Memories Smocking Designs in Arlington, Texas. The stars and the reins are of metallic blending filament, which is always difficult to work with, but I think I can manage these simple stitches.
The dress fabric is a lovely swirly red cotton quilt fabric. The kit comes with all the threads, fabric, buttons, needles and even cord for piping. I purchased this kit from a quilt shop in Vista, California, which closed down over two years ago. The owner would make several kits up and charge only for the materials, so of course I bought several to have on hand. I will make this up in a standard yoke dress with a smocked insert, with puffed sleeves and more of the black fabric for the sleeve bands and collar. Since I have to get this done in the next month, I will be posting quite a bit about my progress. So far I have managed to finish the line of snow along the bottom of the smocking design. It's not much, but I did just start it yesterday.
There is only one problem with this project, and it's a biggie. I've never done any picture smocking before. For those who aren't familiar with the term, picture smocking is done to form a picture in the smocking pattern, as opposed to a geometric design. I guess that is fairly self explanatory. So far I am being very meticulous, carefully stripping the strands, ironing them, and making sure they are laying flat against one another. As I progress, I'll show photos of the smocking. But since I only have the bottom layer of snow finished, it's hardly worth a photo.
I have a lot of other Christmas sewing to do, so we'll see how much of it actually gets done.