Thursday, November 18, 2010

Starting on Christmas Sewing

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:

 This is difficult to see, but it is a smocking plate on black pleated fabric. The lead reindeer has a red nose, of course! The design is "twas the nite" from 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.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely projects Cynthia! I've only done smocking one time so I can't help with your problem, but I can't imagine it's too much different than something like counted cross stitch where you have to keep track of where each stitch goes in relation to all the others. I have a sister who has done some really spectacular smocking projects, but she doesn't blog. Can't wait to see how it comes out!



I love to hear from readers! Please let me know what you think of my posts. If you ask a question, I will reply here on the blog, so others can see the answer.