Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rainy Day Fun

Today is our first good rain of the new year, and I managed to get in a couple of fun hours in the sewing room. While rummaging around in the mess, I found this piece of pleated cloth, Imperial Batiste, I think, that our SAGA chapter had put together for our Smocked Hanger Cover a year ago. You can see where I flattened the middle section and stitched a 10 cm buttonhole for the hanger hook. Last year I made this with ivory silk dupioni and added some ecru Swiss edging to the long sides.

But last Sunday, Laurie of SewNso's Sewing Journal gave a tutorial on adding and rolling and whipping lace in one step, so I dug out some lace and gave it a try. It worked beautifully!

I even added pinstitching, but I used a 120 needle instead of a wing needle as Laurie suggests. I used Mettler size 60 thread, but I've found that if I use Madiera size 80 it looks very much like hand work. However, I didn't think of it until after I started. I really didn't want to change the thread in the machine anyway. Too lazy.

So here is the piece, all ready to smock!

For this project I'm using an overdyed floss by Needle Necessities, now sadly out of business. I bought it at a quilt shop near my home which is also out of business. This economy stinks, doesn't it? Threadworx, which is based here in Southern California, is using the same dye formulas as did Needle Necessities, so if you happen to have the old NN products you can buy the same ones as Threadworx. Several shops offer the Threadworx, with the NN numbers cross referenced. This particular color is NN 149, which is now Threadworx 1081 Shortcake. You can buy it at Needle in a Haystack in Alameda, California, and I imagine at quite a few other places. It's a pretty lavender/mint green combination that I think will look lovely. Now mind you, I've never smocked with overdyed floss before, so this could get interesting. I'll probably waste quite a bit to make the colors look like they are flowing, and not choppy. We'll see how that goes.

Now it's time to try to tidy up the sewing room so I can work on something without searching for threads, needles, etc., under all the stuff strewn about. 


  1. Have fun tidying up! I cant wait to see the smocking either. What gorgeous fabric,lace and colours.

  2. Gosh, I love overdyed floss. But for me it's like high end fabric, I don't want to use them. I know that's not right but I love looking at them.

    I have to check out Laurie's video. She has some great tutes. Your hanger should be great when done and I am looking forward to seeing it.

  3. I love overdyed flosses. They add such an interesting dimension to geometric designs.

  4. Lucky you to find this lost treasure, all pleated, buttonholed and ready to smock. No preparation, just smocking pleasure. I am anxious to see the finished product.

  5. Sooo hot over here and I am doing the tidy up bit too! Love the smocked hanger would it work on a baby hanger I wonder ?

  6. Hi all, thanks for all the comments!
    Bunny, I love just looking at the overdyed floss, too, but finally decided to take the plunge and use it!
    Janice, It was pleated, but I had to add the buttonhole. Not too hard w/ my Viking D1, even though I tend to be buttonhole challenged.
    Making this into a baby hanger would be pretty easy, just shorten the width of the smocking and delete a couple of rows. I just bought a whole bunch on sale at Michael's so maybe I'll make a few!

  7. I ahve never done smocking, I will come back to have a look :)


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