I was trying very hard to clean in the sewing room (honest!) last week and I came across Issue No. 95 of Australian Smocking and Embroidery, (AS&E) that had this sweet little smocked heart. Since when I started it Valentine's Day was almost upon us, I decided to drop everything and make it. I got so involved in it I wasn't too good about taking pictures, but I think I can get the gist of it across.
Here's the pattern with the grid for the lattice smocking. It didn't fit on one page, and the two weren't perfectly aligned. So I made sure of the grid spacing and alignment, then fudged the cutting lines. They are only 1 - 2 mm off, so not much of a problem there.
This is such a little project I was able to scrounge around for all the materials in my sewing room. I'm using pink silk dupioni scraps from my sister's sewing business. I made all the markings with a blue washout pen, as a quick spritz of water erases all the blue. The instructions said to sew the side seams together; those are the two straight ends on the pattern above. Then smock the pattern on the wrong side using machine sewing thread, which was a bit cumbersome as the fabric was now in a tube shape. This is Lattice Smocking, a variation of North American or Canadian Smocking. I showed you an example of Lozenge Smocking, another variant, when I described a photo album cover I made at a SAGA Convention. I smocked two rows of the lattice.
After completing the smocking, I had to fit it around a little heart shaped pillow made out of muslin and stuffed with polyfil. I pulled the ends tight on both sides, pushed the ends into the pillow as best I could, then stitched them to secure. The two rows of lattice sit nicely on either side of the pillow edges.
On the back the fabric ends are hidden behind a pretty pink mother of pearl button. This was one of the buttons I received in that lovely raffle basket from the SAGA Convention. I glammed it up a bit by using gold beads. Actually, they were on the table as they were left over from the last pincushion. I think they make a nice contrast, much better than using pink or white, don't you think?
Next up, some silk ribbon embroidery for the front!