Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Small Smocking Project

One of the local SAGA chapters that I belong to has been having some pretty interesting projects lately. This one is of a smocked cell phone case from the August 2006 issue of the now defunct Creative Needle magazine. Look at that old fashioned cell phone - there aren't too many of those around any more, so our teacher is modifying it to fit an iPhone 4. Our teacher is Connie Moses, and if you follow Australian Smocking and Embroidery, you'll find many of her designs published in that soon to be defunct magazine. This pattern is designed by Barbara Meger, who will be teaching at the SAGA Convention in Atlanta this fall. Barbara is a very talented needle artist and teacher, and you can visit her website to see all of her beautiful designs designs.

I've decided not to smock this in the pretty colors shown in the magazine, but rather to keep the black/ecru color scheme that I've been making so many accessories in to coordinate with my Smocked Pockets Tote Bag. The problem is that a width of fabric is supposed to have 130 pleats to be large enough for the iPhone, but my width of fabric only has 117 pleats, which may not work. I'm using ecru floche for the smocking, to match what I used on the tote bag. Besides, I have two full skeins of the stuff, so I want to use some of it.

So, what to do about the width of the fabric? Rummaging around the sewing room, I found that I had started outlining this appliqued Celtic C, so I'll finish that and maybe use it for the back of the phone case. Here I'm using Coton a Broder No. 25 as it's a bit finer than the floche and perfect for the small scale of the letter. This letter C is from the same alphabet as the letter G (yes, that is a G) on the tote bag, and it was a free download from Needle 'n Thread. Here is the link to all of Mary Corbet's free downloadable alphabets.  Thanks, Mary!

Tonight is a meeting of the other SAGA chapter that I belong to. We are a pretty small chapter and don't have programs, but we all get together at our hostess' house and work on whatever we feel like doing. Everyone is available to help each other with the various questions we may have about our work. It's a great environment, very relaxing, and I love it. Since we are all in the other chapter, the one doing the iPhone case, I'm hoping someone will bring the project and we can compare notes. I want to be up to speed for the meeting of that chapter next week. (this isn't too confusing, is it?)

I really don't need yet another project to interfere and keep me from working my main projects, but this one is too cute and useful to pass up. Besides, I have a large part of the work done. The silk dupioni had already been pleated, and the initial is about 1/5 finished. Working on this will get an unfinished project out of the way, and help clear up my mess in the sewing room.

You may be wondering about the white stuff on the edges of the smocked piece up above. That is a product called Seams Great, a tricot knit that comes on a roll and is great for binding raw edges together. I don't have a serger and silk dupioni is notorious for ravelling, so after pleating the piece I flattened it out and attached the Seams Great. And you know what, it is great! No raveling at all. 

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