Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dainty Dotted Day Dress

Last weekend, I traveled to San Mateo, which is just south of San Francisco, to attend a fun class to make this yummy dress.  The class was hosted by the Cable Car Cablers SAGA guild of the San Francisco Bay Area, with six of the 18 attendees making the trip from Southern California.

This dress was featured in the November/December 2000 issue of Creative Needle magazine, which unfortunately folded a few years ago.

Cindy Foose, our teacher, explained that she doesn't like pleating for smocking, so developed this dress which uses the dots in the dotted swiss fabric to guide the smocking. She also connected the skirts to the yokes by fagoting, also known as bridge stitching. What was unusual is that she had us smock with three strands of floche. Normally you smock with three strands of floss. Now floche is about 1 1/2 times the thickness of floss, so I was a bit concerned that this would overwhelm the delicate fabric. But as you can see in the photo above, it works! The dress even has smocking on the back.

Lace is attached to the collar and sleeves; here I have the collar basted to the template in preparation for the fagoting.

For the fagoting we used one strand of floche, as you can see in this photo. It goes pretty quickly and by the time I finally got around to writing this post (I started Saturday morning and it's now Sunday evening) I have finished all the fagoting except for the sleeves. Now on to the sleeves and construction of the actual dress!

I hope all of you have a lovely week and manage to get some stitching time in!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

To Mend a Broken Heart

A quilted heart, that is! A result of going through the sewing room contents is finding all sorts of UFO's. Notice I didn't say it was a good result. I put together this very sorry specimen of a crazy quilted heart. It's hard to see in the photo, but many of the fabric edges are not sewn down. That's the first thing that needs to be corrected.

Then I tried to get fancy with my sewing machine's built in stitches and some metallic threads. You can see the result in the photo above. I have ripped most of the mess out, but I can't get all of it. Second thing that needs to be corrected.

I then had a brilliant idea of making some sort of border to go around the heart, covering up the messy metallic sewing, and dug through my "red fabric" box and came up with these three.

In the end, I selected this stripey batik, as it had the best color to go with the reds in the heart.

But look what I found while digging through the stash - Australia themed fabric! Funny, I don't remember buying this while Down Under a few years ago - but then I might have been too worried about being upside down while there. (I know, it doesn't make sense, but I did have this odd feeling of being upside down while in Australia)

I made a long strip - 84 inches, that is to say, two widths of fabric (WOF, in sewing terms), 2 1/2 inches wide. I turned it right side out and pressed the seam to the middle. I'm now making this shell smocked piece of trim and will appliqué it around the edge of the heart, covering up the metallic thread mess. I even bought some beads to go with it.

Tomorrow Mr. CS and I travel to San Mateo (just south of San Francisco) to take a Cindy Foose Smocked Dress class. (I'm taking the class, not Mr. CS - he'll go fishing) The class is Saturday and Sunday, but we are going a day early to see a Vermeer exhibit at the de Young Museum. Fun, fun!