Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to Embroidery!

I'm been focusing so much on garment sewing lately and I've become frustrated by not having any embroidery projects in work. Well, I do have several in work, I just haven't been working on them. This is a project called Celtic Hearts from Beating around the Bush way back in October of 2009. And it's been sitting in the hoop all this time! See the band? But if you look in the upper right portion you can see where the fabric is nice and smooth. This is beautiful wool blanketing and the band steamed right out. But it's still not a good idea to leave projects in the hoop, especially for four years!

The chain stitch knot design is worked with DMC wool in color 7746, or ivory. After the chain knot is stitched I'm adding Double Pekinese Stitch using Colour Streams Exotic Lights in Antique Ivory. It's going to be a challenge to figure out how to stitch that after all this time.

I'll add more photos as I progress, I'm determined to get this finished soon.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Two More Dresses

As I was looking around the sewing room yesterday I realized that I had two size 5 dresses that I made years ago that need to be sent to my granddaughter. This is made from Children's Corner Charlotte, and if you click on this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll see it. It doesn't look like the pattern, and there is a very good reason for that. Back in 2007 our SAGA group had the designer, Lezette Thomason come and teach us how to draft a change to the pattern and make the dress. We redrafted the front of the dress to have the asymmetrical opening, and added the cute appliqu├ęd leaved to the flower buttons.

 Close up of the leaves and buttons.

This dress is completely lined, and has rick rack up the front and around sleeves and armholes. The weather is starting to get cool in Colorado, but it will still fit next summer. It's a bit windy today, so it was all I could do to get this pictures, so please excuse a bit of fuzziness.

I also found this smocked Christmas dress. It was supposed to have a picture smocked insert, but as this was when I was just starting to smock there was no way I was going to attempt that. So I dug up a niece geometric design and smocked it.

I made the piping from the dress fabric, not the best choice but I couldn't find another fabric that I liked. This was made from the standard Australian Smocking and Embroidery size 5 yoke pattern, and they run quite a bit larger than American patterns. So this will be for Christmas 2014. Also, for some reason I interfaced the bodice. Don't do this, it's way too stiff and heavy. This is quilt fabric, and I certainly won't do that again.  As I look at the details on this dress, I can see how much better at sewing I've become. I'm much fussier and more willing to spend the time to make the garment more precise. It's very instructive to look over the items made in the past and see how you've progressed.

Since I'm such a pack rat, I was actually able to find the scraps from these projects and made bows out of them.

I attached the bows to clips found at Joann's. They come about 15 in a package so I'll make them for quite a while!

Luckily, Loveland, where my daughter lives, wasn't too affected by all the flooding. Now to package all three dresses and get them in the mail.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Frannie Dress is Finished!

Wow, a finish! Doesn't finishing a project make you feel good? It certainly does for me, especially as I started this in April. Now my granddaughter will have a nice dress to wear to school. This is actually called Frannie's Big Sister. I mentioned in the previous post the pattern comes in three size groupings, however, I was mistaken, it comes in two sizes, 6M to 4 and 5-8. I made the size 5 thinking that she was this size, but as I found out when making the Flower Girl Dresses, she is actually a 4. You can buy the pattern from Chadwick Heirlooms or from the Sew Beautiful store, but for some reason Chadwick only carries the largest size. I made this in a size 5, so it should fit her for some time.

Closeup of the smocking. I started using a couple of rows from an old AS&E smocking plate, but made it completely different so I guess you could say it's my own design. The bullions match the butterfly fabric, but if you look closely you can see that the green I chose for the leaves matches the green fabric a little too well so they pretty much disappear. I have since washed out all of the blue markings.

A closeup of the skirt fabric, note the darling horses, castles and I think there is a unicorn somewhere. It even has butterflies to coordinate with the bodice.

This was not a particularly easy pattern, but since I made it as part of a class with the pattern designer, Lyn Weeks, we had some expert advice. The pleating is done on a curve, and it doesn't go from end to end, which is somewhat tricky. Attaching the bodice to the skirt is also difficult due to the curves in the seam. I made all the piping myself as it would be very hard to find piping in a color to coordinate with both the skirt and the bodice, but as it happened, I had the perfect choice. Making your own piping isn't nearly as difficult as you would think, and it gives you great color options.

We will be seeing our granddaughter in about six weeks, so I hope to take some pictures of her in it and will post them. In the meantime, please check out this post by Saint Nolt Sews, she made the dress in a size 8 as a top. I will be posting a review for this pattern on Pattern Review shortly.

Now, which UFO to tackle next?

Happy Sewing and I hope all of you have a great Labor Day! We will be smoking salmon on the charcoal grill and making kebabs (not from the salmon), with lots of tomato salad from the garden.