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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Smocking Binge

From May to September this year I smocked up a storm. It was most satisfying. One of the things I like about smocking is the variety of the task - a period of finding the pattern, preparation of the fabric, reading the instructions, getting the plan clear, followed by the smocking itself, then blocking and construction. It is nicely sequenced and heads towards a finished product.

As I made this batch, I realised it is a project process, so I have now swung into project planning and execution mode. I like the order that provides me with and the sense of moving through to a finished project.

This is a bishop I made in this batch, using the Pattern African Princess in Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue 46.

It is beaded in the smocking with seed beads. The fabric is cotton and came from Country Bumpkin, now at 916 South Road Edwardstown, SA.

The smocking on this an adaptation of smocking on a top, Trendy Tot, in the book Designer Smocking for Tots to Teens. I really wanted to try out the stepped Van Dyke stitch on a bishop, to capture the curved shape and fall. It proved to be rather more daunting than I had anticipated - a lot of intense stitching. I quite like the effect, but think it would have been more managable if I had left a pleat between each row.

The fabric also came from Country Bumpkin and they did the pleating for me on both these bishops.

This top and skirt was quite a special project. Both the pink hailspot voile and the butterfly print cotton were from my mother's stash, inherited by my daughters and I when she died. We have been looking for the right project for them for over 15 years. These are for one of my granddaughters. I adapted the pattern for the top from Flower Seller in Australian Smocking and Embroidery 55 and the skirt from Between Friends, AS&E 86,

Another piece of fabric from my mother's stash went into this dress adapted from Sherbet Fizz in AS&E 59. There are little yellow stars in the stripes which I used as the basis of the picturesmocked stars.  I pleated this by hand in order to get the red and blue of the stripe uppermost, rather than the white.I pleated this by hand in order to get the blue and red of the stripe uppermost, rather than the white.

I made this top to also go with the skirt above, using a piece of fabric I bought online from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney and using the pattern Golden Sands from Designer Smocking for Tots and Teens. I smocked both the front and back, white on the back and pink on the front.
I'm pleased with the result.

Up to this point, I had made a decision to have my projects pleated at Country Bumpkin rather than take on another skillset. However, when I made a mistake with the shop opening hours, and arrived one day after they had closed, I reconsidered and about 8 weeks ago I bought a pleater.

Now I am REALLY binging!

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