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Thursday, June 2, 2011

smocked featherwale cord tunics

With twin granddaughters I couldn't resist the Top of the Class tunic in the hot pink and lime green featherwale corduroy in Australian Smocking and Embroidery 93. It is a great, simple shape with the big attraction of embroidered figures around the hem.

 About four weeks ago I did the smocking

and over the next weekend blocked them and cut out the other pieces.


It took me half a day to make up each dress. I did a bit of unpicking on the second one - until I set it aside for an hour or so: either tiredness or lack of focus was causing me to make every mistake possible.                

They were then ready for me to transfer the embroidery designs to the hemline. I was hoping  to do a pleated hem over the embroidery because (1) it is easier and (2) it allows me to leave a bigger hem allowance.                                                                                                                                                                          

I used a white gel pen to transfer the designs - the same motif of two girls holding hands at seven points around the hem. I worked one motif right through, then worked the chain stitch outline of the arms and dresses on the other six in case the markings faded. I figure I can improvise around the basic form.

Of course, having done that, I am finding the gel pen isn't fading!

I finished the green one completely before moving on to the embroidery on the pink one. After some deliberation I made a pleated hem that sits just above the figures. Although not in the pattern, it allows me a bit of extra length for growth (I figure I can put rows of featherstitch around any fade marks that appear if they need to be let down), avoids handstitching a hem on a plain fabric and gives body to the skirt.

I worked away from home last week, so marked out the figures to be embroidered on the pink dress and packed it as my project for the week - a perfect choice, given it is all in black thread and I have already done it on green.

 I  also managed to find some black tops and leggings.


I did the hem and buttonholes within a couple of hours of arriving home, washed out the gel pen the next morning and dropped the completed project in to the twins.

This morning we met up with the girls and their mother shopping in the Adelaide Central Market.

Now that's a satisfying project!.


Jillian Cheek said...

Very cute. I love the green cloak with the butterfly lining, too. And the twins are gorgeous.
Lucky you. (I have mentioned before, haven't I, that we are blessed with nine great-nephews, but only one great-niece. It does limit the chances to sew pretties. But who am I kidding? I probably wouldn't get around to it, anyway.)

Jillian said...

Katherine made the cape - last winter, I think. The first thing Niamh said this morning was "It matches!".

We are very blessed indeed.

It annoys me that it is so difficult to find smocked or embroidered patterns for boys. The freedom of movement provided by smocking should apply to shirts at least.

I've been researching the English lace industry, which was really founded on the demand for lace from men in the seventeenth and eighteenth century! I do manage to embroider jeans - the dragon at the top of this blog comes from one of Fionn's jeans.

Karyn said...

As a mother of boys I agree with you about the lack of patterns. Adding some picture smocked panels is about all there is really.
I love your dresses and the girls are just too cute! Isn't it nice when you see how much someone loves something you have made? I do like the contrastingpiping around the neck and armholes; i must admit i often do that too with smocked sleeveless dresses. Gives them such a lift.

Jillian said...

Yes, once you get the hang of piping it is an easy touch to add, especially if, as in this case, the edge is bound. I am overcoming my feeling that binding the edge is cheating!

blackberry said...

How sweet, I'm finishing a sweater for my sweet grandbaby Elly.