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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Smocking up a Storm - A bit of a stretch

This is another kit I bought a while back at a discounted price, thinking it would one day work for one of my twin granddaughters. It is 'Sweet, Sweet Rose' from AS&E 71, designed for sizes 2- 6 and the kit was for size 4. As the girls approached four years old, I couldn't quite see it on either of them - although it would be highly desirable to both. The colour seemed more suited to Brigid, who is 8. She liked it, so I decided to have a go at adjusting it to fit her. There seemed to be enough fabric to cover the measurements for a six year old, so I set about making it stretch a bit further.

It was interesting to smock.  It is 24 rows of pleats and you smock the back in diagonal rows right across.
This gives  lovely textured effect on the front, and you smock along every fourth textured diagonal row on the front in pale green. These become the guidelines for embroidering bullion roses - nearly two hundred of them.


Once it was smocked I managed to block it to a size 8 pattern for a dress in a similar style. There was just enough fabric to cut it to a size 8. The fact it has a contrasting border around the bottom helped.                        
Then the embroidery began. 186 bullion roses in all and around twice as many bullion leaves.

Fortunately, it is a very portable project. Once you've done one rose and a pair of leaves there is nothing much to remember or look up.  A couple of my roses are out of line. I considered undoing them, but in the end went with the Persian rug principle that only God is perfect, so the imperfections honour Her.

I decided against the Peter Pan collar for an eight year old.

I didn't have quite enough of the stripey border fabric for the sleeve cuffs, so a visit to Hetty's Patch resulted in the purchase of a remnant of a similar stripe - same colour, slightly narrower. Of course, the remnant was more than I needed so I now need to make something else......

I had quite a lot of trouble getting the hem reasonably straight. The border is cut on the bias and has some lycra in it, I suspect, making it difficult to keep flat. In the end I was sufficiently satisfied with the result to hand it over.

Brigid was happy and has worn it a lot, including helping out at the Church Garage Sale.




Anonymous said...

I love it and especially the Persian rug quote as I often go by that principle too. Or use the one about a blindman would be glad to see it LOL.

Karyn said...

I use the blind man principle as well; or the Amish quilt principle which sounds the same as your Persian rug one.
I think your dress has turned out well, and well done for getting it to a size 8. it seems to fit beautifully. All those bullions; just the thought of it gives me a headache (and I actually like doing them; but doing 200??)

Jillian said...

I AM pleased to have made it work for size 8! I also feel the bullions are an achievement - I watched more TV than was good for me doing them. They are repetitious rather than difficult - not like counted thread work, for example.