Friday, August 27, 2010

Surf Monkeys

Smock plate is "Sock Monkeys" from Little Memories
Last Sunday I had some how hurt my ankle (have no idea how), great excuse to do some smocking, like I need any. Just after the Fair I went to a local quilt shop, The Quilt Crossing, and found the cutest surfing monkeys. After seeing that fabric, nothing else was speaking to me, so I just had to get some. It goes perfectly with the smocked insert in the pic don't you think? The smock plate originally had 2 monkeys, but I think for a baby romper, which this is going to be, would be too much. Don't want to overwhelm the baby. I spent most of Sunday stitching and finished up the monkey. Backsmocking was done the previous week on my lunch break at work.
Since I have no time with the sewing machine this week, I got started on hand-basting 2 layers of orchid tulle atop lavender dull satin, both purchased at Hancock Fabrics, where I work. Originally I was going to do the dress up in crystal blue from the same line of fabric, but we were out of one of the fabrics. My inspiration dress is the one on the cover of AS&G issue 90. I love that dress! The pattern calls for rayon floss, but I love using silk floss. There's nothing like the luster on silk. I already have the crystals I need for the beadwork, so all I have to do is finish the hand-basting.
As you all know, I've been part of Jeannie Baumeister's Sew-A-Long. Today we get to do the embroidery on the daygown. YEAH! That's my favorite part of this whole project. Not to say that the rest of it hasn't been a learning experience. I've always done hems, stitched on buttons, finished the self lining on my smocked dresses by hand. So I feel a little more knowledgeable. What I should get is a french hand sewing book. Hmmm . . . . well, Ebay and Amazon would be a good idea I think. Okay, now to go embroider. Happy stitching everyone.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Ribbons!

Today was the first day of the Fair and I just happened to have the day off. I didn't ask for it off, I have a nice boss. Okay, here's my listing of fair ribbons:
2 - second place
5 - first place
1 - Best of Show

I'm quite happy and excited over the Best of Show. Seven out of eight items placed, I didn't expect it to place, I just wanted to share with all the fair goers what I made. Isn't that supposed to be the reason we enter things in the fair anyway, to share with others, not just to win ribbons? I think if everyone were to keep that kind of perspective, they would not be dissappointed or angry. I would never argue over judgement. I don't want to be a judge, that's too much pressure for me!
I did have one of the ladies working at the fair who said she might nominate me to be a judge next year, but I said please don't. I think that's a nice thougt, but I really don't feel I could. People put there hearts into those projects and I would feel like I was dashing their hopes. That would be a terrible feeling. I don't consider myself an expert sewer, most all of my experience is self taught, with the help of sewing magazines, books and sewing shows. If you read anything in Sew Beautiful or by Country Bumpkin (A - Z books and Australian Smocking and Embroidery) you wil improve your techniques a ton!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm Project Crazy!

Here is one of my creations I'm putting into the fair, only a few more days left. Turn in day is Tuesday. I used the smock plate from issue 90 of AS&E, The Garden Party;  with a little bit of a change. The dress pattern was from the same issue only I used Indigo Child. The collar was from any size 7 dress you want. I had to lengthen the dress to a size 8. The fabric is a cotton print from Hancock Fabrics from clearance. The collar was out of Dull Satin also from Hancock's and the ties (although you can't see them) are out of Shiny Organdy, both in the BFF line. I think I will but this in the "Party Dress" category in the fair. It's not as fluffy as last year's "Fluff Dress", but I had fun making it.
Opps, forgot to add the bit about the daygown. As you all know, I've been part of Jeannie Baumeister's blog sew along. I'm having loads of fun hand stitching the baby daygown. We are using Jeannie's Old Fashioned Baby pattern, Embroidered Raglan Daygowns. The pic shows the back of the gown. Since I am kind of on a time crunch this week, I decided to finish the shoulder seams on the serger. Everything else is hand sewn, even the buttonholes. I did those late last night. I can't wait to move on to the embroidery. The fabric is cotton satteen in baby blue. I'm going to use white floss for the embroidery. I had thought hand stitching the entire thing would have been harder than it is, but that just goes to show that we sometimes make things to complicated. The instructions Jeannie has are very easy to follow. Well, I've got to get back to sewing. My next project and maybe the last one for the fair is an ensemble of gathered waist jumper (with picture smocked scotties), white blouse and a hot pink chenille jacket. I feel like I'm off to the races! Happy stitching everyone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A New Baby Dress

I just finished a baby dress for my friend, Krista. Well, for her new grandbaby, Charlotte. The dress is the cover dress from the book Embroidered Christening Gowns, Delight, in size 6 mos. I love that dress. Any who are going to make this dress, please be careful about machine stitching around the beads. Don't want to break any needles, I only broke one. I did shorten the length from a gown to dress length.
I received my pattern for Jeannie's Sew Along. Since I want to sew most of it by hand, I need to get started on it, don't want to fall behind. Too hard to catch up. If any of you want to do the Sew Along, here's the link:

One of the girls at work had her baby last Friday, a boy she named Charley. I told her I would make his Christening outfit. I need to get with her about what size she wants. She doesn't want any smocking on it, just about killed me when she said that. Maybe I can sneak some feather stitching in there somewhere.
Hmmm . . . . there's a thought.
Tomorrow is smock night for me and I have 2 new ladies that said they wanted to learn. I need to get my stuff together for that. Happy smocking everyone!