Monday, March 28, 2011

Sorry So Long Between Posts

Here's a pic of a couple of dresses I made a few months ago. Don't the girls look like they love the dresses? They look darling in them! I told their gramma I would post the pic to my blog.

A little over a week ago I wanted to try out my new embroidery machine and I have (had lots of fun already playing with my new toy). The reason I haven't posted for awhile is that same day I first used my new machine; I wanted to put my old machine down in it's cabinet. Well, the holder didn't hold the machine and it's one of those old machines that way a TON and are a bear to lift out of the cabinet. Since the holder didn't hold it landed on the floor and my foot was in the way. So I have lovely bruising (no broken bones though, a miracle I think). So my foot is now a beautiful rainbow of black, blue, purple, yellow, and red. This pic I just took a few minutes ago to share. And I've been running around at work with just a sock on for the past week. Fun, huh?! It's really strange, but the part that has no bruises is where it hurts and where I have bruising doensn't hurt much at all. I wish I could see what is going on inside my foot. Good thing my foot doesn't impair my smocking. I'd be rather unhappy with that turn of events. Anyway, happy stitching everyone!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Final Lesson on Bishop Tutorial

Here is the final lesson the bishop dress. At the end of this tutorial I have some fun news to share with all of you.

1. These two folds are along the back opening from then neck down. First I cut a 1" by the length of my bishop. Fuse with your iron, then you will have a guide to use in folding over a 1" area. Do this fold line twice on each side.

2. In this next step I have pinned the folds in place and I'm in the process of blind-stitching the buttonbands. You can do this same thing on your sewing machine if you don't want to hand-stitch. I just like the hand stitching better. This part of the blind-stitching is approx. 1/4" long.

3. The next part of your blind-stitching is to take a tiny stitch (usually just 1 or 2 threads. After completing both sides, you will be ready to move on to the neck bias.

4. For the neck bias of size newborn, cut on the true bias, 1 3/4" x 11 1/2". Fold and press with iron. Next is to either pin in place or my favorite, use WonderTape to stick bias in place before stitching. Remember to leave a hair over 1/4" in either end. Fold those ends over to the inside of your bishop. You should be able to machine stitch under your top holding row. After this stitching you can remove the top holding row thread. My seam was a 1/4 inch. When I was into quilting lots, this type of bias binding is called French Bias Binding.

5. Next, trim your seam down to just under a quarter inch. Also, grade your corners.

This is what the neck bias looks like on the wrong side. Since you already have a fold and no raw edge to fold under you can very easily stitch the next binding in place using a blind stitch.

6. Now we are ready to do french seams under the arms. First seam is stitched with wrong sides together. Next, trim seam to 1/8".

7. I then take and press the seam to one side. It makes easier for me.

8. Then fold the seams so you have the right sides together. Stitch 1/4". Congrats, you have completed a french seam. The raw edge is encased in a neat little seam.

This is what my neck edge looks like after stitching the fold down on the back. Normally I will put piping on, but I decided to do this bishop different this time. You can see where the WonderTape is sticking out. Since I'm going to do a final wash I'm not worried about it right now. It will wash out with the first washing. Now it's time for the hem. It's so easy you won't believe it!

7. Yes, I do need a new ironing board cover. One of these days I will remember to buy one. Anyway, fold up 3 1/2"and press with the iron. Then repeat. You will have two fold lines like with the back neck opening.

8. Next, stitch a line 5/8" from the bottom fold line.

Press the tuck down and the hem is almost complete. There will be an open area that just needs a little hand stitching. After this just add buttonholes and buttons. I usually put a snap at the top on the neck binding. If you want to try hand-bound buttonholes; go to the Old Fashioned Baby blog and Jeannie will show you how.

You are probably impatiently waiting for me to tell you what my fun news is all about. Last Tuesday I purchased a Janome Memory Craft 300e embroidery machine. I haven't yet used this machine. But I did take it out of the box and I watched the video. I'm hoping to actually sit down and play on my next day off. I'm now waiting to receive some accessories I ordered off ebay. I ordered a border collection card. I want to do lace on my machine instead of buying it all the time. Of course, nothing beats English and French laces. If figure I will have to do some trial and error at first. That's what happened when I taught myself to smock. In fact, the first project went into file 13. Just an example of why not to pick black fabric for your first smocking project :)
Okay, everyone, happy smocking and if you have any questions, please ask.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Quilt that Jerri Built

This quilt top is one made by my good friend, Jerri. Remember me saying I went to visit her in Paducah, KY awhile ago. The pattern is from Harebrained Happenings and is so stinkin' cute! Jerri does the most fabulous work on her quilts, but I have to say this one ranks up there at the top of them. She brought the quilt in to work last night while I was having class and luckily I just happened to have my camera with me (one of the times I was actually using my brains.

Speaking of my Bishop class, I will be finshing up and posting sometime Sunday, probably in the evening. Our store had inventory yesterday, so I am still kind of tired and yes I did my class on top of that. One of the students in my class is having knee replacement surgery on the 15th. I emailed her later and asked if anyone is going to provide a meal for her and her husband. If not I would like to. She took me up on my offer. I'm thinking of making a veggie soup, home bisquits and asking my daughter if she would like to make a blueberry apple crisp. All of it is sooo yumm and soup is something most people like when not feeling good, which Ann won't be after surgery.
Until next time, happy stitching everyone!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

When Your Computer Dies and Bishop Dress Tutorial

I was going to post an update to the bishop tutorial a few days ago, but my computer caught a virus. I had my brother come over today and he fixed it for me. He's my baby brother, but at 6'3" and about 240 lbs to my 5'2" and 165 lbs most wouldn't consider him a baby. He harasses unmercifully, but it's all in fun. Even though none of my pics of my smocked garments I've made over the past year were recoverable, most of what I've done is here on my blog. So that makes me happy. I've felt like I've had both arms tied behind my back the past few days with no computer. Makes me wonder how I got along before computers and the internet. Well, I certainly wouldn't have all of you following my goings on. Thanks for following everyone! Ok, here's the next installment of the bishop tutorial:

1. Start row 6 (in the middle) with an up cable , then stitch under cable, over cable.

2. Next we will do a 3-step trellis. First stitch in this trellis is about 1/3 of the way down the next pleat. Remember to keep your thread out of the way.

3. Step 2 in the trellis is 2/3 way down in the next pleat. Again, keep your floss out of the way. (It doesn't like to mind very well.)

4. Last stitch in this trellis is a stitch just above the pleater thread in the next pleat.

5. Next stitch 9 cables.

6. As you can see in the above pic I've stitched another trellis (this headed up) with the same position in the pleats as before. It will creat a swagged effect. Here's the stitch combination: trellis, 9 cables, trellis, 5 cables.
Go back to the middle, stitch 2 cables in under, over then stitch a trellis and pick up with the above combination.

7. You will notice at the top each swag I've stitched a cable flowerette. It's done with an (over, under, over) combo on the bottom of the flowerette and a single over cable on the top of the flowerette. If you want you can stitch bullion rosebuds instead. They look very pretty on the top of each swag. You will need to wait to stitch bullions after removing all but the top holding row pleater threads.
Stitch a duplicate row on Row 7 with the next darker floss color.

8. With the darkest floss color and stitch combo of over, under, over; find the 4th cable to stitch the bottom of the swags. Your cables should be in the middle of each swag.

Continue all the way across each swag and you will have finished all the smocking on the bishop. At this point you may remove all but the top holding row pleater threads. If you've decided to stitch bullion rosebuds now is the time to do that. You can go to my previous bonnet tutorial and see how to stitch bullions. Also, if you haven't removed the pleater threads from the sleeves, you can do so now. I'd also like to say for you to be very proud of smocking your first bishop! It's a big accomplishment!
Happy stitching until next time!