Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's a Girl to do When . . . .

AS&E 72 "Autumn Gold" size 5
You feel the world closing in on you? Why take a few days off work and spend time with needle and thread of course. That's what I did this past weekend. And it's just what I needed. I tell you, smocking and sewing can save your sanity! It was 4 days of no work, although I really like my job at the fabric store. But sometimes us girls all need down time from a busy life. I'm sure all you will wholeheartedly agree with me. I had a customer tell me a few years ago that one trip to the psychiatrist is about $150 and of course they need to see you a couple times a week to start with. I'll go smock/sew thank you very much. I'm positive touching fabrics and picking out floss colors is much more therapeutic for us sewing ladies than sitting on a couch talking out our problems. Somehow pulling thread through each of the pleats just makes any problems seem not so bad.  Of course, after finishing a beautiful dress; stress is melted away. My little 4 days mini-vacation was just what the doctor ordered. I went back to work today with a new lease on working life without spending $150. Think how many yards of fabric, lace, floss, smock plates, etc. you could buy with that money. I know that therapy with a professional does many people lots of good, but I will stick with smocking and sewing.

Fabric is from Hancock Fabrics. When I sew the print, I knew just the dress I wanted to make.

I love stitching bullions!
Tonight I finished up most of the dress. I still need to do buttonholes and buttons. I will take needle and thread to work tomorrow and do buttonholes by hand. This dress is for a store manager at the West Jordan Hancock's. She has a bunch of girls, but the sizes for smocking cute dresses will be worn by the youngest two. A five year old and a dress I haven't finished yet for a 2 1/2 year old. The next one has a lavender bodice and a striped skirt in hot pink, lavender and a little lime green. Smocking is about 1/2 done.
A lady I had made a couple of dresses for called me today at the store and told me how wonderful the dresses were. She says she almost drove off the road because she couldn't quit looking at them. She even took them with her to share with a friend she was going to visit. The granddaughters will get to have them Thursday. That's when they come to visit gramma. I told her I had lots of fun making them. Now if I can just get a couple of pics to post.
One of the girls I work with said she would have looked at the fabric and just pasted it by. I was unpacking freight and didn't even let is get put away before I got some cut for this dress. Sometimes you find a fabric that just screams for you to stitch it up. I really like the challenge of using prints to makes my dresses. Seeing what combination of floss colors, fabric choice and smock plate can make.
About a week ago my mom was watching the local news and they do a human interest story every Wednesday evening about someone who is making a difference in the community for those less fortunate. This time is was about a lady who runs a shop for expecting teen moms and those teen moms raising there babies. The shop is attached to the school that houses 40 teen mommies right now. Three gave birth just last week. They take clothes and other baby items up to 4T. Well, I now have a place I can give me creations to and I know they will be worn. My heart went out to those girls. They get points for good grades and attendance. Then they can redeem the points in the store for their baby/child. I'd love to see my clothes on a baby/little one sometime. I'd have to go introduce myself. Well, I'm off to work on the next project. Hopefully it won't be so long between posts this time. Happy stitching everyone!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Summer Blooms

Here's the other dress I just finished about 30 minutes ago. Isn't it sweet?! It's from a cotton print my mom gave me a couple months ago. She said she didn't really like it anymore. Well, I've been eye-balling it for a couple of years now. It was crying out of this design. I made it for a customer at work who I've become friends with over the years. I showed her this when it was just a dress front along with the dress from the previous post and she wanted to take them home immediately!
Pattern and plate are from AS&E issue 87 page 38, I made size 4. I stitched the buttonholes today at work on my lunchbreak by hand. After doing the sew-a-long with Jeannie, buttonholes by hand are not hard to do at all.  And it's a little tough to haul my very heavy old Kenmore machine with my to work.
I hope this lady comes into the store tomorrow, because I'm dieing to give her the completed dresses. I might have to give her a call anyway. She is a very lovely person, but very loaded down with responsibilities taking care of her husband who has alzeimers. He's still in the beginning stages, but things are difficult for her. So I thought she could use some TLC. Both granddaughters fave color is pink, but the dresses had to be different.
I read the funniest thing today. It was a saying for knitting, but I'm going to put smocking in place of knitting. Here's what I read: If smocking were a drug, I'd be in rehab! I think that about says it all.

Happy smocking everyone!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Have You Ever Thought?

Have you ever thought after sewing up a dress "this is my favorite" only to turn around a few weeks later and say that about another one? I don't know about you, but I do that often. Sometimes, everthing just comes together right and the dress turns out wonderful. Some others . . . . not so much. But I think this dress is one of my favorites.
The fabric is from a local quilt shop here in Boise, ID; The Quilt Crossing. I've been in enough and shared my smocked garments that some of the girls know who I am. Not necessarily by name, but I've had some of them ask: "Aren't you the one who does the smocking?" I always answer happily, "Yes, I am! Want to see what I want to work on next?" Of course, they say yes. I love going into an establishment and having people know what I like and what I represent. Makes a person feel like they belong.
Anyway, the dress is out of AS&E issue 72, page 22 entitled "Coconut Ice". I changed the collar and cuff design a little. The original has madeira applique. Since I don't have a pinstitch (applique stitch) on my sewing machine, it's a little hard to make is come out the way I want it to. So I did some feather stitching instead. Inside the rosebuds I used swarovski crystals. Girls gotta have bling! I spent Friday stitching up the dress, then I went to smock night at my store. Unfortunately, nobody showed up. But that's not the point, I'm there incase anyone wants to come and play.
Last week I finished the smocking on "Summer Blooms", issue 87 from AS&E. My mom gave me a pink print that she decided she didn't want. I've been eye-balling it for the last year, but didn't say anything. Well, she asked me if I wanted it a couple weeks ago and of course I HAD to say yes. Today she offered me a piece of orange print, but I told her she should know better than offer me an orange print. I'm sorry to offend any who love orange, but I can't stand it. I'm a pink girl all the way. If you adore pink like I do, then you are a girl after my own heart!
Just received my copy of issue 92 of AS&E and there is a baby bishop I'm dieing to smock! On the front cover is a peasant top for teen's that is smocked only using feather stitching. Any who have read the Old Fashioned Baby blog know Jeannie loves feather stitching.  I haven't used this stitch in any of my smocking yet, but maybe one of these years I will do a project with it.
I need to get another piece of fabric pleated for smocking. Can't ever be without something to smock. I did purchase a piece that I'm going to use for "Hearts and Flowers" from issue 87.  One of these days I need to get back to my monkeys and get that sewn up. So little time! Happy smocking everyone!