Sunday, November 21, 2010

First Snow of Winter

Brrrr! It has snowed most of the day here in Boise. Unlike some people I'm NOT a fan of winter, but I have to go thru it to get to my favorite season . . . . Spring! I'm not one for temperature extremes, hot or cold. We are supposed to be getting more snow tomorrow with 30 mph winds. In another month and a few days we will be setting out new spring fabrics at Hancocks. Enough about the weather, I'm sure to have more than I want to talk about over the next couple months. On to something better like . . . . smocking!
I've finished up the hem to my bishop for my class and will soon need to finish the neck binding. Alas the busy purchasing season is upon most people and we are sky high in fleece at the store! Good for the paycheck, but very bad for time smocking or sewing.
I'm going to need to purchase the fabric for my American Girl dress soon. It won't be difficul to stitch up this dress. It has no smocking, but has holiday written all over it! Just what every girl needs. If any get the catalog or look at the AG site, it's the red dress with the hat. And my friend's daughter, Kitty (short for Catherine) will be darling in it! Though like the past couple of dresses I've done for her, I'm going to have to rework a pattern a little to get it to look like the catalog dress.
Okay everyone, here's to all girls and their dollies! Happy stitching everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bishop For My Class

The past few days I've been smocking the sample bishop I'm going to use for one of my classes next spring. I've got all the smocking and embroidery done. I've been keeping track on how many hours it takes for each part. That will let me better assess how many sessions I think students will need. I've told the girls in my chat group I will posting lots of pics for a smock-a-long if they are so inclined. It will also help my students for when they are not in class and they want a little help. There are some who are nervous and just need a little extra "you can do it" kind of help. Which I'm great with. I say that they just need a little emotional support. Don't we all sometimes?
Anyway, I think everyone will love the finished product. I certainly am happy with the smocking and embroidery! The smock plate is "Indiana" from AS&E issue 92. I used batiste.
I can't wait for 93 to come out. The cover dress looks to be right up my alley. It's pink of course! Just my kind of thing.
My friend, Jerri, who has lived in Paducah, KY for the past about 7 yrs. is packing a uhaul and going to be moved back here to Boise next week! She also is going to start working at Hancocks again with me. It's great when you love the people you get to work with. All the girls I work with who've met her just adore Jerri. They can't wait for her to work with us. She's one of those ladies who you feel like you've known all your life after being around them for a short while.
Okay girls, I'm going to sew. I was going to sew on my bishop, but I want to get the dress done from two posts ago finished. I think the two girls will be getting xmas presents with the two dresses I'm sending out.
Happy smocking everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gonna Teach Classes

Sorry no pics this time. Haven't done much in the way of smocking or sewing. But I have done some planning on the classes I'm going to teach. I'll start with smocked socks, a bonnet class and a bishop. As this is not by any means smocking country in Idaho, I'm not going to have any students learn how to pleat, just the smocking and some embroidery.
For the bishop classs demo dress, I just finished getting a bishop ready to smock. I think I will do something similar to "Indiana" from AS&E issue 92, it's latest issue. Even though I love the double needle pintucks, I'm thinking about changing that to some shadow embroidery instead. Haven't decided exactly what the finished gown will look like. There are no rosebuds in the smocking, so I'm playing around with the idea of adding them.  I picked white batiste and will do the smocking in white with pink roses. I've just got to have my pink!
Since I want to start with classes in late February, I need to get my samples done for display. I think the finishing on a bishop is easy enough for a beginner to learn. The hem is a tucked hem. And I think I will do french side seams. Usually I just finish the sides on my serger, but I think french seams is a good "know how" for any sewer.
I have a close friend, Jerri,who had moved to Paducah, KY about 7 yrs ago. Well, she will be moving back right before Thanksgiving. Something to be very thankful for. She is an amazing quilter! I few years ago she won "Best of Show" in the St. Judes' quilt contest. Well, anyway, I love to brag on her and now Jerri has a grandbaby for me to lavish smocked clothes on.
Okay, I need to get smocking on this dress. Happy smocking girls!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Summer Garden Smocking

Yes, I know it's becoming winter for some girls out there, but this past week in Boise, ID has been the perfect fall weather. It's been in the low to mid 60's and sunny! I'd love to have this lovely of weather all year round. I'm not an outdoorsy kind of gal, but I certainly have nothing to complain about, except not enough time to smock and sew. Oh well, I guess we can't have everything.
Since my last post I've been working on a smocked bodice from Gail Doane's book 'Sew Cute Couture'. The name of the dress is Summer Garden. I absolutely adore everything in that book! As you can see I'm not quite finished with the embroidery. Where the rose buds are going to be embroidered I am going to use bicone crystals. I think every girl needs a little bling in her life, don't you? The skirt will be a stripe from Hancock Fabric in pink, purple and lime green and I think I am going to use an eyelet underskirt. Haven't decided just yet. This dress is kind of a work in progress. As to the differences in colors, the top pic was with a flash and the bottom one was w/o a flash. The top pic I'd say is a little closer to reality of te colors in the striped fabric. I think I will send a pic of the finished dress to Gail when I have it finished. If I was the designer I'd want to see what others come up with. I love seeing what customers are making when they come into my store. Since I always share with my projects with others that can snowball into so much fun for everyone.

I had a lady in Thursday who had found a couple pairs of really cute printed tights and then decided to make some dresses to go with the tights. She said she wasn't much of a sewer or coordinator of fabric prints/colors. Well, I was in design heaven. I didn't want to make things too complicated for her, so I showed her a couple of options for trims on one of the dresses and Wonder Tape to make putting in the zipper on one of the dresses a piece of cake. Me, I hate putting in zippers, much rather do buttons and buttonholes. Since I'm partial to old fashioned dresses, then zippers don't really fit with that. When I can't get out of doing a zipper, I always use Wonder Tape.
Okay, back to my story. She went home with an 'I can't wait to get started' kind of attitude. I love to inspire people to do just that! I suppose my enthusiasm rubs off on them, everyone wins.
The other day I bought Disney's Beauty & The Beast; love that movie. The movie is for me! Since I've said in the past that I make princess clothes, I love Disney princess movies. My faves are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and of course, Beauty & The Beast. I have a wistful sigh at the end of those movies. The girl gets her handsome prince. What more could a girl want, except more time to smock maybe. What's your favorite princess?
Happy smocking everyone!