Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rock 'Em, Smock 'Em, I'm down for the count!

I've almost had it UP TO HERE!

My SIL asked me if I could make a dress like this

Of course I tell her that I can try. I also told her that it looks like smocking and I've never done it before, but I'll try. Well using a pattern that I already had for the dress I drafted up this one first (EDGES are all unfinished because it was a test run):

(Another disclosure: Bug is not growling at the camera, but is indeed "smiling" saying "CHEEEEEEEEESE". I'm not sure where this whole growl look came from, but I'm blaming the Hubba-Bub.)

I didn't think it was bad for a first time run through. Granted the smocking (embroidery) isn't as detailed, but that is because it was just a test run. The pleating isn't as tight as the desired one either. Plus it is too small in the back to close by about 2 inches.

Back to the drawing board...

This time I decided to do some more internet hunting for a pattern and techniques. I didn't find ANYTHING! Ok that's a lie. I did find things, but NOTHING FREE!!!! Then I happened upon a sewing forum which the ladies were discussing smocking measurements. SCORE! They suggested that I use 45" fabric for each the front and the back and of course half that for the sleeves. I thought it was a bit extreme, but they said it made the pleating very full and tight (what I was lacking my first run through), so I go with it. Here's what I have now:

Not that bad, right? Well you can't see the back. It is TOO BIG by like 4 inches AT LEAST! I had to pin it up with a safety pin to keep it from falling off her shoulders. I'm sure I could wear it (ok I tried it on), but the armholes are too small to fit completely, otherwise I'd hijack this puppy and wear it all day! I love the print, the blue smocking, and the contrast of the brown bias. The bottom again is unfinished, but I had planned on brown bias there too. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this now. I'm going to think on it and see what happens. I'm just so annoyed! It took FOREVER to do too.

It wasn't the smocking that took forever. That was fun. What took forever was the pleating by hand. I'm convinced that I'm going to tackle this and become a smocking pro and to help me get there I'm going to be purchasing a smocking pleater. I probably won't be getting it until I go back to work in less than a week, but better late than never. 

Now I just have to find time to drive an hour to civilization one way and buy an actual pattern. I WILL master this.

 Anyone out there have some tips for pleating/smocking?

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1 comment:

Rachel said...

Ok so I guess I know why they are so much to buy them. I must have expensive taste. :)