A New Project Underway
Now that soccer season has started and I’ve got two boys playing this year, I’ve started another smocking project to keep my hands occupied on the sidelines. I know, I know, what kind of a parent smocks during the game? Who am I, daring to look away from all the scintillating action of 12 five year olds meandering round the field after a ball like a bunch of neon coloured lemmings? The kind who has to sit through 2 games and 2 practices every week from June to the end of August, that’s who. 🙂
I cheer. I encourage. I smock. I think it’s a fair trade off.
Here are three things I can promise you about the new dress:
1. It is not a bishop.
2. It does not have bullions, detached chain leaves or surface embroidery of any kind.
3. It does not have lace, insertion, beading or edging, either.
Because I need a break from all of those things.
I’m using a really lovely red and white striped cotton. It’s glazed so it’s got a bit of a sheen to it and 36″ wide, rather than the more common 45″. I picked it up a while back on a buy 1, get 2 free deal so for $6, I got plenty to make a dress.
For the first time ever, I’ve hand gathered my pleats. I did it this way, rather than trying to get it through my pleater so I could be assured of a nice regular pattern. The stripes are perfect for this, as the white stripes are approximately 3/16″ and the red stripes are 1/8″.
Wasn’t hard, just took a bit of time to get it done. I drew faint pencil lines on the wrong side, each 1cm (3/8″) apart, which is the same spacing as my Read pleater then picked up the pleats with a running stitch.
Here’s what it looks like from the front side:
And from the back:
And here’s what it looks like when it’s gathered. As you can see, the white dominates as I had wanted. I’m going to be smocking a simple geometric design in red, so I wanted it to stand out. (I think it’s fair to say, this won’t be a *subtle* dress when it’s all done up :))
My pleating ratio worked out to about 3.6:1. I didn’t tie off super tight since I’m not an overly tight smocker. Once I block it, I’ll see what the final numbers look like but they’ll be close to that, probably about 3.2:1. I will have to add width to the sides, since I’m making a partial yoke dress and the fabric is too narrow for the size 5 I’ll be making.
And for all the folks who’ve been downloading my Illustrator tutorials for designing your own smocking plates, I have been making good progress on writing the third tutorial on geometrics. I’ve finished the plate and am now writing the step by steps. I expect to have it up in the near future, so keep your eyes open for that. I’ve had a lot of feedback from people who’ve found them really useful and that makes me happy I can share my knowledge so other smockers’ design efforts are that much easier.