Gathering Threads

What’s that in the sky? UFOs!!

Posted by on Jan 23 2011, in Smocking, WIP

I started this post last week with the grand intention of naming and shaming all my 2010 UFOs that have been lurking and that I have been working on, off and on, in a very desultory fashion.

Like this this angel sleeve bishop, which I am smocking as the final assignment for my Advanced Stitches course. I finished the sampler for the course back in the summer but I delayed getting started on the dress. Now I just want it DONE! so I can move on and complete the first level of my artisan program. I’m close. The smocking, which features a whole bunch of less common stitches, like closed chain, closed herringbone and wheat stitch, has been enjoyable but endless at times, especially because of the density of the design and the frequency of the colour changes. There’s a lot of smocking in a bishop and it’s multiplied when it’s smocked with so many different stitches and colours. But nope, still not done.

And this very bright, very fun bishop. It’s just a play dress. I started it back at the beginning of December, when we moved into our new house and found myself facing a week with no TV, no internet, no nothing. I didn’t even have my sewing room set up but I did have this fabric and my pleater available, as well as a 12mth bishop pattern, so this was the result. It’s almost done, except for the bullion flowers, the arm and sleeve bindings. The plate is one I smocked before, just worked in the round this time, rather than straight like before. Works very nicely on a bishop, too, but I don’t really feel like working on buttonholes and bindings today so I’m no closer to finishing this, either.

Finally, there is this dotted swiss, front closing bishop. It’s from an ancient AS&E (1997 or 1998) called Cherie. It’s adorable, tons of heirloom details, twenty-two zillion bullions. It’s also wrinkled like crazy so I can’t show you the lovely fabric because it looks like I’ve run over it with a bulldozer. I love this dress but it’s fine, fine work and I’m just not in the mood for another bishop. I’m bishoped out at the moment although I *do* intend to get this done in time for Easter. Err, hopefully.

So what am I smocking? This:

Isn’t it pretty? The plate is called ‘Felicia’ and it’s from Sew Beautiful, Issue 98 from 2005. It’s one of my all time favourite SB issues – there are some truly lovely things in it, with lots of scope for imagination. It’s a classic square yoke dress, which makes a welcome change from those bishops I’ve been struggling with. There’s just so much smocking in a bishop – hundreds and hundreds of pleats that make my eyes cross at times! I picked up the fabric a couple of weeks ago. It’s a cotton with some sort of a glaze on it – very crisp, smocks nicely, wrinkles madly 🙂 that I picked up for $2/m a couple of weeks ago during the after-Christmas sales.

Haven’t gotten too far yet. No pearls, no silk ribbon embroidery but it’s going quite quickly, since it’s only a trellis, which is great for TV watching. I finished the top half and started the tiny six-stitch flowerettes. They’re really nice, very subtle and add some interest to the pleat texture. I like ’em. I think I’ll like ’em even more when they’re framing all the other stuff! 🙂