Gathering Threads

Flower Power WIP

Posted by on Feb 06 2011, in Smocking, WIP

This is one of the projects that sort of got started by accident.

It started because I wanted to make one of these for each of the boys:

Adorable, eh? The tutorial is here on the At Second Street blog. She’s got some cute stuff and I don’t get to make a lot of ‘cute’ stuff for the boys. There’s way more girl-oriented stuff out in the blogosphere, so when I saw these I knew I had to make them.

*rummage, rummage* Pink scraps, red scraps, red corduroy, fusible web, handful of mismatched red and pink buttons. Check, check, check. But what to use for the lining?? The only red and white fabric that was remotely large enough was a metre and a bit of this red and white dot. Lovely stuff, great colour, not too girly.

One problem. I’d picked it up last summer, intending to make my niece a top. There was no way to get more. What if I cut out the linings for the bags and then didn’t have enough for the top? Err….to cut or not to cut, that was the question.

So what should have been an easy job suddenly got more involved – that ballooning thing that seems to happen sometimes when you have to do one thing before something else can happen. I traced off the pattern from “Smocking for Toddlers and Tots”, cut out the top, pleated and hemmed it, just so it was done and then got around to cutting out the linings. It worked out – I’ve got just a few small scraps left, and the top actually took less than the pattern indicated, so it was very straight forward if convoluted fix.

The pattern is “Flower Power”.  The sample garment in the book is a very girly, white top, with lots of embroidered bullions, paired with floral capris.   I loved the ruching effect and the slightly a-line look of the back so I cut it out in a size 2. I know, where are the bullions?  The botanical bounty?  They’re not there  because I actually borrowed the plate and the inspiration from another design in the book. It’s for tweens – way too big for my niece – but I loved the casual look and thought that I could combine the sizing of the first pattern with the style and fabric choice of the second.  

The entire top is worked in Van Dyke.  I love Van Dyke – its one of those less common stitches but it’s so stretchy and really easy to work.    Unlike most stitches, it is worked right to left – you can see my incomplete rows are unfinished on the left side.  This top has worked up very quickly – a couple of evenings work has brought me to this point.  I’d be further ahead except for one teensy-weensy thing.

Apparently, I can’t count.  Or more particularly, I can’t divide.  Although I centered the Van Dyke rows correctly, I miscounted the stepped van dyke points and started them off of centre.  That’s what happens when you get ahead of yourself.  “Ooh, I’ll just try this part,” you say to yourself.  “Work on something different for a while…”  The result?


None the less, I’m really, really liking this pattern and I’ve got some ideas on variations that I’ll share in the next little while.  I’ll also show you the pouches this week. I’ve got to finish sewing on the buttons before I debut ’em.