Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Endeavor

Last Summer and Fall, I made these smocked dresses for my daughter (then 1) and my nieces. The older one loved it (other one has a mind of her own and if it aint a horse, forget it!). Shortly after finishing the dresses, a former colleague of mine loaned me a smocking pleater that belonged to her mother. I had only smocked on checked fabrics, hand shirring the material (which took about 3 hours per dress!).
I kept swearing I was going to make another dress and try out the pleater. Summer came and I made Sophie's birthday dress without smocking. I was feeling lazy, and was innundated with quilty sewing and swaps. Times have changed now and I have a renewed interest.

I ordered some lovely Rhapsody of Grace (Michael Miller I think) fabric. It has the delicate ballerinas which I love, and Sophie looks splendid in peach too. Yesterday, all in about 30 minutes, I figured out the pleater instructions, did one mis-pleating, undid it, rethreaded 12 needles, and then shirred up this. I can hardly believe how easy it was. Those are the colors I am using for the smocking. This will be done as a dress, but made to look like a pinnafore - the sleeves are a soft rose Moda Marble, as are the very full ruffle of the under skirt (to look like dress is actually 2 pieces).

The picture does not convey the delicateness of the white on the ballerina's dresses. It makes me want to work in some very tiny pearl beads on the smocking somehow now that Sophie is beyond the age that I'd fear she'd eat them.
And here's one last try for a better picture of this Kaffe-Fasset and Kona Project Linus quilt. Lighting is a constant battle. The binding is on and it joins my shelf of what is currently 14 quilts ready for delivery in 3 weeks at a blanket event at a Marden's store. This store is a salvage store, but they get first quality quilt material (all name brands), and it all sells for $3/yard. On top of that they are immensely generous - a quarter yard is usually 12", a yard is usually a yard and a quarter, etc. For every PL quilt brought to this event, I will get three fat quarters of material. I can hardly wait!!
I an also doing another PL blanket day next week. I have been readying packets of precut pieces to sew hopefully into 2 or 3 quilts next Saturday. And if those last 4 birthday blocks arrive, I will make those up into a quilt as well. I selected this pattern, in red and yellow.

I also have 400" of binding to assemble in the next couple weeks. I've opted to let the Amish add the binding to the blue heart quilt for me (seems like the logical choice!!).


Vicki W said...

What adorable dresses! The fabric for the new one is really pretty. Seed pearls would look beautiful stitched into it.

Kathy said...

OH! What beautiful fabric and precious dresses. I agree with Vicki W -- seed pearls!

I took a smocking class one time, but I never did it again. I don't know why -- just wasn't my thing, I guess.

Your work is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.