And the after picture:
I tend to smock "tight." I like my pleats to look manipulated once I get the piece blocked. Also, my daughter tends to be kind of rough on her clothes and these dresses tend to make many trips through the washer and dryer. I've never had one start to sag or look "sprung out." I still need to add a few bullion roses across the lower band of smocking and then I will mark and cut the armholes. After that, construction should go rather quickly.
Like I said, I pulled out some UFOs last night, one of which was this:
That's right, it's a quilt. Or at least it will be a quilt... one day. This is for my son, Brendan, who loves sheep. It's inspired by and adapted from a quilt called "Sheep in Dreamland" from the book Wonderfully Whimsical Quilts by Carol Burniston. There are eighteen of these appliqued sheep blocks, all of which are fully fused, but waiting to be stitched down. I originally planned to just machine zigzag them, but there are lots of little curves like around the sheeps' ears and around the fleeces, and I was worried about being accurate, so I decided to go ahead and blanket stitch by hand. This one is all done and looks pretty good. Only 17 more to go... Oh, and they all need noses and mouths embroidered on, and googly eyes sewn on. Now I remember why this is a UFO. But Brendan is really excited about this and really happy that Mom is making something special for him, so it's more than worth it.
So I quess I'll go squeeze in some more blanket stitching before work. Hopefully soon I will see the light at the end of the tunnel.