Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Attaching Ribbon Trim and Hemming- All at Once!

So I decided to start working on the Wardrobe with one of the "easy" pieces- Simplicity 4147, the tiered skirt. The skirt is made of black cotton with white dots and I wanted to give it a little punch of color by adding hot pink satin ribbon to the edge of both tiers. I thought about it for a little while, and I decided to try using the ribbon trim to hide the raw edge of the skirt, in effect hemming and trimming at the same time. This is how I did it.

1. I used a fabric marker to mark the hem fold line on the wrong side of the fabric. The hem allowance was 5/8", so my line was 5/8" from the raw edge.

2. I laid the ribbon (right side up) on the wrong side of the fabric in the seam allowance, with the edge of the ribbon against the marked line.

3. I stitched close to the ribbon edge (against the line.)

4. To hide the raw ends of the ribbon, I folded the ends under, butted the folds together, and stitched across.

5. I trimmed the seam allowance narrower than the ribbon- in this case about 3/16".

6. I turned the ribbon to the right side, pressed, and stitched it down along the loose edge, encasing the raw edge between the fabric and the ribbon.

7. Voila! Ribbon trimmed edge!

Unfortunately, even though I'm quite happy with my ribbon hem, this is as far as I've gotten. You'll have to wait a bit longer to see the finished skirt.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Now I've Done It

I've entered the Pattern Review Wardrobe Challenge. I decided I couldn't finish a ten piece wardrobe for myself by April 30th. Come on- I tried to make a dress for myself a few weeks ago and after three muslins I still couldn't get the fit down, so there's just no way. But I can make a ten piece wardrobe for the Princess. Okay, I'm capable of making a ten piece wardrobe for the Princess. Whether or not I actually finish all ten pieces in the allotted time remains to be seen...

Anyway, here's the storyboard:

The collection is called "Pretty in Pink and Black" and it all started with the pink and black leopard print. As I've shared before, leopard is the Princess's favorite "color." Here's how the plan breaks down so far.


Toffee Apple from AS&E- An A-line top with tie straps and a smocked insert in pink leopard
McCalls 5306- A sleeveless cropped top with two ruffles in white pique trimmed in pink

Christy from Maja's Heirlooms- A button front top with smocked sleeves in pink microcheck and black

Haley's Halter from Sew Beautiful- A smocked halter top in pink and leopard


Toffee Apple- Capri pants in black with a ruffled hem in leopard
Shorts- Elastic waist shorts in pink cotton with white dots, possibly reversible with b&w gingham
Simplicity 4147- A tiered skirt out of black cotton with white dots, trimmed in pink
Haley's Capris- Capri pants out of leopard with contrast hem in black


Larkin by Maja's Heirlooms- An A-line dress with bishop style smocked bodice in leopard and black


Simplicity 3513- Short sleeve cropped jacket with round yoke and peter pan collar in pink pique


Purse- Pattern undetermined

Of course all wardrobe pieces are subject to change and/or substitution at my whim. This is just the "first draft." I waffle back and forth over being all excited and motivated about this big project, and feeling like I've bitten off more than I can chew. I've started on Larkin, the dress with the smocked bodice. The smocking doesn't show up so well on the pleated leopard and I'm thinking a design change is in order, but I haven't decided yet just what it should be. Perhaps it will come to me in my sleep. (Is it odd to dream about sewing?)

So, I'm off to cut. I have a lingerie bag full of ribbon and trim in the washer right now and I hope to make at least a little bit of progress this week. Maybe I can get at least the shorts cut out and maybe start putting them together tonight.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A New Book!

I have done absolutely no sewing or sewing related activities this week. I've been utterly exhausted every evening after work and I've found myself vegged out in front of CSI reruns every night this week. However, I did receive this absolutley awesome book in the mail this week:

Designer Smocking for Tots to Teens from the folks at Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine. I LOVE this book! It's got something for everyone and I'm sure you'll be seeing some things from this book right here in the near future. Some of my favorites are:

Golden Sands. Isn't this gorgeous? I'd wear this myself!

Out of Africa. I Love this. The Princess will probably want a different color, but I'm sure we can work with that.

Flower Power. This is absolutely lovely. It's shown in the book with a pair of floral print capris with a double ruffle at the hem. Too adorable! The capri pattern is included.

And this is Shabby Chic. I had a hard time getting the book in my scanner, so this picture doesn't really do these PJs justice, but they are beautiful. The only smocking is the trim on the pocket, but I love the aqua stripe fabric paired with the cream floral print. I don't know that the Princess would necessarily want to wear these, but I sure would. I may have to adapt this to my size!

There are also a couple of baby outfits included as well as a sweet sundress, a smocked knit top and a skirt with a smocked yoke. There's even a cute project for adding smocked insets to a pair of boy's denim shorts. If you like to smock and you have kids between six months and fourteen years, check this book out!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The End of the Never Ending Bishop

I finished up the Never Ending Bishop this week.

Here's a closeup of the front:

And here's a closeup of the sleeve:

The colors are a lot truer in the closeup photos. I used the Ellen McCarn Ultimate Bishop pattern in size 2. The smocking plate is English Rose from the AS&E book Beautiful Bishops. I added about four extra rows to fill the design out a bit. I also added two extra rows to the sleeve smocking. I substituted cable flowerettes for the bullion buds around the edge of the smocking. They go a lot faster, and I was ready to get this little dress done. I decided not to embroider the sleeves, because I didn't want to interfere with the elasticity of the smocking.

I'm very pleased with this little dress. It turned out just like I envisioned it. Now all I have to do is fold it up in some tissue paper and put it in a box to send to my precious little niece in Georgia.

Then, it's on to this dress:

This little bishop is for a family friend. The poodles may look familiar. I used one poodle from this plate on T2. I've got the poodles almost done- they just need mouths, noses, bows, and of course, all those french knots to "fluff" them up. My top border is done, and I'm still considering how to smock the lower border. It needs more elasticity than the top one. There's going to be a lot of backsmocking on this one, too. I think when it's finally done it will be really cute.

Wow! I have a lot of work to do. This little dress is far from finished. I also have a blouse to work on for myself. I made a muslin of McCalls 5522 which turned out quite nice and now I need to make the real blouse. I'm just not feeling very motivated to sew this weekend. I may be able to get some smocking done. And I've spent some time playing with stash fabrics and "planning" projects, but I'm just not up to cutting or sewing right now. I'm kinda tired, and I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't try to push it. I start to make mistakes when I force myself to work on things that I'm not really in the mood for. I really don't need a sewing disaster this weekend, so I think I'll just take it easy. Maybe some planning and organizing will help me get motivated again.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Never Ending Bishop Dress

I'm taking a break from the Temily pattern and I've been working on this:

I'm calling this the Never Ending Bishop Dress because the smocking has seemed to go on and on and on. I've finally finsished the actual smocking on the neck and the sleeves. If you look closely you can see where I've begun to make cable rosettes in the heart shapes along the bottom of the smocking. I'll add lazy daisy leaves to those and then I will make one large bullion rose in the center with some lazy daisy flowers and leaves on either side.

One good thing about this dress is that I decided to edge the sleeves with lace and smock them. What that means is that once all the smocking and embroidery is done and I start construction, there will be no finishing to do on the sleeves! A simple french seam from sleeve edge to dress hem will be all I have to do. No gathering, piping, or binding needed.

Sigh... I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.