When you love to smock, it doesn’t take much to give you inspiration. A tree, a flower, a piece of fabric, a birth… oh yeah, birth. That’s where I was going with this. We had a birth in the family! Little Euphemia was born and immediately I started planning adorably smocked outfits for my first grandbaby!
I shuffled to the garage and opened cabinet doors and totes and perused bookshelves until I found the perfect fabric. It’s truly a masterpiece of beautification! Now my favorite blogger, The Pioneer Woman, has a marvelous blog titled, quite ambiguously as it turns out, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I love how she lines up ingredients for a meal and calls them “the cast of characters”. (BTW, try the ‘Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich.’ You won’t be sorry.) So, in honor of my favorite blogger, I give you….
Fabric: Raspberry Rose Border by Robin Mynatt
Style: Cherry Williams’ Bishops
Design Plate: Ellen McCarn’s “Diamonds by Florence”
DMC Floss Colors: 3688, 815, & 520
Of course, it would have been too easy to just cut and smock. This poor little dress had a rough beginning. First, I couldn’t cut it out. Had I been able to, I would have realized that I was using two different length pieces. Apparently I gave Lisa a gown back and a saque front. This meant that the poor dress was a little bit um… uneven at the sides. Try 3″ uneven! Now on most fabrics, this wouldn’t even be an issue. After all, you whack off the bottom and voila. Works like a charm. But, of course, I had to use a BORDER print meaning that I can’t whack. And… being the obtuse person I am, I never noticed. It wasn’t until row four of smocking (after breaking a needle on the sleeve seams and doing all that cableing across the top row) that Lisa said, “How does that work when they’re different lengths?”
*thud* Oh wait. She means the sleeves of course. So I proceeded to show her how the sleeves match up and you sew down the side- *thud* The front is 3″ longer than the back. I can’t go back. I’d rather throw it away and start over. (yeah, like that’s going to happen) So, I did what every self-respecting (read: face saving) smocker would do. I got creative. At first I thought, “Two rows of tucks in the front… she’ll be laying down… no one would notice.” That didn’t thrill me. “I could cut off both borders, cut 3″ off the main fabric of the front, reattach with beading or insertion…” Again, not thrilling but better.
I spoke to my friend and partner in many sewing fiascos, Teresa (remind me to tell you how we MET), and she said, “Why don’t you gather the sides up like on those old fashioned dresses and put a bow there. It’ll look sweet.” Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Excellent! (Oh, and she meant “antebellum” style).
So here we have the partially finished dress. Isn’t it sweet!
I think little Emma is going to look quite adorable, don’t you?