Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Bit of this and That

The Deer River is at is usual Fall low and the trees are turning as you can tell. Credit the Bible or credit Simon and Garfunkle but one of my favorite string of words is "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven". (Hope I got it right.) This time of year I really feel that. It's the last sweet corn harvest. It's being able to walk across those big boulders down the river. It's perusing soft, wooly fabrics and thinking of the warmth they will bring. It's a whole different mind set as we settle in for Nature's fury up here.

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These are some of dear Ima's mostly hand crocheted doilies. There are more. I think those odd shaped pieces are the antimacassars of old. I keep thinking of how I could blend all of these in a garment. My mind is working on that one.

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This boring little pile is really the loveliest of fine batistes and piques, great basics for heirloom sewing. So much more to clean......
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A bit about the blog: I am finally happy with it's look. The little machine picture in my profile is antique child's machine I luckily picked up at a yard sale for a dollar or so. It makes a chain stitch but a bit of rust has it out of commission. It is the cutest doggoned little "sculpture" and reminds me of the passion I had for sewing even as a little girl. I would have worn this thing out if it were mine. That, or my brothers would have taken it's life...... I am not fully on board with my portrait. I have been nursing an abcessed tooth for the past month and looking rather puffy . I will get a root canal Saturday. Two rounds of Penicillin have kept me going.  Why wait so long? Well, first there were work commitments. Second, DD#2 is a dentist and works on Mom for free. This necessitates a trip down  to NH. Of course she wanted me to stop everything  and get it done immediately. So we will be heading down this week and I can't wait to finally get this done.

DD#1's nanny is on vakay for two weeks so I will be filling in there, watching almost 2 year old twins and a 5 year old.  For the next 2 1/2 weeks  the posting will be sparse so bear with me. My mojo and energy level are not their usual due to the infection and I can't seem to sleep well or get enough. I will be so glad when this is fixed. I need my sewing mojo back . I know it will definitely return. I want to get started on the little red cashmere coat for Carly to go with her bishop. That will start as soon as I feel better. Thanks for your patience and I know your caring,,,,,,,,Bunny

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The MacMillan Plaid

My dear Canadian friend is expecting her first grandchild this March. She is my closest neighbor as well and we have worn a path hiking to each others homes thru the woods. This week she came over and did her usual bang on my sewing room window. When I let her in for our visit I noticed she brought something all wrapped up in tissue paper. She proceeded to unwrap her paper cocoon and the tiniest little authentic tartan kilt appeared. It was a bit musty and surely needed a good press. She proceeded to show me the teensiest hole and asked if I could repair it. Well, in a heartbeat, you know! She went home and washed it as instructed and brought it back beautifully cleaned the next day. I fixed the hole which is now gonzo and we are both pleased with that. But of course, I had to iron this little treasure to perfection while I was at it.
This was her own son's kilt when he was a tike 30 years ago and she is now going to give it to her new daughter in law for their baby. Love the unisex nature of kilts. Look how the plaid is perfectly balanced in the center of the kilt. My 8 inch Ginghers, which Blogger has squeezed out but are a little visible will give you an idea of the size of this kilt. What looks like a brown spot on the kilt is not there at all in real life. Don't know what the heck that is. The little garment is now spotless, perfectly pressed, and fit for a sweet new baby. Truly heirloom clothing.........Bunny

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Washing Silks


For some time now I have wanted to do a post on washing silks. My dear friend Ima gave me some lovely silks she picked up "somewhere in Asia". Having been packed away for sometime I felt they needed a bath. I will detail my method but I can't take credit for it. Many years back, in her early days, Martha Stewart had a "laundress" on her show. She told how she wouldn't trust her silks to anyone but this woman who clearly was employed by Stewart. Since I was sewing and wearing a lot of silk blouses to work at that time I put her method into action and have been using it ever since. Wish I knew that woman's name!
Rule Number One: use shampoo to wash your silks, not dish liquid, woolite, or laundry detergent. Silks (and wool) are protein fibers, just like your hair, so use shampoo. You don't ever want to use Biz on silks. The enzymes are very bad for these protein fibers.  Next, you will need some vinegar, white or cider will do. This will go in your rinse water and will help set the dye and prevent it from leaching out. As Claire said, these silks will bleed. They all do. Use coolish to lukewarm water for you washing and cold water for your rinsing. Add a capful of shampoo to a sink full of water. I don't use the machine. Some do, I don't.



This is the sink water after washing and rinsing. You can see how some dye has leached out. The vinegar helps prevent that from happening to an even worse degree. The odd thing is this  dye is brown and the silk is a deep teal.Hmmmm,,,,
When you are washing yardage, set it up in loose folds before you place it in the water. You don't want to just shove a pile of rumpled fabric in the water. Let's treat this yummy fabric with respect. So lay the layered, sort of folded fabric in the soapy water. Do not wring or squeeze tightly. Pull the folds toward yourself and press the wash water thru. Do this over and over. The let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Pull the stack of fabric toward yourself and pull the drain plug. Let it drain.  Add about a cup of white vinegar to the rinse sink, filled with cold water. Lay your folds in that sink and push back and forth, again no squeezing. You can see the folds here in the rinse sink.

Drain the water and fill the sink again, each time pulling the fabric toward yourself and letting gravity help pull out the suds. No squeezing! Do this three or four times, that is filling the sink with fresh water, until the water is free of any suds.

Looks nasty, huh? Next get a big old fluffy towel. A beach towel is great. Lay the yardage in its folds on the towel and start rolling up.
Now imagin my right hand is not holding the camera and is on the towel roll. Knead the roll with both hands to press out the moisture. Press and press and press some more. You want that towel to suck up as much as it can.


I then took the yardage outside and hung it in the shade. No sunshine for these deep colors. It wasn't easy finding a decent place to hang the silk in the shade around here! Let it dry till still slightly damp. You are now going to iron it dry. Use a dry iron on the silk setting. I do not use a press cloth. If it is still steaming, keep ironing. There is more moisture left in the goods.


Here you can see the teal yardage that I have just ironed dry. It has just as much luster as it did off of the bolt. The silks to the left still need to be ironed. The teal piece is 4 yards but 30 inches wide. It washed to a lovely softer hand. Prior to washing it felt like upholstery fabric with all the sizings and finishings put upon it. The silk to the left is 14 YARDS LONG and I really think may be a sari. It sports wonderful gold painting  which I feared would not iron well. I was right. The sari silk needed a lower temp and a press cloth to protect the gold dyes/paints(?).
 Be aware that your fabric will most like change hand and become softer and more drapeable. If you don't want this effect, dry clean it. Also know that you can manipulate this silk. If you would like a "sand washed" finish, by all means use the washing machine. Throw in a pair of jeans and some sneakers with the fabric. Then throw it all in the dryer once washed. Those sneakers and grommets will beat the dickens out of the silk and give it that "washed" look. This was quite popular back in the early 90's but I am not sure it is now. To me it is much easier to just use the dull side of a charmeuse to get a similar effect.

I don't know what I will do with all of that sari fabric but the heavy  lustrous teal is definitely calling out to me. Not sure what the right pattern is just yet, but I am on the lookout.

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As you can tell, I have been playing with the blog. We are not there yet, but its coming. I need to play with my mosaics and header more. I also did my seasonal picture change. After over 70 pics, I have one. It is certainly not great but it is the best of the lot. I had to do this alone and it was quite a challenge to get the height right. I literally stacked up pots and coffee cups and set the camera on top. I must say I absolutely love my remote for the camera. You just sit there and click away. FWIW, the shirt I have on is my absolutely favorite shirt in the whole world. One of my six brothers (8 sibs) left it at my house during a stay, maybe John. I started wearing this chambray shirt. It has to be at least 15 years old. I have dyed many a yard of fabric in it, transplanted shrubs in it, and barbecued lots of chicken in it. It has paint stains, but its softness still sucks me in. I starch it, iron it, stains and all, and feel like I am wearing a Chanel. Go figure..................Bunny

Seamless Smocking Update.....

This photo gives you the status of my seamless smocking experiment. I am pleased so far but the first time I approached the seam it felt like I was herding cats. It is hard to tell but there are two more pleats on each side of the seam (four total) and the serged edges that are scrunched up between  the abutting blue marked pleats. For more on this great technique check out Martha's tutorial on Seamless Smocking.  I am using Martha's Method Number One.


For quite some time now I have been thinking of doing a post on washing silks. I have had very good luck doing this and hope to share this info soon on the blog. This is following right in line with Claire's wonderful fabric posts that she has been doing. We have some beautiful weather here today so that will help with the outside pictures.....Bunny

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Too late Summer Bag, Butterick 4409


All of my "units" are done. I have been trying to do a bit each day and hopefully this weekend will put it all together. I have made this bag before so I am not going to dwell on its construction too much here. The only difference between this one and the last one that blogged about here is the handle treatment. In the first bag I used the designated straps. In this bag I am going for the bamboo handles. I think this is the fourth time I have used Butterick 4409. Hopefully I will have the finished product on blog by Sunday night. This pattern is currently OOP, but still available from Butterick online.
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I have been smocking away on Carly's bishop and finally have hit my stride. It seems that with every smocking project I do an awful lot of ripping out in the first row or two and then it all settles down and I comfortably stitch to the finish. On this dress I must have ripped out the first row, black stitches, at least three times. Then I just gave up. To heck with it and went on to do the next colored rows and all fell in to place. When done all the rows I will go back and complete that first row. I think the black thread cursed me or something.

This dress is black and white and even with the soft design of the toile motifs it still has a graphic nature. Black and white will do that. To balance that out I decided to use 4 strands of thread for my smocking. 99% of the time one would use three. But once I experimented I found the heavier stitching worked better with my graphic print. This isn't a delicate heirloomy type dress but a heavier fabric, strong print, and casual plaid accents. So the four thread smocking it was!....Bunny

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Great Notion


This post is aimed particularly at our less experienced sewing sisters. I love to do whatever I can to help bring along success for newbies so that they can continue in this fine craft. As I was working on my latest machine project I thought it might be worth a few words to mention this notion and what it can do. This is one of those notions that can really make your sewing life easier and more professional looking. Allow me to introduce you to Steam A Seam 2.

Steam a Seam is wonderful for zipper installations, attaching piping and other trims, stabilizing knit hemlines, and on and on. Here I will show you how I put my zipper in the top of the bag. Two pieces needed to be stitched to each side of the zipper. This is the top opening of the bag. The ends will then be sewn to the gusset which wraps around the bottom and sides.
Steam A Seam is a coiled, sticky sided fusible tape. You pull the length you need out of the box and there is a lot in the box. I use this stuff a lot. I bought it two years ago and am probably a little over halfway thru the box. When you pull your length of coil out you will notice that the non paper side is sticky. Press this down where you want your zipper or trim to go. Once I do that I take my fingernail and run it across the tape, pressing it firmly into the zipper or base fabric. After doing that hard press lift up one corner and remove the paper from the tape. Now the exposed tape is sticky. Press onto to it whatever you need to. In my case here I pressed the fabric that needed to be stitched to the side of the zipper. Now this tabe is a fusible web. So the next step is to iron that fabric strip on the side of the zipper and fully secure the fabric to the zipper tape with the heat of the iron. I then lift up the fabric and iron the underneath seam as well as my fabric is coated with fusible fleece and I want a good bond.
Now that the iron has fully secured the zipper to the fabric I put in my edge stitching foot. Forget that funky Pfaff zipper foot. There is not enough grab with that thing. I use the edge stitching foot and run the blade right up tight to the right edge of the fabric, next to the zipper. The blade runs between the coil and the fabric edge. I adjust my needle to #4 Left position and top stitch my zipper into place. Voila,,,,,it is now ready to be stitched to the gusset as you can see here.
And here you can see the zipper all installed. I like to use longer than specified zippers for almost every type of installation. You can always cut them to fit once they are installed and by using a longer zipper you can zip it up past the end of your installation and then not have to deal with any lumps and bumps from the zipper stops. So always buy a zipper longer than you need and then do a hefty zigzag on the zip once you are done to give it a secure stop. Then you should be good to cut the excess. Or, you can just stitch the excess into a crossing seam and cut it after stitching that seam. If anyone has any questions just fire away. The bottom line is learn what notions are out there. Use them to make your life easier. Surf boards like Pattern Review and sewing blogs to get info on all these things. Try them and make your sewing life easier.....Bunny
 
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                  FWIW....I am making a bag as a gift for some one who did me a great favor. The pattern I am using is Butterick 4409, view F, but with the handles. This is my current machine project while I work on Carly's bishop, which is now coming along nicely. More on that in an upcoming post as well as some info on washing silks.......Bunny                                                                                         

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bear with me.....


Sorry if I have aggravated you all. I have been tweaking the blog and appreciate your patience as well as your imput. I am working on getting the pictures larger so I can have a more interesting layout with various sized pictures. I also need to get a new photo up. That will take some serious work and the serious hair cut I so desperately need right now.

As far as the larger pictures, I am just not pulling it off despite great directions on line . It seems my code doesn't match the code the directions think I have. If anyone can help with that, please jump in.

My goal here is to make things more easily readible, get a new exciting header, new personal pic, layout across the page  and the option for larger pics. So bear with me as the blog grows. You will still have the same sewing posts from a sewist who is driven to stitch everything she has ever dreamed up.

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I would like to introduce you all to a new blog....The Gazebo House....or what is referred to on my blogroll on the right as Rett's Gazebo. Rett is a very accomplished sewist and smocker. Her bullions are such that I call her the "Bullion Queen".  You can also see on her blog her amazing photography abilities. Her blog is a feast for the eyes and I thoroughly enjoy visiting there. Savor it with a cup of tea in hand. You will soon figure out that Rett is also an amazing stylist and hostess. Her tablescapes are magnificent as are her menus.  But most of all, Rett is a very sharing individual and lots of fun. I know you will enjoy your visit to her Gazebo. You don't need it, but good luck with your blogging, Rett.

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Another load of white heirloom fabrics is in the washer. DH fears I will overload the septic system with all this washing and wants me to take it all to the big city laudromat....oy......I may do that just to get it all done with and out of the way. But spending a lot of the day at the laundromat somehow doesn't quite turn me on. What we do for our craft...............Bunny


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OK, now I am going to try some picture sizing changes: got these all Bizzed and folded.They are heirloom fabrics, voiles, piques, batistes, etc. and yes there are more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            
 
OK, the good news is that now the photos come up in line where I am writing and I can push them as far to the left, right, or center. I think I will go for right. I made this one smaller. It's the big pictures that keep alluding me. Hmmmm, I can only get it to go left and center. Bear with me... Bunny
Yahoo! I got it!!!!! Next is trying mosaics. Let's hope I can do this more than once.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cleaning and Organizing Lace and Eyelet Trims.




Today, between gardening and having some dear friends over, I tackled a bit of the heirloom goodies. As I was thoroughly enjoying myself, it occurred to me this might be a good time for a post on how to clean old laces and other heirloom trims like eyelet and entredeaux. What I am going to put forth here is what works for me, without incident. If you have a treasured heirloom, and I have washed many, I hope my methods work for you, but do not claim to be any sort of expert here. This is simply what has worked for me, what I have learned from many other sewists, and what I thought was pertinent to what I am dealing with in my sewing world right now. We will begin with the no matter what no-nos:

* NO BLEACH, EVER, EVER, EVER!
* NO STARCH
* NO CARDBOARD TOUCHING ANYTHING
* NO CLEAR, NOT FROSTED, BUT CLEAR PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS
* NO PINS, EVER
* BIZ ALWAYS

OK, that's it for starters. Let's run thru the process. Assume here that all the info I give you refers to natural fibers, linens, cottons, and blends with synthetics, linens, and cottons. Rayons aren't included here.

* First soak and rinse out your laces in just plain clean water. This alone will remove a lot of the prelimanary soil. Once you have done that it is BIZ time.
* Biz is the heirloom sewist, lace collector's best friend. I get mine at K-Mart and it always seems to be way up on a top shelf, no matter what KMart I am in. I have a special Biz bucket, or actually a plastic storage container with a lid. Mix about a cup of Biz to two cups hot water and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, add more hot water to your bucket. For really soiled items I would use a cup of Biz to a half bucket of water. Put in your laces. Let them soak overnight. If they are heavily soiled, let them soak a few more nights. I have soaked mine for up to a week, sometimes changing the Biz solution, sometimes not. It may take a few days. You can see in the pictures above how super white everything came out. We don't ever use bleach on these trims as it can never be totally removed and will continue to rot out your beautiful trim. I learned this the hard way. You don't want to do that. Yes, there are neutralizers for bleach, but now you get into the whole chemical thing. I have used them and they still smell bleach years later and then start feeling dry and fragile. So just don't go there with the bleach.
* Once you have decided that your lace is clean enough, it is rinse time. I rinse in cold water, rinse, rinse, and re-rinse again. It is very important that all soap is out of your lace. Cooties, moths, and other fabric hateful critters just love to eat soap and starch. So clean clear water, lots of it is the order of the day.
* Once rinsed lay your trims on a fluffy towel. Roll up the towel and press out the moisture. Unroll and now you are ready to dry.
* It is best to plan this for a sunny day as Mother Nature will help the process along. She will take out odors and move along the whitening. Up above you can see some laces draped thru a coat hanger on a post outside. Yes, some of the lace is on the ground. That's OK! The trick is to have grass underneath, not driveway gravel or mud. There are many who subscibe to the theory of putting such items straight out on the green grass in the sun on a sunny day. The theory is that there is some chemical interaction between the sunlight and grass that promotes whitening. I have done this. I am not sure it is nothing more than an urban legend, but at the least I don't worry about my lace hitting the grass.
* Leave your laces out in the sun but not till totally dry. Bring them in slightly damp and get ready to iron.
* Use a dry iron and a slightly damp lace. NO STARCH! Cooties and moths love to eat starch. Don't we all? Well, they are no different so don't give them any to eat. Just plain old ironing damp to dry.
* Now it is on to organization.

It dawned on me yesterday to fold my trims just like I fold my fabrics. I use a 5 inch ruler here but that is because it works for my containers. Simply fold the trim around the ruler and when all trim is on the ruler, just slide it out. This will give you trims wrapped to all the same sized. DO NOT wrap your trims around pieces of cardboard. The cardboard promotes staining and rotting so just don't use it. It is OK to sell a bias binding but for storing your precious laces, fugetabotit. Also, the temptation to pin the end of your trim must be dealt with. JUST DON'T DO IT! Pins can rust but even steel pins just get stuck in the yardage and almost rip the trim as you pull them out. You don't want to know how I know this.
Now it is on to storage. Per Magazine Maven Martha Stewart, who I personally think is just a blonde shill but whose opinions on all things household I respect, you can use plastic storage bins for your fabrics and heirlooms if they are not CRYSTAL CLEAR. I love those clear storage containers and use them for my threads and shoes, but for your special fabrics and laces you need to use the frosted plastic containers. There is some big chemical name for these but they are OK and don't put off damaging fumes for your lovelies.
You can see here how the trims lay very nicely in my little container. I use a five inch ruler to fold my trims instead of my 6 inch as it works perfectly for these little containers. I LOVE these containers. They are double decker and have slots to pull out the trims which I use for ribbon storage. I get them at Joann's at Christmas time as they are intended to store ribbons. Use that 50% coupon and you are good to go.

Next I take out my Ptouch. I love this little baby too. I label the containers with my Ptouch. I don't get into yardage but just what is in the box. This saves a lot of digging and I am able to logically group up the trims in the boxes.

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Right now I have a ton more trims to iron and store. One of the eyelets I was ironing had a strange shape and the trim ran down the middle of the batiste. Then I found another strange shape, and another. The light went on and I realized and saw the seams. Ima had cut apart a dress to save the beautiful eyelet. I have the two sleeves, and the dress front and back. This is exactly what I would have done with the same situation, cut up the dress to save the beautiful trim. I swear I will channel this woman forever................Bunny

An Answer


Unlike many of you, this wonderful, beautiful, perfect Labor Day weekend has been a NON sewing weekend. Hey, I'm entitled! We have had weekend after weekend of rain and cool weather for the entire summer till the past week and half. Labor Day Weekend has blessed with80ยบ days, crystal blue skies, no bugs, cool sleeping nights, and no wind, which we are famous for up here, all perfect weather to be outside. DH and I have gotten so much done. We fixed a major drainage problem in our back yard with gutters and a French drain, installed a really lovely sidewalk of large sandstones going from the front to the back door, and today I will be gardening. I will move hostas, bring my geraniums in for the winter, and clean up the beds. I may hit the nursery for some perennials to border my new walk today. It has been great work and very satisfying. As I told DH, we are always such a team when we work together in the garden. We really share the same vision.

On the last post Martha asked if I was using a home dec fabric. Yes, as you can see in the photo. I have used this fabric before and know it pleats up tightly but never had issues like I did with this dress. By accident yesterday I figured out why. I have a pretty good size walk in fabric closet and I keep often used items and a lot of other stuff pinned to the walls. On the wall was pinned my blocking pattern for a 3-6-12 month old size bishop. I pulled it off the wall and put it over the blocking pattern for the two year old bishop I am currently working on. The two year old bishop blocking guide was a good 1/4 inch smaller than that for a 3 month old! The two year old guide is the one included in Gail Doane's book "Cute Couture". So beware if you are using this book for patterns. It's a great book design wise but double check your fit on the patterns. If anyone out there has experience with this situation please let me know.

What I did next was use the 3 month old blocking guide and make the collar "hole" nearly 1/2 an inch larger. That coupled with reducing the fullness solved the problem. Oy....

The fabric is just a little heavier than normal cotton, not thin like a quilting cotton and I really like the look it has of being linen when it doesn't have the price or wrinkling issues of linen. I am so glad all this pleating business is behind me and I can get on to the fun part.

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Very early yesterday I did manage to clean my basement "back sewing room" and go thru all of Ima's "stuff" and at least get it sorted. These boxes you see are oak DMC embroidery boxes used in retail years back. They weigh a ton. Inside are all bias bindings, tons of them, and a few trims. I love these boxes and am trying to think of how I can work them into my small sewing room. They are really attractive. She just pointed to them and told my husband to load them up. I have yet to go thru the insides, but I really love them.
At this point I fear I am appearing boastful. I am not. That's not my style. I just want to share this blessing my friend shared with me, so please humor me. I know if one of you were in the same situation I would love to see every detail. I also feel it gives homage to a fabulous sewist that I so respect. Seeing how she ruled her sewing world and treasured her "resource center" is something I enjoy sharing. In one of the bags I also found a slip pattern with some gorgeous silk folded and laying on top. Don't we all have those good intentions? I think I will make this slip. I am blessed that we are both petite and pretty much the same size so all of her patterns should fit.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pleating Frustration

What you see at the left here is a study in total frustration. It is also the result of two passes thru the pleater. It seems I got confused with the combination of front, back, armscye seam, and front and back pieces. Confused? Well, I sure was but with the second pass I did get the sequencing fixed. Then it was time to block and smock. I gave up last night on the smocking and in one of my many sleepless night moments decided from my mattress that I would take it apart, cut back the fullness, and repleat the whole thing for the third time. I fell asleep after that decision. The stresses that keep us awake.....................but I know you all understand. You see I had two issues here. The smocking was so tight that I could not make decent stitches. It was also so tight that when I got to the seams, as in Martha's seamless pleating, I couldn't even pull them apart to work with. So fullness has to be removed.

I measured and had the usual 3 inches of fabric equals one inch of smocking. I decided that I needed to take out of the front 4 1/2 inches of FABRIC. So with the dress front folded at CF and armscyes matching I cut back 2 1/4 inches with my rotary cutter. Remember, its folded and therefore double. After that I replaced my pattern and recut the armscyes which you can see at left. That was just the front. Now I had to do the same with the back. Then it was on to the shoulders of the sleeves. I cut out two inches from each, not the same ratio, but enough to maintain the sleeve fullness and still take out some of the bulk. After that it was to the serger to finish the edges. Because this fabric is a bit more bulky than the batistes and cottons traditionally used for smocking I have decided on stitched and serged seams as opposed to French seams, the norm. As the late Roberta Carr always preached. "reduce bulk whenever possible". Was she special or what?

Now I am ready to pleat again, and I won't get the sequencing wrong this time. Three times the charm! For thread colors for the smocking I went with vivids that are in the red/yellow/black/and green plaid that will be the piping and binding. Maybe tonight.................

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I have, for the moment anyway, and to at least start dealing with it, just grabbing small amounts from the top of one of the heaps of Ima's goodies. Last night I grabbed a small ziploc of all sorts of embroideries and found these happy flowers and ORANGE sailboats and cattails, just too cute. So I leave you with these joyful little embroideries.....Bunny
(click to enlarge and appreciate)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Bishop and the Buttons


I have Carly's Toile Bishop all pleated and ready to get blocked. I have no idea how I will scrunch all that fabric into the blocking guide. I'll make it work somehow. I tried Martha's technique for seamless pleating and am really excited about it. I'll keep you posted on my first attempt at this. I am using Martha's first method of just running the separate pieces thru the pleater one after another. So far so good.

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I will try and leave you with some shots of some of Ima's goodies at the end of my posts. This upcoming weekend I may start to attack it. It is overwhelming and I first just have to make space for it all. At the top of the pile were two button boxes of her metal buttons. I had to go thru and finger them and take some pictures. I find her metal buttons seem to have a theme, either thistles or Japanese motifs. Most are big and exquisite and very unique. She spent a lot of time in the Orient so I am thinking maybe these buttons came from there. I will ask her.............