Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Sand Dollar Top begins.....

It's been another glorious weekend up here in the Dacks so you know that means non stop gardening for DH and me. I must say it is looking pretty nice around here and we are almost at the point of relaxing in this beautiful outdoors. Today we limbed up many trees, chopped down quite a few trees, and cleaned up almost all the remaining beds. That chain saw was humming! We cut limbs so that from our back porch there is a lower understory of brush and a high canopy of foliage, not much in between. It gives a beautiful backdrop and if you have ever laid down on the ground in the woods and looked up you know how special a forest canopy can be.  Being on our back porch puts you right into the clear space under the canopy and you can see the birds flying across and it is so pretty.

Bottom line, at this time of year, if it rains, I am sewing. If not, I am gardening. Just the way it is.

I do have some handwork going. There is always TV time and minutes before work and at lunch that I can get a few stitches in so I make sure there is some sort of hand project with me, my trusty ziploc in the pocketbook. My choice will be a top for either Carly or Sophie from the soon to be defunct and oh so wonderful Australian Smocking and Embroidery. Actually it is one of their special publications dedicated to Tots to Teens so some nice big girl choices are here. I am actually going to make the top on the cover which you really can't get a good idea of. It has a bit of smocking at the top edge, lots of puffy gathers across the chest and then more smocking below the chest. The original design shows embroidery on the straps and across the center of the smocking. I will more than likely change that as the fabric choice is a pale turquoise and cream design of sand dollars. Didn't you just love sand dollars as a kid? It was so special to find one on the beach.
Here is the fabric which I think is just so sweet for a summer outfit, 100% cotton but nothing I picked up in a quilt department.
Here is some of the smocking done, not much more to do. The top edge is "baby hemmed"  after pleating. The pleats are totally spread out flat and the top edge hemmed. Then the pleats are pulled up snug again in prep for the smocking. This can get tricky sometimes with the pleats developing little "Ys" but this wasn't too bad. I chose a dark teal thread for the smocking, again, my  sewing friend Lainey's lesson to take the lightest or darkest color in the fabric and go a shade or two even lighter or darker. This will be picked at during the week and next rainy day will be put together. There will be embroidery but it needs to work with the sand dollar and colors so some thinking is in order for that.

I hope you are all enjoying fabulous summer weather and get to play in the dirt if that is your heart's desire. There is just something so satisfying about busting your hump in the dirt and then at the end of the day seeing all you have accomplished. And if it gives you a sense of beauty, what could be more wonderful?....Bunny

16 comments:

  1. Love how you pick out great fabric and how beautifully it smocks!!

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  2. This is so pretty, and your smocking is superb. It's going to be a beautiful top!

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  3. Your smocking looks gorgeous, I love the printed fabric you're using. I know a lady who does smocking and it's always so neat to watch her work at it!

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  4. Oh Bunny, I love that fabric! The other day, in Bodega Bay, I found a beautiful, perfect sand dollar on the beach. I think your smocking perfectly matches the beauty of sand dollars. I can't wait to see the photos of the finished product.

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  5. Your smocking is always so gorgeous. It's nice to have a few patterns suitable for older girls too.
    Enjoy the garden!

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  6. Are you making the top from the cover photo? I have made it and your version is going to be awesome. It is a great top!

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    1. Yes,it's called "Flower Power". I am glad you had a good outcome with yours. Thanks for the encouraement.

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  7. It's true for me, too: gardening in the sun and sewing while it rains. Gardening is so much more physically demanding that my body prays for rain :) Love this sand dollar looks in the smocking.

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  8. Watch out! That top tends to come out HUGE. I really like that tip about the light/dark embroidery thread.

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  9. Beautiful smocking on beautiful fabric. This top will turn out gorgeous!

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  10. I really enjoy your pictures!

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  11. Love that fabric. I'm very new to smocking and am wondering if you will backsmock the unsmocked area just below those first couple of rows of smocking.

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    1. In this case I won't backsmock, Janie. I want the unsmocked space to be loose fat gathers, not pleated looking. I do like to back smock my holding rows when using a binding but that's not the case here either. The top edge is pre-hemmed so not necessary. Great question!

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  12. every time I see your smocking work I want to make something for my DGG - time, I just need more time.

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