Sunday, July 13, 2008

Smocked Roses

I fell in love with this rose printed quilting cotton the minute I saw it. I immediately thought of my little strawberry blond Carly and how her beautiful coloring would be enhanced by it. I bought this on a hot day and thought of doing the same type of outfit that I did in turquoise here. It will be a smocked top with bias bound armholes and neckline and bias ties on the shoulders. The pants will be full length but I am making this for next summer at this point so they may turn into capris by then.

The reddish brown print is for the capris and am thinking a small pleated ruffle of the roses on the bottom edge. The bias binding and ties on the top will also be the reddish brown. I have some red rat tail that made a cute bow and may employ that in the embellishments or I may do some bullion roses instead, in keeping with the theme. We'll see how it all develops. My other current project is requiring lots of bullions so I guess I am just in the mood.
One of the most challenging aspects of smocking is picking out the thread colors. I was given great advice on this my a smocking cyber friend, Lexie, from Australia. If you match the colors in the print or fabric the stitching, which has been so laborious, won't show to advantage. She suggests going with the lightest OR the darkest color of the print. This has worked really well for me in the past. On this print I picked a deep red. It just disappeared into the fabric once I started stitching. I looked at the print again VERY closely and there really is a dark reddish brown in there. Once I started stitching with that shade it made all the difference. I also picked the lightest shade of the "red", and almost salmony pink. So with the shades picked out I started to smock. I love geometric smocking. It's relatively quick to do. The design I started with was from an AS&E but by the second row I started doing my own thing and that is how it developed. The back is all smocked. I am on to the front. But first I need to finish all the smocking on my bag entry. That is so close to done and then it is stitch up the bag and in the mail. Keep those fingers crossed!.....Bunny
As usual, a click on the pic will enlarge.


  1. Beautiful!!!!!!!! I am always surprised at how a print will pleat. I love the look of this fabric pleated. And super color choices. Can't wait to see it finished.

  2. Wonderful fabric/thread combination! I thought of you when I was leafing through a Sew News issue and they had a little smocking intro article this month. You are the Queen of Smocking!

  3. Lovely - I've seen that fabric, too and thought it was pretty. I'm always a sucker for roses, though. Yes, I think you're right one with the thread contrast - all that work and no one will see it if it is tone on tone!

  4. Thanks, blog sisters. Prints are so seductive and it is great to have a venue for them with my granddaughters. Otherwise I would be left with a shelf full of prints that really would never find a home, but that would be lovingly adored. Such is the passion....


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