Some Q & A

All of the comments on Sophie's Easter dress have been lovely. I really want to thank you all for your encouragement and support. It amazes me how this community makes us all better at what we love to do and I thank you for that.

If anyone is contemplating some bullion work, I have a fabulous book to recommend. I pull it out whenever I start some bullion embroidery. A book on bullions? Yes! It has such explicit, beautifully photographed pictures of all you need to know and more. I dig it out and open it up next to me whenever the bullion bug calls. This book is invaluable, having more info than you could ever imagine. It's a great addition to the embroidery library.

I have had some questions since I have posted the sailor outfits for the twins and Sophie's Toile dress. Let's see if we can do some answers here. For those not familiar with AS&E, it stands for Australian Smocking and Embroidery and is published by Country Bumpkin in Australia.

Martha asked which plate I used for the smocking. It is "Pretty Poppet" from AS&E #81. I love this magazine. It really sets the bar.

Cissie asked about my email. It is Bunnypep at wildblue dot net. Remove the spaces and change the at to @ and the dot to . You may get caught in my spam catcher so that could explain the difficulties but I know a few posters have come through.

Julia asked how I learned to smock. I taught myself for the most part, as is the case with most of my sewing. DD announced the birth of their little girl and I decide it was sewing fantasy time. I bought and read every book and magazine I could find. I did take a class with a lovely teacher named Kitty in New Hampshire at Peggy Ann's. I also joined a SAGA group when I lived there. With all my sewing, I research, I study, I sample, I try and try again. It is a constant quest.
Julia also asked about back smocking. Back smocking is done on the back side of the bodice. It holds all of those little pleats in line. For a long time I did a cable stitch to back smock and this would "split" the pleats on the front. Now I do an outline stitch, repeating each row exactly as the previous. This helps the rows line right up like soldiers. It is really important, whether cable or outline, to repeat each row exactly. That is unless you are going for the split pleats.

Gwen asked if I did any heirloom sewing for myself. I do try to transfer the techniques of heirloom to clothing I can wear myself and yes, they are definitely wearable. I love linen and it works up beautifully with pinstitching. You can see some efforts on this post.

Julia mentioned purchased piping. I don't think I have ever used purchased piping. It is just too easy to make your own. I had some difficulty finding the proper color fabric for the piping on Sophie's dress. I had to settle for a poly cotton blend to get the right color for the piping. It rippled like crazy no matter what I tried. I threw out more piping than you can imagine. The moral here: Use natural fibers!

I have started on my next project and it should be a quicky. Today I did all the wired, corded tubing for the Vogue hat I am making for the wedding. More tomorrow.........Bunny


  1. Thanks for your answers to my questions. I almost always make my own piping too. It is so easy to make. I usually use fabric from the frock if it works, but sometimes I have to use a coordinating something. i''ve never had trouble with the puckering, so i guess I've been lucky and have always used the right fabrics. I'll keep your tip in mind though.
    I will be back smocking from now on. There have been a few things I've made, (Jenna's dress this year) that I haven't been happy with how the smocking turned out. This would have helped.
    I too use books for reference. now, I'm using info from my blogging friends, and what a blessing that has been.

  2. Thank you for posting answers. Your work is so perfect. If you haven't already--perhaps you should enter your work in contests. I'm so glad to see people like you and Julia, doing such beautiful heirloom sewing. Love seeing it.


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