The Smocked Sand Dollar Top
"Flower Power" from "Designer Smocking for Tots to Teens", a Country Bumpkin publication. This company is located in Australia and subscribes to the highest standards of publication as well as sewing. It is a beacon in the ever depleting world of publications devoted to heirloom sewing. Sadly, issue 100 of "Australian Smocking and Embroidery" will be the last but I think you can still order it. It will be a compilation of some of their best designs. In the meantime they have other great magazines and books devoted to the craft of sewing and embroidery.
As with all of the AS&E designs, the pattern is very clear and easy to follow. Nothing is left to chance and with some focus a beginning smocker could definitely pull off this particular design. The requisite flower on the strap was my own addition but what little girl's outfit is not naked without a flower on the bodice somewhere these days? I want this to get worn and the flower is a big draw to my granddaughter. This is a simple summer top meant to be worn with jeans or maybe some white leggings. It is not particularly long for a top.
It appears to be 100% cotton that I picked up somewhere, no clue. I just love the beach sand dollar design. Don't we all just love sand dollars? The back of the top is self lined with a curved bottom.
It's sadly draping on the hanger but will be lovingly filled out by my grandaughter. You can see the vintage buttons from my inherited collection on the back and in the center of the flower. Did you catch the matching sand dollars? Up there with bad or no pressing, unmatched patterns are a Becky Home- Home Ec-y clue for sure. My PPP. (personal pet peeve) It takes more time and effort but is so worth it.
This is really a great simple project that I think any beginning smocker could handle. Simple trellis stitches are all that are used in the smocking design provided in the pattern. As always with smocking, finding that center pleat is critical as well as carefully counting so you can line up your stitches perfectly. For the uninformed, smocking provides very comfortable elasticity. So this top can be worn for quite some time stretching a bit as the child grows.
All in all I think it is really cute, cute to the point of a modern little girl eagerly wearing it. Not long ago my eight year old Sophie said to me, " Bunbun, can you make me some clothes that aren't so old fashioned?" I think this one will fill the bill. Right after that she and her little girlfriend went in to her closet, dressed themselves up in a couple of smocked "special" dresses, put on crowns, and played Princess all afternoon. Be still my heart.
In my commitment to bring quality information to our latest generation of stitchers I am going to do a series of posts covering everything from introducing you to the "Masters" (with my definition of the term) to where to get quality tutorialsand much more. Stay posted. I am going to tag these posts with a "Newbie" tag so they will be easily searchable but the information will be for everyone as you will soon see. While I am sure many of you have your own opnions on the subjects that I will bring up, keep in mind that it will be my subjective opinions expressed and it will all be positive and hopefully very helpful to the Newbies out there. Mo' lata'...
My darling hubby is a sure keeper! At a yard sale the other day he spotted this vintage beauty in perfect condition, spent one dollar, and brought it home for his loving wife. It is made in Ohio. When's the last time yo saw that printed on something? It is in pristine condition, has a burly maple ruler with a beautiful varnished finish. The weighted box on the bottom keeps it standing and in the front is a recessed felted little area for your pins. I would assume this was circa 1950s, the time I took my first sewing classes at Singer at the age of ten. It brings back fond memories and will have a place of honor in my little studio. Thanks, Ern......Bunny
ETA: Blogger will not let me alter the print size no matter what so sorry if this is difficult to read. I will reload later and fix hopefully.