Thursday, August 13, 2009
My plans seem to always be more ambitious than I can deliver. And while my blog may be looking a little boring lately (sorry), the whirlwind that is my life at the moment is anything but!!!
However, I remember mentioning a tutorial on smocking and it's about time I deliver!!!
This is such a fun and easy thing to do with great results!!
For little girls, start with about a yard of fabric (or a little longer than your desired finished length), at least 45 inches wide. You will also need a spool of elastic thread and a small amount of fabric for straps and any embellishments.
On the top unfinished edge, measure and fold over 1/4th inch to the wrong side of the fabric.
Fold over again 1/4 inch so that the unfinished edge is inside. Iron well. (Don't sew anything yet.)
Open folded edge and measure down 1 inch and mark with disappearing ink pen all the way across. This will be your guide line for your smocking. (A quilting ruler in incredibly helpful in the step.)
Using your first line as a guide, measure down 1/2 inch and draw a line all the way across. Repeat for a total of 6 lines (8 for larger sizes).
Take your spool of elastic thread and wrap LOOSELY around bobbin. As in the picture below, setting it down should not cause it to unravel.
Load the bobbin with the elastic thread as you would normally, making sure that it catches in the same places normal thread would. This is important to get the right tension. Load your top thread as normal.
Using your lines as guides, Set your stitch length to 0 and make a few stitches to lock it, then set your stitch length to a normal setting and start sewing! Finish the line of stitches off the same way you started.
Your stitches should start to pucker a little as you sew. If the fabric is not, go back and check that you loaded the bobbin thread correctly.
Repeat until you have the lines sewn.
To get the elastic to fully contract, mist with water and then use a hot iron on the stitches. You will see them instantly shrink!!
Measure the circumference of your child's chest and subtract just a little bit. You want the dress to be fitted, but not uncomfortably tight! With right sides together, match the edges of the fabric and sew down the length of the dress (it's now a dress!!) making it the desired width. Cut off excess fabric to 1/4th inch and zig-zag stitch down the length of the cut edge to keep from fraying. Fold and iron to one side. On the right side of fabric, stitch down the length of the dress, keeping close to the seam.
Go back to the top edge that you folded over. Refold, pin and stitch to finish off top of dress.
Make your straps or if you'd prefer, use ribbon. To make straps, cut fabric into 1 inch strips, fold in half, wrong sides together and stitch 1/4th inch from unfinished edge. Using a turning tool, turn right-side out and cut to needed length.
Try the dress on your child and mark you want to attach the straps and sew in place (taking the dress off first, of course!).
Finish the bottom edge as you did the top edge, embellish first if you wish!
Not to mention CUTE!!
(and let me know if this was helpful or I missed something!)