Monday, January 1, 2007

Today is the first day of this blog.

Why have a blog?

  1. To create a journal of sewing projects and techniques.

  2. To explore design possibilities of children's wear.

  3. To share pattern resources and ideas for vintage clothing construction.

  4. To explore construction techniques in the ready-to-wear and handmade clothing areas.

  5. To generate and share ideas for trims, embellishments, and sources for handmade clothing.

  6. To develop and share pattern drafting skills.

  7. To organize and create a career wardrobe.

  8. To grant myself the occasional reprieve from a testosterone filled environment.

Project 1-Red Smocked Bishop Dress

Step 1: Basic construction of the bishop dress (sleeves seamed to bodice fronts and backs)

Step 2: Pleat dress

Step 3: Attach lace to wrists

Step 4: The Smocking Board!

The smocking board is a great tool for shaping the neckline of a bishop dress. It has markings for the center fronts and backs and sleeve seams. Simply pin the neckline of the dress to the padded board at the neck edge. Then pin again about four inches down each seam line.

Here you can see where I folded back the dress to show the pinning lines on the board:

The next step is to pull up the pleating threads EVENLY at the neck edge. I pleated eight rows on this dress. If you look carefully, you can spot the pins. You can see I have pulled up the pleats on the right side of the dress so far:

Notice how the pleated fabric looks different from the non-pleated fabric. This is a good reason to pleat your fabric before choosing embroidery thread colors. For this dress I am using light and dark rose and a pale-ish lime green.

Here the pleats have been distributed and tied off on one side. I always tie off in pairs. A little flash goes a long way, doesn't it?

The entire neck edge pinned, pleated, and tied off. This photo shows the fabric colors very well.

The reverse side of the board is next. It has great markings for scallops, diamonds, hearts, etc. Since it is padded and pinnable (is that a word?) it is useful for shaping lace and also for pressing. The hanging loop is nice, too. Worth the money. Buy one!

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