After I finished smocking the bodice of Purple Passion, I laid the front bodice guide over it, and found this shocking problem!
Oh No! The smocked bodice shrank! I smocked it too tightly! I should throw it in the garbage and start over! I should have a panic attack NOW!
Why didn't I go lie down in a dark room for the rest of the day? Because I am the BOSS of this dress!
I know that smocking is elastic. I know that I can adjust this. With a pair of scissors to snip off the tied pleater threads, the spreading power of two thumbs, and just 5 minutes--I had this:
The two T-pins at the top anchored the fabric to the needed width. I went down each side and snipped off the pleater threads--not the embroidery threads. Then, using both thumbs, I started in the middle and s p r e a d the embroidery. There were a couple of places where I had pierced the pleater thread with the smocking, so I just used a tad more spreading power to pop it loose.
Work from the center out, always. Then when it is the correct width, just grab a section at the top and bottom and sort of snap it apart--this makes the pleats line up nice and straight. As you can see below, the bodice guide is happy now. And so am I.
I pinned this to the padded smocking board that I talked about in one of my first posts. You still haven't bought one? I've just demonstrated to you yet another reason for purchasing this handy little thing.
This piece has now been totally shot full of hot steam. Once I had it nice and steamy, I refilled the iron and shot it again. It will dry in about an hour. Meanwhile I will cut out the rest of the pieces!
I have made a little progress in organizing the sewing room. See? This is quilt fabric, prewashed, ironed, and stored in stackable containers. Except for the one with the blue top. It is absolutely full of embroidery threads.