Monday, July 30, 2007

One Thing Leads To Another

I've been making some progress on Woodstock--I've finished smocking the neckband, done the continuous lap, applied the neck binding, and even sewn on the snap at the back neck.

Comments can be very useful things. One commenter suggested I add more color to the smocking (good idea, great minds think alike!) and another suggested that I should consider rose-colored contacts (hi there, marie, glad you stopped by).

Anyhoo, thinking about those two things in conjuction with one another (color and rose), coupled with my ever present desire to go eat something, I came up with rose boullions! color + rose + chicken = boullion. I love math.

So now we have rose boullions:

Just a few, sprinkled here and there:

There would be more, but why punish myself any more than necessary?

I have lots of books. We're talking major amounts of books. Add to that enough magazines to ensure that the house is indeed a fire hazard. So with so many resources at my fingertips, I conducted an all-out search for information on boullion making. Not one, nay, none, showed me how to actually place the boullion on the pleats. So I traveled the world over via the internet and still didn't find anything that addressed this issue. Every thing I have or found showed how to create boullions on a flat piece of fabric.

So I studied the appearance of boullions on finished pleated garments. After getting bogged down in all my gorgeous back issues of Australian Smocking (two hours) I deduced the following about boullions:

They sit atop the pleats, not down in the valleys.
They are beautiful.
They are worthy of my time.
I have to figure out the trick of placing them all by myself.

I started by making the center two boullions (the darker pink) sit atop two pleats. The next three (light pink) incorporate a third pleat. I stopped there because I was after the daintier look, but if I had added a third round, I would have added in a fourth pleat to the structure.

The trickiest part of working boullions over pleated fabric is the pulling--the part where you pull the thread through the wraps...if you pull two much, the underlying pleats get distorted...if you pull too little, the boullion looks loose and sloppy.

The main point I am trying to make here is this:

If you can't do these, learn how. You will love yourself.

This is not hard to do. It's kind of like playing the piano. Put in the practice time if you want success. I made about ten of these on scrap fabric first. Then I decided to go for it.

Buy A to Z of Boullions. I did.

Maybe I can take photos next time, if anyone is interested.


CandlebyNight said...

I was going to suggest A-Z of Smocking, in case you don't have it. I have A-Z of Bullions too. Those two books revolutionized bullions for me.

It is amazing but in the 2 pics of Woodstock, my screen shows them as completely different colors.

Emilee Odette Garrett said...

I'd love to see how you do that in some pictures. I really need to take your advice and learn how to make boullions. They seem to be everywhere!

Mimi Jackson said...

Beautiful work - Creative Smocking, a book by by Chris Rankin, has lovely instructions on page 61. It seems you have figured it out on your own, but there are quality detailed instructions with pictures on the page. I love that book! (No affiliation)

mightynancy said...

Emilee, ask and ye shall receive:

Click on "how to" at the bottom of the page for lots of other great illustrated instructions, including the buillon rose. :)

annaid said...

My daughter sent me the link to your blog a couple of days ago - and I have read it all - from start to finish! Love it! So many ideas - so little time to sew!
I just got a pleater recently, so am learning how to use it - you have encouraged me. The last time I did any smocking was around 20 years ago - using those little dots to pleat - can't wait until my pleater and I are better acquainted. I have 3 grandaughters to sew for - and their moms love to put them in dresses - and dresses made by Grammie are always the best! :)
Keep on blogging - I look forward to reading more.

Supermom said...

she does gorgeous bullion embroidery on her smocking