Monday, December 28, 2009

Sew Beautiful 128

Just a quick post because I am waiting for our county animal control to show up. Someone dumped two puppies on our farm this morning. They are about 3 months old. One is a german shepard and the other is a white lab mix.

I have them pinned up in the chicken house right now. Chickens are outside.

Everyone has their nose out of joint. Old dogs, horse, chickens and daughter. The 3 cats could care less.

Back to the subject of this post....... The New Sew Beautiful #128 should be arriving in your mailbox and in the store very soon.

This issue is the Ribbon Issue. The whole issue is gorgeous!

Helen Lively has a flower girl dress with woven ribbons. Cindy of "Cindy & Company" has a jacket in a multitude of sizes in this issue. Pattern in included in the center fold. And Sarah Norris has a most beautiful bonnet that is just exquisite.

I know I am leaving someone out.

This is issue that I will keep close at hand as a reference manual and inspiration.

In this issue I have a smocked dress with 3 ribbons.

When you think of my dress think of all the possibilities. The ribbons can be done in any size and in any color. Think about ribbons in 3 Easter colors or the colors of a wedding. The ribbons could be three shades of pink or green or even college color or shade of Autumn.

Because the dress is a Pascale, you can make it sleeveless, with cap sleeves, long sleeves or with a bolero jacket. The skys the limit.

Just an FYI- Please note the name change on the blog. The URL is the same. ~janet

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I wish you all a happy and safe Holiday Season.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

75 Wedding Anniversary

Today would have been my Grandparent's 75th Wedding anniversary.

This is a picture of them and my mother (wearing a smocked dress) about 4 years later.

I have always loved the story of their wedding. It is much better then mine.

So here is their story.......

The date is Christmas Eve 1934.

No one knew they were planning to get married except for them (of course) and the preacher.

They attended Christmas Eve services with all their friends and family in their little country church, north of Ft Worth, Texas.

Back then very few people had automobiles. My Granddad had volunteered to drive the preacher and his family home. No one gave it a second thought that my Grandmother went with them. :-)

After they arrived at the preacher's house, they had to wait till the children were put to bed and the preacher found his "wedding book".

Close to midnight, they exchanged wedding vows in the preacher's living room in front of the fire.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Can You Picture it? Part 4 - Half Stitches

Ready for Half Stitches?

When I was teaching myself to Picture Smock these things drove me crazy. I had read several instructions on Picture Smocking and the subject of half stitches just left me confused.

After much practice this is what works for me.....

When I have a smocking row that has a half stitch on either end of the row, the Half stitch is going to be the very first stitch and the very last stitch.

  1. I am going to start off as usual. I have a large eyed needle. My threads have been stripped and I have ran them through a piece of wool.

  • My knot has been secured to the back of a pleat.

  • I am going to bring my needle up in the bottom of a valley.

  • One thing different that you may notice is when I bring my needle over through the left pleat (right pleat if I was left handed) is the needle position is slightly higher.

Remember when you have always been told that the needle must be kept straight when you are Picture Smocking? Well, here is the exception.

  • Because my half stitch is only covering one pleat I need to place it exactly where I want.

Here is a close up to better explain what I am doing.
  • My threads are to the bottom (remember I smock with my fabric sideways).

  • My needle is going to enter the pleat exactly vertical to where my threads exited the pleat before.

  • Then my needle is going to exit the pleat at a 45 degree angle, right beside the previous threads. I am also making sure the needle is exiting at the same depth as the previous stitch.

Walla! A half stitch! :-)

Now, If I only had to do one half stitch, life would be too easy! :-) I have another half stitch at the end of my row.

  • After my first half stitch, I am going to stitch 9 more cable stitches.

  • On my ninth cable stitch I am going to repeat the process and stitch a half stitch but this time in reverse. My Half Stitch will be the last stitch.

  • My ninth cable is going to enter the pleat exactly vertical as the previous stitches, but it is going to exit the pleat at a 45 degree angle.

When I am stitching my last half stitch I am also stitching my last stitch of the row. I am going to stitch this exactly as I would a regular cable as described in the previous lessons.

  • My needle is going to enter the fabric vertically then I am going to push down on the end of the needle slightly twisting the pleat and pull my needle through.

  • If this really doesn't work for you then try bringing the needle at a 45 degree angle.

Now lets get more complicated and stack the the half cables!

  • I have turned my fabric over so that I am smocking away from me. If I was left handed I would be smocking towards me.

  • My needle and thread are on top just to the right of the first row.

  • With my needle straight up and down, I am going to go through the first pleat just to the right of the previous first stitch.

  • I am not going to reuse any of the previous needle holes to do this. This would weaken the support of your half stitch.

  • With my needle and thread through the pleat I am going to repeat the process of the first half pleat.

  • My needle is going to enter the pleat vertical then exit the pleat at a 45 degree angle.

  • I then stitch 9 more cable stitched.

I am going to finish the row the same way. My half stitch cable is going to be the last stitch.

  • I have stitched the ninth cable.

  • I entered the fabric with my needle vertical and have exited the fabric at a 45 degree angle.

  • This time because I am stitching my cable stitch on the inside and my next cable row is below I am exiting the fabric at a 45 degree angle.

And I am done.

To be continued.......... Next tutorial- Increasing and decreasing cables.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Can You Picture It? Part 3

So far we have gone over Fabric, Pleats, Needles, Threads, and the Perfect Cable Stitch. Now, lets put it all together start stacking.

I left off after I had completed the first cable row also known as the base row. I am going to stitch another cable row on top of this one. But first lets look at some things.

Picture Smocking is like an On-Line Dating service. Everybody has a match! :-)

  • When I stitch my second row, each cable is going to match up with a cable from the previous row.

  • If you need more visual help. Dig out your child's Legos and practice stacking.

One more thing .........Lets talk about spacing of the second row.

  • My Base Cable Row is about 1/8" wide. The imaginary center line that I was following for my cable row is in the middle of this about 1/16". When I start my second row, I need to take in account the width of my cable row.

  • If I start my second row with my needle against the previous row then my cables are going to be smashed together and lumpy.

  • Instead I am going to bring my needle out about 1/16" over. I do not actually measure the distance, I just sort of eye ball it.

  • When I bring my needle out to take my first stitch I am also double checking that my depth of the needle is the same as the previous row.

  • Here I am taking my first stitch on the second row. My needle is straight up and down. My floss is separated and resembles a ribbon.

  • Two stitches done.

  • Eight stitches done. I sometimes use the side of my needle to gently tap the cable row into place. This is not a substitute for a bad cable.

  • My last stitch is the same as I had talked about before. The needle is going into the fabric straight. Then the needle eye is pushed to the side, twisting the pleat.

And I am finished. Well actually I really don't like the 3rd cable on the top row (left side). Most likely I would pull out my stitches and redo it.

To be continued........Next up Half Stitches.

Note: If I have not answered a question you may have on Picture Smocking, please let me know and I will try to address it. ~Janet