Nov 26, 2023

Heirloom sewing


I'm doing some secret sewing.  I'm making some English smocked dresses for some of my grand daughters. It's very slow going though, so I'm not sure if I'll have them done in time for Christmas ­čśČ I'm going to do the best that I can! 

Setting the pleater up was a big deal, because I haven't done it in 8 or more years! I put my quilting thread in this container from Target that I use for storage. I threaded each thread through a hole and then threaded the pleater. The needles in the pleater have a bend in them so that they will go around the rod.

It took me so long to thread all 16 needles.  Then I realized that I only needed 15, so I just didn't thread the last one.  During the pleating, one of my needles broke.  I had to unscrew the rod, take out all the needles and start over again. The second time worked, thank goodness! It took me a whole afternoon though. I have my pleater propped on the chevron tin so the needles don't fall out as I'm threading them.

Success! I did a wheat stitch at the top, and had a really pretty peach thread for the second row.  I had to unstitch it because it didn't show up at all.  Now I'm using yellow which is my grand daughter's favorite color anyway :)

Here are the pleating threads, I tie them together taught against the fabric, two at a time. Then I take them all and tie them together loosely.  If I need to untie them, it's not too difficult as the quilting thread is a little stiff and waxy.

I'm using this pattern, but will have two extra rows because I'm making a size 10 and it requires 13 smocked rows.

In the empty space in the middle, I will have all these embroidered bullion roses. 

I haven't made a dress for my grand daughter Isabel yet, she's 8 years old.  She was telling her mother that she really wants me to make her a dress because she only has her blessing dress that I made for her, and she really wants to have another dress for her own daughter in years to come.  Isn't that adorable?  Yes Isabel, I'll make you a thousand dresses!!! ­čśé

I love it when they appreciate what I make for them ­čĺŚ It fills my journey with joy.

See you next week!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow, Cynthia!! I didn't realize all the work involved in smocking a dress. I remember years ago, our doctor's nurse loved smocking and would show us some of her work, but never did I ever realize the time and patience involved with this. You are truly the best, to do this for your granddaughter - it already looks so beautiful!