Monday, February 8, 2016

{think} Spring!

I don't know about you, but I am so over winter! By February every year, I've had enough of it and I'm just so ready for Spring to arrive! How about you?
One thing that helps me get over winter is to do a little Spring sewing. 
Here comes Peter Cottontail

I don't do custom sewing for customers too often because it takes away time I can spend doing more designing. However, I was contacted by a potential customer, who requested a special smocked bishop for her daughter's birthday. She knew exactly what she wanted, as she had seen a particular dress on a blog and had inquired about having one made from the blogger. The dress was found at Southern Matriarch and Martha created a darling ensemble for her grands. You can read all about it and follow a link to her blog by clicking on Martha's photo below! ~by the way, she has an amazing blog!
The Peter Rabbit Smocked Bishop is the dress my customer had her heart set on. I asked Martha if she minded that I make an exact copy of her dress. Lucky for my customer, she said yes! I always think that it's not only kind, but considerate to ask the original designer for permission before copying one's work. I was delighted that Martha not only referred the customer to me, but was also so very kind to allow me to copy her work.
The smocking plate for this dress was created by another sewing friend of mine, Gwen Milner. She also has an amazing blog, Smocking with Gwen and you will want to check it out! She designs some of the most darling smocking plates you'll ever see! This one was a remake of an old smocking plate she created years ago and it was re-printed in Sew Beautiful Magazine in Feb/March of 2014 (Issue 152), entitled "Peter Cottontail"
Sorry about the color - took this pic
under lamp light!
I was very happy that my customer was not in a huge hurry for this dress. I had plenty of time to work on it, which made it so much more relaxing to just work on it when I felt like it! These bunnies are just too cute and I had more fun smocking this little dress!
I had 7 Peter Cottontails to smock and that took nearly eternity some time to do, but I really enjoyed each one of them! One of my tips when working with multiple colors is to thread a different needle for each color you are smocking with. It makes it much more easy to move thru the design during stacking without having to remove the thread from the needle and rethread. Often times that just causes a tangling mess. I just pin each needle into the pleated fabric, with the threads out of the way and work with each color along the way. It makes it so easy to just pick up the color needed and have the thread in the needle and ready to go!
I referred to Martha's photos on her blog often, as she had made a few changes to the smocking design so that it would work on a bishop dress. I think Martha did a fabulous job in modifying the design and it saved me time of having to figure it out!
Putting the Bullion Carrots between the rabbits
was Martha's great idea!

My finishing touches were to add in my label - this is a must if you want repeat customers or for those who look inside a dress to see where it came from! (yes, I'm guilty of doing that!)
This dress turned out so cute and someday if I ever get blessed with a grand-daughter, I will make one for her! It's just too cute not to! 
Dress Front
Dress Back
Bullion Carrots on each sleeve
Front
Back

February is National Smocking Month and if you want to learn how to smock, I will be offering some tips and tutes right here on my blog during the month of February!

{think} Spring!!

3 comments:

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

Absolutely beautiful! I like the smocked sleeves and especially the buttons on the back. I really don't care for button loops that are so often used with bishops. Someday I may try picture smocking, I have to admit I'm terrified of it!

Claire Meldrum said...

Love the dress. Peter Rabbit just pops on that nice fresh green gingham!

Betty Sonnier said...

Do you have a tutorial in the back opening like this dress? I always make a bishop with the placket. Thanks and as always your work is beautiful and inspiring!! Betty Sonnier

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