Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So close

Another boring sewing entry - so the men, Debby, and Elise can save themselves the time.

I was seconds away from tossing one of my projects in the trash can earlier today. In fact, I had the scissors in my hand ready to trim away the badness and save what I could of the nice fabric.

I had bought some beautiful soft Swiss flannel a couple of years ago and since I've rediscovered smocking, I thought I would use it for this. Sorry about the lamp light. This is in a back issue of Creative Needle which unfortunately has gone out of business. I really miss that magazine.

It started out so well. It pleated nicely to be so soft (lots of starch), and I got it all cut out. But then the pattern for the smocking didn't go like I wanted it to, but that wasn't the worst. I spent 3 days on the yoke, putting it up and coming back to it and thinking about it and worrying over it. Oh, this fabric ravels terribly too, and that added to my stress.

Once I DID figure out the directions, it was a wonderful revelation, and I thought things would go well. I made my piping and that went on the back okay, but then on the front it all started to fall apart. I can't even explain all the ways I messed up, but that seam ripper was always nearby. I finally decided this morning that there was no way I was going to take a teeny little (raveling) yoke off smocking AND piping - double stitched piping. Thus the decision to throw it away.

But I stepped back and took a deep breath and took it apart anyway, and this time it went together pretty well, although I couldn't find an angle to take a picture where I didn't see a flaw.
I'm giving it a rest for a few days and working on relearning tatting to put around the neck and sleeves - to maybe pull the eye away from the other mistakes. That is, if my tatting works out better than my sewing.
Venting is over now. I thought needlework was supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable. I'm still waiting.

I love going to the blogs of people who know what they're doing, and this is one of them: Sara Norris, Ltd. In addition to the beautiful needlework, she's offering a giveaway for a pleated bonnet that she has already constructed, and you only have to smock it. I do believe I could handle that. No seams and piping and buttons and such! I have to give it a try anyway.


  1. It looks nice to me. Good luck with give away.

  2. You are being too hard on yourself. I am not sure what the flaw is that you see, but your smocking is lovely. And swiss flannel is so yummy. It does ravel. But once you have the gown together, you will love it.

  3. Barbara, you should enter too. You need another hobby!

  4. Ah, Martha. I was hoping you wouldn't look! I'm seeing those pretty things you've been doing. I hid the worst parts. I know you're right about it looking better when it's all sewn up, but I want to enjoy it more while I'm doing it.

  5. The smocking is lovely! Good for you for doing some tatting! :)

  6. Came back over to say...thanks for visiting my blog today! I love visitors and comments. I also love encouraging people to tat so keep up the good work and come by and visit any time!

    BTW, I ♥ the picture of the back of the cat's head in the car!!! Is that your profile picture? I ♥ it! :)

  7. I will be back. Everyone should visit your blog to see what "real" tatting is.

    That's our late "main cat" Lili. We had a lot of peripheral kitties through the years, but she was the main one. She was leaving NC to move to GA in this picture. Not driving because of the kitty knock-out pill she'd just taken.

  8. Well, I can tat but I've barely tried smocking and had no clue as to what I was doing so I think your project is BEAUTIFUL!!!

  9. Thanks, Gina. I think I maybe want to master every craft and therefore never get good in just one. A good hands-on teacher is worth so much for making the light come on. Tatting was (and is) hard for me, but I don't want to forget how. From the looks of the picture above (2 visible mistakes!) I need a LOT more practice.