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2015 – A Brand New Year!

Now that the holidays are behind me, hopefully I can get caught up on my postings!

Being the person I am, I of course make the majority of my gifts, especially for the grandkids. One of those projects was a smocked dress for my 8-year-old granddaughter. I found a darling print with deep reds (almost burgundy), greens and blues over a light beige background. I found a beige solid (with just a hint of green) perfect for the smocking. I modified a simple to-the-waist, gathered skirt dress pattern, incorporating the smocked inset into the bodice. The embroidery thread was matched to colors in the print and used in the geometric smocking pattern.

smocked insert
smocked insert

After pleating and smocking the bodice insert, it was steamed and blocked. I accented the collar, sleeves and bodice with burgundy piping.

Smocked dress
Smocked dress

A simple dress but ~ I love the final result, and best of all, so does my granddaughter!

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” II Corinthians 5: 20

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My favorite tools

As with any activity, the tools used become a critical part of the successful completion. I thought I would talk about a couple I use on a regular basis while sewing.

Over the past few years, I have become a HUGE fan of KAI scissors. As you can see from the picture, I have quite a few. Plus duplicates! They are balanced correctly, comfortable and a pleasure to use. AND the company (located in Seattle, WA) offers a sharpening service: you mail them the scissors (4″ and larger), and for $5 +tax each, they will sharpen and mail them back.

KAI scissors
KAI scissors

Another tool I love and use alot is the Marti Michell Corner Trimmer. She demonstrated this several years ago at Sewing Expo and I was hooked immediately! It is great for joining lengths of fabric for binding, piping, fabric tubes, etc.

corner tool
corner trimmer alignment

The MOST important step of using this tool is to lay both strips of binding right sides up. I sometimes layer several strips to speed up the process but I ALWAYS remember to have them right side up!

corner tool
trimmer with corner of fabric cut off

The “corner” on the tool lines up the fabric for a nice 1/4″ seam. Lay the two pieces at right angles along the bias cut edge, right sides together, and sew.

stitching angle
stitching angle

I press the seam open so there is less “bulk” at the join. On solid or small print fabric, the join is virtually unnoticeable.

joined binding
joined binding

When joining one-way fabric, turn one strip upside down but STILL right side up. Notice the direction of the fabrics that have been trimmed off.

cutting one-way binding
cutting one-way binding

After joining, the direction on the fabric will be correct. I am not ashamed to admit it took a few tries to get this right the first time I used one-way fabric!

joined one-way binding
joined one-way binding

Let your creativity begin! And have fun 🙂

 

“For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
Prov 2:6