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Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Abigail Smocked Dress

Another smocked dress! This dress has a more flirtatious feel then the 'Ashley' dress with an added ruffle at the bottom. As mentioned in the directions of the 'Ashley' dress, these dresses can be any length. Ruffles are a great way to add length and a little flare.
Follow steps 1-10 on 'Ashley' dress. To make a ruffle, measure fabric double width of the hem. Sew two pieces together if you have to, and hem one edge. Baste along undone edge. Gently pull thread to gather ruffle. Once ruffle has been gathered, pin to dress. Sew ruffle onto the dress and continue with steps 12-14. Voila, you have a new dress!

Personalized Cards

Old magazines make for great Sunday projects, like making personalized cards for any occasion. I started making collages out of old magazines in my early twenties. Since then I have created some incredible pieces of art that bring a smile to any face.
All you need is some old magazines, scissors, glue stick, card stock, and you can make a card for any occasion.

The Ashley Smocked Dress

It's been awhile since I last posted anything. My poor blog has been neglected and I can't even say I have an excuse. So What have I been up to? Sewing of course!
After reading an article on smocking, I couldn't resist trying it for myself. The technique is simple, and no, you don't need a special sewing machine to do it.
When my best friends birthday was just around the corner, and a baby girl on the way, I thought surely she needed something cute and comfortable to wear. Needless to say this is were this dress got it's name, the Ashley dress. This style is very versatile as a cool and comfortable summer dress. Pair it with a bright color cardigan and some fun jewelry for a fresh summer look.

All you need is about a 1 1/2 yards of light weight cotton fabric, elastic thread, and contrasting all-purpose thread.

1. Make sure to pre-wash all fabrics to avoid shrinkage.
2. Wind a bobbin with elastic thread.
3. Thread machine using contrasting all-purpose thread.
4. With right side up, sew along salvage (the long side) in a straight line. Use the edge of the foot as your guide.
5. Repeat step 4 until you have 15 lines.
6. Lay fabric out and press smocking with a hot iron. Fabric will gather and shrink.
7. With right sides together, fold in half.
8. Pin along the edges allowing a 3/8th seam allowance.
9. Try on dress and adjust as needed, cutting off excess as necessary.
10. Measure for length. Cut to desired length allowing for 3/8 seam allowance. (For a longer dress, you may need to add fabric, like a ruffle. See the 'Abigail' dress)
11. Hem bottom of dress.
12. With right sides together, sew up the dress.
13. Finish seam with a zig-zag stitch and cut off excess.
14. Turn right side out and it's ready to wear!