Thursday, 5 July 2012

Thrift Shop Finds!

 My dear friend, Nicole, is excellent at finding thrift shop bargains, I have seen her sniff out many things, including a gorgeous antique bassinet.

Her first grandchild is going to be born in August, and it is a girl, so the antenna are out! She had a weekend in the cotswolds. and nearly fainted when she came across a whole rack of  little girls smocked dresses. They are like new. What a find! 
I was amazed when I saw them, they are lovely quality, and have some unusual details, like zips in the back of the smocking, and false collars, and lining completely gathered and attached to the whole dress. I have taken some pictures, which really do not do them justice, but anyway I thought I would share some of them with you all.


Don't They Look Pretty!

The back of this dress has a zipper which is almost invisible when closed. The collar is detachable. They have been made in Paris, but with Liberty Print! Can you see how the lining has been integrated completely with the dress?                                                                  

The detachable collar, the lace has been embroidered over the top.
This one is my favourite!

Embroidered cuff.

 Maybe that has inspired some of you to go and scour your local thrift shop.....NOW!!!!!!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Smocked Suits For Baby Mark

I have had a very busy week, I have been to The Polo, and two days racing at Royal Ascot. I have seen The Queen three times in one week!!!!!! I have also seen Prince Charles, and because of The Diamond Jubilee there have been a lot of documentaries on TV with him as a baby wearing his traditional smocked suits! I just love them and thought I had better hurry up and finish off the two I have been making for baby Mark so I could share them here on my blog!

 Both have been made from my fabric stash......I knew it would come in handy one day!!!

The first is a little pale blue and white, with lemon accents on the smocking. I found the smocking pattern in an old AS&E magazine.....I really am going to miss that magazine. The shirt and little button on shorts are my own pattern. I love the neat tailored look of the front of the shorts, and the romper effect with the elastic at the back.

Front View
Rear View
Close Up Of Smocking

In the second suit I have picked out the colours of the printed pique material the shorts are made of, and designed some picture smocking boats.

 I think that boats are one of the easiest picture smocking plates to design, however trying to copy the curved sail printed on the shorts proved to be a little more tricky......hence a waste paper basket full of graph paper covered in boat sails.

 I am pretty pleased with the final results.

The finished suit.
In's not easy setting in those tiny sleeves!!!
Those tricky sails!

Photographing these things is pretty tricky......the flash is not very forgiving!!!!!.....and where is the best place to photograph them????, any tips would be greatly appreciated!

I have not given them to Victoria yet, but I know she will be thrilled, and hopefully they will be handed down through generations.

If anyone out there would like to make a traditional smocked boys suit, two different patterns of mine have been published in Australian Smocking & Embroidery, issue 98. Check it out, and give it a go......and I would love to see pictures of anything you make.
Happy Smocking xxx 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Baby Marks Smocked Silk Moses Basket

Victoria has had her third boy! Baby Mark was 8lb 2oz, and is absolutely adorable. Here are some pictures of the moses basket I have made for him.
 The smocked band took me around 100 hours to make alone! It uses 10 metres of fabric, which after pleating had to be flattened out completely to hem. I now had to figure  out how I was going to attach it to the basket. I first considered velcro, then I decided self covered buttons would look more attractive. So I took a deep breath, hoped my machine would not start playing up, and made all the buttonholes!!!! Phew, it worked!
 After covering the basket, I thought a smocked ball would look pretty pinned to the hood. Have never made one of those before, so spent an afternoon figuring it out.
 I then made a matching little blanket in doctors flannel, backed with leftover silk. There is nothing practical about this basket!!!

 A little embroidered silk pillow completes the basket!