Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Problem Solving

I blogged over the weekend about this light blue dress smocked on Imperial batiste:

For me, making decisons after smocking is the hardest.  I don't want my dresses to look just like everyone else's dresses, but that also creates the dilemma of what to do to make it look different.  I also find that my creativity is at a low after smocking and I've moved into the "let's get this thing done and outta here!" mode.  Hence, I frequently don't do a lot of embellishment to the rest of the dress...and very rarely do I make a slip! 

I've been trying to work on enjoying the process more as opposed to the get it done mode.  It's also been inspiring to see what others have done with their smocking at sewing guild meetings.  They make me feel lazy!  Anyway, moving along!

The embroidery floss colors for this dress were chosen not because I liked them, but because the store seemed to be out of every shade of blue but the one I used:(  Trying to find a chance to get to the store and make a selection is limited, so I settled.  I would've liked something in the more pastel range since this dd likes things more girly and feminine.  This blue is strong and almost teal so I chose a stronger flower color, mauve, to hold its own and not be overpowered.  But now it's time to sew the smocked dress front and add some extra touches to collar, sleeves, and hem.  sigh.  Blank--what to do?  White seemed too dainty for anything on this dress because of those dark embroidery floss colors.  I thought about just using the light blue fabric for everything--collar w/ light blue piping and some embroidery(??), sleeves again bound and piped in the light blue fabric, and zero ideas on the hem.  That style of dress looks more tailored and less feminine, which is okay but not really what I wanted to do.

So!  Today I finally had some inspiration!  Yes!  In looking through my lace drawer, I noticed a sample of entredeux (the stuff w/ holes in the picture) attached to a narrow 1/2" white lace.  It still seemed too light, but I thought I'd try weaving the blue embroidery floss through the holes and then adding some embroidered flowers.  I think it works!  Keep in mind this is merely a quickie sample, so not very neat at all!

I think the flower on the left looks better.  It is a French knot.  Quick and easy.  I thought I'd try a bullion, which is on the right, but I think it is too bulky (and definitely sloppy since I had the wrong needle!)  Anyway, I think I will trim the collar and sleeves with the entredeux and lace combo with the addition of the embroidery.  That just leaves a decision about the hem....

And, in order to accomplish a slip this time, I cut one out when I was cutting the bodice.  Maybe there's hope that it will be sewn up, too!

In case you might think all my bullions are sloppy, here's a sample I did a few years ago.  I used silk floss on that--wow.  Wish I was brave enough to use it all the time since it feels wonderful!

A small plug for wonderful husbands--mine went to the craft store for me when I was under the weather to match beads to the blue, mauve and green embroidery flosses.  That was my first though on embellishing the dress--add some beaded flowers and leaves.  I think I will save it for a future dress idea though since the bead selection was poor and the floss difficult to match. 


Slipstitches said...

Really lovely work. Whenever I do bullions, I always end up doing more than I want to on a single flower to hide a loose thread or two. Yours look flawless.

Julia said...

What a great idea to weave the floss through the entredeaux. To make French know flowers on it is even more ingenious!!! Thanks for the great ideas!