Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Decor, Flowers, and Bodices for Christmas Dresses

This is the extent of my fall decorating so far. I will probably do some for Thanksgiving, at least on my tables.

My father- in-law asked me to make an arrangement of silk flowers to go on his parents' graves. This is what I came up with. I thought about using fall colors, but decided to use something that would look okay all winter, if someone doesn't steal them or the wind doesn't blow them away by then.

I found this tatted basket the other day when looking through my antique stash of linens, etc... I had forgotten that I had it. I think it is gorgeous. I may use it on one of the girls' dresses that I'm making.

This is the bodice for Jenna's dress. It is taffeta that I have puckered. I stitched both horizontally and vertically on a large rectangular piece of the fabric using a long basting stitch on my machine. I then pulled the treads across and down to make the puckers. I wasn't sure how this would work, but I like the effect. I may or may not sew pearls scattered about on it. I think Jenna would like pearls so I probably will.

Emory's bodice has a piece of taffeta that I smocked. Here is a close up view of the smocking. You can see across the top that I make velvet piping at the seam where I joined it to the top of the bodice.

I'm sewing vertical tucks on velvet for Kellen's bodice and on a border around the hemline. It doesn't photograph very well, but here's the machine set up to sew the tucks. I'm using a twin needle, a tuck foot, and the little thingy that fits in the little hole in front of the foot. This thingy causes the fabric to pinch up so that when it goes through the foot the twin needles will sew on either side of it and it makes a tuck. I used to make tucks the old fashioned way where you actually fold the fabric and sew along a narrow edge, but since I discovered this method I'll never go back.

This photo shows the fabric in place to sew. I'm using the foot as a guide so that the tucks will be evenly spaced.
Look at that selvage! Many of you have been saving your selvages and making incredible things with them. I may just have to save this selvage and the one from the taffeta, too. It also has a gold tread running through it.


Christy Sews said...

I love that puckered effect. Hmm. I might have to try that. I'm also going to look for a thingy myself. Anything to make the pintuck experience easier.

sonoemi said...

Ah, I see you at my first Pfaff sewing machine ;-).
This foot for piping I bought also help, but still not tried. Good to know it is easier.

Jackie said...

The dresses are looking beautiful! I like the puckered look too and I think your granddaughter will love it!

Trudy Callan said...

I really love the puckered effect on the bodice. Question: When you did this, was it already cut out in the shape of the bodice, or did you do the effect and then lay the pattern on it? I would love to do this; it's just a little unclear to me.

Claudia said...

The dresses are going to be so beautiful. I love the wreath on your door and the flower arrangement is perfect!

I owe you an email and I promise I'll answer soon!

Gail said...

I love smocking. It is on my must learn list.

Faye Lewis said...

I heart your fall decorations! Thanks for the complement on the top. I am always in need of them.

Anonymous said...

Julia- I love the puckering! Thanks for the how to details! I need to try it. How did you figure sizing? Or did you pucker than cut the pattern pieces? This probably a stupid question! Can you tell I am confused???!!

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

You are gifted in so many ways. Your work speaks for it's self!

Goosegirl said...

Julia, the puckered taffeta is amazing! I really love the look of it! I can't wait to see the pics of the finished dress!

gwensews said...

Your flowers are beautiful, Julia. I love that puckered fabric. I have done that. There is a series of books by Jennie Rayment, one called "Tucks, Textures and Pleats"--where she does a lot of fabric manipulation.

PaisleyJade said...

Your floral arrangements are amazing... and I like your blog layout!

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