A special dress

I have been smocking for many years, but never smocked a bishop neckline dress, or smocked with beads or pleated a layer of lace and fabric together. In the past I have used beads but always by sewing it on after completing the smocking. But I have never pleated lace. and I have always been scared to try a bishop neckline dress

Yesterday was the day to try all of the above 🙂 I never thought pleating lace and fabric together would be soooooo hard. The first time I replaced the pleater needles with new ones, and started feeding it through the pleater. The fabric bunched up and got stuck in the pleater. Try no 2: new needles, lace and fabric feeding smoothly……..and then the lace moved and went in all directions. Try 3: sat down for a couple of hours and hand basted the lace and fabric together with about 6 rows. New needles, rolled up carefully, feeded slowly…………and it worked!!!!!!!!

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Started the smocking last night and decided to add beads. These beads are pretty special. Just over 50 years ago my mum made my sister’s wedding dress. I remember her hand sewing for hours as she added the beads and sequins to the dress. It was stunning. These beads are some of the leftovers from my sister’s wedding dress! Mum kept it in a little bottle, with the sequins After she died I saw the little bottle of beads with her sewing stuff and took it. In hindsight I should have given it to my sister, but she wasn’t doing much sewing or hand stitching at that time. When I started smocking last night I remembered the beads and decided to incorporate it in the smocking

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It doesn’t look like much yet, but I am making good progress with the smocking

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