Last week was a crap week for me craft wise. I’m super frustrated with Heather Ross’s “simple” smocked dress. I cannot get it to work. I stitched 32 rows around the bodice and it didn’t smock up so I did some internet research and saw that some people recommend elongating the stitch. So after pain stakingly unpicking all 32 rows, I tried again this time stopping after four and still got nothing! It wouldn’t bother me so much except I invested all this time into it and essentailly wasted three yards of fabric… Heather I know you don’t know me but you got some explaining to do! Anyway if someone has any suggestions about what I could be doing wrong I’m open to it. Update: I suspected that Heather probably gave more instructions in her book which features a similiar project and on the Martha Stewart Show and she did you can see how she did it in the comments below. And in all fairness in various google searches I have come up with no definitive way to shirr. Some people say to increase the upper tension others say to loosen it. Some say to set the stitch to 3 others as long as 5. Some say you shouldn’t put the thread in the bobbin at all! So my best guess is that it varies by machine, my the amount of tension you put on the bobbin as you wind it, the fabric you use etc. I’m going to take another stab but this time play with a long piece of scrap fabric which is of course what I should have done in the first place.
My fabric mobile is going better but I need a third hand which I don’t have so it’s hard to hold it up and visualize how I want to hang things. It’s almost done though. The catnip toys have been scrapped, sorry! They were going to be for selling at the farmer’s market but my step mom thinks we should focus on baby stuff. I went with her to the farmer’s market she will be selling at and it makes sense. Of course I have all the fabric cut for the birds so I’m thinking about putting organic lavender instead of catnip in them and suggesting people put them in with baby clothes drawers.
The upside to this week (although not for my bank account) was finding two really cool fabric stores. One is an hour north of here and it has a decent selection of what I would call modern fabrics- Heather Bailey, Amy Butler Anna Maria Horner etc. The second is deadly tempting but luckily located 6 hours away near my Dad’s. All of the fabrics above and four or five other yards not pictured came from there. They had an amazing selection of home decorator weight fabrics as well as Prints Charming and Japanese linen blends. I could have spent much more than I did…
It’s for a “good cause” though. I purchased these fabrics to make stuff to sell. I’ve scrapped my original plan and now I’m going to make some simple soft toys, hankerchiefs, a nursing pillow (these are super simple and would have a great profit return but I’m not sure how popular they will be…), snuggly blankets, bibs, and possibly some stenciled or appliqued onesies. Oh and fabric letters but just as a test. I’m really afraid of making too much stuff and getting stuck with it. So I’m being conservative since it’s a weekly market. If things sell really well then I can make more in between. My step mom is going to make teepees to personalize and my sister has a bunch of baby quilts. Keep your fingers crossed for us! If things go well we may set up an Etsy store.