Thank you Alexandra, Robin, Ann and Shannon for your lovely comments about the smocked nightie, and thank you Robin for sending the blog award. I feel popular! and will post about that later as I will need to think about the criteria for acceptance.
The nightie project was very good for my smocking mojo - as was teaching my friend, she was so enthusiastic. I did no sewing this weekend, as we went camping at beautiful Bargara, but I took along a small smocking project, most of which I worked on whilst sitting on the beach.
I have a sad story about this project. I actually started it over 10 years ago. The project is a little jacket with smocked insert pockets. I bought the fabric, from my then exceedingly tight budget, and finished the lamb smocking on the left, then showed it to my husband. He took one look at the boy modeling the jacket in Australian Stitches and Embroidery, and said with a look of horror "Are you making H a BOY'S jacket????" I claimed that the lamb was very girlish, but he still thought I should make a pretty dress for our 3 year old daughter instead, so into a drawer went the lamb, and all my fabric for this project.
At the beginning of winter this year, I uncovered this lamb, with the magazine and my untouched fabric, and showed it to my son. He liked the picture of the jacket, except for the lamb. The lamb, according to him, was for girls, and besides, it was the wrong size next to the rooster. He was right. Here is the lamb, 10 years old, next to the rooster I smocked a few weeks ago.
Here is the rooster next to a hen of my own design that I smocked this weekend. I think my smocking has improved in the last 10 years.
I don't do much picture smocking, as I much prefer geometric, but I really enjoyed smocking this hen. I think it was smocking from a picture in my imagination instead of following a chart. There was a fair amount of unpicking, but I liked seeing how she turned out as I went along. I am planning to enter the jacket in the children's sewing competition at pattern review, as the only part I actually cut out or started before September 1 this year is the lamb, which I am not including in the jacket. Now that I have finally finished the smocking, the jacket should be fairly quick to make, just as well, as the contest closes at the end of the month.