Sunday, 30 November 2008

Australian Smocking & Embroidery Issue 83 "Fairy Floss"

I am still unearthing UFOs. I could not think why I had not finished this romper, but when I looked back at my blog realised that I had started 4 projects in one weekend near the end of winter. This was not a good idea! Unfortunately, this meant that I missed the very small winter garment window for the niece I intended to dress in this garment. I had cut out the pattern, sewed the centre seams, and naturally, completed the bit in which I was really interested - the smocking. After this, the romper somehow drifted to the bottom of my sewing pile.

The garment in the magazine is made from cotton velour. I love velour baby clothes, but had never seen cotton stretch velour fabric for sale in Australia before it appeared at the Country Bumpkin shop in this issue. It was available in pale pink, for $19.95 per metre. I was tempted, but decided that pale pink was not a suitable colour for rompers worn by a crawling/almost walking baby, and substituted a synthetic velour, which just happened to still be in my stash after making new born clothes whilst expecting my son (now 6). He did wear purple as a newborn, but my husband felt that purple was insufficiently blokey for a male Australian baby, so I did not use the remainder of the fabric - there was only enough for a baby garment.

I enjoyed making this, but ran into a few issues. My first concern is the smocking. I have used my own smocking design, as there was only a tiny amount of smocking on the magazine garment, with most of the embellishment being ribbon and bullion roses. I now know why. The smocking does not show up well on the plush fabric, and because fibres of the plush poke up between threads, the smocking looks a bit scanty and uneven. I used 3 strands of DMC cotton, but should have used 4. I don't think I will smock on velour again, but it was an interesting experiment. My choice of lazy daisies and chain stitch was also not ideal. The bullion stitches used on the magazine garment show up much better. I should have used 3 dimensional embroidery for the flowers.
The second issue was the garment style. I do not know many immobile 12 month old babies, and this pattern has non grip feet included in all sizes, including the 12 month size I have made. I don't think this is a good idea for any standing or walking baby in anything other than pyjamas. I eliminated the feet.
The construction of this garment did not seem to take into account the knit nature of the fabric. Piping was used where it would limit the stretch inappropriately IMO. I did use it at the front bodice, but did not like the look of it, so sewed another few mm outside the seam allowance to make it very skinny and unobtrusive, then did not use it anywhere else. I also removed some of the sleeve fullness, as I felt the sleeves were too bulky. I did not include the collar, as I ran out of fabric. I hope the neck is not too wide. The romper is very large for size 12 months IMO, I hope it is not too big for the intended recipient, but I suppose she is not getting any smaller.

As the romper will not fit any of my nieces during winter, I had to look further afield for someone to wear the garment. Rashly, I offered it to a baby whose mother sews. I had not constructed the garment when I made the offer, so of course everything that could go wrong with the construction occurred. I am not going to point out the defects, but I know they will be glaringly obvious to a sewing mum. Now I want to make her something else, just to show that I can do it properly!
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1 comment:

Sew Passionista said...

Oh that is so adorable! i use to love sewing for kids when my grandchildren were smaller. Now they like all those brand names so not much point.