Monday, February 20, 2017

Rainy Days & Mondays

Rainy Days and Mondays.......
  mean it's time to stay home and smock!

100% chance of rain. Perhaps there will be thunderstorms. The weather predictions were enough to keep most of us home today. And inside.....unlike this smocked cutie. This is the work of Claire Meldrum. Claire isn't a member of MOS, but her darling dress brightened this deary day, so it was definitely worth sharing. She used Janet Gilbert's plate Rainy Days and a vintage pattern from the 1950's. Check out the details at

On this rainy day here across Houston, Texas, several MOS members are working on Trisha Smith's Peg Pocket Dress. Trisha taught a class to our group in late January using this pattern. She is a gracious, fun, and informative teacher. We had a blast (but we always have fun together, no matter what we're doing!) and learned so many construction techniques. Most of us have been sewing and smocking a very long time, so learning new techniques and tips was a wonderful bonus. We'll be bringing our finished dresses to our monthly meeting in April to see who's finished. How fun it will be to have a room full of these dresses in all different colors and prints!

Here's one of them in progress:
Yep, not any further along in the process than when the class ended last month. Hopefully, something will get accomplished on this lazy, rainy day. Won't this be precious when it's finished? It speaks of Spring and warmer, clearer days when little girls will once again be running around, twirling their dresses. For now, it brings focus to a day that could drag by without much accomplished. So for now, it's back to the sewing machine.

Keep smocking and creating, but most of all, keep smiling! Life's too short to spend it with a frown (even on a rainy, dreary day)!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Sachet

Looking for a quick Valentine's project? How about this counterchange heart plate? It makes a sweet little sachet, or it fits nicely on a styrofoam ball for an ornament. It's easy to start and easy to finish. 

This pattern is just one project in "A Circle of Friends: The Project Notebook of the Smocking Arts Guild of America," which was presented to attendees at the 1994 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The Yankee Chapter from Rhode Island contributed it to the notebook, and it smocks up nicely. (Sample in photo is not blocked.)

Counterchange Heart Sachet
Yankee Chapter of SAGA, Rhode Island

Materials Required:
     Ribbon Floss or Ribbon Thread 
     Beeswax to prevent stitches from slipping (not used in above sample)
     Size 6 or 7 embroidery or quilting needle
     7"x15" piece of Polished Apple Cotton 3/8" gingham check  
     10" piece of 1/8" ribbon to match for tie

1. Counterchange the design included (below) for gingham fabric two times.
2. The counterchange design forms two large hearts (one for the front and one for the back), two borders and a casing.
3. After the smocking has been completed, fold the fabric with the right sides together and line up the stripes or checks by holding the fabric up to the light.
4. Stitch along the side and straight across the bottom following the lines of the fabric. Trim seam and turn right side out.
5. Starting at the center front of the top row of smocking, thread the ribbon through the vertical stitches that form a casing. Pull up and tie a bow.
6. You finished! This little sachet is now ready for potpourri or candy or jewelry or anything else you like.

Share your Valentine Day projects with us!!

New SAGA Smock-A-Long

Ever wonder how to smock a scalloped shape?

Join your smocking sisters and learn (or perfect) the Curved Line Technique. Evelyn Philip, a long-time teacher of SAGA correspondence courses, has given SAGA permission to offer her course, A Study in the Curved Line Technique, online to SAGA members. To participate, you must register for the course.

Your first lesson will be emailed to you on March 1. You will receive an additional lesson weekly for a total of three lessons. To participate, you must be registered by March 15. Artisan points can be earned for finishing this class. To receive the points, you must have finished the course and sent your picture to facilitator Jann Young by April 30. 

For more info or to register for the Smock-A-Long, go to SAGA's website,, or check out the SAGA Facebook group page.