I bought my first issue of Sew Beautiful magazine the year before I became pregnant with my eldest child. I flipped though it slowly and carefully, in awe of all of the things I could never sew and promptly forgot all about it.
Twelve years later, I've finally bitten the bullet and started subscribing to a magazine that has become far more important to my sewing journey than I assumed all those years ago. I'm also proud to say that I can manage about half of the designs featured in those inspiring pages. So when I was looking for some Christmas ideas, it was only natural that I started thumbing through the pile of SB issues I keep nearby.
Isn't this pretty? It was designed and sewn by Janet Gilbert using the Pascale, a Sew Beautiful pattern that was released in issue #80 back in 2002. The silk reminded me of the green taffeta I bought from Joann's on Black Friday a few years ago. Mine is polyester but it was a good price and I was feeling brave. I decided that if I could find some decent embroidered ribbon, I'd give it a go.
I was pretty amazed to find Joann's had exactly what I was looking for. Usually, their ribbon selection is a wee bit lacking but I keep coming back because you never know what kind of magic you might uncover. While I was there, trusty coupon in hand, I picked up some poly organza for the underskirt. Because my ribbon looks markedly different from
I pleated the front bodice back in September, I think, a decision that sounds good in theory but is awful when you're the mother of a preteen in the middle of a series of body changing growth spurts. Also awful, the decision to force polyester fabrics through your pleater. I only broke one needle, however, and the piece that give me the long kiss goodbye didn't launch itself in the general direction of my eye.
It was a good day.
And so, I spend the next few months in various stages of procrastination. Around Thanksgiving I decided I needed to get a jump on and backed the bodice up for a road trip. I arrived in Florida (aka God's waiting room) with a ziplock bag of embroidery thread and some time on my hands. I did not, however, arrive with the exact color of DMC floss I needed to continue. I had to go to three stores before I found #610 and then it was time to take my forever ill prepared behind home.
Did I continue smocking there?
Nope, of course not. There is a reason I call my blog hot mess, more or less. Because that's what I am, a procrastinating hot mess who more or less manages to complete projects. But I digress, a phrase that was the second runner up in the "what shall I call my blog" informal poll I took. Instead, I waited until two weeks ago, knee deep into an advent scarf to wake my behind up and get to business. Once I got to it, business was booming.
In a matter of a few days, I went from those top two rows of smocking, to a complete front skirt piece. Within a day of that, I had the ribbon stitched down to the organza yoke.
Then finally, we had a Christmas dress.
Once upon a time, I would have oohed and aahed over a dress like this but written it off as too difficult or complicated for little old me. But I'd like to think a ten year love affair with the little sewing magazine that could has been the red bull to my sewing soul.
Now it's time to focus on my Christmas dress.