Happy new year! Did everyone have a relaxing time over the Christmas and New Year break? I spent most of my 11 days off away from home visiting family, which was lovely of course, but I missed my sewing machine like crazy. It's been a while since I went that long without at least a few hours of sewing time!
Thankfully the last few days of the holiday were spent back at home, and I managed to make up a little of the lost crafting time then. Before the break I'd started work on a smocked cushion for Jen's birthday present, so, along with working on a new skirt (to come!), I completed that. And here it is:
The cushion was made following this Four Square Walls tutorial, and let me tell you, I think this is the best craft tutorial I have ever read. There's no point in me giving you a detailed 'this is how I did it', because I couldn't better Andrea's instructions. She has such a fantastic way of explaining things; she gives you just the right amount of guidance - not so much that you feeling like you're being talked down to, but not so little that you're constantly second-guessing yourself. And she speaks in plain English. Seriously, Vogue need to employ her to write their pattern instructions! Not to mention that the design is so clever - I'm hugely impressed that Andrea came up with it herself.
But enough gushing!
I chose a purpley-pink suedette for my fabric. The bulk of the construction, marking out the many dots and lines and then hand-smocking the fabric, was done over 3 or 4 evenings in front of the TV. And then the gathering of the pleats around the cushion form was done in another hour or two.
I'd never tried smocking before, but was amazed at how simple it is.
Once you know what you're doing the procedure is so straightforward but
it gives the appearance of something much more complex. It also felt
quite mathematical to me: stitch from here to there, then a space = one
'smock' (is that the right term? Probably not).