Thursday, September 16, 2010

Emma wears Ashley Ann Design

Ashley Ann, is a smocking design plate that I designed many years ago.
However, as with all heirloom smocking, it really is Timeless. This little dress is such a sweet one that I think is fairly easy to create. I would rank the design between beginner and intermediate skill level.

The design is a good one for anyone that has never tried picture smocking. The tiny little flowers and leaves are settled in the waves of the design using the stacking technique used for creating picture smocking. The only recommendation that I would make is that you begin at the back of the bishop as your flowers will improve with practice.

The Swiss embroidered insertion dictated the colors used for the smocking. The embroidered vine with blue buds made choosing colors easy. The Delft blue and soft greens were a perfect jumping off point for creating this bishop style dress. The lace beading, Swiss embroidered insertion and lace edging were attached using heirloom machine techniques. Pick your embroidered insertion and match your floss colors for a quick start to beginning a special little dress.

Miss Emma posed sweetly.....well, at least for a very short time.

While this dress is done in Martha Pullen's white Swiss Nelona Batiste, the published design was worked using Spechler-Vogel Watercolor Blue Imperial Broadcloth. The colors of white, blue, pink and green were chosen to create a design that was....

"All Girl"
....just as Ashley Ann was.
The design was also used on a dress stitched in an almost monochromatic colorway on Spechler-Vogel Peach Imperial Broadcloth.

As with so many smocking projects, I think choosing colors is probably the most difficult. The first "draft" of this design was done in multi-colors. After finishing the design on pink broadcloth, it reminded me more of colors you might find in an Easter Basket. Cute, but not what I had intended. I wanted a design that was soft and I changed the colorway to white, blue, pink and green.

Ashley Ann is a real little girl that grew up. A few years ago she graduated from the University of Florida with a Master's Degree in International Business. How fast the years pass!!! How to name a design is always a challenge because there are so many designs and yet you always want a name that everyone can remember. In an effort to have designs that were memorable, I began naming them after children of my friends. It guarantees that I think of them often.

Happy Smocking,
Almost forgot to mention that ...
Ashley Ann Design Plate...
is available through retail shops.