I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As we move ahead in the holiday season I know many of you are thinking more about your Christmas projects. This scarlet dupioni Christmas dress with black detailing features a narrow silk skirt band, beaded smocking and piping at the neckline and sleeves. Isn’t it gorgeous? It was made by Helen Lively using Laura Jenkins Thompson’s Pascale pattern, which we have used to make so many beautiful holiday dresses over the years. Below you’ll find Helen’s beaded geometric Scarlet Holiday smocking graph you can use on a design of your choosing, as well as the smocking instructions and supply list for making the dress as shown here:
• Pascale pattern
• Scarlet Holiday smocking graph (below)
• 3 yards black cherry 54-inch silk dupioni
• 1 yard black silk dupioni (for belt, buttons and piping) or use ribbon
• 2 yards piping cord
• One package black Mill Hill Seed Beads
• One package black Mill Hill Bugle Beads-medium (about fifty)
• Iron-safe, sew-in snaps (to secure belt; not needed for a ribbon sash)
• Four Dritz size 20 buttons to cover (approx. 1/2 inch)
• 1/4 yard interfacing: Silk organza, Sew-In Floriani or similar Roxanne’s Glue-Baste-It
• DMC Six Strand Embroidery Floss – black #310
• 60 wt cotton sewing thread – black, red
• Black C&C Poly/cotton hand quilting thread (for pleating and beaded sash carriers)
• #8 milliner’s or #10 beading needle (for beads)
• #7 darner or #6 crewel (for smocking)
• #8 sharps or #8 between (for hem and hand stitching)
• Serge or zigzag raw edges of silk to prevent fraying.
• Pleat nineteen full-space rows across full width of fabric beginning 3/8 inch from cut edge. Rows 1 and 19 are holding rows and are not shown on graph.
1. Backsmock Rows 1, 2, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 with cable stitch.
2. Beginning on Row 3, down cable one, stitch a four-step trellis up to Row 2, up cable, four-step trellis down to Row 3, down cable. Continue across row.
3. At Row 4, work a mirror image, with cable stitches meeting at Row 3, forming a diamond. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until down trellis reaches Row 12.
4. At Row 17, stitch four-step trellis up to Row 16, up cable, four-step trellis down to Row 17, down cable. Mirror image stitching from Row 17 to 18; cable stitches meet, forming a diamond.
5. Work twenty-two five-bead flowers according to placement on smocking graph.
Beaded Sash Carriers:
1. Thread milliner’s or beading needle with hand quilting thread, double and knot. Locate and mark placement of sash carriers with a pin.
2. To secure carrier, begin at Row 16, and from back, take two stitches through pleat formed from valley on front. Emerge in front valley under cable stitch in peak of diamond. Feed eight medium bugle beads onto doubled quilting thread, then sink needle under bottom peak of corresponding diamond on Row 12. Take two small stitches on back to secure.
3. Re-emerge with needle and pass needle and thread back through beads a second time. Sink needle in diamond in previous entrance on Row 16. Take another small stitch on back, tie-off and clip. Repeat procedure for remaining thread carriers.
Be sure to shop our Black Friday Sale happening in our online store! You can save an additional 50% off nearly everything in the shop through Monday, Nov. 28th.
Would you like to become a licensed Martha Pullen sewing teacher? We are bringing back our popular online licensing course, Teaching Sewing: A Beginner’s Course, beginning Dec. 29. This course curriculum includes more than 30 exclusive projects that are ideal for teaching new sewists how to sew. Please note — Beginning Sewing: A Teacher’s Course was originally offered as Teaching Beginning Sewing II, both online and as a popular in-person licensing retreat. Only the title has been changed — the full curriculum and all video lessons are included in this newly titled licensing course.
Much Love to You All & May God Bless,