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Bishop neckline

 
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Bishop neckline - 5/26/2011 3:21:27 PM   
gaylefranklin

 

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I am making my first Bishop and wondered about the neckline measurement. I am starting with a doll dress before I make the toddler dress, to avoid any disasters if possible. The instructions are to use a circle with a 5" circumference for the doll dress neckline blocking. This is larger than the circle provided on the lace shaping board for a newborn neckline. So, I am wondering what to do, that is, should I follow the instructions or smock the neckline first and then block according to the doll measurements? I am a novice at this, and will appreciate any advice. TIA
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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/26/2011 3:38:58 PM   
lindseyslaceheirloom

 

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Hi Gayle,  I would think a doll size dress would be a lot more difficult to learn on than a larger size but since you have started that project, I will address your problem as best I can.  To tell the truth,  I don't use a blocking guide at all.  I think bishop patterns are designed for the pleats to be drawn up snug enough to smock comfortably and will fit the neck band designed for the size you have pleated up.  After putting the pleating threads in,  fan the bishop out into a circular configuration and draw the threads up with the top two very snug and the other ones will of course be longer and looser.  I always tie off the top two together and leave them plenty long as they will not be removed until after the neckband has been stitched on.  I release the number 2 thread by clipping close to the knot and removing it after the smocking is completed but leave the longish top thread and use it to draw up (or let out, which never happens with me) the pleats to fit the neckband.  It really doesn't matter to the nth degree how tight or lose you tie off,  it HAS to be drawn up at construction to fit the neckband.  Was this helpful??  I hope so.

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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/26/2011 4:18:20 PM   
gaylefranklin

 

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This is very clear, and, you are probably right, it would be better to do the toddler dress first. I have it cut out, too, and will get it pleated tomorrow. I guess my thoughts were that if I messed up the doll dress, it would be a good learning experience for me--I tend to make some pretty impressive mistakes, lol. Other than a basic smocking class, I am pretty much self taught, so I rely a great deal on this forum and books and dvd's. Thank you for your help; it does make perfect sense!

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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/26/2011 11:02:28 PM   
Cat

 

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Hi Ladies,

I am going to be self-teaching myself also, I appreciate any and all information supplied. I will re-read this tomorrow when I am not so tired.

Thank you, Cat

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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/27/2011 10:41:29 AM   
nanax12


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I love Ellen McCarn's Smock-n-Block! It has the basic necklines on it and it hasn't failed me yet! I haven't had any turtle neck action since using this. Kathy

< Message edited by nanax12 -- 5/27/2011 10:43:10 AM >


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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/27/2011 3:14:19 PM   
maggieb!

 

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Gayle, I posted a reply to your email on my blog.

to block or not to block

Really, there is nothing complicated about smocking and constructing a bishop! The pleats of the neckline are like water. If you pour water in a glass, the water takes the shape of the glass. The glass limits the area the water can travel.

The pleats of a bishop will move until contained. Sewing the bias band on the bishop is like the glass container. The straight line of sewing stops the pleats from moving.

The bias band you are adding has the nature to curve and shape, right? It is just the nature of a bias to take a shape, that is why we use it rather than a straight of grain piece.

The combination of a lot of fabric (pleats) being contained by a straight line of sewing (and really we sew more than one straight line) and the bias band are what gives the neckline the curve. You just have to trust the pleats and bias to do their job!

Honestly, the extra steps of blocking and extending your smocking stitches is unnecessary. Sometimes I think people jump on a bandwagon (blocking guide) just to do it like someone else because they think that person is doing it the 'right' way. There is no 'right' way, just different ways.

maggieb!




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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/27/2011 6:15:13 PM   
gaylefranklin

 

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Thanks, Maggie. What you are saying makes complete sense, and it would seem to be easier to pleat the fabric, tie off in a straight formation, smock and then shape. It is very confusing when researching how to do something to choose the "best" way, which, in the end, is simply what is most sensible and comfortable for the person doing the work. Now, my next question is about actually smocking the design. I am a lefty and start from the right side and work to the left. But, I have only done simple smocking designs that appear pretty much centered when I am done. However, for this particular project, where should the smocking begin, from the middle out, or from side to side?

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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/27/2011 9:07:07 PM   
maggieb!

 

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I would start with a reaaaallllyyyy llloooonnggg piece of floss, about 40" or so. Start smocking on the center front 2 pleats with half of the floss (shown in the directions in the link above) smock one way, return to the center and smock the other direction.

NOTE: Choose the part of the design that defines it. This may be the middle Rows or even a lower Row. Smock just the front section with a couple of passes to 'set the design'. On the one I just finished smocking, I found I had made a mistake. Yep, it is true! But it was easy to correct before getting to far along. In other words, don't start on the First Row.

You can do this! Once you do it you are going to be surprised at how easy it was.

maggieb!

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RE: Bishop neckline - 5/28/2011 12:06:03 PM   
gaylefranklin

 

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Maggie, I have been to your website and downloaded most of your incredibly clear instructions. Thank you so very much for all of your hard work. I did get the dress pleated yesterday afternoon, and I hope to start smocking, following your instructions before the week-end is over. I have not smocked from the center out previously. I am a left-handed smocker, but the photos and instructions you have provided have given me the confidence I need to plunge in

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RE: Bishop neckline - 6/4/2011 12:12:13 PM   
gaylefranklin

 

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OMG, Maggie!!!!! You are a genius:)! I completed the doll dress sample, using your method and it was sooooo easy and turned out beautifully! I will admit that when adding the bias strip for the neckline I did bobble a little, but this was a learning project and, even though it was my very first bishop, start to finish, I am so confident that I will be able to create a child-size dress now---in fact, the 18 month size is pleated and ready to smock. Thank You Very Much.

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Post #: 10
RE: Bishop neckline - 6/5/2011 7:42:43 PM   
maggieb!

 

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Welcome to our world, MissGayle! Welcome!
maggieb!

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RE: Bishop neckline - 6/5/2011 8:44:34 PM   
nanax12


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MS Maggie, when you smock straight on a bishop,do you block it after finishing the smocking? I was wondering, it is a little aggravating to keep that smocking from pulling to tight after it's been blocked. Kathy

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RE: Bishop neckline - 6/6/2011 8:32:46 AM   
maggieb!

 

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Kathy, if you smock a bishop using the 'rules' (as mentioned in the link to my blog above) for straight smocking, you NEVER need to block. It is the nature of smocking to stretch to fit. Remember it is the UNUSED portion of the pleat stretching, NOT the stitches. It may look like it is going to turtleneck when you first pull out the gathering threads. But once you put it on a child the smocking stretches to take the shape of the child.
StephanieH's blog
In the above link you will see pictures of bishops on real children. None have been blocked. (Not to mention one of the best posts about children and clothing and behavior.)

Think of the smocking like you would elastic. The elastic waist band looks pulled up after washing. But once you put those pants on, the elastic takes the shape of the waist. Now imagine those same pants on skinny minny, the elastic only stretches a little compared to when tummy girl puts them on. The same for smocking. It is going to take the shape of the shoulders of the wearer.

maggieb!



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Post #: 13
RE: Bishop neckline - 6/6/2011 1:52:43 PM   
nanax12


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One more question Ms Maggie and I THINK I get it! Do you measure the bias length according to standard child sizes? Is this a clear question? Kathy

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RE: Bishop neckline - 6/6/2011 2:16:13 PM   
maggieb!

 

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Kathy, the FINISHED neck size is different than the length of the bias.
From my blog to show the math on how to figure out the bias size compared to the finished neck size.

maggieb!

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Post #: 15
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