Monday, March 29, 2010

Tatting is TOUGH!!!


I do not like to sew winter clothing.  I like sewing for spring and summer the best.  So as the trees begin to leaf out and the tulips are in full bloom, I feel the stitching bug sneaking up on me (actually more like bellowing in my ear).  Last year I made a couple little dresses for Baby Doll which included some tatting.  I had read how durable tatting was and knew that it had been used extensively in the distant past to embellish clothing.  The question for me was, could MY tatting hold up to repeated washings...  The answer, so far, is YES!




These pictures were taken today of the dress I made for Baby Doll at the end of October last year.  I posted about it here.  Baby Doll has worn it quite a bit and put it to the test with markers, crayons, messy eating habits, fingers looped in the tatting, and most recently a stroll through a muddy, wheat field.  And the tatting has held up! 

 

I hand wash this dress because the dye from the brown fabric leeches into the wash water and I don't trust it with other delicates.  Once or twice I have had to vigorously work out stains on the tatting.  I hang it to dry and haven't had to iron it once - that alone gives it a special place in my heart...

  

I made this dress for Baby Doll last June and posted about it here.  It has had a TON of wear!  It was in CONSTANT demand with Baby Doll and she gave it quite a stress test also.  I have always machine washed and dried it... and again NO IRONING (tears of gratitude are coming to my eyes as I type - I hate ironing except when quilting).  It has held up well also, although you can see in the detail picture below that the picots on the tatted edging have disappeared - they've gotta be there somewhere, right?



So, in summary, I plan to add more tatting to Baby Doll's clothing.  It may not always wear this well, but  I am convinced that TATTING IS TOUGH!!!

19 comments:

Fox said...

Tough, Ann, but SOOOO CUTE! Those dressed are adorable and the circle with the tatting is amazing! Are those French knots or beads? So colourful. Lucky little Baby Doll to have such an artistically talented mama!

I know tatting is very durable because The Boss has tatting on her socks, which need to be washed so often. I regularly inspect them, (I hope my DIL does not think I am checking up on her washing ability) and though the picots get lost ans twisted, the trimmings are holding their own!
Fox : )

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hey Fox, thanks! Those are French knots - I love making French knots so I put 'em all over the place! I've got a question for you also. Have the beads you have added to The Boss' socks held up OK? I've been hesitant to add any so far.
:) Ann

Carla said...

Your tatting works are very beautiful!

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

Hmm...food for thought...Ella is only 1 1/2, and I think she'd love a dress with tatting from Grandma. Maybe it's time to dust off the sewing machine. Thanks for the inspiration!

wickedtats said...

i love the little dresses. Esp the first one. I LURVE what you've done to the motif with the little accents which I guess may also be functional (do they hold the tatting to the dress?) awesome.

sewmuchfun4 said...

Thank you Carla!

Diane - I'm SURE Ella would LOVE a dress with your tatting! What a pretty name she has. Better dust off that machine and oil it up!

Thanks Aileen! Yes the embroidery is decorative but is also how the tatting is attached. I basically blocked the tatted piece permanently with the embroidered stitches. I didn't want it to sag off of the dress after the first washing! It has worked. I don't have to do anything special to reshape it after washing.

:) Ann

Martha said...

The little dresses still look wonderful. I always loved making those loose styles because they can wear them so much longer (as a top when they get too short). Unfortunately, poor Emily never had a dress with adorable tatted details.

Love the photo of Baby Doll in the wheat field. Sometimes I miss that open feel of the mid-west.

Marty said...

I love the tatted embellishment on the brown polka-dot dress! If you want to have less worry about the dye leaching into the water get some Shout brand Color Catchers and put one in the wash. My sister uses these with her tie-dyed clothes. We also use them with jeans and anything red. The Color Catcher comes out colored, but the clothes stay the same color. Oh, I don't work for Shout or have stock, I just love those Color Catchers!

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Martha! I am happy with the way the dresses are holding up. I plan to use the pattern from the polka dot dress to make another - it is easy and Baby Doll loves wearing it. Funny you should mention wearing dresses as shirt when they grow a bit. Baby Doll saw the orange/blue dress still hanging on her doorknob this morning after I photographed it last evening and wanted it on. It is now a swing top! Maybe if Emily chooses to be a flapper or something you could get some tatting on her next Halloween costume!

Hi Marty!
Thanks for the tip on the Color Catchers! I hadn't heard of them before. They sound great! My husband and kids like dark jeans and I'm finding some of my oldest daughter's clothes are not colorfast either. I'll give them a try!

:) Ann

Fox said...

Haven't lost and beads, yet! There have been a lot of washes, and they are cheap ones at that.
Fox : )

sewmuchfun4 said...

Thanks Fox, I wondered about that. I think it was Gina who had a problem with some beads discoloring a while back so I haven't used any for clothing. I just may have to give it a try!
:) Ann

victats@gmail.com said...

What a wonderful job you did on that dress! Even the judges on project runway would give it a thumbs up. That was a great use of tatting. Wonderful!

sewmuchfun4 said...

Thanks Victats! That puts a funny picture in my head of my little model heading down the runway and NOT STOPPING as is her way!
:) Ann

❦TattingChic said...

I was just going to say I remembered seeing that dress before! It's so very darling! You did a nice job on it!
You know, I like making French knots, too! When I get going on them they are therapeutic...only when I get going on them, that is, LOL!

sewmuchfun4 said...

It's déjà vu all over again, Tatting Chic! I have FILLED areas of stitching with French knots before when I have been "in the zone." It was for a monogram - turned out pretty cool, had a neat texture also.
:) Ann

umintsuru said...

Your dresses for Baby Doll are just adorable. I have a 2 year old niece and lately I have been thinking of sewing dresses for her but don't know when, how or where to start. Perhaps adding tatting to store bought dresses is where I should start. Yours are just so pretty!!

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Umintsuru! I plan to add more tatting to clothing for my kids. It really does give me an added enthusiasm for a sewing project!
:) Ann

Gina said...

I have a nightgown that I put tatting on in 2000 and it looks great! I'm getting ready to take it off as the nightgown itself is getting shabby. I'll post it on my blog when I get around to it. Yes - tatting is tough!

Debra O'Connor said...

It is so great to hear how tough and resilient tatting is - that it is both beautiful and wearable! I love the tatting detail you added to the brown polka-dot dress - it is almost very retro-mod in style and perfectly suited to that adorable little dress!