Tag Archives: man knit

The Doctor and His Stitches

This post is just a story, but a true one.  I have no techniques or photos to show you, except the pattern front below.  But perhaps there is some inspiration.

This whole chain of events is one of my favorite needlework stories.

Many, many years ago, there was a thriving knit shop in our little town.  As a customer, I had developed a friendship with the owner, Pat, who was aware that I taught smocking and other needlework classes.

One spring Saturday afternoon, Pat called to ask if I could pleat some fabric for a customer who had just walked into her shop requesting that service.  The “customer” was actually an older couple who had come to town from their home some 20 miles away, deep in the central Florida countryside.  They were hoping to get the pleating done today.  “Of course,” I said.

Dr. Jones and his wife arrived at my home a little later. After introducing himself (a retired surgeon) and explaining that his wife had recently become deaf, he presented me with a bag of  batiste and this pattern, with which I was very familiar.


McCall wedding dress

The $3.50 price on this pattern tell you it is pretty old!

I knew full well that this was a pretty ambitious project.  My friend Mary had made this beautiful dress a year or so before then, but she had come to a standstill because she couldn’t get the hang of bullion roses.  So we did a work swap.  She smocked a dress for my daughter and I embroidered the 88 bullion roses as specified on the pattern.

But back to Dr. and Mrs. Jones and the pleating. He explained that this was to be the wedding dress for their son’s bride.  I said I would have it done in 3 days.

The pattern pieces were all cut, including the armhole curve, so I quickly stitched scrap fabric to the curve so the fabric would enter the pleater uniformly.

As I bagged up the pleated fabric and pattern, Dr. Jones asked if, perchance, I had a book on smocking he could buy because  “My wife doesn’t know how to smock.”

Oh boy.  This wedding dress was in big trouble. So he was sold one of my many how-to smock books and encouraged to come up with a back up plan, like a ready-to-wear dress.

“Oh, we have plenty of time,” he said.  “The wedding isn’t for 3 weeks.”  He was so confident! Continue reading