Sunday, 10 May 2015

At last - a reveal

For what seems like ages (could be about 4 months) I have been beavering away on a very special smocking project. 

As you know I have taken this lovely craft up in the last year and having made a sampler cushion and Christmas cracker I decided to embark on something a little more challenging.  My eldest granddaughter's birthday was on 1 May so I decided that if I started in the New Year I might be able to make her something by her birthday.

Teacher J has so many smocking magazines that I could look through and at last I found a really lovely pattern.  It seemed a daunting task but I was smitten: and the first item I needed was fabric so I bought a Japanese Liberty fabric that J prepared for smocking and off I went.
A full width of the fabric but no pleating at the armhole edges
It took me about three months to complete but I was working on other projects at the same time!

The next part was to cut out the pattern pieces for the bodice, save a full width piece for the back skirt and with the remaining fabric I made my own piping using bias cut strips and DMC Petra 3 cotton thread.  I was surprised how much piping I needed as it was going round the armholes, across the front and back yokes, round the neckline and down both sides of the back yoke.  As I was making the piping I realised that the fabric was just right, because it was soft and pliable and would be ideal for a little girl's skin.

At last it was finished and here are some photos that I took before it was posted for the birthday girl -
I have no overlocker so I made a blind hem with rolled edges
I rolled all the edges of the fabric to ensure they were soft.
My hands were so cold I needed fingerless mittens!!

Armhole, neck and bodice piping

The crossover back

The back crosses over and there is no seam at all, so plenty of leg room for running around and it is still modest!!
My label placed on the inside of the crossover
 I always label clothes, whether made for myself or anyone else because I understand that when they eventually get sent to charity, if there is no label items are sent for rags!!!  After all that work - never!!!!
The back

The front
and finally being worn:-

- and a happy birthday to a 6 year old in a size 7 dress that I hope will last for two years at least.

Oh and by the way smocked dresses should be every day dresses and not saved for best - that is what teacher J told me!


  1. Carol its beautiful you must be very proud, think when she goes out of it you ought to have it back and keep. You will have to smock a coat hanger for it.
    Well done ! its great

  2. That beautiful dress was well worth all that effort! I agree - to be returned to maker when not in use!!!

  3. So pleased your 'little project' turned out so beautiful, little Miss will love wearing it, and Mum will love the fact that as it is such a beautiful cotton/ lawn it can be thrown in the washing machine with everything else.

  4. What a beautiful dress Carol.