Sunday, December 11, 2011

Victoria' Cotton Smocked Dress

      I am out of town and thought I would post a photo of a dress I made about 10 years ago. This is Victoria's dress. Eliana has worn it with brown leggings this fall since it kinda has autumn colors.
I think because of the color combination I get lots of compliments. The smocking design was from an Australian Smocking book that belonged to my mother. I added the green ribbon bow with embroidered center. The fabric was a quilting fabric and the pattern for the dress was a Children's Corner Bishop dress pattern.The sleeves are called, "angel wings" because they are open and resemble wings. Sometimes the angel wing bishop is featured with a basic yoke dress and the bishop angel wing is the apron over the dress. I love that. Maybe I should do that for Easter.  In case you don't know, a "bishop" smocked dress has smocking all the way around the neck. It incorporates the sleeves and both front and back yokes. So, when pleating it, you leave the side seams unsewn. After pleating, the side seams are sewn together. I usually sew french seams on the side. If you own a pleater, you roll the fabric onto a wooden dowel and slowly turn the fabric through the pleater. Successful pleating takes practice. There are some basic instructions on the net, like this one, Here.
   I made embroidery thread button loops and embroidered a flower over the button. This dress has seem numerous washings and  active kid wear & tear. Suprisingly, it has held up well. My favorite smocking stitch is the feather stitch. I like the look and I enjoy the actual embroidering part. Like crochet, I find it relaxing.
      If you are wondering whether or not to invest in a pleater, I would consider how much you actually intend to smock. Some specialty fabric stores that sell smocking supplies will pleat fabric for you at a cost. Something to think about. If cost isn't a problem, then a pleater is wonderful. I happen to have one my mom purchased but never used. It is a small pleater with only about 14 rows. I would love to have a large pleater but it probably isn't worth the investment for me right now.

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