A little while ago I tried out some smocking samples to learn the basic techniques for traditional hand smocking (also known as English smocking), and this week I finally got round to putting these into use on a dress for the little one.
This dress began life as a strapless summer dress with a cherry applique I made for myself a good five years ago. Having pulled out the summer dresses at the start of this scorching hot week, I realised it hadn't been worn in two years. The style just wasn't something I'd wear anymore, but it would be perfect for the smocking I wanted to try out!
I removed the skirt, which was a pleated, slightly A-line two panel skirt. I squared the top edge, and cut armscye shapes from the side seams. Three evenings' work later and we have a completed dress. The gingham was very easy to smock thanks to its inherent grid pattern- no need for any tedious marking for the pleats. I kept with the red colour group for the smocking threads to tie into the existing cherry applique, using six strand embroidery thread.
For the back, I cut it into a seperate bodice and skirt, shirred the bodice with elastic by machine, and reattached. A narrow yoke finishes the top edge of the front, and I added bias binding to finish the armscyes and form tie straps.
This should fit her for a good year or so!