>> Saturday, September 20, 2008
At the beginning of the summer I started going to a Smocking Class every Tuesday. I had been wanting to learn to smock for a while and one of the ladies in my bible study volunteered to give us all lessons. From the beginning I realized smocking is not easy, involves tiny needles and very little stitches, and when you mess up a row you have to start all over. Long story short, smocking is not going to be a lifetime craft of choice for me...although I think smocked dresses are the cutest. Here is Bryan's attempt to document my dislike of smoking. After yelling out five times "I hate smocking" he took a picture so I would remember. I tend to get craft amnesia once I'm finished with something.
Three month later I am almost done with the smocking and now I need to piece the dress together. I wanted to take preventative measure to make sure I don't mess the dress up and absolutely lose my mind so I came up with this easy baby day gown to get a little practice for the real thing. I think it turned out very cute so I wanted to share and maybe if you are attempting to piece together a smocked dress in the near future you can have a little practice too.
Materials: Ignore half of the things in this picture. All you need is one yard of material and matching bias tape, double folded, and a couple eye hooks.
Two 9" x 7" pieces (sleeves)
Two 12" x 22" pieces (back panels)
One 24" x 22" (front of dress)
You pin the sleeves on the front and back panels and sew down about 6", leave the rest of the sleeve loose.
Now to connect the body of the dress they key is the French Seam. My friend's mom showed me how to do this at the baby shower I threw a couple weekends ago and it is the best sewing thing I have ever learned and so easy, I can't believe I'm just now learning this one.
Then you flip the dress to the inside, iron that seam down and then sew in again from the inside. This neatly captures that raw edge and you have nice, clean seams.
Now that you have your body pieces put together start pleating and pinning around the neck line. Sew with a straight stitch around the neck and remove the pins.
Take a piece of bias tape, measure 1.5" longer than the diameter of your neckline. Iron the raw edges inside.
Sew in two eye hooks sets on the back .5" extra bias tape that you left to close the neckline. You could sew in more if you wanted to allow for different neck sizes.
Ta-da...A Baby Day Gown! I ended up doing a zig-zag stitch around my neck, bottom and sleeves to finish it off. But you can leave this step off. Another thing I was going to do, but didn't, was sew in elastic in the bottom hem so it would be tapered at the bottom to cover the little legs. I'll try that on my next one. If these directions are vague at all feel free to email me. Happy Day Gown making!