Sunday, June 24, 2012

One More Dress for Lydia

As I wait to go to Houston to meet my new granddaughter, I have made another smocked dress.  This one is from the Children's Corner and is their Bishop's Dress, Gwen view.  A coworker gave me her pattern.  (Thanks Wendy!)  I really like this pattern and know I will use it over and over.  It is multisized, so I hope I can use it until Lydia is at least three or four years old.

This was the first Bishop's dress I have made and it wasn't as hard to pleat as I thought it would be.  I held my breath but that fabric went through my Amanda Jane Pleater like butter.  That is, until I got to the seams. I only broke two needles!  Next time, I will trim the seams more and use a zig zag stitch.  Hopefully, there will be no more broken needles.

The smocking was a lot of fun.  This was a free design in this month's Sew Beautiful Magazine.  I love that magazine and am proud that Martha Pullen is from Alabama.

Hopefully, I can get one more dress made before I leave for Houston in a week and a half.  This one will not be pleated, so I should have plenty of time to complete it.


  1. Soo sweet, Carolyn. I have such fond memories of the gazillion smocked
    dresses I made for my granddaughter (who is 14 now and wants nothing to do with "Mimi-made". :-) Enjoy this new bundle and be sure and sew
    for her to your heart's content. I look forward to the day when mine becomes old enough to appreciate "Mimi-made" again.

    Joan R.

  2. What a sweet little dress! Oh, you will love being with your grand-daughter and spoiling her!

  3. Lovely smocked dress! Congratulation on your new granddaughter!

  4. that dress is so cute - I have never tried smocking

  5. Congratulations on your first bishop's. Maybe you have made another by now. I never overcast the seams where they are pleated. The angle of the cut is usually off grain - not really bias but better than grain and if they are trimmed a bit they are usually so tight in the pleating that they will not fray. If the fabric is something loose that does fray then they could be fray-checked after pleating. Good luck with your future smocking. I am an addict.

  6. Great work Carolyn. I really miss the days when my daughter wore smocking. She's sixteen now, and I've been telling her for years that she has to have four children, and at least two have to be girls! LOL

    I found that when making bishops I needed to stitch the arm seams with a straight stitch, trim to about 1/8 of an inch, and then zig zag over the raw edge. When putting it through the pleater, pleat up to just before the first part of the seam goes in, and line up the seam by prodding it gently in between the pleater rods so it's all straight and the entire seam goes through at the same time - this also helps keep your pleating straight! Very slowly and carefully turn the wheel, rocking it gently back and forth if needed, until the seam is through. Breathe a huge sigh of relief and relax until you get to the next one..... ;-)

    It also helps to put a piece of waxed paper through your pleater before pleating fabric, the wax cleans and lubricates the needles.