Sunday, April 8, 2012
The Ultimate Smocked Easter Dress
The sleeves are made as two overlapping petals, piped with pale blue petite piping (as is the collar and hem). The hand embroidery for the back belt, collar, and sleeves is worked on a piece of fabric prior to cutting. The directions called for backing the collar and belt fabric with interfacing prior to sewing, but I also did the same for the sleeves. I think it made it easier to work with than it might have been otherwise.
The buttons are mother-of-pearl. I almost went cheap and used something else, but when a garment requires this much effort you might as well use the best materials. I actually managed to have exactly the right amount of piping to complete it with two packages and leave the third one I bought for another project.
The embroidery took about 6 hours to complete (just the embroidery - the smocking was about another 6-8 hours total). The dress itself went together pretty easily using French seams on most parts of it. The directions called for completing the final part of the hem by hand, but I was able to fold it up neatly and use a stitch-in-the-ditch technique to secure the hem at the line of piping.
I wish I would have had time to make her a slip. White linen is fairly sheer, but given that she is an (almost) 5 year old girl, it's not too scandalous. I still think I may do it before she wears it again. Plus, I could pass that down to along with the dress. This one is definitely an heirloom.
I would have liked to have not been still smocking this less than 24 hours before Easter Services, but I got it done (and everything else that gummed up my time this week).
Now, I have a week off work and no cut sewing projects...I think I will have to change the status of that! After all, I just picked up some cute new fabric on Friday...