Friday, 28 May 2010

A classic: smocked dresses

Perhaps it's a little wishful thinking, but I decided to take a crack at sewing a few summer dresses for Abner recently. Wishful thinking in that we certainly haven't had much need for summer frocks around here these days. Our heat still kicks on occasionally for Pete's sake!

First on the list was the adorable smocked dress from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing. I've wanted to try out this pattern for ages; ever since seeing the cute version Miranda made last year. I knew it was going to be fairly easy, but I didn't realize I could knock off four of them in a weekend! Not only did I make this sweet one for Abner, but I also managed to crank out three more which were given as gifts to some of the little girls in our circle of friends.

For a wee one like Abner, half a meter was all that was needed. It's a bit on the long side this year, but it will either be a perfect fit dress next summer or will make a great top for a few years to come.

One of the greatest things about smocking (or shirring, depending on who you ask) is the elasticized thread. If you haven't had a chance to try it out, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. All you have to do is hand-wind the elastic thread around your bobbin and sew like you normally would. Once all the lines are in the fabric will start to gather a bit, but the real magic happens once you iron it! As soon as the steam and heat from the iron hit the thread, it puckers up instantly. So freakin' cool, I tell ya.

It seems I'm not the only one to whip up a few of these dresses lately. Soule Mama herself has done up a few for her little daughter recently too. I love the subtle variations she's done in using straps instead of ties. Will definitely have to try that one next time.


  1. I Love it! It slooks great...and Abbie is so darn cute I could eat her up! they come in Mom sizes too?? Hope you are well and wishing you some of the Ontario weather we are having! Cristie

  2. love that fabric! i haven't tried this dress yet but plan on making a few for my babe this year. love how yours turned out :)

  3. oh my goodness...abby is so cute in that dress and looks so comfortable:)

  4. I love the one you made for Lexi. Can't wait to see the girls in their matching dresses (and I hope it warms up soon so they can actually WEAR them)...

  5. Thank you all for the lovely comments!

    ^ Cristie, I will let you know if I ever make one in an adult size. If we get some of that amazing weather you've been having, this pattern might be just the thing to cool off in!

    ^ Lesley, I've admired your blog for a while now. Thanks for stopping by mine! Can't wait to see how yours turn out.

    ^ Bonnie, I agree, the smocking thing looks really, really comfy!

    ^ Allie, I'm anticipating some adorable pictures of the girls this summer!

  6. I've been meaning to make this dress for my daughter for months! You made four in one weekend? Amazing!


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