I love the look of variegated floss and variegated yarn with those multi-colored threads.
Recently I tried using variegated embroidery floss to smock a basic yoke dress. Because of the variation of colors in the floss, I didn’t want a busy print that would allow the floss to get lost in the design. Therefore, I chose this simple green and white 100% cotton print and worked a geometric smocking design with variegated floss in shades of green and pink.
I love the color combination for summer even though this is not one of my favorite smocked projects.
This basic yoke dress pattern from Chery Williams, sports a peter pan collar and short gathered sleeves. This particular pattern is so versatile that I have used it countless times with different collar and sleeve combinations. This is, however, the last time I will choose variegated floss since the smocking design doesn’t show up as well as I’d hoped it would. The light shades in the floss are too light for hand-smocking on a printed fabric.
In spite of that, this is a cute dress, and I’m sure that a certain little girl will look pretty in it!
When it comes to dressing up your baby, a smocked bishop can’t be beat! You’ll have to agree after seeing this sweet little girl in her yellow floral print bishop.
The term “bishop” refers to this particular style–a round yoke that is smocked the whole way around the neck of the dress. This is the best style for a small baby, and it is the only style of smocked dress that I have made so far for Aaliyah.
For this particular bishop, I used a 100% cotton floral print from the Moda fabric company.
Here’s a closeup of the smocking. I was all set to smock this dress in yellow when my sister advised me to smock it in blue so that the stitches would show up better. I’m glad I took her advice! I like the blue smocking on this dress. This photo was taken before I added the tiny white flowers in between the second and fourth rows of smocking.
I used a geometric smocking design based on the smocking plate “Kayla” by Terry Jane Collins.
This happy baby girl looks so beautiful in this little yellow dress!
I can’t resist showing you one more photo of her in her smocked baby bishop. These portraits were taken by and posted with permission from Stacie Miller Portrait Design.
If you have a special little lady in your life who needs a handsmocked dress, you can contact me for more information on my custom-made handsmocked children’s wear.
I remember when a Polly Flinders brand smocked dress was the baby gift of choice for baby girls in the 1960s and 1970s when my older sisters were having children. Though the Polly Flinders company is no longer in existence, a hand smocked dress is still a treasure that every baby girl should own.
I remember twenty years ago seeing a little girl at church wearing a dress that her mother had smocked and sewn for her. I knew then that this was an art form that I wanted to learn. That mother invited me to her home and gave me a few smocking lessons, and I was hooked!
This round necked style is called a bishop, and it is my favorite dress for a young baby.
The smocking frames the baby’s face and combined with a smocked bonnet makes a lovely gift for any new baby girl.
The other most popular style for smocked dresses is this basic yoke dress. These dresses have a straight yoke and usually a Peter Pan collar. These dresses are adorable, and the color combinations and smocking designs are endless!
One of my favorite techniques is to use a solid color for the dress front and back and a contrasting print for the sleeves and collar.
This very basic geometric smocking design is very pretty with the added flower accents.
This particular dress was made for a toddler, and this style is perfect for that age and older.
Hand smocking may not be as prevalent as it once was, but it is not a dying art by any means.
I do some custom hand smocking work, and if you are interested in a hand smocked dress or bonnet for a special little girl in your life, please contact me for more information.