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 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.