Hand smocked dress

smocked dress2It’s kids clothes week again! I can’t wait to look through all the exciting projects on Flickr. So much goodness! I’m working on a last-minute birthday gift with a looming deadline right now, so my opportunities to join in are limited, but at least I’m inspired to finally post this little dress, which admittedly was finished a couple of weeks ago. Here’s my hand smocked dress! Ta-da!

blurry dressI recently saw a Polo smocked girls dress for something like $150 in a department store. $150 for baby clothes! So when I spotted this unopened McCall’s 4508 pattern at a thrift shop for 50c I really wanted to try it out. Unfortunately it is a size 5 and with all that pleated fabric I wasn’t sure about grading the pattern down for my nearly 16 month old. Of course, Pinterest was able to help and I found a gorgeous and free pattern here in size 18 months.

mccalls 4508To hand pleat the fabric, I drew a grid on the back of the fabric and stitched the pleats as shown in this tutorial. My smocking was slightly less complicated than the pattern due to time limitations, but isn’t it cute! The possibilities with this are endless.smocking stitches

When I first started sewing the dress together it seemed so large I thought it was going to fit me! The sleeves are oh so puffy. And even with the tie at the back it is a loose fit, so I added a tuck just above the hem to let the dress grow with her.

smocked dress side angleI love it on her so much, it’s no wonder they call these heirloom dresses. But I think that with a little patience and some time, anyone can do this! I know I’ll be returning to the view E dress on that McCall’s pattern in the next few years too.

Fabric: Japanese tana lawn from Spotlight. Yes, it is upside down! Oops!

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5 thoughts on “Hand smocked dress

  1. This dress takes me back 20 years , when I learnt how to smock dresses for my daughters. Back then, smocked dresses were ridiculously priced. I love the fabric that you have used. It makes the dress look very contemporary.

  2. I love smocked dresses. I even liked wearing them when I was that age. My mum and grandmother on my father’s side made them for me as I grew until I was about eight or so. I wish I still had them all carefully put away in a box somewhere so I could pass them down. Seeing a little girl dressed so elegantly and just like a little girl instead of a miniature pop star is so refreshing. I love the upside down print too. I think it looks brilliant- a beautiful dress on a beautiful child.

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