I know now why I haven’t done this before.

A few weeks ago our local Spotlight store had a sale on sewing patterns and I bought three.  One of the patterns was a Vogue pattern at a ridiculously low price, one that I couldn’t go past, and as this was the only child’s pattern that appealed to me so I bought it.

Vogue patternYou can see in the background the reverse side of the fabric I selected to make the dress for my youngest granddaughter.

smocking dotsI didn’t realise that I would have to transfer all the dots to the fabric in order to do the smocking.  I don’t own a smocking machine and I am not likely to now.

smocking machineThis is what a smocking machine looks like.  Obviously it would only take a few minutes to pleat the fabric whereas it took me several hours by hand.

I thought I had carbon paper for transferring the dots but I only had white and that wouldn’t show up on the fabric so I had to go and buy some new dressmakers’ carbon.

dressmakers carbon paperYou can see from the photo how old my carbon paper was compared to the new one.

I set about transferring all the dots, what a job that was.

smocking dotsI then had to sew all the gathering threads,

gathering threadsgathered for smockingand pull up the gathers to fit the paper pattern of the yoke.

yoke pattern for gathersNow I have all that bit done I can start on the actual smocking.  It would need to be a terrific result after all this work.  I hope I don’t make any mistakes.

embroidery The only smocking I have done before was way back in 1967 when I smocked the yokes on my younger sister’s and my bridesmaids’ dresses for my elder sister’s wedding.  It was nowhere near as complicated as what I am doing at the moment.

smocked yokeMy how fashions change.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. MrsCraft says:

    I did a double take when I saw your carbon paper packet (the old one) as my mum gave me one just the same last year. 😊 your smocking is looking lovely, I don’t think I’d have the patience.

    1. suth2 says:

      I just hope the embroidery part turns out ok.
      Your mum is probably of my vintage. 🙂

  2. mommermom says:

    I love smocking! A smocking machine, I have never heard of it.

    1. suth2 says:

      I have no idea how much they cost but you would need to be doing lots of smocking to make it worthwhile.

      1. mommermom says:

        Not likely I would but love the idea. 👍

  3. Jeanie says:

    who is that gorgeous looking girl modelling the dress? she looks familiar! Me thinks she hasn’t changed much,
    JS

    1. suth2 says:

      Thank you. That time has gone so quickly.

  4. Kate says:

    Fantastic patience Heather. The bridesmaids dresses were awesome too!

    1. suth2 says:

      I remember the beautiful colours of the Thai silk.

  5. Jennifer Maxwell says:

    Wow, this post struck a chord! Last time I did smocking was a christening robe in 1980. I’m impressed your grand-daughter will wear a flowery smocked dress, mine is 8 and would never, although knitted items have been received with approval! Looks like you’ve been sewing as long as I have too. I really enjoy your blog, thank you.

    1. suth2 says:

      Hi Jennifer, Thank you so much for your comment. My granddaughter is only two so she is not too picky about what she wears, no doubt that will happen eventually.
      Heather

  6. Wow that’s quite the process! You did a lovely job though! Love the “vintage” dress! 😃👍

    1. suth2 says:

      Thank you Linda. I hope the embroidery turns out ok.

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