A new smocked play dress

Yes. This Mummy has been busy once again outfitting this girl with another pretty, smocked, play dress. I started this project back at the beginning of summer but found the smocking part of this project a little more ambitious than I first thought. It seemed to take a lot more time than I had anticipated. Therefore instead of being a Christmas party dress, it’s now finished just in time for winter…. Thankfully adding a little jacket (which is on my sewing table at the moment) and tights will take it through our mild winter here nicely as well.

The smocking is all done with a beading needle because of those beautiful sparkling golden beads which adorn the entire, full smocked bodice. This means the smocking took a little more care than normal – those long, thin needles are easy to break and the bowl of beads sitting beside me meant that my working time had to be done only when my littlest was asleep (golden beads make lovely play toys, and they are extremely hard to pick up off the floor, trust us, we tested this many times!). Then once the front of the bodice is smocked, the entire bodice is back-smocked (just as much work but nobody sees it). And then just when I was thinking it was getting ready to be made into a dress, I began on the bullion knot flowers which cover the beaded bodice.

Quite a project for such a simple looking outcome. But that’s why I do it – because I love the process, the endless hours of creating and the delight of my girl wearing a pretty, girly dress.

White smocked dress 1 White smocked 3 White smocked dress 2 White smocked dress 4 White smocked 5 white smocked 6 White smocked dress 7 White smocked dress 8 White smocked dress 9




Pattern – Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue #63 (now out of print but other issues can be found here)

Fabric Рa medium/heavy weight cotton pique (bought from a nearby fabric store). As I was working this, I thought maybe I should have chosen a lighter fabric. This was fairly heavy, not as heavy as fine whale corduroy but heavy for a summer play dress. The finished product though, has left me very happy. The weight of the fabric allows it to fall beautifully and on a older girl (age 7) it works to have a more substantial weight dress.

Details: The bodice is beaded with gold seed beads (from my craft stash). Finished with self-fabric binding and white piping. Golden, heart shaped buttons (from my newly discovered local fabric store) close the full back opening.

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